Curved vs straight clamp base tracks?

#1
More and more new stringing machines seem to come with curved clamp rails.

Those who have used both, is there any difference from usability point of view, and if so, which one do you prefer and why ?
 
#2
Good question.
Something I've wondered myself (as of yet, haven't used any machines with the curved tracks/rails).
Anxious to hear from those that have used both & their thoughts on the matter.
 
#3
I've heard some say the curved rails are probably not as strong or as durable as the straight rails. That would probably depend on the manufacturing process. But I imagine the curved rails have been designed and manufactured to purpose.

As for usability, perhaps a clamp base is more likely to snag on a curved rail than on a straight one. But like @Wes, I've only used straight rail machines so I can't comment from experience.

Replacing a curved rail might be a little more difficult if there is no "standard" radius for them. Straight rails seem to be easier to replace from a generic parts pool. Not that one needs to replace rails that often, I guess.
 
#7
I was just about to ask this question, but thankfully used the search feature. Babolat has used the semi circle design in previous models with the Star 5/Sensor designs, but with their newer Racket Station model they have gone full circle...figuratively and literally!

Having strung on older model manual and electronic Gamma stringers for so long, I have only known straight rails...but even Gamma's latest models have gone to a slightly curved rail (not as extreme as Babolat). There must be something more to it than just "cool looks" and it's certainly has survived through "it's just a fad" design stage.

I recently strung on a Babolat Racket Station at a local tennis shop to me, and I found myself a bit clumsy navigating with the circular rail system. I loved how smooth the base clamps were moving on the rails, it was effortless...and I love the push down base clamps as well as the self adjusting string clamps. I am sure the curved rail design is something I could get used to over time. For now I am fine with my straight rails on my old and trusty Gamma 5800 Els.

My thoughts are that the curved rail design better follows the shape of the racket. As head sizes have grown larger through the years, the stringing area has grown "wider" thus a curved/wider rail would make stringing, in theory, incrementally "easier"?

Just my $.02...and I would love to hear other thoughts on this? Especially from those of you that have used both the straight and curved rails...ideally, for me, it would be someone who has used the older Gamma 6004 with straight rails and then switched to the newer model with the slightly curved rail. For the most part everything is relatively the same so the difference would just be the rail and I would be curious if they were able to string faster, with less effort or more efficiently on some or all types of rackets. Or maybe the design was more to be able to make stringing other sport rackets easier (racquetball, squash, badminton, etc...), which would completely contradict my theory of making it easier to string wider rackets.
 
#8
I was just about to ask this question, but thankfully used the search feature. Babolat has used the semi circle design in previous models with the Star 5/Sensor designs, but with their newer Racket Station model they have gone full circle...figuratively and literally!

Having strung on older model manual and electronic Gamma stringers for so long, I have only known straight rails...but even Gamma's latest models have gone to a slightly curved rail (not as extreme as Babolat). There must be something more to it than just "cool looks" and it's certainly has survived through "it's just a fad" design stage.

I recently strung on a Babolat Racket Station at a local tennis shop to me, and I found myself a bit clumsy navigating with the circular rail system. I loved how smooth the base clamps were moving on the rails, it was effortless...and I love the push down base clamps as well as the self adjusting string clamps. I am sure the curved rail design is something I could get used to over time. For now I am fine with my straight rails on my old and trusty Gamma 5800 Els.

My thoughts are that the curved rail design better follows the shape of the racket. As head sizes have grown larger through the years, the stringing area has grown "wider" thus a curved/wider rail would make stringing, in theory, incrementally "easier"?

Just my $.02...and I would love to hear other thoughts on this? Especially from those of you that have used both the straight and curved rails...ideally, for me, it would be someone who has used the older Gamma 6004 with straight rails and then switched to the newer model with the slightly curved rail. For the most part everything is relatively the same so the difference would just be the rail and I would be curious if they were able to string faster, with less effort or more efficiently on some or all types of rackets. Or maybe the design was more to be able to make stringing other sport rackets easier (racquetball, squash, badminton, etc...), which would completely contradict my theory of making it easier to string wider rackets.
We owned many machine from Babolat, Wilson and Tecnifibre. I believe the best system or rail system we used was the Tecnifibre straight rails. it was very strong and firm. Silent and Smooth. The base clamp was on a guided rail which I believed made it strong and solid

The Wilson Baiardo had a slight curve which was nice and I couldn't remember to many wow factors however the slight bend gave me more access or angles to get the out grommets and be more flush.

The babolat star and sensor had more of a circular cut out guide and the base clamp was fit between and not on rails but in those cicular cut out guides.

We currently have the Babolat Racket station at our home and honestly the 360 rails are wonderful. You can double up on one side and just doesn't get in your way, however I feel that being the on a smaller rail the weight distribution wasn't the best when pull even at lower 50 seems like the base clamp is moving or causing more draw back situations. I'm not sure maybe it's the flex but I feel that when the rails and turn table are solid like Tecnifibre there is very little move. The metal rail seems "weak" or aluminum feeling and hollow vs a solid iron cast feeling like the ERGO One.
 
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#9
I've had both, a NEOS 1500 and The Mighty Sensor. It took a little adjusting, but I think the curved rails are easier to work with when stringing. IME, with straight rails, I positioned the clamps from the base (bottom). With curved rails, the clamps maneuver from the clamp (top). It may seem subtle, but it does amount to more speed when stringing and easier use. There is less to think about; strictly ergonomic. From a mechanical standpoint, I don't see any advantage to either.
 
#10
The main reason Gamma Sports went to a curved slot was simply to allow the base clamps to move a bit farther apart providing a little more "reach" when string some of today's racquet geometries.
 
#11
I like the slight curve the best, such as on the Wilson Baiardo or Tourna Cube. After that, I'd go the circle-ish rails like the Babolat Star 5, followed lastly by the straight rails. The curved ones just seem to flow a little better, especially on the crosses. I can string fine with either, but I think the curved ones might take a small amount of time off my stringing time, but it's very little and is of no consequence in day-to-day operations. They just seem smother for me.
 
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