Time to replace my old VC defiant encore

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Island girl

New Member
I have an Defiant Encore Stove that I bought new in about 1991. It’s been a great stove but it’s falling apart bit by bit. It’s been heavily used for 30 years and I figure that I got my money’s worth out of it. I had thought that I’d just buy a new version of the same Vermont Castings stove. The current version of the Encore seems to be the same as my old Defiant Encore. It confused me that there is a Defiant and also an Encore since my stove uses both of those names. Now that I’ve started my research, it seems that Vermont Castings doesn’t have the same good reputation that they used to have. So now I’m wondering what stove to get. Are VC really that bad? I love the look of my stove. I also love the top load feature which seems to be a rarity on current wood stoves. Living in Washington state, Lopi seems to be a current favorite of some people around here. Any thoughts for me?
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,689
07462
Lopi makes some great stoves, also pacific energy, blaze king and regency
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,657
Ottawa, ON
Getting 30yrs of heavy use is a good run from any stove, especially VC. I always thought the top load was a great feature, but once I got a front load stove it became a mute point. If I was in the market for a new stove, it would not be another VC.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,176
South Puget Sound, WA
VC stoves are very good-looking and have fine castings. Unfortunately, the inner workings of the new stove are quite different from the old ones. The new stoves work ok but will need major servicing in about 10 yrs of steady usage. We had a VC Resolute and loved it. I thought I would always have to have a thermostatically operated top-load stove but after owning a few that did not have these features I don't miss them anymore and prefer the steady even heat of a big cast iron jacketed stove.
 

defiant3

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2010
1,020
No. NH
The name IS confusing a bit. "Defiant Encore" would suggest it was a kind of repeat of the original Defiant, though in fact they bear little if any resemblance to one another in size or construction. Silly really. Then they simply changed to "Encore", whatever that actually means. Fun fact, the Encore was the 1st V.C. stove which was NOT named for an America's Cup race winner!
 

christopher J.

New Member
Jun 27, 2022
2
Gregory, Michigan
VC stoves are very good-looking and have fine castings. Unfortunately, the inner workings of the new stove are quite different from the old ones. The new stoves work ok but will need major servicing in about 10 yrs of steady usage. We had a VC Resolute and loved it. I thought I would always have to have a thermostatically operated top-load stove but after owning a few that did not have these features I don't miss them anymore and prefer the steady even heat of a big cast iron jacketed stove.
Thanks for your review. I'm seriously looking into buying a VC Defiant this week but now I'd like to hear your opinions first.
Which inner workings are failing or need major servicing .
Christopher Marzonie
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,176
South Puget Sound, WA
The original VC Defiant had all cast iron parts, including for the basic secondary combustion chamber. After 1986, VC started incorporating a refractory combustion chamber system in the updated designs in order to meet EPA requirements. The refractory package did not stand up well to the intense heat cycles the stove would see with 24/7 usage. There were other quality control issues while VC went through several ownership changes. That has settled down since HHT bought the company and invested in improvements. The newer refractory package is more stout, but still will need regular replacement, albeit at a longer interval.