Thinking I might buy me a Gamma 5800

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by sstchur, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    I'm thinking I might buy a 5800. I have a 6004 6pt, SC right now, so I'm considering a few different options.

    1. Buy a 5800 6pt, swap the table with my 6004, effectively turning my two machines into an 8800 (minus the number pad) and a 5003. Maybe sell the 5003, maybe keep it as a backup.

    2. Buy a 5800 2pt SC. Swap only the base clamps, as my 6004 has the super quick action base clamps. Then my 6004, basically becomes a 5003 6pt SC. Again, maybe keep the crank for back up, maybe sell it.

    I know there are other options. I know I could spend more and get an 8800, but given what I can do with a 5800 via option 1 or 2 that I listed above, I'm not sure if there is a really compelling reason to do so.

    I know I could buy a Wise, but I don't think I want to. I'd rather have an all-in-one machine made by a single manufacturer.

    I know that if I was willing to spend more, I could get a Babolat 5 star, but I really like the quality of every Gamma product I've owned, and my preference is to continue supporting them.

    Comments, questions, suggestions, complaints.... all welcome :)
     
    #1
  2. DUO

    DUO New User

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    I am loving my 5003, I recently got it and have been string about 5 racquets with it so far. The spring tensioner is very good, only had to recalibrate it once and has been spot on when I retest the tension accuracy.
    Aren't you glad you have choices? :)
     
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  3. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    LOL sstchur. Seems like only yesterday you were contemplating getting that 6004.

    I agree with you, don't get the Wise.

    Probably just best to buy the highest level Gamma. That's what I am contemplating too rather than fixing my Wise.
     
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  4. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    :) Yeah, I know. What can I say... it's an obsession. But it's not like anyone on these forums can't understand that, right?

    Other than the number pad on the 8800, how would getting a 5800 and putting my 6004 base clamps on it be any different from the 8800? Based on my research, I don't think it would be. Seems that the major differences between 5800 and the 8800 are the base clamps, and the lack of number pad on the 5800. And I suppose if you want to be really technical, the number "5800" printed on the machine, but that does not bother me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
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  5. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Were I to replace my Wise/Neos, that's the machine I'd get, the 5800 ELS 2-point. I love the layout and the features.
     
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  6. L10-11

    L10-11 New User

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    5800

    I to have a 6404 and a 5800, and I also changed out the whole set up from my 6400 to the 5800. The set up on the 5800 was a joke compared to the 6404. I do like the 5800 the lock sys is great compared to the 6404 when your stringing the Prince 03's. I would get the self centering (SC) for a little more money. I would also like a little more height on the machine I get a sore back after a while, and I think it would be better if I could raise the machine another inch or two.
     
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  7. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    option (1), sell the 5003.... make a forum member happy and recoup some of the cost of the 5800/8800
     
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  8. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Are you "a forum member?" ;-)
     
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  9. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Can you elaborate on what you mean when you say "setup?" Do you mean the table and mount system?

    As I understand it, the table/mount system on the 5800 is the same as that of the 5003. And the the table/mount of the 8800 is the same as that of the 6004.

    So my thinking was that I could either:

    1. Swap the table of my 6004 with the table of the 5800, or
    2. Swap only the base clamps of my 6004 with the 5800 (I would do this, if I decided to go with a 2pt 5800, which I might)
     
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  10. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    LOL......funny..... :D

    I have a 6004..... but thank you!
     
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  11. L10-11

    L10-11 New User

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    5800

    To reply to your question, You are correct. The mount sys on the 5003 and 5800 are one and the same. Some people may say they are just fine, but to me the mount on the 6004 was way better then the 5800. It took about a second or two to change out the mount. Just take off the four screws on the mount system and change it over. I have never used a two point system but I can't help think the six point would be better in holding the raquet in place.
     
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  12. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    You know the 6pt vs 2pt debate goes on and on, and I'm not here to try to start it over.

    I am curious to know though.... if as /assume/ that both 6pt and 2pt are equal in terms of supporting the racquet (in other words, let's just assume for the sake of argument -- even if you don't believe it -- that they are both 100% equal as far as protecting the racquet).

    In that case, which would you choose? I would think 2pt would be preferred just because you have more room to work, and I'd think the mounting might be a touch faster.

    I happen to believe that 2pt protects the racquet just fine, and I'm also of the opinion that it may actually even be better for the racquet because any minor deformation that may occur, can do so uniformly. Where as with 6pt, any deformation that may occur might have a tendency to be a little "less natural" (for lack of a better way of saying it).

    But again, it's my hunch -- it's not based on anything. I use a 6pt today and I like it just fine except that it can block grommets sometimes if you don't plan ahead.

    This is what has me leaning towards a two point 5800 where I just put my 6004 base clamps on it.
     
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  13. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I'm with you. If the mounting system is done right and is solid. Witness the Prince Neos which is rock solid. I've never had any deformation or problems with my Neos. Were I to purchase a 5800, it'd be the two-point.
     
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  14. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, the mounting on the Neos looks really nice and solid and easy to use (though, admittedly I've only see it done in videos -- never used a Neos myself).

    But what's interesting is that if you really do like and prefer (and believe in 2pt) then as far as "professional" machines go, you are a bit limited I think.

    There is the Gamma 5800 and 8800. A lot of people will ask why, if you are going to spend the money on an 8800, you wouldn't just go with Babolat 5 star. But if you really do prefer 2pt, that's one potential reason (and there can be others).

    But a quick look at all the top-shelf pro machines, none really have a 2pt option except for (I think) some of earlier model Prince's, like maybe Prince 3000?

    But XtremeSportsMachine, Babolat, Technifibre, Yonex, Wilson... they're all 6pt mounts.

    A part of me has to believe that this may stem from "follow the herd" mentality. That is, Babolat has a wonderful name in stringing machines and their # star models have all been very well received. Seeing this, other manufacturers have followed suite in terms of the features (6pt mount being a prominent one).

    I suppose nay-sayers will argue that 6pt has gained that popularity because it is really better, but I'm not 100% sure that that's true. After all, it is a business, so company's are going to be strongly driven by what generates sales. And if the perception is that 6pt is better, then it's likely that it might help generate sales if you have that as an option.

    Anyway, again, I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm but one person with an opinion, and we all know precisely how much it's worth.
     
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  15. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    IMHO, it's silly to say "if all else equal." The systems are COMPLETELY different in their operation. IMHO, a well designed inside mount is a great system. I prefer it for the same reasons you think you would: it stays out of the way. From a "physics" standpoint, the 6 point outside mount DOES NOT support the racquet in a static (no string) state. The racquet needs to deform first for the outside mounts to really do anything (by design). It's IMO an indirect way of keeping the racquet from exploding. The inside mount is a direct resistance to deformation. Which is better... well... I've heard different things.

    As far as the NEOS, it's a pretty well designed system. I especially like it because the lock for the support is EXTREMELY sturdy. Even with very light fixation torque, there's a tremendous amount of resistance to the tension. I've even seen careless operators not tighten the lever down correctly with no ill results. It's also very difficult for this mechanism to slip, and it stays out of the way (I'm talking about the length adjustment, here). I also like the way the hold down levers are designed on the NEOS, the handles stay out of the way well, and are designed to avoid any catching strings.
     
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  16. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the info DD!

    Since you are familiar with both, can you offer any words comparing the 2pt of the Neos vs the 2pt of the 5800?
     
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  17. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    I agree that the systems are completely different. All I meant was that most people, when deciding between 2pt and 6pt, use as the primary factor in their decision making process, how well each system supports the racquet.

    Those that think 2pt does a better job, pick 2pt.
    Those that think 6pt does a better job, pick 6pt.

    There are other considerations though, right? There is ease of use, and whether or not the system is likely to block grommets, catch string, etc... (probably other considerations I haven't mentioned).

    All I was asking was: if you eliminate the "which supports better" factor, then which one would most people choose?

    It's a purely hypothetical question of course, since the support question IS a real factor when people decide. I'm just saying, for a moment, pretend it's not a factor. Then, which would you choose?

    And I ask this not to make a point, but I'm genuinely interested to know what people think.
     
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  18. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    In our e-mails, the NEOS was the mental picture of comparison in my mind. I like that the levers are low profile, and they aren't as "springy"/"switchy" as the 5800's levers. However, this might simply have been due to age. The NEOS also had posts (at the throat) that you could use plastic adapters on. This allowed for more flexibility on weirdly throated frames. I wouldn't say it's a design win, though, as most people don't know about this and/or don't use them as well as they should.

    The slide out throat support was the 12/6 o'clock support, I'd say it's faster than the 5800, but this is a nitpick. The 5800 (from memory of the NEOS) is wider spaced in terms of frame supports, so it'd theoretically be more supportive of a larger area of the frame. The NEOS had an adjustable height on the throat stock (if I recall correctly), and this helped on tapered frames. The gamma has the weakness of the thin throat bridged frames that I mentioned to you before. I actually feel like it's really weird that there's no 6/12 support locks (it's just a twist adjustment). I FEEL like the supports could fail if the adjustment bar was accidentally spun, but I believe it actually locks under tension, so it's not really a factor.

    Overall, though, I'd say the machine you are proposing (the baby 8800) is going to be overall superior to the NEOS. Simply mountingwise, the 5800 is technically superior, but I like working with the NEOS 2 point mount a LOT.

    It's very easy/fast to adjust, and the table locks down well.

    I personally think if there were no "which supports better" argument, it'd be a pretty simple choice: Go inside mounts, you have so much access to the grommets. If you could choose a perfect instantiation of each (inside vs out), there'd be really no reason to purposefully choose one that will get in your way (regardless of how well it's done). [I'm assuming infinite speed of adjustment/ignoring any other of those "what if" factors].
     
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  19. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    As usual, thanks for the great information. Very very helpful!
    I think I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on a "Baby 8800" - I love that name :)

    -sstchur
     
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  20. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Do it. Even if you don't sell it all and get a Star 5, you'll probably upgrade sometime way out into the future either way. It's our sick nature as "enthusiasts." :twisted::twisted:
     
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  21. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Purchase made

    Finally pulled the trigger on this.

    It arrived yesterday and I got it setup late last night. Worked out timing wise, b/c I broke the Pacific gut I was using in my Fischer a couple days ago, so I decided to use the new machine to string up some VS.

    Haven't had a chance to hit with yet, but the machine was very nice to use. I swapped out the base clamps with my 6004, and the 5800 came with those new sleek string clamps that have the nice rubber-padding on the handle. Very nice to operate.

    Sorry, no pictures yet, but maybe I'll try to snap a few tonight. I've got both machines side by side, next to all my stock of strings and racquets and stuff. I like how both machines look together. I think I will hang onto the 6004 for now.
     
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  22. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    There's another thread in ST/SM about the mounts popping. Please chime in if it happens to you at all. I had forgotten about the amount of grease that I had on my machine when I first received it. If I get a chance, I'll be posting a picture guide on removing the lever and wiping it down. I'm all for machines being properly lubricated, but I think the manufacturer went a little crazy when it shipped.

    Are you seeing/feeling any thick grease on your hold down lever?

    Thanks,
    DD
     
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  23. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Thanks DD. I remember you mentioning this. I only strung one frame so far, but I didn't experience any premature release of the levers, nor did I notice any grease or anything on the handles.

    The stems of the stings clamps felt a little oily, but the instruction manual actually said they would and that that is done to preserve them during packing and shipping, and that the stems should just be wiped with a clean rag.

    Haven't had any issues really. I wasn't as "smooth" with the "baby 8800" as I am with the 6004, but it's my first time using an electronic machine and a 2pt mount of this nature, so I expect it'll take me a few frames to really get into a groove.

    Will keep you posted on my experiences and try to get some pics if possible at some point fairly soon.
     
    #23
  24. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    forget the star 5. may as well go baiardo. ;)
     
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  25. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    wow...that's a pretty short stint with the 6004...
     
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  26. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    It was about a year. I still love it though. Great machine; no regrets on it.

    I'm gonna hang on to both for now though. I have a few friends interested in learning to string, and I may actually see if I can get both machines making money for me :)
     
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  27. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Photos of new machine & stringing corner

    Here are some photos of the new machine (which I'm calling the "baby 8800") and of my stringing space in general.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #27
  28. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    #28
  29. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    You should get some of those cloth-ish pads and stick them on the feet of your stringer(s). It'll allow you to slide the machines around on that hardwood without any scratches, etc ;)

    Except that they'll allow your machines to slide.... which might not be a good thing.

    Sweet stringing setup, though! All that's missing is an anti-fatigue mat ;)
     
    #29
  30. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Thanks! That's not a bad idea. I hadn't thought of it (the slider pads). But yeah, not sure if it would slide too much. I thought about getting the caster wheels but they are a bit pricey. For the most part, I just don't move the machine.

    Where does one get those anti-fatigue mats?
     
    #30
  31. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    4 caster wheels for my Gamma machine were less than $20 if I remember correctly.
     
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  32. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    For all 4, or $20 each? It thought they were each. I suppose $80 is a "relatively" small price to pay for the convenience, but it still feels little steep for 4 wheels.
     
    #32
  33. nalvarado

    nalvarado Semi-Pro

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    Hmm I've seen that picture somewhere before :wink:

    Looks like a great setup.
     
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  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Please verify with the new Gamma Tech before purchasing. If you have the wheels on carpet, stringing is a breeze. On a smooth surface, it is more of a pain.

    Shipping Method: UPS Ground
    --------------------------
    Product ID: TWUN-75N-M20-BK
    Product Name: Great Lakes Caster - Un-Hooded Twin Wheel - 75mm Black Twin Wheel Un-Hooded Casterwith 8mm x 12mm T
    Quantity: 4
    Unit Price: 1.64
    --------------------------
    Order Total : 6.56
    Shipping : 7.75
    Handling : 3.49
    Grand Total : 17.80
     
    #34
  35. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Do the wheels not have a locking mechanism?
     
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  36. max pl

    max pl Rookie

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    i use those plastic furniture sliders and they work great.

    less than 10 bucks and they easily slide around on both carpet and wooden floors.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
    #36
  37. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    No, wish they did.


    These would work too.
     
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  38. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    And it doesn't move around on you when you don't want it to?

    I have a really really nice platform with locking wheels that a buddy of mine who works in construction build for me for my old old machine (Titan 7700). It fit that machine perfectly, but the legs of the 6004 are too big for it.

    Haven't checked yet with the 5800, but that's another possibility. Maybe I can convince him to build me another :)
     
    #38
  39. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The wheels don't move around on carpet. If you have smooth floors, it gets annoying.
     
    #39
  40. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    You can get them at a lot of places, even amazon has several. Depending on how good of one you want, they can range from ~$30-250. You can also look at industrial supply stores like all-spec and mcmaster carr. The really nice ones are worth it, but not super easy to justify. If I spent a working day everyday in front of a machine, I'd make that purchase without much of an afterthought. I've seen them in use for Cashiers, etc.
     
    #40
  41. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    follow up

    Just wanted to follow up with my experience so far for anyone for anyone interested in this machine/thread.

    Experience so far with the "baby 8800" (a 5800 with 6004 super quick switch action clamps) has been really great so far.

    I know DD mentioned he had some issues a few years back with his 5800 when it was new with levers popping up. I'm not sure if maybe that was an issue at one time and no longer is, or if it was maybe a fluke with DD's machine, but so far, I haven't had it happen.

    I do feel like the plungers press down quite hard on the frame. Maybe it is perfectly safe for the frame and I'm overly paranoid, but because of the downward pressure that I perceive, I tend to make a conscious effort to adjust how tightly the plungers press down (I attempt to make them obviously secure but not "crushing" the frame). Not sure if this is necessary or not, but I haven't had any issues doing it this way, and it makes me feel better.

    The clamps are EXCELLENT. These are the newer clamps that don't have the little holes where string would sometimes get stuck. They have great feel and hold the string really well. I like them even more than the clamps that are on my 6004 (and I thought those were great too!)

    Really loving having the convenience of the electronic tensioner. Didn't realize how nice it would be, but it's great, and I do find that it speeds me up a bit (I used to crank pretty slowly).

    Overall I think it is a great machine and I would definitely recommend it (either 2pt or 6pt). I'm in a nice position of having both the 5800 2pt and the 6004 6pt, so I can easily swap the tables and use whichever mounting system I want.

    But mounting system aside, I think the 5800 is a really great machine for the price, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
     
    #41
  42. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Hall of Fame

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    cool. thanks for the update! glad the new stringer is working well for you.

    how do you like the resulting string bed from CP? i think you had mentioned preferring the feel of the stringbed strung on a crank better so you've probably dropped your reference tension 3-5 lbs?
     
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  43. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Yes, that's correct -- in the past, I'd really liked the feel of a lock out string bed. I've been stringing mostly for other still at this point (so I've been using CP and they've been happy), but I did string one of my Fischers.

    I strung it with Babolat VS 16 @ M:60, X: 57 (with a 10% pre stretch).

    In this case, I dropped about 3 lbs, but it's not a completely fair comparison b/c with my other Fischers I had used Klip Legend 17 @ M:63,X:60 (and I prestretched by hand).

    I really really like how the Babolat feels, but then again, it is Babolat -- the "gold standard" for natural gut.

    My Fischers that don't have natural gut have Gamma Professional (and I usually keep one strung with Zo Verve for those time when I feel like I wanna go poly). What I think I need to do is string up some Gamma Pro as CP and see how the resulting string bed feel compares.
     
    #43
  44. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    How do you feel about the tensioner distance from frame/racquet/mounting table? I loosened the hex screws holding the tensioner down and pretty much moved it as far over as it could go while still allowing the turn table to rotate. IMHO, still way too far.
     
    #44
  45. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, I do have to concede that point; it is a bit far away. I've been used to the 6004 which is about 5in or so. The 5800 is more like 7in and it does make a difference. There are times when I simply cannot weave one ahead towards the end because of it. That would happen sometimes on the 6004 as well, but not as often.

    I may not notice it as much as you though because I tend to be pretty conservative with my string length, especially when cutting from reel. I almost always cut 20ft for both M and X even if the USRSA pattern indicates less is needed (if more is need, obviously I adjust accordingly). But I learned pretty quickly not to trust the lengths that the USRSA gives because they had so often caused me to come up short when I was starting out. So now I'm of the opinion that it's better to waste a few cents and cut too much than to come up short.
     
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  46. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    I'm pretty generous when it comes to cutting string lengths, too. I HATE not being able to string one ahead :)

    It's one of those things that doesn't really impact me at the end of the day, but is really annoying to me as an engineer. I just think "this could have been done better." I'm itching to upgrade my clamps to the switch actions, but they cost a pretty penny :(
     
    #46
  47. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,186
    Location:
    tennis courts
     
    #47
  48. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,595
    Location:
    Sammamish, WA
    Yes, I did. My setup is getting better and better as I have more time to invest in it. Here is the latest:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #48
  49. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,827
    Location:
    Central Florida
    ^^^ Nice setup! Wow.
     
    #49
  50. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    814
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    That's awesome!! Obviously I need to clean up my area. :grin:
     
    #50

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