$500 Budget - New Alpha vs Used Neos?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by kdm711, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. kdm711

    kdm711 New User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    I am looking to purchase my first stringer. Initially I will just be stringing for myself, but as long as I enjoy it and have the time I intend to string for others as time goes on. But there is no guarantee that I will have the desire or time to do so, so the initial budget I've set is $500. It will be a long term investment as I am still in my younger years, and the hope is that my son will take an interest in tennis one of these days as well. My plan was if I do start stringing for others, I will set aside any money I make doing so to put towards upgrading to a Wise eventually.

    So with my $500 budget, I'm trying to decide on buying a new Alpha DC plus or, I also came across a used Neos 1000 for sale for the same price. However, it is atleast 10-12 years and shows some significant wear, but is supposed to be fully functional. I know if I was trying to decide between both new it would be an obvious choice. And yes I am aware it's an apples to oranges comparison (crank vs dropweight, 2pt mount vs 6pt, stand vs tabletop, etc). But given the same price, which would be the better investment?

    Having never owned a stringer, I'm just not aware of all the risks/concerns associated with purchasing an older used machine which is my hesitation in purchasing the Neos. Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    #1
  2. Cobra Tennis

    Cobra Tennis Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Messages:
    1,029
    I would think you'll be ok either way, but I would lean NEOS simply for the drop weight vs crank.

    I personally would string a racquet on the NEOS and see how you like the glide bars. NEOS machines are rock solid (the one at the shop I used to work at is going on 25 years old and not stopping). There are a ton of NEOS machines out there (check tennis machines dot com).
     
    #2
  3. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,033
    It all depends on the condition of the NEOS.

    IF the NEOS is in decent shape I think it's the primary choice but if it has problems it could be a headache.

    If you could get pictures of the NEOS I bet people here can give you a better opinion.
     
    #3
  4. kdm711

    kdm711 New User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    #4
  5. Moppet52

    Moppet52 Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Messages:
    195
    So I will play devil's advocate and say go with the new Alpha versus a used Neos. I believe the advantage of being able to contact and work with Alpha if you have questions or issues is worth quite a bit, versus the lack of any official support you would have with a used Neos. In addition, I am a much bigger fan of the 6 point mounting system vs 2 point system.

    I will take a step back and also ask what the $500 budget is rooted in? Since there is limited opportunity cost to waiting (IMHO), why not wait until your budget increases to $700-$100 at which point you can either go whole hog with a manual machine with Wise or go with a higher end machine?

    My $.02
     
    #5
  6. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,971
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    There’s a reason both Tennis Warehouse and the other big retailer in the mid-west aka Cincinnati used the Prince NEOS 1000 to string their racquets. They’re simple, easy, fast, efficient, and will last a lifetime. I’ve switched back to glide bars just for ease and speed after using an Alpha Pro crank. I do have a Wise on my Neos.

    Btw, that Neos looks just fine as long as it has the hold down pieces for the racquet mounts. Try offering $400 and you’ve made a very good deal. $500 isn’t bad though.
     
    #6
  7. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    ^^^agree with the post above. Based on the pics posted, that Neos is just in need of a thorough cleaning (and if you want to restore (including repainting), just a little more sweat equity (do a search on how to clean and restore this type of machine—they’re many detailed ones, including several of mine). The Neos is a tank and the one posted will perform every bit as well as a new one. So, you’d be getting that performance for a fraction of the retail cost of a new one. Try going a bit below $500 if you can (the high cost of shipping a tank pretty much reduces the other potential buyers to locals). Good luck.
     
    #7
  8. kdm711

    kdm711 New User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Awesome, thanks for all the feedback everyone, I appreciate it! Yes, I also noticed the top mounts were missing for the posts to hold the frame down. So he is supposed to be trying to find them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    #8
  9. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,908
    Location:
    SF CA
    You can also obtain those pieces from Tennis Machines if he can't find them. I would opt for the Neos. It is in pretty good shape and only needs some cleaning. Check to see that you get all the needed parts from the seller. If there is anything missing, get them TM.
     
    #9
  10. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    The throat and tip clamps are 40 bucks each. You need those so if seller cannot find them, that’s pretty much $100 off the asking price. And I agree that TM is the place to shop for parts.
     
    #10
  11. AndI

    AndI Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you would not be wasting your money? I might not know enough about how a used Neos should look like, but looking at the pictures, how much it is worn and abused, I wouldn't pay even 10% of the asking price, for what I see. It looks like it was used for 10 years in a sweat shop.

    Also, since most racquet stores already moved to machines with electronic tensioners, you will very soon be tempted to upgrade, which would bring up a question if starting with Neos was a good idea, in first place.

    Tennis warehouse and one of its competitors still uses it because they started using it years and years ago, and its simplicity and reliability allows them to reduce their costs in production environment, offering free stringing to those who buy racquets from them. On the other hand, I think they already feel the heat from the customers asking why they still use such dinosaurs.

    No doubt, crank machines are more user friendly than drop weight... Sorry, I do not know if your "budget" is an imaginary target which can be easily changed upwards, or if it is a real hard limitation...
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    #11
  12. jim e

    jim e Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    5,167
    I don't see the handle for the crank as well. How about any adapters as well?
     
    #12
  13. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    OP, if you send me your e-mail address, I can send you a copy of the Neos Owner's Manual which you can use as a checklist to see what's there and what's missing. When you figure out what's not there, check the price for replacement parts at TM and reduce your offer accordingly.
     
    #13
  14. kdm711

    kdm711 New User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Update...he did find the mounts and other parts. From what I can tell, most everything is there that is needed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    #14
  15. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    Based on memory, it all looks to be there (I gather no calibrator? Not original but a nice to have). Clearly he did not have a cover (you should get one although I don't think true Prince Neos covers are available anymore (I would think a Gamma would suffice). Add elbow grease, a calibrator and a starting clamp and you will be good to go. Based on the pics, I think a nice find--nicer by every dollar less than $500.
     
    #15
  16. kdm711

    kdm711 New User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Thanks, these are all good suggestions and things I will plan on picking up if I buy it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    #16
  17. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,908
    Location:
    SF CA
    If you have or plan to do any fan shaped string patterns, you should also consider getting a flying clamp.
     
    #17
  18. CosmosMpower

    CosmosMpower Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,348
    Get the Neos, mine is in similar condition and works fine they are a tank. Just clean the tension head and clamps with a shoelace dipped in some rubbing alcohol and I put a very light coating of oil on the tracks for the glide bars. Mine was spot on tension and did not need to be calibrated at all.
     
    #18
  19. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,033
    Seeing he has all the parts I'd say take the NEOS!
     
    Rabbit likes this.
    #19
  20. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    I think two are already included based on the pic. I wonder if they have ever been used??
     
    dak95_00 likes this.
    #20
  21. ace18

    ace18 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Messages:
    806
    There is a FB add in Atlanta for what appears to be the DC plus for 300.00 as fyi... It looks like really good condition, I think one of my buddies sold it to the guy selling it.
     
    #21
  22. RobS

    RobS Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2014
    Messages:
    168
    I would buy that NEOS for $500 without a second thought. Outside of some paint loss which is inevitable with the NEOS, the condition appears to be very good. Get yourself a tension calibrator ($30) and give machine a good cleaning and it will serve you well for a very long time. I have a NEOS that looks much rougher than the one you're looking at it but it performs like it just came out of the box. These machines are very well designed and built like tanks.
     
    #22
  23. kdm711

    kdm711 New User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    I had decided on the Neos but then I came across an Alpha Revo 4000 that looks to be in excellent condition for around the same price.So now it boils down to buying the Revo 4000 and likely be able to start stringing right away, or take the chance on the Neos and spend some time cleaning and restoring it...
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
    #23
  24. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,971
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Neos. I’ve owned both. Revo is nice but Neos is faster and easier. Swivel clamps aren’t that fantastic. Parts will not wear out or get lost on Neos.

    You better not drag your feet too long regardless of your decision. You’ll find advertising for those sellers on here the way you’ve been might bite you in the rear and you’ll be buying that new DC because it’s all that’s left.
     
    #24
  25. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,455
    Neos
     
    #25
  26. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,033

    Lol, the part about dragging your feet is spot on.

    When I got my stringer I posted here with a couple of options, luckily I pulled the trigger quickly because another poster was just about to buy the one I got.
     
    #26
  27. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,879
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    get the neos.
     
    #27
  28. Thorswhisper

    Thorswhisper New User

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2018
    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Ok, What did you decide?
     
    #28
  29. kdm711

    kdm711 New User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    I went with the Neos. I actually went and looked at them both and after seeing them both in person, it was an easy decision. I just felt like there was a big step up in build quality between them, and I didn't really care for the clamps on the Revo.

    I learned a lesson in that you can't always rely on pictures. The Neos ended up being in pretty good condition. He had cleaned it up before I got there and it didn't even look like the same machine that was in the pictures. Thanks to everyone for the feedback and suggestions in helping me make my decision!
     
    RobS, dak95_00 and gmatheis like this.
    #29
  30. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    ^^^congrats. Nothing quite like a personal inspection. Enjoy your machine.
     
    #30
  31. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,455
    ^^^^^^^^^what he said!
     
    #31
  32. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    2,033
    I think you're going to be really happy with that NEOS!

    Congrats!
     
    #32
  33. CosmosMpower

    CosmosMpower Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1,348
    Congrats, I snagged my Neos used from CL too. A little clean up and TLC and it's good to go for another 20 years.
     
    #33
  34. kdm711

    kdm711 New User

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    18
    Yep, I spent a couple hours after work this evening giving it a thorough cleaning. It is looking great and everything is operating super smooth on it. I ended up getting it for $425 and also got 7 sets of strings with it. I'm definitely happy with it and how everything worked out! Here's a few pics after getting it all cleaned up...[​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Rabbit and gmatheis like this.
    #34
  35. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,350
    Looks great. Tremendous find at that price. Enjoy your new stringing adventures.
     
    #35
  36. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,455
    @kdm711 let me add my kudos. Further, the fact that your clamps will stand up like that when closed without being in use is a sign they are in great shape too. You may have the deal of the year there!
     
    #36
  37. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,971
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    Even if they’re fully tightened?

    How do the clamps go bad? I’ve had some very old ones and I’ve never seen clamps that were not abused go bad. I’m curious.
     
    #37
  38. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    14,455
    I had to replace the clamps on my Neos 1000 after about ten years. They are made of aluminum and the glide bar is made of stainless steel. This is so the aluminum yields to the stainless steel and grips. After enough frames, they will slip a bit.
     
    #38

Share This Page