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Woodstock Soapstone Progress Hybrid Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Kruegerw, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. Kruegerw

    Kruegerw New Member

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    Any reviews or comments on the woodstock soapstone progress hybrid stove. Based on what I have come across, the stove came out less than one year ago. Anyone used it? How does it perform? Is the hybrid just a gimmick? I have read that catalytic systems require a lot of TLC - I am familiar with loading, cranking down the damper, and walking away. Since they do not have distributors (factory direct only) should this be a concern? Finally, for the dollar - are there better options?

    Wanting to heat 3000 sq ft

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  2. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    Hi. Welcome. Do a forum search on "Progress Hybrid". Lots of good info. Other here will probably chime in soon. The hybrid tech does not seem to be a gimmick.

    CAT systems are no problem now. There were some issues in the 70s, but modern CAT stoves require popping out the CAT, brushing it off, and putting it back in. Really all of 5 minutes every month or two.

    I have had a Hearthstone nonCAT and liked it. Now I have a Woodstock Fireview and am very happy with it. Woodstock is an American company with solid customer service.
    Oldhippie likes this.
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Ditto on all Vic99 said. Woodstock seems to be one of the most adored manufacturers around here, and there are several happy Progress owners on the forum. Great customer service and money-back guarantee. I'm a fan of catalytic stoves, and the "problems" to which you refer are virtually non-existent on modern stoves for anyone but the most careless. Cat's got a bad name in the early days, when stove manufacturers were taking non-cat stove designs and trying to (unsuccessfully) mate catalytic converters to them, but the Progress was designed around the cat from its inception.

    Maintenance involves removing the cat once or twice a year to vacuum or brush it clean. If you think you've poisoned it by burning something you shouldn't (waxy colored paper, treated wood, etc.), you can usually do a "refresh" by boiling it in a vinegar solution. After 5 - 6 years, you may notice the cat's performance decreasing, and then you can replace it (usually $150'ish, so figure $25 - $30/year operating cost).

    Operation is simple: put the stove in "bypass mode", build a fire and let the cat warm up to > 500°F, and then engage the cat. You'll see the converter temp rise to > 1000°F, and the smoke coming out of your chimney will just disappear. As you might have already guessed, a catalytic converter temperature probe is a big help for beginners. Once you've learned the stove's behavior, you can pull the probe and sell it on ebay, if you decide you no longer need it for guidance.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  4. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock (along with Englander) have the best customer service in the business. Call them and talk to them directly. They will treat you great and that treatment will continue post purchase. They have a BBQ every fall and give great discounts on their stoves there. Lots of board members show up. Looks like a great time.

    The Progress is a new stove with new technology. It's gonna take a couple seasons before people really get it dialed in. Initial reports are that it's a great stove. I personally wish it was cat only, but it's still on my radar for my new house.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Maybe not a gimmick, but the benefits are in doubt.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Search by typing Progress Hybrid in the search box at the upper right. You should come across at least a half-dozen reports of burning since late last November. Folks like the big fire view and the controllability of the stove. There were some early bugs and design kinks being worked out as the stove saw real world use. Woodstock has been very responsive about addressing these issues and providing their customers with updated parts.
  7. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock's 6 month in-home satisfaction guarantee plus return shipping is very convincing. They are having a sale until Aug 17 (+ free shipping if you qualify?) and will even delay the start of the satisfaction guarantee until burning season begins.
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    They just posted a new thread on their blog boasting the highest tested efficiency on the EPA stove list. Efficiency is nice but i would like it better as a straight cat stove that could do consistant 24 hour burns like the similar sized Blaze King's.
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  9. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    I have one and love it. Heats my drafty big old barn of a house and is very simple to operate. Very solid and dependable. Customer service is superb. Would not hesitate to get one again, no regrets.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    3,000 sq ft is a lot of space. If you have good insulation, good windows, etc, then heating this space can be done.

    The Woodstock Progress is a new stove and they are still making improvements to it. With the new cooking surface, this stove really has much to offer. Do not hesitate to call and talk to the good folks there. You won't get high pressure but will get good advice. As for the TLC with the cat, worry not about it. And don't forget the fantastic money-back guarantee. They don't get many back because folks are really satisfied and if there are problems, which there can be with any stove, Woodstock will be right there with top notch customer service. Good luck.
  11. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock is a great company, I don't think I've ever seen a bad thing posted about them. I don't know much about their stoves but the masses who praise them tells me all I need to know. If they start to offer the hybrid "naked"(no stone) I may find myself standing in line for one. :)
  12. Kruegerw

    Kruegerw New Member

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    With the side load, can you put enough wood in the stove to burn all night?
  13. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I don't have the stove but I know it'll burn through the night with ease. If I remember right some people were reporting 12-16 hours last season.
  14. Kruegerw

    Kruegerw New Member

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    Just curious, what makes you nervous about the stone? Do you think the Woodstock is equal to or possibly even superior to a Hearthstone Soapstone?
  15. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I'm not nervous about the stone I'm just not a fan of the stone look, it's a little too fancy for my taste in a stove. I like plain ole' steel stoves. :)

    As for the stones I've never read many complaints about either stone failing. I think either one will be fine if cared for properly.
  16. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    I do burn 24/7 and, although the temp has dropped a bit when I get up in the morning, the stove is still throwing out some heat and I have a nice coal bed to get her going again - just throw in the next load, close the door, and she's off and running. I don't fill it as full as it could be at nite, still a little nervous as a newbie to do that just yet. There are other owners of the Hybrid, more experienced, who do much better in this regard.
  17. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    For the "large" Progress Hybrid cat stove to ONLY burn 12-16 hours... the stove's design is a failure. Seriously, if the competitor can get 30 hours from the same sized firebox then woodstock needs to do lots more than make tweaks. Sure it's efficient, sure it's beautiful, sure the company's service is excellent but if this cat stove can only perform like a non-cat then why not just get a non-cat? Lots of attractive non-cat stoves to choose from that are easier and cheaper to operate.

    Imagine buying a car that gets only 10 mpg when the same size car is available with the same size engine from another company getting 20 mpg.

    Burn times are the number one priority for the real 24/7 burner that actually uses the stove for primary heat. The other woodstock cat stoves seem to get decent burntimes. It's too bad they couldn't have just stuck with straight cat technology that they are so good at.

    I had high hopes for this new stove when it was first announced, I am disappointed in the reports. Never liked the name either. Sorry to be negative but facts are facts.
  18. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    As it's been stated before it appears these "hybrid" stoves are non cats with a cat to clean up whatever emissions is missed during the secondary burn.

    This is the main reason I ended up with the BK, the Lopi was bought with the intent of supplementing my propane bill. Once I was hooked I needed/wanted the longest burn time I could get on a 6" flue.
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I don't know of many people willing to suffer such poor burntimes and lack of stove temp control for the benefit of dropping from 1.5 to 1.0 grams per hour (not exact numbers). Cleaning that last spec of theoretical emissions in a lab setting is worth nothing. All of the current good stoves meet the EPA emission regulations by a large margin.

    Good way to put it, a non-cat with a cat added for emissions. It's like a time machine. Wasn't this attempted back in the 80s to meet the new EPA regs?
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    You're getting hung up on terminology. The "non-cat" stoves they added cat's to in the 1980's were old smoke dragons, without secondary burn function. The hybrid stoves we're discussing today are non-cat EPA / reburn stoves, with a cat added to run in parallel or series with the non-cat reburn.
  21. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Got it.

    I do admit that the PH is a nice looking machine and that if I wanted high output only, it would be hard to beat. The price was quite good during the introductary period too.
  22. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Just make it a straight cat stove and those burn times would jump.
  23. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    Yes, just add a T-stat and it would be awesome. Make it as big as an Equinox, and it would be my dream stove. 6in flue of course;)
    Jags likes this.
  24. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I'm still waiting for more info on those PH burn times. I've heard anywhere from 12-24 hours so far and there hasn't been that many reports since the stove just came out last winter. If I knew I could get a consistant 24 hour burn I'd buy one this Fall. It's still tempting to get one and block those secondary baffle holes and turn it into a true cat stove.
  25. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    They engineered it with that secondary air being part of the deal.(obviously) It may take some tweaking but I'm sure you could get it to burn good with just the cat.

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