Wilson Baiardo Lite was born as a courageous project, to flank the “sacred monster” of the house (the Classic), this “small” L, to complete and enrich the offer addressed to stringers from all over the world, managing to offer a high quality and professional product, at a “sweeter” price, capable of making a breakthrough based on the skills of a high-level machine.
First impact: the initial phase, normal and common, is to compare it to the older and more expensive sister.
The overall dimensions of the machine body for the upper part are the same, the body is substantially the same as are the plastics, the turntable and also the racket fixing system, while the most noticeable differences are concentrated in the lower part of the structure.
The foot and the pedestal, manually adjustable in height, are lighter and less massive than the older sister, while ensuring greater portability and simplicity during assembly and disassembly at the expense, of course, of less overall stability.
Aesthetically, the two Wilson Baiardo are very similar but the differences are obviously there if you look closely.
Compared to the classic model, the most noticeable elements are:
- the lack of the B.E.S.T. (electromechanical machine tilting system)
- new lighter clamps, black and with 5 teeth
- traction system with 500 grams traction blocks (instead of 0.1kg)
- node setting 10%
- 5-10% activatable prestretch
- new locking system of the clamp bases with rotating “knob” device
- mobile towers with double position system
- direction defined head-throat for the arrangement of the racket.
For sure the automatisms that are used on the “classic” version must be slightly modified according to these differences but we can assure that it is a phase of very limited duration and that it is common to every change of stringing machine. Working on the Lite version, the machine quickly becomes a real pleasant discovery…
The famous B.E.S.T. system is not present, however the machine can still be tilted by means of a bolt on the “head” of the stringing machine to reach the angle that the stringer prefers. It is clear that the mechanical system with screw adjustment is less comfortable and less immediate compared to the “Classic”, but sometimes less technology, less electron ics, also mean fewer problems.
The lighter and faster clamps work really well by “cuddling” the string during the tightening phase, however without presenting unpleasant tension losses. We like them very much and they are an absolutely appreciable novelty, not at all inferior to those of the older version.
The solid and precise engine, works in the same way on the first or tenth frame in a row, and basically it was to be expected given the reliability of its older sister. The machine also has all the important functions to perform a professional job, such as: knot function, prestretch, change of pull speed, calibration through the machine software…
The now famous “knob” bases locking system becomes, with a minimum of experience and practice, fast and intuitive and it is easy to understand how much to tighten and how hard. After a minimum break-in of the machine, the rotational blocking system becomes simple and intuitive, very quick to operate and without the need to apply force on the wheel so as not to regret in any way, even in tournament mode, the most refined and sophisticated “Gravity” bases (it must be emphasized that a similar system is present on a sacred monster of stringing machines, on the timeless Babolat star 5, the favorite instrument for some of the most famous stringers in the world).
Do not underestimate the fact that the controls are very direct, activatable on the display with the simple touch of a button and that, unlike the previous version, they do not require entry into the setting menu, which is appreciable in terms of speed of action, and that can even become an advantage in certain situations.
Little tips for a future development:
- being the Lite a machine that was also created to be easily transportable, compared to the Classic, the option of being able to use it without a stand (which is currently not possible) with a “table” function would have made the little Wilson machine truly complete
- the knob system for blocking the base of the clamps, would need the addition of a small “clip” to confirm the correct locking of the base, in order to make the system even more intuitive
- the increase / decrease in tension of 0.5kg can be seen in a negative way, and create difficulties with certain well-known players, even if it is more than enough for “normal” use
- the knot function should go up to 20% (now it is max 10%). It is true that after clicking on the “knot function” button you can still increase the tension using the “+-kg” buttons), but it is not so immediate and fast.
In conclusion, congratulations to Wilson, the machine is really beautiful, respecting the aesthetics of its sister. With a truly unique quality-price ratio, the L is attested to be a real benchmark in the stringing machine market.
Thanks to Federico Desi for his contribution in the review.