Gamma 602FC/X6FC vs Alpha Pioneer DC Plus

Which one?

  • Gamma

  • Alpha


Results are only viewable after voting.
#1
So I'm in the market for a stringer. Based on my budget, and goals with stringing, I have narrowed it down to the two options.
Which one should I go for?

-What is better, Gamma's drum gripper or Alpha's linear? (In terms of ease of use, maintenance etc.)
-Which company has better customer support?
-Which one will last longer/have better resell value?
-Also, should I get a starting clamp? (Which brand has the best one under $50?)
-Just in general what are your experiences with either machines?

Any help is super greatly appreciated!
 
#2
[1] Both grippers work well. The Alpha linear gripper has fewer maintenance issues.
[2] Customer Support is equally good, i.e. very good.
[3] Resale value will depend on condition of the machine when you sell it. All will last for decades.
[4] Yes get a starting clamp. Pros Pro is adequate as is any other reputable brand.
[5] None. I have used LO from both companies.
 
#3
[1] Both grippers work well. The Alpha linear gripper has fewer maintenance issues.
[2] Customer Support is equally good, i.e. very good.
[3] Resale value will depend on condition of the machine when you sell it. All will last for decades.
[4] Yes get a starting clamp. Pros Pro is adequate as is any other reputable brand.
[5] None. I have used LO from both companies.
Thank you! This helps a lot. I think I'm leaning towards the Alpha because it's a bit cheaper, and I have experience with linear grippers. Plus I've heard slightly better things about Alpha's customer support. If I get the cheaper Alpha I can get a nice starting clamp, like one from Babolat. Anybody else have experiences with either machine? At this point in my decision making process, negative comments on the Alpha would be helpful I guess ;)

Oh and what is "LO"?
 
#8
Sorry, not really answering your question, but my best advice would be to look for a used lockout stringer from a reputable brand on craigslist or facebook marketplace. Like a Prince Neos, Gamma XST/5003, or Alpha Revo/Axis Pro. If you're a little patient, you can find one in nice condition for the same price or even less than what the two machines you mentioned sell for new. Then you'll have an easier/faster to use machine, with better resale value compared to what you've invested. Just a thought. Good luck!
 
#9
I have an older 602FC I bought used. It is my second machine, after I learned on a very basic flying clamp DW machine.

The Gamma is nice and definitely a step up from what I had. I'm still getting used to the nuances in technique, but so far so good.

Not sure you can go wrong with either frankly. DWs are definitely slower compared to a LO or E machine, but if you aren't too worried about speed, it won't make a difference. Having the fixed clamps IS a difference though in my experience. I feel much more confident I can produce a consistent stringbed with this machine.
 
#10
I have an older 602FC I bought used. It is my second machine, after I learned on a very basic flying clamp DW machine.

The Gamma is nice and definitely a step up from what I had. I'm still getting used to the nuances in technique, but so far so good.

Not sure you can go wrong with either frankly. DWs are definitely slower compared to a LO or E machine, but if you aren't too worried about speed, it won't make a difference. Having the fixed clamps IS a difference though in my experience. I feel much more confident I can produce a consistent stringbed with this machine.
Yea I have a similar story. Been stringing on a crappy DW floating clamp for a while, and I want to upgrade. Thanks for the advice. Now I might go for the Gamma. Who knows though lol.

I don't need to be super fast. It's gonna be mostly for personal use and some paying friends. Probably gonna do 4-5 frames a week max.
 
#11
Sorry, not really answering your question, but my best advice would be to look for a used lockout stringer from a reputable brand on craigslist or facebook marketplace. Like a Prince Neos, Gamma XST/5003, or Alpha Revo/Axis Pro. If you're a little patient, you can find one in nice condition for the same price or even less than what the two machines you mentioned sell for new. Then you'll have an easier/faster to use machine, with better resale value compared to what you've invested. Just a thought. Good luck!
I've been looking for deals like that for a while to no avail. I guess I'm a bit impatient. I don't need super fastness while stringing though, as I mentioned I'll probably be doing like 3 frames a week most of the time.

Also, I'm gonna be my high school team's stringer, so I'll get a decent discount from either company.
 
#13
Yea I have a similar story. Been stringing on a crappy DW floating clamp for a while, and I want to upgrade. Thanks for the advice. Now I might go for the Gamma. Who knows though lol.

I don't need to be super fast. It's gonna be mostly for personal use and some paying friends. Probably gonna do 4-5 frames a week max.
I would have picked up either for the right price. It just so happened the Gamma came up on the auction site at the right price sooner than the Alpha.

There had been an Alpha sitting out there forever from someone who only wanted to do local pick-up. I tried to convince him several times to ship it, to no avail.
 
#14
I would have picked up either for the right price. It just so happened the Gamma came up on the auction site at the right price sooner than the Alpha.

There had been an Alpha sitting out there forever from someone who only wanted to do local pick-up. I tried to convince him several times to ship it, to no avail.
What kind of auction site did you use? I've checked craig and E.
 
#15
@krisdrum @bfroxen

You guys have the red progression version right? Not the X-series?

If so, how is the red plastic holding up? At least I heard it's plastic... :unsure:
Yep, red plastic tray/cover over the metal frame. Mine is in great shape. I have the older version with the full length tray, which is a bit of a pain because part of the tray is always under the turntable. But there is enough room closer to the tension head for the essential tools (starting clamp, awl, cutter, etc.)
 
#19
I've been looking for deals like that for a while to no avail. I guess I'm a bit impatient. I don't need super fastness while stringing though, as I mentioned I'll probably be doing like 3 frames a week most of the time.

Also, I'm gonna be my high school team's stringer, so I'll get a decent discount from either company.
All the best deals I've seen around me have been on Facebook Marketplace.
 
#27
I used the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus for many years now before I upgraded the tension head for a Wise. I also used the entry machine called the progression 200 from Gamma in my starting days. IMO, the Alpha is much better as its a linear gripper and easier to maintain and clean compared to the gamma.

For the mounting system, both brands you cant go wrong as both serve the same purpose. Its a matter of personal preference on which one appeals to you the most. The clamps do their job of holding the string. The swivel clamp base is also a preference too.
 
#28
I used the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus for many years now before I upgraded the tension head for a Wise. I also used the entry machine called the progression 200 from Gamma in my starting days. IMO, the Alpha is much better as its a linear gripper and easier to maintain and clean compared to the gamma.

For the mounting system, both brands you cant go wrong as both serve the same purpose. Its a matter of personal preference on which one appeals to you the most. The clamps do their job of holding the string. The swivel clamp base is also a preference too.
Does one not have a swivel clamp base?
 
#30


Both are technically the same, but they operate differently.
So I don't really get it, they look almost exactly the same. Don't they operate the same as well? On what dimension is the swivel Gamma is talking about? The clamp itself, or the clamp base?

Also, have you had a problem with the Alpha's knobs? I just noticed the Gamma knobs look really aesthetically pleasing with like a rubber grip on them.
 
#31
Both work the same way. I tried the Gamma one on my friends machine couple of times, but I find myself preferring the Alpha one a bit more because it doesnt need that much distance to lock the base in place. The Alpha one did get a bit loose before, but replacing the spring for it is easy.
 
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