Spinfire 2 ball machine - any users?

I'm in the market for a ball machine and about to pull the trigger on a Spinfire 2.

Anyone using this machine who can give a thumbs up or down?
 

blablavla

Legend
Can you do overhead with this machine? If so, how? TIA
yes, you can practice overheads.
you can as well set the machine to throw long lobs that you will play with overhead after the bounce, or attack with drive volley (before the ball bounces).

In my case, it works following, but probably this is not the only option:
1. set a low pace, in SpinFire case, this is something like 4-5
2. set under spin, for me works -4 level, though top spin might works as well, just need to play with pace + elevation
3. set elevation. From baseline something around 110. Further away, then elevation is increasing, or pace needs to be higher.
4. you can then add further options: 2 line drill (narrow, medium, wide), you can add vertical oscillation which will result in longer lobs / shorter lobs. You can mix the 2 line drill with vertical oscillation. You could theoretically as well mix the random oscillation with vertical oscillation, though I didn't try this for overheads.
 

blablavla

Legend
Also, can it do lobs?
yes, it does lobs, with top spin or under slip (slice). You can set up manually.

It looks like a great machine. My main question is about service.. do they have a network of service techs? I live in No. California.
I'm not from US, so can't answer.
However, there shall be a Spin Fire US, and there was as well someone from Spin Fire on this forum.
@Spinfire are you still here? could you answer about the customer care in California?
 

Spinfire

New User
As with all consumer tennis ball machine vendors, for service we provide the customer with the option of sending the machine back to our facility in Buffalo or to send the part to them that needs to be swapped. We have extensive short videos that show how to swap any part. In addition we have extensive diagnostics that are reported on our 4x20 character LCD screen that can isolate an issue in order to assist with troubleshooting. Swapping a part only requires a phillips screwdriver and sometimes a small pair of pliers or wrench if there is a nut to secure while turning the screw.

We have only one model to focus on and it has been designed and improved over the years to issues are rare. If repairs are required they are easy to do. In this situation we have found most customers have asked us to send the part to the them so they can limit their machine downtime. This still provides the option of sending us the machine if they cannot do so. Our experience is that the latter almost never happens.

By the way, we are the only tennis ball machine vendor in the USA or Canada that provides 7-day a week technical support, with phone support Mon-Sat 10am-6pm and after hours support 365 days a year (yes including Sundays and holidays) with same day reply to your email. Given tennis ball machines are a high ticket item we believe you deserve this level of support and the typical customer often uses it outside of business hours. No other vendor even comes close to matching us. If an issue happens with them after hours or on a weekend or holiday you are out of luck.
 
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Jaakko

New User
I've used the machine over six yrs, very happy, also with the service I've got, both from the local rep, and Australia, would highly recommend. I don't have experience, though, of other machines. Anyway, I would say it is definitely among my top 10 purchases, of ANYTHING! Naturally it doesn't compare to a tennis buddy but the next best thing.
 

Jason Walter

New User
I have one.
Generally happy with the investment.
Feel free to ask questions.
I was wondering about the amount of depth variance with the vertical oscillation. I’d really like a machine to mix up deep and short balls so that I can work on my forward and backward movement on the court. Without oscillation on the amount of spin or speed, how much variance does the vertical oscillation alone actually provide?
 

blablavla

Legend
I was wondering about the amount of depth variance with the vertical oscillation. I’d really like a machine to mix up deep and short balls so that I can work on my forward and backward movement on the court. Without oscillation on the amount of spin or speed, how much variance does the vertical oscillation alone actually provide?
it provides you with 3 balls.
you set it up with a ball that barely clears the net, next the machine will throw a medium and a ball that will land close to the base line.
Rinse and repeat.
short, medium, long.

you can combine this with other drills:
2 line drill for example, where you have narrow, wide and medium settings. Say you place the machine on the T spot at the baseline, it will then throw one ball to your forehand alternating with one to your backhand. Narrow means that the balls will be close to center. Wide means that the balls will be really wide.
horizontal, which has wide and medium settings. It is almost random program. Medium will cover the court quite well.
 

Jason Walter

New User
it provides you with 3 balls.
you set it up with a ball that barely clears the net, next the machine will throw a medium and a ball that will land close to the base line.
Rinse and repeat.
short, medium, long.

you can combine this with other drills:
2 line drill for example, where you have narrow, wide and medium settings. Say you place the machine on the T spot at the baseline, it will then throw one ball to your forehand alternating with one to your backhand. Narrow means that the balls will be close to center. Wide means that the balls will be really wide.
horizontal, which has wide and medium settings. It is almost random program. Medium will cover the court quite well.
Thanks for the quick reply! I was wondering, in the short, medium, long vertical variation, is the difference of depth enough to practice a deep, behind the baseline shot, followed by an approach shot, followed by a volley, or something like that? I really would like a way to work up my ability to push forward with the machine. I feel confident that the left-right oscillation is more than enough to run me around, I just wanted to be sure that there’s enough depth variation to help me practice approaching the net on short ball after a rally ball (given that the speed and spin doesn’t vary automatically).
Also, how does the short, medium, long thing work alternatively with the machine’s topspin and backspin?

Thank you again!
 

blablavla

Legend
Thanks for the quick reply! I was wondering, in the short, medium, long vertical variation, is the difference of depth enough to practice a deep, behind the baseline shot, followed by an approach shot, followed by a volley, or something like that? I really would like a way to work up my ability to push forward with the machine. I feel confident that the left-right oscillation is more than enough to run me around, I just wanted to be sure that there’s enough depth variation to help me practice approaching the net on short ball after a rally ball (given that the speed and spin doesn’t vary automatically).
Also, how does the short, medium, long thing work alternatively with the machine’s topspin and backspin?

Thank you again!
to my memory the oscillation is:
really short ball
medium
really long ball
@Spinfire can you comment here?

I didn't really try the vertical oscillation with backspin, but in theory it should produce same result:
really short ball
medium
really long ball
@Spinfire can you comment here as well?

but if you mean to ask if the machine can alternate soemthing a-la
top spin short ball
back spin medium ball
top spin long ball
no, it can't.
the pace, spin and interval settings are fixed.
 

Jason Walter

New User
to my memory the oscillation is:
really short ball
medium
really long ball
@Spinfire can you comment here?

I didn't really try the vertical oscillation with backspin, but in theory it should produce same result:
really short ball
medium
really long ball
@Spinfire can you comment here as well?

but if you mean to ask if the machine can alternate soemthing a-la
top spin short ball
back spin medium ball
top spin long ball
no, it can't.
the pace, spin and interval settings are fixed.
Thanks again. Totally understood.

I think what I’m most curious about is what the maximum variation in depth is that the machine can do. Specifically, does the really short ball land inside the service line in the same sequence as the really long ball gets only a foot or two from the baseline? If it does that, I’m happy. I’d just be concerned that the vertical oscillation only produces subtle changes in depth, and I won’t have a way to set the machine to help me practice an approach shot after a rally ball.

Put more plainly: Are you able to use the machine to give you a decently paced deep rally ball followed by an opportunity for an approach shot?

Thank you again for all your help!
 

blablavla

Legend
Thanks again. Totally understood.

I think what I’m most curious about is what the maximum variation in depth is that the machine can do. Specifically, does the really short ball land inside the service line in the same sequence as the really long ball gets only a foot or two from the baseline? If it does that, I’m happy. I’d just be concerned that the vertical oscillation only produces subtle changes in depth, and I won’t have a way to set the machine to help me practice an approach shot after a rally ball.

Put more plainly: Are you able to use the machine to give you a decently paced deep rally ball followed by an opportunity for an approach shot?

Thank you again for all your help!
yes, that's what it does.
but it produces 3 different depths:
1. that barely clears the net, and usually lands inside the service box
2. a solid neutral ball
3. a really ball, that will land close to the baseline

where this doesn't apply, is for overhead training.
or at least I didn't figure out yet how to make a high lob, that would alternate between easy to attack, decent and a really deep one.
in case of lobs, so far I can make it throw either easy to attack + some depth, or some depth and really deep one
 

Jason Walter

New User
yes, that's what it does.
but it produces 3 different depths:
1. that barely clears the net, and usually lands inside the service box
2. a solid neutral ball
3. a really ball, that will land close to the baseline

where this doesn't apply, is for overhead training.
or at least I didn't figure out yet how to make a high lob, that would alternate between easy to attack, decent and a really deep one.
in case of lobs, so far I can make it throw either easy to attack + some depth, or some depth and really deep one
Cool. I like that it’s three different depths. Can it alternate among those three vertical orientations randomly, or is it set to fire them off sequentially only?
 

Jason Walter

New User
I have one.
Generally happy with the investment.
Feel free to ask questions.
I had another curiosity. How do you feel about the amount of spin and pace that the machine produces. Are the top levels of topspin, for instance, essentially more than you’d ever need? Also, when the spin level is high enough, does the pace of the shot still stay challenging, or do they slow way way down? Essentially, will I only get difficult pace if the ball is flat?
 

2ndServe

Hall of Fame
what's the weight without battery? Their website says 40lb and 50lbs+ with battery? The lobster is 30lb without battery and 42lbs with battery.
 
I'm in the market for a ball machine and about to pull the trigger on a Spinfire 2.

Anyone using this machine who can give a thumbs up or down?
My vote is for TennisTwist3! I use it to workout/drill almost everyday. I would get rechargeable batteries so you don't have to worry about buying a lot of batteries every year.

Below is my level:
 

blablavla

Legend
I had another curiosity. How do you feel about the amount of spin and pace that the machine produces. Are the top levels of topspin, for instance, essentially more than you’d ever need? Also, when the spin level is high enough, does the pace of the shot still stay challenging, or do they slow way way down? Essentially, will I only get difficult pace if the ball is flat?
well, the spin rate of course slows down the forward momentum.
say, if you fix a certain pace level, a ball that has less RPMs will be reaching the baseline with higher speed (velocity), based on my feeling, not measured by the radar gun or anything else.
pace alone is certainly top level. Didn't measure it with radar, but don't have many reasons to believe that the promised 80 mph is not there

on the other side, as I am troubled in real matches by quite solid opponents, I need to play around to simulate situations where the machine can deliver similar level of challenge.
outside a recent loss on artificial grass to an opponent that I would probably defeat on clay or carpet, in the recent 2 years I've been mainly losing to guys that are either higher than me in the ranking, or they were playing higher than the ranking would suggest and subsequently were bumped up at the next ranking update.
so, to put it short, if I play opponents in the bottom 30% - 100% of the tennis population of my country, I will likely defeat them, and I will likely lose to the guys in the top 0% - 20%, and for the rest of the pack, 20% - 30% it depends on what the opponent and myself bring to the court, combined with the luck we have on a given day, and other variables.

as for creativity.
If I want to train a particularly high and fast incoming ball, I will likely move the machine behind the baseline, set high pace, set high spin, and adjust the elevation.
it's true that it will be a tad different from competitive match with better opponents, yet still good enough for a training session.

If I want to train say particularly deep balls, that don't necessarily bounce higher than the shoulder level, but consistently land a foot before the line, then I will move the machine inside the court, set the desired pace, spin and adjust the elevation.

in my opinion, the biggest challenge is that the ball machine requires pressure-less balls.
even new pressure-less balls don't take the spin, and don't bounce as high as regular balls when being hit by someone who can generate a heavy ball, aka good pace and solid spin.
but nevertheless, it's a good training tool, quite helpful, at least for me
 

blablavla

Legend
what's the weight without battery? Their website says 40lb and 50lbs+ with battery? The lobster is 30lb without battery and 42lbs with battery.
didn't put in on a balance, but I have no difficulties in carrying it around:
basement -> trunk -> court -> trunk -> basement

as I wrote above, or in some other threads.
I take in 1 go following items form my car:
the ball machine + approx. 96 balls + my tennis bag + either the battery or AC extender when there is a plug on court
so far I never needed to walk twice from car to court, or from court to car
 

Jason Walter

New User
well, the spin rate of course slows down the forward momentum.
say, if you fix a certain pace level, a ball that has less RPMs will be reaching the baseline with higher speed (velocity), based on my feeling, not measured by the radar gun or anything else.
pace alone is certainly top level. Didn't measure it with radar, but don't have many reasons to believe that the promised 80 mph is not there

on the other side, as I am troubled in real matches by quite solid opponents, I need to play around to simulate situations where the machine can deliver similar level of challenge.
outside a recent loss on artificial grass to an opponent that I would probably defeat on clay or carpet, in the recent 2 years I've been mainly losing to guys that are either higher than me in the ranking, or they were playing higher than the ranking would suggest and subsequently were bumped up at the next ranking update.
so, to put it short, if I play opponents in the bottom 30% - 100% of the tennis population of my country, I will likely defeat them, and I will likely lose to the guys in the top 0% - 20%, and for the rest of the pack, 20% - 30% it depends on what the opponent and myself bring to the court, combined with the luck we have on a given day, and other variables.

as for creativity.
If I want to train a particularly high and fast incoming ball, I will likely move the machine behind the baseline, set high pace, set high spin, and adjust the elevation.
it's true that it will be a tad different from competitive match with better opponents, yet still good enough for a training session.

If I want to train say particularly deep balls, that don't necessarily bounce higher than the shoulder level, but consistently land a foot before the line, then I will move the machine inside the court, set the desired pace, spin and adjust the elevation.

in my opinion, the biggest challenge is that the ball machine requires pressure-less balls.
even new pressure-less balls don't take the spin, and don't bounce as high as regular balls when being hit by someone who can generate a heavy ball, aka good pace and solid spin.
but nevertheless, it's a good training tool, quite helpful, at least for me
Thanks again for all your replies about the machine. You may have answered this question elsewhere, but I was wondering if you’ve happened to have tried any of the other machines out there for comparison, like the Lobster, Spinshot or Silent Partner. If so, in your opinion, how do the others stack up to the Spinfire, all things considered?
 

Spinfire

New User
I had another curiosity. How do you feel about the amount of spin and pace that the machine produces. Are the top levels of topspin, for instance, essentially more than you’d ever need? Also, when the spin level is high enough, does the pace of the shot still stay challenging, or do they slow way way down? Essentially, will I only get difficult pace if the ball is flat?
The top levels of spin are extreme and exceed what professional players can achieve.
 

blablavla

Legend
The top levels of spin are extreme and exceed what professional players can achieve.
can you guys provide a numerical description?
like Slinger claims that their machine reaches 3000 RPM

what could I expect from SpinFire with say +10 (top spin), -10 (slice), +5, -5?
 

blablavla

Legend
Thanks again for all your replies about the machine. You may have answered this question elsewhere, but I was wondering if you’ve happened to have tried any of the other machines out there for comparison, like the Lobster, Spinshot or Silent Partner. If so, in your opinion, how do the others stack up to the Spinfire, all things considered?
I tried another ball machine only once, many years ago, and it didn't really worked.
something jammed after some 15 minutes or so.

so, can't really tell you about hands on experience from real life how Spinfire would compare vs other ball machines
 
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