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new VC 2-in-1 Defiant

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by martygriz, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. martygriz

    martygriz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
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    Loc:
    Southern CT
    Does anyone have any experience with the new Defiant 2-in-1? I have had a VC Encore for 15+ years and looking to step up to a bigger stove but not sure of the newer models.
    Thanks

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  2. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    Central/Western MA
    I also would be interested in some owners experiences with the stove. If anyone is to chime in, could they throw in the square footage that they are heating and average burn times. My 2550 is a bit undersized for my house and I think that 3.2 cubic foot firebox looks pretty darn good to me! I will most likely pull the trigger on a new Defiant this year, gotta keep the wife and baby warm :)
  3. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    southern Indiana
    Ive installed several of them this year. Ive not burned one but I can tell you that they don't have the same quality as the older ones.;sick I'm probably gonna start a fight, but I think you should be warned. They are pretty fragile inside and in the wrong hands can be damaged easily and very quickly.
  4. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    What is more fragile on them?
  5. charger4406

    charger4406 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    southern Quebec
    Love my defiant,no problem heating my old house.
    Longest burn time i got from it with very dry wood was 19 hrs in catalytic mode,
    with a stove top temp at the end a little over 350.
    In secondary burn mode on seasoned poplar i've gotten
    8 hrs and on oak 13 hrs.
    Both my wife and I have hit the fireback pretty hard while loading this stove,big chunks of
    oak and hophornbeam dropped right against it and not a crack yet but it is scary
    when it happens.
    Takes just a minute to go from catalytic to none.
    Only real problem i had found,which is due to quality control or workmanship for which I
    was not to impressed by was that I had to have the gasket for the ash pan door and
    the right side glass gasket changed as they where leaking right of the bat,but the dealer came by
    the next day to take care of it.
    I'm in southern Quebec right at the foothills of the New York Adirondack mountains and
    it gets pretty cold here but on our coldest night in febuary,around 36 below,after
    10 hours on a full load of black birch the stovetop was at a little over 400 and the coldest part
    of the house was 67 and the family room where the stove sits was 74.
    House has bare stone walls in family room and front entry,only insulation is in the roof,
    but i had installed all new windows and did some serious draftproofing.
    correction coldest place is the cellar but it stays about 45 all winter,so the floors are
    cold at the other end of the house lol.
    raybonz likes this.
  6. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    Loc:
    Central/Western MA
    charger 4406 - thanks for the detailed response. Our houses are the same size and I am in a slightly warmer area, so it sounds like the Defiant would easliy be the right size for me. A 19 hr burn max burn sounds pretty darn good to me.

    That's good to know that the new fireback is holding up for you - it definitely feels heavy duty, but it's nice to hear that it is holding up under burning conditions and the occasional log smashing against it.

    So far, the only complaint that I have heard about the 2N1 is that early versions had a poorly cast "shell" piece (the piece over the cat) that was splitting/cracking and VC corrected that.

    Of course there may be other issues, but that's the only one that I heard of. Minus your gasket issue, which understandably would tick you off, is not what I would consider a fatal design flaw.
  7. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    Webby, I would be very interested in hearing about your expierence with the 2N1. You won't start any fights with me, having owned a VC and hearing about the experiences with the Everburn system, I have no illusions about VC's past problems. I was leaning towards the F600 over the VC, but my lintel is about a half inch too low for her to fit....
  8. flhpi

    flhpi Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
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    Loc:
    Southern Ohio
    As far as the f600 not fitting, try other legs from other Jotuls. I swapped legs from a Resolute acclaim to a Encore to lower it a bit to fit back in a fireplace. Or cut them down. When running fine my encore did a great job of heating. The refractory, cat and time spent with gaskets got old real quick. Whatever you chose, enjoy it and be safe.
  9. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    southern Indiana
    The refractory fireback mostly, even though they changed it. It's a big service call generator. It could be user error, no real way for us to know. I'm sure they are still fine for a careful operator. But, if you don't want a stove that you have to be careful with, then it might not be the stove for you. And who is going to take the cat out anyway? Why would you?
  10. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    Loc:
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    I agree on the cat, I don't really get that. Unless you don't want to buy a new one? I dunno. It just doesn't seem like a huge thing to me. I guess if the end of the world occurred it may be useful to not need a cat, but I don't see the post-apocolypse being a huge market for VC :)

    If you don't mind expanding on the service calls for the fireback, I would appreciate it. Are they degrading through normal burning?Or is it overfiring that is causing problems? Is it "shock" damage through loading wood? Is it just a piece of degrading junk?

    I also didn't know that you could swap out legs on the F600, I saw that there is no short leg option so I assumed that it was a clearance issue....
  11. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I wouldn't say it's "piece of junk". But when it's the same price as a stove with a proven design, why take the chance. I'm not sure if it's user error or it's a piece of junk. Before they "revised" it, the cover would fall out and break, under what appears to be normal usage. The ash pan door has cronic problems latching. Once again if you are careful burner then this would be noticed right away and addressed before there are other problems. I'm just saying there are more durable, better performing stoves out there, for the same money. IMHO.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I've spoken to a my fair share of dealers. I think VC did this so even if the owner never buys another catalyst the stove will still work properly in 'Everburn' mode. Every dealer I have spoken with has commented on how owners tend to not do the basic maintenance needed to keep a cat stove working.
  13. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I agree with that! That's how cat stoves got a bad wrap, I think.
  14. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    254
    Loc:
    Windsor County, Vermont
    I joined and posted asking about the VC 2-in-1 exactly one year ago tonight. I really, really want a big VC stove. And I disliked all I was reading about their susceptibility to parts failures. I've seen surprising little VC 2-in-1 conversation here since then, and feel I know as little about that stove now as I did a year ago.

    Based on feedback here, I ended up with the Woodstock Progress Hybrid, and have not regretted it in the least.
  15. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    Central/Western MA
    Webby, thanks for an honest appraisal. That's a good point about proven quality over unproven quality with a questionable track record. I hadn't heard of the ash pan issues, thanks for pointing that out. I have not really had a whole lot of success getting many review of this stove from regular users - good/bad/indifferent, there really isn't a bunch out there about the 2N1. I hafta say that I like my 2550, it's a PIA, but I am kind of like an owner of a MG, you get used to it's idiosyncrasies and always travel with a tool box in the trunk :)

    Flamestead - The 2N1 postings have been far and few between in this forum, either there hasn't been too many serious issues or hardcore burners have just given up on VC. My guess is that the hardcore hearth.com burners have given up on VC (quite possibly, rightfully so). The woodstock stoves just aren't big enough and don't fit the style of my home to work for me :(

    BrowningBar - yeah, I am sure you are right on that point. VC was looking to make it sellable, usable to the general public - not a bad idea on their part since most people can't even think ahead enough to get wood stacked a year ahead of time....
  16. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I installed a Lopi Cape Cod today. This was the first one I have done, it is very nice! If you are looking for a durable hardcore 24/7 burner, this is it!
  17. slindo

    slindo Member

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    Maine
    It's the old Volvo vs Ferrari question. Do you want a stove that has beautiful lines, is highly tuned and capable of amazing performance but needs constant fiddling and expensive repairs, or a stolid, utilitarian tank that will bore you but not let you down. We just opted for the latter, buying an Oslo to replace an old cat VC. I would have loved it if I could have rationalized another VC, but I am not convinced the new stoves solve the problems that plagued the old ones (remember cost of cats was only a small part of the cost of running those stoves, most of them needed periodic replacement of the refractory package and even several cast iron parts).

    The real tie breaker for me was the way the current ownership of VC has treated its customer base. The reason we are getting rid of the Encore was because the prices VC was charging for part were so extortionate as it just wasn't cost effective to keep running it. OK, they are giving a lifetime warranty on the most fragile parts of the new stoves, but the old owners did the same with the Everburn stoves, and the first thing the new owner did when taking over was unilaterally repudiate those warrantees.

    I think the reason you see so little discussion of the 2-in-1s here is that so many serious woodburners have so little faith in the company that they won't go near the stoves.
  18. firewoodjunky

    firewoodjunky Member

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    That looks like an awesome stove!! I don't see a rear vent option though :(\

    I can't do a top vent as it is going into an exisitng very large hearth/chimney that I don't want to alter....
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    You made the right choice. I own both, the Defiant and Encore (older models), and they run great for me. They Provide a lot of heat and offer very respectable burn times. But, I am also far more forgiving of them as I paid $750 for both of them, TOTAL.

    If I am buying new, I'm not sure I would go with a VC stove. When buying new, certain expectations need to be met. When buying used and at a drastically discounted price, you understand that a little extra work will be expected. But, going the used route has it's benefits. I can now tear down a stove and put it back together with little concern.

    If I ever redo my set up, Woodstock and Blaze King would be at the top of my list.
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, VC burnt a lot of people with their poor decisions on customer service. You are correct on the part. It is the main reason why I went with a Englander. I know I could have found another Defiant in great condition for less than I paid for the Englander new, but I had a lot of concern about the ongoing price of parts when managing three VC stoves.

    Plus there is the general maintenance which is much higher than other stoves due to the extensive usage of gaskets.
  21. Smoky

    Smoky New Member

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    I know this is months after the conversation. However, having sold many of these models in our area, VC have been nothing but headaches and angry phone calls from customers. Truly not the brand they once were and customer service is still difficult at times. I've brought back in a total of 8 VC products over the last 2 seasons due to dissatisfaction of the product. ALL crumbled reburn/catalyst chambers. Confidence in the brand is shot for me, but that's just my opinion. Ask your dealer about they're experience with the newer VC products as of late, any reputable outfit should be honest, after all, who wants 2 move a 500 lbs stove multiple times. Buy quality the first time.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'm very sad to hear that Smoky, especially from a dealer. I had hoped that the new 2n1 stoves would be a new chapter in VC's book and a return to the quality that made the company.
  23. Smoky

    Smoky New Member

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    I'm hoping for some major quality control changes. It's a name many customers know and the general consumer still think that VC is "king of the mountain" in the wood stove world. I should mention, the non 2n1 models still seem to be strong.
  24. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Windsor County, Vermont
    I was looking very closely at this stove (2n1) in Nov 2011, and became a member here to ask opinions. I didn't get negative feedback, but didn't get any warm fuzzies. It was BrowningBAR's feedback that lead me to check other options; this type of forum is one of the great powers of the Internet, especially when moderated with an even hand.
  25. Smokey

    Smokey New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
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    Loc:
    Guilford, Ct
    Well it looks like there's more than one Smokey in town. This could be confusing. I bought a 2 in 1 in October, and I wish I hadn't. Issue's include cracked casting in the back of the stove, leaking gakets which combined with a strong draft led to a failed cat, and a cat cover that falls out when you load the stove. If there is a fix for this, I'd like to know what it is. My current issue is the stove gives off a chemical smell at temps above 650. I am thinking that the material used to cement the gaskets may be the cause. On the doors and ash pan they used what appears to be black RTV which I would think is not rated for temps over 550. I already replaced the ash pan gasket using stove cement, and I may do the doors this weekend. If anyone knows what this caulk like adhesive is, please let me know.

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