My New Alpha Pioneer DC...out of the box

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Redflea, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Oh what an exciting day it was....

    Some pics for those of you considering the Alpha Pioneer DC.

    The machine is just beautiful in person, solid as a rock, and very easy to set up and "assemble" (slide a few pieces on) out of the box. Came with 8 packages of Alpha string (you can choose which ones you want, but I just asked for a selection of their strings to give them a try), needle-nose and cutting pliers, awl, several allen wrenches for adjusting the Alpha, and several small springs and small yellow plastic pieces that I'm not sure what are for...I assume replacement parts for the Alpha.

    The Alpha is heavy, as expected, but the smiple kitchen cart I bought at Target holds it very nicely, almost like it was made for it.

    I have no idea what I'm doing, and unfortunately, the instructions that come with the Alpha aren't quite enough for a true beginner (at least this true beginner) to get started actually doing a string job...the picture at the end below is just one of my already strung racquets in place. So no comments yet on actually using the thing to string a racquet, unfortunately. But it looks like it'll be easy to use...

    <EDIT> I called Alpha and spoke w/Mark...extremely helpful on the phone regarding the stringing process, took a lot of time with me (talking me down from the ledge of newbie fear) and I am now ready to try my first string job tonight or tomorrow!

    It looks sweet, feels great, and I just bet I'm gonna be stringing like a madman soon.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2006
    #1
  2. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2006
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  3. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    And the rest...

    Before putting on the mounts and the clamps...
    [​IMG]

    All done!
    [​IMG]

    Racquet in place...almost looks like I strung it...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2006
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  4. rod_b

    rod_b Rookie

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    Christmas comes early. Where did you order it from?
     
    #4
  5. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

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    That is one nice looking machine...Have fun.
     
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  6. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

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    Nice, doubles up as a mount for carving the turkey ... the clamps will hold it down well when struggling to cut off the drumstick. ;)

    Have fun!
     
    #6
  7. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    I went directly through Alpha, at www.Alphatennis.com. They sell direct, and had the same or better price ($399) than any reseller. Great guys...courteous, responsive, and very willing to help.

    Cost to my door including shipping was $434, and they even hustled when I called late in the day to get the machine shipped out to me that day.
     
    #7
  8. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    That's true, we do "string" the bird to truss up the legs. I'll have to think about what would be a good string and tension for Thanksgiving... :D
     
    #8
  9. jaykay

    jaykay Professional

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    Am truly overcome with envy...

    RedFlea: Pls share your experiences with this stringing m/c. I have been following your posts for a while now. I am also a total novice to stringing (don't have a clue where to begin) and am thinking that it is high time that I plonk some money down on a stringing machine instead of spending obscene amount of money on the stringers at my club (which adds up very, very quickly). Most importantly, pls advise if stringing using this m/c is stupid-friendly.

    Nice Target cart too, btw, smart approach...

    ENJOY!
     
    #9
  10. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Great stuff!

    Really like that you showed all the photos. That really is a nice looking machine -- especially considering that it fell in the budget range you needed! I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but it looks much better in your photos than what I "sort of" pictured by looking at Internet versions of images of the machine. Those on other sites don't do it justice as much as your..."live" shots did. Very nice! I'd say you're gonna get maximum bang for the buck out of this deal. :)

    Pretty dang cool . . .
     
    #10
  11. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    In the words of Borat: "VERY NICE"
     
    #11
  12. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
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  13. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    What kind of pictures would you like. I have lobster.
     
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  14. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Talk about dooling... :)
     
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  15. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    I called Alpha today and spoke w/Mark...he was extremely helpful on the phone regarding the stringing process, took a lot of time with me (talking me down from the ledge of newbie fear) and I am now ready to try my first string job tonight or tomorrow! I'll let you know how it goes...
     
    #15
  16. woody6.1

    woody6.1 Rookie

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    nice machine. I just got the exact one a few weekends ago and i'm loving it. IT felt like forever trying to learn how to do it correctly on my own, but once i did, it's been nothing but ease on my 5 stringing jobs. You how enjoy it like i have.
     
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  17. ChefJoe

    ChefJoe New User

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    I just bought one of those from a buddy of mine for a VERY small amount of moolah! It's green, though. Anybody know what model it maight be? It looks pretty much the same except the color.
    I've already done five racquets with it and it really gets much easier. Don't worry about anything and just start stringin'.
     
    #17
  18. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Probably the Pioneer III? I think I've seen that model on ****.
     
    #18
  19. hummer23

    hummer23 Hall of Fame

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    very cool, enjoy the machine and be careful when yo ustring your first frames up, dont want any costly mistakes before you get to know how it works. Good luck with it!!!
     
    #19
  20. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    OK, now that you've got yours up and running, I had to take the time to set mine up. It (the Gamma 6004) has been sitting boxed up for a week, and I finally had a few hours of time for myself this afternoon to break it out of the boxes and set it all up. And of course, inspired by this thread, took a bunch of pics... :)

    I'll post some photos tonight and relate my own brief setup experience. What fun!
     
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  21. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Got four sets of Pince Synth Gut to experiment with...now I'm really loaded for bear. :)

    Couple more pics...if there's a shot of any part of the machine that you'd like, let me know.

    Close-up of mounting/clamps:

    [​IMG]

    Close up of drop-weight hub & linear gripper

    [​IMG]
     
    #21
  22. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Great - look forward to seeing your 6004 thread.
     
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  23. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Just wanted to ask: Your shots of the Alpha are really nice looking from my end (and that's not always the case with Internet stuff). May I ask what kind of camera you're using, out of curiosity?
     
    #23
  24. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    HP 945 or 935...it's black, a couple years old, has a pretty long optical zoom. HP cameras have some great color maps....that may be why you like it.
     
    #24
  25. Court_Jester

    Court_Jester Hall of Fame

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    You got to love that shade of blue, which I refer to as "Alpha Blue."

    BTW, the turntable, the clamps, the mounting arms and the vise posts look exactly like the ones on my Revo. Very, very solid. You won't regret it. Well, maybe once you start stringing like a madman, you might pine for a crank. ;)
     
    #25
  26. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    I know, Court Jester...I already kinda sorta pine for one even though I haven't even strung one racquet, just because the look cool in action....but I set my price limit and decided to live within it.

    I'm a very zen guy when it comes to manual procedural task...I enjoy the process as much or more than the outcome, even w/tasks that might seem "un-fun." I still do my own brake jobs for this reason...I actually enjoy the step-by-step and physically involving nature of the task, allows me to shake off all work-personal issues and spend some time in a peaceful "zone."

    So I think I'm not going to mind the drop-weight at all...and may actually find it very therapeutic once I get settled into this. :)
     
    #26
  27. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Mains are done! Much easier than I expected it to be (except for when I spaced the first time through and released the wrong clamp). ;)

    Heading out for the evening, so the crosses will likely wait until tomorrow.

    The Alpha works like a charm...
     
    #27
  28. boxingguy

    boxingguy Rookie

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    You just caused untold numbers of heart attacks.
     
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  29. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Eh? I am starting to realize that I did a bad thing....yeah, duh...tensioned mains and no crosses. Oops. :) Glad this isn't my regular racquet any more...but it looks fine, and it's in the 6pt mounting very securely...guess I'll finish it up now.

    It came out great, as far as I can tell...had some trouble getting the string through the tie-off grommet for the starter knot, but once that was done it all went very smoothly.

    Looking forward to a hit w/the newly strung RDX tomorrow to see how my handiwork feels...
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2006
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  30. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    Hey I noticed you took pictures of your lovely stringer in a RESTURANT?!!! :p
     
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  31. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Well, we do some pretty fancy cooking, but we don't take paying guests... ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2006
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  32. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    OK...so I've done two racquets now w/the Alpha Pioneer DC, and it is a breeze to work with. Of course, I've never strung w/any other machine so I have a very limited frame of reference, but I haven't found anything about it that I don't like, if you know what I mean.

    I was teaching my sons today on the second racquet I ever strung, so the learning curve was pretty qiuck thanks to all the help I found here in this forum, and from the guys at Alpha. :)

    Racquet mounting is quick, easy to adjust, and very secure.

    The fixed clamps are simple to use, maneuver easily on the base to whatever position you want, and are easy to clamp/unclamp.

    The turntable has a really solid feel, rotating the racquet is smooth and there are subtle detents maybe every 20 degrees or so that help positioning it.

    The dropweight is easy to set tension on - the linear gripper and rachet system work very smoothly and make it easy to set the string, apply, and adjust tension.

    So I'm very pleased w/both the machine itself, and the service that the folks at Alpha have provided.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2006
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  33. abenguyen

    abenguyen Hall of Fame

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    did they give you free strings?
     
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  34. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Yes...take a look at the pics in the first page of this thread...they said $50 worth, which turned out to mean 8 or 9 sets of Alpha strings. I could have chosen which ones I wanted, but I just asked them to send me a variety, as I'm not too familiar w/Alpha strings.
     
    #34
  35. jcstennis

    jcstennis Hall of Fame

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    Red... you live anywhere near New Jersey? Could use a stringer that will give me a break on price... if i supply the margaritas!

    Very nice pics... man i want one!
     
    #35
  36. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Sorry...I'm on the left coast. Mail me your racquet, and a gallon of margaritas and I'll string it, and maybe I'll even return it someday. :D

    I am enjoying it a lot. I had it wheeled it out of it's closet tonight thinking I might have time to string another racquet, and my neighbor dropped by. He doesn't even play tennis and he wants one... ;)
     
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  37. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    OK, Redflea, you're up there too, now, in the stringing machine photo library.

    To test, go to the main page (as linked, below), click on the Alpha Link, then click on the Alpha Pioneer DC image on the Alpha page. Your images should magically appear. :wink:

    Tennis Racquet Stringing Machine Photo Project
     
    #37
  38. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Oh baby....how cool is THAT!!! :D

    I'm so proud of my Alpha...<sniff>
     
    #38
  39. bmichaelia

    bmichaelia Rookie

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    My future new Alpha

    :) Geez, I can't wait for Christmas when my wife surprises me with the new Alpha! Thanks for posting all the pics, I copied them all.

    Am going to try to leave it in the closet on a shelf we have, and then carry it onto a kitchen island, and hope it's at the right height. Otherwise, will get a portable table, but I don't want to permanently leave it up - don't want to take up the space.

    Bruce
     
    #39
  40. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Glad they are useful to you...that one teeny-tiny one on the web just doesn't cut it, does it? :)

    My rolling cart is about 34.5" tall, and w/the machine on it the working height of the Pioneer DC is just about perfect for me (I'm 6'2"). However, I was teaching my younger son (5'1") to string this weekend, and he used it at that same height w/out any problems. Our kitchen countertop is 35.5" high, so I suspect that using it on your island will be OK for most people.
     
    #40
  41. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Hey, Redflea...

    If you'd like any comments or anything to be posted on the page with the photos, let me know. Anything relevant to the machine would be OK with me. Or just the photos, it's your call. I can also "credit" them to you or say "contributed by" or whatever you'd like. (Even comments on the stand would be relevant.) Just want to throw that out there as I feel my way through this. ;)
     
    #41
  42. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Thanks...likely I'll take my comments from this thread and combine them and send them to you in an email to post as you prefer. Gotwheels (if he's listening) has more experience w/the Alpha and with machines in general, it would be great if he had some comments as well...

    This is the kind of project that can be very fun/involving, Varuscelli, maybe you'll need to take an LOA from work? :)
     
    #42
  43. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Works for me! I can take the comments from you anytime and incorporate them, so there's no real rush or anything. Remember, though, that you're setting a precedent that others might follow...you may be represent the model to which other people aspire, so proceed with care... :)

    I like the LOA part, but I'm scared to ask myself for fear that I'll say no. (Right now, I'm allowing this as "recreational therapy" on my part, but I'm keeping a close eye on myself to make sure I get all my work out on time, too. I feel I'm pretty close to giving myself a verbal warning before actually writing myself up for this. :p And I'm only partially joking...)
     
    #43
  44. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Redflea - just a tip. When stringing, I cut the end of the string diagonally to create a fine point. That makes it easier to insert the end of the string though for tie offs or through other tight spaces.


    Thanks for posting your pics and you experiences. You are reminding me of when I first got my Alpha Pioneer III (which I just used again after six years - see my other thread) back in 1993 from New Tech Tennis. They sent several packs of strings then too and I tried them all out.

    I ended up either using Alpha Gut 2000 or Alpha Synthetic Gut (now Hardcourt SG) at 16 gauge or I would hybrid the two.

    I'm glad to have first hand experience as well as hearing from others that the customer service at Alpha is still top notch.
     
    #44
  45. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Thanks - that's a good idea, I'll give that a try next time. I've been purposely cutting it very squared off for no good reason...

    Yeah, I saw your post and enjoyed reading about your return to the joys of stringing w/the Alpha Pioneer...I wasn't really aware of how long they have been in the business. I'm going to try the Alpha Gut 2000 next on my regular stick (M-Fil 300) to see how that compares to my Klip Excellerator.

    My experience w/the Alpha folks has been just great, and I'm really glad that I purchased my machine from them...provides great peace of mind.
     
    #45
  46. bmichaelia

    bmichaelia Rookie

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    Smooth Stringing?

    My experience w/the Alpha folks has been just great, and I'm really glad that I purchased my machine from them...provides great peace of mind.[/QUOTE]

    So how's it been going with stringing? Got your time under an hour? I figure when I get mine I will be slow for quite a while, but I don't mind, it'll be fun and therapeutic.
     
    #46
  47. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    BTW: Check out my update to my mounting of the Alpha to my cart here...

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1071724#post1071724

    I think you should jump the gun and get your Alpha now. What if they run out before you order!? ;)

    My stringing is very smooth, if not very speedy...I love the machine, so easy to use and solid. I did my third racquet last night - the first time I strung my current racquet (M-Fil 300). Did a two-piece, ended up using Alpha Sphere based on some comments on it in the Strings forum. (Sphere was one of the free sets I got w/the machine.) Went great, and hit with it today and it was really fun to be hitting my own string job.

    As for my speed....that is still around 1 1/2 to 2 hours, for three key reasons:

    1. I never just string...I always have something distracting me, like my kids, my wife, my dog, and in the past week or so the women's and men's year end tournaments in Spain and Shanghai, which means I have hours and hours of tennis recorded that I have to watch before my wife erases it to make room for "Medium." :)

    2. I am absolutely the worlds worst knot tier...I just can't look at the pictures and then tie the knot...I look at the picture, look at the strings, then at the picture again, then at the strings...then I need to go lie down for a while. I've been spending as long as 10 minutes to tie a knot! I am hoping that will speed up, but I have always appeared to be missing the part of the brain that allows people to look at a picture of a knot and then tie it. That part of Boy Scouts was pure h_ll for me... When I was tested on spatial relations in high school I got a pretty low score, and I don't have very good depth perception. Makes me wonder how I can play this game!

    3. (Most important reason) I really don't want to finish quickly...agree 100% on your "fun and therapeutic" comment. I started a thread about this over in the Strings and Stringing forum (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=105968). I'm enjoying the process so much that dragging it out is actually my preference. I get to go zen for that time, totally relaxed and calm, no stress/worries of any kind, just in the stringing zone. When I started shopping I swore that I was only going to be stringing racquets for my family. Now I'm planning to let a few tennis buddies know that I'm available to string their racquets if they want...no cost, just gimme the string and your damn racquet and leave me alone! :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
    #47
  48. tennis&racquetball89

    tennis&racquetball89 New User

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    Your machine looks pretty sweet! I'm thinking about getting the same one as you except with the spring tensioner. Good luck with all your stringin!!!
     
    #48
  49. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Thanks!

    Are you referring to the Revo 4000? Some owners of that model have posted here...they seemed to really like it. If I had set my budget higher that would have been on my very short list.

    If you have any questions, call the folks at Alpha...they are very nice, knowledgable, and happy to answer any questions...
     
    #49
  50. bmichaelia

    bmichaelia Rookie

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    Just ordered mine too!


    :) Redflea - Thanks for the suggestion! I just checked with Greg, and they were down to 6, so I ordered my Christmas present today. But I'll be patient and not open it yet.-
     
    #50

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