I have been doing lots of research around buying my first wheel and need a bit more advice.
I have been upping and upping my budget as I researched more but I have reached a max and now, and feel more lost..yet need to make a decision. If anything thought this may be helful info to regroup in one thread.
I do intend to keep this wheel for long. I am not able to find any used wheels in my area (IL and surroundings) and don't mind the idea of buying new tbh.
I know most advise to get nicer wheel but that is not an option now. I have already pushed my budget. if I find myself at some point absolutely needing a nicer wheel, given the lack of used wheels in my area, I figure i can always resale my lower end one and upgrade fairly easily. I honestly don't anticipate I will.
I don't work with more than 3-5 lbs clay at this time and don't expect to go past that for a good while.
Started with artista/aspire: too small. Moved up to clayboss, which few loved but was not well rated throughout my research.. Moved on to the following list (ordered by current lower price first)
Wondering if the below is accurate and if anyone can comment on pedal feel/precision/speed.
1/Shimpo VL lite: Lots of proponents of the shimpos but feel like it is mostly for the whisper. Some people mentioned that this one was lower quality and maybe not as good as the general shimpo line. A lot mentioned lower torque and possibly straining. Tabletop option. Apparently this one is belt driven vs other shimpo being direct drive. Not sure this truly matters. Pedal speed change less smooth than TS?. Made in China
2a/ Pacifica GT400: a few people mentioned it is quiet and solid and liked theirs. Seem to be used in school but a few recommend strongly against it due to issues with theses. Larger 13" wheel head (all others are 12"). 2 yr warranty only (5 yrs on all others).
2b/TS prodigy: I like the pan design.. No reverse switch, and I feel like I may miss that. Some had noise issues which I am concerned about. Often rated has having better torque than other comparable models. and being generally solid. No free rotation. If it is stopped, it won't move. Pedal less abrupt than whisper. People tend to think it is too big for smaller people (which I am). Do not like the pan design on the higher end models.made in US.
3/Bailey ST: a lot of people seems to like their baileys, I do like the pedal design but it is been commented as not being very sensitive. Not keen on the large pan design. 10 yr warranty on bearings/pedal electronics (5 yrs on the rest). The ST is smaller than the ST-X but also cheaper.
I understand at that at a certain point, it would be best to try these...
Being in Chicago, I could only find one location with displays and they only have the shimpo. So it not an option apparently....If anyone knows of somewhere I could try the other ones in this list, I would love to know.
I have been leaning towards the TS prodigy but I am worried I may regret not having the reverse switch. I feel like I may enjoy having the option as I am sometimes more comfortable with my left hand. Noise issue also a concern. I like quiet.
Other choice is the shimpo VS lite, which I will get to try later this week.
Any one able to weigh in on this?
Anything else I missed as far as differences?