What machine would you recommend?

#1
I have some good friends who have agreed to go in on a stringing machine. In return I'll string their racquets and make sure they get more than their money's worth in stringing labor. In addition I'll offer stringing services to everyone else (for a fee of course). Not sure how much business I'll be able to get.

My history: I bought a cheap drop weight about 15 yrs ago and learned to string. But I have 2 friends who both have Gamma Progression II ES's so I've used that machine by far more than any other over the years. Really only did 10-20 jobs on the drop weight. Unfortunately I don't have access to those Gamma machines anymore.

I think I can safely spend $600...maybe as much as $700. What machine would you recommend? Ideally I'd buy a decent used machine. So far not much luck finding anything. I'm also looking at a Gamma Progression II 602fc It's a drop weight machine but I figure I can upgrade down the road with a Wise head or a Gamma electric tensioner (if that's possible). My question, though, is do you think that based on my history of using an electric machine for the last 13-14 years, will I hate the drop weight and regret my decision? I feel like I should prioritize toward a high quality mount and fixed clamps over the more convenient tensioning system. But then what if I end up stringing a lot of racquets?

I'd appreciate any advice/suggestions you could offer. Thanks!
 
#2
I have some good friends who have agreed to go in on a stringing machine. In return I'll string their racquets and make sure they get more than their money's worth in stringing labor. In addition I'll offer stringing services to everyone else (for a fee of course). Not sure how much business I'll be able to get.

My history: I bought a cheap drop weight about 15 yrs ago and learned to string. But I have 2 friends who both have Gamma Progression II ES's so I've used that machine by far more than any other over the years. Really only did 10-20 jobs on the drop weight. Unfortunately I don't have access to those Gamma machines anymore.

I think I can safely spend $600...maybe as much as $700. What machine would you recommend? Ideally I'd buy a decent used machine. So far not much luck finding anything. I'm also looking at a Gamma Progression II 602fc It's a drop weight machine but I figure I can upgrade down the road with a Wise head or a Gamma electric tensioner (if that's possible). My question, though, is do you think that based on my history of using an electric machine for the last 13-14 years, will I hate the drop weight and regret my decision? I feel like I should prioritize toward a high quality mount and fixed clamps over the more convenient tensioning system. But then what if I end up stringing a lot of racquets?

I'd appreciate any advice/suggestions you could offer. Thanks!
For volume I would go with a crank machine. Drop weight will add significant time to be accurate. I would look at the Alpha crank machines, they typically won't break the bank. Some will argue for constant pull (drop weight/electronic) versus lockout (crank) but who really cares? It's all what tension you're used to. Even between electric machines rackets will feel different based on pull speed.
 
#3
Are you so rich as to buy cheap tools?

Noone knows for sure but you, but I think that with your background, as you described it, you will hate the drop weight and will regret that you did not spend more to get a more advanced machine such as the one you got used to. In addition, I doubt you would get any paid business with a drop weight.

It may be my biased perception, but I somehow think that very few people would want to have their racquet strung on a drop weight which looks so primitive compared to machines at tennis shops. I am not saying one cannot do just as good of a job with a dropweight as with a $4k+ machine, but common perception of those who know nothing about the subject is different.
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
#4
I string on a eCP machine at work. I have an Alpha Axis Pro with a WISE head at home. Lemme tell ya something: If I had a drop weight machine at home...I question whether I would ever use it. No disrespect to those who do use them - I know good results can be achieved. But when it takes me around 20 min to string a racquet at work...I don’t think I could stomach adding 10-20 min more potentially at home. But that’s me.
 
#5
My question, though, is do you think that based on my history of using an electric machine for the last 13-14 years, will I hate the drop weight and regret my decision?
Yeah, you probably will. :p

I feel like I should prioritize toward a high quality mount and fixed clamps over the more convenient tensioning system.
Absolutely true.

If you're willing to settle for a dropweight, your $600 cap will barely get you a new one (Gamma 602FC, Gamma X-6FC, Alpha Pioneer DC+). $700 wouldn't really change your options much.

Problem is... with your $700 upper cap, as far as new crank machines go, you're going to be very limited. The Revo 4000 barely makes the cut at $700 (and you won't find any new fixed clamp crank machines for $600).
You're smart to wait for a used machine that will get you the features you want - within the budget you've proposed.

Now, if you can expand that budget, up closer to $900, you're going to have more options (particularly regarding new machines), such as a Gamma Prog. ST II.

The more time you have, the more likely you are to get what you want, at a price within your budget.
If you don't have time on your side, and have to pull the trigger on something sooner, rather than later, then you're going to pay a bit more.

However, price isn't always the most important thing.
Consider whatever revenue that you'll be losing while you wait for the "great deal" to come along.
Consider also, given the arrangement you've entered into with your "friends" (who now have a stake), your obligation to your new business partners.
Guess what... you now have "bosses" to answer to. :p
Just how long are they willing to wait around for you to obtain a machine (they want their sticks strung this summer, not this winter, right?).

Which is better... spending $1000 now, and making a few hundred over summer/fall by actually stringing... or waiting for a great $600 deal to come along 6 months from now?
 
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#7
For volume I would go with a crank machine. Drop weight will add significant time to be accurate. I would look at the Alpha crank machines, they typically won't break the bank. Some will argue for constant pull (drop weight/electronic) versus lockout (crank) but who really cares? It's all what tension you're used to. Even between electric machines rackets will feel different based on pull speed.
I agree...a drop weight would get old if I'm stringing more than a few a week. Crank or electric is the way to go.
 
#8
Are you so rich as to buy cheap tools?

Noone knows for sure but you, but I think that with your background, as you described it, you will hate the drop weight and will regret that you did not spend more to get a more advanced machine such as the one you got used to. In addition, I doubt you would get any paid business with a drop weight.

It may be my biased perception, but I somehow think that very few people would want to have their racquet strung on a drop weight which looks so primitive compared to machines at tennis shops. I am not saying one cannot do just as good of a job with a dropweight as with a $4k+ machine, but common perception of those who know nothing about the subject is different.
You make good points, but I'm not sure how many people really know about the different types of machines. It's true, though, that a drop weight sure looks primitively compared to those multithousand dollar machines.
 
#9
If you're willing to settle for a dropweight, your $600 cap will barely get you a new one (Gamma 602FC, Gamma X-6FC, Alpha Pioneer DC+). $700 wouldn't really change your options much.

Problem is... with your $700 upper cap, as far as new crank machines go, you're going to be very limited. The Revo 4000 barely makes the cut at $700 (and you won't find any new fixed clamp crank machines for $600).
You're smart to wait for a used machine that will get you the features you want - within the budget you've proposed.

Now, if you can expand that budget, up closer to $900, you're going to have more options (particularly regarding new machines), such as a Gamma Prog. ST II.

The more time you have, the more likely you are to get what you want, at a price within your budget.
If you don't have time on your side, and have to pull the trigger on something sooner, rather than later, then you're going to pay a bit more.

However, price isn't always the most important thing.
Consider whatever revenue that you'll be losing while you wait for the "great deal" to come along.
Consider also, given the arrangement you've entered into with your "friends" (who now have a stake), your obligation to your new business partners.
Guess what... you now have "bosses" to answer to. :p
Just how long are they willing to wait around for you to obtain a machine (they want their sticks strung this summer, not this winter, right?).

Which is better... spending $1000 now, and making a few hundred over summer/fall by actually stringing... or waiting for a great $600 deal to come along 6 months from now?
First of all, thanks for your thorough and thoughtful reply. A lot of good thoughts...some of which occurred to me after making this post. I have a tentative plan. My friends and I pool our money and get a Gamma 602fc (drop weight) Then I sell a guitar that I've decided I can do without. That should net me more than enough to get the wise head which I believe should fit on the gamma without much trouble. That would come in for a couple of hundred less than the Gamma ELS and the Wise is a better tensioner, right? Does that sound like a good use of the $1100 and change it'll cost or is there a better solution? I think it mounts easier on the crank arm of the Revo, but that would cost me $170 more. And I think the mount and clamps are of similar quality, right?

As far as the friends go, all but one is basically family and I feel confident there will be no drama involved in this business deal. I haven't told them yet, but I intend to string their racquets for free forever. (They provide the string) The odd one is my mixed doubles partner and I plan on specifying the deal with her which will probably be double her investment in stringing labor at an agreed upon per job rate. Sound fair?
 
#10
First of all, thanks for your thorough and thoughtful reply. A lot of good thoughts...some of which occurred to me after making this post. I have a tentative plan. My friends and I pool our money and get a Gamma 602fc (drop weight) Then I sell a guitar that I've decided I can do without. That should net me more than enough to get the wise head which I believe should fit on the gamma without much trouble. That would come in for a couple of hundred less than the Gamma ELS and the Wise is a better tensioner, right? Does that sound like a good use of the $1100 and change it'll cost or is there a better solution? I think it mounts easier on the crank arm of the Revo, but that would cost me $170 more. And I think the mount and clamps are of similar quality, right?

As far as the friends go, all but one is basically family and I feel confident there will be no drama involved in this business deal. I haven't told them yet, but I intend to string their racquets for free forever. (They provide the string) The odd one is my mixed doubles partner and I plan on specifying the deal with her which will probably be double her investment in stringing labor at an agreed upon per job rate. Sound fair?
I recently purchased a used gamma 5800 ELS for $1000. I am pretty happy with it but a couple things I wish I could upgrade are as follows:
- The mounting system uses a separate dial for each arm … I would much prefer a single dial for both arms so it's always centered.
- The base clamps … They are the same as you would get on the 602FC I believe … I think it would be nicer to have clamps that lock with a specific turn rather than the turn until you think it's tight enough.

If I had to do it again I think I would go with the Alpha Apex Speed at $1099. Even though I'd give up the electric tensioner I would really like to have the better mounting and clamp bases and I'd just save the money I make stringing and eventually add a Wise. At 1 racquet a week a Wise would take about a year to save for.
 
#11
First of all, thanks for your thorough and thoughtful reply. A lot of good thoughts...some of which occurred to me after making this post. I have a tentative plan. My friends and I pool our money and get a Gamma 602fc (drop weight) Then I sell a guitar that I've decided I can do without. That should net me more than enough to get the wise head which I believe should fit on the gamma without much trouble.
No problem, you're certainly welcome. Regarding fitting the Wise to the 602FC, you're correct. It will fit without trouble.
There's a "drop weight adapter" made/sold by Wise for exactly this purpose.

Don't pull the trigger too quickly about purchasing the drop weight adapter (normally about $25) because you may be able to get it for free.
When I bought my Wise, Dan was including one adapter (your choice of the drop weight adapter, or the Gamma adapter [for Gamma crank machines]) in the purchase price of the tensioner.
Whenever you get around to purchasing a Wise tensionhead, call up Dan at Wise and have a chat with him. See if the free adapter option is still viable.
If it is, you may want to purchase directly from Wise/Dan. ;)
Don't be lured into thinking that you'll need the optional foot pedal. The consensus is - you won't need it (or won't use it, even if you do have it).
It's well documented, in this forum, that those that bought the foot pedal ended up putting it in a drawer somewhere.

That would come in for a couple of hundred less than the Gamma ELS and the Wise is a better tensioner, right?
I would agree with this, however, I do favor a diabolo/linear gripper, over a rotational gripper, for numerous reasons (which I'm not listing here).
Besides saving you a bit of money, the other advantage to the 602FC/Wise combo over the Prog. ELS is that IF anything were to ever go wrong with the electronic portion of the machine, you wouldn't be put completely out of commission. You would still have the original drop weight mechanism, which you could reinstall and then resume being able to string frames (while you've sent in your Wise for repairs). IF the electronics have issues on the ELS, you have no back-up tensioner.

To be clear, I'm not knocking the Gamma ELS machine. Actually, there are some very thorough and immensely positive reviews of the ELS machine in this forum.
You may want to check out those threads. A while back, @AndI authored a thoroughly full review (complete with photos) shortly after purchasing his... and @Herb always praises how well his has served him as his back-up machine.
Found it...
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...-els-review-with-pictures-and-details.599040/

There are also other threads/photos in this forum of users who've mounted the Wise to their Gamma X-6FC/602FC machines.

Also worth quick mention... the 602FC/Wise combo will not have a turntable brake (if that's of high importance to you), whereas the ELS machine does have a turntable brake (a nice "gear style" one). See post #54, in AndI's thread, linked above, for photos.

Does that sound like a good use of the $1100 and change it'll cost or is there a better solution? I think it mounts easier on the crank arm of the Revo, but that would cost me $170 more. And I think the mount and clamps are of similar quality, right?
Sounds like good use of the money to me.
Yeah, the Wise slides right onto the arm of any crank machine very easily (that's exactly what it was originally designed for), but mounting it, with the adapter, to the 602FC shouldn't be difficult.

Overall, I would say that the mounting and clamps are relatively similar.
The Alpha is built like a tank and most people typically give the nod to the Alpha for it's base clamps and sturdy/solid turntable.

Regarding the mounting, both the Gamma and the Alpha utilize the relatively common "6 knob" type mounting mechanism.
The Gamma usually gets the nod from most people (especially, now that the Gamma machines come with the 4 "C" or "V" style frame supports on the side shoulder supports... as opposed to the older "L" style supports that used to be on the Gamma machines, and are still on the Alpha). See post #15, in AndI's thread, linked above, for a photo.

Regarding the string clamps themselves... I'm not really in a position to say, since I've never personally used the Alpha clamps.
I think I remember reading threads (possibly a Pro's Pro clamps vs. Alpha clamps type thread?) where people said they were alright, but nothing really great. I guess "average" would possibly be the popular vote. Maybe others here, who are familiar with the Alpha clamps, can chime in. Do they have diamond dust in them?
Personally, I LOVE my Gamma clamps. Love, love, love them. :D
Diamond dust in them (doesn't require a lot of pressure to securely hold a string), slim, unobtrusive, super quick to adjust, and perfect spacing of the 5 teeth (a big deal to me). See post #10 and #27, in AndI's thread, linked above, for good photos.

I haven't told them yet, but I intend to string their racquets for free forever.
You very well may want to keep it that way (a secret).
Once you've made that proclamation, it would be difficult to change the dynamic (should you ever regret it further down the road). My advice would be to just say "don't worry about it" each time you string their frame up.
You can continue doing this for as long as you want to, but this way still gives you the option, down the road, to change your mind (if you wish).
If you make that "announcement" outright, then they will feel like it's something owed to them (and therefore have less appreciation for your time/efforts).
If you don't make that "announcement" to them, eventually they will feel an obligation to give you something. Then, each time you string a frame for them and say "nah, don't worry about it" it will feel like you are doing a favor (which you are).
It's a perception thing. When people get things for free, they oftentimes (unintentionally) start to feel entitled. My advice - keep the leverage on your side. :cool:

The odd one is my mixed doubles partner and I plan on specifying the deal with her which will probably be double her investment in stringing labor at an agreed upon per job rate. Sound fair?
Sounds fair to me.

Good luck! :D
 
#12
For volume I would go with a crank machine. Drop weight will add significant time to be accurate. I would look at the Alpha crank machines, they typically won't break the bank. Some will argue for constant pull (drop weight/electronic) versus lockout (crank) but who really cares? It's all what tension you're used to. Even between electric machines rackets will feel different based on pull speed.
One of the biggest fallacies this forum pushes is a drop weight is constant pull. It is only accurate when the bar is level, if the string gives and the bar lowers then it is not pulling at the desired tension. All machines maintain tension on the string, to be constant pull it needs to pull the right tension
 
#13
I would also consider that if you end up doing more than yourself and your friends are you going to want to spend 30-40 minutes on a racket to get it right or would you rather have a machine that you can do it right in 20-25 mins? For what it's worth, I can't play a match anymore without picking up rackets. I picked up 3 last night. Two from guys on my team and one from a guy that plays with my captain on another team. I also did a couple others for a couple women earlier this week. If you're really looking to build a solid client base you're going to want to spend a bit more money up front. If I go solely by my paypal receipts for the last year, I probably made $1500 off of local players charging between $20 for syngut and $30 for more premium stuff like NRG or Alu. Granted I have to take string cost out but even on the paypal side I've probably made $750+ minimum in the last year (I only charge $10 per racket). Thats not counting all the people that just give me cash. It's possible to make decent side money stringing but it will take time and you will need some pace to make it worth your time.
 
#14
One of the biggest fallacies this forum pushes is a drop weight is constant pull. It is only accurate when the bar is level, if the string gives and the bar lowers then it is not pulling at the desired tension. All machines maintain tension on the string, to be constant pull it needs to pull the right tension
By definition it is constant pull. Constant pull means that it is constantly pulling the string. Even if the string continues to elongate and the weight drops doesn't mean that it isn't constantly being pulled. Where is @Irvin when you need him?
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
#16
For your needs and stretching your budget a bit, I suggest getting an upright lock-out machine. Quality candidates would be the Alpha Axis Pro, the Alpha Apex Speed the Tourna Crank and the Gamma 5003. If you wish to spend a little more, think about the Neos 1000, 1500 or Gamma 6004. If you are patient, a used one of these may pop up at a decent bargain. In this light, while I like the Revo 4000, it's not an upright and by the time you have found a suitable cabinet or stand to make it one, you can pretty much afford the Axis Pro. The drop weights (excluding the Stringways) are fine for personal stringing but I would suspect would grow quite tedious as the quantity of racquets to string increases (and CP versus LO is simply a red herring--easy to compensate either way).
 
#17
One of the biggest fallacies this forum pushes is a drop weight is constant pull. It is only accurate when the bar is level, if the string gives and the bar lowers then it is not pulling at the desired tension. All machines maintain tension on the string, to be constant pull it needs to pull the right tension
If I connect my boat to my truck and pull it to the lake, except for the time that I stop or backup I (my truck) am constantly pull the boat. It does not matter how fast or how slow I and traveling as long as the truck moves forward for I’m pulling the boat.

On a DW machine as long as the bar is within 5* of level the tension is very accurate. Let’s consider an electronic CP machine, when I pull 50 lbs of tension my Star 5 pulls to about 50+ (plus overshoot,) then drop down to 50- and starts pulling again. Would you consider a Star 5 (or any other electronic machine constant pull?) Now consider a lockout machine. It pulls tension on a string until the set tension is obtain. And after lock out no matter how much the string relaxes the tension head constantly applies an equal and opposite tension.
 
#18
If I connect my boat to my truck and pull it to the lake, except for the time that I stop or backup I (my truck) am constantly pull the boat. It does not matter how fast or how slow I and traveling as long as the truck moves forward for I’m pulling the boat.
Any time your truck slows down more than the boat you are no longer pulling the boat but rather the boat is pushing your truck

Don’t know why I hat to point that out ... I already think less of myself lol

But what Irvin says about the stringing is true :)
 
#19
Any time your truck slows down more than the boat you are no longer pulling the boat but rather the boat is pushing your truck
Actually the truck is always either pushing, holding, or pulling the boat but they are always at the same speed on the way to the lake.
 
#20
Let me talk to a friend tonight. He has 2 crank machines that need a little work, but if he will sell relatively cheap, plus shipping, repairs (one needs new clamps), you may be able to save a little. No promises. They are in a pro shop at a country club that is no longer used. The country club is, the pro shop is not.
 
#21
Any time your truck slows down more than the boat you are no longer pulling the boat but rather the boat is pushing your truck

Don’t know why I hat to point that out ... I already think less of myself lol :)
Unless it's a dingy of a boat... anytime you're towing something substantial, there's almost always a brake controller
that you adjust so that when you apply the brakes from the tow vehicle/truck, the trailer/boat slows down slightly more than
the tow vehicle. You do not want to slow down the truck more and the trailer is pushing on the truck, that would
be very unsafe and the rig could easily jack-knife...

Not sure why I had to point that out neither, I think less of you for bringing it up :)
 
#24
No!
After the lock-out the tension-head is frozen in a locked position. No pulling, and definitely no cp.
Please correct me if I am wrong. The way I understand the LO tensioner you place the string in the gripper. As you rotate the crank the linear grip rotates on a pivot and the back of the gripper tilts up as tension builds up in the string. When the back of the gripper lifts high enough a catch releases a lever that engages the brake and stops the assembly from moving. But the gripper is still held up by the tension in the string. Opposing that string tension is the tensioning spring pushing the gripper back down which puts a CONSTANT PULL on the string.
 

MAX PLY

Hall of Fame
#25
I’m not sure how much “pull” is happening but the string is still under tension and continues to be “pulled” (i.e., it continues to stretch because it remains under some tension—you can see that when you calibrate). But the tension of the tension head does not continue to increase to compensate for the stretch of the string as is the case with a CP. Hence the difference between a LO and a CP.
 
#26
@MAX PLY I'd agree with that.

EDIT: Conventional machines that are considered to be CP continue to stretch more as the string relaxes at a constant tension. All machines pull or hold or there is no tension.
 
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#28
I recently purchased a used gamma 5800 ELS for $1000. I am pretty happy with it but a couple things I wish I could upgrade are as follows:
- The mounting system uses a separate dial for each arm … I would much prefer a single dial for both arms so it's always centered.
- The base clamps … They are the same as you would get on the 602FC I believe … I think it would be nicer to have clamps that lock with a specific turn rather than the turn until you think it's tight enough.

If I had to do it again I think I would go with the Alpha Apex Speed at $1099. Even though I'd give up the electric tensioner I would really like to have the better mounting and clamp bases and I'd just save the money I make stringing and eventually add a Wise. At 1 racquet a week a Wise would take about a year to save for.

I agree the self centering mount would be nice, but I'm used to the individual adjustments and don't mind it. The base clamps on the 602fc are ones that lock with a 1/8 (or whatever it is) turn. It's not the kind where you keep turning until tight. I'm definitely open to a crank machine if the right deal comes along.
 
#29
I would also consider that if you end up doing more than yourself and your friends are you going to want to spend 30-40 minutes on a racket to get it right or would you rather have a machine that you can do it right in 20-25 mins? For what it's worth, I can't play a match anymore without picking up rackets. I picked up 3 last night. Two from guys on my team and one from a guy that plays with my captain on another team. I also did a couple others for a couple women earlier this week. If you're really looking to build a solid client base you're going to want to spend a bit more money up front. If I go solely by my paypal receipts for the last year, I probably made $1500 off of local players charging between $20 for syngut and $30 for more premium stuff like NRG or Alu. Granted I have to take string cost out but even on the paypal side I've probably made $750+ minimum in the last year (I only charge $10 per racket). Thats not counting all the people that just give me cash. It's possible to make decent side money stringing but it will take time and you will need some pace to make it worth your time.
I hope I can build a decent client base like that. I'm definitely leaning toward getting a setup with high volume in mind.
 
#30
For your needs and stretching your budget a bit, I suggest getting an upright lock-out machine. Quality candidates would be the Alpha Axis Pro, the Alpha Apex Speed the Tourna Crank and the Gamma 5003. If you wish to spend a little more, think about the Neos 1000, 1500 or Gamma 6004. If you are patient, a used one of these may pop up at a decent bargain. In this light, while I like the Revo 4000, it's not an upright and by the time you have found a suitable cabinet or stand to make it one, you can pretty much afford the Axis Pro. The drop weights (excluding the Stringways) are fine for personal stringing but I would suspect would grow quite tedious as the quantity of racquets to string increases (and CP versus LO is simply a red herring--easy to compensate either way).
I'm absolutely open to the stand up crank option if the right deal comes around. Thanks!
 
#31
No problem, you're certainly welcome. Regarding fitting the Wise to the 602FC, you're correct. It will fit without trouble.
There's a "drop weight adapter" made/sold by Wise for exactly this purpose.

Don't pull the trigger too quickly about purchasing the drop weight adapter (normally about $25) because you may be able to get it for free.
When I bought my Wise, Dan was including one adapter (your choice of the drop weight adapter, or the Gamma adapter [for Gamma crank machines]) in the purchase price of the tensioner.
Whenever you get around to purchasing a Wise tensionhead, call up Dan at Wise and have a chat with him. See if the free adapter option is still viable.
If it is, you may want to purchase directly from Wise/Dan. ;)
Don't be lured into thinking that you'll need the optional foot pedal. The consensus is - you won't need it (or won't use it, even if you do have it).
It's well documented, in this forum, that those that bought the foot pedal ended up putting it in a drawer somewhere.


I would agree with this, however, I do favor a diabolo/linear gripper, over a rotational gripper, for numerous reasons (which I'm not listing here).
Besides saving you a bit of money, the other advantage to the 602FC/Wise combo over the Prog. ELS is that IF anything were to ever go wrong with the electronic portion of the machine, you wouldn't be put completely out of commission. You would still have the original drop weight mechanism, which you could reinstall and then resume being able to string frames (while you've sent in your Wise for repairs). IF the electronics have issues on the ELS, you have no back-up tensioner.

To be clear, I'm not knocking the Gamma ELS machine. Actually, there are some very thorough and immensely positive reviews of the ELS machine in this forum.
You may want to check out those threads. A while back, @AndI authored a thoroughly full review (complete with photos) shortly after purchasing his... and @Herb always praises how well his has served him as his back-up machine.
Found it...
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...-els-review-with-pictures-and-details.599040/

There are also other threads/photos in this forum of users who've mounted the Wise to their Gamma X-6FC/602FC machines.

Also worth quick mention... the 602FC/Wise combo will not have a turntable brake (if that's of high importance to you), whereas the ELS machine does have a turntable brake (a nice "gear style" one). See post #54, in AndI's thread, linked above, for photos.


Sounds like good use of the money to me.
Yeah, the Wise slides right onto the arm of any crank machine very easily (that's exactly what it was originally designed for), but mounting it, with the adapter, to the 602FC shouldn't be difficult.

Overall, I would say that the mounting and clamps are relatively similar.
The Alpha is built like a tank and most people typically give the nod to the Alpha for it's base clamps and sturdy/solid turntable.

Regarding the mounting, both the Gamma and the Alpha utilize the relatively common "6 knob" type mounting mechanism.
The Gamma usually gets the nod from most people (especially, now that the Gamma machines come with the 4 "C" or "V" style frame supports on the side shoulder supports... as opposed to the older "L" style supports that used to be on the Gamma machines, and are still on the Alpha). See post #15, in AndI's thread, linked above, for a photo.

Regarding the string clamps themselves... I'm not really in a position to say, since I've never personally used the Alpha clamps.
I think I remember reading threads (possibly a Pro's Pro clamps vs. Alpha clamps type thread?) where people said they were alright, but nothing really great. I guess "average" would possibly be the popular vote. Maybe others here, who are familiar with the Alpha clamps, can chime in. Do they have diamond dust in them?
Personally, I LOVE my Gamma clamps. Love, love, love them. :D
Diamond dust in them (doesn't require a lot of pressure to securely hold a string), slim, unobtrusive, super quick to adjust, and perfect spacing of the 5 teeth (a big deal to me). See post #10 and #27, in AndI's thread, linked above, for good photos.


You very well may want to keep it that way (a secret).
Once you've made that proclamation, it would be difficult to change the dynamic (should you ever regret it further down the road). My advice would be to just say "don't worry about it" each time you string their frame up.
You can continue doing this for as long as you want to, but this way still gives you the option, down the road, to change your mind (if you wish).
If you make that "announcement" outright, then they will feel like it's something owed to them (and therefore have less appreciation for your time/efforts).
If you don't make that "announcement" to them, eventually they will feel an obligation to give you something. Then, each time you string a frame for them and say "nah, don't worry about it" it will feel like you are doing a favor (which you are).
It's a perception thing. When people get things for free, they oftentimes (unintentionally) start to feel entitled. My advice - keep the leverage on your side. :cool:


Sounds fair to me.

Good luck! :D
Thanks for the tip about the wise gamma adapter. I notice the wise head is $625 everywhere except from Eagnas where it's $585. The difference is about the cost of the adapter. Maybe Wise includes it free and Eagnas doesn't? Speaking of Eagnas, has anyone bought a Wise head from them? I'd be hesitant just because of their reputation.

While it would be nice, I think I can live without the turntable brake. I've never had one before. But I've also never strung a Prince o-port frame.

Thanks for the gamma/alpha comparisons.

Good points about not letting on that I intend to string for them for free indefinitely. Reminds me of doing family photo sessions for my actual family and how ungrateful they always seem. I rarely even get a thank you after my hours of free work.
 
#32
I agree the self centering mount would be nice, but I'm used to the individual adjustments and don't mind it. The base clamps on the 602fc are ones that lock with a 1/8 (or whatever it is) turn. It's not the kind where you keep turning until tight. I'm definitely open to a crank machine if the right deal comes along.
Those base clamps look like mine and they are not a set turn amount, you have to push that lever until its tight
 
#33
Those base clamps look like mine and they are not a set turn amount, you have to push that lever until its tight
Ok then I misunderstood what "Quick Action Swivel Clamp Bases" meant and I didn't realize there are different kinds that look similar. I've only used the kind that you spin until it tightens. The ones on the current models looked to me like the kind you only turn a short distance to lock it.
 
#37
i think Wilson has rent to own program which most people enjoy
If you have an account with them, even then they only give out 90 days term and that IF you qualify... we make over well over 10k in purchases and they still wouldn’t put us on terms or rent to own. Maybe it is just us... sorta pissed with all the machines/Strings we bought. But I do agree make the investment for the long run.
 
#40
You can find it for much less shipped if you shopped around hehe come into the darkside haha
Forget how much I paid for my machine but in the past few years I've strung about 2,000 rackets on it. If someone were to charge $10 / racket and after a few years get back a lot of their initial investment, it is going to be a good investment. Don't buy a used machine on it last leg or a cheap machine that won't last.

Say you buy a NEOS or Gamma for $1,500 new. String 2000 rackets in 4 years and sell it for $700. That's 40 cents a racket. Compare that to a DW that takes you 2 times as long to string a racket with.
 
#41
#42
There are also other threads/photos in this forum of users who've mounted the Wise to their Gamma X-6FC/602FC machines.
:D
That looks like a good deal. X-6FC But the base is a lot smaller than the progression version of this machine. Can the wise mount to that and have enough space and be stable?
With a bit of DIY, it can be done.
Look into the threads that I referenced before.
Some of the threads have photos as well.
 
#43
My suggestion would be to pick up a used Neos. I've come across several recently for $500 or less. Take the money you have left over and use it towards a good starting clamp or 2, tools if the stringer doesn't come with any, and a tension calibrator. You still have the option of adding the Wise down the road. Just start setting some of your profits aside to put towards the Wise.
 
#45
I little off topic but which NEOS machine would you guys buy ? The 1000 or the 1500? And can you tell me why . thanks in advance H
 
#46
I little off topic but which NEOS machine would you guys buy ? The 1000 or the 1500? And can you tell me why . thanks in advance H
Both are good machines. The original 1000 is probably more solid due to the clamps being on the glide bars. My preference would be the 1500 due to the gravity release style clamps. I just feel like they would be a bit quicker. They're the same clamps and bases they use on the 5000-7000 range.
 
#48
@PedrosCousin - the Wise doesn't come with the Gamma adapter. I don't know what eagnas is offering for that price.

With regard to the 1000 v 1500, I've owned both. First, the 1500 does not have gravity release clamps. The bases are locked/unlocked manually.

As to preference, I much preferred the 1500 due to one factor, the mounting system. The 1000 has a mounting lock under the table. Out of sight, out of mind and this has caused problems for stringers since it was first sold. If stringing isn't your full-time gig, trust me you'll forget to lock the mount and bingo you'll break a frame. In the 15 or so years I had mine, I broke one frame, but break it I did and I replaced it at my expense. The 1500's mounting system is fantastic and worth the extra whatever it is.

As far as the clamps go, the glide bar clamps on the 1000 are probably faster, but not as flexible as the 1500's dual action clamps. By that I mean when doing an ATW, the 1000 is slower as you have to remove the glide bar and swap it around. When doing a two-piece, the 1500 is better, etc. But if you're doing basic one-piece patterns, the 1000 is probably a tad faster. Overall, the 1500 is better for non-standard patterns. Both machines have good clamps though (I have been spoiled by Babolat so I can't rate them great).

The tension head included with both machines is the same and it's built to last 1000 years (or so). :) I don't know about other machines tension head, but the Prince is not constant pull. The tension head's gripper does not move other than to grip the string. The locking mechanism is not connected to the gripper and is triggered by a tension measuring device. The tension measuring device, like all lock outs is adjustable and Prince updated the procedure to adjust it and it is very easy to do.

Both machines are built like tanks and you cannot go wrong with either. I highly recommend both, just wanted to point out my perceptions of the high/lows of either.

Good luck.
 
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