What's the Best Hot Tub

Author Topic: First Time Purchaser Help  (Read 5724 times)

Aquatub88

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2018, 11:22:16 pm »
Hello, I am very happy with my Envoy NXT purchase 6 months ago. We received the ACE system as part of a promo; It’s wonderful, low maintenance and you don’t leave the tub smelling like chemicals.  The soft water is also a treat. I have not had a float issue at all nor has anyone in my family.  This is a great hottub backed by a great company. Ask the dealer for the stats on the water and let them explain what you were experiencing with the floating. 

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2018, 11:22:16 pm »

silversun

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2018, 06:58:26 am »
we purchased a sundance 880 optima last year and have been very happy with it. jets are awesome and it has everything we were looking for.

We also looked at hot springs grandee and bullfrog A8, but eliminated each for the reasons you mentioned among others. Sundance is owned by the Jacuzzi group which is a well respected company in the industry, and we've had no issues at all.

I'm not sure how a darker shell would show dirt easier than a light shell. It sounds like your dealer is not being straight with you.  besides you would want to see any dirt/grime and not cover it up because it indicates a larger problem with your water.

mjb

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2018, 11:39:32 am »
Clarification. The lighter shells do show "dirt" better - if you get any in your spa.  Making it visible for easy clean up. But the lighter shells do not show water-spots and water-line build-up from minerals and the like that exist in most water sources.  We know this first-hand when we had a dark shell in a display spa.  This spa needed extra care to keep it looking it's best.  Since then, all of our demo spas have been in platinum.
Darker shells will also be hotter when exposed to sunlight.

aug0211

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2018, 12:19:06 pm »
Clarification. The lighter shells do show "dirt" better - if you get any in your spa.  Making it visible for easy clean up. But the lighter shells do not show water-spots and water-line build-up from minerals and the like that exist in most water sources.  We know this first-hand when we had a dark shell in a display spa.  This spa needed extra care to keep it looking it's best.  Since then, all of our demo spas have been in platinum.
Darker shells will also be hotter when exposed to sunlight.

Thank you, this was what the dealer was actually saying (and I butchered my explanation). Water spots and waterline build up from minerals (that we all have, just don't see as much on lighter shells).

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but can anyone help me out with pricing here? What's reasonable for these spas?

Also, thoughts on the 980s? We started looking at those last night and they seem to have most of the things we're looking for (and they have an updated cabinet, which was the number one issue for us with Sundance).

silversun

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2018, 12:35:14 pm »
one thing about the 900 series is that they're significantly more shallow than the 800 series. whereas the optima and aspen measure in at 37.5 and 41 inches deep, the 900s are strangely only 34. I'm not sure if that matters to you, but I wanted seats that would easily cover my shoulders especially in the winter.
I personally don't have a problem with the looks of the cabinet, and it didn't factor into my purchase much at all. But I appreciate that everyone weighs their decision differently.

on price; I paid $11,400 for the optima in August of '17.

BullFrogSpasMN

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2018, 02:15:18 pm »
Clarification. The lighter shells do show "dirt" better - if you get any in your spa.  Making it visible for easy clean up. But the lighter shells do not show water-spots and water-line build-up from minerals and the like that exist in most water sources.  We know this first-hand when we had a dark shell in a display spa.  This spa needed extra care to keep it looking it's best.  Since then, all of our demo spas have been in platinum.
Darker shells will also be hotter when exposed to sunlight.

Thank you, this was what the dealer was actually saying (and I butchered my explanation). Water spots and waterline build up from minerals (that we all have, just don't see as much on lighter shells).

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but can anyone help me out with pricing here? What's reasonable for these spas?

Also, thoughts on the 980s? We started looking at those last night and they seem to have most of the things we're looking for (and they have an updated cabinet, which was the number one issue for us with Sundance).

Pricing varies all over the US, also other variables like: what kind of step? how far/how difficult is the delivery? what kind of cover lift? what type of water-care products are included? How far is the dealer from the manufacturer and how much is he paying for shipping, etc. etc. you get the point but generally speaking...

Optima should fall around $12,000 - $13,000
Grandee NXT should fall around $14,500 - $15,500
Envoy NXT should fall around $13,000 - $14,000

Those are the models I'm familiar with, others will have to chime in for other models, I've heard that J-550 goes for around $15k - 16k

As far as quality between Sundace and Jacuzzi I wouldn't worry, they both come off the same assembly line out of Tijuana Mexico so they'll be fairly equivalent...FYI their build quality isn't reflected in their pricing, Hot Spring a MUCH better built and insulated spa if you want the truth of it.  I have no dog in this fight so I'm not looking to start an argument, it is simply my opinion based on working in this industry for near 15 years now and seeing 'under the hood' of multiple models from each manufacturer, so again my opinion only based on my experiences.

Salt Water doesn't have anything to do with floating, salt levels in the ocean are around 65,000 ppm salt, salt systems only put out around 2,000 ppm so it's not even close to the same 'experience'...I would always cringe when "shorter" people wanted to wet test a Grandee cause I knew there was a 80% chance they would float like crazy, there is simply nowhere to 'plant' your feet in that spa unless you are tall or have a really long torso/legs. My fav Hot Spring is the Envoy, the captains chair and lounge are really nice and you typically don't have near the floating issues of the Grandee...Good Luck!
« Last Edit: December 10, 2018, 02:18:07 pm by BullFrogSpasMN »

aug0211

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2018, 04:28:25 pm »

Pricing varies all over the US, also other variables like: what kind of step? how far/how difficult is the delivery? what kind of cover lift? what type of water-care products are included? How far is the dealer from the manufacturer and how much is he paying for shipping, etc. etc. you get the point but generally speaking...

Optima should fall around $12,000 - $13,000
Grandee NXT should fall around $14,500 - $15,500
Envoy NXT should fall around $13,000 - $14,000

Those are the models I'm familiar with, others will have to chime in for other models, I've heard that J-550 goes for around $15k - 16k

As far as quality between Sundace and Jacuzzi I wouldn't worry, they both come off the same assembly line out of Tijuana Mexico so they'll be fairly equivalent...FYI their build quality isn't reflected in their pricing, Hot Spring a MUCH better built and insulated spa if you want the truth of it.  I have no dog in this fight so I'm not looking to start an argument, it is simply my opinion based on working in this industry for near 15 years now and seeing 'under the hood' of multiple models from each manufacturer, so again my opinion only based on my experiences.

Salt Water doesn't have anything to do with floating, salt levels in the ocean are around 65,000 ppm salt, salt systems only put out around 2,000 ppm so it's not even close to the same 'experience'...I would always cringe when "shorter" people wanted to wet test a Grandee cause I knew there was a 80% chance they would float like crazy, there is simply nowhere to 'plant' your feet in that spa unless you are tall or have a really long torso/legs. My fav Hot Spring is the Envoy, the captains chair and lounge are really nice and you typically don't have near the floating issues of the Grandee...Good Luck!

Excellent, thank you! Unfortunately, the Grandee just won't work with us because float was so severe. I'm 5' 10" (average male height) and wife is also of average female height, so I don't know if that's the issue or something else. And the fact that the dealer won't fill an Envoy for us means we can't wet test it, which is a deal breaker, I think. I didn't push hard or tell him he was losing our sale yet, but maybe I'll try that again. his response was that it would cost him $1k to fill the tub because he then has to sell it as a demo. Blah. Also, thank you for the pricing info - that is helpful to know.

one thing about the 900 series is that they're significantly more shallow than the 800 series. whereas the optima and aspen measure in at 37.5 and 41 inches deep, the 900s are strangely only 34. I'm not sure if that matters to you, but I wanted seats that would easily cover my shoulders especially in the winter.
I personally don't have a problem with the looks of the cabinet, and it didn't factor into my purchase much at all. But I appreciate that everyone weighs their decision differently.

on price; I paid $11,400 for the optima in August of '17.

This is awesome info - we will be sure to pay close attention to the depth when we wet test next week (hopefully next week). I know the cabinet seems a bit vain to comment on - in reality, they are (almost) all beautiful. We just have a particular taste, and I don't want to regret a decision this expensive down the road, so I've set the bar pretty high for meeting the criteria. Thank you, also, for the help with pricing!

Spoke with the closest D1 dealer around (1 hour 45 minutes, unfortunately) and started discussing a wet test. Fortunately, the dealer has both the Amore Bay and Sarena Bay available. Unfortunately, the dealer has two locations that are 30 minutes apart, and we have to go to each location for the wet test - ugh.

I will definitely keep this thread updated!

Spatech_tuo

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2018, 04:29:56 pm »


Questions:

1. Any chance the salt system in the Hot Spring caused our float issues? Or is the salt level too low to impact buoyancy that much?
It really should just mean that shell layout didn't work for you but another may look the same but work so don't conclude good or bad based on appearance when it comes to floating.

2. Thoughts on Sundance? Sounds like they are a step up from Jacuzzi? Are they reputable/top tier/going to last a long time/good customer service/etc?
Sundance isn't above Jacuzzi though in a certain city the Sundance dealer may overshadow the Jacuzzi dealer and make it a better product in that area.

3. Dealer mentioned that darker shells would show dirt quickly/easily and was recommending a lighter shell. We were nervous about sun glare but don’t want to be fighting with water marks on a darker shell non-stop. Is the dealer right? Or full of it?
The dealer isn't wrong that some colors shows "water spotting" more than others but was this an issue you brought up or did the dealer talk this up that it should be an issue (and maybe he has a color in stock he wants to move lol). Personally I'd get the color I wanted and not worry but to each his/her own!

220, 221, whatever it takes!

Spatech_tuo

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2018, 04:37:14 pm »


Excellent, thank you! Unfortunately, the Grandee just won't work with us because float was so severe. I'm 5' 10" (average male height) and wife is also of average female height, so I don't know if that's the issue or something else. And the fact that the dealer won't fill an Envoy for us means we can't wet test it, which is a deal breaker, I think. I didn't push hard or tell him he was losing our sale yet, but maybe I'll try that again. his response was that it would cost him $1k to fill the tub because he then has to sell it as a demo. Blah. Also, thank you for the pricing info - that is helpful to know.


If the dealers are getting new model year spas they will often be replacing their wet floor models but it just depends on when the new model year starts and what spas they will be moving off the floor. It would only cost him $$ if he was going to replace a spa with the same model year spa but when the year changes he has to make a switch anyway at some point (in reality some wait awhile to make the swap). Don't hesitate to bring it up and by all means tell him how the previous wet test performed.
220, 221, whatever it takes!

Roeboat

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2018, 08:43:04 pm »
I Started out much like you with on-line research, went to the stores and got the brochures and the sales pitch. I really liked the Hot Spring Flair but they didn't have one for me to look at. Went to Sundance, they were just ok. The Artesian Elite Spas were really nice (Dove Canyon) but a little more then I wanted to spend ($13.5k). Went to the Jacuzzi, Marquis, Caldera dealer to check out a Marquis. They were ok. The Jacuzzi's seemed super expensive to me. After wet testing all tubs, I bought a Caldera Makena demo (on the floor about 2 months) for $8K. (on the advice from some nice dealers on this forum) We couldn't be happier, its a great spa. It has a Frog system, ozonator, and circulation pump and I am using bromine for sanitizer.

I recommend shopping around for a deal. My neighbor bought a Sundance Optima (about $12k). His water is cloudy all the time and I went over to test his water. He doesn't know if he has an ozonator or what he is using for sanitizer. All his dealer told him was it is a chlorine free spa. He has changed his water 2 times in the 6 weeks he has had it. He does not have a frog system and the two times I tested his water he was 0 chlorine/bromine. Long story short, make sure you know what your buying and have an idea of what you are going to use to keep the water clear.


Roeboat

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #25 on: December 10, 2018, 08:46:34 pm »
And maybe look for a model that has a foot ridge. I gives you a place to use your legs and feet to stay in place.

kies1

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #26 on: December 10, 2018, 09:11:53 pm »
We looked at jacuzzi, Arctic spa, sun dance and hotsprings. My wife is very petit. We ended up with a hotsprings flash in their lime light series. It has a foot pod in the Center with 4 jets. My wife is quite comfortable in it. We are using bromine and water quality is no issue. We have been very happy with it. All three other brands were more money but what one ius over was the local hotsprings dealer. Make sure your not only buying a quality tub but you are dealing with a quality dealer. I think the latter of the two is just as important as the hot tub you decide on maybe more.

bachman

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #27 on: December 11, 2018, 05:11:02 am »
I recommend shopping around for a deal. My neighbor bought a Sundance Optima (about $12k). His water is cloudy all the time and I went over to test his water. He doesn't know if he has an ozonator or what he is using for sanitizer. All his dealer told him was it is a chlorine free spa. He has changed his water 2 times in the 6 weeks he has had it. He does not have a frog system and the two times I tested his water he was 0 chlorine/bromine. Long story short, make sure you know what your buying and have an idea of what you are going to use to keep the water clear.

Good advice and as to the second part....

Oh man, sad to see that but I'm glad you mentioned it.
Others may see that (hopefully rare) example and realize a tub is just a wee bit of homework to the set up and maint… and def NOT the amount of homework or drama of actual learning and shopping a $$$$$ luxury or therapy item as these in the first place. :D

Hopefully the owner gets a handle on it because it's so much easier to learn some basics and get your hands wet than to go thru a refill, they just don't know that yet. I wonder if the neighbor is impatient or the sales staff pre-sold him on a tub that "needs nothing" ? 

Mine has had a few cloudy days too but I'm learning at about 6 weeks in. TH low was it once, now I believe the ph is a tad high. I slacked a little on use and testing so it's likely our use cycle changes. Consistency is likely the key to ease.
I'm also finding the drop/vial test kit and the strips are actually proving to be quite similar and reliable on results. Happy to have that confirmation.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 05:12:42 am by bachman »

aug0211

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2018, 09:25:10 am »
It’s proving rather difficult to do wet tests.

Of the tubs on our list, literally only one has been available to do a wet test, and it was the Hot Spring Grandee, but not the NXT line.

Hot Spring dealer wants a $300 refundable deposit to do a wet test in the Hot Spring Envoy and lock in the price before a January price increase. Again, it’s not an NXT line.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer said he’d have a Kingston on the floor for us to test last week - planned ahead and got a baby sitter lined up for Saturday. Called in to confirm Saturday AM and they said no water in it, we could “look” at it but that is it. Very irritating. Needless to say, we did not go.

Jacuzzi/Sundance dealer also said no to getting a 575 or 585 available for us to wet test. Also no Claremont. Said the Aspen is close enough to compare.

Thoughts on all of this? Seems crazy to me.

We just want to wet test:
Kingston
Claremont
Envoy NXT
J-575
J-585

Will we end up having to make a decision and “buy blind” without doing a wet test? That seems crazy when you’re spending <$10,000...

wmccall

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2018, 10:40:06 am »
Well, we wet tested four tubs today:


Hopefully that was a pleasant time. Let us know which way you go.

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Re: First Time Purchaser Help
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2018, 10:40:06 am »

 

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