Best stringing machine?

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Nathan Shim, May 15, 2017.

  1. Nathan Shim

    Nathan Shim New User

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    I am at the point where I am not considering buying my own stringing machine. I've set my mind on an electronic one, but not sure where to go from there.

    I feel like at the $2000 range, anything above that threshold is just not worth it. Please do correct me if I am wrong. Almost feel like its a cosmetic difference between machines at this point.

    Do these high end stringers have much difference when it comebs to accuracy?

    Are there any brands or models I should definitely consider and stray well far away from?

    Thanks in advance guys!
     
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  2. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    Do a search. 2K will not get a high end new electronic CP. As for what features you want, read the sticky. For your range, I would consider getting a new/used LO with WISE or tabletop ELS from Gamma or Alpha, assuming you're in the USA. What you get should be based on what volume or time constraints you expect. Is it important to do 1 frame/week in 30 vs 45 minutes? It is important if you do 3-4 frames/day.

    I would steer you away from Eagnas and other lower end electronic CP machines. It's mainly because there are issues with their QC tolerances and customer support.

    Be aware that when you see electric or electronic tensioning, that does not automatically mean Constant Pull. The spec has to say electric/electronic Constant Pull tensioning.

    At 2K, you can bet that the systems can be calibrated. They will be accurate and precise or made to be if something happens during shipping. However, that's should not be your main concern. The machines can only produce good consistent results if the technician is also consistent and follow good practices. A lot of posters have tales about the Big Box stringer who uses a $$$$ Prince or Star or Baiardo to produce garbage. :)
     
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  3. Nathan Shim

    Nathan Shim New User

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    Thanks for the reply!
    When I said 2k, it was kind of a starting point of my budget. I am able to probably go to the 4-5k range if need be.

    I definitely agree that the technician has to be good for the product to shine. My worry is that as a beginner to stringing, I could potentially screw up the frame if I take too long or screw up with tensions. Especially since manual cheaper ones with drop weights and all those other kinds look complicated and daunting. Makes me feel like if I screw something up it's game over.. People say that it'll generally take about 45 minutes to do a racket when you're starting out, but I honestly feel like it'll take me so much longer since I'm not good with these kinds of things in the beginning. By the time I get somewhat comfortable stringing, I don't think I'll have a racket that isn't broken in some way.. Please let me know if I'm worrying over nothing since I like most other people would prefer the cheaper option if it's not that big of a difference in getting the job done.
     
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  4. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    With a high end electronic CP, if you know what you are doing, you can do a frame in under 30 minutes. But you can also do a frame in under 30 minutes with a manual crank-LO. The machine will not make you better or prevent mistakes. It is a learning curve. No matter the machine, your 1st string job will take over an hour (if not way more). Wasted motions and weaving are the major issues. But as you do more frames, you learn what steps you need to weave faster; you learn to not tangle up the string and keep one end in a hole on the frame or rubber banded to your wrist. All in the interest of saving motion or time. BUT that is in a retail environment. If you are stringing for yourself, are you going to have these time constraints? Odds are NO, unless you have 1-3 little kids to spend time with. There is nothing wrong with 45 minutes or 60 minutes if you're doing it watching TV or sipping wine/beer. :D

    I would not worry too much about screwing up. Mount the frame correctly and you are good to go. Try and move the frame after mounting. It should be somewhat hard to move side to side. As far as running strings, It's hard to mess up doing the mains unless you miss a mains skip. But you catch that immediately on the other side. You wonder WTF? and go back and redo the main. No big deal. Crosses are another story. Just decide to look at each cross before tensioning. If you went under on the 1st main, you should be over on the last main. Then tension. Screw up again? So what. Redo the cross where you missed a weave. It is not rocket science and you don't actually harm the string that much as long as it is not natural gut [less handling, the better.]

    You will find people here who are happy with Klippermates and X2's. You will find people who are happy with LO/LOs with WISE replacements. And you also find people that have gone 'whole hog' Star 5, Prince 6000...You'll find people that take 30 minutes to 60 minutes per frame once they get use to the stringer.

    Why are you suddenly interested in stringing? There's normally a reason for sudden interest like losing a stringer or breaking strings too quickly. No need to answer if you rather not. Just saying that your worries are not that big unless you have 10 thumbs and can't follow instructions. :p
     
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  5. Nathan Shim

    Nathan Shim New User

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    I see. So there really isn't much harm done to the frame itself as well? I heard that once you break a string while playing, you should cut it all to even out the pressure. It made sense, but that's basically got me worried. The time it takes is not the issue for me, it's literally me not wanting to break my racket. The string is only a fraction of the cost so it's not even that big of a deal if I screw that up.

    I wanted to start stringing because I'm in the process of finding my perfect setup. I have a decent string setup at the moment, but I really want to find that sweet spot since tennis is one of the few joys in my life haha. Also, the cost of stringing is unreasonable in my opinion. I don't want to pay around 30 bucks for a restringing that I could do myself in my own time without having to wait to pick it up. (I live a good 40 minute car ride if theres not much traffic to the stringing place)

    Literally my one and only concern with the manual cranks vs electronic was that learning curve. If the learning curve for both styles are similar and having my racket on the stringer for an 1hr to 1hr and a half won't ruin my frame, with no doubt I will go for the manual crank lol. Spending thousands for something that can be done with a few hundred and pays for itself within a few stringing sessions makes wayyy more sense to me. :p
     
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  6. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    The only caveat is don't do the mains and then go off somewhere for a few hours. That is not good practice. Having a frame undergoing a stringing for 2 hours straight will not break it.

    Manual cranks come as tabletop as well as on a stand. Depends on how much room you have since anything from Prince, Gamma or Alpha will be OK. Even Eagnas cranks are OK if you are not too concerned with mechanical tolerances. However, I would stick with the 1st three mentioned. They come in 2 point or 6 point mounts. They are all good and will prevent the frame from breaking. TW uses a Neos 1000 (Prince) with 2 point mount..See? Only thing with cranks are periodic checking/calibration of the spring.

    DW do not need to be calibrated unless the force of gravity in your local area changes. That is so unlikely unless it is over a period of eons. We'll be gone by then, so who cares. They too can come with different mounts and tabletop/stand variants.

    Read up/evaluate whether you want flying vs fixed clamps. Fixed clamps are better, but you can get results just as good with flying clamps. Just takes longer and more care. One of the most reputable machines out there is the Stringway Auto DW with flying clamps. [NewTechTennis].

    Have at it.
     
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  7. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Alpha Ghost II
     
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  8. Herb

    Herb Rookie

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    Gamma progression els with a stand.
     
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  9. Nathan Shim

    Nathan Shim New User

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    Okay, thanks for the help! :)
     
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  10. Tennis_dude101

    Tennis_dude101 Rookie

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    The other thing to consider is how big/heavy it is. Will you have the room to have it permanently set up or do you want to pack it away when your not using it?
    Do you want to be able to string only at home or also on the road? Portability and compactness was a key driver for me when selecting my machine.

    TD
     
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  11. Nathan Shim

    Nathan Shim New User

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    It'll be a permanent set up for me. The only factor in choosing which stringer I need is basically how much easier it is for me to string the racket and how hard it is to actually screw it up using said method. As for budget, as long as its within 5k it's totally something I can invest in because of how much time I spend playing tennis anyways :p

    Because you know there are some things you do in life and with the right equipment, it's just almost impossible to screw something up? My racket isn't cheap, so I'd prefer to not hurt it in any way shape or form if possible. haha
     
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  12. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Alpha Ghost II
     
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  13. esgee48

    esgee48 Legend

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    See you have started a thread about what strings to get.
    https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/vokyl-cyclone.589732/

    @Traffic recently obtained a 602FC as his machine of choice and has done many many frames since. More than if he had to rely on paying a stringer. You should peruse his journey. He got relatively good very fast since he strings for a multitude people. If you plan to hybrid and want to make sure one pack be usable on 2 frames, I gave my 3 cents to him in another thread.
     
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  14. Holliman

    Holliman Rookie

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    I bought a used Gamma 5003 and it does everything I need it to do. I saved a ton of cash buying used. Highly recommend
     
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  15. struggle

    struggle Hall of Fame

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    go with the 5k option.
     
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  16. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    A*L*P*H*A G*H*O*S*T
     
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  17. Herb

    Herb Rookie

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    IF you can spend up to $5000, send me a message and I will tell you where to shop.
    • [​IMG]

      $4,871.72

    • [​IMG]

      $4,428.84

    • [​IMG]

      $4,233.45

    • [​IMG]
      $2,930.85
     
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  18. jbhungvt

    jbhungvt New User

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    The Prince 7000 can be had for $3500 now. Where can you buy the Wilson Baiardo for that price in the USA Herb?

    thanks
     
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  19. Herb

    Herb Rookie

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    sent you a message
     
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  20. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Deleted post
     
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  21. chrisingrassia

    chrisingrassia Professional

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    Hey Herb -
    Where can I score the Protech 8 for around $1200?
    I know you can hook me up.
     
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  22. Booger

    Booger Hall of Fame

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    Please send me this message. Those are all nice machines.
     
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  23. Herb

    Herb Rookie

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    That might be outside my ability of finding good deals.
     
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  24. chrisingrassia

    chrisingrassia Professional

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    Ok. $1500?
     
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  25. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

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    Keep up with your research to sort out just what you need and what you don't need in a machine.

    A more expensive machine with more features won't pick out the correct grommet to run the string though and it won't weave your crosses for you. That's up to the stringer - sorry for mastering the obvious. But if you want to better protect frames you're going to be stringing, I'd say we easily get better support with six point mounting compared with minimal two point mounting.

    As far as the clamps are concerned, floating clamps have inherently greater "drawback" compared with fixed clamps. That means that more slack can creep in to tensioned strings secured with floating clamps and that means less consistency, even with a constant pull tensioner. I say this because my first machine was a constant pull drop weight rig with two point mounting and floating clamps. I eventually replaced that with a Gamma Progression II ELS, which includes electric constant pull tensioner, six point mounting, and fixed clamps - it's a table top machine that lives on a desk in a spare room, but Gamma offers an optional floor stand for it, too.

    I've had this machine for over four years and it does everything I could ask of it. Much easier to string at higher volume when I get more busy in the warmer months compared with the old drop weight machine. Having tried a couple of other higher end machines that would cost at least $1,000 more than mine, I couldn't find anything that would justify the extra cost given my needs.

    If you're a "hobby stringer" dealing with your own racquets and maybe eventually stringing for some of your friends, I don't see any advantage in spending multiple thousands of dollars on a high end professional machine. Once you get familiar with the stringing process and have a decent basic machine to work with, you'll be able to string with plenty of consistency. It's your money, but $1,200 bought me a fantastic machine and I love knowing that Gamma's excellent customer service is there to help me if I need them. I haven't - my machine has worked perfectly without even a hiccup. So there's my endorsement.
     
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  26. chrisingrassia

    chrisingrassia Professional

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    I'd like to know the best possible machine I can buy for $4000
     
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  27. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    If I had unlimited funds to buy a machine personally I would either

    1 - Buy an Alpha Ghost 2 ($2800)
    or
    2 - Buy a Wilson Biardo (but it's more than 4k)
     
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  28. chrisingrassia

    chrisingrassia Professional

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    I'm not sold on that Alpha machine for high volume. Gravity release? Stupid gimmick. The tool tray is awful, pre-stretch you only get two options, no string measurer, not sure if it's height-adjustable.
    The Baiardo looks nice, but seems like a Wilson brand name premium. And like you said, under $5k is nearly impossible. I'm leaning heavily towards the 9900ELS right now unless I can be persuaded somehow.

     
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  29. OccasionalStringer

    OccasionalStringer Rookie

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    I find that gravity release quite a nice feature, saves some time. Specially when doing a tournament every little time saving adds up.

    It does not work 100 % of the time as sometimes the string clamp just wonẗ drop when you open it.
     
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  30. Simon_the_furry

    Simon_the_furry Hall of Fame

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    Get a six-point stringer, whatever you do. Four-point stringers are not as healthy for the racquet.
     
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  31. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    ^^^^ Indeed, millions of racquets are destroyed annually on the Prince Neos 1000. Ugh!
     
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  32. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Indeed, there’s no support past the 2nd main. I bet you’ve broken hundreds of rackets on your NEOS. LOL

    EDIT: All kidding aside I prefer a 6 point for some reason I guess but I don’t think a racket is any safer in a 2 or 6 point machine. How safe the racket is while being strung is 99.44% who’s stringing it not what it’s strung on.
     
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  33. graycrait

    graycrait Hall of Fame

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    One day I am going to get a chance to string on a high end eCP, hopefully. I just want to see what the deal is. One of my hitting buddies is going to buy himself a Klippermate and I want to give that a spin as well.

    The only machine I have strung on is a NEOS 1000. I have strung "a lot" of odd rackets on my NEOS, from the 60's, 70's, 80's and onwards and I have yet to break one - fascinating and I am a self taught stringer who is likely doing many things wrong or at least not efficiently as I could be. I didn't know what those plastic throat doo hickeys were for the longest time. Also, I have so much crap in my NEOS tool trays it is ridiculous. No or small tool trays? No thanks.
     
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  34. Simon_the_furry

    Simon_the_furry Hall of Fame

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    I've only started stringing recently, and the only machine I've ever strung on is an Alpha Revo 4000.
    I'd recommend it, although the ball-bearing tensioner clamp can take some getting used to.
     
    #34
  35. chrisingrassia

    chrisingrassia Professional

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    Base first, clamp second.
     
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  36. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Star 5 without question. I’m comparing the bases and clamps of my used Star 5 (over 5000 string jobs now) to my new 6004 I strung maybe a couple thousand frames with.

    EDIT: The top of the clamp on a Star 5 sits maybe 1/4” below the stringbed if that. The distance between the top of the clamp and the string bed on a Gamma is twice that. Don’t get me wrong they are both great but because the Babolat extends less (I believe) it has less drawback. I’m talking about the distance when the clamps and bases are released. I never adjust the clamps on my Star 5 for different gauges of string. On the 6004 I always had to adjust for the gauge of the string.

    EDIT: If you use a table brake for stringing any frame hand down the Gamma has the advantage. Turntable again goes to Babolat and I’d say my best guess is the tension assembly is about the same. There is not string measure on the Star 5 when I assume the 9900 has one. I’d also assume either machine can be used in table top more I know the Star 5 can. That might be important if you’re going to move it off site.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  37. chrisingrassia

    chrisingrassia Professional

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    I agree. A fantastic feature. It's one of the things that I recommended to Gamma is to build their clamp shafts considerably thicker because of how high they need to be lifted out of the base. Then you add in the turntable which I think is aluminum, too much flex in the whole assembly.

    It's a permanent machine in my office. Doesn't move anywhere. However, I do have my 5800 on wheels so I can move it around the room as needed and out of the way.
     
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  38. Imago

    Imago Hall of Fame

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    Which makes useless all gravity release. And the latter is malicious at that...

     
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  39. chrisingrassia

    chrisingrassia Professional

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    I wish I could watch that. I assume he's confirming what we're both saying.
     
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  40. Wes

    Wes Semi-Pro

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    :rolleyes:
    Classic.
     
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  41. Imago

    Imago Hall of Fame

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    Essentially, he shows that releasing first the clamp and then the bases is harmful for the strings as there is slight snap back of the string through the cristaline dust on the inside of the clamp teeth. That's why we should first release the base and only then the clamps. Which saves us big money if you are crazy about buying gravity release bases.
     
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  42. chrisingrassia

    chrisingrassia Professional

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    Yep. Gravity release bases are a complete marketing gimmick, designed to "sway" potential buyers who have zero technical knowledge of proper technique in stringing a racquet.
     
    #42
  43. OccasionalStringer

    OccasionalStringer Rookie

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    If that would be a big deal then you should not use glide bar clamps or any other single action clamps
     
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  44. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    There is one thing he is showing that I assume most people have not noticed. The second starting clamp he added was not holding reference tension on the string. You can’t place a starting clamp on a tensioned string and not expect to loose tension. The string mark moved to the side with the higher tension. Had the tension on the two sections of string been equal the mark would never move.

    Here’s an experiment for you that proves that. Tension two strings and hold each string with a starting clamp. It does not matter if it is 2 strings or 1 just hold both ends with a starting clamp. Then clamp the a string in the center with a fixed clamp. Whether you release the clamp before the base or not the string mark will not move.

    EDIT: That video show one very important point. Never release the clamp before the base on a tensioned string. If the tension is different on the left and right when the clamp is release the string will slip. If the base is released first the clamp moves as the tension equalizes. BTW that equalization is not good, the tension should have been as close to the same as possible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  45. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    It really doesn’t matter what type of clamp you use as long as the tension is equal on both sides there can be no movement.

    EDIT: If you want as little movement in the string as you can get always clamp the string as Cole to the frame as possible. If there is only a very short distance of a minutely lower tension there will be very little slip. And always release the base first. Is is especially important on tying off and there may be a lot of tension loss in the slack string between the knot and the clamp. Releasing the base first allows the tension on both sides of the clamp to equalize and then the string will not slip in the clamp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
    #45
  46. OccasionalStringer

    OccasionalStringer Rookie

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    Some points

    • So with glide bar and other single action type clamps you obviously always open the string clamp first as there is no other choice. And during this opening the clamps base will not yet move as the clamp base is slightly twisted.
    • There is very little tension differential as the tensioner is still pulling when you open the clamp. Obviously some tension is lost due to grommet turn but on the other hand the clamped string has already had some time to relax.
    • Even if the string moves slightly, as the clamp is opening there is only little pressure between the clamp and string, so no big harm to the string
    • You clamp close the the frame and you are not hitting the ball with that section of the string. And yet there is still some distance from clamp to the grommet so it is not affecting possible shanks, i.e. premature string breakage due to shank.

    So at least I will still continue using gravity release and be happy with it.

    Prince and Baiardo machines have gravity release clamps. My bet is that most people using these machines use gravity release, even though you have the option to open the base first with the button.
     
    #46
  47. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    • Other single action clamps. You mean like flying clamps? How fixed is the base on a flying clamp. On glide bar clamps the base is not twisted unless you’re stringing a a fan racket and then you could be using a flying clamp.
      If there is very little tension loss there is very little slip. No tension loss no slip. Just release the base first then there’s no problem.
      If the string is help motionless and you allow the string to slip any it will mar the string. Any marring is bad especially when it can easily be avoided.
    I always hit the ball within 2.8 mm of the COP. LMAO

    So at least I will still continue using gravity release and be happy with it.

    Prince and Baiardo machines have gravity release clamps. My bet is that most people using these machines use gravity release, even though you have the option to open the base first with the button.[/QUOTE]
     
    #47
  48. OccasionalStringer

    OccasionalStringer Rookie

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    [/QUOTE]

    "Other single action clamps. You mean like flying clamps? "

    My Stringways and Tecnifibre Major SP44 have single action clamps that are different from "traditional" glide bar clamps. Also some Extree machines have swivel clamps with only one lever which closes both the base and the string clamp simultaneously

    "On glide bar clamps the base is not twisted"

    If there is tension difference then the clamp will be twisted due to this tension differential

    "If there is very little tension loss there is very little slip. No tension loss no slip. Just release the base first then there’s no problem."

    Like I mentioned I will still keep on using gravity release, because:
    • I have gravity release base clamps
    • I like it
     
    #48
  49. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Ok you’re an engineer explain that to me. Say I have a center main string I tension and clamp dead center then release the tension on one side. Will the clamp twist or just drawback? There’s a big difference between twisting and leaning.
     
    #49
  50. OccasionalStringer

    OccasionalStringer Rookie

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    Probably tilting or leaning would have been a better word. But anyway there is such tight fit to guide rail that even a slight tilt will reduce clamp sliding along the rail.

    My point is that when you open glide bar clamp and there is tension differential the string will move relative to clamp gripping surface like with traditional swivel clamp with base locked.

    So my opinion is that using gravity release is quite acceptable technique, other people are of course free to disagree.
     
    #50

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