Wilson BAIARDO L Stringing Machine

With the rollout of the new Wilson BAIARDO L (Lite) machine, Wilson is entering into a different market. The introduction of the original BAIARDO was revolutionary, in that it targeted a long overdue segment of the stringing world that had been completely overlooked, the tournament stringer. The days of bending over a machine for long hours pumping out ridiculous numbers of racquets in a day's time were about to get a little easier on the stringers back and legs. The BAIARDO offered 3 separate motors that (1) controlled the tension head (2) the raising and lowering of the machine itself and (3) tilting of the mounting system for easier installation of the main and cross strings. Mission accomplished and the tournament stringing world would never be the same. For a complete review of the original BAIARDO, you can go HERE 

Wilson BAIARDO Lite

Now Wilson is entering the teeth of the stringing world with their new machine. The pro shop at the country club, the stand-alone tennis shop, the home stringer and yes, even the geek on the corner who just has to string his/her own racquets and 20 of their friends and wants a new toy. Of course, none of the above will be stringing in volume and that's exactly why the BAIARDO Lite is the ideal machine for them.

Keep in mind the original concept for BAIARDO was Biomechanical Efficient Stringing Technology or B.E.S.T. Once the machine is fired up you have two selections; Traditional stringing or B.E.S.T with the former keeping you in "basic" mode that essentially leaves the machine in a more traditional method of operation and the latter,  which takes you into the world of stringing ergonomics. That disappears with the new Lite model but the same core features that make the machine tick are still in place. A superior mounting system, new and improved clamps, 360-degree rotation and the most accurate efficiency desired in a constant pull machine. Let's look at some specs.

SPECIFICS

The price will understandably be the prominent question on everyone's mind so let's just get that out front. The Wilson BAIARDO L is priced at $3,749. For further details on price you should contact your Wilson territory manager.

Weight is a noticeable difference with the BAIARDO L weighing in at 43.7 kg (96 lbs), significantly lighter than the original BAIARDO that weighs in at 56 kg (124 lbs). If you need to move the machine, let's say, for work at a local tournament or just to relocate within your shop, that weight difference will certainly make it a bit easier.

Height adjustment is done manually, as opposed to the electronic assistance provided by the original BAIARDO. Remember, this machine was not meant to target the tournament stringing crowd. A key element was keeping the core features of the original machine while at the same time, reducing the cost.  Making it more affordable for the average stringer looking for a quality machine was a key component so the motor for the height adjustment was removed and a catch-pin attachment was added for manual adjustment. There's a locking knob on the right side of the base and once that is loosened, you pull the pin on the right side to raise or lower the machine. I found that loosening the knob was not difficult but with the DEMO machine I had, pulling out to release the pin on the opposite side was quite a challenge. Wilson suggests this should be a two-person operation and once I had help it was easier to make the adjustment.

Tilt adjustment is also done manually and again, another motor is eliminated. Using the 6mm x 150mm wrench that comes with the machine all you have to do is turn the wrench counter-clockwise and adjust to the degree of tilt you prefer. You can click on the first photo in this review to enlarge it and you can clearly see the 6mm wrench inserted into the top of the machine directly behind the racquet handle.

What follows is a short look at the comparisons between the new L version and the original BAIARDO

Puller head speeds are limited to 3 as opposed to numerous on the original BAIARDO

Pre-stretch options are limited to either 10 or 20% of the reference tension set on the machine while the original machine had multiple options

An added reel rack for easier access to your most often used strings is a nice new addition to the BAIARDO L which was not included on the original machine

Twist locking clamp bases are solid and dependable with little to no drawback once the clamp is secured on the string and the puller head is released. Users of the original BAIARDO will have to get used to having no anti-gravity release clamp bases but in reality, that feature is more conducive to tournament stringing than everyday shop work. As a side note, the new clamps are interchangeable with the original BAIARDO but the glide rails are not.

The manual is laid out nicely and easy to follow and can be viewed here Baiardo L Manual

5 teeth black clamps

New and improved clamps are a nice feature of the new machine, especially if you're stringing a lot of badminton or squash racquets. Unlike the original 4 finger chrome BAIARDO clamps, the new black version has 5 teeth, making it easier to get into those tight areas. This will bode well for tennis frames where things tighten up as you get closer to the throat when installing cross strings.

New screen

Simplified computer screen with easy access and a brighter LED interface. The original BAIARDO gave you the industry's first multilingual LED touch screen with customizable settings and a light blue background with white characters. The new machine offers up a black background with easy to spot white icons whether the machine is switched on or off and an LED readout in sparkling neon blue characters. Another addition is the ability to adjust the "touch" sensitivity of the panel itself.

A closer look at the screen, moving left to right with the top level first, reveals the layout clearly showing the following:

  • Current reference tension (shown in lbs in the photo)
  • Up and down arrows that will adjust the reference tension in increments of .5 lbs as opposed to the original BAIARDO that allowed for .1 increment adjustments
  • Immediately next to the "Up" icon is the knot tension icon. This is pre-set to 10% of your reference tension
  • Next to the knot tension icon is the sound icon. This will activate the beep you'll hear when the machine has reached reference tension at the end of your pull.
  • Next to the sound icon, you'll find the settings icon (more on that below)

Bottom row:

  • The first icon is the back button
  • Next is the "down" adjustment
  • Next is the pre-stretch icon, 10 or 20% of reference tension as mentioned above
  • Next to the pre-stretch button is the setting for pounds or kilograms. Hold it down for 3 seconds to change the setting. The 3-second interval was purposely designed to prevent an accidental tap of the icon
  • Next to the lbs/kg setting is the pulling head speed with 3 different settings. My tests revealed (in seconds to reach full pull) 2.08 for the fastest, 2.66 for mid-range and 3.81 for the slowest.
  • The last icon is a simple checkmark which is actually the enter key.

The BAIARDO L is a solid machine and for anyone still using a manual crank machine, this would be a good choice to move into the world of constant pull luxury. I've included some detailed photos of each screen below.

NOTE: You can click on any image in this review for a more detailed look at the image

Once you enter the settings menu here's what you'll see:

F1-C = Calibrate

F2-A = Default to factory

 

 

F3-r = reserved for future use

F4-6 = screen sensitivity

 

 

F5-p = number of machine pulls

F6-E = Exit settings

 

 

 

 

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