You've tried the racquet and it doesn't feel the same as when its been strung by another stringer.
First, don't go blaming yourself or the machine. It does take some practice to get the process down, but that may not be the whole picture.
Perhaps your racquet was strung on a lockout machine where the tension may be lower when strung than it would be on a constant pull machine (See the details of these machines in the FAQs section above.) at the same reference tension (Again, see FAQs.).
Does the string bed feel looser or tighter? Next time, adjust the reference tension on the bar to compensate. Don't dwell on the reference tension number in and of itself.
Also, check your clamps to be sure they are tight enough to hold tension. Try to get the bar close to horizontal. The bar being off a bit (as noted above in several places) should not affect the tension much.
Be consistent on each pull. Don't rush. When ratcheting, go a click or two at a time if very close to horizontal.
It is impossible because of the various factors to tell you exactly why the tension may feel different in your particular case. Follow the basic directions in this thread, and you should be able to avoid adding or removing any tension due to simple machine use errors. For example, when tensioning a string, the bar must extend horizontally on its own. You should never lift it up or push it down to make the bar horizontal (at least fairly close as noted above) before clamping.
Eventually, you should be more familiar with the characteristics of a particular string. You should have a clamp setting that works in that situation. You should learn how much lifting/ratcheting must be done.
Of course, if you're using a new string, one that you've never tried before, that could be the reason on its own!
Other Notes Regarding Modifications to Your Racquet
I've covered restringing the racquet, the ability to change/repair grommets, and the ability to customize the weight and balance.
Some minor changes include changing the grip size and adding string savers. Check out Yulitle's Youtube channel regarding both. The link information is noted above.
String savers are available from your tennis seller. These are inserted at intersections of mains and crosses to reduce friction to prolong string life.
To change a grip size using what is called a "heat shrink sleeve" requires the use of a decent hair dryer or a heat gun (can be purchased at a "hardware" store).
On some racquets, you may be able to change the entire grip pallet to change the grip size. These are harder to find for the consumer. They are also not inexpensive. You may be able to scavenge one from another similar, unusable racquet or make a switch. The process to make the change is also more involved.
If needed, one can also replace the butt cap. They are available for your racquet based on the grip size.
LOGGING Your Stringing History
Keep track of your stringing history, even if you are only stringing for yourself. Use a spreadsheet, columnar pad, write it out, but keep something. You'll know what tensions you've used, what string, how much string, dates, string type, and any other notes you want to throw in.
Strung For (Customer/Owner), Racquet Model, String Type (Mains and Crosses), String Length (Mains and Crosses), Tension (Mains and Crosses), Date, Time, Duration of Job, and other various notes you want to use to monitor your process/progress or string type/racquet type issues.
Understanding String Types
The following is not about choosing a string to play.
It is about basic stringing factors for each. Some of this information has been noted earlier in the thread.
There is an entire section of TT devoted to this subject, but in general you should know the five basic string types: natural gut, poly, synthetic gut, multifilament, and aramid (Kevlar).
Note that strings vary in composition and may have various additives and coatings that change their properties, even if they are in the same general category. However, when stringing them, they often react similarly.
Important notes about each string when stringing:
Natural gut is just that, natural. This leads to its high price because of its natural source and the manufacturing process. While it has excellent playing characteristics, it can be delicate. Avoid kinking it, as this may damage it easily. Be gentle when pulling crosses. A method for doing this is noted above. When tying knots, do not apply a lot of force. When storing it, keep it out of extreme temperatures and away from moisture.
Poly is stiffer than other strings. It tends to stretch less. See the notes above regarding getting the bar to horizontal when using poly. It may be more difficult to weave because of its stiffness. Also, when tying knots, they may not want to close tightly. Try to get the first part of the knot fairly snug, and with poly, you can use a bit more pull to get the knot tight. If it because particularly hard to push weave, try pull weaving or see Irvin's videos (noted above) regarding the use of using a bead when weaving.
Synthetic gut is generally lower-cost. It is easy to string, but depending on the precise construction it will stretch some or A LOT. With some types, don't be surprised if you have to hold the ratcheting gripper and lift the bar a few times. Just be sure, like with other strings, you cut the tips to a point. It will make it easier to get through grommets, especially blocked ones, as it tends to bend and blunt easily.
Multifilaments are made of many fibers. This is why they tend to fray. As noted earlier in the thread, "ghosting" from the clamp teeth may show on this string. This is not abnormal, but be sure, like any string, that the clamps are not too tight. Like other "nylon-type" synthetics, they stretch, so expect to be ratcheting some.
Aramid (Kevlar) is the one string type I've never strung. I guess you'll just have to search!
I wouldn't want to present information I have no personal knowledge of.
It is a durability string, but I don't know how it reacts on one of these Gamma dropweight machines.
With any string, just don't kink it, "burn" it, fray it, or put undue tension on it. Just be mindful where it is. In other words, don't get lazy and be pulling it fast while a loop catches on the machine, or you end up stepping on it, or a loop is forming a kink as you are pulling a cross through a grommet that you can't see, as examples. String control is a big part of making the process go smoothly. If you want a quality string bed, be mindful of this.
You haven't bought the machine yet, and you're wondering what you would get out of it.
1) You have control over your racquet and strings.
2) You save money in the long run as you don't have to pay someone else. The machine soon pays for itself. You do the math.
3) You don't have to make a special trip to pick up/drop off the racquet.
4) You can get a quick turn around--you can string it as long as you have that hour or so (a bit more/less).
5) You can go crazy experimenting with strings and tensions.
6) You enjoy hands-on processes or torturing yourself, all depending on your mindset and level of interest .
7) You add another level of understanding to your tennis knowledge.
8 ) You can string for others around you, if needed. (You're just starting, and you're NOT a business.)
9) You like to show off cool new toys to your friends.
10) You get satisfaction from completing the job yourself.
11) You have no one else to blame for your bad shots--unless you prefer that.
12) You are addicted to TT and want to blabber on in the Stringing section. Plus, you're tired of the "GOAT" arguments and you need somewhere else to spend your time.
REMEMBER: You're not getting everything in the text, diagrams, and photos. You are expected to watch the noted videos where my text was intentionally not specific. There is no sense in reproducing everything that can be seen in pre-produced materials, especially since videos make many topics easier to understand. You have to bring it all together. Clearly, to be honest, questions arise here regarding the most simple points and problems. Some of you out there are not putting in the required effort before attempting to string.
Also, this thread is intended for new users. Some thoughts are focused on making them comfortable with the process. Again, this is for them to get the racquet strung safely using basic techniques.
REMINDER: This thread can be SEARCHED using the "Search This Thread" feature at the top or with the browser's FIND/SEARCH function.