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-   -   Gamma X-ST Review and Pictures (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=312180)

samyang 02-10-2010 08:39 AM

Gamma X-ST Review and Pictures
 


One of my friends left a Kilppermate to me when he went to study MBA in States two years ago. He will come back Toronto soon, so I have to return it and find one for my own. Overall Kilpermate is a nice machine, very steady. I used it a lot during these two years. However I donít want to go with another drop weight machine because it usually takes me several times to make that arm stay at horizontal level. Besides when I used some string like Head Rocket C3 which has a kind of soft Ďskiní, the job became very frustrating, because the gripper will sometimes squash the string.
http://i50.tinypic.com/67ph85.jpg

I did many researches online. Based on reviews form other users I narrowed down my targets to three crank machines: SP CRUMP, Alpha Revo 4000 and Gamma X-ST. I chose table top machine because I only string for myself once a week on average, twice at most in the summer, no need to use a professional upright one. And my budget, $600~$700, not allow me to go with fancy electrical machine either.

Since I am living in Canada, it looks like SP CRUMP is a best option. The price is acceptable even in Canadian dollars adding deliver charges. The picture on SP website is pretty. I like the red color and the design of the mounting system. Only thing I donít like is the clamp base. I was advised by Steve that two Spring Assisted clamp base will cost additional 200 CDN. Another reason I didnít go with SP is this product is out of stock. Compared to the other two, Revo 4K is supper valued. It looks solid and has everything I need. It would be a good deal if I have a tight budget. However, I finally pull the trigger to Gamma, because personally I like their unique design better. To me Gamma looks more fashionable and less cumbersome.

I bought Gamma X-ST online from atssports.com, the shopping was easy and the free FedEx Home delivery was supper fast. I ordered on Monday, the item arrived to my shipping address on Wednesday. Last Friday I went to Buffalo to pick it up. The shipping box is much bigger than I expected. It took me sometime to assemble it. Not too hard, but could be better if Gamma include an instruction or something. I know the product manual is downloadable online, but it still feels weird when I opened the box without finding it. The machine is awesome! The real product looks much more beautiful than the pictures online. When I saw it online I thought this machine would be much lighter than Revo 4K, because the turntable looks very thin to me. But actually the real product is like a tank, very solid.

http://i47.tinypic.com/24wzhxe.jpg

Mounting System
Itís a six point called ĎQuick Mountí System, very simple to use. I heard itís slow to adjust but actually when I use both of my hand to turn the knob (all knobs on one side will go one direction) it still goes very fast. Maybe a self-centering system could be even faster, but itís already fast enough for me. It holds the racquet very well, quite stable and secure, I didnít notice any movement or deformation during stringing.

http://i48.tinypic.com/25p08s1.jpg
http://i50.tinypic.com/k3826h.jpg

Clamp Bases
Quick Action Clamp Bases is definitely spring assisted, much better than I thought. A little turn will lock it down, no need extra strength to push, very smooth to use. I wonder to know how much better their high-end switch-action clamp base could be. Before I got it I thought the black lever is plastic but actually it is made of metal.
http://i49.tinypic.com/jpdidd.jpg

Clamps
It is diamond coated, holding string very well and very simple to adjust. After used it, I donít want to touch my old floated clamps again. I heard Gammaís clamp is very good before, now I believed it. Itís perfect!
http://i47.tinypic.com/so4j2b.jpg

Turntable
As I said itís heavy-duty. I like the finishing most. It looks pretty delicate. I think it could last dozens of years without stain. The design of table lock is also pretty unique. Although it made of some kind of plastic, I think itís strong enough to hold the table.
http://i48.tinypic.com/jads3s.jpg
http://i48.tinypic.com/ofmvdg.jpg

Tension Head
I donít have much experience on it. So far I did 3 racquets. Itís much more convenient and faster than a drop weight machine. Someone told me that lockout machine is less accurate than a constant pulling machine and normally 1lb less. Is that true? My calibrator will come soon. Letís see how it goes. It also comes with a Ďdiabloí, Iím not to sure if it is good, cause I didnít have any chance to use other lockout machine. One other question, is there any one doesnít lose 360 turn after upgrading to Wise head? Is there any Ďlowerí adapter for Gamma?
http://i46.tinypic.com/72t2k6.jpg
http://i47.tinypic.com/ndas0o.jpg
http://i49.tinypic.com/2hg8j61.jpg

Base
The difference between Progression ST II and X-ST is the base. Progression has plastic cover on the base while X-ST has a metal base with two tool drawers. I chose the later because I think X-ST will last longer and I like the design of drawers, very useful. Ití would be better if X-ST have a red color option which will fit my cabinet better :)
http://i46.tinypic.com/9a4z7m.jpg

Accessories and free String
I like the tools Gamma provided except the pathfinder awl, itís useful but I think itís a little bit fragile and easy to break. Is there any better pathfinder? Other tools have very good quality though. There are five giveaway strings and a book of USRSA, I have never used Gamma Strings before, good?
http://i45.tinypic.com/dbs7d1.jpg

Service
There was a slight problem that when I opened the package I noticed there was a small breakage on one side of plastic Base End Cap. I guess itís damaged during shipment. It doesnít affect using the machine at all, but still I contacted with ATS Sports customer service. They replied me quickly and Bret also helped me to figure out which part I need and sent out the replacement immediately. Thatís an experience of good customer service. I think customer service is equally important to the quality of a product.

Any cons? Well, I would prefer Gamma change all those plastic components to metal parts, including table lock and drawers etc., for sure these will increase the total weight and costs, but it will make the machine invincible. But in all, the quality and service of Gamma X-ST is great. Highly recommend!

samyang 02-10-2010 08:41 AM

looks like one post only allow 4 pics




samyang 02-10-2010 08:43 AM

Clamp Bases

Clamps

Turntable


samyang 02-10-2010 08:44 AM

Tension Head



samyang 02-10-2010 08:45 AM

Base



free String

VGP 02-10-2010 09:51 AM

samyang - thanks for sharing your experiences and your detailed account and great pictures.

Glad to hear from yet another satisfied Gamma customer (of which I am one).

I like that you feel as if you've bought an appropriate machine for your needs. I hope you get many years of service out of your X-ST.

I wish you happy stringing and be sure to come often to TTW if you need any amount of tips, tricks, and advice on stringing.......

samyang 02-10-2010 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by VGP (Post 4387865)
samyang - thanks for sharing your experiences and your detailed account and great pictures.

Glad to hear from yet another satisfied Gamma customer (of which I am one).

I like that you feel as if you've bought an appropriate machine for your needs. I hope you get many years of service out of your X-ST.

I wish you happy stringing and be sure to come often to TTW if you need any amount of tips, tricks, and advice on stringing.......

Thank you VGP,

I am a new user to TTW forum, I will need more tips and advices, that's for sure. I've gotten a lot valuable information from it in the past few month, thank you all.

mikeler 02-10-2010 11:43 AM

I have had my X-ST for almost 2 years now and have been pretty happy with it.

pingu 02-10-2010 03:18 PM

Thanks for sharing the nice pics of your new machine. I'm sure you'll love it. BTW, good old Klippermate does look good in that red tool cart :)

samyang 02-16-2010 06:19 PM

I bought a digital hand hold scale on ****, and I used it to calibrate the machine. I setup the tension head to 60lbs and the number on scale is 59..58..57..., is that normal?

Gamma Tech 02-17-2010 05:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samyang (Post 4406119)
I bought a digital hand hold scale on ****, and I used it to calibrate the machine. I setup the tension head to 60lbs and the number on scale is 59..58..57..., is that normal?

Yes. that is the way a crank (or spring tensioner or lockout or whatever you want to call it) machine works. you calibrate for the maximum tension that is reached on the calibrator. the string begins to relax immediately and the machine doesn't pull more tension.

FYI- an electronic or dropweight will continue to pull the relaxation out of the string and try to maintain the set tension. how well it maintains the set tension depends on the user for dropweight and the quality of the electronic machine.

FYI (x2)- if you are changing from a CP machine to a ST machine it is recommended to raise the tension 5-10% on a ST machine to match the string bed stiffness of a CP machine. you will have the same string bed stiffness w/ both machines just different ways of getting it.

bret

mikeler 02-17-2010 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samyang (Post 4406119)
I bought a digital hand hold scale on ****, and I used it to calibrate the machine. I setup the tension head to 60lbs and the number on scale is 59..58..57..., is that normal?


Like Gamma Tech said, this is normal. So you really need to read the tension right away to gauge whether your machine needs calibration.

samyang 02-17-2010 07:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gamma Tech (Post 4406993)
Yes. that is the way a crank (or spring tensioner or lockout or whatever you want to call it) machine works. you calibrate for the maximum tension that is reached on the calibrator. the string begins to relax immediately and the machine doesn't pull more tension.

FYI- an electronic or dropweight will continue to pull the relaxation out of the string and try to maintain the set tension. how well it maintains the set tension depends on the user for dropweight and the quality of the electronic machine.

FYI (x2)- if you are changing from a CP machine to a ST machine it is recommended to raise the tension 5-10% on a ST machine to match the string bed stiffness of a CP machine. you will have the same string bed stiffness w/ both machines just different ways of getting it.

bret

Thank You Bret for the detailed explanation. The machine works great! so far I did 5 racquets including one squash, perfect!

samyang 02-17-2010 07:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mikeler (Post 4407193)
Like Gamma Tech said, this is normal. So you really need to read the tension right away to gauge whether your machine needs calibration.

Thanks.
Maybe later I can also add a wise head to it, but not now, or my wife will kill me for sure

Lakers4Life 02-17-2010 07:17 AM

Nice pictures! You must be a professional Photographer. ;) Also nice review.

SecondServe 02-17-2010 09:45 AM

Great photography Sam! Does the Gamma X-ST have full 360 degree rotation during stringing even with the diablo? From your pictures it looks like it would clear with the racquet mounted.

Gamma Tech 02-17-2010 10:52 AM

yep. unless of course your grip was for King Kong.
bret

mikeler 02-17-2010 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gamma Tech (Post 4407969)
yep. unless of course your grip was for King Kong.
bret


Or if your machine is right next to a wall!

samyang 02-17-2010 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lakers4Life (Post 4407313)
Nice pictures! You must be a professional Photographer. ;) Also nice review.

Thanks. Might be the equipment makes the difference. These photos were taken by 105/2.8vr micro, 17-55/2.8 lenses plus a SB800 flash.

samyang 02-17-2010 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SecondServe (Post 4407809)
Great photography Sam! Does the Gamma X-ST have full 360 degree rotation during stringing even with the diablo? From your pictures it looks like it would clear with the racquet mounted.

it dose, however, i wonder if it still has a 360 turn with a wise head and a adapter?


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