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Holabird Sports
Old 2009-05-11, 00:10   #1
cem9197
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Default New Gamma Progression Els vs Wise 2086

Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of the new Gamma Progression Els tabletop electronic stringing machine that just came out in March/April of '09? I was looking to upgrade and wanted to know which would be a better option. The pros of the Gamma are it has the knot setting, the 360 rotation, and 9 memory settings. I guess the only advantage of the Wise is supposedly the accuracy and the linear pull, which doesn't matter to me. The disadvantage of the Wise are modifying it to fit, which loses the 360 rotation and no knot setting. Does anyone know how accurate the Gamma is compared to the Wise? What kind of calibrator is used to confirm its accuracy to the tenth? I know my spring calibrator is not capable of that. If the Wise is so highly recommended then why aren't more pro shops using them? Just curious.
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Old 2009-05-13, 18:07   #2
nitromethane
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I had been plagued by your exact question as well. After much debate, I have the X-Els on order and should arrive early next week. We'll see how it works out.
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Old 2009-05-13, 19:14   #3
cem9197
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Please let me know what you think and how accurate it is. I am really leaning towards Gamma as well but definitely want to know how well it really performs. What made you get the X-Els vs. the Progression Els?
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Old 2009-05-14, 08:03   #4
nitromethane
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I'll definitely try to post a review about it after I string a few rackets with it. It's due to arrive next Tuesday.

The reason why I got the X-Els was mainly due to the fact that it *should have more physical attributes leading to more consistent tension from the racket grommets to the tension head. The rant below has more to do with the physics of the machine design rather that quality of the components. Though this may spark a debate or I might get flamed due to past arguments, I'll try to explain below. I'm sure there have been numerous discussions about this already. These are simply my thoughts and views as to why I chose which machine to buy.

The X-Els is microprocessor / load cell controlled, provides 360 deg rotation, and is able to assert similar forces on the string from the grommet to the rotating drum due to being circular and having a constant arm-bar length. Having a static-arm bar should allow accurate tension reading at every hole of the racket. I figured that since I'll get 360 degree rotation, I should get somewhat consistent results even on the central mains as I can go under the handle. With this in mind, I should have very consistent if not similar tension from the grommet to the tension head as I string any and every hole of the racket. The varying factor is the quality of mechanics and load cell of the tension head. Due to price, reputation, and advertised design of the tension head, I'm hoping this to be a moot point if not similar to qualities of the Wise.

On to the Wise... It also uses load-cell microprocessor controlled gadgetry to control itself. Unlike the Gamma, however, most people would mount it somewhat level to the racket plane as recommended. With this mounting strategy, 360 deg rotation is lost and all pulls would have consistent tension except for stringing the starting mains where I would have to go under/over the throat at an angle using a brake in order to string it. Since the new Wise machines now come with the diablo, I can get away with mounting it lower than the racket plane and gain 360 deg rotation. With this approach, however, I would face varying tension along the string from the grommet to the tension head according to this equation (cos (string angle to horizontal gripper) * (pull indicated pull tension of the Wise). Basically, almost always, real tension will be slightly less from the grommet to the tension head than the indicated pull. This deviation is further enhanced by the fact that the angle of the string to the tension head changes as you string around the racket.

I felt that the latter format of the Wise setup would not be preferable as the programming of the wise doesn't take into account any other factors other than horizontal tension unlike other more expensive machines like the star 5 or beyond. Note that this is deduced from reading Wise recommendations/instructions to mount it level to the racket plane. I've read that expensive machines like the star 5 takes into account the ratio of string stretch as tension increases and loss of tension over time to continually adjust to produce consistent tension from the grommet to the tension head. This among other advanced techniques should ensure similar tension from grommet to tension head all around the racket as you string.

Though it may not make sense, this ability to pull similar tension from the grommet to the tension head is therefore best achieved by the rotational gripper of the Gamma machine having a static arm-bar, on every grommet hole without fancy algorithms. The wise on the other hand, is consistent everywhere except when string the throat (mounted on racket plane). Mounting the Wise lower than the racket would produce varying tension around the racket.

With that, I chose the Gamma. The only catch is, you have a rotational gripper which may not be as gentle as the linear gripper.

Somebody needs to design a system where the table clamps inside the string bed are the source of tension. This I think should alleviate all sources of unwanted friction and deviations of desired tension (grommets!!!).
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Old 2009-05-14, 08:04   #5
nitromethane
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You know, I just reread your reply after that long rant. I simply got the X-Els because it had a drawer to the right of it. The progression doesn't have a drawer.

Simple as that.
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Old 2009-05-14, 17:22   #6
cem9197
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That was one of the best and technical comparisons I have read online so far. Thank you so much for the in depth review. I am even more sold on the Gamma machine now. I definitely will wait for your review. I am curious on the accuracy of the digital control/load cell, the various speed and knot setting available with the machine. And thanks for clarifying why you chose the X-Els over the Progression Els. I am glad you misread the previous post and took the time to elaborate your opinion on the Gamma vs Wise. It was very enlightening to read. On a side note, did you get the optional foot pedal?
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Old 2009-05-14, 17:44   #7
nitromethane
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Hm... I didn't see an option to order it. I'll have to wait and see if its included in the box. Probably not.

I'm glad you find my rant helpful.
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Old 2009-05-14, 17:47   #8
cem9197
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Very useful and helpful!
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Old 2009-05-14, 17:54   #9
nitromethane
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One thing I AM interested in, is finding or fabricating K style frame mounts instead of the L ones that gamma uses. I was thinking of contacting silentpartners to try and get replacement parts for their DG/Hip Hop machines possibly, we'll see. I really like the K mounts better.
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Old 2009-05-15, 16:38   #10
cem9197
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What is the advantage of the SP K-mounts vs the Gamma mounts? Is it a preference of style or usage?
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