Originally Posted by tbuggle
anyone ever WORN OUT a starting clamp?
i don't mean broken, but just worn out so it won't hold anymore whether it be surfaces or springs worn out.
I've never seen springs "wear out," some get softer over time, but I haven't seen any meaningful impact to holding power from springs alone.
The only surfaces that I've had trouble with are the Gamma. This isn't to say that the clamp itself is BAD, but the problem is that the Gamma has diamond dusted inserts, and the texture is EXTREMELY fine on these clamps. On the few strings that are slippery/oily/grimy, the Gamma clamp can get very gunked up, and starting clamps (IMHO) aren't trivial to clean (well). Rubbing alcohol and a towel yanked out of the jaws does a pretty good job, but I think punching out the retaining pin and separating the handles is the best route, and I have no idea which clamps this can be done on (I've never bothered to try).
I might be in the minority with my issues with the Gamma clamp, as it sounds like there are many posters that have had great success with it, and I should also qualify my statement by saying I only have trouble with it as a bridge. My coworkers that have also worked with the Gammas have also had slippage issues (again, generally on bridges, even at moderate tensions). I'll note that the stringers I used to work with don't bother with most maintenance, nor do they bother with cleaning even their machine clamps most of the time... So this environment probably wouldn't reflect a 'real world' home stringer usage model. I will say that if the price difference is <$5-10, I'd never choose the Gamma. Not that it's bad, it's just not worth the extra time/headache if I can't rely on it at high tensions on its own.