Stringing machine features - what is important?

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
I am trying to find out what features people feel are most important on a stringing machine for someone in my situation. Basically I am looking at two options - (1) a higher end drop weight or (2) a more basic lock out crank.

I am a complete novice when it comes to stringing, although I am pretty handy, mechanically inclined, etc. This will be my first machine of any kind. I have watched YULitle's videos and messed around with a friend's Silent Partner Maestro, but that is about it. I am getting the machine to just string for myself, my wife, my daughters, and maybe a couple friends. It is more or less to save me money rather than any attempt to make money by stringing for other people. I doubt I will ever string more than five or ten racquets a month.

The machines I am looking at all have fixed clamps and six-point mounts.

The drop weight is a portable table-stand model and the biggest difference is it has (1) spring assisted clamp bases and (2) a disk brake.

The lock out crank is on a floor stand and has (1) cone locking clamp bases and (2) a screw type brake.

Is getting the lock out crank worth giving up the spring assisted clamps and the disk brake (we use Head racquets so no O-ports)? I am not opposed to the drop weight, I just haven't ever used one before. I more or less just want the best machine for someone like me to do consistent quality string jobs.

Thanks.
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
I am looking at used machines and have seen several that I am interested in. It just seems like the price of the two types of machines I describe are about the same. So I am trying to figure out if it is worth sacrificing the higher quality clamp bases and brake just to have a crank machine.
 

mikeler

Moderator
I am looking at used machines and have seen several that I am interested in. It just seems like the price of the two types of machines I describe are about the same. So I am trying to figure out if it is worth sacrificing the higher quality clamp bases and brake just to have a crank machine.

The new Gamma cranks have improved brake designs, so that issue might be off the table. Not sure how the other brands compare. The clamps on my X-ST are pretty good. Sounds like you will be doing several sticks a week. It may be worth going with the speedier crank option to save time.
 

LttlElvis

Professional
Is getting the lock out crank worth giving up the spring assisted clamps and the disk brake (we use Head racquets so no O-ports)? I am not opposed to the drop weight, I just haven't ever used one before. I more or less just want the best machine for someone like me to do consistent quality string jobs.
.
I would go for the crank, especially if you already tried one, like the SP Maestro. Most people who have gone from a drop weight to a crank would never go back. I don't hear about very many wanting to go from crank to dropweight, if that gives you any clues.

You said you want something that will give you consistent quality jobs, and both will do it. Cranks are very consistent, especially, once you get the hang of it.

As far as spring assisted clamp bases and disk brakes, there is nothing wrong with a simple cone lock base or screw type table lock. I've used a higher end spring assisted base (Gamma 6004), and a simple cone lock base (Eagnas). The simple cone lock base will do the job well and there is very little that can go wrong with them. Same for the screw type table lock.
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
As far as spring assisted clamp bases and disk brakes, there is nothing wrong with a simple cone lock base or screw type table lock. I've used a higher end spring assisted base (Gamma 6004), and a simple cone lock base (Eagnas). The simple cone lock base will do the job well and there is very little that can go wrong with them. Same for the screw type table lock.
Thanks for the responses. These are very helpful. Sounds like the crank may be the way to go, since from a functional stand point cone locking clamps and a disk brake don't make that big of a difference.
 

kkm

Professional
For me the must is having swivel clamps - fixed clamps, in any case, and I see that you want the same.
Stringway's lineup looks sound, Alpha also, and as has been mentioned on here previously Prince may be putting out a Swivel-clamp version of the Neos.
 

Lakers4Life

Hall of Fame
I would go for the crank, especially if you already tried one, like the SP Maestro. Most people who have gone from a drop weight to a crank would never go back. I don't hear about very many wanting to go from crank to dropweight, if that gives you any clues.

You said you want something that will give you consistent quality jobs, and both will do it. Cranks are very consistent, especially, once you get the hang of it.

As far as spring assisted clamp bases and disk brakes, there is nothing wrong with a simple cone lock base or screw type table lock. I've used a higher end spring assisted base (Gamma 6004), and a simple cone lock base (Eagnas). The simple cone lock base will do the job well and there is very little that can go wrong with them. Same for the screw type table lock.
There is one guy I talked to who went from a crank to a drop weight, just to save space, since he only string his own rackets. I do agree with you, one rarely hears about going from a crank to a DW.
 

dgdawg

Semi-Pro
I am trying to find out what features people feel are most important on a stringing machine for someone in my situation. Basically I am looking at two options - (1) a higher end drop weight or (2) a more basic lock out crank.

I am a complete novice when it comes to stringing, although I am pretty handy, mechanically inclined, etc. This will be my first machine of any kind. I have watched YULitle's videos and messed around with a friend's Silent Partner Maestro, but that is about it. I am getting the machine to just string for myself, my wife, my daughters, and maybe a couple friends. It is more or less to save me money rather than any attempt to make money by stringing for other people. I doubt I will ever string more than five or ten racquets a month.

The machines I am looking at all have fixed clamps and six-point mounts.

The drop weight is a portable table-stand model and the biggest difference is it has (1) spring assisted clamp bases and (2) a disk brake.

The lock out crank is on a floor stand and has (1) cone locking clamp bases and (2) a screw type brake.

Is getting the lock out crank worth giving up the spring assisted clamps and the disk brake (we use Head racquets so no O-ports)? I am not opposed to the drop weight, I just haven't ever used one before. I more or less just want the best machine for someone like me to do consistent quality string jobs.

Thanks.
I have a Silent Partner DG for sale if you're interested. Rock solid mounting system, fixed/swivel clamp bases, accurate rotational gripper, great shape. Lemme know. 8)
 

Supracool94

Semi-Pro
It's working out fairly well, but I'm having a few minor issues. Alpha's top notch customer service has been great. At the moment, I'm waiting on some parts to come in. After I change out these parts out, then the machine should be perfect, and I can complete my Gamma X-ST vs Alpha Apex II review.
 

dgdawg

Semi-Pro
It's working out fairly well, but I'm having a few minor issues. Alpha's top notch customer service has been great. At the moment, I'm waiting on some parts to come in. After I change out these parts out, then the machine should be perfect, and I can complete my Gamma X-ST vs Alpha Apex II review.
Nice-I've always been curious about that little lever that "quick releases" the shoulder supports (if this is in fact what it does) Is there a chance this lever could ever get snagged/flipped when pulling string?
No doubt in my mind Mark will handle your issues. Best CS on the planet.
 

Supracool94

Semi-Pro
Depending on that lever's position: it will allow you to adjust the inner center support or it will allow you to adjust the outer side supports.

Oddly enough, the string has yet to get caught or snagged on that lever.
 

dgdawg

Semi-Pro
Depending on that lever's position: it will allow you to adjust the inner center support or it will allow you to adjust the outer side supports.

Oddly enough, the string has yet to get caught or snagged on that lever.
Hmm....I'm having a hard time w/the visual :confused:
 

dgdawg

Semi-Pro
Depending on that lever's position: it will allow you to adjust the inner center support or it will allow you to adjust the outer side supports.

Oddly enough, the string has yet to get caught or snagged on that lever.
So....there's only one adjustment knob on the tower instead of two???
 

dgdawg

Semi-Pro
Depending on that lever's position: it will allow you to adjust the inner center support or it will allow you to adjust the outer side supports.

Oddly enough, the string has yet to get caught or snagged on that lever.
Ok...i got. I just went back and looked @ some pix Copey posted and it looks like just that....the load spreader (center support) knob was replaced by that lever that moves the adjustment between the shoulder supports and load spreaders. Correct???
 

Technatic

Professional
Consistent and accurate?

I agree with the discussion about the clamps good clamps are of major importance, if you have bad clamps it is no use having an accurate tension unit.

But I do not agree with the crank vs the dropweight opinions:
It may be so that not many people go from crank to DW, probably because it feels like degradation, but quite some people spend a lot of money on a Wise Tension System because they want the accuracy of a constant pull unit.

When only nylons are used the consistency of a lock out system may be acceptable. But when all kind of strings are used the difference in stiffness can be huge. You can loose up till 17 lbs on 66.

With an automatic drop you loose nothing independent of the type of string.

It may be good to have a look at this threat of last week. A lot was said there about accuracy of the different systems:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=295845
 

barry

Hall of Fame
It's working out fairly well, but I'm having a few minor issues. Alpha's top notch customer service has been great. At the moment, I'm waiting on some parts to come in. After I change out these parts out, then the machine should be perfect, and I can complete my Gamma X-ST vs Alpha Apex II review.
If I had that many problems, I would pack it up and send it back, tell CS to send you one that passed quality control. Good CS, but a defective product. This day and age most machines are good to go when they arrive; at least the 3 I purchased.

A friend just received his SP Maestro, took about 15 minutes to put together, spot on calibration, and we were stringing. I really like the Maestro clamps, very nice machine.
 

SW Stringer

Semi-Pro
Testing challenge

I agree with the discussion about the clamps good clamps are of major importance, if you have bad clamps it is no use having an accurate tension unit.

But I do not agree with the crank vs the dropweight opinions:
It may be so that not many people go from crank to DW, probably because it feels like degradation, but quite some people spend a lot of money on a Wise Tension System because they want the accuracy of a constant pull unit.

When only nylons are used the consistency of a lock out system may be acceptable. But when all kind of strings are used the difference in stiffness can be huge. You can loose up till 17 lbs on 66.

With an automatic drop you loose nothing independent of the type of string.

It may be good to have a look at this threat of last week. A lot was said there about accuracy of the different systems:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=295845
Good point about the accuracy and consistency of the various systems. It would be nice to concoct a test and have an accurate way of measuring and publishing the results. AHA!! I have a way. It tests the WHOLE system, tensioning unit, clamps, operator, timing of clamp off, electronic overshoot, etc. Mount and string the mains on a racquet. Tie off. Two piece, not one. Now measure the frequency of each pair of mains using freqmess, lab equipment, Korg Chromatic tuner, etc, right after finishing the mains. Publish results here. For perfect results each pair of mains (Left main X, Right main X) for X = 1 to 10 depending on racquet, should have identical frequencies. No system will be perfect but the best ones will have the smallest differences between pairs of mains. My prediction: The best systems tests will come from the most experienced stringers probably independent of machine type.

Let the fun begin! (or not)
:p
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
I agree with the discussion about the clamps good clamps are of major importance, if you have bad clamps it is no use having an accurate tension unit.

But I do not agree with the crank vs the dropweight opinions:
It may be so that not many people go from crank to DW, probably because it feels like degradation, but quite some people spend a lot of money on a Wise Tension System because they want the accuracy of a constant pull unit.

When only nylons are used the consistency of a lock out system may be acceptable. But when all kind of strings are used the difference in stiffness can be huge. You can loose up till 17 lbs on 66.

With an automatic drop you loose nothing independent of the type of string.

It may be good to have a look at this threat of last week. A lot was said there about accuracy of the different systems:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=295845

Pretty interesting read about the tension loss in a lock out machine in the few seconds before you clamp. I hadn't realized there was a possibility of losing 10+ lbs in such a short amount of time. It makes me wonder about the actual true tension on my racquets since they have always been strung on a SP Maestro. I assume I like the tension at 57-59 lbs, but I wonder if that would result in a lot stiffer string bed if they were strung on a constant pull.

I guess now I am back up in the air about getting a crank or just going with a nice drop weight. Speed isn't my primary concern because I am not stringing as a business, but I don't want to spend all day stringing racquets either.

I guess the most important thing for me is that I be able to consistently string my racquet the same way each time. I can always adjust tension to find the right tension for me on any particular stringer.
 

TennezSport

Hall of Fame
Have to agree..........

I guess the most important thing for me is that I be able to consistently string my racquet the same way each time. I can always adjust tension to find the right tension for me on any particular stringer.
I have to agree with Technatic, dead on about the differences in the machines. You really want to stay with Constant Pull (CP) machines, whether they are electric or drop weight/spring. Cranks can be good also but you have to know how to make up for tension loss and string creep (approx 10% loss with crank machines, all things being equal).

BTW, Stringway DW and Spring machines (MS200) are really great machines. Best of luck.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
 

Technatic

Professional
something to discuss.

Yes let us share some technical info so that we get wiser and have technical fun at the same time. Hereby some graphs.

First an explanation:
- The graphs shows the tension during pulling.
- The bottom line shows the elongation of the string: 1,0 / 6,0 means 1 % elastic elongation and 6 % total elongation between 44 and 88 lbs.
- On the right side it shows the loss of tension.

The graphs show the tension with different systems and with different strings.

The first graph shows a lock out with 2 different mono’s, a stiff one 1% / 2,7 % elongation and one with more elongation 1 % / 6 %.




The following graph shows the lock out with nylons with 1,8 / 4,2 % and 1,6 / 3,4 %:




The last graph shows an automatic dropweight and a high quality electronic




I am interested to read your interpretations
 

dgdawg

Semi-Pro
If I had that many problems, I would pack it up and send it back, tell CS to send you one that passed quality control. Good CS, but a defective product. This day and age most machines are good to go when they arrive; at least the 3 I purchased.

A friend just received his SP Maestro, took about 15 minutes to put together, spot on calibration, and we were stringing. I really like the Maestro clamps, very nice machine.
Dude-What is it with you and Alpha? I've seen about a dozen posts with you cracking on Alpha and their CS. Have you ever even used an Alpha machine? I'm thinking not. They have one of the best line of machines out there with class CS to match. CS is mostly an after sale issue and I've never heard anything other than results from Alpha CS, similar to what Copey and Supracool94 are experiencing. Most of your comments that I've read are, IMHO, borderline slander. The thing is, anyone who's ever dealt with Alpha reads these comments from you and can get a pretty firm grasp on the character of the person making the slanderous remarks.
I'm sorry man, but this needed to be said. :mad:

P.S.-I would have PM or e-mailed you instead of saying this in a public forum, but you don't have those options enabled
 

COPEY

Hall of Fame
Ok...i got. I just went back and looked @ some pix Copey posted and it looks like just that....the load spreader (center support) knob was replaced by that lever that moves the adjustment between the shoulder supports and load spreaders. Correct???
Yep, you've got it dgdawg. I've yet to have string get hung up on that lever, and if it did, I can't imagine it releasing the lever. I mean, anything's possible, but it just doesn't seem very likely.
 
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dgdawg

Semi-Pro
Yep, you've got it dgdawg. I've yet to have string get hung up on that lever, and if it did, I can't imagine it releasing the lever. I mean, anything's possible, but it just doesn't seem very likely.
I understand the function now. I first thought it was some sort of quick release or something. Did your tower thing get resolved?
 

barry

Hall of Fame
Dude-What is it with you and Alpha? I've seen about a dozen posts with you cracking on Alpha and their CS. Have you ever even used an Alpha machine? I'm thinking not. They have one of the best line of machines out there with class CS to match. CS is mostly an after sale issue and I've never heard anything other than results from Alpha CS, similar to what Copey and Supracool94 are experiencing. Most of your comments that I've read are, IMHO, borderline slander. The thing is, anyone who's ever dealt with Alpha reads these comments from you and can get a pretty firm grasp on the character of the person making the slanderous remarks.
I'm sorry man, but this needed to be said. :mad:

P.S.-I would have PM or e-mailed you instead of saying this in a public forum, but you don't have those options enabled
Nothing against Alpha or any other vendor but when I purchase something new, I expect it to work, and should not have to debug the product. Maybe slander to you, but the rule should apply to all vendors. If you have an issue with any product purchased from TW, they provide a return UPS shipping document. Why waste your time waiting for parts. Some of us actually string a lot of rackets and do not want down time. Maybe you are different, or have multiple machines. I have one and I do a lot of rackets.

Seems on this site, anyone saying anything against Alpha is considered slander. Most companies have quality control and find it cheaper to fix it before it goes out the door. Great CS, but I for one would not waste my time sending parts back and forth, it should work the first time!

Thats how I do business, I expect it right the first time.
 

dgdawg

Semi-Pro
Nothing against Alpha or any other vendor but when I purchase something new, I expect it to work, and should not have to debug the product. Maybe slander to you, but the rule should apply to all vendors. If you have an issue with any product purchased from TW, they provide a return UPS shipping document. Why waste your time waiting for parts. Some of us actually string a lot of rackets and do not want down time. Maybe you are different, or have multiple machines. I have one and I do a lot of rackets.

Seems on this site, anyone saying anything against Alpha is considered slander. Most companies have quality control and find it cheaper to fix it before it goes out the door. Great CS, but I for one would not waste my time sending parts back and forth, it should work the first time!

Thats how I do business, I expect it right the first time.
Yeah barry, I get it. Sorry for the flame job but I just think your remarks are unreasonable sometimes. I string about 300 or 400 frames a year so I've done it a time or two and know a tiny bit about it and machines. I'm also in the CS industry (construction) and know a little about that as well. Anyone can sell a good product (Alpha's proven that) but what happens if things aren't satisfactory after the sale??? Seems to me Alpha is "stepping up to the plate". Given all the negativity you throw at them, maybe you could acknowledge this as well!!! After sale is the bulk of CS, would you agree? You're the only one that seems to crack on them. What about Babolat? They sell one of the most saute after machines on the planet and are known for class CS as well. A few ppl on these boards had issues with a brand new $3k machine. Bab made it right and all is well but I haven't seen and derogatory comments from you re:Bab!
It's all good, barry. Please accept my apologies for airing my feelings in a public forum. This is not the venue, and I admit my actions and comments were rather juvenile.
This is my last comment on this subject.
 

SW Stringer

Semi-Pro
Yes let us share some technical info so that we get wiser and have technical fun at the same time. Hereby some graphs.

First an explanation:
- The graphs shows the tension during pulling.
- The bottom line shows the elongation of the string: 1,0 / 6,0 means 1 % elastic elongation and 6 % total elongation between 44 and 88 lbs.
- On the right side it shows the loss of tension.

The graphs show the tension with different systems and with different strings.

The first graph shows a lock out with 2 different mono’s, a stiff one 1% / 2,7 % elongation and one with more elongation 1 % / 6 %.




The following graph shows the lock out with nylons with 1,8 / 4,2 % and 1,6 / 3,4 %:




The last graph shows an automatic dropweight and a high quality electronic




I am interested to read your interpretations
Excellent data shown here. If one more line of data had been shown it would be perfect for analyzing the effect of SBS vs tensioning head. Plotting the string diameter vs time along side the tension would have been great. As we know, as tension is applied all strings stretch to varying degrees resulting in a thinner (smaller diameter) string the longer tension is left applied. The SBS of a single string is directly proportional to the applied tension at clamp-off and its finished diameter. If you're using a CP tension head then you must time your clamp-off to be the same for every pull to maintain even string diameter and thus even string stiffness. On a lock-out machine clamp-off is automatic when the reference tension is reached. The electronic tensioning unit shown in your chart also points out a problem with all electronic heads, the sawtoothing of tension as it overshoots the reference tension and then the tension exponentially relaxing until the next pull. The repulls occur after 0.4 , 0.4, 0.8, 1.6, 3.4, and 7 seconds respectively as best I could tell from your chart. So, depending on where you clamp off, the tension could vary by as much as 5 lbs (some Star 5's). From your chart I deduce that the most consistent string beds would come from Lock-out machines followed by the "smart-weight tensioner" and lastly the electronics. What kind of analysis have you come up with? Thanks. - SW
 

COPEY

Hall of Fame
I understand the function now. I first thought it was some sort of quick release or something. Did your tower thing get resolved?
For all intents and purposes, yes - I should get the replacement tower this week (Tues I think). Still, I'm able to string just fine with it. As is it's a minor inconvenience, not a showstopper.
 

Technatic

Professional
Final tension with different strings and systems.

SWstringer.
Excellent data shown here. If one more line of data had been shown it would be perfect for analyzing the effect of SBS vs tensioning head. Plotting the string diameter vs time along side the tension would have been great. As we know, as tension is applied all strings stretch to varying degrees resulting in a thinner (smaller diameter) string the longer tension is left applied.
I am sorry but I do not agree that the elongation of strings has a relation with the diameter. In my opinion it is much better to qualify strings by elongation figures.

The monos used on these measurements are both 1,25 mm and the upper one stretches 2,7 % from 44 to 88 lbs and the other 6 % which is 2,2 times more.

This table comes from another document and it shows the elongation figures for all kind of strings.



The different columns show
The purple column shows the elastic elongation, which is the elongation that recovers when the tension is lowered.
The white column shows the remaining elongation, this does not recover, this elongation remains in the string.
The yellow column is the total elongation, the sum of the elastic and remaining.

With a number of strings the diameter is mentioned behind the name of the string.When you compare the total elongation of the strings with the diameter you will see that strings with the same diameter can have very different elongation figures. The elongation of the strings with a diameter of 1,30 mm vary from 3,2 to 4,6 %. The strings at the bottom with a diameter of 1,25 mm stretch more than 9 % while the difference in cross section is only 8 %, the elongation is 3 times higher.

I think that string suppliers would do good when they would tell more than only the diameter, because it would be much easier for stringers to classify the different strings.

The picture below shows the measurement and the meaning of the different figures.



From your chart I deduce that the most consistent string beds would come from Lock-out machines followed by the "smart-weight tensioner" and lastly the electronics. What kind of analysis have you come up with? Thanks. - SW
I do not understand your conclusions concerning the accuracy of the systems:
* In my opinion the best thing is the automatic drop weight when you pull 66 lbs you get 66 lbs in the racquet, assuming that you wait long enough.

* The second position is for the electronic machine because the end tension varies with 5 lbs on this machine. This variation will depend upon the quality of the machine.

* The third place is for the lock out, because the final tension depends strongly on the type of string that you use: When you string a “slow”multifilament you loose 17,6 lbs and when you string a stiff “fast”monofilament you loose only 10 lbs.

And this variation is still independent of the speed of pulling, because in this graphs the speed of pulling is about the same in these lockout tests.
So the overall variation including the variation in speed will be bigger than shown in the graphs.
 

SW Stringer

Semi-Pro
I am sorry but I do not agree that the elongation of strings has a relation with the diameter. In my opinion it is much better to qualify strings by elongation figures.

The monos used on these measurements are both 1,25 mm and the upper one stretches 2,7 % from 44 to 88 lbs and the other 6 % which is 2,2 times more.

This table comes from another document and it shows the elongation figures for all kind of strings.



The different columns show
The purple column shows the elastic elongation, which is the elongation that recovers when the tension is lowered.
The white column shows the remaining elongation, this does not recover, this elongation remains in the string.
The yellow column is the total elongation, the sum of the elastic and remaining.

With a number of strings the diameter is mentioned behind the name of the string.When you compare the total elongation of the strings with the diameter you will see that strings with the same diameter can have very different elongation figures. The elongation of the strings with a diameter of 1,30 mm vary from 3,2 to 4,6 %. The strings at the bottom with a diameter of 1,25 mm stretch more than 9 % while the difference in cross section is only 8 %, the elongation is 3 times higher.

I think that string suppliers would do good when they would tell more than only the diameter, because it would be much easier for stringers to classify the different strings.

The picture below shows the measurement and the meaning of the different figures.





I do not understand your conclusions concerning the accuracy of the systems:
* In my opinion the best thing is the automatic drop weight when you pull 66 lbs you get 66 lbs in the racquet, assuming that you wait long enough.

* The second position is for the electronic machine because the end tension varies with 5 lbs on this machine. This variation will depend upon the quality of the machine.

* The third place is for the lock out, because the final tension depends strongly on the type of string that you use: When you string a “slow”multifilament you loose 17,6 lbs and when you string a stiff “fast”monofilament you loose only 10 lbs.

And this variation is still independent of the speed of pulling, because in this graphs the speed of pulling is about the same in these lockout tests.
So the overall variation including the variation in speed will be bigger than shown in the graphs.
Now that you've posted this new graph that apparently shows the elastic response of a string to a simulated strike I can see that we're on different wavelengths in this discussion. My original point is thus: During stringing as the tension is applied the string will stretch until clamped. This static stretching reduces the diameter of the string from the original diameter of the untensioned string. One measure of a uniform stringjob would have all strings tensioned equally and each and every string with the same diameter. My hypothesis is that a lock-out tensioner is best adapted to providing this result (with the possible exception of a Wise unit set to lock-out mode).

One way to test this hypothesis is to string the mains on a racquet and then measure the frequency of the main pairs. Record the differences between the pairs of mains. Calculate the standard deviation of the differences. The more uniform stringjobs will have the lowest standard deviation. Measuring the frequency of the mainstrings takes all of two minutes. Anybody can do it with the free tools available.
 

Technatic

Professional
This static stretching reduces the diameter of the string from the original diameter of the untensioned string. One measure of a uniform stringjob would have all strings tensioned equally and each and every string with the same diameter. My hypothesis is that a lock-out tensioner is best adapted to providing this result (with the possible exception of a Wise unit set to lock-out mode).
SWstringer would you be so kind to explain why the lock out system would supply the lowest deviation.
Assuming that you wait until all elongation has occurred the final tension still depends on the elongation character of the string and the speed of pulling.
As far as I can understand the end result will never be what you selected, like with the dropweight.

But maybe I am missing something.
 

Supracool94

Semi-Pro
If I had that many problems, I would pack it up and send it back, tell CS to send you one that passed quality control. Good CS, but a defective product. This day and age most machines are good to go when they arrive; at least the 3 I purchased.

A friend just received his SP Maestro, took about 15 minutes to put together, spot on calibration, and we were stringing. I really like the Maestro clamps, very nice machine.
Barry, you make a valid point! I almost did that, but I didn't want to go through having to ship it back. The problem is that Alpha recently switched factories, from China to Taiwan. I was one of the first ones to receive the new machine from the new factory. But again Mark has provided great customer support to correct these problems, and I'm confident the machine will be perfect in the end.
 

SW Stringer

Semi-Pro
SWstringer would you be so kind to explain why the lock out system would supply the lowest deviation.
Assuming that you wait until all elongation has occurred the final tension still depends on the elongation character of the string and the speed of pulling.
As far as I can understand the end result will never be what you selected, like with the dropweight.

But maybe I am missing something.
You said: " . . .
Assuming that you wait until all elongation has occurred the final tension still depends on the elongation character of the string and the speed of pulling. . . ."

Your oscilloscope pictures only go out 20 seconds and the electronic tensioner is still repulling. So how long do you wait for all elongation (which I assume is static stretching) to occur? Thirty seconds per pull? That may be an unreasonable amount of time for most stringers and it also will vary with string type, gauge, temperature etc. Tour stringers clamp quickly and produce very consistent results. A lock-out machine also clamps quickly as soon as the reference tension is reached producing a uniform diameter string and consistent SBS.

Your assumption that one must wait until all elongation has occurred to produce a consistent SBS is fallacious as proven by the results of numerous tour stringers who work under severe time constraints and produce quality results.

In actual practice the goal is to produce a given racquet with a target SBS (as measured by DT,RT, or frequency) which the experienced stringer who has built up a reference database can do by simply selecting the required reference tension on his particular machine to get those results.

To get a glimpse of what I'm talking about go to StringForum dot net and look at their ever growing DT database of thousands of entries.
 

Technatic

Professional
Deviation from the desired tension

Your assumption that one must wait until all elongation has occurred to produce a consistent SBS is fallacious as proven by the results of numerous tour stringers who work under severe time constraints and produce quality results
SW stringer, I think we talk on different frequencies;
I only mean here that you get different final tensions on a lock ou with different types of strings after full elongation.

But let's get back to the stringing praxis:

Let us say that the stringer clamps 3 seconds after the tensioner has reached the set tension and compare the tensions at that moment:
The tension on the lockout is about (graphs from top to bottom): 60 – 58 – 55 – 60 measured from the graphs.
So the deviation from the set tension of 66 varies from 6 to 11 lbs.

With the electronic machine it depends when you clamp. On the graph the machine does a re-pull at 9 seconds on the scale which is about 3 seconds after reaching the set tension.
When the string is clamped before the re-pull the tension is 64 lbs and after it is 69 lbs. So you get a higher as well as a lower tension compared to the set tension.

On the drop weight there is no deviation from the set tension in the string so you always clamp at the desired tension.
In my opinion this means the tension in the string after clamping is most accurate and predictable on the dropweight.

In actual practice the goal is to produce a given racquet with a target SBS (as measured by DT,RT, or frequency) which the experienced stringer who has built up a reference database can do by simply selecting the required reference tension on his particular machine to get those results.
With this remark you open a different but major item in stringing, that we call “stringing on stiffness”.(instead of on tension).
As you can see in other posts that I wrote, I use tables to calculate the stringing tension based on a chosen string-bed-stiffness for a particular player and racquet. This way of working is adopted by more and more stringers around the world, because it is much easier to predict the result in different racquets.

But I think it is a different item so perhaps we should start a new threat about this, I think it is of major importance to stringing. And it makes life much easier for starting stringers because they have a tool to chose the right tensions.
 

SW Stringer

Semi-Pro
SW stringer, I think we talk on different frequencies; . . . . . .


With this remark you open a different but major item in stringing, that we call “stringing on stiffness”.(instead of on tension).
As you can see in other posts that I wrote, I use tables to calculate the stringing tension based on a chosen string-bed-stiffness for a particular player and racquet. This way of working is adopted by more and more stringers around the world, because it is much easier to predict the result in different racquets.

But I think it is a different item so perhaps we should start a new threat about this, I think it is of major importance to stringing. And it makes life much easier for starting stringers because they have a tool to chose the right tensions.

Too many stringers, and expecially beginners, obcess about each and every detail of their machine, clamps, suspension, getting the correct tension, etc, etc, when what really makes a consistent product output is practice, practice, and more practice and eventually you reach an economy of movements and timing that produces a constant cadence of weave, pull-fan, tension, clamp . . . weave, pull-fan, tension, clamp . . . weave, pull-fan, tension, clamp . . . weave, pull-fan, tension, clamp . . . weave, pull-fan, tension, clamp . . . etc, etc. (See YUlittle's original video on tensioning mains - using the TF7000). Once you've mastered the constant cadence - your timing from tensioning to clamping also becomes a constant. That produces a uniform string diameter and uniform individual string "stiffness". Each stringer will settle into a slightly different cadence which is operator and machine dependent, but when he does the quality of his output will improve. (lower standard deviation of racquet SBS). Remember Chevy Chase's golfing advise in "Caddy Shack" to Bill Murray, . . . " be the ball ", . . . well, in stringing you have to " be the machine " it's an almost Zen like state when you don't think, you just do. It make take hundreds, maybe even thousands of string jobs but eventually it will be reached.

You may think you're stringing to tension, but with an even cadence you're really stringing to stiffness. SBS is the measure that makes the most sense on a finished racquet.

To see the difference cadence makes on a CP machine, string two identical racquets with the same string and same tension, however use a clamp off time of 5 seconds for one and 30 seconds for the other. You'll see a vast difference (especially with a stretchy string) in the SBS of the two racquets - both at the same tension, but the second one (30 second) much stiffer.
 

Technatic

Professional
New Stringers Should Use Innovations.

Of course I agree that consistency gets better when you get better with your machine, your techniques and know the strings that you use better. It means that you can get the desired result on your machine with the string that you know.

But when you string on stiffness and you check the end result with a stiffness tester you want as little uncertainties as possible.
And when you aim at a stiffness of 34 kg/cm (DT value) you want to achieve that with every type of string and not 37 with one string and 31 with the other.
And that is where the lock out lost on the European market, the difference in SBS result is too big.

And of course you can compensate a lot by building up experience by stringing hundreds of racquets but for a new stringer it is nicer when he can get predictable results as quick as possible.

Sometimes I have the feeling that stringers want to keep their craft a personal achievement and make it more complicated than necessary.
These stringers tend to condemn new innovations that come on the market systematically. But I assume that these stringers also work on their computers under Windows and not under DOS anymore!

Of course it is ok for experienced stringers to keep stringing as they always did that is there own choice.

But I would advise new stringers to use all facilities that are available and a tool to weave the crosses and a constant pull machine make life much easier for them.

Certainly when you use a stiffness tester which is a prime need for a stringer in my opinion.
A stringer without a control tool is like a carpenter without a ruler.
 

SW Stringer

Semi-Pro
Of course I agree that consistency gets better when you get better with your machine, your techniques and know the strings that you use better. It means that you can get the desired result on your machine with the string that you know.

But when you string on stiffness and you check the end result with a stiffness tester you want as little uncertainties as possible.
And when you aim at a stiffness of 34 kg/cm (DT value) you want to achieve that with every type of string and not 37 with one string and 31 with the other.
And that is where the lock out lost on the European market, the difference in SBS result is too big.

And of course you can compensate a lot by building up experience by stringing hundreds of racquets but for a new stringer it is nicer when he can get predictable results as quick as possible.

Sometimes I have the feeling that stringers want to keep their craft a personal achievement and make it more complicated than necessary.
These stringers tend to condemn new innovations that come on the market systematically. But I assume that these stringers also work on their computers under Windows and not under DOS anymore!

Of course it is ok for experienced stringers to keep stringing as they always did that is there own choice.

But I would advise new stringers to use all facilities that are available and a tool to weave the crosses and a constant pull machine make life much easier for them.

Certainly when you use a stiffness tester which is a prime need for a stringer in my opinion.
A stringer without a control tool is like a carpenter without a ruler.
You said: " . . . stiffness of 34 kg/cm (DT value) you want to achieve that with every type of string and not 37 with one string and 31 with the other. . . . "

I agree totally. By taking two stringjobs (same type racquet and same string) at different tensions, one can use an Excel spreadsheet and a regression analysis function and predict any other DT/tension pair with dead-nuts accuracy . . . any string, any racquet, any tension head. Use any version of Windows or MAC that you prefer:p.

You also said: " . . . And that is where the lock out lost on the European market, the difference in SBS result is too big. . . . " WHoaa, now you're starting to sound like a Stringway salesman!!! Yikes!!:wink:

I'd venture to say that the installed base of lock-out machines dwarfs the sum of the installed base of "smart-tensioners" and electronic CP machines by orders of magnitude.
 

Technatic

Professional
EU Market

You also said: " . . . And that is where the lock out lost on the European market, the difference in SBS result is too big. . . . " WHoaa, now you're starting to sound like a Stringway salesman!!! Yikes!!
You do not have to be a sales man to know about the EU market, just follow the message boards and see what machines are offered on the market.
The only lock outs that are offered come from Eagnas, but these are probably only bought “on price” by starters. The prices are very low and Eagnas is “famous” because of the problems and bad customer service.

I am a retired mechanical engineer, but I can imagine that I “radiate” some Stringway enthusiasm. I am using their EM450 and their cross stringers mk1 and mk2 as long as they exist.

The table that I have comes from their Tension Advisor, which is a calculation disk, I use it for over 15 years already.
I could not do without: Choose a stiffness, count the number of mains and crosses and it calculates the tensions for mains and crosses.
Never far off for every racquet and string when I check with the stiffness tester.

Another board member 1012007 sent the tables around there is nothing secret about them, and they make life much easier.
 

SW Stringer

Semi-Pro
You do not have to be a sales man to know about the EU market, just follow the message boards and see what machines are offered on the market.
The only lock outs that are offered come from Eagnas, but these are probably only bought “on price” by starters. The prices are very low and Eagnas is “famous” because of the problems and bad customer service.

I am a retired mechanical engineer, but I can imagine that I “radiate” some Stringway enthusiasm. I am using their EM450 and their cross stringers mk1 and mk2 as long as they exist.


The table that I have comes from their Tension Advisor, which is a calculation disk, I use it for over 15 years already.
I could not do without: Choose a stiffness, count the number of mains and crosses and it calculates the tensions for mains and crosses.
Never far off for every racquet and string when I check with the stiffness tester.

Another board member 1012007 sent the tables around there is nothing secret about them, and they make life much easier.
I think you're looking for "notorious" instead of "famous". The Tension Advisor is a neat little device from the sounds of it. Other machine manufacturers could take a clue from that and publish their own version - it would even work for crank machines but would recommend a little higher reference tension for a given stiffness. So is the stiffness number is DT units like what the ERT 300 and ERT 700 machines reads? Thanks.
 

Technatic

Professional
Tension Advisor

I think that the system is origianally designed for shops to make it easier for a stringer to adjust the string bed to the type of player.
There is a routemap with 4 questions one for a lady and one for a man and when you follow the route you get to the right stiffness in DT or kg/cm.

To get from the stiffness to the tension for a certain racquet you use the Tension Advisor.
Indeed the stiffness values on the tension advisor are in kg/cm which is the same as DT. The Stringlab measures in kg/cm and the ERT's call it DT. When the value is 34 it actually means that you need 34 kg to deflect the stringbed 1 cm.

And you are right it seems like other companies stay away from a tension advise system. While I think that it is a major tool to be able to "tune" the stringbed for different players, certainly for new stringers who do not have experience.
It calculates for every size and different string patterns.

If you are interested I can send the pdf with the tables and the route map by email.
 
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