Buying a stringer

SilverLining

New User
I'm planning to buy a new stringer within the next month or two and I'm looking for some advice. I've spent a good amount of time reading reviews and posts on this forum for guidance and have found them very helpful, but still have some questions. I really appreciate any feedback and comments.

My budget is around $1,000-1,500 and I'm looking to buy one with electronic constant pull mechanism. I've used a drop weight in the past. Currently I'm leaning towards the Gamma Progression ii ELS or X-ELS but still have some questions:

1) Any reason I should pick progression els over X-els? Except for the style? Have people found the compartments in X-els useful for keeping tools?
2) How do Pro's Pro machines (for example SX01 or TX700 that go for $600-$800) compare against Gamma ELS? Given that there is a large price difference.
3) What about Wise 2086 and mounting that on a different base? For example the Wise 2086 + Penta Premium 3600 (that goes for <$1000) comparison against Gamma ELS?
4) If I would buy a Gamma ELS, is there a good time when to do it (for optimal pricing or discounts) or maybe a secondary market for lightly used but like new machines? I noticed that 2 years ago they were selling for $1,199 and now they are $1,399. Not sure if it was just because of a different time of the year. Would be interested in hearing thoughts on that.

And on the frequency of stringing. I play tennis all year around and restring my rackets maybe once every 2 weeks approximately. I expect the price of the stringer to pay itself back relatively fast.

Thanks for all the comments and feedback.
 

badmice2

Rookie
Questions back to you:

What machine do you have now? How much do you like your mounting / clamp system now? if you're looking for a new system, what are you looking for?
Are you strictly looking for an integrated electric tension head for your next machine? If your goal is simply to move to an electronic head, can you put a Wise on now?


I would say (and others have discussed on the board) that the order of importance goes as follow, whether you string for yourself or for others - mount, clamp, pulling mechanism. A good mounting system goes a long way. Clamping can be upgrade or replaced depending on what you can work with. Wise is a good option if it's available to your existing setup, otherwise for what you need, it'll be a matter of preference. A good group of people here prefers a straight gripper with a diabolo, others will say the rotational gripper works just as well.

I dont have much experiences with the Pro' Pro machine, but they all look very similar to some of the Alpha machines in my eyes. I have a Revo now and upgrade to a Wise recently.

Its a matter of preference.
 

shadow01

Rookie
Agree with badmice2 - also, I recently went through a similar process and posted my questions and subsequent thoughts. You can check that thread out if helpful to you. I ended up with x-st & wise.
 
Gamma and Alpha both make good options in that price range. It comes down to if there are specific features that you have to have (tabletop vs. standing, clamp type (gravity release, cam lock vs spring action) etc. Pairing a Lockout w/ a Wise is nice bc you have the added peace of mind that if the electronic tensioner goes out, you can always put the crank back on. I'd choose Gamma or Alpha for that money over a Pro's Pro. The fit and finish and part quality is generally better and I can't speak for PP service but Gamma and Alpha have very solid after sales support.

FWIW I have an Alpha Axis Pro w/ a Wise and I also changed the clamp bases to gravity release.
 

SilverLining

New User
Questions back to you:

What machine do you have now? How much do you like your mounting / clamp system now? if you're looking for a new system, what are you looking for?
Are you strictly looking for an integrated electric tension head for your next machine? If your goal is simply to move to an electronic head, can you put a Wise on now?


I would say (and others have discussed on the board) that the order of importance goes as follow, whether you string for yourself or for others - mount, clamp, pulling mechanism. A good mounting system goes a long way. Clamping can be upgrade or replaced depending on what you can work with. Wise is a good option if it's available to your existing setup, otherwise for what you need, it'll be a matter of preference. A good group of people here prefers a straight gripper with a diabolo, others will say the rotational gripper works just as well.

I dont have much experiences with the Pro' Pro machine, but they all look very similar to some of the Alpha machines in my eyes. I have a Revo now and upgrade to a Wise recently.

Its a matter of preference.
Thanks for the response. I currently don't have a machine, I had access to a friend's machine and that was a drop weight. It felt comfortable, I would say, but I don't have enough experience to make a comparative call there. I don't also know much about the differences between various clamps and mounts. So far I've mainly relied on my club and tennis shops to restring my rackets and my attempt is to start doing it regularly on my own now. And most likely for my purchase I would be strictly looking for an integrated electric tension head with constant pull. Either a machine that has it or add Wise to the mount. Just for the convenience and consistency of outcomes from what I've read.

Did you install Wise to your Revo? How do you like that setup?

Agree with badmice2 - also, I recently went through a similar process and posted my questions and subsequent thoughts. You can check that thread out if helpful to you. I ended up with x-st & wise.
Do you have a link to the thread so I can take a look? Thanks. I would be interested in knowing what were the key reasons for the decision.

Gamma and Alpha both make good options in that price range. It comes down to if there are specific features that you have to have (tabletop vs. standing, clamp type (gravity release, cam lock vs spring action) etc. Pairing a Lockout w/ a Wise is nice bc you have the added peace of mind that if the electronic tensioner goes out, you can always put the crank back on. I'd choose Gamma or Alpha for that money over a Pro's Pro. The fit and finish and part quality is generally better and I can't speak for PP service but Gamma and Alpha have very solid after sales support.

FWIW I have an Alpha Axis Pro w/ a Wise and I also changed the clamp bases to gravity release.
Thanks. I think tabletop would be ideal for my use case and maybe buy a stand as an extra. Easier to store for me since I can't dedicate a permanent space for the stringer. Most likely will be moving it around a bit whenever I use it, from one room to another. Having the flexibility to put it on a table is also great.

How easy is it to install Wise to something like the Alpha Axis Pro? And which clamp bases do you use?

tourna 600-ES, you cannot beat the value to feature ratio.
Tourna 600-ES looks awesome, a bit outside my budget at this moment unfortunately but it looks great. I wonder if the extra money would still be worth it? Is there a thread that has more details on it, such as weight, dimensions, for storing etc? It looks like the stand also comes on and off easily. How does Tourna's customer service and reputation in terms of quality compare to the others?
 
Thanks. I think tabletop would be ideal for my use case and maybe buy a stand as an extra. Easier to store for me since I can't dedicate a permanent space for the stringer. Most likely will be moving it around a bit whenever I use it, from one room to another. Having the flexibility to put it on a table is also great.

How easy is it to install Wise to something like the Alpha Axis Pro? And which clamp bases do you use?
Took me 10 min tops to put the Wise on my Alpha. Super easy. I use the Alpha compatible Gravity Release bases from New Tech Tennis in Tx. I’d also say the paddle style switch for the Wise is worth the money too.
 

SilverLining

New User
Took me 10 min tops to put the Wise on my Alpha. Super easy. I use the Alpha compatible Gravity Release bases from New Tech Tennis in Tx. I’d also say the paddle style switch for the Wise is worth the money too.
Ok so that sounds pretty easy then. Seems like Wise is pretty compatible with a lot of bases and easy to mount. Could you elaborate more on what the gravity release bases do? I've also tried to read about the difference in switch action and quick action clamps, but not entirely clear to me what's better and what the difference is between the two. There was a thread here long time ago with pictures but those links have expired. Also I notice people referring to base clamps and string clamps. I thought clamps referred to the string clamps that I use to hold the tension with, but what are base clamps? Is there a thread that explains these more in depth and what the general consensus is regarding advantages and disadvantages of each variation?

Thanks this is really helpful to go through. Is there a good argument to be made (either empirical or just plain reasoning) why a linear gripping mechanism is better than rotational? It seems like many people prefer that or have concerns when it comes to rotational grippers.
 
The clamp base is what the actual clamp that holds the string fits into. The clamp jaws are on a post that slides into the clamp base. The base is what locks into position and the clamp holds the string. Switch action or cam action refers to the way the base locks into place. There are also spring action (which is what the Axis Pro has stock). Spring action take more effort to lock the lever. Gravity release means that the bases are designed so that when you unclamp the string, the clamp drops into the base and automatically unlocks it.
 

badmice2

Rookie
I bought my Revo from my bro. Prior to that I was stringing in the 602FC drop weight. I have used the Klippermate in the past, but have not looked back to 2 pt mount/ floating clamp setup ever since. Having gone through drop weight and a constant pull, the Wise upgrade was well worth it. It takes a lot of the guess work out of having to “manage” the tensioning aspect of the work. I also upgraded the clamps recenting as the old keep slipping. I probably could figure out how to optimize it, but simply too lazy (with 3 kids).

The Revo setup is nice. Everything runs smooth. I’ve taken it in the road before when our team when to district and sectional. The only complaint I may have is that it’s a table top. I bought a tool stand and have the machine set on top, which works out ok. The overall height is a bit high and your shoulder gets a workout.

if I was to get an upgrade from here, I’ll either stick to theWise and get a slightly better mounting system - maybe Gamma 6004; or I go big boy and get the Alpha Ghost.
 

SilverLining

New User
The clamp base is what the actual clamp that holds the string fits into. The clamp jaws are on a post that slides into the clamp base. The base is what locks into position and the clamp holds the string. Switch action or cam action refers to the way the base locks into place. There are also spring action (which is what the Axis Pro has stock). Spring action take more effort to lock the lever. Gravity release means that the bases are designed so that when you unclamp the string, the clamp drops into the base and automatically unlocks it.
Thanks these explanations have been perfect. I found the gravity release clamps from Alpha's website that they sell. Is there another brand that sells them? I didn't see any on Gamma's page but could've missed it. In case I buy a machine that doesn't have that feature but at some point in the future consider upgrading.

I bought my Revo from my bro. Prior to that I was stringing in the 602FC drop weight. I have used the Klippermate in the past, but have not looked back to 2 pt mount/ floating clamp setup ever since. Having gone through drop weight and a constant pull, the Wise upgrade was well worth it. It takes a lot of the guess work out of having to “manage” the tensioning aspect of the work. I also upgraded the clamps recenting as the old keep slipping. I probably could figure out how to optimize it, but simply too lazy (with 3 kids).

The Revo setup is nice. Everything runs smooth. I’ve taken it in the road before when our team when to district and sectional. The only complaint I may have is that it’s a table top. I bought a tool stand and have the machine set on top, which works out ok. The overall height is a bit high and your shoulder gets a workout.

if I was to get an upgrade from here, I’ll either stick to theWise and get a slightly better mounting system - maybe Gamma 6004; or I go big boy and get the Alpha Ghost.
Makes sense. Thanks!
 

SilverLining

New User
Has anyone on this forum owned/used the Alpha M8? It's selling at $1,199 on their site and has gravity release clamp bases and what seems like a linear gripper electronic constant pull. The picture is very blurry and I couldn't find really any information about it online or here.
 

Lefty5

Hall of Fame
I've always known Tourna/unique sports to have a great service reputation. Here's a vid from youtube on the 600 es, I can watch all their machine videos all day, lol. You Tube 600-es
 
Top