Fixed vs. Flying Clamps

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by WhiteSox05CA, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    I've been interested in getting my own stringing machine. I don't want to spend too much. I was looking at a cheap drop-weight machine, are these efficent? I just want to make sure they get the job done as well as any, even if I have to sacrifice time.

    Would it be better to get flying clamps or fixed clamps for this type of machine?

    What would you suggest? What's the difference? Can I replace flying clamps on something like a Gamma X-2 with fixed clamps? Thanks!:D

    Also, what's the advantage of "glide bar" clamps?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2006
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  2. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    Personally, I like fixed swivel clamps over glide bar clamps and flying clamps.

    That's alot of questions and there are reasons why one would prefer a particular type over the other. (finances, convenience, ease of use, etc.)

    I would suggest looking at the Frequently Asked Questions on the Silent Partner and Eagnas sites, then check out varuscelli's site.

    http://www.sptennis.com/
    http://www.eagnas.com/
    http://www.photostringer.com/

    These sites are very well made and can answer alot of your questions. Once you know your budget, type of mounting system, type of clamps, and type of tensioning system, then lots of people here can give you advice on which machine and brand to go with.
     
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  3. josephhkim

    josephhkim Rookie

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    Lets face it as a fact,

    Fixed clamps are better than flying clamps.

    Obviously, if you through in cost and money, flying clamps may be the only choice, but the first upgrade you should make is fixed clamps.

    Glide bar clamps are outdated now, and on the newer machines, almost all of them are swivel.

    If you can, get fixed clamps. Much more reliable and consistent results.
     
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  4. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    i have an older gamma x2 stringer that i recently upgraded to a 6pt mount. the only complaint i have ever had with the machine or anything is the flying clamps. i have to string 2 lbs over the tension i want due to slippage through the fixed clamps.

    if i had to do buy the machine over i would spend the extra for fixed clamps.

    in any case, buy the best machine you can with the budget you have. if you can only afford flying clamp model you'll still be fine.
     
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  5. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    #5
  6. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    So if I get a cheap drop-weight, can I buy fixed clamps for it later when I'll need them? Or do I have to get a whole new machine just for the fixed clamps?
     
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  7. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    No, you cannot upgrade to fixed clamps. You need a new machine. What is your price range? If you are serious about tennis, buy the most expensive machine possible. I have yet to speak to a person who has not had a good return on investment on their machine.

    If you are serious, you can purchase a $1200 machine and make that money back fairly quickly. Charge $10 profit per job. 2 racquets/week = $1040.
     
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  8. dancraig

    dancraig Hall of Fame

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    Sometimes there are good deals on e bay.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2006
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  9. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    I don't think I'd make a business out of it. I'd do my own racquets, maybe some friends of mine, or players on my team. I was suggested the Eagnas Combo 710. That's @ $320, which is pretty much the highest I would go.
     
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  10. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Eagnas has a poor reputation around here...I would suggest that you avoid them based on what I have seen/read. They'll sell you a machine, but are difficult to work with if you need any support...
     
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  11. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    What about machine quality? I believe I can get help from someone, so customer support isn't too big of a turnoff for me.
     
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  12. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Like I said, search a bit on Eagnas and read the posts...I've never owned one so can't comment on any particular model. I believe there are only a few different HW manufacturers, so their machines are likely based on similar HW used by other vendors.

    However, your problem would be that if your machine has a problem that requires more than advice, help from a friend may not help very much.
     
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  13. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    i wouldn't touch eagnas even if they were free. pay the extra and go with a company that actually cares about the customer and offers good service.

    i have a gamma and have been nothing but happy since day 1 (and my machine is 10 + years old). Alpha is good too.
     
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  14. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    It's the holidays after all, time to hit up the relatives! :D

    If you have 320 to spend, you can probably dig up another $70 or so from family, or even friends to get the Alpha. Tell your friends that for each $10 they give you now, you'll give them one free string job when you have your machine, or that $20 buys them the labor for three jobs, whatever.

    Get the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus. You won't regret it, great machine, great support from Alpha.
     
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  15. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    What's wrong with Eagnas? They just seem to fit what I'm looking for. None of the Gamma ones have the linear gripper with a clutch, and the Gamma's with the fixed clamps are more expensive so it doesn't make sense to get one of those.

    What other good stringing brands are there?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006
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  16. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    You need to search the forum for "Eagnas" and then read through the threads...then you can decide if the responses make you comfortable or not about purchasing from them. What I heard here (and elsewhere) about them took them off my list pretty quickly, including problems w/inconsistency in the quality of the machine, and consistent problems w/getting support from them.

    Like I've said, the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus has:

    - Linear string gripper
    - Fixed clamps (diamond dusted)
    - Clutch/ratchet system
    - Same heavy duty turntable and 6pt mounting as the $550 Revo 4K crank

    All for $399...I wanted those features, and a company that provided high a quality machine and excellent support, all for $400 or less. The Alpha was the only machine that met those requirements.
     
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  17. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    I want those features too, but I don't really want to spend that much. So when I came across the Eagnas Flex 740 on their webiste, it seemed to have everything I wanted, for only $220. Anything compare to that in the same price range? I don't really want an Eagnas, but to save $200 may be worth it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006
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  18. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    buy an eagnas at your own risk. do a search in this forum before you make your decision. at the end of the day.....it's your money
     
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  19. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    To me this is simply a matter of price sensitivity and risk aversion. :) There isn't a right an wrong answer here, different people will come to different conclusions and results.

    If you are very price sensitive and not risk averse, the Eagnas may be the right option for you. The lower cost of the Eagnas machine (good) balanced against their reputation for inconsistent quality and poor service (bad) may be an acceptable trade-off for you, and you might end up w/a good result - cheaper machine, quality is OK, and you don't need support.

    That trade-off wasn't for me, but I have less price-sensitivity than you, and no interest at all is risking time wasting/frustration w/bad support or quality issues. Also, I have a personal problem supporting companies that don't provide good service...I don't like rewarding poor business practices, so that affects my all purchase decisions as well.
     
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  20. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    Over the last 10 years, I have purchased 2 Eagnas machines, 1 drop weight, the other a crank. Both have worked well for me. In 7 years (over 800 rackets strung) using the drop weight, one clutch spring broke; it was shipped and arrived in 3 days for $14. The new crank machine (6 months old) is also working well.

    Take a look at http://www.stringforum.net/mforum.php several customers who actually owned the 740 machine posted reviews. You may prefer reading from actual customers.

    Before the last 2, I owned a Gamma drop weight, it also worked well but the floating clamps did not provide stable tension for me, so upgraded to a fixed clamp system, Eagnas had the best price for the features I needed, so went with them.
     
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  21. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, I have read some of those reviews before. So do flying clamps give innacurate tension? Is that why they're not used?
     
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  22. barry

    barry Hall of Fame

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    I am sure there are better stringers out there, but for me the clamps seem to twist alot. When you clamp the two togeter there was always some movement. Back then we were stringing in the high 60's and it could have been a tension issue.

    Fixed are better, I think everyone who has had both will agree.
     
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  23. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    agreed. fixed are better. then again i just add a couple lbs to my tension whn i use the floating clamps on my machine to get the end tension i want. works for now but would rather have fixed clamps from the start so don't have to worry about things like this.
     
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  24. eunjam

    eunjam Rookie

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    i think i said before:

    fixed clamps not necessary.....but ooooohhhhh sooooo nice.

    6 point mounting....not necessary......but ooooohhhh sooo nice.

    a toyota echo can get me where i need......but to have a mercedes is oooooh sooo nice.
     
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  25. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Glide bar clamps are simple to use and reliable. If there weren't any fan-shaped patterns, I'd say these are the best to get. However, since many rackets, especially racquetball rackets use fan-shaped patterns, it might be better for you to get fixed, swivel clamps. Swivel clamps need more adjustments etc. but they work well for most rackets.
     
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  26. LttlElvis

    LttlElvis Professional

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    LOL. Very well put.
     
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  27. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Fixed clamps would be nice.

    But I tend to feel that the tension on one machine isn't always going to relate to the tension on another; a racquet strung at 55 lbs. on machine A will be different from one at 55 lbs. on machine B.

    The nice thing is. . . even if you have floating clamps and you find some slippage, you just factor that in, and add, say, 2 lbs. So you just string at 57 rather than 55.

    This sounds sloppy, but it's a practical way of dealing with it.
     
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  28. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    That will lead to inconsistency since slippage will be different with different strings. Some just hold better than others. Plus, you really don't want ANY slippage as it will be rough on the string.
     
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  29. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    Good point Steve. I do usually use the same string on the same frame each time, at the same tension, so maybe this dialing in only works in this situation.
     
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  30. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    I want to start stringing now but I don't want to buy a $400 dropweight, and then in a couple of years want to upgrade to a crank.
     
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  31. eunjam

    eunjam Rookie

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    - are you ever going to start stringing commercially? i mean, stringing more than say.......4-5 rackets per day?

    - does it make that big of a difference that you string a racket in 25 mins as opposed to 40 mins?

    if both answers are no above, then get a dropweight with fixed clamps.

    constant pulls are a big positive in my book.

    my $.02
     
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  32. ssjkyle31

    ssjkyle31 Semi-Pro

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    In the end, it all depends on you. My parents bought a Prince Neos for my brothers and I many years ago. Now that I am older, two to three pounds difference does not affect me and I don't have the space to store an upright stringer (and make it kid proof). Between a floating clamp and fixed swivel/glide, it does not affect me too much since I was never in a rush to string a racket especially in between drinks.
     
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  33. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    I figure that's what I could do if I just buy some small drop-weight.
     
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  34. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Whitesox, I hate to tell you this, but no matter what you buy, in 4 or 5 years, if you string a lot, you'll want a "better" machine. It's the nature of the game. And believe me, every few years, something "better" will come out.
     
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  35. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    I know that. That's why I want to start off with something small. Then when I'm more experienced, and string more often, I'll get a much more expensive one in a few years down the road.
     
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  36. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    So buy the Klippermate.
     
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  37. FrenchOpen

    FrenchOpen Guest

    I prefer flying clamps, but good ones. I have Stringway flying clamps, and the quality of the job is better with them than every fixed clamps I know. I had a Babolat Sensor as a machine, but I prefered stringing with my flying clamps on it than with the fixed clamps of the machine,

    Moreover, tou can string natural gut without any problems, strings won't be damaged,
     
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  38. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    So would you consider these "Stringway" to be the best flying clamps? So I can get a cheap dropweight like the Gamma X-2, and then replace the standard clamps with these. Will that make much of a difference? Is it worth it?
     
    #38
  39. jj300

    jj300 Semi-Pro

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    Ok buddy. I'm gona be the first to say ******** to this post. I used a lf machine before, and there is no way, let me say that again NOOOOOO chance in hell the string job will be the same quality as on a sensor machine. Not only are fixed clamps faster, they are softer on the strings and produce a far superior string job to any flying clamp. You sure you weren't dreaming off the sensor while you were using ur flying clamps machine?
     
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  40. FrenchOpen

    FrenchOpen Guest

    Dear Whitesox,

    That's one of the advice I can give : most of my customers have made this choice, and they are very pleased with it. They started with original clamps but very often broke many string or frayed them, when they changed them it was night and day. Choose a 6 pts machine and change clamps for good ones (stringway). The quality of the job the is the best, precise and durable.
     
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  41. FrenchOpen

    FrenchOpen Guest

    Dear jj300,

    You're right : job is faster with fixed clamps, I noticed that, but I made a choice between fast job with sensor clamps and excellent job with stringway flying clamps. Sensor clamps are very fast, good for stringing poly strings, but for multis and natural gut, they are too aggressive and mark the strings. Moreover, you can see a huge movement of the clamps when the string starts to be on tension.

    Stringway flying clamps job is for sure longer, but more precise and softer for strings (I never broke so many natural gut with Sensor clamps ! and never one with Stringway). But all is a question of priority : if you think a huge, modern, technical machine makes you more professionnal for your customers, that's your right (90% of the stringers think the same) ; if you think that it's the quality of the job that is the most important (I take part of these 10%), you make the choice of quality machine and accessories.
     
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  42. yourname1245

    yourname1245 Rookie

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    ok,
    hears the story the fixed clamps are much more accurate, but the drop wight is very accurate depending on how string. For it to be accurate you must make the are be parallel to the floor which takes time but is good if you only string yourt stuff. I was looking around and heard to stay away from sp because the machines malfunction and break the racquets, and eaganas is also a company where the owner keeps the machine in a shed in his backyard. They both ship from ny but really reside in Canada and that means longer ship times and hard to reach out of the states. If you are looking to get something nice and for a the money go with laserfibre. They have a 10 garrantey, plus if you decide you want flying and you later want fixed all you do is send the flying clamps to them and with in a week they send you the add on to ur machine for the fixed ones. All the machines are upgradeable and they are the best yet they are kind of behind because they are making the new 2007 machines.
    Thanks
    sal ferraro
     
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  43. Masamusou

    Masamusou Semi-Pro

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    Are you freaking serious? I feel that this question needs to be asked, but you are aware that the Sensor clamps can be ADJUSTED right? Straight up, I will say this right now. There is NO way... I repeat, NO way, that a flying clamp (made by ANY company) is going to have less drawback than something like a Sensor or my Star 5. If you broke natural gut on the Sensor it is your own fault, not that of the machine. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, there is no way a flying clamp machine can compete with a good fixed clamp machine (especially up in the Sensor and Star lines) as far as excellence in clamping. It is simply impossible for a clamp that only has a previously tensioned string to hold to have less drawback than a clamp that is solidly locked to a metal table. If flying clamps were better than fixed then there would be a professional machine SOMEWHERE that uses them. Can you name any machines in that category that use flying clamps? That can't be merely coincidence now can it?
     
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  44. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    Thanks man. I didn't know that Laserfibre's were upgradable. Well that's exactly what I want. When are the new 2007 machines coming out? How much can you improve?
     
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  45. FrenchOpen

    FrenchOpen Guest

    Dear Masamusou,

    I'm sure you enjoy your great Five Star. But I string since more than 15 years on several machines (Babolat Starring, Sensor Expert Duo, Tecnifibre), with more than 20.000 rackets strung with fixed and now flying clamps, so I can talk about it due to my own experience I guess. I don't care about "marketing", "professionnal appearence", I talk about quality of job, but especially about "CLAMPS" and not machines. I'm ok with you : sensor machines are probably the best, but if you put Stringway on it, it's still better (I've tried both, I can compare). The diamond powder on Babolat clamps is too aggressive for the strings, and if you refer to physical laws, you will see that flying clamps princip is more accurate than fixed ones. But I repeat once more what I said : STRINGWAY flying clamps are better than any fixed ones (if fixed ones are not already Stringway ones, of course !).
    Fixed clamps are faster, that's only the reason why there aren't any in shops, but then again, I don't care about the time needed to make quality job.
     
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  46. yourname1245

    yourname1245 Rookie

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    well i heard that in march you can order again and you can upgrade to fixed 360 clamps, locking turn table and sensory tension jaw that automatically letss the string out of the clamp when it reaches the tension. Laserfibre is stringway so you get the same machine with a different paint job.
     
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  47. WhiteSox05CA

    WhiteSox05CA Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone own a Laserfibre? I would be surprised because their prices are so high. Way too high for their function.
     
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  48. yourname1245

    yourname1245 Rookie

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    dude they are by far the best and strongest machines, they have 10 year warranty and no one else comes close to that. they are a drop weight that automatically pulls the tension as you drop the weight you don't have to mess around with the bearing like on a normal drop weight, best clamping system and they even have constant pull that allows you to have the most accurate tension because after you clamp the string and pull tension if you let it sit for a few seconds to a minute, it loses some tension. With the machine it constantly pulls the string after you have pulled the drop weight don't be an idiot and buy something crappy. i ordered mine and am just waiting and i can wait much longer cause the hype about them is so high.
    sal
     
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  49. YzPlayr

    YzPlayr New User

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    eunjam - just wondering if you are still happy with your Flex 740? I keep going back and forth between going the "safe" route and getting the Gamma X-2 with only a 2-point mount/flying clamps or spending the extra $100 (+ shipping) on the 740 and getting 6-point mount/fixed clamps, but praying the machine is ok.
     
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  50. bobbyjonesrocks

    bobbyjonesrocks Rookie

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    I have been thinking about this the whole day and I can't figure what ********* is! Can someone tell me or at least give me a hint?
     
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