Frustrating Search ~ New Ball Machine

Tennis=Catnip

New User
Ok, so I've researched ball machines until my eyes want to fall out and my brain wants to explode. I narrowed my decision down to Lobster Grand V (have seen way to many negatives on the LE) and the SP Smart. Had pretty much decided on the SP given features, price & overall reviews vs Lobster price plus the added nichel & dime for remote, chargers etc. Honestly for the prices of their high end you'd think they'd include the 3amp charger, both remotes and the cover but no, everything is extra. So...back to the SP Smart which offers all the same features pretty much but is 24 inches high and apparently won't fit in the trunk of a standard car (I have a camry)? For those of you with an SP Smart, do you just keep in your car in the backseat in plain view? The downside of SP, from what I can gather, seem to be the poor battery life and problematic parts. The downside of Lobster is definitely price and for me in Maine the idea of repairs and shipping to CA is a huge concern. Even ordering a Lobster is a concern from CA to ME cross country in one piece without damage and with UPS ground no less - I wouldn't bet on it. What's a girl to do? I love the iphone remote idea but can find no feedback on whether it actually works well and that hikes the price up another $300.
SP match play - any feedback on this feature? It's a big reason why I'm looking at SP Smart vs. Quest but now with the size...*sigh*
I'd like to pull the trigger on one but I'm at a loss between price and portability and features. Why on earth would SP make a model that doesn't fit in a trunk?
Can someone make a pitch for one or the other that might get me over this roadblock? Advice appreciated.
Requirements are: Portability (single female w/ camry). Reliability, Ability to program/save my own drills. Full-function remote.
 

Snipe

New User
Where in CA are you? I'm in SF and recently picked up a Spinfire which I love. It shipped from Florida with no choice my complications, and customer service had been great so far. I believe it's a little more portable than either of the machines you're considering, and I'd THINK it would fit in the back of the Camry. Might be another option to consider.
 

Tennis=Catnip

New User
I'm in Maine - Lobster is in CA. I looked as SF pro 2 but it's actually heavier at 50# and does not have the programming create and save option if I recall. Also you have to pre-order them? or at least that's what the website says. I'll take another look but they didn't have all the features of the other two and size-wise were slightly bigger than SP and heavier than both SP & Lobster.
Thanks for your imput though!
 

nycjsw

New User
Ok, so I've researched ball machines until my eyes want to fall out and my brain wants to explode. I narrowed my decision down to Lobster Grand V (have seen way to many negatives on the LE) and the SP Smart. Had pretty much decided on the SP given features, price & overall reviews vs Lobster price plus the added nichel & dime for remote, chargers etc. Honestly for the prices of their high end you'd think they'd include the 3amp charger, both remotes and the cover but no, everything is extra. So...back to the SP Smart which offers all the same features pretty much but is 24 inches high and apparently won't fit in the trunk of a standard car (I have a camry)? For those of you with an SP Smart, do you just keep in your car in the backseat in plain view? The downside of SP, from what I can gather, seem to be the poor battery life and problematic parts. The downside of Lobster is definitely price and for me in Maine the idea of repairs and shipping to CA is a huge concern. Even ordering a Lobster is a concern from CA to ME cross country in one piece without damage and with UPS ground no less - I wouldn't bet on it. What's a girl to do? I love the iphone remote idea but can find no feedback on whether it actually works well and that hikes the price up another $300.
SP match play - any feedback on this feature? It's a big reason why I'm looking at SP Smart vs. Quest but now with the size...*sigh*
I'd like to pull the trigger on one but I'm at a loss between price and portability and features. Why on earth would SP make a model that doesn't fit in a trunk?
Can someone make a pitch for one or the other that might get me over this roadblock? Advice appreciated.
Requirements are: Portability (single female w/ camry). Reliability, Ability to program/save my own drills. Full-function remote.
I have a SP Smart that I've had for about 6 months. I have an Acura TL and it easily fits in my back seat - I transport it in the from seat b/c I have kids seats in the back. It's not that hard to pickup but I would not want to carry it that far. The wheels work great and I stack my pressureless tennis balls on top of it when I roll it from my car to the courts. I think with the Smart you get a bigger battery vs some other SP models. I've played 3 times for at least an hour to 90 minutes each time without charging it. So you can easily get 4 hours out of a charge - it showed no signs of slowing down.

I'm getting back into the game so I'm mainly trying to groove my strokes. So some of the features I've only done to see what the machine can do. It will send balls to you consistently to a single spot at any pace you want - it can pound them. I do the oscillation a bit - it works fine and when the rate is turned up it's hard to keep up. The match play can go even faster and really run you around. I've only played with it a few times and cranked the machine up. The best pro couldn't keep up with it - it's impossible. So I was happy to see that the machine way outperform my skills.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I bought this unit as a demo model for around $1,400. My only complaint would be that there's always 4-5 balls stuck in the hopper. It's more of a problem b/c you see them in there and expect the machine to shoot them out. Always pause or turn It off before picking up balls. I had one come flying out at me when I was by the net picking up a ball. As far as quality it is well built. I've read that some people have had control panel issues but so far I've had no problems. There really aren't that many parts involved. Their customer service is great.
 

Tennis=Catnip

New User
I have a SP Smart that I've had for about 6 months. I have an Acura TL and it easily fits in my back seat - I transport it in the from seat b/c I have kids seats in the back. It's not that hard to pickup but I would not want to carry it that far. The wheels work great and I stack my pressureless tennis balls on top of it when I roll it from my car to the courts. I think with the Smart you get a bigger battery vs some other SP models. I've played 3 times for at least an hour to 90 minutes each time without charging it. So you can easily get 4 hours out of a charge - it showed no signs of slowing down.

I'm getting back into the game so I'm mainly trying to groove my strokes. So some of the features I've only done to see what the machine can do. It will send balls to you consistently to a single spot at any pace you want - it can pound them. I do the oscillation a bit - it works fine and when the rate is turned up it's hard to keep up. The match play can go even faster and really run you around. I've only played with it a few times and cranked the machine up. The best pro couldn't keep up with it - it's impossible. So I was happy to see that the machine way outperform my skills.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I bought this unit as a demo model for around $1,400. My only complaint would be that there's always 4-5 balls stuck in the hopper. It's more of a problem b/c you see them in there and expect the machine to shoot them out. Always pause or turn It off before picking up balls. I had one come flying out at me when I was by the net picking up a ball. As far as quality it is well built. I've read that some people have had control panel issues but so far I've had no problems. There really aren't that many parts involved. Their customer service is great.
Hey thanks for the feedback! Are the demo models like new? I know you don't get as long a warranty but perhaps that's a non-issue if they are solid and reliable. I may run with one as I'm tired of thinking about it and just want to play and practice. I guess I can live with it in the car, just don't want it stolen! For the money it seems SP is a solid option. Out of NY as opposed to CA makes me feel better if something does happen that requires shipping. Thanks again for the feedback, definitely helps!
 

nycjsw

New User
Hey thanks for the feedback! Are the demo models like new? I know you don't get as long a warranty but perhaps that's a non-issue if they are solid and reliable. I may run with one as I'm tired of thinking about it and just want to play and practice. I guess I can live with it in the car, just don't want it stolen! For the money it seems SP is a solid option. Out of NY as opposed to CA makes me feel better if something does happen that requires shipping. Thanks again for the feedback, definitely helps!
I couldn't tell mine wasn't new. They have demo and warranty returns. The demo is the best option. Just throw a blanket over it while it's in the car. I take it in and out of the car when I play. I wouldn't leave it in there too long in the summer etc.
 

Tennis=Catnip

New User
I couldn't tell mine wasn't new. They have demo and warranty returns. The demo is the best option. Just throw a blanket over it while it's in the car. I take it in and out of the car when I play. I wouldn't leave it in there too long in the summer etc.
Thanks bunches - I pulled the trigger on a Smart demo on **** this morning. It's an AC/DC with like 10 hours on it so what the heck. I don't need the AC but who knows, could come in handy I suppose. Tired of going back and forth between model comparisons and for the money SP seems like a solid bet. Thanks again! I'll post my review to help other newbies. The more feedback on models the better. I could find nothing on the iphone remote with Lobster Grand series but for that kind of $$ I want to hear actual user feedback. Cheers & happy swinging!
 

nycjsw

New User
Thanks bunches - I pulled the trigger on a Smart demo on **** this morning. It's an AC/DC with like 10 hours on it so what the heck. I don't need the AC but who knows, could come in handy I suppose. Tired of going back and forth between model comparisons and for the money SP seems like a solid bet. Thanks again! I'll post my review to help other newbies. The more feedback on models the better. I could find nothing on the iphone remote with Lobster Grand series but for that kind of $$ I want to hear actual user feedback. Cheers & happy swinging!
Good deal. Mine came pretty quick. Make sure you follow up and post a review. So many people here post like crazy when they are looking for information on ball machines but once they get one you never see them on here?

I hit with 72 balls. I was hitting with Penn hard court balls but they went flat and started coming out of the machine weird. I ended up buying pressureless Tretorn balls. After a few hitting sessions I am very pleased with the way they hit.
 
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