Brand Reviews

9.8 Total Score

The Top Brands
I have 4 brands I evaluate to be doing all the right things or close to it. Master, Artesian, PDC and Coast. These companies are spending the money on building good reliable tubs instead of cutting corners and relying on marketing. If you are looking to buy a Hot Tub I suggest doing some research on these four and finding one that meets what you want. If you have any questions come talk with me at Buyers Assistance

Master Spas – Brand Review
These are one of the best brands out there, especially for high end therapy tubs. Watch me take a look at my own Twilight Series 8.2 hot tub! High flow therapy jets, Hand rolled self supporting shells, Balboa flow control systems and more.

PDC Spas- Brand Review/Factory tour
I recently toured PDC’s factory and they have a great manufacturing process, well designed tubs with solid shells, OEM parts and very high quality control.  

Artesian Spas – Brand Review
Artesian builds to a high standard and doesn’t cut any corners. These tubs are long lasting and reliable.

Coast Spas – Review Coming soon
Coast has been working hard the last few years and I like what I’m seeing from them. I was supposed to be out to check out their factory and spas so I can get you guys the inside info on how they build their tubs and different lines but that’s on hold for now.

All the Rest

Arctic Spa – Brand Review
I’m not a fan of this brand, they make a good shell and have nice marketing but use proprietary heating and control systems as well as thin perimeter insulation. Too much spent on marketing and not enough on building a good tub.

Beachcomber – Brand Review
This brand is a mixed bag. I find it really overpriced by a long shot, that being said they build to the right standard. Balboa control and heating system, waterways jets, hand-rolled self-supporting shells, and glued and clamped plumbing lines. This is all the stuff I like to see in a Top Tub! I’ll look at some of the other good and bad parts of this brand inside.

Bullfrog – Brand Review
Bullfrogs, like most bands, are a bit of good a bit of bad and a bit of ugly. Those goofy pods really limit the area where the jetting can go. and are so expensive to replace. Pretty good parts list compared to some brands and decent performance on their upper end but the shell construction is another thing to be worried about with these guys, too many failures with the ABS pedestal supported build.

Dynasty Spa – Brand Review
Video Review, I rank the electronic and flow control system, check out performance, price, insulation and plumping. Cradle supported which creates stress points! Great appearance but we take a look underneath and show you what is really going on.

Marquis – Brand Review
I was recommending them for a long time based on a quick look and a lot of promises from the factory, but I’ve stopped thanks to the reasons in this review. Got a brand new Vector 21 tub, one of their upper lines and wasn’t happy with what I saw.

Strong Spas (Costco) – Brand Review
Video Review, one of my first videos and biggest hits, this one made the Reddit Front Page when it was posted! Check it out for yourself to see what we are all about.

QCA Spas – Brand Review
Break down on all the major parts and construction.

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How about The Champlain by Adirondack Spas?

Hi Tracey
The Adirondack Champlain spa, looks like a rebrand of the Saratoga Champlain, same tub different name, whichever, not one we would recommend…

Chris, how come you have no reviews or opinions about Jacuzzi? And what do you think of that brand? Specifically the j-300 series.

Hi Derek Jacuzzi is in a weird place with us right now, they used to build low to mid-grade tubs but over the last couple of years they have changed a lot of how they do things. Now they are, on paper anyway, doing a lot of things right. The only reason we do not have them on our go-to list is that we have not yet been able to get our hands on one to tear it apart and confirm it. We are working on that but getting a tub that is a standard customer spec, in other words,… Read more »

Yes, delays due to the pandemic are a bit challenging. Makes sense Kevin, thank you. Do you guys have any thoughts on Jacuzzi vs Bullfrog? In other posts, I noticed Chris is not keen on Bullfrog due to mold issues. I’m currently looking at the Jacuzzi j-345 or j-335 vs Bullfrog R7 but am steering towards Jacuzzi due to that potential for mold. Would really appreciate your insights! …Have looked at Master Spa and Artesian but there just aren’t any dealers in my city (London, Ont.) so the selection of quality tubs is limited.

Hi Derek
Bullfrog, isn’t a bad tub per say, but as mentioned the ‘Jet Packs’ are not a great idea, just stay away from the models with that system.
Of the two Jacuzzi models you list, I would suggest the J-335, on the basis it doesn’t have the stupid foot blaster dome.. You will be forever kicking the dome or falling over it as you get in and out of the tub!

Hi Chris, our Coast Spa is nearly 18 years old. It has been great! We live in London, Ontario. Splashworks is the dealer in London. We have also looked at Master spas, closest dealer is one hour drive. We also looked at Bullfrog, Porky’s is the dealer in London. Any suggestions?

Hi Bill
Master Spa as I’m sure you are aware, is a top-quality brand, but you pay for that. On the face of it so is Bullfrog, but my advice would be to steer well clear of any Bullfrog that has the ‘Jet Pack System’ its been know to collect water behind the unit, which in then goes nasty, and grows all sorts of mold etc… For service, we recommend where possible to have your dealer no more than 20 to 30 miles away max. Once you get to 40 or 50 miles away, it may as well be 1000.

Looking at the Saratoga Spas L50. What are your thoughts on it? I can’t find any reviews.

Hi Christina
Maybe you missed my comments from yesterday, here is what I said.
Saratoga is a bit of an unknown, From looking at the spec sheet, performance wise you can tell they are middle of the road, they don’t say who makes the heating and control system, which kind of suggests, that it not going to be top end quality. It’s a brand we need to get hold off and do a full evaluation. But that’s not going to be anytime soon, with all the restrictions the market is facing with supply due Covid.

Hi. I think it posted my question twice by accident. So you’d recommend paying more (and waiting) for an Artesian (thinking Grand Cayman or Piper Glen) over the Saratoga Spa?

Hi Christina
I’m confident with recommending anything by Artesian, Saratoga is still a bit of an unknown, waiting for quality, or getting a quick deal… Id wait.

Just wanted to say thanks for the info and the great videos on youtube. We ordered a Master Spa from a dealer here Ontario, Canada based off what we saw and read on your site. Although it will take longer, thanks covid, we can’t wait for it to arrive.

Excellent, Quality is worth waiting for…

I live in Orlando and the nearest dealers for any of the highly recommended brands don’t service my area. I did find a retailer that sells Nordic, which seem to be a decent brand (although the other brands they sell are reviewed very badly). It looks like the manufacturers have online ordering, but I’m wondering how the warranty works on online purchases? What would you recommend with so little options?

Hi Heidi Not sure where in Orlando you are, but we can recommend the following for you. The last one is probably too far out? Try and keep to a dealer if you can within 30 miles of your home, the closer the better to be honest. Nordic is a decent enough brand, tend to be basic units, but good strong quality units, without loads of fancy what nots thrown into the spec. Artesian, probably a better bet, although likely to cost a bit more. Orlando Hot Tub Store Jacuzzi Dealer They stock Jacuzzi, it is an up and coming… Read more »

We are pretty much downtown Orlando, so Tri-County and Chemical are way too far. I wouldn’t use Orlando Hot Tub based on poor reviews. I was thinking about using your private buyer service. How does the service/warranty work in that case if one was ordered from the manufacturer? Thank you for all your help!

Hi Heidi
Check out https://www.pdcspas.com/ As they do not have any dealers in your area, we can arrange for you to have a factory direct price with them, via our private buyer service. As for warranty installation etc, we would recommend a local service guy, who would be approved by PDC to install and work on their tubs.

Just bought a house just south of Wilmington, NC. Looking for a reputable dealer in the area. Wilimington is 45 minutes away and Myrtle Beach is about 90. Any suggestions?

Hi Duke
You have a dealer near by that carries a couple of our preferred brands, Look at the PDC, and Jacuzzi range.
Ocean Blue Pools & Spas
30 Covil Ave, Wilmington, NC 28403
http://www.oceanbluepoolsandspas.com
+1 910-799-3022

Have a Coast Cascade II floor model from 2016 available from a dealer who is getting out of the hot tub business altogether. In the Chicago area. Thoughts on how universally serviceable Coast is? That is, would a local reputable hot tub servicer be able to service a Coast easily?
Also, any experience on the Cascade II covers? I assume given the unique nature of these tubs that the covers may be unique/proprietary.
Thanks!

Hi Scott
Coast, Decent enough brand, parts are easily available. Any decent service guy will be able to support you and your tub. I’d just check out the warranty details on a floor model tub, from 2016… its an old tub already!
As for the cover, take out the core, wrap it in a water proof membrane, and tape all the seems, put it back in the cover, and it’ll extend its life by at least two years.

2 months ago I ordered a Starlight 8L which was supposed to come in the next week or two. I just heard it will now be “in the new year”. Needless to say I am mad and feel swindled. I’ve got a lead on a Signature spa and a longshot lead on a Twilight (2 year old used). Should I hold out for the starlight or switch? I live in CT so I’m mostly concerned about the R-value/cost to use. Thank for your input!!!

Hi Gretchen,
When you say you have a lead on… and a longshot lead on a Twighlight. If they are used tubs, be careful. Do you know what sort of life they have had, how well they have been looked after, how well they have been refurbished?. Check out warranty coverage and time scale.
Also you may want to consider our Private Buyer Service, we are often in a position to twist some arms in relation to lead times.

The Twilight is used (they ‘say’ monthly maintained by their dealer). The Signature is new. What is your feeling between the Signature and Starlight? I’ll take the Twilight off the list.

Hi Gretchin
Clearwater is not a tub I would recommend.
It’s going to be the same quality as home depot or any of the other mass merchant price point spas.
Signature is made by the same people that make Catalina, Pinnacle and Tranquility – basically a mass-merchant mid-grade tub with a cradle supported shell, no clamps on the plumbing and poor insulation. There are far better options available
The trick to entry level spas is no bells and whistles… look at the getaway hot tubs… solid build efficient and priced right.

Hi there! We are purchasing a hot tub for the first time and looking for some guidance. We really liked the Maax spas and features that comes with it but the insulation has us on the fence, the 171 model is an all wood frame. Our next option is the 729 model by Artisan Spas. We are located in Kingston Ontario and hoping to stay around an 8k budget. Thanks for your help

Hi Amber, Of those two Spa’s the Artesian is the overall the better quality tub, Id go for that Artesian.

Hi Chris- Thanks for this site, my husband and I have been looking at hot tubs for a few weeks now , and feel overwhelmed by all the choices. We were looking at tranquility and realized it was not a good quality. We were about to pull the trigger on a hot springs relay(husband wants a tub with a lounger), but found your site. We would like a 6 person tub and looking to spend between $6 – $8K, also, we live in Charlotte NC, can’t seem to find dealers with hot tubs at the moment. any thoughts?

Hi Donna, Finding a good dealer with good stock is like finding hens teeth right now. Demand is out stripping supply by about 4 to 1. We might be able to twist a few arms for you and find a decent tub at the right price with reasonable lead times. Have a look at our ‘Private Buyer Service’ We will walk you through the whole process, avoiding the mine fields!, and get you the best deal possible. If we can’t save you at least our fee, then we refund you in full, so you have nothing to lose.

Chris,

I am replacing a 15 year old barefoot tub that is finally done! I have resurrected it a few times but now its time to replace. That being said, I have a good deal on a new Wellis Hercules tub. I did not see any review from you on them. Can you let me know what’s your opinion of these? My Barefoot had a continuous circulator pump. The Wellis Hercules doesn’t. is this an issue?

Thank you for your expertise and time in advance!

Hi John, Stand away from that tub Sir… Wellis is really not a good spa, they are a mass merchant outfit, with poor, at best mid quality fabrication. Things like, hose’s being measured and cut by hand, shells that need cradles to support them, and the plumbing doesn’t even have clamps to secure the pipes. Also, they tend to be loud, the pumps sit on a steel frame, and that tends to resonate the sound and vibration. You’d be much better off with a quality tub from Master Spas, Artesian or PDC, they are going to last an awful lot… Read more »

Live in Park City Utah and looking for a new hot tub. Note that you like Master Spas a lot but impossible to find a dealer in the Salt Lake City area except for the Expo Center

Hi Al, Good dealers are a little thin on the ground in your neck of the woods. But you could try these guys, they are on our ‘All Star’ approved dealer list.
Leisure Pool & Spa
130 36th St, Ogden, UT 84405
leisurepoolandspa.com
+1 801-392-5923
Alternatively, PDC direct is another great option. https://www.pdcspas.com/

Hi Chris – I’ve got our choices down between a Jacuzzi 235 (for $9995 CDN) or a South Seas (by Artesian) for $7999.

Which do you feel is the better hot tub? The better value?

Hi Brad, Jacuzzi is in a weird place with us right now, they used to build low to mid-grade tubs but over the last couple of years they’ve changed a lot of how they do things (it’s almost like they were reading this site) and now they are (on paper at least) doing a lot of things right. The only reason we don’t have them on our go-to list is that we haven’t yet been able to get our hands on one to tear it apart and confirm that. South seas is an Artesian brand and they make solid tubs.… Read more »

Thanks for the feedback! I checked out the South Seas one in person yesterday, and looking at the Jacuzzi today. The South Seas one was nice, but a bit of an odd layout with the filter taking up a lot of space in the tub. Will see what the other one looks like!

Thanks again for replying so quickly yesterday!

Hi Chris. We’ve decided to buy a hot tub and came across your evaluations in Bottom Line. Done, we are going with your recommendation for the BarHarbor SE from MasterSpa. But, not so fast, looking at April delivery 🙁 We would like to stick with the 110 and room for 4 or 5. It’s so confusing to know which brands belong to which mfgr. Any other make/model suggestions along those lines? We are first time buyers, and it seems like an easy category to get misled. We’re in Rochester, NY if you have a dealer recommendation. Thanks for any guidance… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Pennie

Hi Pennie, We have a couple of highly recommended dealers in your area, who we know will take great care of you. Get in touch with these guys Precision Pool and Spa 388 Mason Rd #1b, Fairport, NY 14450 precisionpoolandspa.com +1 585-750-1187 Deep Blue Pool & Spa 4152 W Main Street Rd, Batavia, NY 14020 http://www.deepbluepoolandspa.com If your still unsure of which way to go, you might want to consider our ‘Private Buyer Service’ where take care of the whole process to ensure you get the right tub at the right price, and guarantee to save you at least our… Read more »

Thanks for your response Kevin. Much appreciated!

We are looking at the Artisan Wisteria or South Seas 748L Delux as alternatives for the Master Spas Bar Harbor SE (looking for a reasonable quality plug and play.) Thoughts? Thanks in advance for your perspective!

Last edited 1 month ago by Pennie

Hi Pennie
Artesian’s brands they are great tubs, and excellent value for money, the Master Spa Harbour SE, again a quality tub. I don’t think you can go far wrong with either one to be honest

Thanks so much, Kevin.

Aloha! I live in MD and have been attempting to research swim spas for several months now. There doesn’t seem to be many places locally to see them in person, and online reviews are all over the place. I’ve started seriously considering the Catalina branded swim spas that are now sold by Aqua Living. They ‘look’ nice to me, and the price is competitive. I just found your web site this evening. Do you have any experience or insight on this line of swim spas? I’d love to avoid a very expensive mistake if I can manage to. Thanks!

Between Baltimore & Annapolis.

Hi Pat,

There are a number of good options in your area but I would really recommend our private buyers service for anyone looking at a swim spa. It’s such a large investment that you need to be sure you’re getting quality and if we can’t save you the fee, we will refund it

Thanks! What options would you suggest? We are in the market for something on the smaller side – 12-15 ft. I’d like to get some idea on the local pricing.

Hi Pat, The Master series of swim spas are excellent units and, in your case, I would go with the Therapool Series Swim Spas. Stay away from the Endless – they used to be good until they got bought by a large hedge funs and now profit and marketing are more important to them than building quality units. Check out this link h2xswimspa. Remember this is a big, long term investment, our private buyer service will save you money, and get you the right product.

Thank you. I have started browsing the Master Spa lineup. Do you know if there’s anywhere in my region that I could go to see these spas?

Are you able to comment on the swim experience between the Therapool series and Trainer series? We don’t have any olympic swimmers in the household, but would like to be able to swim at a leisurely to moderate pace without having to use a harness or other apparatus. Thanks!

Hi Pat, Look up these guys.
Hot Tubs Inc.
1925 Norfolk Drive , Owings, MD, 20736
Phone
410-474-8171
Email
sales@hottubsinc.com
Website
http://www.hottubsinc.com

Excellent site. Well written explanations and very informative. I’ve been searching around for a low profile (34″) 5-6 person hot tub because I don’t have much room on my deck for steps. Do you have any recommendations? Dealer recommendations in NH?

Also, how much clearance would you allocate on each side of a tub?

Finding a larger tub with that height is going to be a challenge. Most smaller tubs come in at 34” but as soon as you get to 7 footers you’re at 36-40”. Check out the Clarity line from Master because even the larger units are 36

As for dealers in NH, look up Crocker Sales in Merrimack – they are on our all-star list and they take great care of their customers.

Is it okay to put a hot tub on an asphalt/tarmac driveway directly? Has a little pitch for runoff but not a ton. Hear a lot about pavers, etc but haven’t seen this question answered.

As long as the surface is true with no major bumps or dips you will be fine. True is far more important than level from a structural standpoint. You need to be sure the surface is out no more than about 1/4” or you run the risk of over-stressing the shell

**Addendum** My wife and I are in the market for a hot tub, I just came across your site and very appreciative of it. We do have two small kids 7 & 5, after posting an original discussion I read some of the reviews and have questions. I talked with the wife and she said a recliner is not a must have if the seats are comfortable. Her must haves are strong jets that will focus on her neck, shoulders and hips since she suffers from migraines. With that being said, I think you had mentioned that a Master Spa… Read more »

Hi Bill, replied to this on your other comment.

Any input or feedback on Signature Spa NS-6? Also what are thoughts on SwimSpas? Trying to determine if it’s worth the pricetag

Hi, I was thinking about buying a Thermo Spas hot tub. Are they worth the price tag?

Hi Delvin,

Just minutes ago I posted this to another user but in case you don’t see it……

Signature is made by the same people that make Catalina, Pinnacle and Tranquility – basically a mass-merchant mid-grade tub with a cradle supported shell, no clamps on the plumbing and poor insulation. Thermo-Spa is in the same category and right now it seems everyone is staying home and wanting a new hot tub so even these lower end units are priced wayyy too high. Check out Master Spas, PDC, Artesian or Coast

Lots of excellent reading. Thanks! Two dealers in the greater area of Watkins Glen, NY that I’m interested in dealing with. One is a Jacuzzi dealer exclusively. I’m looking for any advice of the new Jacuzzi Crossover line. The Crossover 740S or the Big EZ. These have a new kind of “stronger” acrylic shell and no wooden frame. The other dealer has Saratoga Spas, a company located here in NY State, so looking for advice on their line as well. There is a PDC dealer about two hours south of me so would be willing to travel that way as… Read more »

On further inspection it appears that Jacuzzi has rebranded some Dreammaker spas as their own in their new Play collection. Any knowledge of Saratoga?

Hi John,
Dreammaker is owned by Jacuzzi and yes they are rebranding the Play Collection.

Saratoga is one of those brands that does a lot right and then screws the pooch on one major thing – in this case, the shell. It’s what they call “ridgidized three layer” which is market-speak for a thin cradle-supported shell. Id’ go for something that has a hand rolled self-supporting fibreglass shell

Hi, I was looking into buying a Master spa hot tub and called them directly. They encouraged me to get an American Whirl pool enterprise series, saying that Master makes these models. A place nearby is also selling the American Whirlpool 171 for 7000. Is American Whirlpool in fact made by Master and what are your feelings about American Whirlpool?
Thank you so much for your time and information!

Hi Dave,

The Master version is called the Legacy Whirlpool and has no relation to the American Whirlpool brand. They used that name which confuses a lot of people and we’ve yelled at them for it but it hasn’t helped…..:)

The Master Legacy is a far better tub than anything by American Whirlpool

Hey there, husband and I considered an arctic spa, the sales tactics didn’t sit well with me (although impressive I may add) so I did more research and stumbled here. Now considering a coast spa as thats the closest we can get to your main suggestions (We’re in Durham region Ontario). Any info on the main components from what you’ve heard? Are they any good?

L1C4x9 thanks so much for your time

If you were to pick one over the other, which one would it be and why? Beachcomber seems more affordable out of the two for us

Thanks a million again

I’d go with the Coast for one reason – the BC has non-removable sides so if you have a leak issue it has to go back to the dealer for repair and guess who gets to pay the transport bill back and forth……….

We live in NY and narrowed down to 3 after much reviewing. Wondering which you would recommend. Bullfrog A7, MasterSpa Twilight 8.25 or Dynasty Topsail? Use includes therapeutic for back and neck issues.
Thanks

Hi Chris,

Drop the Dynasty, it’s just not good quality unit. The BF is better, more middle of the road but if you want good neck and shoulder massage then you have one option in my opinion. The only tub that has the high-flow therapy jets in the neck area is the Twilight. Every other tub has the small low flow high pressure jets that feel good on the skin but do nothing for the muscles underneath. I’ve had a broken neck and know the value of high-quality neck and shoulder massage and there’s really nothing like the Twilight

I’m heading out to look today in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Medina area. Any favorites or experiences here?

Hi Kim,

Check out Best Buy Pool and Spa in Wickliffe, OH. Good dealer with a good brand in Master Spas

Hi there…just curious what your opinion is on a company called Signature Spas? We have been looking at a model called the NS-7 and it appears to meet the criteria of a well built spa as outlined on your site (Balboa controls, Waterways pumps and jets, fully supported shell, and full foam insulation). The only area we can see it falls short is it might only have glued plumbing fittings (not glued and clamped). Now we were pretty well down to deciding between a Coast or a Master Spa until we stumbled upon this brand because it seems comparable by… Read more »

Hi Sean,

The Signature is one of those brands with some good, some bad, as you pointed out (good job on doing your homework!!!!!!)

With a top notch dealer, a middle of the road spa can be a good unit so if the dealer is reliable so do the same due diligence on the dealer that you did on the brand and, if they measure up go for it

Hi
Wondering about your thoughts on aspen spas – specifically the Acadia ? Everything from build quality to cleaning system ?

Aspen would be a no go for me. Cradle supported shell, cheap low R-Value insulation, and some goofy no name heating and control system. There are far better options

Hi,
Great website. I was set on the Beachcomber 710 but am now leaning towards the Coast Classic series Omega lounge. Looking for a few foot jets for sure. Price here is British Columbia is about the same for both. I noticed you never did your Coast review so I was wondering what you think. Thoughts?

Coast is a good unit, better than the BC mainly because of BC putting the damn pumps outside the shell and having nn-removable sides for service (which can turn into a real nightmare down the road) so I’d go for the Coast

Hi! My wife and I were sold on the Sundance Optima until we came across your site. We live in the Pacific Northwest, so we’re slowly starting to learn what our options are. As of right now, we’re looking for something similar to the Optima, but from Artesian, Coast Spas or NorthWind hot tubs.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

We’re located in the 98020 zip code.

Thank you kindly,

Great site. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. A dealer in our area is selling Coast Spas. They have a custom version of the Element Lounger with 40 jets. (instead of the standard 30 or 50). A few other basic things included, like stairs, 4” cover, a couple 3” impulse jets, etc. $7999 USD delivered/installed. Unfortunately they’re at a 12-14 week lead time.

Fair price? Worth the wait considering the state of the market and the seemingly long lead times in general?

Hi Matt,

That’s a good price on a decent unit and 12-14 weeks is actually better than most of the market right now so I’d say you did well!

Hi, I’m in California and considering a spa from Master Spas, Artesian, Arctic and Bullfrog. I like Master Spa LSX900 and 850 but there are no dealers nearby. Is it advisable to buy it over phone without looking at it personally. I also like Artesian Piper Glen elite, Arctic Summit and Bullfrog M9. I’ve wet tested Arctic Summit but Artesian and Bullfrog will not be available to see for at-leat 6-8 months. Which are your thoughts and which one will you recommend in such condition?

Hi Pradeep,

In California you are covered by the biggest spa dealer in the world and with his influence he is able to get spas much more quickly than other dealers but he sells from Spa Expos. The LSX series are great spas and the dealer has a first-rate organization and is backed by factory service so you won’t go wrong with an LSX from them

Thank you, for the response!!

One tip for buyers from Southern California…don’t buy from Coastal Spa and Patio in Placentia. As soon as they have your money, they don’t want anything to do with you. They don’t take time to answer a few quick questions about water chemistry or functions. And they still owe us a start-up chemical kit that I doubt they will ever deliver. Now I understand how important service is, and this company does not deliver it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Judy DeVine

What’s your take on the Fantom from InnovaSpa?

Last edited 1 month ago by D K

Hi DK

That’s a low end unit with a cheap plastic shell. There are far better options out there!

Thanks!

Hello, I live in the town of Erin, Ontario, and am looking at swim spas for exercise purposes, not for hot tub purposes. Its hard to cut through all the marketing hype to get the straight goods on quality, durability, ease of use, and so on. I am considering Endless, Hydopools or Artesian. What is your take on the swim spas I’ve listed, in terms of swim quality (the only reason I want a swim spa), heat retention (especially during the cold Canadian winter), ease of maintenance (I do not want to spend hours cleaning it), and reliability. Is there… Read more »

Hi Miki,

In a swim spa I would honestly not consider any of those brands other than the TidalFit from Artesian. You should also have a look at the H2X line from Master. Look up Premium Wholesale in Mississauga. They are a great dealer and sell the Master Lineup

Thank you. Appreciate your response.

PS: can you kindly explain why the others (Endless and Hydropool) do not stack up to Artesian and Master? I can’t find a review of Endless or Hydropool on this site; unless I am missing it? Thanks.

Hi Miki, As I said to another user today, we don’t endorse any particular brand nor do we recommend against any brand in particular. We endorse a method of making hot tubs and only a few manufacturers follow this method, the rest make sub-standard units and throw money at marketing to promote their tubs. The worst, in my opinion, are the manufacturers who do things that are obviously (to anyone knowledgeable in the industry) sub-standard or old-tech and brand those things as if they are the latest and greatest thing. Hydropool and their “self-cleaning tub” is a prime example of… Read more »

Thank you again for clarifying… much clearer to me now. 🙂

I’m in Maryland and was quoted roughly $9800 for a PDC Denali, delivered and set up with standard cover, lifter, steps, WAVE WiFi controller, and starter chemical package. Seem reasonable?

Any thought on the Four Winds spa? Looking at a Honolulu 2 as a first hot tub, but not a lot of reviews online. The only thing I found here is an article about different type of insulation used in spas and mentioned four winds as one of the ones using the best style of insulation.

Hi Neal,

Four Winds is not a terrible brand and they do have good insulation but the weak point is the cheap shell and they have had some issues with it, in particular with leaks at the jet housings after 3-4 years

Im in the market for a spa. The problem I am having is availability. A local dealer that sells Master Spas is pushing their own model that they say is built by Master, its called the Crocker Spa. I’ve also looked at a Saratoga Spas model R45, Bullfrog Model X7, and Whirlpool America Model 270. All models are readily available, and around the same price, with the exception of the Crocker which has a 7 month lead time. What are your thoughts? Thanks so much, you input is greatly valued.

Hi Garrett, With Covid it seems many people are stuck at home so they’re all buying new hot tubs and that has the market crazy right now with high prices and long lead times on anything decent. There are a couple of dealers who are large enough for Master to make a spa specifically for them and Crocker is one of those dealers – it’s a good quality spa. Of the other three the only one I’d consider is the Bullfrog (but stay away from the jetpack system). It’s a mid level tub that I think is overpriced but better… Read more »

I was wondering what your thoughts are on Bullfrog R7 (I know the ABS shell is not preferred). We are debating between this hot tub and the Beachcomber 590 LE. Both are similar prices. Also because living in a cold climate (Alberta) will these survive running in -40C Temps.

You are incorrect. Bullfrog does indeed have several neck jet options.

Hi Steven,

It’s bot the fact of having neck jets, it’s a question of the type of jets. Most have the tiny 1 inch high pressure jets that feel good but don’t flow enough water to do any significant muscle massage and very few tubs have the larger 3 inch high-flow jets that actually have therapeutic value

I’m in Kelowna and I had my heart set on a TS8.25 but the prices are up to $16,500 with delivery in March 2021…We did find an Artesian Captiva 33 with foot blasters from a dealer here for about $9,200, which is a much more attractive price. And it looks to be delivered in September if everything goes to plan.

Are we sacrificing a lot compared to the master spa? $7k and 8 months is quite the premium.

Thanks!

Hi Nathan, The twilight has better therapy simply because every jet in it is a high-flow therapy jet but they are both well-built tubs. Is the Twilight a better tub? Yes (mainly due to the therapy benefits) is it a 7K better tub – nope. The Artesian is a well-built tub and Artesian does all the right things in building their hot tubs so you won’t go wrong with it. Having said that, the Master dealer in Kelowna is one of the best dealers we’ve ever encountered – those guys go way above and beyond in taking care of their… Read more »

Hi Chris, Thanks for your awesome material. I cannot wait to buy a house mostly so that I can buy a hot tub! I’ve been researching and researching and most of what I’ve found online in terms of best brands were for hotsprings and jaccuzzi….UNTIL I came to your website and came across Master Spas. My understanding is that you feel that hot springs sort of cheap out on the materials? If I am in Central New York (Syracuse area) do you have a dealer that you would recommend that can get me a Master Spa (or other good quality… Read more »

Hi Jarrod, Hot Springs is a no go for a lot of reasons but mainly due to the cheap, proprietary parts list. Jacuzzi is kind of a different story because they used to be on our do not buy list but that is changing. Over the last two years they have changed a lot about how they build their tubs and judging by the changes they have made, they’ve been reading this site……:) We are in the process of re-evaluating the brand based on what they are doing now – hand rolled self supporting shell, Balboa controls, waterways pumps and… Read more »

Hi, I am wondering what is your pick between Master Spas and Artisian Spas? Would you recommend a lounger in the spa? Finally, what are your thoughts on Aqua Master Spa? I never heard of them, that is why I am asking the question.

How are Aquamaster spas? Particularly the bravo model? They are sold through beachcomber in my area and I cannot find any reviews on them.

Hello – wondering what dealers in Columbus Ohio that you might recommend- seems as though I don’t have a lot of the brands available in my area with a dealer local for service. Any help or advixe is welcomed

Hi Scott,

Columbus is one of those areas that doesn’t have a lot of options for a quality spa but there is Wet and Wild Pools and Spas in Heath, OH. They sell nordic which is a pretty good brand. Check out our private buyers service as well though and we should be able to get you a great deal on something factory direct

Good day Gentlemen, My name is Robert and so happy that I found this site what a wealth of info!!! I’m patiently waiting to see review on the Coast hot tubs. I have a Coast dealer in my home town in British Columbia but the Master dealer is 2&1/2 Hr. highway drive. Do you think that may be a problem to get service when needed. I really want to get a really good massage tub that I can sprawl out in!! Not sure if Master 6.2 is large enough or if I should go to the 7.2 Also I like… Read more »

Hi Matt

My name is Monique, I am from Sarnia, Ontario. My husband Tom and I are considering purchasing a MAAX 480 but are also looking at Sunrise 870. We like that they both have steel frames, natural fibre insulation, 56 frame pump, serviceability…your thoughts?

Thanks,

Monique and Tom

Hi Monique, Maax is a company that makes everything from doors to tubs and I never trust the jack-of-all-trades type operation. They’re no doubt great with acrylic but there is far more that goes into spa than the acrylic and steel frames always make me cringe because I’ve seen so many rust and rot over the years. A 56 frame pump is a size rating and has no bearing on the pump brand or quality so you want to make sure it is a Waterways pump. Too many questions there. Sunrise is a middle to low end brand with perimeter… Read more »

I sent in a long post several days ago that was marked as waiting for approval. I don’t see it now – did you get it? Do I need to rewrite the entire thing again? Please advise, thanks.

Ok, good to know. I was confused because it was listed as “waiting for approval” but now I don’t even see it. Will wait, thank you! 🙂

Hi Chris,

Trying to decide on an artesian or Coast hot tub. Do you have a preference? The artesian dealer is more big box – American Sale, and Coast is a smaller dealer although much further away, but they are reputable. We’re looking in the $8000-$9000 price range. Thanks in advance.

Hi Matt,

Both good tubs but, personally, I would always go with the best dealer. If you cultivate a good relationship with a reputable dealer (buy your chems from them etc.) then even a poor tub becomes good and a good tub becomes great

Any experience with the Radiance 8L hot tub?

Hi Chris,
What do you think of Cal Spas?
Thank you!

Hi Chris,
Thank you for the helpful information! After considering your reply/reviews, we ended up with the Artisian Tropic Seas Rio, $7500.

We contributed via the ‘Funding Page’!

Best,
Sean

Hi Sean,

Cal Spas are middle of the road units with lots of fancy marketing. There are better (and worse) options. If you go with the Cal stay away from anything with the U-Select and pay close attention to air vs water jets. Air jets do nothing for massage other than create bubbles

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