Originally Posted by lawdog
I'd be interested in hearing more specifically about how the inner workings of the spring-assisted clamp bases are "cheap" or "not a quality product". I own a 910 and one of the first things I did when I got it was to disassemble the clamp bases. The base utilizes an extremely simple mechanism and consists essentially of four solid metal parts. I'll concede that the bases don't use polished stainless steel handles like some more expensive spring-assisted clamp bases, but that hardly equates to cheap construction.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'll throw in that I think crank-tensioned stringers are such simple and basic machines that it's silly to pay upwards of $600 for one. I've heard comparisons like "the Eagnas is a Kia and the Gamma is a Lexus", but these comparisons fail to recognize that cars are complex machines and crank stringers are not. Basically, a crank stringer consists of a spring that measures the tension and some clamps, the rest of the machine is simply metal structure that doesn't affect the machine's performance. Unlike a car, a crank stringer is exactly the sort of simple machine that the Chinese can accurately and inexpensively replicate with little loss in quality.
I kinda agree with you, but the quality between an Eagnas and a Gamma are night and day. The Taiwan made machines are much better quality than the China made machine. Prince and Gamma machines are still made in Taiwan. Eagnas were also made in Taiwan, up until a few years ago, then the company switched to China production. The difference in the Eagnas machines that were made in Taiwan and China are also night and day.
The main difference is the tollerances and the quality of parts. Like the Cone-Lock base clamps of the Flex 940. Before they had adjustable handles, now they are fixed. As for the tension head it had not changed, though the Gamma tension heads are much beefier than the Eagnas. I recently got a Plus 6500 as a backup machine, and was surprised the tensionhead was spot on when I tested it.