GSS vs. Gamma Starting Clamp

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by Donny0627, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Donny0627

    Donny0627 Professional

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    Just opened my mailbox and found that my GSS starting clamp came in. I have had the Gamma clamp for around 6 months, and have been unimpressed by its quality and holding strength. My first impressions were that the GSS is much harder to open, despite it having one less spring. Also, there is no inserted diamond-coated punchout in the GSS one, the clamp face itself is textured.

    The shipping was fast and cheap. I thought it was funny when the owner called me personally to thank me for my order, but I didnt mind. All in all I would definitely suggest the GSS clamp over the Gamma so far, and will try to finish the review the next time I string a racket.
     
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  2. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I have a Gamma starting clamp and one of the old Babolat starting clamps that is supposed to be so great. I will admit my Babolat is much harder to open and it has two spring where the Gamma has three. BUT, the Gamma has never slipped for me. How good is good enough. I will say this though I NEVER pull tension against a clamp with no tension on the other side of the clamp no matter what type clamp I am using.

    Irvin
     
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  3. kchau

    kchau Semi-Pro

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    I've never had issues with my gamma clamp. even at tensions up to 65lb
     
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  4. GlenK

    GlenK Professional

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    I have a Gamma and one from GSS too. Both have been excellent!!
     
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  5. Donny0627

    Donny0627 Professional

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    the gamma tends to collect residue from the string, and does not come clean even after a thorough scrubbing with alchohol... at least for me. It has slipped several times for me, often costing me a stringjob.
     
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  6. diredesire

    diredesire Adjunct Moderator

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    Maybe the Gamma has improved, but I have a similar experience to OP. I've also had the chance to work with a Gamma Starter in the past year, and it was similar. The Gamma's diamond dusted coating is too smooth, and the plates have a potential for not being aligned correctly/they will eventually fall out.

    I'm not positive on your mains starting method, but I use my starter as a backup to the initial pull.
     
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  7. mad dog1

    mad dog1 Legend

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    my experience w/ gamma starting clamp is similar to OP and DD. i use my clamp as a bridge and it wouldn't hold. i have used the eagnas and babolat as a bridge the same way and they both held no prob altho the babolat did slip once but it was dirty. once i cleaned it, it was good to go again. i also use my starting clamp to tighten knots. i grab the clamp head when i pull and have had the gamma starter release on me. the eagnas has not released on me ever.
     
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  8. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    I have an alpha, a gamma, and the gss clamp, and I prefer the gss clamp the most. The alpha clamp is larger plate size, and like you said the gss clamp has stiffer springs, so it holds remarkably well.I keep the alpha with a string in place all the time for its use as a bridge when needed, and the gss clamp for all other uses. The gss is very well made.
    Just a note, be sure and keep your starting clamp clean as well as your machines clamps, as after a period of time, I was just cleaning the machines clamps, and not the starting clamps and a set of VS gut slipped through the starter when starting crosses (I now use a different method of starting crosses) .It ended up because of dirty starting clamp, so do not ignore cleaning the starting clamp as well when you clean the machines clamps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
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  9. mchjhn

    mchjhn Rookie

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    try using a tooth brush dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean your starting clamp and string clamps. sometimes, if you use a clothe, the fibers will wear off inside the diamond coated surface, and make it the gripping worse. a tooth brush will get the "string slime" out of the diamond coating. works great for me.
     
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  10. jim e

    jim e Hall of Fame

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    A white shoelace dipoped in alcohol works nice as well. You can pull the lace through easing up on the clamp, and that works real nice.
     
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  11. diredesire

    diredesire Adjunct Moderator

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    Just a historical note: The "Alpha" clamp that was sold on TW waaaay back was actually an Alpha/RAB clamp, which is the same as the current GSS clamp. The newer Alpha clamp that TW sold a little while back is the current, wider jawed starter with the alpha logo. I also like the GSS/RAB clamp the best. The Alpha is extremely aggressive with extreme holding power. It's a great clamp, but a little overkill and bulky. I'd trust it in excess of 90lbs, but it also can squish strings a little bit.
     
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  12. Donny0627

    Donny0627 Professional

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    just a follow up on my OP. Used the GSS clamp the other day, worked flawlessly. I actually had one of my flying clamps break on me, good thing I have 2 starting clamps... I was able ot do a couple stringjobs with just the one, but it isnt fun lol
     
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  13. spillai

    spillai Rookie

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    The GSS clamp is much better quality, but it is also pricier
     
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  14. Donny0627

    Donny0627 Professional

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    actually they're about the same price
     
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  15. Peppershaker

    Peppershaker Rookie

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    Had been thinking it would be nice to have two Starting Clamps. Had seen some slipping with my Gamma so based on this board decided to purchase the GSS model.

    Came in the other day, used it a couple of times since.....Wow!
     
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  16. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    Just a quick question, what are your guys thoughts on the black babolat starting clamp (2 springs)?
     
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  17. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    I've had an Eagnas starting clamp for over a year now and I've never had a problem. Easy to open and grips extremely well. Cheap too.
     
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  18. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I have two clamps and usually use both when I string, I've never used them back to back though. My Gamma has never slipped while stringing, but I have never pulled directly against it either except for when I made a video once.
     
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  19. Peppershaker

    Peppershaker Rookie

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    I do not pull directly against either clamp, but have experienced just about everything as posted on this board. Have had the Gamma slip when used as a bridge (oil/string residue), had one plate fall out, have seen that the pads gum up quickly and require cleaning more often than the GSS. I still use the Gamma, but now never as a bridge. I like it for use when tightening knots, but outside of that I'll reach for my GSS clamp.

    Having had one pad fall out which I've since glued back, was glad that I had two clamps. Could probably have improvised, but have decided I'll purchase another GSS, have a feeling that one or the other pad will drop out at any time.

    One other advantage to the GSS is that you can take it apart, something that I would have really liked while attempting to clean, and then re-glue the Gamma. Although just thought that I'd check this feature out on my GSS. Didn't have much luck but didn't attempt to pound too hard either.
     
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  20. sstchur

    sstchur Hall of Fame

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    Don't know if the Gamma clamp has changed since when DD used it, but I have 2 Gamma clamps and an Eagnas clamp. The Eagnas clamp is extremely tight, almost too tight for my taste. I used to prefer it over the Gamma b/c it was obviously stronger.

    But as I used them more and more I now prefer the Gamma. It's not hard to open which makes it much faster and enjoyable to use for me. It has also never slipped and I use it to start my mains and my crosses all the time (as well as to tighten knots).

    I've had no issues with it collecting residue. I clean it regularly and it works very very well.

    The only thing that Gamma could do better is make that diamond coating infused into the clamp instead of on a thin piece of metal that is then glued to the clamp.

    Other than that though, it's a very good clamp and it works very very well.
     
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  21. Maximus XXIV

    Maximus XXIV Rookie

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    Is the GSS starting clamp not sold anymore? I may need to go the expensive route and order from Europe.
     
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  22. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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    Tim closed the GSS store at the end of 2016. You can get a Babolat from Europe or mortgage your home and get the Kimmony--as expensive as it is, I think they will only need to sell one (http://kimonyusa.com/tools.html). But it will make the Babolat look like a bargain. Seriously, I have several, including a GSS and a Gamma--and the Gamma has been fine, and for hobby use it is likely quite adequate.
     
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  23. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I have the older red Babolat (bought back in 80s,) the Gamma, and a Pros Pro. They are all fine but the Gamma I like the best.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
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  24. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I've got 5 starting clamps. I have a new Babolat, an old blue Babolat, a Gamma, a GSS, and (had) an RAB. My favorite, hands down is the GSS then both of the Babolats. I gave the RAB to a friend of mine.
     
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  25. buckeye_man18

    buckeye_man18 New User

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    I'm having a hard time finding the GSS clamp online for some reason. Can someone point me in the right direction?
     
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  26. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    Sure
    EDIT: Tim (Strawn) owned the Grand Slam Stringers (GSS) shop.
     
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  27. Maximus XXIV

    Maximus XXIV Rookie

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    I ordered a Babolat from Europe. It was expensive but quality tools make life easier and none of them are cheap.
     
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  28. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    Hmmm... Gamma starting clamps (I own 3) does the job fine for me and has never let me down.
     
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  29. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    If I was going to buy the older red Babolat starting clamp or the Gamma and they were both the same price I'd go for the Gamma. It has never slipped and it is much easier to open. For delicate string like gut or multi the Babolat really crushes the string.

    EDIT: The Gamma clamp though is $35 and the Babolat cost me $40 about 35 years ago. Good thing though is that 35 yo clamp is still working like a champ.
     
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  30. Maximus XXIV

    Maximus XXIV Rookie

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    I hear the gamma is probably fine but I like the fact that the Babolat does not have the insert. I already had an insert let go on me on a fixed clamp. As Irvin said, it is a long time purchase so it takes the pain out a bit. I like things that last forever, like my 2004 SUV with 200k miles on it and my racquets from the early 90s. :)

    Seems like it is good to have multiples so I may pick up a Gamma too.
     
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  31. Irvin

    Irvin G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know it the Babolat will last forever I have not lived that long yet. LOL Forever is a long time.
     
    #31
  32. Maximus XXIV

    Maximus XXIV Rookie

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    Forever is as long as I care! :p I hope to be one of those old guys that hits great shots as long as it is hit too me. Once that is over for me, I figure forever has passed.

    I will still be using those racquets too! :)
     
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  33. eelhc

    eelhc Hall of Fame

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    forever = 1 day after you die.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk
     
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