Silent Partner Lite Ball Machine review

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by rhelm, Apr 17, 2008.

  1. rhelm

    rhelm New User

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    I picked up a new Silent Partner Lite the other day. I don't know about you guys but my hitting partners don't seem to be interested in letting me knock a 100 or so drop shots in row while they're standing back behind the baseline.....

    Anyways, I thought I'd share with you my initial impression with it after having used it for two sessions now.

    First off, I'm finding it to be really cumbersome hauling it around given it's size and weight. I'm not sure why they didn't bother adding a longer retracable handle like their higher end models. That, along with the tiny tiny wheels make it a pain in the butt. My options are to either lurch forward and drag it while it's falling all over the place or pick it up and carry it. ...So far, I've been stuck carrying it. ....did I mention that it was heavy?

    As far as ball delivery goes, if you hit on one ball machine you've hit on them all...imo. Pretty much all of the models out there use the exact same mechanics. The consistency of the shots out of the machine wasn't the best but that's probably satisfactory given it's intended use. I can't comment on the battery life just yet; I've only used it an hour each time so I have yet to see what it will do 2 hrs into it.

    The one thing that really bums me is the hopper. It's a flexible plastic wall that you raise up from the bottom and then 'locks' in place using velcro. Velcro?!!! ....Here's the problem with that: 5 minutes into my first hitting session, I return a medium shot down the middle that ended up tapping the hopper. The next thing I know 100 balls are rolling out of the back. I figured that perhaps I didn't have it on tight enough so I picked them all up, reloaded it, made extra sure everything was tight and in place and then 15 mintues later, BAM! Same thing happened again.....the guy in the next court did not seem pleased at all. That just seems like a poor design to me. And I imagine that problem is only going to get worse as the velcro gets dirty and ages. ....I suppose I'll have to rig something up for it.

    The cheap quality and unjustified price is leaving me with buyers remorse big time. All in all, 3 out of 10 stars.
     
    #1
  2. NiteFly

    NiteFly Rookie

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    Thanks for the review Rhelm. I ordered a Star and it arrives today. I wonder if I'm going to have the same issue now. Do you know if they all have the same hopper design?
     
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  3. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Thank you for this review! :)

    Like NiteFly, I am one pay check away from a Silent Partner Star (the AC powered one, screw battery power)! Do you know if this is much of a step up from the lite? I automatically was very suspicious of this "lite" model and rightfully so because of the "too good to be true" price and features.

    Is the Star any different? I think that the main attraction of Silent Parter is that it offers topspin and backhand for an affordable price. I also want a remote, so the lite was a definite no-no. But I didn't really feel the need for electronic elevation and a programmable oscillator at my level either so I figured that this may be the way to go.

    I'm a self rated (we all know what that means :wink:) 4.0 player with absolutely ZERO experience with a ball machine. If you have any opinions at all about the Star I would really appreciate it. :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008
    #3
  4. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Oh, NiteFly already pulled the trigger I see............

    Tell me what you think about it, congrats!
     
    #4
  5. NiteFly

    NiteFly Rookie

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    Yea... I'm excited. Its taking all my willpower not to take off from work 3 hours early, heh! I'll post a mini review after a couple of sessions too.
     
    #5
  6. jjordache

    jjordache Rookie

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    bummer... I was thinking of buying this soon. I've been wondering about the hopper too.
    Thanks for posting this review !
     
    #6
  7. rhelm

    rhelm New User

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    I believe all there models share the same hopper design. The Star (for 200 bucks more) comes with the extended handled as well as the remote and I believe that's it. ....I didn't think I needed the remote; it's a bit of a luxury not worth the extra cash; all it does it start and stop it...you can do that manually while only missing a ball or two. But that handle is a must!
     
    #7
  8. faizan

    faizan New User

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    thanks rhelm, i was going to go ahead and buy that one but i guess im gonna look at one of the lobster elites. i think they offer the same stuff as the star for about 100 to 200 bucks more, and not to mention that the lobster seems pretty small, so it wont be such a big pain to carry that. oh and the wheel are bigger.
     
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  9. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    I've had a SP Pro for a bit over a year now and I've been very happy with it. Honestly, I'm surprised that you are displeased with your machine. I still think that you get the most bang for the buck with SP. That said, you have to realize that any battery operated "portable" ball machine is going to be a compromise. As you've discovered, portability can mean different things to different folks. I have the high-end handle, and I can understand how the cheaper one might be a pain. And those cheap little wheels complain every time you run over the smallest crack in a sidewalk. Personally, I've had few problems. In my case, however, it's a short, smooth, obstacle-free path from the parking lot to the court where I practice. I can't imagine having to carry that beast very far.

    Regarding the plastic hopper with the Velcro fastener, I was also concerned about that before I made my purchase. After using it, however, I've had no issues with it. I've nailed that thing countless times and it's never come apart. Plus, I kind of like the way it wraps around the machine body when not in use.

    Hopefully, as you get more used to your machine, you'll learn to like it. If not, you could probably get most of your purchase price back if you sold it on the big auction site.

    Good luck.
     
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  10. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    I'm guessing there's probably a big difference between the pro and the lite. Lots of extra features on the pro. I could be wrong though.
     
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  11. winks

    winks Rookie

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    That is funny you mentioned what I pain it is not having a handle. I was very interested in the Lite model but concerned about it not having a handle. I wrote Silent Partner and asked them specifically about the differences between the Lite and Star model, and whether "extended handle" could be added as an option to the Lite. The answer was NO :( .

    Aren't they all based around the same general design? I don't get why the Lite model can't come with a handle.
     
    #11
  12. mrw

    mrw Semi-Pro

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    I have the SP Pro and have no issues at all. I have clobbered the hopper on many occasions without drama. Are you sure you installed it correctly? It's important that the velcro is attached completely top to bottom.
     
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  13. NiteFly

    NiteFly Rookie

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    I drilled the hopper 8 or 9 times in my first two sessions with it and havent had the issue. There is a small metal pin in the back of the Star model that helps keep it seated a bit. Perhaps the OP already has some worn velcro.

    So far I have just used the machine for an easy ball with a little topspin and no oscillation and it has worked great. I used it for a 2 and half hour session and a 1 and a half hour session and the battery has kept the machine at full speed for both sessions. It definately shoots harder than the people I play against at my level and I haven't put it past 5 out of 10 on the dial yet. The manual elevation has been fine.

    I can see how not having the handle would be a real pain. That would be worth stepping up to the Star model.
     
    #13
  14. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Good to hear that you like it! Looks like I'll be getting one soon too!
     
    #14
  15. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    The star has the same hopper (as does the pro). The same thing happened to me the first time I took it out. But, you really have to smack it hard to knock the hopper off. It is disheartening when 100 balls cascade from the hopper in every direction on the court :shock:

    It's only happened once so far and I've probably hit a thousand balls with it to date (had it a couple weeks).
     
    #15
  16. autumn_leaf

    autumn_leaf Hall of Fame

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    i'm actually looking at the silent partner lite since it's in my price range 700-800. other than knocking the balls out did you find anything else wrong with this machine?
     
    #16
  17. cleon

    cleon New User

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    Everyone keeps talking about making a $200 decision (price diff between lite and star) based on a problem that can be fixed with a $20 collapsing luggage cart (the wheel/handle issue).

    I would focus on the battery and remote for the $200 if you want it. Transportation can be handled via a number of simple options (2-wheel carts, luggage carts, toy wagons, home made cart, u name it, all under $20).

    Just food for thought!
     
    #17
  18. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    i agree with you there cleon. a little mcgyver magic can fix that (two phillips screws and a clamp with a telescopic handle). i am thinking of pulling the trigger on the star. i don't need any remote feature. heck you can even customize the wheels if you want...i've just always been a do-it-yourself-er as long as i don't go messing with the internal. customizing the external stuff is cake and cost less than $30.
     
    #18
  19. liem1997

    liem1997 New User

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    I used a medium size office paper clipper (the metal one) to clip/hold the flaps of the hopper together. Hard to knock that off :))
     
    #19
  20. Cross Strings

    Cross Strings New User

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    Silent Partner Lite - Bashing?

    Hey Rehlm,

    I think it's always great to hear unbiased opinions and reviews but your post doesn't seem to fit in this category. 1st of all if you are so unhappy with your new machine, how much $$ do you want to relieve your pain?

    I just purchased the SP Lite and can only agree with you on one point, just like everyone else. That being, the wheels (surprise). I agree SP dropped the ball on the wheel design. There are plenty of inexpensive common sense cures:
    1. Furniture Dolly
    2. Luggage Cart
    3. Rolling Cart

    As far as the weight of the machine, don't be ridiculous. This thing only weighs 38 Lbs that's less than a 2 year old kid. Of course any one of the three suggestions above will fix that for less than $45.

    Don't get me started on the hopper! After all, what type of construction do you want for a no frills machine that delivers up to 95 Mph with Spin and costs less than $600? Like someone else commented, you must have not installed it with the metal pin connector on the bottom rear section. I've nailed the hopper plenty of times, I've seen no sign of even the slightest instability in the hopper. Make sure you check that next time you set it up.

    Buyers remorse?

    Well either you are unrealistic in your expectations, or you work for one of the other Ball Machine companies and you just want to bash Silent Partner.

    As far as I've researched and seen for myself, SP is a stand up company that offers high end features at a very reasonable price. Isn't that what the general public is looking for when purchasing any consumer products?

    I highly recommend the Silent Partner Lite ball machine over the other models they sell for the value and features. It is miles above the other companies all things considered (comparisons) especially price. It's really hard to believe that something so small can deliver so much power.

    Peace out!
     
    #20
  21. Venetian

    Venetian Professional

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    I just got my SP lite tonight. Can't wait to try it out tomorrow!

    I'll post of video of one of my hitting sessions with it for you guys.
     
    #21
  22. tacoben

    tacoben Semi-Pro

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    I've had my SP Lite for about 3 weeks now. Before hand, I looked into the Lobster and Tennis Tutor models, but opted for the SP Lite instead, and I have no regrets. For $549, straight from the manufacturer, your getting a lot of features that you would have to pay for from higher end machines. Variable feed and speed rate is adjustible. Turn on the oscillator and you have one helluv a workout! As for the hopper and velcro issue, I purchased a $1.50 bungee cord from the auto store and problem was solved (not that there was really a problem). I am in my forties and have hypertension (on maintenace pills). Honestly, within the 3 weeks I've had the machine, I have lost 7 pounds and am my blood pressure reading has gone down signficantly. This machines cost less than one would pay for in a year's membership to a quality gym!

    My 10 year old daughter is a tournament player, and instead of me feeding her balls, the machine does that now and I can participate with her making our workouts a lot more fun. One drill that we do is where the machine feeds the ball to me at a higher rate of speed and I'll return it to my daughter with less pace and see who hits consistently. Another drill we do is a "zone" drill where we set up cones for deep baseline shots: 1 pt over the net, 5 points in the zone, 10 points if a cone is knocked down. If your've creative, you can think of other drills to use with the machine.
     
    #22
  23. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Um...unless the parents' are around 7-ft tall, the average weight of a 2-year-old is around 26/27 pounds lol. You either don't have kids or your kids are adults and you've forgotten how much they actually weighed when they were toddlers lol. ;)
     
    #23
  24. Jsa2u

    Jsa2u Rookie

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    I am going to place my order to SP tomorrow for the Lite!!!! I can't wait! The weight issue does not bother me but how is the battery life?
     
    #24
  25. Jsa2u

    Jsa2u Rookie

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    I would be happy to buy this from you for full price if you are intersted?:)
     
    #25
  26. Jsa2u

    Jsa2u Rookie

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    The package just came for my SP lite! I am sooooo excited! It has to charge for 12-16 hours...d*mnit! I will post my review as soon as I get finished htting at 1-4am. hahaha jk:)
     
    #26
  27. PatrickB

    PatrickB Rookie

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    My SP star is supposed to arrive today; like you, I think 5-6am is looking like a good time to hit the courts, especially since I have to look after the kids during my wife's 8:30am tennis...
     
    #27
  28. PatrickB

    PatrickB Rookie

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    Hurrah, it arrived. Charging now, first impressions posted tomorrow.
     
    #28
  29. Jsa2u

    Jsa2u Rookie

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    here are my impressions:

    machine power
    This little machine blew my mind with the power it provided! I had it turned up to about 4/10 the whole time. I was very impressed! I could see how it could shoot a ball around 95. I am a 3.5-4.0 so maybe others would feel differently.

    machine spin
    The spin was prolly my favorite part about this machine. The topspin was enough to push anyone back. It was intense. The machine excelled in this category! I had it turned up to 2-3 on the spin knob.

    machine accuracy
    The machine was pretty accurate for the most part. I used old balls so it was hard to tell. occasionally a ball would trickle out and not make it over but only becasue that ball was in bad shape. All of my newer ones shot great. Every shot seemed to land withen a foot of the previous shot. I was in a hurry and didn't get a chance to try to oscilating feature.

    Net play (volleys)
    The SP lite was great for this. the machine shot pretty hard compared to some of my hitting partners. I spent most of my time at the net with the machine. It is addicting hitting ball after ball! You will be surprised how fast that hopper runs out. (I only had about 50 balls though):)

    I had no problems with the ball hopper staying together. I don't understand how it happened to others. they must hit the hopper dead on at a bullet's pace.

    The machine was also pretty light. I only have one battery in for now. There wasn't mcuh hassle with lifting. It is safe to say MOST women and children could lift this machine.

    as for the remote... it would have been nice to have but not $200 dollars worth of nice. Yeah you miss a couple balls but you forget real quick when a bullet is coming at you!

    Tomorrow I plan on working on overheads and using the oscilating feature.
    I was amazed how great of a buying experience it was with the SP company. Super nice people and very professional. I love my new machine and can't wait to hit with it more tomorrow!:)
     
    #29
  30. bigunit

    bigunit New User

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    Did you both buy the new SP Lite machines? (i.e. the ones that look more like the lobsters with big wheels and an invertible hopper?). I'd be interested to know the dimensions and how fast the machine oscillates.
     
    #30
  31. PatrickB

    PatrickB Rookie

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    I bought an SP Star, one of the older models; my recollection is that the newer models are in limited availability starting Monday or so. First impressions are great. It's got solid oscillation (though not adjustable - only on or off), good remote control, plenty of pace and spin control, good capacity, and is sturdy, too. Easy to move around, too, especially with the Star's removable handle.
     
    #31
  32. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    Yes, $200 is defintely steep for a 2-function remote, but on the other hand, after a couple of years of running to the other side of the court just to kill the machine so you can tweak a setting gets old. Actually, it probably won't take that long lol. Seriously, I understand people's reaction to the cost of a remote, but man...I nearly have a conniption when I forget mine at the house. I don't own an SP, but we're talking remotes here, and to me having to waist balls just so I can get the machine set to do a certain drill is annoying. I have over 200 balls in mine and it's aggravating, so I can only imagine having only 50 balls and wasting them while en route to the machine.

    The point is, if you're going to buy a ball machine, before you turn your nose up at the high cost of a remote, think about how much "convenience" means to you.
     
    #32
  33. PatrickB

    PatrickB Rookie

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    It's not just a remote - it's also a heavy-duty extra battery and the retractable handle. The battery isn't really a big deal (you could wire it in yourself for $40 or so if you're electronically handy), but the handle *is* useful. $200 useful all together - tough call, but I'm enjoying my SP star right now.
     
    #33
  34. GameSetMatch

    GameSetMatch Banned

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    You folks living in the US are soooooo lucky! The SP Lite is $600 in the US.

    EXACTLY the same model through their Europeon distributor is $1760 excluding delivery!!!!!!!!!!!

    To the OP anyone who owns one, how much does this weigh? I'm contemplating whether its worth trying to buy one and getting it shipped over to the UK?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
    #34
  35. Cam

    Cam New User

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    The UPS shipping weight for my new SP Lite shows 68 lbs. The machine weighs considerably less but the packaging from the factory is heavy duty.
     
    #35
  36. Morgan

    Morgan Rookie

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    any updates
     
    #36
  37. walkman

    walkman New User

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    Dang, I read through this whole thread and didn't realize until the last post that it's 2 years old. :oops:
     
    #37
  38. Morgan

    Morgan Rookie

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    That's why I'd be interested to see if the SP Ball Machine was still a good deal and if anyone had any regrets about buying one. I'm torn between the SP, Lobster, and Tutor.
     
    #38
  39. Delano

    Delano Rookie

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    I bought an SP Lite about 6 months ago. I'm pretty happy with it. I figured I'd write a review after using it for a while, this thread seems like a good enough place for it:


    Pace and Spin:

    The pace and spin go well beyond anything I need (I'm a 4.0 player). The only way to keep the ball in the court on the max pace setting is to crank up the topspin to the max, put almost no height on the ball, and station the machine a ways behind the baseline. For me, a 3 is a good warm up pace, and I don't really bother setting it much above a 5 or 6. The machine can also put a tremendous amount of kick on the ball. One drill I like to do is put a pretty high arc on a slow-ish paced shot and crank the topspin spin up - it's a good way to practice hitting shots that kick up above my strike zone. Anyway, the last thing you need to worry about with this machine is spin and pace, there's plenty even for strong players.


    Battery Life:

    I bought a machine with only a 2 hour battery life. You can get a much longer lasting battery for about $100 more, but I decided against it. I rarely need the machine for longer than 2 hours, but I do need to haul it up a long path to a single court, and the heavy duty battery weighs about 15 lbs more. So I actually preferred the cheaper, lighter battery. I've only had it six months, and I hit a 1-2 times a week, for maybe an hour each time. Pretty light use, no problems.

    Hopper:

    A few people have mentioned problems with the velcro and hopper. Hasn't been a big problem for me. One hassle - there are always between 2-7 balls remaining in the hopper that get stuck along the edge. Kind of irritating, but solved easily enough by just adding more balls. I think you can get 200 in there, I generally have 60-70 decent practice balls.

    Durability:

    I've used it 1-2 times a week for the last six months, and there have been no problems, so durability has been fine under the kind of use you'd expect from a personal ball machine.

    The wheels do feel a little flimsy, and you need to be careful with the handle that you use to wheel it around - that thing could snap if you whip it around. Again, this isn't a huge problem for a personal ball machine. I don't think this machine was designed to withstand the heavy use of a club, but then again, it doesn't cost several thousand dollars.

    Features:

    Ok, this is where the SP Lite falls short of more expensive machines. The pace and spin may be just as good as any other machine I've used, but all this one has in terms of features is "horizontal oscillation" and the wait time between feeds. You can flip a switch and the machine will sweep back and forth, shooting out balls every few seconds, depending on the setting. Higher end machines can really vary it up - some can hit topspin, switch to backspin, feed deep, feed short, add height, feed flat, go twice to the backhand, once to the forehand, etc.. This is nice, since you can set up sequences of points for drills, or just use the machine to simulate the random changes of pace and depth that you usually have to deal with in a real match. If you're willing to spend a few grand on a machine, you can have those features.


    All in all, I'm really glad to have the machine. Some days, I just don't have a lot of time or can't line up a hitting partner, I can still get in a good workout and a hitting session. It's also a great way to work on a stroke and get it grooved (not many practice partners are interested in feeding you backhands for an hour).

    There is one risk to hitting too much with a ball machine - you do risk becoming one of those players who has wonderful, grooved strokes in the warmup, but then can't really deal with the variety of strokes you encounter in a real match. So if you do get an SP Lite, I would recommend that you make sure to balance it out with rallying and match play (doubles, I'd say, is the true antidote of hitting on a ball machine). As a practice tool, I think it's great, but obviously it's no replacement for getting out on the court with other players.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
    #39
  40. Morgan

    Morgan Rookie

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    thanks for taking the time to write up your review - the thought about using it too much makes a lot of sense.......one thing I do see in a lot of posts about the machine that once the novelty has worn off, the machine becomes a dust collector and not used much...hope that doesn't happen w/ me. I've used a machine from our pro the other day and had a great workout -- but wonder if it'll get boring/mundane after awhile. I guess you should be creative in the drills that you do w/ the machine.

    thanks again
     
    #40
  41. ilikepigs

    ilikepigs New User

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    one think u really gotta think about is that the original post is about the ORIGINAL silent partner. they dont sell it anymore. it is called the "classic model." this is how it looks

    [​IMG]

    the new ones look like this:

    [​IMG]

    see? the original post is about the tiny wheels, crappy velcro hopper, and short handle. in the new silent partner these things are fixed. the wheels are great, 6 inches and treaded. the handle is long, and the hopper is made from strong plastic. there is a safety pin that u need to insert when the hopper is in place for extra security, but even without it i bet it would work. for my machine, the hopper needs to be pushed in and snaps in place. its even kind of hard to take it off the machine... there is no velcro to secure the hopper it locks in place at the top very securely

    also ball speed is terrific. the ball will land in the court even at the highest speed. a lot of times i put it on highest speed and adjust the height to a proper level. the balls will be clearing the net by 6 inches every time and be flying like missiles. and if u put the oscillator on with highest speed, well, i bet it would kick even nadal's ass :twisted:

    also, delano, for my silent partner, the ball lands in the court even at highest speed, no spin, AND when placed right on the baseline in the middle of the court... i can even use the oscillator at highest speed and all the balls will still land in the court. yes the balls barely clear the net but i don't have to put the machine behind the baseline... one thing to keep in mind is that im using tretorn micro x balls maybe regular pressure less balls will shoot faster and farther...

    one more thing (i didn't mean to write a review but oh well), its really quiet. even at highest speed i cant hear it from the other side of the court. i tried a tennis tutor at my club and the machine was very loud, and i think i was bothering some old guys trying to have a doubles match several courts away...

    also i agree that the balls always get stuck on the side of the hopper, but it only happens with 1-2 balls max with my machine

    i got the star with ac and dc power for about $1100. the ac charger is also a fast charger that should charge the battery in 1-3 hours but it says to only use it in emergency. there is no indication on the machine for battery charge, but when charging the charger has a little light that turns green when fully charged and is red when charging.
     
    #41
  42. ilikepigs

    ilikepigs New User

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    one more thing, the remote is very helpful. if u keep the oscillator switch on on the machine, u can turn the oscillator on and off with the remote. what i mean is, i will stand on the other side of the baseline with feed off, and turn on the oscillator until the machine looks like its aiming to my forehand side, then i push the oscillator button on on the remote and the machine stop turning and stay in its current position. then i turn feed on and hit some forehands. then i turn feed off, push the oscillation button on the remote and wait for the machine to swing to the backhand side and push the button again stop it.

    i didn't know the machine would do this when i bought it, it thought i would have to go to the other side and manually adjust the direction. just thought it was nice and u should know.
     
    #42
  43. Delano

    Delano Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    184
    Maybe I should give it another try on the highest setting. I haven't done this since I got the machine... anyway, the main thing to know (as you've pointed out) is that all SP machines can feed a ball with enough spin and pace for pretty much any level of player.

    I didn't realize how different the new machines were from the old ones! Based on the pics, I have the newer machine as well. I think there is a strip of velcro at the base of the hopper, but yeah, the hopper is held in place very well with a pin - this probably explains why I haven't experienced any of the problems with the hopper earlier posters mentioned. Oh yeah, I also agree with you about how quiet this machine is, kind of amazing.

    My play has definitely improved since I got this machine. As long as you keep playing matches, doubles, and so forth, there is a huge benefit to being able work on a specific stroke over and over. Ball machines are also a really good fitness tool. Put the machine on oscillate, set a pretty quick feed up, and it's actually a really good interval workout.
     
    #43
  44. ilikepigs

    ilikepigs New User

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    i went out today to test and i'm wrong. the oscillator will not work properly at max speed and NO SPIN. the balls will hit the net, fly long and wide, etc.

    But it works at highest speed and highest spin. the balls stay in the court almost ever throw. in fact, on the widest setting it was hitting the lines exactly.

    just wanted to clarify :)
     
    #44
  45. rst

    rst Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    northern nv


    30 dollars for a collapsible magna-cart handtruck and you wont have any handle problems
     
    #45
  46. frank52

    frank52 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    154
    I have the older model Silent Partner and agree that the wheels are too small, the handle too short, a few balls get stuck in the hopper, and the plastic hopper is too flimsy. But... it works great for me. After 5 years I did need to reinforce the hopper sides and I do move it with a cart. These are trivial items and I would buy it again. Still works great after five years. Batteries are still good although I may put in new ones this year. I leave it on a charger all the time.

    I guy recently gave me a Tennis Tutor (Sports Tutor) Model 1. Think the Silent Parnter had small wheels? The Tennis Tutor Model 1 had 1 inch wheels. Fortunately, I picked up a luggage carrier at garage sale (free) and now have big wheels.
     
    #46
  47. doccao

    doccao New User

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    My first impression of the SP Edge Star models:

    Positive: fast shipping, great customer service via Steve from SP, very good topsin, quiet, and the remote is a must-have.

    Negative: One of the wheels was defective (would not lock tightly onto the axel) so I had to wait a week for a replacement wheel before I could even turn on the machine). Next, initial setup time was over an hour. The balls (Tetron micro-X) kept getting stuck inside the machine causing the power fuse to short out. The projectory, angle, and consistency of the balls landing was no where perfect.

    Luckily, I called SP directly and Steve always answers the phone. He offers come tips as well as a replacement machine if I choose to send it back.

    However, the hassle of returning it caused me to trouble shoot the machine myself. I was finally able to get four rounds of ball hitting in the next hour.

    Conclusion: these entry level machines are not perfectly designed. I'm sure other similiar models / brands have the same issues as they share identical design flaws. So learn to be patient. After the learning curve, I'm sure my next session will go much smoother.
     
    #47
  48. doccao

    doccao New User

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    My first impression of the SP Edge Star models:

    Positive: fast shipping, great customer service via Steve from SP, very good topsin, quiet, and the remote is a must-have.

    Negative: One of the wheels was defective (would not lock tightly onto the axel) so I had to wait a week for a replacement wheel before I could even turn on the machine). Next, initial setup time was over an hour. The balls (Tetron micro-X) kept getting stuck inside the machine causing the power fuse to short out. The projectory, angle, and consistency of the balls landing was no where perfect.

    Luckily, I called SP directly and Steve always answers the phone. He offers some helpful tips as well as a replacement machine if I choose to send it back.

    However, the hassle of returning it caused me to trouble shoot the machine myself. I was finally able to get four rounds of ball hitting in the next hour.

    Conclusion: these entry level machines are not perfectly designed. I'm sure other similiar models / brands have the same issues as they share identical design flaws. So learn to be patient. After the learning curve, I'm sure my next session will go much smoother.
     
    #48
  49. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    Messages:
    3,012
    Can you tell us why it took over an hour to set up and why the balls kept getting stick? I read the Micro-X are pretty popular balls for machines.
     
    #49
  50. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    2,483
    The only time I had this problem was when I once forgot to move the hopper's retaining pin to the correct position when in use (rear of the hopper). I left it in the storage position (front of hopper). Balls will get stuck in this situation. Strictly my own user error due to a brain fart and not a machine issue.

    I am 5 years in to my Edge Star and it is still going strong. Replaced the battery and one of the pins that secure the wheels, and that's it. No issues with feeds using the oscillator, other than the fact that they are predictable once you've used it a few times -- but crank it up and you still get run around pretty good.
     
    #50

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