Machine brand differences

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by mctennis, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    I have a question as to the different brands of stringing machines. I use to use a stringer for about 15 years. He used a Babolat 3 or 4 Star machine. From what I remember seeing a couple of times. I use to just mostly drop them off to him at his home. On occasion I'd be in his stringing room so that's why I can't remember the exact machine. He retired because of early Alzheimers disease. He moved out of the area into a smaller one story house so I really can't call him to ask him what machine he truly had.
    Long story but why I ask this is I can't find a stringer that makes my racquet feel like he did after restringing it. I've tried about 5-6 stringers and they all have different machines. Each time I use the same racquets, same strings same tensions and string set ups. Each time the racquet never feels as good as when my old stinger did them. I've wasted so much string and so much money not being happy with the way the racquet feels and plays. Now I've had to start messing around with the tensions to try and get the same feel and playability.
    Would the machine he used and the different machine brands others use make that big of a difference?
    Thanks for your input.
     
    #1
  2. Technatic

    Technatic Semi-Pro

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    Different stringers, different result

    Hi Mctennis,

    The difference in playability of your stringbed can come from the difference in machine or condition of it.
    The machine can only offer as little loss of tension as possible.
    I think that it is important to compare the end result.

    Important to know is, what difference in playability do you feel:
    - More or less power.
    - Shorter or longer ball-contact.

    If you tried a number of stringers with the same result, it could be that something on the Old stringer's machine was not as it should be resulting in a lower result.
    If his clamps have been slipping his result will be lower.

    Does your stringbed feel stiffer or softer?
     
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  3. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    First off, racquet stringing is done by people, not machines. A stringing machine is a tool used by a racquet stringer to string a racquet. In your case, your old stringer appears to have been an accomplished technician. Chances are, even if you could get your hands on his old machine, the work it would produce would feel different to you with a new operator.

    That said, different mounting systems and tensioning mechanisms do affect the output of a machine. If you have been getting your racquets strung on a Star 4 and then you switch to a stringer using a Neos 1000 you are going to feel a huge difference for a variety of reasons:

    1. The Star 4 is a constant pull machine and the Neos is a lockout machine. The Star 4 will therefore produce work 5-10% tighter even if the machines are both calibrated perfectly.

    2. The Star 4 has a six point mounting system and the Neos has a 2 pt mounting system. In my experience the 2 pt mount produces a stiffer string bed.

    3. The Star 4 has diamond dusted clamps which do a superb job of preventing tension loss during stringing. Can make a huge difference especially with coreless multifilament strings like Xcel.

    So, yes, machine brands make a difference and machine types make a difference. Still the single most influential variable you can change is the person doing the work.
     
    #3
  4. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the replies. The trouble I'm having with the racquet when I had it restrung is that it feels "dead". I normally have it strung at 60 lbs. I usually use a full gut string bed or a gut mains/ TiMO crosses. It had it done at several places and it feels dead. So I went with less tension and I was sailing the balls into the back of the other side o the court with no control ( around 55 lbs tension). I went back up to 58 bs and I was sailing the balls long again and the net was a joke also. Sailing them all over the place. I just went back up to 60 lbs last week (from yet another pro shop) and I will play next weekend. I just can't figure out what to do to compensate for the lack of feel with my racquets. I had such great touch and soft hands at the net before and now it feels like I'm hitting with a 2x4.
     
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  5. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    Well, the approach you are taking to resolve this seems sensible to me. You've tried lowering your tension. I would have expected that to work too. So, I have 2 questions for you:

    1. Is the newest stringer using a machine like your old stringer used?
    2. What racquet is this that you are stringing at 60 lbs?
     
    #5
  6. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Each time you were changing the tensions, were you using the same person on the same machine to string it, or did you change tensions with a different person and different machine? Keeping with one person and telling him/her what you are experiencing can make a big difference.

    Might be a mental thing too. It happens to anyone. I got some prestrung racquets from TW, and mentally I thought they wouldn't be as good as the racquets I strung. I hated them at first. I didn't want to waste it and just cut them out, so I played with them until they broke. As I got used to them, I liked it.

    If you feel like you are spending too much money, you may consider stringing on your own.
     
    #6
  7. Technatic

    Technatic Semi-Pro

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    Stringbed stiffness is the major matter!

    I agree with the other guys, if you change tensions and stringers there are too many factors that may vary.

    The difference in feeling does not come from the difference in tension on the machine but in the difference in final string bed stiffness.

    If you were happy with 60 lbs before and unhappy with 58 and 55 now the difference in SBS can not be in relation to the difference in tensions. These stringers must have lost more tension that your old guy.

    My advise is to find a player, shop or stringer who has a stringbed tester and find out what your stiffness is.

    If you want control you need to be at 37 DT (kg/cm) or higher.
     
    #7
  8. MuscleWeave

    MuscleWeave Semi-Pro

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    Did your first stringer use power pads on your strings? They are very small foam discs that you put under the strings, on the outside of the hoop. They also save the string from early breakage where the string goes through the frame at a sharp angle. When used properly, they widen up the sweetspot a bit and give you more feel for the ball.
     
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  9. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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    #9
  10. pstar

    pstar New User

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    I have a gamma ats ert 300 for measuring stringbed stiffness. But even if I string my racquets as high as 27 kg in the mains, the DT still shows 35 kg/cm at the most! Usually I string with Cyber blue mains and Cyber flash crosses.

    One time I strung two similar racquets in a row, both at 27 kg mains and 26 kg crosses. But the computer showed DT 35 for the first and DT 32 for the other?

    I like to think that I`m pretty consistent in my stringing and are using a Stringway ML100 at the moment. Do you have any idea of what I`m doing wrong?
     
    #10
  11. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    Yes, my old stringer used power pads. I asked the new stringers about them and they stated they could not get them. I have NO idea why not. They are just little pieces of leather. That just may be what the problem is.
     
    #11
  12. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    I thought of the cracks also. I have one brand new racquet I pulled out to have strung along with one of my other used ones. I just had them both restrung last week. I'm playing Friday and I'll see how they feel and if there is any difference in the way they play. That's when the stringer told me he couldn't get power pads to use on them. HUH?????
     
    #12
  13. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    I'll do this. Great idea and suggestion.
    The place uses Master stringers so I'm not sure why they would be different between the racquets if they are using the same tension and also using the same three stringing machines.
     
    #13
  14. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    You know that may help if just the same stringer is doing it. I know they have Master racquet stringers at this place. I figured that would help. I almost feel like sending them to Roman in NYC to see if he can string them correctly AND have power pads.
     
    #14
  15. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    No, the stringing machine is not like the older stringer had. He used a Babolat 3 or 4 star one.
    I am stringing Volkl C10 Pro Tours at 60 lbs.
     
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  16. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    If you are having C10 Pro Tours strung with a gut/poly hybrid at 60 lbs on a constant pull machine I would expect them to feel like boards. I can't imagine why reducing tension to 55 lbs failed. Something isn't right.
     
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  17. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    It sounds like your new stringer is being lazy about the power pads... Anybody can make their own, if they care.
     
    #17
  18. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    I'm very disappointed in you Technatic. As the Stringway rep I thought you'd be all over this post like white on rice.

    First off Pstar, I have an earlier unit than you, the ERT700, so our results may differ. With a full bed of poly I get plenty good control with a DT of 34. So there's that.

    Second. I can get a whole range of readings from the ERT just by shifting it around a little bit. Assuming you are always locating on the same two crosses, how you position it between the mains can and will affect the readings. For instance, if you are able to squeeze the legs of the probe in so that 2LM and 2RM are hugging the legs of the probe, you will get a lower reading. If you shift one leg to the outside of 2LM you can get a different reading and if you shift one leg to the outside of 2RM you may find you get yet another reading. So, the ERT is a useful tool but not without it's limitations and idiosyncrasies. Again, I have an older model so maybe our experiences will be different. That's my take on it though.

    Without knowing what racquet it is you are stringing it's hard to know whether you are way off the mark or not but if things are on the low side of normal the usual suspect is slipping clamps. Clean them with alcohol and check for slippage. If the string is not slipping through the clamp and the clamp is not slipping on the glide bar and the tensioner is pulling accurately and you are clamping as close to the frame as you can, all systems are go and you should be fine.
     
    #18
  19. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    I thought the same thing. I even asked about that. Thy said " we just use to buy them but can't get them any longer."
    Sounded like bs to me too.
     
    #19
  20. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    Is the Babolat 3 or 4 Star a constant pull machine?
     
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  21. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    Yes, they are both constant pull.
     
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  22. pstar

    pstar New User

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    Thank you rufusbgood for taking your time to answer my questions:)
    The spesific racquets I was talking about, was my own prince speedport blacks. I don`t think my clamps are slipping, but I`ll clean them anyway since I haven`t done that yet.

    And yes, I`ve too noticed that you have to be very accurate when using the ert, just a little shifting around will give a different result.

    The reason why I asked about this in the first place, was because the ert is suppose to tell you when it`s time to restring your racquets. But when the DT is in the low 30`s right of the stringinger, and below 30 after the first hit, and the ert says it`s time to restring, there is something wrong!

    Maybe it has something to do with what you said about a full bed of poly, and that the readings is more accurate for multis and gut strings?
    So as a result of this I restring my racquets when I feel it`s time to restring,
    and no computer can compete with that feel:)

    cheers,
    pstar
     
    #22
  23. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    Pstar,

    I have found exactly as you have, that a full bed of poly gives me a lower DT than a nylon based synthetic. As a player, I am comfortable with Luxilon coming off the machine with a DT of 34 and I am comfortable with a nylon based string closer to a DT of 40.

    I find the DT useful for tracking tension loss on a percentage basis. When I see a tension loss of 20% I feel that's a good indicator it's time to re-string.
     
    #23
  24. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    I thought they were from what I read. I'm just not sure why the new stringers stringing job doesn't feel the same. First thing I need to do is get some power pads and try that again.
     
    #24

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