One of my friends left a Kilppermate to me when he went to study MBA in States two years ago. He will come back Toronto soon, so I have to return it and find one for my own. Overall Kilpermate is a nice machine, very steady. I used it a lot during these two years. However I don’t want to go with another drop weight machine because it usually takes me several times to make that arm stay at horizontal level. Besides when I used some string like Head Rocket C3 which has a kind of soft ‘skin’, the job became very frustrating, because the gripper will sometimes squash the string. http://i50.tinypic.com/67ph85.jpg I did many researches online. Based on reviews form other users I narrowed down my targets to three crank machines: SP CRUMP, Alpha Revo 4000 and Gamma X-ST. I chose table top machine because I only string for myself once a week on average, twice at most in the summer, no need to use a professional upright one. And my budget, $600~$700, not allow me to go with fancy electrical machine either. Since I am living in Canada, it looks like SP CRUMP is a best option. The price is acceptable even in Canadian dollars adding deliver charges. The picture on SP website is pretty. I like the red color and the design of the mounting system. Only thing I don’t like is the clamp base. I was advised by Steve that two Spring Assisted clamp base will cost additional 200 CDN. Another reason I didn’t go with SP is this product is out of stock. Compared to the other two, Revo 4K is supper valued. It looks solid and has everything I need. It would be a good deal if I have a tight budget. However, I finally pull the trigger to Gamma, because personally I like their unique design better. To me Gamma looks more fashionable and less cumbersome. I bought Gamma X-ST online from atssports.com, the shopping was easy and the free FedEx Home delivery was supper fast. I ordered on Monday, the item arrived to my shipping address on Wednesday. Last Friday I went to Buffalo to pick it up. The shipping box is much bigger than I expected. It took me sometime to assemble it. Not too hard, but could be better if Gamma include an instruction or something. I know the product manual is downloadable online, but it still feels weird when I opened the box without finding it. The machine is awesome! The real product looks much more beautiful than the pictures online. When I saw it online I thought this machine would be much lighter than Revo 4K, because the turntable looks very thin to me. But actually the real product is like a tank, very solid. http://i47.tinypic.com/24wzhxe.jpg Mounting System It’s a six point called ‘Quick Mount’ System, very simple to use. I heard it’s slow to adjust but actually when I use both of my hand to turn the knob (all knobs on one side will go one direction) it still goes very fast. Maybe a self-centering system could be even faster, but it’s already fast enough for me. It holds the racquet very well, quite stable and secure, I didn’t notice any movement or deformation during stringing. http://i48.tinypic.com/25p08s1.jpg http://i50.tinypic.com/k3826h.jpg Clamp Bases Quick Action Clamp Bases is definitely spring assisted, much better than I thought. A little turn will lock it down, no need extra strength to push, very smooth to use. I wonder to know how much better their high-end switch-action clamp base could be. Before I got it I thought the black lever is plastic but actually it is made of metal. http://i49.tinypic.com/jpdidd.jpg Clamps It is diamond coated, holding string very well and very simple to adjust. After used it, I don’t want to touch my old floated clamps again. I heard Gamma’s clamp is very good before, now I believed it. It’s perfect! http://i47.tinypic.com/so4j2b.jpg Turntable As I said it’s heavy-duty. I like the finishing most. It looks pretty delicate. I think it could last dozens of years without stain. The design of table lock is also pretty unique. Although it made of some kind of plastic, I think it’s strong enough to hold the table. http://i48.tinypic.com/jads3s.jpg http://i48.tinypic.com/ofmvdg.jpg Tension Head I don’t have much experience on it. So far I did 3 racquets. It’s much more convenient and faster than a drop weight machine. Someone told me that lockout machine is less accurate than a constant pulling machine and normally 1lb less. Is that true? My calibrator will come soon. Let’s see how it goes. It also comes with a ‘diablo’, I’m not to sure if it is good, cause I didn’t have any chance to use other lockout machine. One other question, is there any one doesn’t lose 360 turn after upgrading to Wise head? Is there any ‘lower’ adapter for Gamma? http://i46.tinypic.com/72t2k6.jpg http://i47.tinypic.com/ndas0o.jpg http://i49.tinypic.com/2hg8j61.jpg Base The difference between Progression ST II and X-ST is the base. Progression has plastic cover on the base while X-ST has a metal base with two tool drawers. I chose the later because I think X-ST will last longer and I like the design of drawers, very useful. It’ would be better if X-ST have a red color option which will fit my cabinet better http://i46.tinypic.com/9a4z7m.jpg Accessories and free String I like the tools Gamma provided except the pathfinder awl, it’s useful but I think it’s a little bit fragile and easy to break. Is there any better pathfinder? Other tools have very good quality though. There are five giveaway strings and a book of USRSA, I have never used Gamma Strings before, good? http://i45.tinypic.com/dbs7d1.jpg Service There was a slight problem that when I opened the package I noticed there was a small breakage on one side of plastic Base End Cap. I guess it’s damaged during shipment. It doesn’t affect using the machine at all, but still I contacted with ATS Sports customer service. They replied me quickly and Bret also helped me to figure out which part I need and sent out the replacement immediately. That’s an experience of good customer service. I think customer service is equally important to the quality of a product. Any cons? Well, I would prefer Gamma change all those plastic components to metal parts, including table lock and drawers etc., for sure these will increase the total weight and costs, but it will make the machine invincible. But in all, the quality and service of Gamma X-ST is great. Highly recommend!