Lobster Elite 3 and Tennis Tutor Player Questions

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by Jennifer, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    California
    I've read all the posts on ball machines from the forum (literally), and I'm now torn between the Lobster Elite 3 verse Tennis Tutor Plus Player. I'm leaning towards the Lobster Elite 3 due to its portability, but before I spend so much money, I need to be reassured by you guys.

    Options
    1. Lobster Elite 3 Tennis Machine + Remote + Fast Charger ($1743)
    2. Tennis Tutor Plus Player + Remote + Fast Charger ($1703)
    Preferences
    • Portability, ease of transport from car to courts
    • Light Weight (so I lift it!) ;-)
    • Accurate ball placement (middle, center, wide, lob)
    • Durability
    • Physical Aerobic Workout
    • Challenging range for Beginning to Advance Skill level
    • Random Vertical balls + Horizontal Balls
    • Won't get bored by the functions
    I believe the Lobster Elite 3 meets my criteria, but I've heard a lot of good things about the Tennis Tutor Plus Player. The two machines are highly similar in function, but there are big enough differences that have me torn between the two! :oops:

    PROS/CONS (between the two)
    Tennis Tutor Plus Player
    PROS
    • "Player Mode" which sounds like it will keep the machine challenging and interesting.
    CONS
    • Difficult portability from car to court
    • Bulkiness when transporting in a car (can't fit in trunk)
    • Lack of vertical near net balls while on random oscillation (?).
    Lobster Elite 3
    PROS
    • Better portability
    • All court ball placement (front to back) during random oscillation
    • Two Year Warranty
    CON
    • No Player Mode
    • Louder (?)
    Can you guys help me decide? Thanks so much! :oops:
     
    #1
  2. Tina

    Tina Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    843
    Jennifer,

    I've never purchased any ball machine before. I heard the Lobster Elite 3 is a user friendly machine for woman. Hope it helps!

    -Tina
     
    #2
  3. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    California
    Thank you Tina, I hope I can lift 45 lbs! Love the rabbit avatar by the way. ;)

    Beernut, thanks for the link. Just finished reading it.

    I found it very interesting that the Lobster Elite 3 had only two negative points (no player mode, and no electric plug in). That must be saying a lot. I can live without the "player mode", after all I am only playing recreational tennis, and I figure I can get the same workout on the Lobster's random oscillating.

    -Jennifer
     
    #3
  4. tenniscoach07

    tenniscoach07 New User

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    59
    I was in the same state of confusion and decided on the lobster 3 yesterday and placed my order. After sleeping on it, I upgraded to an Elite 5. I am a coach and i really wanted the drill mode. Good Luck on your decision I am sure you"ll be happy with ur choice
     
    #4
  5. slow_duster

    slow_duster Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2009
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    Check lobster's website. I think they sell a plug, so you can plug it in and play/charge. I have had my lobster elite now 8 years. No problems, replaced battery one time. Great machine!!
     
    #5
  6. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    California
    Thanks Coach,

    Please let us know how the Elite V works out for you. I was tempted by the Elite IV and V series but I understand the random all court oscillation is very much alike the preprogrammed dirlls and "player mode" of the TT+Player.

    I'm just about ready to purchase the Elite 3, but will wait for additional feedback and research.

    -Jennifer
     
    #6
  7. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    California
    Slow Duster, may I ask what Lobster Elite version you have? How random/good is the random oscillation in terms of moving you aroudn the court?

    Thanks!

    -Jennifer
     
    #7
  8. Bolivian10s

    Bolivian10s Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Messages:
    211
    Hi Jennifer,

    You might want to look at the Wilson Portable with 2 line and random oscillation, its more lighter, more portable and is made by Sports Tutor and the best part it's CHEAPER than both other machines.
     
    #8
  9. MonkeyMuggs

    MonkeyMuggs Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    105
    My chief need and main concern in a ball machine was one that would "run me around the entire court" (deep/short - forehand/backhand) and do so in a unlimited, totally random and unpredictable manner. What my extensive research revealed was that Lobster was the only company that offered a "truly" random (horizontal & VERTICAL) oscillation. I was also very interested in the pre-programmed drills Lobster offered on some of their machines, as well as the "Player Mode" found on Tutor's Player Plus model. It was not easy to determine or ascertain the various functions, features, options, terminology and/or the respective "differences" between the various makes/models available. From what I could determine, however, was that the "player mode" on the Tutor appeared superior to the pre-programmed drills offered by Lobster - in that the "player mode" was not limited to just "6" (balls) shot drills. I don't remember how many balls were shot in a sequence/pattern before repeating while using Tutor's "player mode", but it was significantly more than 6. However, the "total" random oscillation Lobster offered appears to trump Tutor's "player mode". And Lobster's random oscillation is unlimited (or at least up to 999).

    What I've learned since purchasing is that those pre-programmed 6 shot drills on the Lobster IV, V are VERY challenging, and that I'm struggling to keep up after the 3rd or 4th ball. Granted, after laying off for a few years, I'm not in good shape; but no matter how great of shape or improved state of conditioning I may get, I'll never be able to "beat" even the extensive 2-Line drill that my Lobster machine can deliver!

    Both the Tutor and the Lobster are excellent machines and will run you silly. You can't make a bad decision. Ball machines are GREAT!
     
    #9
  10. forehandshanker

    forehandshanker Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Lobster Elite 3 and Tennis Tutor Player Questions

    I can't comment on the Tennis Tutor Player but I can comment on the Lobster Elite 3.

    The short story is I don't regret buying it, and it will definitely improve my game. The main thing is to adjust your expectations.

    The Lobster runs on a battery, which is great if you play to use it on a public court. It comes built in with a basic charger which recharges the battery overnight.

    I didn't expect any ball machine to be able to replicate a player. Part of anticipating the ball is to watch your opponent while you recover. A ball machine by its very nature does not swing a racquet and does not think about its stroke placement. That said, trying to beat a machine set to a random side-to-side and front-to-back drills will be challenging enough.

    The main thing I expect out of a ball machine is a consistent ball so that I can groove specific strokes. I've been developing settings such as a high bouncing top spin, a flat ball basher, underspin lobs, the random "pusher", etc. It's been an enlightening experience for my own game.

    What I love about the Lobster:

    1) The handle and wheels make it very portable.
    2) Battery with a charger
    3) Ability to vary spins, speed and elevation
    4) Narrow two-line drill is the tops. Great for grooving a particular stroke.

    What I don't like about the Lobster
    5) The wide two line drill doesn't go from sideline to sideline as I'd hoped
    6) Can't beat random oscillation as it just kills me

    I've worked around (5) by switching to a narrow two line and just pointing the machine at the service box where I want to work on a specific stroke.

    Hope this helps!
     
    #10
  11. moist

    moist Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    151
    To those with the Lobster Elite 2 and up, is the vertical oscillation useful? I've heard it can't vary depth all that well because it will start shooting into the net.
     
    #11
  12. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    California
    Thank you all for the useful information. Both machines sound like great machines with many positive reviews for both around the net. I can't go wrong between the two.

    I have decided to go with a Lobster because:

    1) Better Portability (no need for a dolly and will fit in a compact trunk)
    2) Better Appearance
    3) Longer warranty (2 years, but limited on what it covers)

    -Jennifer
     
    #12
  13. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    California
    Moist I've read that too. However, after more research I found the people having problems with it were new at settin git up. From reviews, and thread updates I read the vertical oscillation works fine (if not great), but you have to tinker with the settings when first setting it up. You'll get the occassional ball in the net, but I think you get that with any machine.

    -Jennifer
     
    #13
  14. nicoleterp

    nicoleterp New User

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    Did you purchase the Lobster? If so, how do you like it? I am debating between the same 2 machines right now!!!!
     
    #14
  15. nicoleterp

    nicoleterp New User

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4
    can I get the link listed above????
     
    #15
  16. MonkeyMuggs

    MonkeyMuggs Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Messages:
    105
    Amongst the few "Tried+True" ball machine manufacturers out there, there are several good brands/models to choose from. I'm personally very happy with the Lobster Ball Machine I recently purchased. Lobster's Customer Service has also been great!
     
    #16
  17. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    California
    Purchased the Lobster Elite IV

    Hi Nicoleterp,

    I did purchase a Lobster. I ended up purchasing the Lobster Elite IV instead of the Elite 3. The fully random oscillation (spin and placement) was a feature that I felt was worth the upgrade.

    The fully random oscillation runs me all over the court. From sideline to sideline, from net to baseline, all while putting different speeds and spins on the ball. Although I'm not 100% confident in my strokes and footwork to take full advantage of this mode, it's a program that I enjoy running to see how far I'm progressing as a player. After rounds and rounds of manual mode, random horizontal oscillation, and running the drills, I'm getting better and better at moving and getting to the all the balls tossed in the fully random oscillation mode.

    You'll have to decide for yourself if you need that challenge and feature. Without it, you still can get plenty out of the random horizontal oscillation. In fact, it's a mode that I run most of the time. The machine is good at oscillating side to side, and faking you out.

    Also, if you are considering the Elite 3 with the smart charger, you may want to consider the extra $200 upgrade to the Elite IV. The Elite IV comes stocked with the smart charger. So essentially, the $200 spent will give you the extra features (fully random, drills, option for a multi-function remote) and ensures that you won't grow out of the machine anytime soon.

    -Jennifer
     
    #17
  18. Jennifer

    Jennifer New User

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    58
    Location:
    California
    Comparison Lobster Elite IV to Sports Tutor Tennis Tutor Plus Player

    I had the opportunity to compare my Lobster with my tennis instructor's Tennis Tutor Plus Player Mode.

    The Lobster has the advantage over the Tennis Tutor. It feeds combinations of topspin/underspin and placed the ball anywhere at the baseline AND 1-2 feet inside the service line. The Tennis Tutor’s comparable "advanced" mode only use more topspin/pace and shot baseline, side to side feeds. To me, it seemed like the player mode was simply random horizontal oscillation with faster paced balls.

    I will say, the Lobster does hit into the net a few times, whereas the Tennis Tutor did not. I attribute that to the fact that the Lobster shoots closer to/inside the service line than the Tennis Tutor's baseline shots.

    Both machines hit accurately when feeding manual mode. Both also machines shot out a clean, realistic looking ball.

    Key Differences
    1. The Lobster feeds more all over the court and is more variable in spin combinations. The Tennis Tutor’s Player Mode seems more baseline oriented with only increased velocity from intermediate to advance settings.
    2. Tennis Tutor is slightly quieter and quicker in operation than the Lobster.
    3. The Lobster is more easily portable than the Tennis Tutor.
    4. Lobster looks better than that big black box.
    [​IMG]

    In the end, I’m glad I chose the Lobster Elite due to the better portability and offering of features that challenged me. Good luck in your search!

    -Jennifer
     
    #18

Share This Page