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QuadraFire vs Regency

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mrsun, Sep 24, 2006.

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  1. mrsun

    mrsun New Member

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    Folks,

    I am new to this forum and site and think it is great! We are remodeling a game room and later a room with an existing (old!) fireplace. We are looking to install a free standing wood stove in the game room and an insert into the existing fireplace to supplement our heating and for atmosphere. In starting our "journey" we have found that different shops are loyal to different manufacturers. We seem to have limited our decision to either a QuadraFire vendor or a Regency vendor after hearing that Vermont Castings has had quality issues of late. Both vendors have been in business for 30 years and have an excellent reputation so I guess the decission comes down to these two stove manufacturers. Any thoughts on who is best? I have not seen any negatives on either of these brands and don't know how to decide. Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    The the best way to figure out what stove is best for your home is to .......... invite all of us over to your house to have a sit down meeting "in your game room" to figure what would work best for you. :cheese:
  3. BikeMedic2709

    BikeMedic2709 New Member

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    I'll bring the beer. Any requests?
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Funny Roo, but if mrsun takes you up on that, I'll bring the beer.

    I think both brands have good reputations, pick the one you like best. Don't count out VC. This VC bad rep thing is starting up again. They did have problems a few years back, but I think the quality is just as good as other brands now a days.
  5. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Hi mrsun,

    I just entered some comments in another thread (here: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/3285/) but I am wondering where you were hearing about the VC "quality issues of late". We have not been experiencing this. It's true, we are VC dealers but we are not exclusive to VC and we are not the type of folks who try to hard sell and influence our customers beyond what can be objectively considered. VC has been a good brand for us and we have not experienced these quality issues you speak of. It's possible that it is a regional thing. Maybe VC sends only their best made stoves to us and send the poor quality stuff somewhere else. Probably not, but that's the only thing I can think of that makes sense. Its more likely that it comes from dealers who prefer other brands or some customers who had a bad experience with a VC stove or dealer. It happens. And I have read comments here from some dealers who didn't like something about the way VC was designed, etc. Everyone has opinions.

    In our store we don't put down any brands. We have shared our experiences with some brands when asked but we don't think it makes sense to down a brand just because we had a bad experience. We ask our prospects to take the same approach. We share what we know and let the prospect make the choice of brand. Sometimes it's going to be a brand we don't sell and we lose the sale.

    You asked who was the "best". I'm not sure your going to get much direct help with that here. There are proponents of both Quadrafire and Regency here. Both are good brands. We formerly sold Regency and we know it pretty well. But I can't say it is either better or worse than Quadrafire. In truth, the most important factor is probably the dealership and local level of service. Next in line would be your own personal level of ability. Some folks are pretty handy and they can have a successful experience with just about any stove. For others, they will need a little, or a lot, more hand holding. We have found that stoves like the Regency (or LOPI, Avalon, Osburn, etc.) tend to be simpler for many folks. We learned a while ago that not everyone should buy a Dutchwest Catalytic or even a Quadrafire. Those stoves typically take a little more understanding on the part of the user for things to go smoothly. But there is no exact answer. Talk to your local dealers and try to fit the features of the stove to your likes and dislikes. It will be hard to get a bad stove. But you may prefer one way of doing things to another.

    Good luck,
    Sean
  6. mrsun

    mrsun New Member

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    Sean,

    Thanks for your answer. I am not sure whether it is good or bad news to hear that you have not had problems with VC. I really like the look of their stoves and hearing that there really are no problems adds more choices to our decision! The issues was that one of the shops - that sells QuadraFire exclusively now - is the source of the information on quality. They claim that there were problems and that they could not get VC to honor their warrenty and hence, dropped the line. Is it recent, in the past, I really don't know. The other retailer sells a variety of stoves, Regency, VC RAIS, Jotul among them. They did not push any particular manufacturer. As I said, too, both retailers had a good rep and had been in business for 30 years. So, based on your feedback, we should go with which ever stove fits our budget, decor, and heating requirements and not worry too much about manufacturer? Lastly, I have heard that QuadraFire makes the cleanest burning stove on the market. Any thoughts?

    As for all you happy partiers out there, we already have Bass, Becks, and Bud in the fridge (a little German heritage here!) so that's not a problem. However, if you plan to use the game room, bring your hammers and screw guns because you need to hand the insulation, sheet rock, and put the floor down! You have been warned!

    Thanks again for your insights!
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Actually VC has the 2 cleanest burning stoves out there if you go by their numbers, but who knows for sure, too many variables in testing. All the new EPA stoves are very close in efficiency and emissions.
  8. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Not cool that the quad dealer is bad talking VC. Im a quad dealer, and a X vc dealer. We droped VC due to problems with the distributor. There castings are great quality, a few years ago, my only complaint was the latches on the doors. FWIW i have the same complaint about Hearthstone. I think Jotul has some of the heavist latches in the cast iron industry. Dont pay to much attention to the grams per hour, there all very very clean. 1.2 vs .8 is not that important, considering that old non epa stoves were in the 60 gph range! Buy what you like, buy from the dealerthat gives you good vibes. You comparing two great stoves.
  9. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    There are a LOT of very nice stoves out there on the market today. You can do a lot of reading here on the Hearth site to get an over load of information of stoves. As per Warranty of a stove i know Pacific Energy has one of the best with a life time warranty on there stoves. http://www.pacificenergy.net/ You'll just have to decide what style/look of stove you are looking for. Some have better longer burn times , some have better warrantys , dealer support is also a good option to have , Some stoves have a really good ash pan option and some are not so good. My best advise is "a lot of research"
    A................Humm .............. Work ? How much beer did you say you have ?
  10. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    When a company sells 50,000 stoves a year and has the largest number of stoves residing in homes in USA. It is easy to hear loud complaints from a very small minority. Things have to be taken in perspective. If there are 500 complaints a single year about VC
    That's 1% A stove maker like Woodstock only makes 4000 stoves Which voice will be louder 40 or 500. I think you see the logic so naturally there would be more complaints.

    Aks the other manufactures, if the participate in the Hearth net donor program, VC does? In the works now is a program where VC gives famillies therough heartnet stoves that help these recepiants heat there homes or replace old dilapitated polluting stoves to famillies that could never budget a new stove. Our Moderator had issues witha VC winter warm where his dealer stonewalled him.
    I called the head of plant opperation in Bethel VT and they hand picked a new stove and replaced his. If you live near Bethel VT plant tours are available. Truely an amazing opperation. If you can't and its too far I can send you a VCR of the plant tour.

    Last year almost every pellet manufacturer had issues with their product line including Harman One of our forum members Lime 4x4 had an epic battle with Harman.

    Till you have had smokelss top loading you do not know what you are missing. My two are Cat models, but I do not mind the little extra fussing for superior clean burning and friendlier treatment of our enviorment. VC has the cleanest stoves ever tested by the EPA. Most dealer issues with VC were with distributors. Many dealers also sell gas grills they took exception with VC manufacturing and selling in Home Depot. They could not compete. So they dropped their entire line.. including wood stoves.
    Again till you posted here you were believing a former dealer dissing VC and telling less than truthfull imformation.

    I gain nothing From VC, but the ability to help others less fortunate than I threw the donor program. I am not employed by them.
    but patriotic and believe in saving American manufacturing jobs Right here in Bethel VT. I am a building and Mechanical Inspector in S. Eastern MA. Its been weeks I supported VC, here but this is the second post where the posters were missinformed and believed the VC bashing going on
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Let me guess at a source of the VC quality problems. (applies to Jotul too, maybe PE also? Others?) Vermont Castings has all their stoves available with enamel finish. Almost all stoves that have Enamel finishes end up with chips. Is this a possible "Quality problem"? One more. VC sells exclusively (at least the Vermont Castings line of stoves..not Century or Dutchwest)
    Cast Iron stoves. Cast iron is more prone to warping if over fired than soapstone or plate steel stoves. Is that a "Quality Problem"?

    I have a couple friends that swear by Vermont Castings stoves, and I have to agree on some of the points why that they are a very nice stove.

    1. Some of the most efficient stoves made.
    2. Along with Jotul, to my tastes, the nicest looking cast stoves out there.
    3. A very long history of being in business
    4. Choices. In many cases the same stove can be had CAT or Non-CAT
    5. A stove size for just about any application

    That said, Sean, not all VC dealers are as Pro-VC as you are. (You know who the others are around here)

    I don't know of anyone who has complained of quality problems with them since I've been an active member here. Seems to me Jotul 3CB's were the ones with the illfitting tops.

    That's the only quality problem I'm aware of for wood stoves. Coal Stokers and Pellet stoves are another story, but none of them related to VC.

    Does any one dissagree with my memory or assessment?
  12. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    A few things i would like to add is that normally Cast iron is LESS likely to warp over plate steel. ie thus is one of the big reasons all the wood stove doors are made of cast iron vs steel bar ( plate steel ) #2 most any heavy solid metal that is Enamel finishes or even painted finishes are more likely to chip vs the design of the Pacific Energy stoves , Why ? becsuse the Enamel or painted heavy solid steel does not give , you bang it bump it or tap it the cast is solid and the only give is the Enamel / paint. The Pacific Energy Enamel option is on a thin plate steel add on panel(s) like a car fender and is going to give if bumped , dinged or taped. The cast stove is going to be a lot more common and pron to chipping. When i was looking at stoves there were chipped Enamel cast stoves and chipped Enamel soap stone stoves on the display floors ! I work with a lot of metals being a fabricator and the heavy solid steel and cast items are hard not to chip and to keep a good paint job and thus is one of the big needs of powder coat finishes on heavy steel items.
  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Point being I see many quality stoves during inspections. The most important points are, whether the stove is pleasing in appearance to you, sized correctly and dealer support. A good dealer makes the buying decision easy, if they stand behind the product they sell. I am not impressed with a dealer dissing a product they do not offer.
  14. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Hmm, I've see a lot of overfired cast stoves with warped interior peices. Also, in a recent thread, someone was looking for a stove that would be able to take a beating given that the guy wanted to burn nothing but kiln dried lumber. Craig recommended a plate steel stove like a Century or similar. Why? I'd assume it's because of the tolerance to being overfired.
    Is that why? Maybe I interpreted that thread wrong.

    Now, while I've been around stoves in my teens and 20's, I'm somewhat of a new guy to stoves again, I'm not going to be definitive here... I'll defer to folks that have been doing it longer. If Spike says Casting is actually better...I'm willing to defer to that opinion, and it makes the point I was trying to make even better.

    What I was attempting to point at was trivial explainations for percieved VC quality problems. Personally, I don't believe there are any, and if I ever get around to putting another stove in my house An Intrepid will be high on the list of stoves to buy.

    If the original poster likes VC's I'd definitely put them on the list to consider!

    Thanks for correcting Spike.
  15. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    No problem Warren ( can we call you ELMer yet ? no, ok i thought not ) I think Craig mentioned Century or similar is more of a throw away stove with out a lot of $$ for the stove in the first place. In the same thread i noted i built a heavy duty steel plate stove for really hot fires but the cast stoves have to be rebuilt after many years. not just anybody can just make a "one off" cast stove so the norm is going to be plate steel. I agree that the inside guts of "some stoves" can and will warp real bad no matter what the out side is build of. Good point too to be noted Warren ! The inside working of a stove is something that needs to be checked out real well when reviewing new stoves. Most of the inside "guts" / "workings" of say the Pacific Energy stove are made of Stainless steel. Soem stove use only mild steel on the inside. Some stoves have full baffles and some have tubes (on secondary burn chambers ) Normally when a sales-person goes to the point of downgrading the other brands its is from lack of sales experence or dont have with there own item the upgrades and or highlites to offer. EVERY , EVERY , EVERY product has the good and the bad. Some of the bad is just some customers just cant be satified . other bad(s) are as ole' Elker mentioned 500 not so pleased buyers to 50,000 very pleased buyers. It just all depends on what the issues are and have been with the item.
  16. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Spike:

    "EVERY , EVERY , EVERY product has the good and the bad."

    Ok. Waiting for the bad with the Summit.

    Patting my foot here....
  17. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Ha ! I was waiting for you Brother bart ! LOL . OK how about this ........ Wilhound just posted a thread about a torn baffle gasket with his new Summit , I had to replace mine aswell this year after the first clean out of the stove when the baffle was taken out. There ........ theres the bad. :sick: The up side is i called my dealer about the gasket and he called Pacific Energy and i was sent a new one FREE in the mail with in 1 week after i talked to the dealer. ;-P Again , every item has its bad points. I guess the flip side is .... what is the company doing about it. There Brother Bart , 1 for the record books on Pacific Energy. "the bad side of things"
  18. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    You're welcome. But, for the record, I didn't say there really are no problems. This is a sticky point for many consumers. We have gone around on this here many times. We have been selling and using stoves for over 35 years and there is no such thing as a perfect stove. If you want to be absolutlely sure your stove never has a problem I suggest you re-think even buying a stove. There will be problems. What I am saying is that VC has been a good stove brand for us and that they are no more problematic than any other brand. On a scale, I would place them near the top in quality. On a features list they are solidly on the top.

    Dealers get upset with manufacturers and distributors once in awhile. That sometimes clouds their thinking and causes them to be negative towards a certain brand. But it's not really fair to the consumer. Of course the Quad dealer want you buy his Quad, especially as an exclusive dealer. What choice does he have? But his approach and sales technique is not honorable. Let him show you why he thinks his Quads are best for you and then make your own decision. I have had situations where I all but sold my competitors model because of what the customer was telling me they wanted. Most of the time the customer chooses one of my models becasue of the help I gave them, not because my model was better than my competitors.

    Honestly, we have had the most negative feedback (from customers) coming from the local Quadrafire dealers. It seems to be a common technique here, as it is in your local area, to bash VC. On the other hand we tell people Quadrafire makes a good stove (because they do) and that we sell stoves that are also good and have been pleasing customers for over 35 years. We then talk to them about what they want and try to fit them with the right stove model. And we don't care if it's VC, Dutchwest, Morso, Lopi, Avalon, Harman, or Enviro. We don't stress brand. We stress features. We carry a variety because no one brand has all the best features. We let the customers decide which features they like and whether they want to pay a little extra for more features. The sweet spot in the last two years has been the Dutchwest line. Good price for a lot of nice features. Our Lopi and Avalon lines are not keeping up probably because of the price feature ratio. VC does very well with the high end market (enamel colors, exceptional beauty, etc.).

    I dispute that Quadrafire makes the cleanest burning stove on the market. Other stove companies also make the same claim, such as VC and Regency, etc. I don't think it is clear who actually makes the "cleanest" and it is not an exact science. What happens today cannot be repeated tomorrow. In the real world, in our homes where we burn actual cordwood from the forest, we all have a chance for a clean burn if we have a modern technology stove. We can also muck it up if we do not understand what we are doing. The stove gives us the "opportunity" for a clean efficient burn. It's up to us to make it happen.

    All the best,
    Sean
  19. seaken

    seaken Minister of Fire

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    Yes, we are pro-VC, but we are also pro-Morso, pro-Lopi, pro-Avalon, pro-Harman, pro-Enviro and pro-Dutchwest. If we are all paying attention we will notice those are the brands of wood stoves I represent in our community. I don't think it's right for a dealerto try to influence a customer on brand alone. Some distributors have special arrangements with dealers who feature certain brands. We don't buy into that stuff and we tell our distributors that. We take a hit on the margin because of it. But we don't work for manufacturers or distributors. We work for our clients. We are objective and we share our opnions. But we don't sell brand names. Nor do we diss the brands we don't sell. We just think that's good business. We all use these procucts in our own homes. We know they aren't perfect. Why should we try to paint the impression that brand X is better than Brand Y when we know from our own experiences that it isn't true?

    We have decided to only work with the brands that are high quality and that focus on specuial features that are attractive to a higher end market. But again, we don't disparage folks who buy Englander or Century from Lowes or Home Depot. They know what they are getting and it is their choice. I show them what I have and what it costs and they make a choice. (Sorry, you can't hire me to install your Englander though. I only install stoves that were purchased at my store). And what a foolish thing it would be for me to say "Quads are not as good as VC. Don't buy a Quad, you'll be sorry. They have issues". Who am I trying kid? And why risk damaging the trust of my customers? I sell only to smart people. Smart people see right through that stuff.

    Sean
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