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-   -   Talk me out of replacing my klippermate (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=454004)

maxpower 02-07-2013 11:00 AM

Talk me out of replacing my klippermate
 
I love it. I only string for myself and a couple of friends. I average 2-3 racquets a month.

But I can't help wondering what its like to have fixed clamps and even an electric tensioned.

I've been looking at a gamma x-6 fc. Mainly for the fixed clamps....but also because if I'm not mistaken, you can add a wise tension head.

That's about $1100..
On an aside any other stringer with comparable features for same or lower price?

I realize I don't need it but can't help wondering..

Why shouldn't I ?

And
why should i?

samarai 02-07-2013 11:43 AM

It just looks cooler? LOL. I was in the same situation that u are in. Been using a klippermate for about 1 year, nothing wrong with machine and I can string in about 45 minutes. About to get a gamma x-6 fc delivered in couple of days. Sad part is I only string for myself so its like only 2 rackets per month. Do for it if u can. Now u got me thinking about the wise tensioner.

LttlElvis 02-07-2013 11:59 AM

If you enjoy stringing and can afford the machine, go for it. The Klippermate probably already paid for itself.

MAX PLY 02-07-2013 12:18 PM

For $1100, consider getting a new upright (Gamma, Alpha or Prince) and adding the Wise in the future if you feel you need/want it. The benefit in upgrading will be reducing some of the Klippermate hassle and should make your stringing more efficent and enjoyable--an upright makes it more so. But make no mistake, you can do a fine job with a Klippermate and for your re-stringing frequency, it is a reasonable choice. You might also save some money by taking your time and looking for a good value in a used machine. Good luck.

jim e 02-07-2013 12:27 PM

If you can afford it get the most machine you can get. Now that you know what stringing is all about, and most likely know some of the nice features that some machines have, it does make the job much more enjoyable, especially if you know that you will be stringing years from now.

Lakers4Life 02-07-2013 12:56 PM

Look for a used machine and you'll be under $1000 easily.

diredesire 02-07-2013 02:16 PM

If you're looking for someone to justify the cost, you're probably not going to have an "AHA!" moment. For the volume you string, it'd be a long term "investment" to offset the inital cost. It's simple arithmetic.

HOWEVER, as many experienced people will tell you:
A) Your enjoyment/pleasure factor/removal of aggravation is worth something! It's hard to translate to a dollar amount, but you probably won't regret the upgrade.
B) "Time is money." If you're an old guy with a salary, you can roughly ballpark how much your "per hour" time costs. If you shave off 20 minutes off of an hour, you can justify (if you are a data nerd) how much you're saving in a dollar amount. If you're extremely time limited, this has real value.
C) Fixed clamps will provide a more accurate, but not necessarily precise stringbed, IMHO. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accuracy_and_precision
D) Buying a fixed height machine is really nice on the back. I prefer this even over a rolling cart machine.
E) If you ever take on customers, they will be a lot more comfortable handing their racquet to someone who is stringing on more of an 'investment' than a dropweight. Even though it's not fair, and the machine doesn't make the stringer, the perception is that you are taking your craft more seriously. (bring out the pitchforks!!!)

These are a few reasons.

If you are upgrading to the $1100 range, I'd look at the Alpha uprights as well as the Gamma 6004 style machines. I'd just go big if you're willing to make that investment.

Bang for the buck would be a used machine that is high quality, like a used NEOS, or anything in the range as above. Swivel clamps are probably a better future proofing investment, but not really necessary if you don't string fan patterns.

maxpower 02-07-2013 03:17 PM

Lots of good info and ideas. I guess I should add that I've had my klippermate for well over a year. I found it on Craigslist for $60. It was practically new. It even came with all but one of the included string sets.
I have it on ..what I think is a custodian cart..actually it may be the carts used by hotel house cleaning...so its not uncomfortable to string on.

Although I didn't ask my buddies payment.. they wouldn't accept not throwing some bucks my way. I throw it into a tennis can and have about $220..so there is that.

I keep an eye on Craigslist for used machines but rarely see them..although currently there is a prince neos 1000 for $700 locally and one up in Austin for $525. By the by..how are the neos clamps used for crosses?

Lakers4Life 02-07-2013 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maxpower (Post 7198641)
I keep an eye on Craigslist for used machines but rarely see them..although currently there is a prince neos 1000 for $700 locally and one up in Austin for $525. By the by..how are the neos clamps used for crosses?

You swap the two for one glide bar for the corsses.

max 02-07-2013 04:00 PM

good answer by diredesire. I'm in the same shoes as the OP.

However, I'm here still thinking the Kmate does a wonderful job. For the few times I'm stringing, whatever bells and whistles I need come from the radio and my cup of coffee.

beernutz 02-07-2013 04:38 PM

I was in the exact situation as the OP except I'd had my Klippermate for over 5 years before I caught the upgrade bug (which is referred to as twofootitis by boat owners btw). I started tracking Craigslist and after about six months of looking I finally found what I was looking for--a nearly new Neos 1000 with all tools-- for an acceptable price.

My Klippermate had long since paid for itself and then some so it was pretty easy to justify the expense of the Neos. It too has paid for itself and then some in the two plus years I have used it. Not only has it saved me hundreds of dollars in stringing expense it is also a pleasure to string on.

I could actually have made quite a bit of money stringing for members of my club as I frequently get asked if I string for others. However, since our two club pros derive a good income from their stringing (they also string on a Neos 1k fwiw) I don't want to take away any of their business so I refuse to string for club members. I just string for myself, my wife, and one friend who pays me in beer.

jgrushing 02-07-2013 04:46 PM

In the 21 years I've had my Klippermate, I've caught the upgrade fever a few times. I've delayed acting on it each time and I'm glad that I still string racquets on my KM. For people telling you that you can save 20 minutes, it's just not true. You can get fast on the KM and do a great job. I'm 22 to 25 minutes with a familiar racquet.

Unless you consider stringing racquets as as much of a hobby as playing tennis, I don't know why you should upgrade. Nothing at all wrong with upgrading, it's just not necessary.

anubis 02-08-2013 04:33 AM

I've went back and forth in trying to decide if I wanted to replace my entry level stringer too. But when it comes down to it, my little unit produces excellent results in 45 minutes or less. In the winter, since I don't play as often, I only string 1 racquet every three weeks or so. In the summer I'll be stringing 1 racquet per week.

I can't really justify the cost of upgrading, as I just don't have that kind of volume.

dman72 02-08-2013 07:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jgrushing (Post 7198790)
In the 21 years I've had my Klippermate, I've caught the upgrade fever a few times. I've delayed acting on it each time and I'm glad that I still string racquets on my KM. For people telling you that you can save 20 minutes, it's just not true. You can get fast on the KM and do a great job. I'm 22 to 25 minutes with a familiar racquet.

Unless you consider stringing racquets as as much of a hobby as playing tennis, I don't know why you should upgrade. Nothing at all wrong with upgrading, it's just not necessary.

I can't imagine how anyone can string that fast on KM.

The one thing that I really underestimated was how uncomfortable stringing on a coffee table is for the back...doing the crosses hunched over is a nightmare. I have to get some sort of high workbench table to put the thing on, as I only string while catching up on my DVR programs. Any cheap idea on this? You have to be careful with this thing, because heaven help you if it falls on your foot.

Aside from the back pain, my KM has already paid for itself. At first I thought it might be a mistake because the first racquet was such a pain in the butt. But, once you get started, and especially if you are doing your own frames that you are familiar with, it gets easier. .

diredesire 02-08-2013 07:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dman72 (Post 7199624)
I can't imagine how anyone can string that fast on KM.

The one thing that I really underestimated was how uncomfortable stringing on a coffee table is for the back...doing the crosses hunched over is a nightmare. I have to get some sort of high workbench table to put the thing on, as I only string while catching up on my DVR programs. Any cheap idea on this? You have to be careful with this thing, because heaven help you if it falls on your foot.

Aside from the back pain, my KM has already paid for itself. At first I thought it might be a mistake because the first racquet was such a pain in the butt. But, once you get started, and especially if you are doing your own frames that you are familiar with, it gets easier. .

It's definitely possible. I didn't say that it's not possible to string quickly on a KM. The poster also stated "on frames he's familiar with." This could mean just about anything, and I don't put too much weight on the post (I should note that I'm not being dismissive, it's just that there's always the outliers that claim XYZ without properly qualifying it). Is that 22-25 minutes on just string time? All prep included? Etc? In the end, it ONLY matters if that 22-25 minutes is fast ENOUGH for YOU. If a higher end machine would suit your needs and saves you a single minute per string job, is it worth it? You have to valuate your time before you can come up with an answer. Like I said in my first post, for many people, upgrading to a higher end machine will be a long term investment, and you won't always "pay it off" (monetarily) in a reasonable amount of time. Most people looking at an upgrade specifically for "savings" are probably not going to be able to justify it.

With that said, though: How many people on a Klippermate are stringing high volume? Have you ever had to string a stack of frames 12 deep in one sitting, all with different string types? If the answer is no, and you don't expect to... you're probably fine :) You can't get away from having to re-pump a weight (unless you're on an entry level machine with a ratchet, and even then...). This will take you a second or two here or there, but when you start looking at cumulative losses, it adds up -- this is obviously compound losses. You can obviously get a lot of experience over X years and minimize re-pumps on the weight just by getting an intuitive 'feel' for the machine, but I'm frugal with my time, as I valuate it highly.

With THAT said -- When it comes to speed, if you're not stringing pretty frequently and/or are not very critical when it comes to your own work flow, you may never top out at the faster speeds. I don't think speed should even be considered as one of the main criterion for buying a stringing machine in the first place. IMHO speed should come about due to necessity, not as a goal of stringing in the first place. I (used to) string a lot of frames in single sittings, so I focused on my work flow and reduced wasted time. When you string 12 frames in a sitting nearly every day, even if your time ISN'T worth very much (monetarily), you start to realize that if you're stringing at 30 minutes, that's six hours a day lost (at a minimum!). Get down to 20 minutes a frame -- that's still four hours! Get down to 15 minutes a frame, then it's three hours. If you're doing a racquet or three a week -- honestly, who cares? If you're losing 3-6 hours a day -- you have to start asking honest questions about what your time is worth. For most people, though, this isn't a major consideration. I'm just speaking from the perspective of someone who has done both.


Edit 2: dman72: You're looking for a "utility cart." You can look online to see if it's something you are looking for, there are threads out there on this board, you can search for rolling cart, etc. Often times you can get them at Walmart, Sears, other hardware stores. Make sure to look for one that is either already the appropriate height for you, or one that you can adjust the height on. I'd also look for some U shaped bolts or some other solution to fix down your machine if you don't mind keeping it on the cart semi-permanently (for a safety issue). I'd also recommend at least thinking about getting one with additional shelving and/or drawers for tools/string/misc items. It CAN be a nice stringing "system" if you want to make it one. Expect to spend significantly more than the bargain basement "base" models, though. Google around to see what's out there.

mr_fro2000 02-08-2013 11:24 AM

if you find great joy out of stringing and would get greater joy out of having fixed clamps and electric tension heads (ie great joy out of more efficiency), and don't mind paying that much, then go for it.

Personally I think that's a TON of money to spend considering you are only stringing for yourself and a few friends. I just think about all that i could do with 1100.

But then again, stringing is not really one of my main "hobbies". I get some enjoyment out of it, but wouldn't get more just b/c im going 'faster'. However if it is one of your main hobbies, then maybe its worth it to you.

diredesire 02-08-2013 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mr_fro2000 (Post 7200225)
if you find great joy out of stringing and would get greater joy out of having fixed clamps and electric tension heads (ie great joy out of more efficiency), and don't mind paying that much, then go for it.

Personally I think that's a TON of money to spend considering you are only stringing for yourself and a few friends. I just think about all that i could do with 1100.

But then again, stringing is not really one of my main "hobbies". I get some enjoyment out of it, but wouldn't get more just b/c im going 'faster'. However if it is one of your main hobbies, then maybe its worth it to you.

Spoken like someone who has at least SOME interest in SOMETHING :)

This is exactly why I don't scoff at others who have passions that I don't. Someone wants to spend $500+ a month eating at ritzy restaurants? Fine. Someone wants to spend four figures a year on sneakers that they're not even going to wear? More power to them. It's not something I'd do, but people find the most petty reasons to judge others. I'd rather focus my disposable income on the things that actually interest me and/or give me greater joy in life than hemorrhaging it away on things that don't matter (to me). This is "little stuff" like a latte a day, etc. It adds up if you don't pay attention.


This is all with the caveat/concession that it's A-OK to do this stuff as long as you've got all your other personal matters in order. If you don't, well, that's not really my business either.

jgrushing 02-08-2013 05:21 PM

Sorry diredesire. I didn't really realize I had to "properly qualify" my statements. I'm just putting in my two cents worth. Frames I'm familiar with are mine and my son's primarily. I string those a lot as we each have three. 22 - 25 minutes is pretty much stringing time. However, I can string most normal frames from setup to put away in 30 - 35 minutes. That's good enough for my volume.

diredesire 02-08-2013 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jgrushing (Post 7201151)
Sorry diredesire. I didn't really realize I had to "properly qualify" my statements. I'm just putting in my two cents worth. Frames I'm familiar with are mine and my son's primarily. I string those a lot as we each have three. 22 - 25 minutes is pretty much stringing time. However, I can string most normal frames from setup to put away in 30 - 35 minutes. That's good enough for my volume.

Again, I'm not trying to make any personal statements, here. I've just seen too many people trying to measure their "worth" with ridiculous claims to put much weight on time claims. I did say I wasn't trying to come across as dismissive. While anectodal claims are valuable, you HAVE to take them with a grain of salt. Your two cents are valued here, honestly. You'll notice in this sub-forum, we don't usually have posters insulting each other or making grand troll claims. I'm just chiming in with my two cents from the other side of the fence.

At this point, I'm beating a dead horse anyways, but from the beginning I said it's likely this is an investment that will take a LONG time to recoup, AND the value is largely dependent on the individual.

samarai 02-09-2013 07:16 AM

What is a thousand? I spend that much on an offshore fishing trip. And we do a couple a year. Seriously though if u have to question it than its probably not the time to invest in a newer machine.


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