Reviews on silent partner star/pro after 1 year of use?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by firstblud, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. firstblud

    firstblud Professional

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    I believe the SP pro/star machines are relatively new products compared to the tennis tutor. So, I'm wondering about long term feedback from users who have owned one after a year?

    i'm concerned about

    1. durability: has anything broken?
    2. maintenance: is it a pain? what needs to be done if you were to use the machine 1-2 times per week?
    3. satisfaction level after 1 year and outlook?

    the value just seems real good compared to a tennis tutor and I have heard virtually very little complaints about the tennis tutor, while you don't hear much about the silent partner (other than someone just bought it recently and is excited).
     
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  2. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    I just passed the one year point of owning the SP Pro. Battery life is still as good as new, I have had zero problems with the machine and other than taking 10 minutes to get all the ball fuzz out of it, there is no maintenance to be done.

    I use it through out the warm months twice a week and due to a shoulder issue, it has not seen much use this summer until last week. The inactivity of the machine has not diminished battery life at all.

    I would rate it as a Honda-Toyota :) meaning it is well thought out and mechanically bullet proof
     
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  3. firstblud

    firstblud Professional

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    not too many SP users out there i guess :(
     
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  4. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    there are quite a few but I am guessing everyones is out using the machine and not reading the board.
     
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  5. River Hill

    River Hill Rookie

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    I have the Star and love it, but it is not a year old. If I did it over again I would have bought the Pro. My machine is only a month old if you are looking for a Star let me know. Since my kids play as well, the automatic height adjust would really come in handy.
     
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  6. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    I've been too busy playing tennis, watching the U.S. Open, and Ohio State football. :)

    I've owned an SP Pro for about a year and a half. No complaints so far. If I was buying a new machine today, I'd take a long hard look at one of those new Playmates. That said, when it comes to features per dollar, I still don't think you can beat SP.
     
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  7. firstblud

    firstblud Professional

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    what makes automatic height adjustment handy? i'm trying to understand because i think this is probably the only major difference between the pro and the star. thanks.
     
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  8. River Hill

    River Hill Rookie

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    The difference is just a manual knob on the side vs a electric switch. It's just a matter of being lazy I guess.
     
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  9. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Question on the manual adjustment... if you are not launching lobs, is there any height adjustment needed? Or, do you have to lower the height as you add velocity? TIA.
     
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  10. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    fine tuning requires height adjustment.
     
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  11. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Then a good case for springing for the Pro. Other than the height adjustment, the Star looks to be such a screaming deal, though.
     
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  12. River Hill

    River Hill Rookie

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    The Star is a great machine and if I was not changing speeds and heights so much for my kids and wife I would not even consider the Pro, as I think it is $300.00 more.
     
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  13. firstblud

    firstblud Professional

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    does anyone drive a sedan or coupe and is able to fit them easily in their trunk?
     
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  14. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    i drive an 06 sentra and it fits in fine.

    when i travel with the machine for tennis the trunk is used fully. which includes a 6 pack racket bag, gamma 75 ball hopper and the sp star.

    edit: also to the OP, since the machines are relatively new ( i have no idea on this just going by whats posted) it might be that not everyone has had theirs for a year yet. i have had mine since may and it still works fine.
     
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  15. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    I have a Hyundai Elantra and my SP Pro fits very easily in the trunk...along with a hopper of balls and my tennis bag.
     
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  16. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    I have a VW Jetta and find it easier to put a towel on the back seat and carry it there.
     
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  17. firstblud

    firstblud Professional

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    also i'm curious about the hopper... after some wear and tear, has the velcro lost any of its "sticking" ability (for lack of a better word)?

    i'm really surprised they couldn't come up with a better design than using velcro.
     
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  18. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    Before buying my ball machine, I was also concerned about the Velcro secured ball hopper. After using the SP Pro for over a year, however, it is not an issue. It actually works very well.
     
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  19. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    What happens when you hit the hopper with a shot? Does it stay attached and resist breakage? I've frequently dislodged the flaps/doors on the TT in the past.
     
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  20. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    I clobber it on a regular basis without effect
     
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  21. firstblud

    firstblud Professional

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    also does anyone know if silent partner generates more of a mess (fuzz) than the tennis tutor? that's the feeling i got from reading a few posts. not a big deal, but just curious.
     
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  22. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    Same here.

    I remember practicing one windy day and noticed lots of yellow fuzz blowing around the court. I soon realized that the wind was blowing it out of my machine. Since then I have cleaned it out a few times, and every time there was some fuzz. But, as you indicated, not a big deal.
     
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  23. Il Mostro

    Il Mostro Banned

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    Wow, that's pretty damn amazing. Thank you.
     
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  24. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    i think it should be noted that if you clobber it from the front it'll be fine. my friend for some reason has a knack for hitting it over the front side of the hopper and into the hopper itself and that'll break the velcro grip causing the balls to fall out.. this is the only time when i had the hopper fall off. it never happened to me but the one time i let my friend use it he managed to hit the exact same place twice within 30 min x_X.
     
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  25. Jhm37

    Jhm37 New User

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    I must have a brittle hopper/case because after only two months mine has two cracks. One in the back along a crease that I had to super-glue and duct tape. That didn't surprise me so much because I did drill the inside of the thing with a wild shot. But the second crack is in the crease of the front side of the hopper. That's seems odd. Once again, some duct tape and super glue to the rescue again.

    I've tried to avoid cracks with the other two creases by coating them with rubber cement and even more duct tape. I don't know how much preventative support that will provide, but it did give me a some peace of mind.

    I started another thread on my battery/charger issue, but just in case you missed it, anyone else have trouble with them? After only two months I need to replace either the battery or the charger. The machine is behaving just as is the battery were dying but tech support wants to try out a new charger before replacing the battery. Anyone have experience with this sort of thing?

    Jim
     
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  26. chicagohpch

    chicagohpch Rookie

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    silent partner light and star are on sale recently, at $499 and $749 respectively. Have you seen such price drop in the past?
     
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