Somebody virtually slap me... Quick!!!

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by rolleroh, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    I have spent countless hours over the past several days agonizing over the timeless quandary- buy a stringing machine or continue to be anally violated by stringing labor cost & being helpless while my lonely racquetS sit in a closet waiting for their turn to be handled by a stranger for the 3rd time each month bc I want to get the shiny new string that will give me the Bugs Bunny slice BH or make my 1st serve topspin over the fence.

    So I'm fairly certain I will quickly recover my investment.

    The problem now turns to the fact that I also require the shiny pro shop machine to sit in my basement where only I will know, see, or care that I own it, bc the economic & extremely reliable entry level options are clearly not going to claim that basement space.

    Somewhere along the way, the idea was planted convincing me that I should buy a machine from a company who does not even make a convincing effort to cover up their exploitation of very weak American white collar/ financial crime laws, by blatantly going under & reselling the same equipment under the cover of at least 3 different business names I was able to track down in about 17 minutes.

    This is of course Eagnas, and 1 of the 2 models that accidentally resulted in solid quality products for the price- EAG-300 or FLEX 940.

    These models have received positive user feedback from a number of reputable sources.

    The rub staring me directly in the face is the simple fact that I would consciously purchase a fairly big ticket, new product, knowing the high level of risk that exists - in other words flipping a coin hoping that I receive 'one of the good ones'.

    Even knowing this, these models are significantly superior compared to anything close to the $4-500 price point based on my limited knowledge & fairly thorough research.

    Someone please slap the sense back into my head before I convince myself to make this tainted purchase.
     
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  2. kairosntx

    kairosntx Professional

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    #2
  3. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    My 1st stringer was an Alpha Pioneer. I had it for almost 14 years and the only problem I had was the spring snapped (sheared would be a better term).

    Five years ago I decided to buy a newer one and went with Eagnas because (a) it was considerably cheaper, and (b) it looked to be the same as some of the other models I was looking at. Today I'm replacing the Eagnas and going back to Alpha (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=437813), mostly because I'm stringing more racquets than before, but also because the Eagnas is a POS.

    In the 5 years I've owned it, I've had problems with the gripper (first the string would slip, then I had a problem w/ the ball bearings), the spring snapped 2 years into it, and I've had multiple problems with the clamps not locking. Oh, and customer service has been poo-poo (I pilfered parts from my old Alpha to fix a few problems).

    Consider yourself slapped...
     
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  4. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I owned an Eagnas for about 3 years. The first thing that went out was the tensioner so I got a Wise. After that I got a Gamma and put the Wise on it. I've had it for about five years now and it is working as good today as it did when I got it. Go slap yourself you fool.

    EDIT: You can slap yourself now or you can slap yourself later. The choice is yours don't make it an expensive one.
     
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  5. seekay

    seekay Semi-Pro

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    I followed the same path as Irvin: had a serviceable Eagnas, added a Wise, and then bought a Gamma 6004. Now everything is great.

    My Eagnas frustrated me because it was built with pretty sloppy tolerances. After I fixed the wobbling turntable and rebuilt the clamp bases, it functioned pretty well. My experience was akin to buying an older used car: the up-front cost is low, but you have to go into it expecting to find things in need of repair.

    That's a sample size of one (older) Eagnas machine, so it might not be relevant to the machine you're planning to get.

    Still, my advice would be to save up for a Gamma or Alpha machine. It sounds like you'll string enough to justify a more expensive machine given enough time.
     
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  6. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    you get what you pay for.
     
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  7. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    My first machine was a Flex 940. First tip: go for the assist clamp bases, not the cone lock ones. He charges, and I kid you not TWO HUNDRED dollars just for the clamp upgrade if you start with the 940, when the same machine with just the different bases is I believe 30 more. The machine is also built with lower build quality than something from Gamma or Alpha which you would expect. I don't, however, regret buying the machine. It was always calibrated properly and as far as I know, is still stringing racquets at another university (I gave it to my sister when I got my Aria, who gave it to one of our tennis friends when I got her a Gamma 5003 6-pt). It will serve you well for as long as you are willing to put up with it. It also will let you appreciate the higher build quality of more expensive machines from Alpha, Prince and Gamma (let alone Babolat, Technifibre and Wilson).
     
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  8. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    With apologies to my neighbor, I don't believe you always get what you pay for; however, it is the very rare occurrence that you get MORE than you pay for. ;)

    I'd be all over an Alpha or Gamma machine after my 40 years in the business(given the general price range); but I will say the prices on the Eags look darned attractive(provided the page I accessed was current and the units are in stock) for the 'platform' you're looking at.
     
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  9. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    There are some models that are solid in the eagnas line, but there's still the risk you get a bad one, and you're out the money. I don't waste time buying crappy machines these days, I'm on a Gamma 5800 ELS now, and I'll probably upgrade to a Babolat Star X at some point. Don't buy a machine that you hae to fight with to get strings in your frame. It'll only remind you every time you mount a frame that you made a bad purchase.

    DD
     
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  10. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Life is too short to deal with a crappy tennis machine. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably look for a higher end used one.
     
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  11. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    I have been string for over 30 years, started on a Ektelon, cost about $950 in 1979, sold it in 1993 for $400, bought a Neos/Ektelon 1000 same year for just over $1000. Still using 1000 with no problems ever.

    Find a used ektelon (usually around $500) or invest $500 more for a new Neos 1000.
     
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  12. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Agree with all of this. I dropped $500 on a used stringway, and I absolutely do not regret it. I can bang out a stick with accurate tension that plays great in 40 minutes now.

    Automatic dropweight is godly - amazing time saver.
     
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  13. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    You asked for it:

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    Oh and if you're interested, I have an Eagnas Hawk 20e that's I'm looking to unload. It's 2 point and electric tension head.
     
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  15. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Just pull the string by hand until you feel that the tension is right. :gently touching your chest:

    :lol:
     
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  16. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    eagnas combo 910, if you must.

    i liked mine just fine, BUT i like my Gamma 6004 much better.

    if the eagnas price point works for you, do it, but get the 910 if you're gonna get an upright crank machine, just my 2 cents.
     
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  17. I Heart Thomas Muster

    I Heart Thomas Muster Semi-Pro

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    What he said. I paid $500.00 for a used Neos and it never let me down. Only reason I got a newer model is because she was looking rough. I called her the Millennium Falcon. She may not have looked like much but she had it where it counted. The machine would have lasted decades. I also had an Eagnas Combo 810 and while it gave me little in the way of trouble it was in no way the same quality as either of my three Neos machines.
     
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  18. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    I have a Neos as well. Buy it! I've had it for 4 years now I think and it's great.
     
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  19. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    neos is great if you are very high volume.

    i agree with all of teh above. invest in more now and you will save much much more down the road
     
    #19
  20. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    Wow!!!

    Thanks to everyone for the advice, objective and supported suggestions, and mostly for fulfilling my humble request to be slapped back into the world of sensibility.

    Given the feedback, I would like to ask the obvious follow-up:

    • If forced to buy new, due to lack of available quality used machines within a 3-hour driving circumference from my home ( I was very much banking on a decent selection, hoping for a Neos 1000, and there are literally 0 used spring tension machines at all!!), which brand/model represents the 'actual' best spring tension bang for buck in the $5-800 window?

    Thanks again for the quick responses, and any help w/ my next move is very much appreciated--

    FYI- I am a new/inexperienced stringer, planning on actually enjoying the process, & using my machine to string racquets locally (starting w/ tennis friends & acquaintances in addition to my own stuff, then hopefully stepping up in volume if all goes well).....

    I have only been playing 'seriously' about 6-months, and am very much addicted to the game, along w/ equipment (racquets/ strings/ customizing & general tinkering w racquet specs), technology, and any other miscellaneous nonsense you can think of that occupies my time & aggravates my wife
     
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  21. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    Just read the OP from the link attached to kairosntx's reply, & the immediate visual of a couple meatheads wearing beaters trying to string racquets with free weights & their superhuman strength made me almost drive off the road....

    Priceless!!
     
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  22. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    If you're willing to go for a table top machine, your options in the "solid" category are pretty limied: Alpha Revo series, or Gamma X-ST (or equivalents). Alpha Axis Pro is excellent bang for the buck --> Should meet the 5003 in terms of features.

    If you can get a stringway in that price (depends on exchange rates), that's also an excellent option. It's the quality of true constant pull in a table top form factor. I owned one for several years, and the entire system is well built, and very impressive.

    Someone else will chime in if i missed anything.
     
    #22
  23. drgchen

    drgchen Rookie

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    I live in the same area as you. There probably are used machines available- most are available by word of mouth or through tennis teams. A high school student was asking me about machines recently and was talking about some used ones he heard of for sale in the area.

    I would buy a quality name brand machine new or used if I was in your situation. I wouldn't get the questionable brand. Sometimes I regret not getting a premium electronic machine. I do like the gamma machines progression ST II and have had good luck with the ones I've tried.

    Stringing can be tedious. Make sure that you want to do it yourself and commit the time before you spend big money. If you aren't sure you may want to consider a starter machine such as a klippermate or gamma progression 200. Or you can try to string one on someone else's machine to see what it is like.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
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  24. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I agree stringing can be a little overwhelming if you string much. I actually like stringing most of the time but every now and then when I get a lot to string it isn't fun any more I just want to get through it all. I don't think I would like stringing more than 3 or 4 rackets day, day after day. Then that nasty four letter "W" word comes to mind. When my son was 16 he tout he wanted to string. He soon found it it occupied a lot of his time and he quit real quick.
     
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  25. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Shhhh, don't ruin the magic for the bright eyed new guys ;)
    (I used to do 10+ frame nights several times a week.)
     
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  26. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    I bought a used Czech Tension 6pt drop weight machine off craigslist for $90 almost 2 years ago and haven't looked back. I would find it tedious to string all the time but between my 3 frames I string only 3-5 times a month max. It's always fun and satisfying. Sure, it would make it easier and quicker to spend $1000+ on a higher end machine but that kind of investment is definitely NOT necessary if all you want to do is string your own racquets. Go for it!!
     
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  27. jk175d

    jk175d Semi-Pro

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    Um... it may have been simply reading internet forums on your phone while behind the wheel, and not the content specifically, that caused you to nearly drive off the road.
     
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  28. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    Excellent point that I will not even attempt to refute....

    Just THE last thing I expected to see, & was one of those things that immediately made me laugh out loud........ while I admittedly should have read from home & almost fell out of my chair opposed to driving off the road
     
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  29. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Professional

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    I see you live in Cleveland and I live in Columbus. I often check out the CList sales by simply searching for the term tennis. Quality machines show up from time-to-time for relatively inexpensive prices; NEOS for $500, Gamma for $300, etc. Be patient and wait or pull the trigger on a new machine. You can't go wrong w/ a NEOS or an Alpha. They'll both last a long, long time and get the job done.

    Don't be in a hurry.

    Learn from the experience and advice of the others.

    Did you notice in the posts about the initial regrets and then the later purchases of the more expensive machines?

    Why not just take your time and save your money?

    If you can get yourself to go from $300 to $500 and now closer to $800, you might as well go all in and save to get a NEOS. It may not seem like it now but you will make your money back in savings and by stringing for others too. It'll take less time than you think. I made nearly $1000 wheeling and dealing and stringing this summer. I noticed a person selling an old Head Radical bumblebee w/ a racquetball racquet for a total of $10. Buy it. Then sell it for close to $50. You just made $40. Keep saving. You'll get there fast. There might not be any stringers at the moment but there will be soon. Good luck.
     
    #29
  30. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    First off, thanks again for all the input/ it is extremely helpful!!

    Now the GREAT news--
    Decided to go after it & moved all my chips in by deciding to do the right thing & discuss this in depth w the wife <not as if she did not know I was up to something, given the lack of sleep & smoke coming out of my ears the past several days>.......

    She is not only 'OK' w this, but very supportive, knowing my passion is def not a 'fad' & the fact that it just makes a lot of sense IF I do it the right way.....

    So now I need to responsibly control this unexpected new world of opportunity & make the right choice--- at same time, I'm not gonna kid anyone or myself w/ the options I'll be working with.......

    Please weigh in with opinions for your choice of machines listed:

    ~ Prince NEOS 1000 (or 1500 if anyone thinks far superior)
    ~ Gamma 5003 (2 or 6-pt & why)
    ~ Gamma 6004 (2 or 6-pt & why)
    ~ Alpha Apex 2 or Axis Pro - do not know much about Alpha, but both look very solid

    Thanks for this last leg of help, & my next post should be the machine I purchased/ from where/ new or used/ $$$!!!!!

    I am extremely appreciative for all the support w this!!
     
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  31. seekay

    seekay Semi-Pro

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    A fair bit of the information you're looking for is included in the sticky posts at the top of this forum's listing.

    My advice, rather than looking at machines right now, would be to investigate what you think you might want:

    2 pt. vs. 6 pt. mounting
    Fixed clamps vs. glide bars
    Tabletop vs. stand-mounted
    Suspension mount vs. screw-down mount

    ...and so on. Any of the machines you listed would be fine. At this point, it's a matter of figuring out what you care about, and what technologies will do it best. Then you can look at what machine has the right feature set.

    If your local stringers will let you, take a look at the machines they use in person. If you're lucky, they might even let you string on it (or more likely, let you watch them string a racquet).

    You're on a good track, and I think you'd be hard pressed to make a bad decision at this point. Take your time, keep up with the research, and you'll find something that will work very well for you for a long time.
     
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  32. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Yep. This is an excellent post. You need to define your criteria first. You've gotten a supportive nod from the wife, so instead of going crazy and just buying something, take a step back and evaluate your position.

    If you never see yourself stringing high volume (8+ in a sitting -- it gets progressively worse after 8 in my experience. Each frame after 8 feels like 2), go for the cheapest machine that suits your needs. If you don't know what your needs are, well...

    Out of all the machines, while the NEOS 1000 holds a very dear spot in my heart, I just don't see myself recommending the NEOS 1000 to someone buying a brand new machine. The design is great, especially considering how old it is, but it's not suited for "modern" stringing as much as a DA machine is. The glide bar clamps are relatively limiting if you EVER have to string racquetball or a super OS racquet with a fan pattern. You can use the flying clamp, but IMO other machines do just as well (sans the bulletproof design) for a similar price. If you can get a NEOS 1K on CL or on an auction site for a great price, go for it! It's still a great machine, but I wouldn't recommend it as a brand spankin' new purchase.

    At this point, the machines you listed have these differences (generally speaking) between models:
    2/6 point: I prefer 2, but the 6004's 6-point is nothing to sneeze at. I prefer "2" point (high end) because they provide direct resistance to warping, BUT the load needs to be spread well to really make sense. The NEOS is the grandfather of this style of design, but the mounting posts are a little too close together. The NEOS design (imo) is superior to the Gamma iteration, but the mounting posts are just too close together.

    The 6004 vs the 5003 (And the Apex vs the Axis Pro, respectively) has a better/more convenient mounting system, and upgraded clamps. These are "nice to haves" not "must haves." The lower end machines have independently screwed/adjusted mounting arms, and all the difference is, is that you have to spend more time to secure the racquet. The clamps are "switch action" on the higher end machines, require a lot less force (input) to lock down the base, and similarly they unlock nicely. This is a nice to have, but if you're not a weakling (this is just a joke), the regular clamps should do you just fine. You may need to clean the cheaper bases a little more...

    2 vs 6 point... personal preference, the 6 point (lower end) is more fiddly compared to the 2pt, but on really wide bodied frames (especially on the NEOS), you CAN warp the outside of the frames. The NEOS 1500 has swivel clamps, which is the fix to the major drawback of the NEOS1000. Don't get my negative comments twisted, though. I LOVE the glide bar clamps of the NEOS1000, they just don't work for all frames like swivels do.
     
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  33. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    Literally priceless feedback from all that FAR exceeds the support I anticipated-- I really cannot thank you guys enough!!

    I know I keep providing 'new' details in each post, but never anticipated this much invaluable input.....

    Big picture summary of my needs/ intentions:

    • Ultimate outlook is to offer a racquet stringing service as a business venture, in addition to personal benefits, when absolutely prepared- this is THE reason for a high-end machine as my initial purchase
    > Personal use will also act as 'practical' training
    > Plan to obtain certification prior to launching small bus

    Hope this clarifies a bit-- if PRIMARY objective was personal use/ savings, I would certainly start w a more economic choice
     
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  34. zomg_rofl

    zomg_rofl New User

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    I start off with a the flex 840 (tabletop of the 940) it was good for about 2 years tell my clamp bases broke. however i was stringing any were from 1-10 rackets a week depending if it was tennis season for the high schools.

    then i bought a gamma X-6Fc which i have had for about a year and have had no problem with it. I actually even string faster on this even though its a a drop weight.

    So i would recommend that same stringer plus if you order it from amazon they ship it for free which is a big plus for me since i live in hawaii

    here the link from amazon http://www.amazon.com/Gamma-Tennis-...=1346494400&sr=8-5&keywords=stringing+machine
     
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  35. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Honestly, none of the above criteria will impact any of the machines on your list ;) They're all solid, you just have to evaluate if you want to pay extra for the "nice to have"s. If you can forecast your traffic, the nice to haves may become REALLY nice to haves if you string very high volume. The switch action clamps and quick adjusting mounts will save you perceptible amounts of time if you're stringing a ton. Otherwise... just go with the cheapest of the bunch (or one that you just happen to like). All machines you listed are going to last you a long time.

    Perhaps take into account warranty on the above?
     
    #35
  36. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    FWIW, you can get fairly quick, responsive tech support from GAMMA right here in this here forum. Not sure anyone else offers that. I recently upgraded from an eagnas and having surfed this board for awhile, it made it a no-brainer for me.

    Any of the machines you seem to be considering will be fine, as others have mentioned. Enjoy!
     
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  37. Woolybugger

    Woolybugger Rookie

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    rolleroh, quite ambitious commiting to launch a side-business stringing-for-profit when you've never done it before. why not start small with a $450 machine and see how it goes. you can always sell it on craigslist and upgrade to the $1000 fancy machines after you've decided if you're really into it for the long-term. just my 2 cents.

    btw, I have an alpha pioneer dc plus dropweight around $450 and I like it. Alpha tech support is in Austin, TX and they are great to work with.
     
    #37
  38. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    If the loss from the higher end machine is equivalent to the loss on a starter machine (referring to value lost reselling), why NOT spring for the higher end machine if you can afford to to start? I think his outlook is correct, he stated he would only be moving to stringing for others when he's absolutely ready -- which is more I can say for a lot of home stringers ;)

    Stringing machines hold their value well, IMHO, so there's no major loss here if he sells a high end machine vs a lower end one. Again, this is a question about how well one knows themselves, but it's not always the right path to start with the lower end machines. I went through the upgrade path, and I continue to highly recommend to spring for the best machine you can afford to save time (and potentially save money, depending on which path you take to get to your "final" machine).
     
    #38
  39. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    If you were planning to run it as a legitimate business (rather than a cash-in-hand side venture... but I'm sure none of us would dream of doing that... :oops:), then waiting until the business were formed would allow tax deductions on your purchase. On a high end machine, that wouldn't be insignificant.
     
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  40. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    If we're dealing with cash flow concerns, the ~$500 difference in the machines being discussed will buy a lot of string and ancillaries. That's likely the profit from a few dozen string jobs...nothing to sneeze at.

    One scenario might include a basic machine to start(tabletop for this example) in anticipation of a higher-end machine 'down the road' but keeping the more portable machine for travel and/or training the future laborers who will help build this modest project into a mega-stringing-empire! :)

    By the bye, living 'just up the street' from Alpha doesn't figure into this, but I'll reiterate my suggestion of the ~$500 Alpha or Gamma machine to start(in the absence of any super deal on a used higher-end machine).
     
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  41. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

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    I really cannot thank everyone enough for PRICELESS feedback, advice, experience, and all the virtual slaps to the ear hole!!

    After much internal agonizing & chasing countless used machines that have already been sold, I placed an order for a new Gamma 5003 2pt SC Mount machine from T*****Machines.com for $999.00, w Free Shipping & the standard tools/ accessories.

    While I feel very comfortable that I found the best deal on a solid machine, I am both extremely excited & feel like throwing up whenever I think about it.

    I am certain that I exhausted every opportunity to get a used machine from my short list, and also know the price I paid is $200 less than any other new 5003 2pt SC I was able to find, but just do not have the experience to feel completely confident in my decision.

    Knowing my plan to start a hopefully thriving small business relies on a quality machine w the capability to work quickly, I guess there is always something to second guess if you allow yourself.

    I'm sure when my machine arrives I will be like a 10-yr old on Christmas, but I am just wondering if I should have bought the Revo 4000 w Wise, or potentially a NEOS or 6004, just bc the 5003 is more of a 'dated' model opposed to a 'different' machine, but the 2-pt appears to be a 6004 w slightly different clamps being the only difference.

    Ive rambled enough -- I'll post some pics & an update once I receive & put it together!!
     
    #41
  42. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    6,705
    Only gripe(s) I have with the 5003 is the 6 point mounting system and clamps. The 6004 outside dominates the 5003's outside. Looks like you bypassed that issue altogether. The inside mount will do you just fine :) Just be careful not to torque the mounts down too hard at first, they will pop out if you torque down hard at first, from what I understand. Look around at threads in this subforum, I've posted in several. You're looking for a post by Gamma Tech that describes how to do it "the right way." Summary is: If you're muscling down the hold-down lever, you're doing it wrong.

    The clamps are A-OK on the Gamma machines, I used them in a very, very high volume environment, and while the switch action would have been welcomed with open arms, I had to deal with the standard clamps. They're good, but not great. If you really torque them down (which isn't necessary!) they'll eventually loosen up, but adjustment is easy. I wouldn't want them in a professional environment, but for even the moderate volume home stringer, they'll be reliable and sturdy. Many people who work(ed) with crappy machines that came to work with me had a habit of really cranking them down. I think this behavior comes from low quality cone lock bases that frequently slipped.

    Otherwise, great purchase. Even if you upgrade to the wise, keep the crank around in case you need it in a pinch. I personally don't think you'll regret your mount choice or your choice to get a standup machine. I'm all for portability, but IMHO a stand is miles better than a rolling cart, which is miles better than hunching over a temporary workstation/desk. You've got room to grow, and you can always upgrade clamps down the line, if you really want to.
     
    #42
  43. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    1,542
    Very well said. I always encourage people to buy the most machine they can afford, but I throw in the little caveat that you have to be sure you're not the kind of person that will get tired of it after 2 months. I tell them if they're not sure, start with a low-end machine to test the waters. There's a kid I teach (high school, 17) who I taught how to string in order to save money (and my time). He could come over any time and string his racquets. His first experience with stringing was with someone standing over his shoulder, walking him through the entire process using a fairly nice machine with an electronic tensioner. Long story short, he's pretty much done, and this kid is a string breaker. I'm back to stringing his racquets with his parents footing the bill...for now. I suggested to him a while back to consider investing in a machine, but now that he's tried it (and under very favorable conditions) I guess he figured out it just wasn't for him. Fair enough.

    I knew I was going to be into stringing for the long haul, so I sprung for decent machine. Unfortunately it wasn't the most machine I could afford; it was the most machine I could convince my wife to let me purchase without having to hear her nag me day and night!

    Anyway, congrats on your purchase, and there's no need to hurl; you'll be fine I'm sure. As dd referred to, far too many home stringers start stringing for others sooner than they should, and I was one of them. On the positive side, it took me a while to build my customer base, so I didn't screw up too many racquets. ;-) Take your time, learn as much as you can, gain the experience you need (I'm not going to put a number on it--you'll know), and I'm sure you'll end up with satisfied customers willing to spread the word about a new local stringer with a great selection and good prices.

    By the way, I may have missed it in a previous post, but what do the local pro shops charge for labor in your area? The ones here just went from $15/hr to $20/hr, so I'm quite certain I'll have a few more people ringing my phone in the future. :)
     
    #43
  44. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
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    3,149
    I'll let you know. I placed an order for the Alpha Revo/Wise combo last week & it is scheduled to arrive today. I probably won't get to stringing anything until tomorrow, though, as I have "kid taxi" duties most of this evening.

    This will be my 3rd machine, as I mentioned earlier in this thread, replacing my Eagnas poo-poo after only 5 years.

    It will be interesting to see how much time I save w/ this new setup. I've never really been focused on speed, usually putting The Daily Show or Colbert Nation on in the background while stringing & taking my time, but it has to be better than my current situation, constantly tightening the clamps so they don't slip.
     
    #44
  45. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Well guys, it looks like the stringing higher powers have different plans for me----

    I received a 'Comfirmation' today stating they no longer carry Gamma machines!!!!!!
    Also realized it is T*****MachinesNOW.com, not the same sans 'NOW',,,,,,

    My card wasn't charged, but now I'm worried this was bogus!!!!

    Anybody have any experience?? And should I now opt for Alpha+Wise???

    AAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!
     
    #45
  46. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

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    I believe someone already suggested it, but why don't you wait until the end of the year (late Nov/early Dec) when TW does their gift card routine and pick up a nice machine then.

    If that idea doesn't appeal to you and you want/need one now, pick a machine and pull the trigger anyway. I mean, eventually it'll pay for itself so I wouldn't get too hung up on whether or not you save a few bucks initially.

    Still, your situation is nothing to get worked up about given the options at your disposal and the availability of the machine, albeit at a slightly higher cost than what you thought you were going to pay.
     
    #46
  47. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    get a nice machine now and add the wise later. that's my plan (maybe, step one is covered and i'm happy).
     
    #47
  48. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    #48
  49. COPEY

    COPEY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
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    1,542
    The aforementioned combo certainly falls within the OP's financial wheelhouse, but I like jim e's advice with respect to an upright stringer as opposed to a tabletop. If going with an upright stringer puts the wise on hold for a few months that's fine in my opinion. Learn to string on a lockout then move to a wise; you'll undoubtedly appreciate the wise even more. Plus, if you ever have to return the wise for repair, falling back on the crank--although painful (been there)--is a better option than being sidelined altogether.

    Just to be clear, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a tabletop, but for what you want to ultimately do with your machine I think an upright is the better choice
     
    #49
  50. rolleroh

    rolleroh Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    Thanks for keeping the suggestions rolling in---

    I am actually having a bit of a problem w this 'company',,,
    No 'charge' to CC, but they put an authorization on my account for the entire amount (prior to even verifying availability!!!-- I work for a bank & this is borderline unethical) that has been jamming me up a few days now.

    To my surprise, they do answer the phone & offer to help- even though they do not know how,,,,,

    This probably traces back to my seriously considering burning money in my fireplace......... errrr buying an EAGNAS machine as my stringing empire focal investment,,,,,,,,

    Once sorted out, I'm taking a serious look at the new Alpha Apex Plus--- looks SWEET, & discussed w Mark G. today// he is putting offer together for me, so fingers crossed it is a solid deal & I'll pull the trigger
     
    #50

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