Stringing on an Electronic Constant Pull Machine
The Machine: Tecnifibre Ergo Pro ATP Edition
The Mounting System: 6 Point
Setup: Stand (Electronic Adjustment)
Price Range (For Constant Pull Machines): $750-$10,000+)
The Constant Pull Experience
Compared to what we’ve looked at previously stringing on the Ergo Pro is a very difference experience. The mounting system and clamps are high quality and the efficiency of the machine is top notch. The tension pulling mechanism itself leaves a little to be desired but there’s not a lot to complain about nor should there be for the price of this machine.
What you’re paying for with constant pull is constant tension controlled digitally. Simply put on the crank when it locks out at the proper tension that’s it. The tension mechanism doesn’t move anymore. On the constant pull you’ll notice that after releasing a clamp the head might move a little to keep things at that perfect tension until being released. Is this a big deal? Only if that’s what you’re used to. As crazy as it may sound to people I like my rackets strung on the NEOS more than on the Ergo Pro. Something about the dynamic tension loss from the NEOS equals a better playing racket for me and while I have adjusted the tension down on the Ergo Pro it just doesn’t feel quite the same. Obviously it’s not as accurate from a technical standpoint but tennis is all about feel not pristine accuracy. Believe it or not I have a couple people that actually tell me to use the NEOS over the constant pull. The point I’m trying to make is a super fancy high tech machine is cool but don’t assume the quality of stringing on it is going to radically transform your game.
The main pro is speed. With this machine if everything is prepped and the racket is mounted you can get through most rackets in under 30 minutes. This is why you see the top of the line machines at clubs with a large volume of rackets.
Super consistent. With a crank or dropweight it’s hard to be super consistent because you are controlling the speed at which you pull tension. With a constant pull machine it should be identical every single time. So when someone brings you 10 rackets that dynamic tension of each racket should be real close. This is why some professionals insist their rackets be strung on the same machine by the same stringer every time.
The mounting system is rock solid and easy to use. By far my favorite mounting system of the three machines we’ve looked at.
The other unique pro is that for normal sized rackets the distance to the tension head is such that the area of the string that goes into the head/clicker in the back ends up on the rackets edges and not in the sweet spot. I assume this was done by design and I really like that about this machine.
Around the world flexibility. With a starting clamp it’s easy to do one piece around the world patterns on this machine based on the clamping system.
I don’t know if I prefer a diablo at the front of the tension head (see Wilson Baiardo) but the little string guide that lets you angle the string before entering the gripper is a nice feature to try and protect the string a bit.
Finally the aesthetic. The top of line machines look cool. This machine looks awesome and it’s the sort of thing when you walk into a proshop you are intrigued by. That being said many features and design elements are extravagance for extravagance sake.
The only con is the string gripper and it’s a complaint I have with most machines. This particular model has a little clicker in the back of the gripper that locks in the string before tension is pulled. Like so many machines the stress exerted on the string is enough to cause ghosting or damage of the outer layer on many multifilaments. Luckily on regular sized rackets those areas are outside the sweetspot. I’m surprised this machine doesn’t utilize a diablo or have an add on for that.
Who should buy and use a constant pull string machine?
Having strung on a variety of machines I can tell you that the efficiency of the mounting system and quality of the clamps themselves are more valuable to me than the actual tensioning mechanism. If I could replace the fancy tension head of the Ergo Pro with a crank it really wouldn’t bother me or most of my clients at all. The two main things the constant pull does is hold a consistent tension until clamping off and releasing (better tension accuracy) and uses a motor to pull the tension (faster process). If you have super discerning clients when it comes to accuracy and/or want the stringing machine to be a focal point of your business invest in a fancy constant pull machine. For amateurs not stringing professionally or small businesses stringing only a couple hundred rackets a year I’d say go with a high quality crank.