Stringing machines

gmatheis

Hall of Fame
I think this all depends on your intended use and your situation

Are you stringing a lot or a little, just for yourself or for others, do you have a lot of room to set it up or does it need to go in a closet when not in use

etc...

Personally on my next machine I would like

#1 Fixed clamps
#2 Gravity release clamp bases
#3 Electronic Tensioner

This has me strongly leaning towards the Alpha Ghost.
 
1. Electronic constant pull
2. Adjustable tensioning speed
3. Reliable clamps that don't slip or crush string
4. Adjustable height - (allowing someone 6' 5" to string comfortably.)
5. Good warranty and customer support
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Clamp bases
Clamps
Easy to use
Support & parts availability
Resale value

Not necessarily in that order, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.
 

merlebo02

Rookie
thanks for all the great responses!! A common theme are the clamps, can yall expand on that? what do you look for in a good clamp?

also no one mentioned how many points on the mounting system, is that a big deal?
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
I'm sure everyone has different ideas but I would first look at the clamp bases. Some like flying clamps have no bases but I would not consider those. I want a clamp base that is very substantial. My bases have a 1" square metal brace where they rotate around from the center of the turn table. When ready to put them into use they also have a 12.5 square inch plate that grabs from both sides of the turn table for a 25 square inch gripping area. This makes for a substantial base of the clamp with the brace arm and the griping plates. The clamps reach up to about 1/4" below the the string bed and they're always the same distance below the string bed providing a consistent men's of holding the string. The clamps are 3 tooth clamps and are easy to hold most cross strings with one tooth inside the outside main and the other two outside the main. I start my crosses going over the first main so that the clamp can grip the crosses with the cross as far down inside the clamp as far as it will go.

EDIT: I don't think the mounting system is too much of a deal but I prefer a 6 point mount with C side supports. This maintains a consistent level of the string bed so the clamps grip the strings always at the same distance from the turntable. If the level is different then there will be more or less wobble in the clamps dependant on the height it have to be raised, or the clamps will grip the strings too tight or not tight enough dependant on where the clamp hinges.
 
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Jerry Seinfeld

Professional
I prefer well made flying clamps. I use the Stringway doubles and triples because they provide consistently great results. Not trying to start a debate over whether fixed or flying are superior. Each person needs to choose for themselves. I string on 3 machines, a Baiardo, a Star 5 and a Stringway. I prefer to use my flying clamps on each machine over the fixed clamp option. Just wanted to share another perspective.
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
I prefer well made flying clamps. I use the Stringway doubles and triples because they provide consistently great results. Not trying to start a debate over whether fixed or flying are superior. Each person needs to choose for themselves. I string on 3 machines, a Baiardo, a Star 5 and a Stringway. I prefer to use my flying clamps on each machine over the fixed clamp option. Just wanted to share another perspective.
I several Stringway clamps as well and have had a Stringway machine with fixed clamps.

They are really well designed and built. They grip the strings gently but firmly. There's never any ghosting. Love that positive latching action. If stringway made clamps that fit the base on my NEOS 1500 I would buy them in an instant.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I'm not as experienced or as informed in all the aspects of the craft as some of our pals here, but I've been stringing for a number of years. My first machine was a table-top drop weight with 2-point mounting, floating clamps, and constant pull. My current machine includes 6-point mounting, fixed clamps, and an electric tensioner with constant pull.

The fixed clamps are nice because there's much less "drawback" compared with floating clamps that hold tension by binding adjacent strings to each other. Fixed clamps barely move at all once clamped to the tensioned string and locked down at the other end.

Much easier for me to produce more consistent tensions with these clamps overall, but I also needed to adjust my installation tensions down by a few pounds when using the fixed clamps to get a desired string bed stiffness. The fixed clamps don't allow that slack (drawback) to creep in to each tensioned string in the same way as the floating clamps.

I was confident with making a switch to a 6-point mounting system because I had the opportunity to use a similar machine (a professional electric floor-stand model) for several weeks before buying my own. The extra mounting points clearly supported the racquet hoop better than the 2-point layout in my first machine. I never overstressed or cracked a racquet during stringing on my 2-point machine, but I could occasionally see the hoop mildly stretch and deform when tensioning strings (usually crosses). A "more complete" 6-point mounting system was an attractive feature for me.

My 6-point machine with its electric tensioner is somewhat more substantial than my older drop weight rig. Even though both are table-top units, my drop weight machine was much easier to break down, pack into a box and either stow in a closet or transport in my car than the electric machine. This is a worthwhile consideration for a part-time stringer who doesn't necessarily want a machine occupying a desk, table, etc. for extended periods.

Now that I'm a bit more established and can get rather busy with string jobs in the warmer months, I like being able to deal comfortably with a higher volume of work. I can honestly say that my electric machine has been much less tedious to work with when the stringing demand begins to pile up. I was fortunate to have access to my boss's machine because I gained a quick appreciation of the advantages I've mentioned here. I was able to buy my machine with a lot of confidence.
 

Fearsome Forehand

Professional
How much does the mounting system (2 vs 6) matter?
It depends. They are some machines with very solid two point systems (Prince/Ektelon comes to mind.) Other two pointers are so hot, like some of the lower end machines.

In theory, the more the merrier but it depends on the design. All else equal, you should have a more secure mount and better frame protection with multiple mounting supports.

I like multi-point mounting, upright, crank machines with fixed rotating clamps and if I shop around, I can get one for less than $500. Others prefer other things, it is very much a matter of taste (and whether you are stringing for yourself, or professionally.)
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
IMO, you want a good mounting system, fixed clamps, and an electronic tensioner. When/if you start shopping set your budget and then look at everything you can afford. There are just a few manufacturers. Do your research and then buy more than you think you can afford You won't regret it.
 

struggle

Legend
IMO, you want a good mounting system, fixed clamps, and an electronic tensioner. When/if you start shopping set your budget and then look at everything you can afford. There are just a few manufacturers. Do your research and then buy more than you think you can afford You won't regret it.
i agree with this info.

as long as you don't need to pack it as a carry on.
 

Rabbit

G.O.A.T.
i'd go with portability first and foremost.

;-)
Portability and connectability, that is precisely why I love the Wise. Next week, I'm stringing for the WTA tournament here in town. I take my Wise to the club and string all day, then I take my Wise home and string all night. :)

It's easy peasy to move it, no muss no fuss.
 

struggle

Legend
Portability and connectability, that is precisely why I love the Wise. Next week, I'm stringing for the WTA tournament here in town. I take my Wise to the club and string all day, then I take my Wise home and string all night. :)

It's easy peasy to move it, no muss no fuss.
Do you know Nick Gaffos? He taught up here in Asheville a couple winters ago, but I met him in Cola originally. Nice fella.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
"Extreme" tension accuracy? Sorry...couldn't resist.

1. Clamps
2. Durability
3. Mounting System
4. A Brake
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
i'd go with portability first and foremost.

;-)
agreed, ive had to string a couple times from the back of my car/trunk :) , or at the club on a nice day

while i do prefer to string at home with the tv/radio playing on the background, i like to have that option to be able to string anywhere
 

eelhc

Hall of Fame
i'd go with portability first and foremost.

;-)
agreed, ive had to string a couple times from the back of my car/trunk :) , or at the club on a nice day

while i do prefer to string at home with the tv/radio playing on the background, i like to have that option to be able to string anywhere
:D :D

Stop it guys... It's no longer April 1. Otherwise this thread will be closed shortly too.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
...as long as you don't need to pack it as a carry on.
Didn't even catch that until now. Nice work. :)

Just think though, you could string on an airplane! Maybe you could mount the racquet to the tray table? Under 14 min...you're done! Bet the others in your row would love that.

With regard to clamps, here are some things that make a good clamp, to me:

1. Easy to take apart and clean
2. Provides feedback when you engage the clamp (you can easily tell when they're set too loose, too tight, or set correctly)
3. Never slips (provided it is cleaned and set properly)

It's also nice to have clamps made by a manufacturer who stands behind their products. Fortunately, most manufacturers in the industry are on the up and up.

I got spoiled on the Baiardo at work - it's clamps are pretty awesome. I've also grown to like the single action clamps I have on my Gamma 4000 at home. But, it is clear that they are getting tired...in need of reconditioning or replacement. But, replacement parts are no longer available for my machine - at least not through Gamma. :(
 

Kdude

Rookie
I prefer well made flying clamps. I use the Stringway doubles and triples because they provide consistently great results. Not trying to start a debate over whether fixed or flying are superior. Each person needs to choose for themselves. I string on 3 machines, a Baiardo, a Star 5 and a Stringway. I prefer to use my flying clamps on each machine over the fixed clamp option. Just wanted to share another perspective.
Jerry just curious which is your favourite of the three machines ?
 
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