SAM Stringing Machines - Upgradeable dropweights...

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by OrangeOne, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,297
    I've got to say, I'm really impressed with the SAM stringing machines at first glance.... And yet I find little talk about them on here (maybe none? are they not big in the US? Too pricey? Other?). They really do seem (from photos), very well made/designed, and the models I'd be looking at - the dropweight "G-Force" series - is actually upgradeable from the R1 (no fixed clamps) to the R2 (fixed clamps).

    To me - that seems like a great idea, and means I can dip my toe in the water for a little less cash up front, and then upgrade to the fixed clamps if I see the need / or start stringing more. I note that the R3 (tension-head) isn't out yet, but when it comes out, that will also be an upgrade option to the R1 or R2....

    Anyone out there have any experience with them? Anyone want to give me any opinions based on the looks and specs below?

    To me - the mounting system looks awesome - certainly better than many (esp. many of the cheaper ones), and the only thing I think it's missing is a clutch/ratchet style device. Anyone know if that is the case, and any takers on how much I'd miss that if I got a machine that didn't have it? Personally I think I'd value a good mounting system that keeps the racquet safe and undamaged in any way, but I'm happy to hear other opinions....

    SAM G-Force R1
    SAM G-Force R2

    http://www.samtennis.com/
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
    #1
  2. ccelis

    ccelis Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    347
    Do you know whay the cost is in U.S. dollars?
     
    #2
  3. Koz

    Koz Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    344
    Yeah, this will be the determining factor I think. I know you can upgrade the Gamma Dropweights as well (floating clamp to fixed clamp...drop weight to crank, or even their cheap electronic tensioner). However the upgrades are pretty expensive. The fixed clamp upgrade for the floating clamp machine costs almost as much as the floating clamp machine itself ($250 or so?). However it looks like the SAM machines use the same bases for all the models, which may make upgrading much cheaper. post more info if you can!

    It really looks a LOT like the comparable Alpha machines. I wonder if they're made by the same manufacturer. If so, I'd expect the prices to be similar.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
    #3
  4. jj300

    jj300 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    617
    the upgrade to fixed clamps should be cheaper than some of the gamma upgrades. However, be advised that you will need three parts which may turn out to be quite expensive anyway. The solid metal pieces on the machine will be replaced by the same pieces that have a hole in the middle, this will allow ur new fixed clamps to slide up and down, you will need a new track and the clamp bases, along with the bases you will need new clamps that fit into the tube in your clamp bases. Depending on how expensive these parts are (i suggest asking sam before you make your first purchase) it may be advisable to buy the upgraded machine in the first place.
     
    #4
  5. flash9

    flash9 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    554
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    SAM Prices

    From their 1/1/2006 Price Sheet:
    G-Force R1 $395
    G-Force R2 $499
    XLR8 $795
    XLR8 Plus $995
    NRG Plus $1,995
    Promaster $2,495

    To me the XLR8 is nearly the same as the Alpha Revo4K but at a $245 premium, and the G-Force R2 looks a lot like the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus for $100 premium.

    Just my 2 cents worth. :)
     
    #5
  6. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,231
    Location:
    Houston. Texas
    For SAM machines, check out the US version of their website (www.mastersports.com). It's not quite as extensive as the samtennis.com site (I don't think it is, anyway), but has US prices, etc., for comparative purposes. And some free shipping for the holidays... ;)

    But listen to what flash9 is saying about prices and Alpha. I don't personally know how the strict mechanical comparisons work out, but he might have some very good things to consider there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
    #6
  7. hadoken

    hadoken Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    347
    The SAM is not a good value compared to what Alpha and Gamma give you. Those two companies are very popular in the US so their value holds up on the used market due to the brand name recognition.

    I don't see the point of an upgrade. Gamma also sells upgrades, but the prices are simply lousy relative to selling a lesser machine used and buying a better new machine. Even the cheap Klippermate-type machines hold up their value reasonably well so unloading one is easy when the upgrade itch comes. I have said it so many times, but I will say it again - the value proposition of any new stringer priced between $300 and $600 stinks. The *incremental* cost in this price range to move up to a Revo 4000 is nothing when you amortize a stringer over *years* and with the Revo you get a crank tensioner which is so much better than a regular dropweight.

    I think $200 budget stringers are great if you are on a tight budget or you string rarely, but if you string with any amount of frequency and plan to play for years, then it is very short sighted to not get a crank. Heck Mutual Power now sells affordable cranks - I simply don't know why people still want to buy new fixed clamp dropweights given their price.
     
    #7
  8. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    Messages:
    3,270
    Most people buy fixed clamp drop weight machines for constant pull, something missing on the crank machines.
     
    #8
  9. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,297
    Ok - the one thing I didn't post that I really should have - I'm in Australia. The $US 500 figure was really just a conversion of the Australian $600ish figure I'm willing to spend. I probably should have said I was willing to spend $300-400 US based on our buying-power comparison, not the dollar-for-dollar conversion of $500 US.

    From the Master Sports Website that Varuscelli kindly pointed out, current 'specials' are below - factory direct!. It's odd (at least here) for a wholesaler to sell direct, but that's what MS seem to be doing.

    G-Force R1 - 325 plus shipping
    G-Force R2 - 425 plus shipping

    I'm pretty sure this is the case - all of the SAM Dropweights (and from what I can tell, the the Cranks too) use the same base & same mounting mechanism. From what I've read, it is the case that you change the metal base 'plates' for rails, and put in Fixed Clamps too. I'm sure it'd cost more than the difference between the two machines, but I need to find out how much more.

    Well, I haven't looked into Alpha yet, and some of the Gammas do seem good but I haven't yet found their distributor here. Based on the sheer number of recommendations in this thread alone I'm off to check both of these out now....

    Yup - you're right as I understand it. They do sell it as a pack I note - which may keep it down a little... Not sure tho.

    I thought this might be the case....

    Well - thanks for saying it again :). Me - I've never strung, ever. I'd like to try. I'd like to therefore try at the lower end of the market, and I'd like to not splash a lot of cash on this (and for tennis, my budget is a bit tight). Sometimes the 'very short sighted' argument isn't relevant to a raw newbie who doesn't know if they'll stick with something....
     
    #9
  10. hadoken

    hadoken Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    347
    You summed it up perfectly actually. Given your situation you should get an entry level machine similar to the Klippermate then.
     
    #10
  11. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,231
    Location:
    Houston. Texas
    Hey, OrangeOne....

    Don't ya just love that multiple quote feature? :)

    Your last post alone made it worth the price of admission. ;)

    I'm nominating you for 2006 "Best Use of Multiple Quote Feature."
     
    #11
  12. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    3,852
    The R2 does look like an almost exact clone of my Alpha Pioneer DC Plus...can't tell from the angle of the shot if the turntable is as solid, but it looks very similar. They have a holiday special marked in the Master Sports site, but it's still more expensive than Alpha's prices...given what I know about Alpha's support and what I don't know about SAMS, and noted resale value, I'd go w/Alpha again. Also, no mention of free strings on the Master Sports site...
     
    #12
  13. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,297
    I do, I really do, see where you're coming from, and it's clear I could offload a KM for almost zero-loss. BUT I'm still not sure I want to start *that* cheap. I mean, I play a lot and I'm a demanding player. I like my racquet, I usually play with pricey strings (polys, and if I start stringing myself, I may even start stumping up for Supersense again, though I do quite like the slightly less pricey and excellent Tecni Redcode). My friends (who I would probably have a go at stringing for) use expensive racquets. Oh - and - my current stringer is an MRT, one of the leading ones in the country, and strings on a mega-exxy electronic machine.

    I just - I don't know - I think maybe it'd be wrong to use a 'bargain basement' machine with what I consider to be a sub-par mounting system - given all of the above. I'm not willing to spend up near a grand, but it seems a $400 Alpha / Gamma dropweight will do a very good quality job... and protect the racquets - in the process. I'd certainly consider spending double that in a year should I stick with it, and I'm sure whatever I lose on the $400 machine I'd have saved in the first 5 or 10 string-jobs for myself anyways...

    Have any thoughts on my mounting system comments?

    Hehe - thanks Varuscelli :). And to do the boring thing and take a funny post and make it serious, yes I do love it, especially in threads where people are helping me out! I really like being able to reply to almost anyone who's taken the time to help me, and multi-quote makes it so much easier / more amusing AND less cluttering of the thread too....

    Now - we all know you have already won the 2006 (and I would think possibly all-time) TW "Best and most comprehensive off-shoot website ever" ;), but should it require voting, I'll vote * 10. I must say, I remember your first post when you bought the stringer, where you were admiring the craftmanship - and I can see, from looking at some of the stringers out there as I consdier buying one - where some of your inspiration for photostringer came from - there are some sweetly crafted machines out there!

    Back to topic:

    SAM and Alpha: Flash9 suggested the G-Force R2 was actually similar to the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus, and he'd be right from what I can see. Seems to be the an almost identical machine (indeed, it's mostly a paintjob!)- with one major win to the Alpha - the Alpha does indeed have a "clutch with ratchet locking mechanism", and from what I can tell from text and from badly-angled photos, the SAM does not. Given, even on special, the SAM is dearer, I'm becoming an Alpha fan quickly!
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2006
    #13
  14. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,297
    Hey thanks - it seems I came to that conclusion from just seeing photos of both - and you own one, so I'm happy to defer to your agreeing opinion ;).

    Your Alpha does have a clutch w/ ratchet from what I've read though? Seems like the only difference I can see, and it seems like a good one, especially, as you say, given the brand strength and some freebees too!
     
    #14
  15. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Messages:
    3,852
    Yup...clutch/ratchet on the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus...

    Love mine. Love, love, love....hmmm, I think me and my Alpha need to get a room. ;)
     
    #15
  16. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    Messages:
    6,297
    And just when I was thinking the stringing sub-forum was a sane place to be ;). Kidding - and the more I look around, the more I think I understand why you love it. As I thought when I saw the SAM machine, the design / build quality does look quite impressive, and it does seem to be a brilliant combination of value, quality and features.

    I think I want one ;)
     
    #16
  17. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,231
    Location:
    Houston. Texas
    If you look back over all the discussion around Redflea's search for the right machine to meet his criteria for "quality bang for the buck," he made a very careful study of it and stuck to his goal without succumbing to the "bigger, badder, better" temptations that inevitably rear their heads (whether you're looking at a new vehicle, a PC, a stringing machine or an ice cream cone -- yeah, gimme that triple decker!). I think he got himself a fine machine for the money spent, and if you had roughly the same amount to spend and the same goal he did, you could do a lot worse than what he did, but probably not much better -- unless your goal accommodated adding more funds to the bucket. But hey, what do I know? I mostly just try to watch and learn when I'm around here. ;)
     
    #17

Share This Page