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Hi-Qua Alpha Flying Clamps Shootout!

Discussion in 'Badminton Stringing Techniques & Tools' started by fishmilk, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    Upon recieiving my Alpha Revo, I also got a complimentary pair of Alpha flying clamps. My friend has these from his Alpha Shuttle Express and we always assumed they were the same although we never ever compared them side by side. Upon closer inspection, there are some significant differences.

    Impression:

    The paintjob and finish on the Hi-Qua's are of top-notch quality. Every bit of metal is sanded to near perfection. Alpha's look similar from far but the paintjob is a little rough in some areas and the metal work is a little rough around the edges.

    Material:

    If I'm not wrong, the Hi-Qua's are made of aluminum while the Alpha's are made of steel. The Alpha's feel about twice as heavy as the Hi-Qua's.

    Performance:

    This is the big one. The springs on the Alpha's are significantly stronger. You can see it has tighter coils, and the spring is a little thicker.

    The Hi-Qua's have rounded teeth in the middle where the Alpha does not. I'm not sure if this makes much difference. I would consider it an advantage because it may be better for the strings.

    Price:

    I'm not sure how much the Alpha's are but the price is about the same, at most they are no more than 5 USD apart (each), however some stores offer free shipping for the Hi-Qua's, so it edges out slightly.

    Verdict:

    I think if you use 4 of these, either one is probably sufficient, however if you only use 2, or you're one of the high-tension maniacs ;) then I would definitely go for the Alpha. The price difference here is insignificant in my eyes.

    Edit: Pictures are here, sorry it's late and I have lots of school work but I decided I wanted to share this first so I only have time to give you this link.

    http://www.putfile.com/fishmilk/images/92910
     
    #1 fishmilk, Mar 20, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
  2. DinkAlot

    DinkAlot dcbadminton
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    Thanks for the review.

    Caveat: too stiff a spring may not be a good thing as it could hurt/cut into the string. Please check on this.
     
  3. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    True, I never thought about that although I'll assume it'll be fine since my friend has used it for years.

    I have my reel of Hi-Qua lying around and I clamped it with my Alpha flying clamp. I even pressed on the sides a bit. The string is not flattened. You can't really see any damage with the naked eye although if you ran your fingers you could slightly tell where the string was clamped. I think it'll be fine since this is with my added pressure. During regular use I don't imagine any problems.
     
  4. Kelvin

    Kelvin Regular Member

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    glad to hear your feed back Maestro Fish... I'll keep this in mind, i ended up buying HQ clamps as i was unsure of performance of other brands...

    Anyone have any experience with the gamma clamp?
    Or I suppose from what I've read, most people are using the yy, & HQ clamps...:confused:

    edit: spelling
     
    #4 Kelvin, Mar 21, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2007
  5. DinkAlot

    DinkAlot dcbadminton
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    The Gamma Composite Clamp and the Yonex Clamp are sub par to me. They are "OK" but not the Hi-Qua clamp is in a different class, significantly better.
     
  6. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    Maestro? No I'm not worthy of such title... thank-you.

    It's true the Hi-Qua clamp is much better than any other flying clamp (other than Alpha) but the disadvantage of it, is that it doesn't always fit everywhere. I never feel comfortable stringing the mains of a Nano/AT800 with it, I feel it's much better to use a fixed clamp (or the old Laserfibre flying clamps, these work amazing for tha big gap. Also near the top and bottom of the crosses things get quite tight as well (it also depends on your machine but it should be a bit cramped regardless.

    For regular use they are top notch though.
     
  7. jsunsun

    jsunsun Regular Member

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    How high tension can you do before strings start to slip? I find the hiqua clamps start to slip at ~24-25lbs. it's be nice to be able to string high tension with just 2 clamps.
     
  8. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    I'll let you know in about 8 hours time.
     
  9. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Somehow, my review is the other way around. Personally, I think Yonex clamps are at least 1 level better than HQ ones (at least for crosses). :rolleyes:
     
  10. DinkAlot

    DinkAlot dcbadminton
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    For me the Yonex ones don't hold well enough and are harder to use. The only thing they do better is not move the cross strings as much after clamping. But that's not a concern for me.

    I sold all four of my Yonex clamps and now use Hi-Qua exclusively.
     
  11. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Definitely agree. HQ clamps worst nightmare is when u have larger gap in between strings. Personally, I feel the problem is more significant when doing the crosses than the mains. :rolleyes:
     
  12. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Exactly.

    Now days, I use HQ for mains (beises the last mains) and Yonex for crosses. I use 3 clamps (2 HQ and 3 Yonex) to do the work at once. ;)
     
  13. DinkAlot

    DinkAlot dcbadminton
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    So good! Professional stringer! :p :D :D :D
     
  14. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    Never tried Yonex ones, how does it do when stringing at higher tensions?
     
  15. Kelvin

    Kelvin Regular Member

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    alrighty, i caved, and bought 4 HQ flying clamps :p:p:p
    when i ordered my gamma machine, they threw in a gamma flying badminton clamp for free...:eek:
    not sure, if that's good or bad lol.

    since i'm getting back into things, i figured it would be nice to string my own equipment again :D just ended up buying the cheapo 602 progression FC dropweight... i'm used to using crank for speed... so going back to what i learned on will be an interesting feeling lol I'm sure i'll become impatient eventually... :p oh well.

    yes! tell us more about your observation on the crosses using the yy flying clamp... I'm sure in the long run it wont make a difference, since all of us seem to be so darn meticulous with our stringing :D

    Any word on squishage (new word :p) or slippage of strings, using the alpha clamps yet? :D
    I'm just curious
     
  16. DinkAlot

    DinkAlot dcbadminton
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    Not me, I spend about 22-25 minutes per string job on my own rackets. That's 9-12 minutes pre-stringing and 13-15 minutes pulling the strings. I give this string job about 90/100 points.

    If I spend an extra 10-15 minutes, it's about 95-100/100 points. For me, it's not worth it when I know the string is going to break within a few days. :p
     
  17. fishmilk

    fishmilk Regular Member

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    I've been stringing at 24/26lbs with just the Alpha and notice no slipping. I will try to test their limits tomorrow.

    Congrats on coming back to the stringing world. The Gamma is no cheapo, unless you mean it was second hand. Personally I'd go with Alpha for the price and linear gripper but no biggie at all. Gamma has better mounts I think. The only thing I really dislike about dropweights is pre-stringing, other than that I really don't have much problems with them. Speed comes with experience. My coach can string in 25 minutes with a dropweight and fixed clamps like your machine.
     
  18. DarthHowie

    DarthHowie Regular Member

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    I totally agree with Fishmilk and LB regarding the disadvantage of using Hi-Qua Fly Clamps on the crosses. This was evident when i strung AT-800 and even worse Babolat rackets (with satelite pattern 20 main and 21 crosses). Their gaps are large enough in the top and bottom few crosses that it SHOULD warrant using fixed clamps... I am now using a yonex fly clamp in combination with HQ clamps when stringing the crosses. I only have 1 yonex fly clamp and would like to purchase one more.

    Fishmilk...good suggestion in using the LF fly clamp for the wider gaps...i'll give that a try in the crosses the next time i get an 800 or babolat racket. It's too bad that LF only sent me ONE fly clamp...and it would be too much of a pain to ask them to send me one more fly clamp.....=(

    I have not had any issue with using HQ clamps in the mains though.
     
  19. Neil Nicholls

    Neil Nicholls Regular Member

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    How much wider are the HiQua than the Yonex, because a stronger spring across a wider head could mean the same pressure on the string, but along more of the strings length.
     
  20. DarthHowie

    DarthHowie Regular Member

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    I'll post a photo of both my HQ and YY clamp side by side when i get home from work to give you a better idea the difference in width. ;)

    (Because the YYs are smaller i find that they are better for clamping the smaller areas (top crosses especially in oval head rackets)
     

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