Getting started: fixed or flying clamps?


I'm thinking about getting started in stringing my own racquets and wanted to find out how much of a difference there is between machines with fixed clamps and flying clamps. Is it simply a convenience issue of having fixed clamps (faster stringing) or are there quality issues when using flying clamps (e.g., inaccurate tension, etc.). After reading a few posts on the board I'm trying to decide between an ATS SS II and purchasing some laserfibre clamps, a laserfibre eco w/ flying clamps, and an eco with fixed clamps. I plan on stringing for myself and for a few other friends. Your thoughts would be very much appreciated.



Gaines Hillix

Hall of Fame
Alan, The SS II with flying clamps will get the job done, but the clamps will eventually start slipping(some people say after around 100 frames). Then you'd need to replace the clamps(Laserfibre flying clamps are good per the people who have them). You also might want to look at the Silent Partner Swing. If price is not the main issue, the Laserfibre machine is better. Fixed clamps are easier and faster to use and are more consistent. For casual use, they aren't absolutely necessary. But, if you think you're going to get a bit of business and are looking to charge for doing it, the ECO with fixed clamps would be the way to go, IMO.
Gaines, your input is always reliable. I plan to string my own racquets, and may end up spending a little bit more on a Laserfibre Eco with fixed clamps. I may also get some racquets from tennis buddies in the future. What are your thoughs on this machine? Thanks.

Gaines Hillix

Hall of Fame
The ECHO with fixed clamps is one of the best buys out there. You get a very secure mounting system and the drop weight is unique in that one doesn't have to get the arm perfectly horizontal to achieve the set tension. There are some racquets that require adapters to mount on the LF machines and some people don't like using a ruler to measure where the weight goes on the arm to set the tension. Other than that, I've never heard any complaints about it. Call Tim Sullivan at LF for details.


New User
I called up Laserfiber today to ask about their clamps, and Tim Sullivan was the one who answered the phone. We ended up talking on the phone for a very long time about strings. Tim gave me a good crash course on the string industry, and I learned a whole lot. I've heard good reports of the customer service at LF before, so here's another happy customer.
Thanks guys. Well, I was tempted to go with the Laserfibre Eco with fixed clamps, but I can't spend that much money. I will be doing my own racquets exclusively and time is not of concern to me... I think the Alpha Pioneer DC is a great affordable choice.
Gaines, I have no decision making ability... ):
I contacted Mark and decided to get the Revo 4000 instead of the Pioneer DC. It will take me a couple of weeks to get the machine -looking forward to it.
Plus, my coach also stated that learning to string on a crank machine is way easier than doing it on a drop weight. Just figure that paying $150 more is worth the investment.
As for the Laserfibre machines, I do believe they are wonderful machines (even contacted Tim Sullivan), but way too expensive.
Anyway, thanks again for all the contributions you have been making to us tennis freaks around here. :)

Gaines Hillix

Hall of Fame
Simbah, I think that was a good choice. I quickly tired of my first drop weight machine and moved up to a crank model. You also have the option of upgrading it later with a Wise tension head if you want to go electric.