Buying A Used Alpha Pioneer DC

Birdy

New User
Hi Everyone. I’m offering to buy this used Alpha Pioneer for $300 here in my local area. This will be my first machine. It looks to be in great condition. Seller has said it comes with all of the tools and some extra strings and is in “perfect condition”. However, he has no idea how to use it (claims it was given to him) so I’ll have to take his word for it that it works. Any feedback or opinions are greatly appreciated. Happy holiday weekend!

 

Uncoil

Semi-Pro
Bring an unstrung racquet when you meet up, mount it and string a couple main strings to see if the machine functions properly. Judging by the pics, it looks to be in pretty good condition.
 

Birdy

New User
Bring an unstrung racquet when you meet up, mount it and string a couple main strings to see if the machine functions properly. Judging by the pics, it looks to be in pretty good condition.
Thanks for the advice. Though I’ve not ever strung before I should be able to do this after having watched video after video on stringing.
 

Wes

Professional
@Birdy

My opinion - buy it!

There isn't a whole lot that could go wrong with a dropweight machine like that (and, BTW, Alpha has good quality & customer service).
It certainly looks to be in excellent condition. $300 is a good price for that machine.

I'll even go out on a limb and postulate that the machine may have never actually been used at all.

Now, why would I think that could be the case?
When Alpha ships that machine it comes with the 12 o'clock & 6 o'clock supports (billiards) installed upside down.
After unboxing the machine, one needs to completely unthread the knob/washer, flip the supports "upright", and then re-thread the washer/knob back on.

Although the 12 & 6 o'clock supports in your photo are not upside down, they are installed backwards.
Since the machine can't be used (correctly) with them in that orientation, it may suggest that the machine had little, if any, use (and all the accessory items seem to be present as well).

BTW, since the owner doesn't know anything at all about stringing, and was merely "given" this machine, this could increase your odds of getting the machine for even less than the $300 asking price (although, again, that is a very fair price to begin with).

See my thoughts here...
and

Cheers,
Wes
 

Birdy

New User
@Birdy

My opinion - buy it!

There isn't a whole lot that could go wrong with a dropweight machine like that (and, BTW, Alpha has good quality & customer service).
It certainly looks to be in excellent condition. $300 is a good price for that machine.

I'll even go out on a limb and postulate that the machine may have never actually been used at all.

Now, why would I think that could be the case?
When Alpha ships that machine it comes with the 12 o'clock & 6 o'clock supports (billiards) installed upside down.
After unboxing the machine, one needs to completely unthread the knob/washer, flip the supports "upright", and then re-thread the washer/knob back on.

Although the 12 & 6 o'clock supports in your photo are not upside down, they are installed backwards.
Since the machine can't be used (correctly) with them in that orientation, it may suggest that the machine had little, if any, use (and all the accessory items seem to be present as well).

BTW, since the owner doesn't know anything at all about stringing, and was merely "given" this machine, this could increase your odds of getting the machine for even less than the $300 asking price (although, again, that is a very fair price to begin with).

See my thoughts here...
and

Cheers,
Wes
[/QUOTE
I bought it! Thanks so much fo all of your feedback, Wes. The price was originally for $395 and he accepted my offer of $300. Everything looks as it did in the pictures with only some cosmetic damage. Overall it looks great and it came with all of the tools minus the strings it supposedly came with. He did admit to not ever having used it as it was a gift from his daughters ex boyfriend. He used it as a stringer before upgrading to something else.
I do notice that there is no clutch on this one like what the newer models have.

I’m hoping it won’t be a big deal in terms of the machines effectiveness. I’ll be heading down to my favorite shop tomorrow to pick up some strings so I can get to stringing right away. I need to put some multifilament in my rackets to address a bit of tennis elbow I’m getting. Thanks again for the response and of course anymore advice or feedback is appreciated!
 
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Birdy

New User
I just realized that the clutch is indeed missing. I’m asking the seller about it but they may never reply now that I’ve bought it. I hope I can still use it without it in the event Alpha is unable to replace it.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
Looks like the boyfriend removed the pawl, which sometimes is a nuisance if you forget to release it when lifting the bar up after tensioning (the string essentially gets stuck in the gripper). The only difference without it, is now you'll have to hold the gripper in place with your hand if the bar falls below level and you need to raise the bar a little to get it horizontal.
 
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Wes

Professional
I just realized that the clutch is indeed missing. I’m asking the seller about it but they may never reply now that I’ve bought it. I hope I can still use it without it in the event Alpha is unable to replace it.
The clutch isn't missing. The clutch is inside of the round, chrome colored drum.
As @loosegroove pointed out, it's just the pawl which is missing.
 

Birdy

New User
Looks like the boyfriend removed the pawl, which sometimes is a nuisance if you forget to release it after lifting the bar up after tensioning (the string essentially gets stuck in the gripper). The only difference without it, is now you'll have to hold the gripper in place with your hand if the bar falls below level and you need to raise the bar a little to get it horizontal.
Thanks for your response, loosegroove. I’m relieved to know that I don’t need it and can still string things up. I’ll ask if I can buy one anyway so I have the option to install it and if I decide to upgrade, that the machine is complete if I were to sell it. Thanks!
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
Thanks for your response, loosegroove. I’m relieved to know that I don’t need it and can still string things up. I’ll ask if I can buy one anyway so I have the option to install it and if I decide to upgrade, that the machine is complete if I were to sell it. Thanks!
No problem. I assume the internal drum clutch works (sometimes the little spring inside them breaks)? Meaning if you lower the bar, the gripper rotates down also, but you can raise the bar independently from the gripper? So in the above pic, you should not be able to rotate the gripper up towards the bar. But you should be able to hold the bar and have the gripper rotate downward.
 

Birdy

New User
No problem. I assume the internal drum clutch works (sometimes the little spring inside them breaks)? Meaning if you lower the bar, the gripper rotates down also, but you can raise the bar independently from the gripper? So in the above pic, you should not be able to rotate the gripper up towards the bar. But you should be able to hold the bar and have the gripper rotate downward.
Yes that’s correct that the internal clutch does work. Alpha did respond to tell me that I could order the part but that it’s tricky to install. I’d like the option to try it out and at least install it so the machine’s complete before I potentially sell it and upgrade to something else. If it’s impossible to install I may not bother though. I asked Alpha for their advice and waiting on their response. Thanks for your response, loosgroove.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
Yes that’s correct that the internal clutch does work. Alpha did respond to tell me that I could order the part but that it’s tricky to install. I’d like the option to try it out and at least install it so the machine’s complete before I potentially sell it and upgrade to something else. If it’s impossible to install I may not bother though. I asked Alpha for their advice and waiting on their response. Thanks for your response, loosgroove.
Are you sure Alpha knows which part you're referring to? The small internal spring for the clutch is a pain in the arse to replace, you can just ask @Muppet. But I think replacing the external pawl is pretty straightforward.
 
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Wes

Professional
Yes that’s correct that the internal clutch does work. Alpha did respond to tell me that I could order the part but that it’s tricky to install. I’d like the option to try it out and at least install it so the machine’s complete before I potentially sell it and upgrade to something else. If it’s impossible to install I may not bother though. I asked Alpha for their advice and waiting on their response. Thanks for your response, loosgroove.
@loosegroove already expressed the same thing I was going to say.

You've mistakenly referred to the pawl as the clutch a couple of times.

My guess is - you inquired about the clutch, rather than the pawl - and that Alpha answered your question accordingly.
Like @loosegroove, I would think that installing the pawl would be a very simple affair. The clutch would, indeed, be a different matter. ;)

Contact Mark, at Alpha (i.e. newtechtennis), and verify that they understand that it's actually the pawl you want, and not the clutch.
 

Birdy

New User
@loosegroove already expressed the same thing I was going to say.

You've mistakenly referred to the pawl as the clutch a couple of times.

My guess is - you inquired about the clutch, rather than the pawl - and that Alpha answered your question accordingly.
Like @loosegroove, I would think that installing the pawl would be a very simple affair. The clutch would, indeed, be a different matter. ;)

Contact Mark, at Alpha (i.e. newtechtennis), and verify that they understand that it's actually the pawl you want, and not the clutch.
Hi guys. Here’s what they said in that email:

“Hi
The ratchet lever that clicks under drum? You can use without. When you lower the bar you have to hold on to the front of drum as you raise the bar with other hand. I can sell you one. Its a bit tricky to install”

Sounds like they understand but I reiterated again in my order comments when I placed an order for a starting clamp.
 
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