Alpha Axis Pro Or Tourna CS-300

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
Quality crank machines (the two you mentioned, Gamma and the Prince Neos--are all very good machines) are more than enough for what I expect would be your needs. I think either would be fine. You might want to check with tennis machines dot com--they sell both and JC may have an opinion. Also, check around for deals on used ones--those machines I mentioned all hold up very well so a used machine is very often a fantastic price for performance option. Good luck.
 
Both machines look solid and are well-reviewed, and you can always add a Wise later if you plan on stringing a lot of rackets. I would recommend adding lockable wheels to the stand if possible.

This reviewer mentioned the total price with shipping is much lower on the 300cs. If so, go with the 300.
Based on the glowing recommendations from Arvin and some others, I also picked up a 300 cs. Ordered it from Clarke Distributing, who gave me the best price and had it on my doorstep in just a few days. I also liked the Alpha Apex and Gamma 5000 machines, but with the way everyone else (particularly Alpha) does shipping, they came to a few hundred more that I couldn't justify.

This was a replacement for an elderly Alpha Pioneer III, which is kind of like a poor man's Neos with a drop weight. I've done a few racquets now, so would like to add my first impressions as well.

I really like the self leveling feature as Arvin described. I was worried at first since it didn't have the positive hold down, but racquets are very very secure. The crank was within a pound of tension from my calibrator, and easy to adjust to put it right on. The clamps work really nicely, and I have no real desire to have the gravity assist feature--I'd rather be able to torque them down. The turntable is smooth, love the lock. Works so much faster than my old drop weight machine.

I do have some suggestions and criticisms for both Xpider and Tourna. First, I am going to assume that as with most East Asian production, the design comes from the buyer and they build to print. Apparently this is very similar to one of the Eagnas machines and the old Jazz model, so Tourna may have just inherited the design. I've done enough work with Asian production to say that any engineers that trust details to the producers are either fools or are very naive. There are several cases in point with the 300 cs where Tourna needs to go back to the producer and tell them how to do things correctly. Here we go:

1) Stapeltonj and Struggle had a discussion about the unit being wobbly. True enough about the feet, but part of this is just sloppy production. The square post for the main unit fits into the stand with a LOT of slop--nearly 5 mm clearance, so that it is nearly impossible to tighten it down completely. This is just sloppy production, but easy enough to fix with a roll of duct tape to increase the size of the tail so it fits in snugly.

2) Along with 1), they advertise that the height is adjustable. Yes, but you can only get about 5 cm high to low, which is hardly worth talking about. Adding another 20 cm or so to the tail would actually allow some reasonable height adjustment and stability to boot, and add essentially nothing to cost or weight.

3) The tool tray is nice, but again suffers from fit and finish issues. The tray opening to bolt on is about 4 mm larger than the post, so in order to clamp it down solidly you end up bending the bosses on the tray. You might say that the washers go in the inside next to the post, but this makes it impossible to assemble. Once it is torqued down it is nice and solid though.

4) The hook for a string reel below the tray is really not very useful and gets in the way. Replaced with a bolt so it doesn't snag on things.

5) They put a stop on the front side of the crank so that you can't get the crank too close to the unit. An easy mod (about 15 minutes with a drill press and tap) is to put another M6 x 1.0 hole about 9 cm closer. This lets you use the full range of the gear track, which is handy to get closer when you are doing crosses and small jobs like racquetball racquets. I keep a 6 mm thumbscrew handy to put into the original hole when I am doing large racquets.

Saying all that, I think the Tourna 300 cs was the best deal around for the capability, ease of use and solid construction. I have no regrets about buying it, find it much much easier and faster than its predecessor, and plan on getting years of good use out of it.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
I have an Axis Pro. Great machine. I’ve strung on a Tourna CS-300. Also a great machine. If the price difference is indeed substantial, I’d be tempted to go with the cheaper option. Then again, I don’t know anything about Tourna’s customer service. I do know Alpha’s customer service is top notch. If I was able to get comfortable that Tourna stands behind their products, I’d buy the Tourna.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I would but the Tourna machine based on the Clamps. Unique sports is the distributor for Tourna machines and Xpiper bases, rails, and clamps. Call them and see if you could upgrade the system to the 700-ES bases and clamps. If you can you could save a lot of money trading in the parts from the 300 machine. If you can’t then you’re back to square one with no loss. I’m sure either machine you would be happy with.
 

MLaCourse

New User
I've posted it many more times than that.
I’m actually deciding between the same two right now to be my first stringing machine. I’ve seen your posts in other threads giving similar advice, but I may have missed one where you elaborated a bit on this advice. Sorry if I did - still new to this message board. What exactly is it about the clamps on the Tourna that make it less desirable, or what is it about the clamps on the Alpha that make that machine better?
 

Pneumated1

Hall of Fame
I’m actually deciding between the same two right now to be my first stringing machine. I’ve seen your posts in other threads giving similar advice, but I may have missed one where you elaborated a bit on this advice. Sorry if I did - still new to this message board. What exactly is it about the clamps on the Tourna that make it less desirable, or what is it about the clamps on the Alpha that make that machine better?
I've been stringing on a Gamma Progression II 602FC drop weight for a decade, so I feel like I've earned the right to demand a more convenient and consistent tensioner. I string for a small group of guys (maybe 5-6) but am developing a reputation on my son's high school team as a 'guy who strings,' so I'm starting to receive a lot more frames. Have a friend who was going to get into stringing and bought the Axis Pro but only strung about 5 racquets and quit. His machine is practically new, and I can probably get it for $500-600. Seems like a no-brainer upgrade. Sure I'd like a high-level electronic (Alpha Ghost), but I think this is gonna happen with the Axis Pro unless there are reasons I shouldn't. Please speak now ... anyone
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
I've been stringing on a Gamma Progression II 602FC drop weight for a decade, so I feel like I've earned the right to demand a more convenient and consistent tensioner. I string for a small group of guys (maybe 5-6) but am developing a reputation on my son's high school team as a 'guy who strings,' so I'm starting to receive a lot more frames. Have a friend who was going to get into stringing and bought the Axis Pro but only strung about 5 racquets and quit. His machine is practically new, and I can probably get it for $500-600. Seems like a no-brainer upgrade. Sure I'd like a high-level electronic (Alpha Ghost), but I think this is gonna happen with the Axis Pro unless there are reasons I shouldn't. Please speak now ... anyone
Tremont TR-1 ----> Gamma Drop Weight ----> Prince Neos 1000 ----> Wise tension head ----> Prince Neos 1500 ----> New Wise tension head ======>>> Babolat Mighty Sensor

You are on the same path I took. There is absolutely nothing wrong with improving your situation. I say go for it!
 

Pneumated1

Hall of Fame
Tremont TR-1 ----> Gamma Drop Weight ----> Prince Neos 1000 ----> Wise tension head ----> Prince Neos 1500 ----> New Wise tension head ======>>> Babolat Mighty Sensor

You are on the same path I took. There is absolutely nothing wrong with improving your situation. I say go for it!
I feel like getting the Axis Pro for the cost of a Wise is the best move, considering the machine upgrade over my Gamma is significant. That's if I can get it for that price. If not, it might make more sense to jump to the $1000-1500 range, e.g., Prince Neos. But the gift-horse factor is hard to ignore, and the Alpha at this price plus the eventual Wise upgrade seems the best use of my money until stringing circumstances demand the move to your Babolat-type rig:love:
 
Top