Alpha Pioneer DC Plus for a beginner

#1
Hey everyone,

I've been thinking of getting into stringing my own racquets (and possibly the racquets of few other friends once I become good/experienced enough), and based on Mansewerz's guide, I think the DC Plus would be a great machine to use for years to come.
The question I have is how difficult it would be to learn how to string with this machine.
I have never strung before, and my very basic knowledge is from watching a few videos online. I'm a bit leery is because I have not been able to find any videos on this particular machine, and being able to watch someone work with it.
I don't see it listed in TW's page for the DC Plus, but I think I read somewhere it comes with a tutorial video on how to string with it? If this is true it would help immensely. If it does, please let me know!

Mainly my question is whether the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus would be a suitable machine for someone just starting out in stringing as opposed to an entry level machine like the Klippermate or Gamma X-2. Thanks!
 
#2
A fixed clamp machine like the DC Plus will be easier to learn on and string on in general compared to a Klippermate and X-2 with floating clamps. If you're fairly handy and have worked with basic tools, learning to string on any machine isn't too difficult. All stringing machines come with manuals for operation and if you can't find videos on the DC Plus you can just look for videos of any stringing with drop weight fixed clamp machine. Most are very similar if not the same to use. Once you have the basic fundamentals, which aren't too complicated, it's just a matter of practice. Buy yourself a cheap reel of synthetic gut that you can practice with a cut out without putting a dent in your wallet.
 
#3
That's great news! I am fairly certain of the machine I wanted, but was just worried I would not be able to properly learn how to use the DC plus since I have nobody around to teach me. I think I read from a post a few years back that the Alpha machines come with YULitle's tutorial? If so, that would be immensely helpful. The few videos I've watched to learn how the basic process works are all his :)

It's great to know that all drop weight fixed clamp machines will be similar - I'll keep it in mind. Thanks RobS.

If anybody who owns the DC Plus can comment - I see that it comes with 'stringing tools,' but this doesn't include a starting clamp, correct? I read that starting clamps are basically a must, and want to make sure I won't be buying something that will come anyway with the DC Plus :)
 
#4
:) I see that it comes with 'stringing tools,' but this doesn't include a starting clamp, correct? I read that starting clamps are basically a must, and want to make sure I won't be buying something that will come anyway with the DC Plus :)
If you are purchasing a new machine, it will not include a starting clamp.
If you happen to be purchasing a used machine, it may or may not. Inquire with the seller. And if one isn't included, get one.
You'll thank us later. ;)
Best of luck, and happy stringing.
 
#5
As a fairly new stringer myself (about 10 racquets in), I have 2 regrets. 1) not getting fixed clamps 2) buying used.

I bought a SuperStringer, which was an early version of the Gamma X2, used, for less than $100. The Gamma flying clamping I replaced after a few jobs and went with a pair of Klippermate clamps. Those are way better, but I still wish I had the ease of fixed. And with it being used, I've since found out the original mounting towers had been replaced with the towers from the X-2. They are very different sizes, which creates an exaggerated angle from the grommet to the tension head, making it really difficult to use some of the techniques I've seen in videos.

So, buy new and if you can afford it, buy fixed clamps.

The DW isn't really too much of a pain. I added a small bubble level to the arm that I think speeds up my assessment of level vs. not level.

All the other techniques are a matter of practice and learning the process. The first few will likely be frustrating and slow, but once you get the flow and rhythm of it, you'll see your speed and enjoyment increase. At least I did.
 
#6
If anybody who owns the DC Plus can comment - I see that it comes with 'stringing tools,' but this doesn't include a starting clamp, correct? I read that starting clamps are basically a must, and want to make sure I won't be buying something that will come anyway with the DC Plus :)
I own this model. As mentioned, no starting clamps are included. Everything else comes with the machine, including the aforementioned video. I started out on a Klippermate, and the DC+ is much easier to use. Enjoy your new machine!
 
#7
Hey everyone, thanks for all the kind responses! You all have given me a lot more confidence to go about stringing my own racquets now. I will definitely be getting a starting clamp.
I was considering the Alpha Starting Clamp (just to keep things consistent), but are there any other recommendations? Or are they more or less all the same?
 
#8
Hey everyone, thanks for all the kind responses! You all have given me a lot more confidence to go about stringing my own racquets now. I will definitely be getting a starting clamp.
I was considering the Alpha Starting Clamp (just to keep things consistent), but are there any other recommendations? Or are they more or less all the same?
I have heard the Alpha clamp is good.

I have a gamma clamp and it works very well (as long as the little metal texture pad doesn't come unglued and fall out)

I also have a Pro's Pro Clamp and it is pretty bad (Not enough clamping power so it slips)

I just bought a Babolat clamp (considered by many to be the best) and it definitely has more clamping power than my Gamma, it's wider by about 40% so more clamping surface. I haven't used it yet but my first impression is that it is definitely better than the others.
 
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