Machine advice

I know people constantly post asking for advice on a machine and I'm just one more but I'd love to hear from the forum. I'm interested in buying a relatively simple but high quality machine for family and friends. Probably only 5-8 racquets a month so don't want to go crazy. Had decided that a fixed clamp drop weight was going to be fine and I really like what everyone has said about the Alpha Pioneer DC Plus but I just heard from them that they are back-ordered until June which is after the high school tennis season (where my sons break a lot of strings). Anyone have any success with any of the European brands (Pro's Pro or Penta)? I know Gamma is an option but they feel a little pricy for what you get. Are Craigs and the bay the best angle on used... there's really nothing there now? Anyone have any recommendations?
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
Gamma Progression ll 200 proud user here!

I've owned an Alpha Pioneer DC +. Way too overbuilt and I love the rachet over linear pull in regards to dropweight machines.

If you get the X stringer(blue one) Gamma sells a stand for it. Otherwise, you'll have to step up in the next Progression model in order to accommodate a stand. That's plenty machine for what you need it for. If you have tons of money, yeah, go crazy all out.
 

ARNICOLINI

Rookie
I started with the Klippermate a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) and it was a good machine for my experience level (IE very little experience). Doing that over again, I think I would be more where you are at with Fixed Clamps and racheting would be a must as well.

What about the Gamma X-6FC? Available at tennis xpress (add the E in express) (looks available online anyway).

Personally I would stay away from the off brands and stick with Alpha or Gamma for a drop weight.

You did not really state a budget, but I personally prefer a drop weight over a crank. But the crank has the nice option of adding a wise further down the road. Cheaper in the long run if you ever think you will go to an electronic machine. That would depend on your projected future stringing needs.
 

kabrac

Semi-Pro
I started with the Klippermate a long time ago (in a galaxy far far away) and it was a good machine for my experience level (IE very little experience). Doing that over again, I think I would be more where you are at with Fixed Clamps and racheting would be a must as well.

What about the Gamma X-6FC? Available at tennis xpress (add the E in express) (looks available online anyway).

Personally I would stay away from the off brands and stick with Alpha or Gamma for a drop weight.

You did not really state a budget, but I personally prefer a drop weight over a crank. But the crank has the nice option of adding a wise further down the road. Cheaper in the long run if you ever think you will go to an electronic machine. That would depend on your projected future stringing needs.
He could add a Wise to the X-6FC and buy the stand for $169. But after all those expenses, he may as well get the X-ELS or Progression ELS.
 
He could add a Wise to the X-6FC and buy the stand for $169. But after all those expenses, he may as well get the X-ELS or Progression ELS.
Yes you can add a wise to the X-6fc and the Progression II 6fc. I bought the latter new, added the wise shortly thereafter and made my own stand. Came out to several hundred less than a Progression ELS and I like that I have the added security of the drop weight mechanism on deck in case the wise is out of commission for a while.
 

10shoe

Professional
Yes you can add a wise to the X-6fc and the Progression II 6fc. I bought the latter new, added the wise shortly thereafter and made my own stand. Came out to several hundred less than a Progression ELS and I like that I have the added security of the drop weight mechanism on deck in case the wise is out of commission for a while.

Super good point.
 

krisdrum

Semi-Pro
I bought a used Progression 6FC after originally getting an early version of the X-2 used. Had to upgrade the flying clamps on that to the Klippermate ones to get it to work well. And I had good success with it. The 6FC is relatively new to me, but I've done a handful of sticks on it and having the fixed clamps is definitely the way to go. I also think used is a much better bang for the buck as long as you have a good sense of what is normal wear/tear and easily replaceable and what is a deal breaker.

There was a Pioneer on the bay FOREVER that looked in decent shape. Maybe finally sold.

I bought some metal Pro's Pro fixed clamps to replace the plastic ones on my 6FC and I wouldn't go that route. Found them to be pretty poorly made for their intended use, so I returned them, did a good clean on the plastic ones and have been in good shape since.
 
I also think used is a much better bang for the buck as long as you have a good sense of what is normal wear/tear and easily replaceable and what is a deal breaker.
I agree. I looked for a couple of months for a Progression II or similar to come up used and it just never did. I did find it new at one of the major tennis retailers for 50 bucks less than it's sold everywhere else. 7 months in I'm still very happy with my setup.
 

Strawbewwy

Rookie
I've been eyeing out another used machine and i've been keeping an eye out on fb market place craig and bay, but i don't really see any on the bay, am i missing something or is it seasonal? i get a lot of brandless/never heard of brands on the bay or the really expensive ones but really nothing in a approachable price point (<1000)
 
I've been eyeing out another used machine and i've been keeping an eye out on fb market place craig and bay, but i don't really see any on the bay, am i missing something or is it seasonal? i get a lot of brandless/never heard of brands on the bay or the really expensive ones but really nothing in a approachable price point (<1000)
Honestly unless it is us (we had 5 different machines in the last year) strings unless UPGRADING or getting out of the business are not going to sell their machines. Specially if it is higher tier machine because usually they last forever... I just got a used Star 5 which is probably going to outlast my current car haha... I dont think it seasonal but it is one of those thing you'll have to keep searching constantly.

Machine are an investment so pick one that will last time and skills.

I've seen so many new stringer getting a average machine and months later ended up ditching it for a more professional machine. Instead of investing initially now they have a sub 1000$ machine and looking to sell for near half of the price and buying a pro machine.

Good luck on the sesrch
 

ARNICOLINI

Rookie
I feel for you because $1000 is one of the worst budgets ever! lol. I say that because of the choices you have to make. IE if you could wait and go to 1500 you could get a Gamma Progression ELS (electronic fixed clamp table top model). Or you could end up paying 700 for a fixed clamp drop weight.

Odds are, even at the price points above, you are going to want better clamps. So it's tough to recommend spending right up to the limit of your budget when odds are you will have to resell it at a loss to upgrade to a newer machine (or you keep it as a spare).

If you have never strung rackets before, I might recommend changing tactics a bit and go drop weight floating clamps. Work on your craft, make sure you actually enjoy stringing, and eventually make some $ and then go straight for a solid electronic machine with good clamps. If you did not want to waitt quite as long, you could do the upgrade to a crank with good clamps (Gamma 6004 type machine) and then add the wise tension head some time after that.

To echo Smittiekitty above, I found my Prince 500 on the bay, but the shop was only selling it because they had 2 of them and won a Wilson Bairdo in a contest and did not have room for 3 machines at the shop. Nearly 10 years later I am still happy as a clam with it.
 

10shoe

Professional
Someone near me is selling a Neos 1000 on the big auction site that we can't name. Claims it's only strung a couple dozen racquets and has a buy it now price of $850. It's a local pick up only deal. For me, a 15 minute drive. I don't need but if somebody here has a creative idea, I'm a pretty good packer.
 

Strawbewwy

Rookie
Someone near me is selling a Neos 1000 on the big auction site that we can't name. Claims it's only strung a couple dozen racquets and has a buy it now price of $850. It's a local pick up only deal. For me, a 15 minute drive. I don't need but if somebody here has a creative idea, I'm a pretty good packer.
I think you're near me :)

actually, there's a FB marketplace that is a few hours away but the guy is selling what looks like the x-st for 150 bucks and it looks like it has minimal wear.

how much would shipping a table top be?
 

hadoken

Rookie
OP, I saw you are in Boston and used stringers do show up on Craig there (or other regions within a 2 hr drive)...in fact I just saw a $500 crank Gamma that would be ideal. I am a casual stringer..started in college on a Klipper and used that for about 10 years..then as my income moved up I got better stringers. I had a Gamma 4000 crank, Gamma 5003 and now a Neos 1000 with a Wise over a 20 year period. Of all my machines, the Gamma 4000 was my favorite bang for the buck - I would try and find an older crank for about $400-$500 from Winn, Alpha or Gamma. You basically have to search daily as good deals go quick.
 
Thanks so much @hadoken! One of the challenges I've been having with my search is coming to terms with how well used machines hold their value. I've sold dozens of items on craig and the bay and haven't been able to sell anything for relatively close to the price of a new item like many of these machines do! I've been in email contact with that seller you mention and should probably just get over that it looks like it needs a small part (simple pad on the mounting post) and that a machine covered in dust is going to need a calibration! Maybe it's just going to take patience... some very generous readers on these boards have also made offers but shipping these big machines is also a bear. Thanks everyone!
 

hadoken

Rookie
I doubt you need calibration based on the use described. Also looks like that missing piece might be in the bag on the picture. $500 is a fair price given that something like that is not common on the used market and it's in great shape. Quibbling over $100 is not worth the chance someone will beat you to getting it.
 

GaryV

New User
I strung with an Alpha Revo for about 15 years then took some time off tennis. During that time my brother claimed the Revo. I got back into tennis more within the past 1.5 years and purchased a Gamma X-2 as I was breaking strings every 4-6 hours (even with poly). I don’t know if it was because I was used to the Revo, but I absolutely could not work with the X-2. It took forever for me to get a job done. I ended up selling it after I found a really good deal on a Neos in very good condition. I’ve done a few jobs on the Neos and absolutely love it. There’s a reason it’s remained the same for so long and basically the industry standard. The only issue really is when stringing fan patterns (which are what the floating clamps are used for), but how often do you see them these days?
 
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