Gamma or Alpha?

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
I know, I know... this thread has been done. Still, I have some specific questions that are unclearly answered in the other threads.

I have been stringing on a Klippermate for years, and want to upgrade slightly to something with fixed clamps. That has me looking at the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus and the Gamma X-6FC/602FC.

Here are my questions:
  1. Drawback. Gamma uses an extruded aluminum base for the fixed clamps. Is the steel base of the DC Plus really more rigid? I'm assuming there's drawback in every fixed clamp system until you get to the really high end, but I'm curious to get a reply from users who've worked with both. Is this a difference worth deciding in favor of one or the other?
  2. Companies. I've had my Klippermate for over 20 years, and expect my next stringer to be around until I'm too old to play anymore (aka, until I'm dead). Gamma is a large, and what I perceive to be stable, company in the tennis industry. Alpha seems smaller and less stable. Many argue for Alpha's customer service, but that seems to all rest on the shoulders of one guy...
  3. String gripper. Many seem to prefer the linear gripper of the Alpha. Why? It seems like it'd be just a likely to flatten/damage strings. Having strung on the old version of the Klippermate, which does have a rather sharp angle on the gripper, the Gamma version seems like it'd be easy on strings. Also, who has the better, more reliable clutch?
  4. Overall machine quality/sturdiness. Is one better than the other in this regard? I haven't, and won't be able to see either prior to making a purchase.

Thanks for rehashing if you've answered this sort of question before. I'm not particularly concerned about the metal/composite clamp issue. The other things are, however, things I'd like more information about.
 

struggle

Legend
I know, I know... this thread has been done. Still, I have some specific questions that are unclearly answered in the other threads.

I have been stringing on a Klippermate for years, and want to upgrade slightly to something with fixed clamps. That has me looking at the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus and the Gamma X-6FC/602FC.

Here are my questions:
  1. Drawback. Gamma uses an extruded aluminum base for the fixed clamps. Is the steel base of the DC Plus really more rigid? I'm assuming there's drawback in every fixed clamp system until you get to the really high end, but I'm curious to get a reply from users who've worked with both. Is this a difference worth deciding in favor of one or the other?

    I think this is where the alpha shines in this price range. You get "switch/spring action" base clamps and metal string clamps. I'm not sure the base construction matters as much. ON the Gamma you twist the lever tight to lock the base clamp. Also i believe the Gamma string clamps are plastic coated metal??

  2. Companies. I've had my Klippermate for over 20 years, and expect my next stringer to be around until I'm too old to play anymore (aka, until I'm dead). Gamma is a large, and what I perceive to be stable, company in the tennis industry. Alpha seems smaller and less stable. Many argue for Alpha's customer service, but that seems to all rest on the shoulders of one guy...

    I agree. I have a Gamma and CS is superb, but I've heard much the same for Alpha. The only issue I have is many of Alpha's parts seem to come from the same lineage as Eagnas and the like. Might be no big deal with proper CS.

  3. String gripper. Many seem to prefer the linear gripper of the Alpha. Why? It seems like it'd be just a likely to flatten/damage strings. Having strung on the old version of the Klippermate, which does have a rather sharp angle on the gripper, the Gamma version seems like it'd be easy on strings. Also, who has the better, more reliable clutch?

    Linear is likely gonna be quicker, less fidgiting and uses less string to tension.
    I've actually never used a drum gripper, but having see them I know I'd prefer the liner. Both are gonna mar the string on occasion, that is often more string dependent than machine (it would seem).


  4. Overall machine quality/sturdiness. Is one better than the other in this regard? I haven't, and won't be able to see either prior to making a purchase.

If the Gamma had the clamping that the Alpha does, it would be a no brainer to me, but the Alpha takes the cake due to just that, IMO.

I'd get the Alpha, in this scenario. If you go higher budget, I'd probably do the Gamma instead (mostly depends on the clamps, all lockouts have linear grippers).


Thanks for rehashing if you've answered this sort of question before. I'm not particularly concerned about the metal/composite clamp issue. The other things are, however, things I'd like more information about.
I'd likely get the Alpha, in this case.
 
Don't take this the wrong way, but sometimes people are prone to over-thinking where this stuff is concerned. If you've read as much as I think you have, surely you've seen that both companies are well respected and have reputations that are beyond reproach (though I'm sure you can always find a dissatisfied customer if you look hard enough; can't please everyone).

As for your questions...

1. I haven't worked with either, but even with the high-end machines you'll still have drawback. Some more than others perhaps, but there are ways to help mitigate how much. Surely you already know this, but for those who may read this thread that don't, I had a few of my customers go to Dick's sporting goods to get their racquets done while I was out of commission for a few months. Neither of them know the first thing about stringing, but they could definitely tell a shoddy job when they saw one because that's what they got. My Alpha Apex 2 with a Wise is a $1,600 setup. Dick's sports uses a Technifibre 7000 ($7,500). Bottom line - the person doing the stringing can be the biggest variable where it concerns quality/workmanship.

2. Not sure why you think Alpha is unstable, but they've been around for a few years, and from what I can tell don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. But hey, ANY company can go TU - you seem to be old enough to know that, possibly even seen it for yourself.

3. Never used a rotational gripper, so I can't compare the two, however, if either is maladjusted, then sure, you can damage string. But yes you are correct - the consensus seems to be that the linear gripper is preferable, maybe slightly less cumbersome.

4. I think if you were afforded the opportunity to use both you would find things that you prefer over the other on both machines. Usually people would say, "if I could just combine the two it would be the perfect machine!" Personally, I don't think you can go wrong with either.

Not sure if that helps you, but maybe it'll be of some value to others who are looking at both companies.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Thanks for your responses. Both of them helped. And yes, V1 Classic, I am one of those people who tend to overthink things. That said, I'm usually happy with my purchases.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
I had a Gamma Progression II 200 which is flying clamp version of the 602-FC with the same mounting mechanism and tensioner. I also had an Alpha Pioneer DC Plus.

Having had both, I would go with the Alpha based on the linear gripper and the tensioning mechanism. It's gentler on the strings IMO and MUCH faster to tension on.

That said... Since you have a machine now, for about the same money or just little more I would start looking for a used higher end machine (Ektelon H, Neos 1000, Gamma 5003, Alpha Axis Pro, etc...).
 

anubis

Hall of Fame
I know, I know... this thread has been done. Still, I have some specific questions that are unclearly answered in the other threads.

I have been stringing on a Klippermate for years, and want to upgrade slightly to something with fixed clamps. That has me looking at the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus and the Gamma X-6FC/602FC.

Here are my questions:
  1. Drawback. Gamma uses an extruded aluminum base for the fixed clamps. Is the steel base of the DC Plus really more rigid? I'm assuming there's drawback in every fixed clamp system until you get to the really high end, but I'm curious to get a reply from users who've worked with both. Is this a difference worth deciding in favor of one or the other?
  2. Companies. I've had my Klippermate for over 20 years, and expect my next stringer to be around until I'm too old to play anymore (aka, until I'm dead). Gamma is a large, and what I perceive to be stable, company in the tennis industry. Alpha seems smaller and less stable. Many argue for Alpha's customer service, but that seems to all rest on the shoulders of one guy...
  3. String gripper. Many seem to prefer the linear gripper of the Alpha. Why? It seems like it'd be just a likely to flatten/damage strings. Having strung on the old version of the Klippermate, which does have a rather sharp angle on the gripper, the Gamma version seems like it'd be easy on strings. Also, who has the better, more reliable clutch?
  4. Overall machine quality/sturdiness. Is one better than the other in this regard? I haven't, and won't be able to see either prior to making a purchase.

Thanks for rehashing if you've answered this sort of question before. I'm not particularly concerned about the metal/composite clamp issue. The other things are, however, things I'd like more information about.
If you just need a table top stringer, you can't go wrong with Klippermate. I have a floor-mounted Gamma, but I'd love to have a Klippermate to take with me to tournaments. It's portable and reliable. And, it's stood the test of time: people have been using it for a couple of decades.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
No space. Has to be table top.
I've owned and strung on: Gamma X-2, Gamma Progression 602, Eagnas Flex 940, Stringway/Laserfibre MS200TT, Gamma 6004... still going.

For a table top... Getting the Pioneer DC plus or the Gamma X-6FC/602FC will be an upgrade to the Klippermate but I would consider a Gamma X-ST or a Alpha Revo 4000.

This has been debated but in my experience it's easier to get a consistent string bed with a lockout than a dropweight unless the drop weight is a Stringway. A consistent bed with a dropweight just takes more care and time.
 
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Muppet

Legend
I'm finding that the tower movement on my Pioneer DC+ allows more flexible frames to strain and creak while tensioning. I strung my Aerogel 200 a couple of days ago, a little firmer racquet. I didn't hear any strain. I already switched out the tower washers for bigger ones, but the towers still move. Otherwise it's a very nice stringer. Maybe the nice features and quality offset this shortcoming. I don't have other machines to compare it to, as it's been my first machine. I think I'll wait at least two more years before replacing it.
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
If you just need a table top stringer, you can't go wrong with Klippermate. I have a floor-mounted Gamma, but I'd love to have a Klippermate to take with me to tournaments. It's portable and reliable. And, it's stood the test of time: people have been using it for a couple of decades.
I'm one of those people. This is just about getting something with fixed clamps and a little better mounting.
 

Wes

Professional
Email?

Winners or Errors,

I tried clicking on the link in your profile to send you an email, but it looks as if your settings will not allow it currently.

Is there an alternate way to reach you? Email? Phone?
Maybe even just change your profile settings to allow me to reach you through here.

Cheers, Wes
 

CATennis

Rookie
I've owned a Gamma Progression II and an Alpha Apex II and both were great machines. Never used Gamma customer service but Mark at Alpha is great both via phone and e-mail. I appreciate in today's society when somebody gets back with you promptly and answers the phone.
 

pmata814

Professional
I'm finding that the tower movement on my Pioneer DC+ allows more flexible frames to strain and creak while tensioning. I strung my Aerogel 200 a couple of days ago, a little firmer racquet. I didn't hear any strain. I already switched out the tower washers for bigger ones, but the towers still move. Otherwise it's a very nice stringer. Maybe the nice features and quality offset this shortcoming. I don't have other machines to compare it to, as it's been my first machine. I think I'll wait at least two more years before replacing it.

Have you attempted switching the towers around? I know it sounds like a waste of time (although it only takes 5minutes) but it worked for me on my revo 4K. Worth a try.
 

gotwheels

Semi-Pro
I have had good experiences withe Alpha drop-weight stringers. They are very reliable, good clamps & clamp bases, and great customer service. The linear gripper works well and is preferred by most stringers and the price is a good value.

Muppet, Place an 8mm external star tooth washer (or American equivalent) on the tower adjustment bolt, between the flat washer and the table and the tower creep will be eliminated. I know you have had an issue, but I have never experienced this issue. The external tooth star washer will eliminate your problem!
 

AHJS

Professional
alpha is my vote, and they even have a tabletop crank which is great
 
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GoofyMan

New User
Hi,

I know this thread is over two years old.

I have a Klipper for many years that served me well, but want to upgrade to an economical tabletop, six point mount, fix clamp.

Debating between the:
Gamma progression II 602 FC, Gamma X-6FC (what is the difference between the two? the tool drawer?) and the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus.

Just wondering:

1. Which did you eventually choose?
2. Are you happy you decided on a drop-weight or wished you went with the crank system? I am leaning toward the drop weight because: 1. Cheaper. 2. People say the crank requires some maintenance while the drop weight is maintenance free.

Appreciate the advice. -Thanks!
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I had a Gamma 6004 for several years and never had any problems with it. Great machine. Before this past week I had never strung on an Alpha machine but the customer service is great. Most people have good opinions of the Alpha machines. But I was in a big box store that just recently opened near me and the have an Alpha LO on a stand. Hands down I would prefer the Gamma, it was just a smoother operating machine.
 
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I haven't seen first hand the Alpha, so i can't comment on that.
However, I have an X Stringer, a Progression II ST, X Stringer ST (converted from a 5003), and an ektelon model h. Go with the X-6FC.
The entire base is aluminum...where the progression II has a aluminum frame and the base is not completely aluminum. The remaining holes, such as the tool reservoir is nothing more than ABS. there is no aluminum there. The Progression II ST base i have has nicks and bends in the ABS base that my X Stringer has.

I believe Bret from Gamma came to the same conclusion if you search it on this site.

Hi,

I know this thread is over two years old.

I have a Klipper for many years that served me well, but want to upgrade to an economical tabletop, six point mount, fix clamp.

Debating between the:
Gamma progression II 602 FC, Gamma X-6FC (what is the difference between the two? the tool drawer?) and the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus.

Just wondering:

1. Which did you eventually choose?
2. Are you happy you decided on a drop-weight or wished you went with the crank system? I am leaning toward the drop weight because: 1. Cheaper. 2. People say the crank requires some maintenance while the drop weight is maintenance free.

Appreciate the advice. -Thanks!
 

gotwheels

Semi-Pro
I think you would be pleased with the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus. It is a very durable machine and has features such as the linear string gripper that are better than the equivalent Gamma machine. I believe the Alpha machine is less expensive as well and the service of Newtech Tennis is second to none.

Gamma is a good organization; however, the Alpha drop-weight is a better machine.

Good luck!
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Well, I know this is an old thread, but I finally bit the bullet and bought the Alpha. After the first racquet, I agree with those who said it was a good choice. For what it's worth, I also got confirmation from Mark at NewTechTennis that he had not seen the creep issue for a few years, so apparently that is fixed. Thanks for your input. It is indeed a nice upgrade from the Klippermate.
 

Wes

Professional
Well, I know this is an old thread, but I finally bit the bullet and bought the Alpha. After the first racquet, I agree with those who said it was a good choice. For what it's worth, I also got confirmation from Mark at NewTechTennis that he had not seen the creep issue for a few years, so apparently that is fixed. Thanks for your input. It is indeed a nice upgrade from the Klippermate.

Boy, you're not kidding!

After all, it only took you... what... 6 1/2 YEARS to pull the trigger on one of these?
That's some serious "fear of commitment". :laughing:
 

Winners or Errors

Hall of Fame
Boy, you're not kidding!

After all, it only took you... what... 6 1/2 YEARS to pull the trigger on one of these?
That's some serious "fear of commitment". :laughing:
LOL, no, it just wasn’t pressing and I was happy with my results with the Klippermate. This was more of a “nice to have” acquisition, though after stringing my first racquet with it, I see why it might have been a good idea to prioritize it higher.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
LOL, no, it just wasn’t pressing and I was happy with my results with the Klippermate. This was more of a “nice to have” acquisition, though after stringing my first racquet with it, I see why it might have been a good idea to prioritize it higher.
Now time to plan your next “nice to have” purchase - upgrading your alpha pioneer dc plus to an alpha ghost 2. After you string on an electronic constant pull, you’ll know what you’ve been missing and won’t want to go back to the pioneer dc plus. ;)
 
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