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Thoughts on the Shimpo VL Whisper?


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#1 Benzine

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:05 PM

Anyone have experience with this wheel? I'm a fan of the electric Brents myself, but these seem very similar. I have a Shimpo RK in my classroom, which is a good wheel, but that's my only experience with the brand.
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#2 bciskepottery

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:16 PM

I love mine. Great foot pedal response. And I love the quiet. I had been using an older Shimpo in a community studio and preferred it over the Brents that were available (mostly Model Bs, with a couple Cs). When I decided to get my own wheel, I felt comfortable getting a Whisper. Costs a bit more, but it seems worth it. The splash plan is an improvement over the earlier models.

#3 Benzine

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:58 PM

Excellent.

I'm not sure, if I'll get one for certain, but I am in the market for a wheel, and I want to get a quality one that lasts.
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#4 Mark C.

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:17 AM

I know folks like those wheels how is the service network side of this brand? Just something to look into.
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#5 Natania

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 06:12 AM

I have a friend who has one which I've been coveting because of the "whisper" aspect. It is so darn quiet. He's had it for a while nd no problems yet, but since it isn't mine I can't reallly vouch for its other characteristics.

#6 JBaymore

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

We have a lot of Whispers in the college's studio alongside a lot of Brent Cs and CXCs.

On the plus side....... Whispers are AMAZINGLY quiet. Great for a large classroom full of students throwing.

The minus side.... when I have done larger throwing demos (25-50 pounds) I have found the wheel to not have a lot of torque without using higer revs. And even then it is no match for a CXC. And since I am a strong advocate of a bit slower wheel speeds when throwing....... really a pain.

Plusses and minusses.

best,

...............john
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#7 Chris Throws Pots

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:58 AM

Anyone have experience with this wheel? I'm a fan of the electric Brents myself, but these seem very similar. I have a Shimpo RK in my classroom, which is a good wheel, but that's my only experience with the brand.



I run a community clay studio that has a dozen Pacifica GT400s, a Brent CXC and a Shimpo VL Whisper. The Brent and the Shimpo are the favorite wheels (no surprise) amongst our members and students.

One thing to consider, as it sounds like your new wheel is headed for a classroom: The electrical connection on the Whisper is a bit delicate. It's almost like a big cable coaxial cord. We shift wheels around the space from time to time... our Whisper's cord broke in one of these reconfigurations. It was easily repaired with superglue, but depending on how often you move wheels to clean/reorganize your space/set your space up for specific classes, it would be something to keep in mind. The new splash pan design is great and the noise level... what noise?

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#8 justanassembler

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

I know folks like those wheels how is the service network side of this brand? Just something to look into.
Mark


I have personally met and know some of the staff @ shimpo ceramics usa, they are top shelf folks who are stand behind their products--I own and have thrown on an RK whisper for the last 4 years and love it. John is correct about the torque with larger amounts of clay, but I am rarely throwing with more than 20lbs at a time, so for me it is not a concern. The quiet is nice as is the free wheeling when not under power.

#9 R Fraser

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:36 PM

I love mine, and the free wheel feature is actually pretty cool. I have not noted bogging when throwing larger bits of clay though I must admit I do not often ask the wheel to spin more than 30 pounds. It is very quiet. I like it much more than the Pacifica 400 I was using. I threw on Brents in a studio and prefer my Shimpo.
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#10 neilestrick

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:41 PM

I agree with John. Very low torque. The first time I saw one, to test it I grabbed the wheel head while it was spinning and it stopped. Personally, I don't like how quiet it is. I like to hear my wheel a little bit.
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#11 Pres

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

I agree with John. Very low torque. The first time I saw one, to test it I grabbed the wheel head while it was spinning and it stopped. Personally, I don't like how quiet it is. I like to hear my wheel a little bit.


I also agree with John. I used a Whisper in another HS for a demo day. I tried starting out with 15lb at my usual slower centering speed, and found I needed to speed it up or stop the wheel head. Was nice and quiet, but higher speeds made it-sloppy. I used to use a CI HP in a studio full of Bailey 1HP wheels, the CI worked better for my style of throwing. At home I use a CXC.

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#12 neilestrick

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:45 PM

I have 11 Thomas Stuarts in my studio. All but one are the 1/3hp models, and have a centering capacity of 75 pounds. They never slow down. The huge splash pans do a great job of keeping the studio clean.
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#13 Benzine

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:47 PM

I appreciate all the replies, a lot of good information to think about.

I don't plan to use anything more than fifteen pounds of clay, so the torque shouldn't be an issue.

The wheel will actually be for my home studio, as I don't have one. I'd like some more, for my classroom, but I don't have that in the budget right now, nor do I have space for them.
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#14 Dirty Scot Pottery

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:32 AM

Anyone have experience with this wheel? I'm a fan of the electric Brents myself, but these seem very similar. I have a Shimpo RK in my classroom, which is a good wheel, but that's my only experience with the brand.


I have a couple of friends that like it but I personally have one issue. I will preface this with the fact that I am a large man at 300lbs. When I sat down to throw on it I put 15lbs of clay on and proceeded to center. I found the wheel slowing down as I centered the clay. I have a Pacifica from Laguna Clay in my studio and have used all the Brent wheels from B on up without this ever happening.

#15 neilestrick

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:19 PM

Attached File  torque.gif   7.58KB   48 downloads
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#16 JBaymore

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:17 PM

Attached File  torque.gif   7.58KB   48 downloads


Interesting graph, Neil.... where'd you find it?

I am assuming Torque figures. Do you know at what RPM?

best,

...................john
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#17 mregecko

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

Interesting graph, Neil.... where'd you find it?

I am assuming Torque figures. Do you know at what RPM?

best,

...................john


Also interested to hear where it's from / how they measured / units / etc.

Speaking from personal experience, I love the VL Whisper, but have to agree with other posters that at 10-15+ lbs of clay the torque can die out while centering. Anything less than that I've never had a problem with, but even at max revs I can slow it almost to a stop very easily.

#18 neilestrick

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 06:00 PM

HERE
It's from the Skutt/TS web site. Tom Forte had this done some years ago before he sold Thomas Stuart to Skutt. He bought up a bunch of wheels and had them tested by some independent motor labs. Having thrown on almost every wheel on the chart, I agree with the findings. My 1/3hp TS wheels can handle more clay than any CXC I've thrown on.

Ceramics Monthly (if i remember correctly) did a wheel comparison a few years back, but all they did was talk about price and features, and never did any actual testing of power. It was pretty disappointing. It was basically a bid ad for the wheel manufacturers.

I threw on a Soldner wheel for a couple of years. That's a really nice piece of equipment. Tons of power from a very small motor, and silky smooth. The lack of decent splash pan was always on issue, though. And they're not cheap.
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#19 OffCenter

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 06:50 PM

I've owned two Shimpos and now use a Brent EX (1.5 hp). I've used a Thomas Stuart and really liked it a lot. Probably the only wheel better than a Thomas Stuart is the Soldner (never owned one but ran one through a lot of test for someone setting up a classroom). I don't use splash pans (sponge between water bowl and wheel head instead) so I really dislike the built-in spash pan for the Thomas Stuart and, for me, the Soldner coming without a spash pan is a big plus, but it's so well built and runs so smoothly that it would still be my first choice even it it did come with a splash pan in the way.

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#20 JBaymore

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 09:01 PM

I throw pretty dry also... so the spash pan for my ancient CXC was lost to memory long ago.

And I remove the spash pans on the Brents and the Shinmpos at the school when I am demo-ing.

I'd HATE a wheel with an integrated splash pan of some sort. They limit wheelhead access and negatively affect hand position a bit on certain forms.

best,

.....................john
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