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Bailey Pro Xl vs Shimpo Vl Whisper


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Hello,

I want to takl a few lessons here and there, and I want to setup something to spend time more at home. I want to do this once and get a decent wheel :)

I really liked Bailey's splash pan, it's really appealing to be able to clean easily. However I'm a bit concerned that I don't see Bailey sold everywhere, making me wonder if they are in any way less reputable than other brands? The other wheel which I had in mind before I saw the Bailey was the Shimpo VL Whisper... If you were to choose between these, would you say I could go wrong with either? Brent also seems to have many options - but a bit more expensive.

 

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Bailey makes their own wheels, and sells them from their store, the reason you don't see Bailey's everywhere. I have used them, bought them, and found them to be great wheels. . . not as great as maybe a Brent CXC, or a Stuart top end, but still good work horses. I purchased 4 over a few years for a school studio in the 90's, and they are still cranking in that studio even now. . .I am the only one retired.

 

More info might help. . . a search on the main menu of the forum will bring up many wheel related posts. Of which one is the following:

best,

Pres

 

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I have a Bailey ST entry level (lowest price) wheel.  I love the big splash pan, which on this wheel is removable. My Bailey doesn't make a lot of noise, even at its top speed.   I got mine second hand and didn't know much about wheel brands at the time.  One Bailey  ad in Ceramics Monthly a few years ago bragged about how Alfred U replaced a studio's worth of wheels with top of the line Baileys.

I've needed new belts and a new potentiometer over the years.  These parts cost less than $20 each.  I contacted Bailey and described what the wheel was doing wrong.  The tech diagnosed and prescribed immediately.  The new parts came within a week, complete with easy directions.

I've used Shimpo Whispers in classes and like how they stop and start instantly, and they are as quiet as the name implies.  But I've also heard a story about someone who had to send to Japan for a new part.

Cynthia

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  • 1 year later...

Like everything else I would say you could find someone who is unhappy with any brand of wheel.  I currently own a Brent CXC and I simply cannot get it adjusted to my liking.  It doesn't go slow only fast and very fast.  I bought it used and hopefully will soon be without it.  I have a feeling there isn't a lot wrong but I am tired of dealing with the same old problems.  I have been told there cannot be a lot wrong with a wheel.

I am looking at the Bailey ST-XL and maybe the Whisper.  I am an older potter and seem to be loosing strength in my arms.  I wanted a Whisper until someone else recommended the Bailey.  I like how it has easy to keep clean and to clean out.  

I am concerned as well as a previous writer about the Bailey.  It doesn't have a lot of reviews and it isn't sold anywhere else.  If anyone has a recommendation for me please respond. My next step is to look at the manuals for both.  

Thanks so much...Confused

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Hi Debi!

The Brent wheels at our local JC ceramic lab (models B, C, CXC) go slowly enough to dap slip, and ramp up smoothly from there.

I have a Skutt wheel - have tweaked the controller a bit for higher max rpm; just wanted a bit more speed for chattering small diameter pieces. My guess would be the Brent controller has similar adjustments...

Looks like there are two adjustments in the foot pedal https://s3.amazonaws.com/amacobrent/section_images/attachments/3058/original_Brent-Manual_Rev09_18.pdf?1575387322 (see page seventeen) and three "pots" on the control board.

A call to Brent might be a good start?

I've only "driven" Brent (models B,C,CXC, and an old A) and Skutt (Hill model) wheels -  seems like they are both Cadillac, particularly the CXC and, of course, my Skutt.

Several regular posters to this forum like their Bailey wheels. If you have a chance to test drive, take it!

 

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I've got the Bailey ST-XL, there are couple things I've changed with it. I throw standing so added some leg extensions, super easy to do as I had some round table legs that fit right into the hollow pipe legs of the wheel. Since I throw standing and like the foot pedal to stay on the floor I added a length of redi-rod with a knob on the top to the pedal. Also, I found the wheel to be much slower at top speed than my old Shimpo Master that I was used to, there is an adjustment you can do that is fairly straightforward to increase the top speed. I love the large splash pan, I also like that the one I bought is removable as I do change claybodies once in a while.

edit: one other reason I bought one with the removable splash pan is for when I trim wide platters that don't fit inside the splashpan. I know you can use an extension to raise a batt above the splashpan but I didn't want to do that. I remove the pan and put a piece of plastic film on the floor to the right of the wheel. Trimmings land on the plastic which I then just bundle up and dump the trimmings into my recycle bucket. The ergo counter is a nice little bonus too.

 

Edited by Min
added a thought
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Being a west coast guy, I'm late to the party, but have recently come to the conclusion that Bailey's is the best to deal with ceramic supply distributor.  Expensive, maybe.  Shipping is a killer to the west coast, but I got a return phone call from David Bailey.  Can't beat that.

To me, service is king.

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I have two Bailey's Pro X.

A few years ago I inherited a Shimpo VL-Whisper. Then last year some I knew wanted to start throwing so I lent her the Whisper with the understanding that she can keep it as long as she is still throwing or decides to buy her own.

We both like the Bailey's better

Back in January one of my Bailey's started ticking when the wheel was in motion. I called Bailey and he asked me to make sure the bolts holding the motor were tight, they were and he promptly sent me a new motor and a return ticket for the old motor.

If I where to buy another wheel, it would be a Bailey 

 

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On 5/8/2020 at 3:13 PM, DebiV said:

I wanted a Whisper until someone else recommended the Bailey.  I like how it has easy to keep clean and to clean out.  

didn't read all the post but we have 2 whisperers. They are quiet. I am hard of hearing so that really matters to me. Others like the louder wheels and there might be other reasons. If you throw really large pots then the torque might matter but if you throw what 99% of potters usually throw then the quality is prob fine for either as they are two of the most popular wheels for studio potters and numbers wise I think the shimpo is the number one wheel being bought. 

Edited by Stephen
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I have 3 VL-Whispers and one  old Brent  B in my studio,  I really like the VLs.  My oldest is over 15 years old and my newest is just about 1 year old.  I've found them to be extremely reliable, and I love how quiet they are compared to the Brents.  The lower noise level is especially nice when classes are going  and all the wheels are in use at once.  Also nice that the wheel turns freely with the motor stopped.  The Vl-Whisper may not have has much torque as some of the others, but it can easily center 25 pounds.  I have had to order a replacement controller board a number of years ago.  It arrived in about 2 weeks.  When I had to order a replacement board for the Brent, it took about the same.  I've not used a Bailey wheel, so can't really comment on them.

 

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I  added 4 Bailey's my last years at the H.S. purchased through my Adult Cabin buster weekend classes. The Bailey's were very popular with the kids and the adults. They worked well for me torque wise, and I really didn't notice much sound problem. However, in my later years I should have had hearing aids (couldn't afford), in the last few years I have been asked back in on Winter weekends helping the HS teacher, and find that the Bailey's needed belts, which I told the teacher about and replaced them.  The CI HP that was there since before the Bailey's has never had a belt replaced, and has never needed it. It is quieter than my CXC, and the Bailey's but not by much.  As far as torque and centering power goes the Baileys and the CI HP had great torque and I could not stop them. However the 6th wheel in the HS is a CI MP, and while I can outright stop it, most students could not. I had a tendency to test all of the wheels out with 25# to center and throw, If they couldn't I would not use them for demonstrating, and would double check them for belt, pedal or motor adjustments.

 

best,

Pres

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