Gamma 6900 ELS vs. Gamma X-ELS

SMcG

New User
Greetings Talk Tennis community.

I am looking into getting a new stringing machine since mine is currently an entry level drop-weight stringer I bought to learn the basics of stringing. Having progressed, I am looking into higher-tech stringing machines. With the high school tennis team starting up soon (I am a student not a coach), I am hoping to have the ability to quickly and efficiently string racquets and therefore make my own business.

Doing some research, I decided upon a price range with a maximum of about $2,000. It seemed that an electronic stringer, most of which are only a few hundred dollars more than manual counterparts, would be a good option. However, I am not at all educated in the finer points of a stringing machine, possessing a very basic one currently.

The models I settled between were the Gamma 6900 ELS, and the Gamma X-ELS. What I am wondering is: is it worth the extra cash to buy the 6900 or should I stick to the X-ELS. If you have other suggestions, I am open to them however the 6900 is at the very top of my budget and I would prefer to stick to electronic machines. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.

Here is a link to the X-ELS: http://www.tennis-experts.com/gamma-x-els-tennis-stringing-machine.html
And also the 6900: http://www.tennis-experts.com/gamma-6900-els-6-point-sc-mounting-tennis stringing machines.html

Thank you in advance, and have a great Thanksgiving!!!
 
Last edited:

dak95_00

Hall of Fame
And cue up the people who say he should buy an Alpha Ghost for $2500, Prince 1500 and add a Wise, or to completely go manual with a NEOS or Stringway.

My advice would require a few answers from you first.

Are you going away to college? Will you have room for a large stringer where you go?
(Your answer here should help narrow the size of the stringer. It's doubtful that you'll become professional and make a living by stringing.)

How much will you make per string job and how much business do you expect? (Your answer here will be used to help estimate your break even point or point of profitability.)

Why electronic and not manual? Is it to impress potential customers? (In the end, they'll be more impressed with general knowledge of stringing technique and knowledge of strings and how they'll perform at varying tensions.)

You should also keep in my that the midrange and lower stringers hold their value much better than the upper end machines. For example, $200 machines often sell for close to $150 used and $1000 machines close to $800 and this is after many years of use. People are more concerned about used electronic machines because the parts are more difficult and expensive to replace.

At your price point and not breaking the bank, you should strongly consider a good manual machine from Alpha or Gamna (very respected & maintain value) either new or used and possibly adding a Wise tension head to give you a true constant pull electronic. This would keep you within your budget, could be portable enough and fit in a dorm room in college, and would be easy enough to sell years later if your life takes you in a different direction and you need to upgrade or sell.

Alpha Revo 4000 $679 & Wise $600 =$1269

Of course, you might find a used machine in your area for less. There was a Gamma 5003 in mine recently for under $500.
 

SMcG

New User
Dak95,

Thanks for the reply! To start, I will go through each question. I am a freshmen, and therefore have plenty of time at home still. Size is not an issue in this case. Next, I have no idea what to expect in terms of business, and the primary reason for getting a new stringer is because I am looking for an increase in quality and ease of use; it took a long time to figure out mine. I was thinking electronic because of the exactness of the stringer. I know a manual is arguably just as exact, but I felt it might be worth the investment (I do not have my heart set on electronic though). With 4 years to go before having to figure out the transfer of a machine, portability is not really a big issue, I am more worried about cost and functionality.
Really the only thing I would prefer to avoid is a drop weight machine. I understand it is exact, however having to worry about the bar being horizontal and having to repeatedly drop the weight to get to the right tension adds an element to the stringing process that I feel it is worth removing. That being said, I have an open mind to any ideas you might have. Thanks again!
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I was stringing for several years on a drop weight machine (LaserFibre machine with floating clamps and constant pull) until a plastic piece in its mounting system broke. This was a couple of years ago and I decided to start shopping for something a bit more substantial.

At the same time, I had already started working at a club in the summer where my boss has a Gamma 6500 (the model that preceded their 6900). I got to use this machine for a couple of months while I was thinking over my next machine and after turning out several dozen string jobs, I had a lot more confidence in the option of an electric machine. MUCH easier to string at a higher volume compared with a drop weight and Gamma's customer service has also earned a very good reputation.

I got the Progression II ELS and it's been absolutely great for me. I actually wanted a table top machine that wouldn't need to occupy it's own chunk of floor space and compared with both the drop weight and lockout machines with fixed clamps, six-point mounting, etc. that don't cost much less, this rig was an easy choice for me. I never move it around, but if I need to at some point, it will be easy compared with something bigger with a floor stand.

The 6900 looks like a serious investment that would probably only be considered if you were buying it for a shop. My machine doesn't have the self-centering mounts or the bigger (wider?) clamps on the 6900, but I actually have gotten so used to it that I prefer stringing on mine instead of the more upscale 6500 at work. I have no idea what the resale value of a 6900 would be a few years down the road, but resale value wasn't a consideration when I was getting an upgrade.

I'll bet that any machine you grow accustomed to will be rather "exact" once you get used to producing consistent string jobs with it. I rather like the constant pull feature - I had it in my LF machine - and you could get that if you bought a Stringway. Now that I have better mounting and fixed clamps though, I'll probably never go back.

My machine is quite close to the Gamma X-ELS and since I like mine so much, that's the easy option for me to recommend. I can't really think of an advantage with the 6900 - it would cost a lot more and only give you mildly better hardware. As hobby stringers go (at least that's how I'd classify both of us), I think the X-ELS is a killer machine. I'm going on over two years with mine... zero regrets!!
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
It may not look as "professional" but for the same money as the 6900 ELS, I would get a Gamma 6004 + Wise or NEOS 1500 + Wise for 2 reasons:
  • The 6900 ELS has cone lock base clamps whereas the 6004 and NEOS 1500 has switch action cam lock (spring assisted) ones.
  • The 6900 ELS has a rotational gripper whereas the Wise has a linear gripper.
Both are superior IMO to the 6900 ELS.

For a little more $$$ than the X-ELS, you can get the Alpha Axis Pro or the Revo 4000 + Wise. Both with the switch action clamps and both better options than the X-ELS.
 

SMcG

New User
So at this point I am leaning towards the X-ELS; not only is the cost achievable for me, it seems to have enough features for what I need it for. I took a look at the 6004 and NEOS, however the X-ELS feels like a safe bet, it isn't exactly going to be problematic. Thanks to everyone for the replies!
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
So at this point I am leaning towards the X-ELS; not only is the cost achievable for me, it seems to have enough features for what I need it for. I took a look at the 6004 and NEOS, however the X-ELS feels like a safe bet, it isn't exactly going to be problematic. Thanks to everyone for the replies!

I think you'll be happy with the machine but gotta be honest ... it's probably the worst of all the options discussed here.
 

SMcG

New User
I think you'll be happy with the machine but gotta be honest ... it's probably the worst of all the options discussed here.
I understand that completely, however it seems to have all of the capabilities I need, and the cost is pretty easy to handle. Thanks for all the help from everyone! Have a safe thanksgiving.
 
Top