Proud owner of a new used Babolat Star 5 stringer

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Litespeeds, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    I have been stringing for over 3 1/2 years and when I decided to purchase a stringer, I bought a used Gamma 6500 ELS. I felt if I was going to string, I might as well buy something that was dependable and with electronic constant pull with fixed clamps.

    I have been very happy with the Gamma 6500 but saw an almost new Babolat Star 5 for sale on Craigslist. It was originally purchased in April 2010 so it still has some warranty left. Only strung about 260 racquets before I bought it for $2,200. I hope I got a good deal.

    I checked the tension with my Gamma tension calibrater and it was spot on. Very smooth and easy to use. Actually easier to string than my Gamma. The only thing I wish it had was the string length counter so I can be accurate with how much string to use from a reel to reduce waste. Now I have to measure it by hand. Also there is no place on the stand that holds reels of strings.

    Decided to check my Gamma again to see what tension it was actually pulling since I checked over a year ago and to my surprise, it was pulling about 2-3 lbs lower than actual. I guess this is what separates the good machines from the less expensive ones. You do get what you pay for.

    So after stringing a Babolat Aeropro Drive GT with Kirschbaum 1.23 gauge Proline 2 at 50 lbs, I did notice the string job was tighter than when I strung it on the Gamma 6500 ELS. I just hope the racquet plays the same otherwise I might have to drop the string tension by 2-3 lbs.

    If my Gamma 6500 ELS electronic constant pull stringer can lose 2-3 lbs of tension after a year or so of use, I wonder how accurate some of these crank and drop weight machines with floating clamps really are. When I ask people what tension they string their racquet and they tell me 58 lbs and I push on the string bed, my 50 lbs strung on my Babolat Star 5 feels just as stiff.

    I am so happy with my purchase. Is there anything else I should know about the Star 5? Any tips or advise? I've strung over 550 racquets in my 3+ years of stringing and can string a racquet around 20-22 minutes. Not into how fast but more of how accurate.
     
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  2. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Congratulations! Enjoy the machine. It is a beauty!

    Happy stringing.
     
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  3. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    thats a great deal. man i want a star5
     
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  4. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Want to sell your 6500? Even though is doesn't keep tension very well.
     
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  5. tray999

    tray999 Rookie

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    From one Star 5 owner to another, welcome to the club!!! They are great machines.
     
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  6. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    Thanks for the welcome. I already sold my Gamma 6500 to a friend and I will tell him that it is off by about 2 lbs. Guess he can recalibrate the tension and reset it properly. Not exactly sure as I never done that before.

    In regards to the Babolat Star 5, I have read that many people had issue with the stringer pulling up to 8 lbs higher than the set tension before settling back down to the proper tension. I tested my stringer with the tension calibrater and did not notice any over tensioning. It seems to pull initially at a faster speed and once it reaches around 30 lbs, it slows down and pulls the remaining tension up to 50 lbs and doesn't spike above that.

    My machine was purchased new from Babolat in April 2010 and I am hoping Babolat worked out all the bugs.

    There is an article regarding stringing co-poly strings and John from Guts and Glory wrote up an article about it and doesn't recommend stringing any co-poly above 52 lbs. He recommends tensions in the 30's and 40's so the string doesn't get over stretched and lose its small amount of elasticity. He also mentioned that he would not string co-poly on a Star 5 since it doesn't have a slow speed setting. The article also said to wait about 5 seconds before clamping off. What do you guys think about that article?

    http://ggtennis.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/the-definitive-guide-to-stringing-polys-and-co-polys/

    The software in my Star 5 is version 02.02.a if that means anything to anyone.
     
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  7. bruintennis

    bruintennis Semi-Pro

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    what city did you find your star 5? just curious.
     
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  8. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    Picked up the stringer from Los Angeles, CA. Why do you ask?
     
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  9. Racquet-Priority

    Racquet-Priority Rookie

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    Great, I have ordered one and I am waiting till it arrives! I think you lose warranty when it goes from one owner to another. I bought a new one since they are so rare in used shape!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
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  10. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    I think the warranty is not transferrable but worse case scenario, I can contact the original owner and have him claim the warranty for me.

    The only thing I have noticed is this stringer strings much tighter than my Gamma. Stringing with MSV Focus Hex 1.18 at 50 lbs feel like something strung like 54-55lbs.

    What are most people stringing their racquets tensions at with a Babolat Star 5?
     
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  11. Racquet-Priority

    Racquet-Priority Rookie

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    I heard the Star 5 over tensions a bit as many other high end machines. They
     
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  12. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    Maybe we all should say that many lower end stringing machines do not pull at the correct tension and are usually quite a few pounds less than what is stated.

    I know the Star 5 is perfectly spot on accurate according to my string tension calibrator. Now I can understand why many people say they string their racquets are lower tensions like low 40's with co-poly strings.
     
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  13. gotwheels

    gotwheels Semi-Pro

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    Litespeeds, Do a search for a post by A. Lee (respected grand slam stringer & technical guru). He has worked with nearly all of the high end stringing machines and he has documented an overshoot of tension with the Babolat Star V tensioning mechanism (not sure about the Sensor, or if Mr. Lee has tested other high end machines). This tension overshoot is very short in duration and not detectable with a normal mechanical or digital calibration meter. The meter Mr. Lee uses is costly and sophisticated. I believe the momentary overshoot issue was of more concern with polyester strings and the more sensitive elasticity properties.
     
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  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Here you go:

     
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  15. gotwheels

    gotwheels Semi-Pro

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    drakulie, Thanks for the information, good stuff. Do you know if the Babolat Star V tensioning overshoot is an issue with the Sensor or Sensor Expert?

    I have always hear that Babolat machines produce a stiffer stringbed due to the quality of the clamps, the mounting system, and the table stiffness (or that other machines produce a lower DT due to less efficient components); without this Star V tension overshoot issue. Is this true today and have the Wilson Baiardo and the high end machines from Yonex & Technifibre leveled the playing field?

    One last question for the Babolat Star V folks, do you adjust your reference tension to try to account for the tension overshoot and resulting higher DT?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
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  16. bugeyed

    bugeyed Semi-Pro

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    Be aware that overshoot is not the final tension. As I understand it, the tension head pulls to the 7 - 8lbs. over the set tension, but settles at the tension you have selected. This is not the same as pulling at 7 - 8lbs over the set tension. It has become a bit of a concern with poly strings, because you don't want to over stretch poly when pulling tension.

    Cheers,
    kev
     
    #16
  17. gotwheels

    gotwheels Semi-Pro

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    bugeyed, I believe you are correct as to the final tension; however, Mr. Lee's measure of a 4 point ERT measure difference is significant - with polyester that could mean the difference of a board or a playable frame.
     
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  18. Racquet-Priority

    Racquet-Priority Rookie

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    So it is like using the pre-stretch function?
     
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  19. bugeyed

    bugeyed Semi-Pro

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    No doubt that the final tension with a constant pull machine is higher, but it is not necessarily due to the tension overshoot. As regards poly, the overshoot is suspected to stretch the string excessively & reducing the resiliency of the final job. Unless you string it very loosely, you are getting into the tension range that tends to cause poly string to play very boardy. Effectively it is stretching the life out of the string. I don't know of any empirical data to support this, but it has been tossed around quite a bit. I don't remember the details of previous discussions, but seems like high 60s was the tension that cause the damage. That's why it is a factor when trying to string at 60lb. The overshoot will get into the "keep out" zone for poly strings.

    Cheers,
    kev
     
    #19
  20. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    Is there any article as to when Mr. Lee did that testing on a Babolat Star 5? Since these stringers are programmed to pull a certain way from the manufacturer, wouldn't they have solved this issue by now with new software? My machine was made in 2010 with software version 02.02.a

    Maybe I should ask Babolat themselves regarding this issue to see what they say. When I look at the tension number on the stringer as it pulls, it pulls gradually to the set tension and maybe exceeds it by 1 pound at most and then settles back to the correct tension. On my tension calibration, I can not even tell that it pulls past the set tension.

    Just very hard to believe this machine can overshoot by 7-8 lbs and still be so popular. I can almost bet that Babolat has fixed this with their new software. These stringers were first made back in 2004 if I am not mistaken.
     
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  21. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    Actually the Babolat Star 5 was first available in 2006.
     
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  22. bruintennis

    bruintennis Semi-Pro

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    Just curious is all. I'm in Los Angeles too. You got a great price!
     
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  23. SCSI

    SCSI Rookie

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    Congrats! I used to own both Star 5 and Sensor at the same time. Not sure about Star 5 overshoot issue, but I could not discern any difference in terms of final string job.
     
    #23
  24. wickedfps

    wickedfps New User

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    Congratulations on the fine machine!
     
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  25. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    Great machine. Congratulations. I have 2, bought first one in 2007, second in 2009. Never had any issues or problems.
    Not sure about overshooting on the pull but, all string jobs are very consistent. Never had any complains.
    Great machine.
     
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  26. Xpherex

    Xpherex Rookie

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    I'm very new to stringing at all but I read only good things about Babolat machines, my budget was far away from this price so I couldn't even consider any machine like this.
    Well anyway my question is, are babolat machines 2nd hand better than what least on TW for same price like Gamma 5800
     
    #26
  27. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    Funny you asked. I was just talking about it with my buddy who is also a stringer. Here is what it comes down to - brand new machine with some strings vs used but extremely reliable machine with high quality and great customer service. Price is the same but...I am sticking with my Babolats. My buddy will get the Gamma 5800 with 5 pts mounting system. SO, we will see how it goes.
    Also, Babolat machines hold value much better. Even today you can not get a Star 4 ot even 3 for less than $1500. Star 4 is worth even more because it is light and easy to transport.
     
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  28. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Dang, I'm gettin' old! I used the very first Star 3 in Atlanta as the stringer for the Atlanta Thunder in '91. It was the rep's demo and EVERYbody had a comment about it. Capriati's dad only had a half-dozen words to say to me on their visit; but three of them were: "Very nice machine" :) .

    THAT machine was nearly two decades into my stringing career...after years of Serranos, Olivers, ThreeLastic, Ektelon and the gahdawful Prince machines of the late '80s, it was an absolute pleasure to string on the Star 3. I also had a couple-thousand string jobs on the original Star and Star 2. The 3 was just gorgeous!

    These young guys who START on such nice machines don't know what it's like to walk ten miles to school...in the snow...uphill both ways. :)
     
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  29. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Barefoot or did you have shoes?
     
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  30. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    I had two brothers, so shoes were day-of-the-week dependent :)
     
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  31. tennisod

    tennisod New User

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    How much did you pay for it back in February 2012?
    I am going to buy it these days, and seems like the prices went sky high.
    Thanks.
     
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  32. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    yea i really want a star 5.......someone help
     
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  33. Kot_Bigemot

    Kot_Bigemot Semi-Pro

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    Well, last guy walked in my shop looking for stringer offered me $2300 for one of my USED Star 5 machines. I guess prices did go up.
     
    #33
  34. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    What is a "new used" stringer?
     
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