Lobster Elite Grand Four Portable Ball Machine Customer feedback

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Comments: I recently (8 months ago) purchased the Lobster Grand 5 LE. The first machine, I had to return it within 30 days due to huge quality issues. They sent a replacement. Since then, I have been having one issue or the other. Most of them related to battery, charger and the ball getting stuck, wiring getting lose etc. I am on my 3rd battery, 2nd remote system already. Almost weekly, I've had to open the machine and tighten multiple screws so the ball wheels remain tight. The machine has several design flaws both structural and electrical. Such poor quality product should never have Made in USA advertised all over. Disappointed, very disappointed with the machine quality.
From: Vik, 4/16

Comments: I purchased an Elite IV that I was only able to get to work twice before it shut down completely. Even during those two times the function buttons did not always respond first time. It was quite frustrating to use. As I had it shipped to my vacation home and it was not readily available to use in a test fashion, the 30 day grace period expired before I was able to call and complain. My bad that I didn't fully take in the limited 2 year warranty details. They have a technical support line but I don't think after paying so much for a new machine that I should be taking a screwdriver to it, under direction or not. It's just cost me $63.50 to return it for repair or replacement. Either way I'm stuck with an expensive white elephant as I'm not looking forward to ever using it again.
From: Roberta, 12/15

Comments: The Short Story: A great investment to dramatically improve your tennis game and fitness level with a machine that has implemented the right set of features and functions! Proud owner of an Elite Grand IV with 20 function remote and cover. The Long Story: I spent quite a bit of time evaluating whether or not to get a machine, and then which machine and from which manufacturer. At first inspection, the cost for any machine with the features I wanted was pricey. The initial sticker shock kind of held me back for a year or so until I finally realized what am I waiting for -- I love tennis and I want to become a better player! Then the decision was which machine from which manufacturer. After some back and forth emails to representatives from these companies and demoing some machines at local clubs, Lobster stood out above and beyond the rest. I went with the Elite Grand IV as this model seemed to have everything I wanted and has all the same mechanicals as the top-end Elite Grand V LE. In fact, you can upgrade the Grand IV to the Grand V LE with a new electronic panel if you want those extra features. The price to upgrade is not much different than the price between the machines so I figured this was the way to go to have the option down the road should I ever need it. I got the very useful 20 function remote and the top quality fabric/vinyl cover. I waited a few months after purchasing the machine in order to provide the most comprehensive and useful review possible. One concern I had was that I would enjoy the machine as a newbie owner and that the thrill would wear off in a few weeks. I enjoy using the machine more and more each time I am on the courts which is at least 3-4 days each week. So if you are reading this review, you probably want to know some specifics about the machine. What I can tell you is that one of the most important features to consider is portability of the machine. If you can't get the machine in/out of your car and to the court in one trip with your gear, that is a serious de- motivator. With the Lobster's size and great handle with large wheels, I make it to the court in one trip with my tennis bag on my back and a 150 ball hopper slung on one shoulder while pulling/pushing the machine with the free hand, real easy actually. The other machines with the small wheels and short handle would be a major hassle to get onto some of the courts I play on. One great feature of the Lobster that I could not find on other machines was the ability to randomly vary the depth of shot on two-line drills and some other modes like oscillation. This is absolutely great as it forces you to not become too complacent with the shots landing in the same place. And the Lobster is unbelievably accurate so it lands the balls in the same spot over and over if you want. Other machines lack this variable depth ability and in practice I believe this is a huge benefit. While other machines do have random oscillation and maybe even random spin, they lack the ability to alter the depth of shot. I like to groove a particular shot but want the ability for the machine to force me to move up/back so I can get the timing and footwork down in addition to the stroke itself. The topspin/underspin the machine can generate is amazing as well. You will really learn to see the ball better and adjust your shots accordingly. Plus the machine's ability to lob is also incredible so you can practice smashing those lobs from the net all the way back to no-man's land and beyond. The machine is really very quiet even when oscillating, you will not have to feel uncomfortable using it with other players nearby. The battery life is amazing too -- I have never run down a battery even to half way and I have been out on the courts for well over 2+ hours running the machine through its paces. And the 20 function remote is a real life saver. It is extremely light and clips right to your waist -- very convenient to start/pause the feed and adjust the speed, spin, elevation, or feed rate. I also play with my son and other family members and this machine is a great training aid since I can step back and watch them hit and give them constructive inputs from the same side of the court and even step in to demonstrate a few shots for them. That is something you cannot do when you are feeding balls to them from the other side of the net. When I first got the machine I had a few detailed questions about how to use/set/adjust some features and functions with the machine and/or remote and the support from Lobster was beyond great -- a quality response in short order. If you are still reading this lengthy review, I can tell that you really want a machine but just have a hard time justifying it. The ability to practice on your own or with other family members and see demonstrable improvement in your game and fitness level is priceless and is all the justification you need. This is an investment for 20+ years and you can easily justify that to improve your game, spend quality time with family, and improve your fitness.
From: Bryan, 11/15

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