Gamma 602FC/X6FC vs Alpha Pioneer DC Plus

Which one?

  • Gamma

  • Alpha


Results are only viewable after voting.

John DeTennis

New User
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!
 

esgee48

Legend
[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.
 

John DeTennis

New User
[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"?
 

bfroxen

New User
I have a 602FC, and I'm happy with it. Perhaps I would like the Alpha even more, though. If you can be patient (ha), you can occasionally find the Gamma for 20-25% off.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
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!
 

krisdrum

Semi-Pro
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.
 

John DeTennis

New User
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.
 

John DeTennis

New User
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.
 

krisdrum

Semi-Pro
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.
 

John DeTennis

New User
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.
 

krisdrum

Semi-Pro
@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.)
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
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.
 

John DeTennis

New User
You must live in a non tennis area. There are usually 4-5 close by machines on FBM and several others within 150 miles or so.
That's the thing! I live in Florida!

I was really baffled by the lack of options. I found an ok deal on the Pro's Pro version of Alpha PDCP but it wasn't in great condition + 4hr drive!
 

darklore009

Hall of Fame
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.
 

John DeTennis

New User
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?
 

John DeTennis

New User


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.
 

darklore009

Hall of Fame
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.
 

John DeTennis

New User
So I got the Alpha! I have been using it for quite some time, and I must say, I'm in love! I have absolutely no complaints, the machine is beautiful. Everything works perfectly. The linear gripper is great, drop-weight mechanism is fine, and the clutch is super easy to get used to. But, it's also super easy to disable/take off. Customer service from Alpha, specifically from Mark, really is some of the best in the world. It is insane how fast he responds.

I ended up receiving the machine at a discount in exchange for some video reviews, which I'll be publishing on YouTube and Instagram soon and linking here of course. Just wanted to give a little disclosure.
 

darklore009

Hall of Fame
dam, they made some subtle changes compared to my verison. The parts are painted black and the knob underneath wasnt there before.
 

DanF1961

Rookie
Alpha Pioneer DC Plus owners - I'm considering upgading to that machine. I currently use a Gamma Progression 200. What I don't like about the Gamma is when I tension some of the mains, the handle/grip area of the racket gets in the way of the drop weight arm, and I can't fully lift or lower the drop weight arm, thus I dont fully tension a main or two. Do you have that problem with the Alpha? Also, with the Linear Gripper on the Alpha, have you had any problems with strings slipping out of the gripper? Any feedback is appreciated.
 

tennisbike

Semi-Pro
..the handle/grip area of the racket gets in the way of the drop weight arm, and I can't fully lift or lower the drop weight arm, thus I dont fully tension a main or two.
What I have been doing is align the angle of the turn table so that the string line up as much as possible with the handle barely miss the drop weight arm. It might be needed to reach for the rotational gripper from under the grip to ratchet the arm. I think the angle of the string stay pretty constant.
 

darklore009

Hall of Fame
Alpha Pioneer DC Plus owners - I'm considering upgading to that machine. I currently use a Gamma Progression 200. What I don't like about the Gamma is when I tension some of the mains, the handle/grip area of the racket gets in the way of the drop weight arm, and I can't fully lift or lower the drop weight arm, thus I dont fully tension a main or two. Do you have that problem with the Alpha? Also, with the Linear Gripper on the Alpha, have you had any problems with strings slipping out of the gripper? Any feedback is appreciated.

I never had a problem with the linear gripper slipping on me when I used it for roughly 7 years. I do clean it with rubbing alcohol and a used toothbrush to clean it off; as its a lot easier to maintain than the Gamma.
 

xeropwnage

New User
Would someone kindly explain what the linear gripper is? I too am undecided between these two machines, but it sounds like the Alpha is the way to go. Thanks!
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
A linear gripper has 2 gripper plates that slide forward as you tension the string on 2 rows of ball bearings on the outside each gripper plate. As the plates move forward they squeeze together and pinch the string.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I’m not sure about this but the Alpha appears from pictures to have the older style K side supports which will cause more blocked grommet holes. The Gamma has the newer type C side supports. Maybe someone with an Alpha can speak up?
 
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