Try again: Alpha String Pal

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by thewallylama, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. thewallylama

    thewallylama New User

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    Has anyone used this machine yet? I heard it suggested through this forum but after doing a search, I've yet to find anyone who's actually used it. It seems like it might be a nice solid little machine for a first-time stringer. Thank you!
     
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  2. BigGriff

    BigGriff Semi-Pro

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    #2
  3. eunjam

    eunjam Rookie

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    if you can.....get a 6 point mounting.

    it's not necessary......but sooo nice.

    and if you really really really can.......get fixed clamps.

    again, not necessary.......but soooo nice.
     
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  4. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    agreed. if you plan to keep your stringer for a few years don't skimp - buy the best you can. they pay for themselves very quickly with the money you save from not having to pay a stringer.
     
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  5. thewallylama

    thewallylama New User

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    Thanks for replies so far. BigGrif, I appreciate the link. As far as comments on other stringers, if you're so inclined, great, but other threads seem to cover that pretty well. I am really just looking for comments specifically about the Alpha String Pal.
     
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  6. meh

    meh Semi-Pro

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    The advantage that the Alpha has over its three direct competitors - Klippermate, SP Swing, and Gamma X-2 - is that it has a linear string gripper, as opposed to the rotational gripper used by the other three. Alpha is also known for its great build quality and support.
     
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  7. skraggle

    skraggle Professional

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    Excellent point on the linear gripper, as this makes stringing way faster and easier for me..
     
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  8. thewallylama

    thewallylama New User

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    Thought I'd try again: no one on this forum has tried this machine? It seems like good way to dip my toe in the water without a big commitment but still having Alpha's reputation.
     
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  9. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    You should also call Mark at alphatennis...talk to him about any concerns you have, and confirm what options you have if you order one and have any issues w/the machine. The Alpha staff are great, and will be very helpful if you ask.
     
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  10. Court_Jester

    Court_Jester Hall of Fame

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    I used to own one but after a week of stringing, I decided it wasn't the one for me. The absence of a clutch made stringing quite a chore. Average string job took me 1 hr 45 min to finish. But my biggest beef was that my racquets ended up 1/8" shorter. It may not be much but I'm pretty anal about my racquets. Such a shame 'coz it was a solid machine. Maybe I just got a bad apple from the bunch but I decided to exchange it for a Revo 4000 instead. No regrets.
     
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  11. CleverLob

    CleverLob New User

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    I just got one, my first stringing machine ever. I really really like it, I can string about as fast (or faster?) than on an electric stringer. What I like about it is the sliding gripper, it makes it really fast to just get the string in and out. Even though I havn't tried other stringers, I would say this is really one of the best you can get for a very low ammount of money. I don't see myself getting anything else for basically ever.
     
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  12. ccelis

    ccelis Rookie

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    Is it true that it doesn't have a clutch? Does it come with any additional spacers or adaptors?

    Thanks
     
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  13. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    I'd expect Court Jester knows of what he speaks...but if you want more assurance, you can just call Alpha and ask Mark about it. :)
     
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  14. Court_Jester

    Court_Jester Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Redflea but I need to clarify something about my original reply.

    ccelis,
    I dug up an email from New Tech Tennis when I inquired about the clutch mechanism of String Pal last summer. They said that it has a clutch spring inside but it doesn't have a ratchet clicker. IMO, without this ratchet mechanism, it's more laborious re-positioning the bar and tensioning the string.
     
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  15. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, like I said, that Court Jester dude is a total space cadet... ;)
     
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  16. Court_Jester

    Court_Jester Hall of Fame

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    LOL! Don't I know it! :D
     
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  17. ccelis

    ccelis Rookie

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    Thanks for the clarification, because I had email Alpha before and they told me that it did have a clutch so I was confused.

    Thanks
     
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  18. gotwheels

    gotwheels Semi-Pro

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    I have experience with both of the Alpha dropweight clutches. The String Pal clutch is a silent type (non-ratchet) and requires both hands during the tension adjustment. This is similar to the Alpha Pioneer III sytem. The ratcheting clutch is what is on the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus and uses one hand for tension adjustment, but both hands for tension release. No big deal or significant either way - both work great. The best thing is that there is a clutch that is easy to use, some of the clutches on other competitive machines are not as comfortable to use.

    The Alpha String Pal gets little talk, but is the best bargain entry level string on the market in features and price ($119 + like $17 shipping). It will readily compete with and or exceed the KlipperUSA, Gamma, and Silent Partner entry level machines. Give Mark at Alpha/Newtech a call - You can't loose - nice stringer with a 30 day return!
     
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  19. ccelis

    ccelis Rookie

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    So then do you still have the String Pal? How is the mounting, does it prevent deformation well?
     
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  20. D-man

    D-man Banned

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    Where can you buy the alpha string pal? Thanks for any help.
     
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  21. gotwheels

    gotwheels Semi-Pro

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    Alpha stringing products are available through Alpha Tennis or New Tech Tennis, their retail arm. Speak with Greg or Mark.
     
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  22. D-man

    D-man Banned

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    #22
  23. staedtler

    staedtler Semi-Pro

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    Im tempted as to which one I should get. String Pal or the Gamma X-2. I think I need to do more research. I would go for a really nice machine, but I'm basically stringing for myself and a few friends at most.
     
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  24. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    I'm in the same situation as you. I was originally considering the SP Swing and the Gamma X-2, but now I've learned more about the String Pal. It sounds great, I'll probably learn on this machine.

    Does it come with string packages? I hear the instructions are pretty bad that are given on all stringing machines. Is there any other place I could learn?
     
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  25. thewallylama

    thewallylama New User

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    Nice to see this thread that I started a while back come to life!
    No, the String Pal doesn't come with string packages, but hey, it's only $120. now at newtechtennis, so you have money left over to buy some! I had emailed Mark at Alpha about the String Pal and he was really helpful. He sent me a copy of the manual/instructions. The manual seems better to me than what some people have been saying about it--I wonder if Alpha improved it since those comments. It has some very good, clear photos. However, I don't think that it has enough detail for someone who hasn't strung before--it could have more steps and more details. You would probably want to check some online sites that have more information.
    It looks like a very sold, simple, quality stringer for a great price. No frills--but good--kind of zen!
    I'm planning on getting one myself soon. I've been taking my time finding out more about stringing and stringers and it seems like a great little entry level stringer and Alpha has that great reputation.
     
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  26. dr_punk

    dr_punk Professional

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    how long (on average) would it take to string a racquet on an alpha pal? given the stringer is adept etc...
    also, i heard somewhere about a 6 point mount and fixed clamps... is that something you can buy as an accessory?
     
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  27. Court_Jester

    Court_Jester Hall of Fame

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    No different when using, say, SP Swing or Gamma X-2. Probably 2 to 2.5 hours when you're first starting to string but can go down to less than an hour with experience.

    Nope, you can't. Sub-$200 stringers are not designed to be upgraded with fixed clamps and 6-point mounts.
     
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  28. dr_punk

    dr_punk Professional

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    crap... an hour? that sucks
     
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  29. ryohazuki222

    ryohazuki222 Semi-Pro

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    even if you had a top of the line machine, i doubt you'd start cranking out string jobs in under an hour...

    its not that bad.
     
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  30. Court_Jester

    Court_Jester Hall of Fame

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    It's not all about the speed. It's all about consistency.
     
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  31. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    My first time it took me well over 2 hours. :) There's the whole "newness" of it to get over, knots to learn, etc., and that can take some time. The basics of stringing are incredibly simple, however. So leave yourself a nice open bit of time, and maybe start in the early evening, so that folks are online here in case you need to post a quick "WHAT NOW!?!?" message. :D I would not start at 10:00 at night...if you need help 2 hours later we'll all be asleep!! ;)
     
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  32. dr_punk

    dr_punk Professional

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    you guys make it an appealing concept haha
     
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  33. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    I can't speak for the String Pal, as I haven't used flying clamps, but I'm down to about 40 minutes stringing gut on a familiar racquet on my Pioneer DC Plus dropweight. That's not hurrying, having the TV on while I'm doing it, talking w/the family, etc.

    Your ultimate results will depend on how often you string, type of string, general manual dexterity, etc.,
     
    #33
  34. staedtler

    staedtler Semi-Pro

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    Are polys any easier to string with a linear gripper than a rotational gripper? Im leaning towards teh string pal as of now.
     
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  35. meh

    meh Semi-Pro

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    Linear grippers are gentler on gut and poly strings. They are also more straightforward to use.
     
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  36. dr_punk

    dr_punk Professional

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    lets say I do buy this machine... what else should I buy for it?
     
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  37. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    You might want to put it on a rack to string on, as opposed to putting it on a table...personal choice.

    I don't know what tools the String Pal comes with...you'll need something to cut strings (nail clipper works fine, or small pair of pliers. You may want an awl, which can be helpful getting strings through blocked holes. That's about it...all I use is my stringer, something to cut the strings, and occassionaly an awl.

    You'll also need some string and a racquet. ;)
     
    #37
  38. meh

    meh Semi-Pro

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    Redflea listed the basics. You'll also want a starting clamp, string bed cutter, needle-nose and bent-nose pliers, and perhaps a setting awl. It's nice to have both a curved and straight awl.

    Out of those, the starting clamp and needle-nose pliers are the most important. The starting clamp isn't necessary, but they're invaluable in a number of situations, and personally, I use them on every stringjob that I do. You need the pliers to tie knots.
     
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  39. little_e

    little_e Semi-Pro

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    The string pal comes with the standard Alpha tool kit (needle nose pliars, wire cutters, awl, string mover, 2~flying clamps, & a set of allen wrenches) and it works great,. My wife bought me one for Christmas and I have done about 20 string jobs on it so far. The stringer works great there will be a little trial & error trying to figure out how to string, make sure the towers don't slip , etc... but other than it is fun. I am down to about 40 min. on full poly and one hour on everything else (no gut yet not willing to mess up 35dol. of string do to my mistake & if I like it then I go broke).
     
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  40. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    That's great...thanks for posting that little_e. I think that's all you need, dr_punk. I have never used or felt like I needed a starting clamp, so I wouldn't put it on anyones "need" list to string. You could consider adding it, but not necessary to get started stringing.
     
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  41. dr_punk

    dr_punk Professional

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    cool... sounds good now
     
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