Master Spas – Brand Review

Master Spas – Brand Review

Master spa:

Master Spas are one of the best brands out there, hand-rolled self supporting shells, full foam, clamped plumbing and top of the line parts. These guys have been big players in the industry for a long time and while they don’t market as much as some other brands they spend that money building better tubs.

Master flew us out to tour the whole operation, doors open, allowed to talk to staff everything, 100% clarity so when we say something about this brand we can say it standing on firm ground. These guys have nothing to hide which is rare in this industry, they can be a bit more on the expensive side but I would suggest spending it upfront instead of down the road with a cheaper tub.

Master is sometimes hated in the industry or online, it is mostly biased attack marketing though and I explain why. They do these big expo sales where they come into local markets and sell hundreds of tubs then leave which drives local dealer nuts so there is a ton of backlash on rating sites, forums etc… read this article

If you really want some mad therapy massage spas go look at the Twilight series from Master. The TS series performance wise stands out, it has a dozen of the high flow jets and all the rest are mid flow and there are none of the cheap low flow jets. It has an amazing wrap around neck jet system using 4 mid flow therapy jets and those massive jets in the floor are insane, you can divert an entire 6 hp pump to those jets and for feet, hips, legs and lower back those monster jets are the best.

 

Video Review

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Steven
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Steven

Chris – could you help me understand the Masterspa filters? Looks like the water that goes into the bottom intakes does not get filtered. I guess that is a common design (two suction returns, only one filtered). But also, when I remove the filters, it seems like I should have an attachment for a garden hose, that connects to the bottom of the filter, so that I can BACK-wash them, instead of “hosing them off” which would seem to push dirt further INTO the filter. TIA!

admin
Admin

Hi Stephen. its a great idea and we looked at that but… the volume of water needed to flush them out like this would be massive 🙂 using a good tool like the dishwasher or a filter flosser cleans them really well and easily…

Scott Heyer
Guest
Scott Heyer

Hello Chris. I am in the market for a hot tub in Central Oregon (Bend). I came across your site & found it extremely helpful in educating me on what to look for in a tub. Great info. Based upon your reviews I would like to purchase a Master Spa but it appears there is not a Dealer in the general area. Looks like Master may come to the Deschutes County Fairgrounds (Redmond OR) on occasion to hold a special sale, but I worry about service down the road if needed. Is there another quality brand having a local or… Read more »

admin
Admin

they must have been running that Expo for a while because there are three independent hot tub service repair centers within 20 miles of you so service probably is not going to be an issue. there Is also an Artesian dealer at Bend Hearth & pool they’re a pretty good brand as well

Scott Heyer
Guest
Scott Heyer

Thanks Chris. And thank you again for the product education you provide on your site. Great stuff. All the best to you.

admin
Admin

Thanks, Scott, happy hot tubbing!

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hey Chris thanks so much for your reviews, they are definitely clearing the muddy waters of buying a hot tub! I have read most of your comments below, in particular the ones regarding Master Spa as that is the brand I am looking at here in Calgary at Empress Hot Tubs. I read and watched the video you did of your Master Spa and with regards to the insulation, I understand that the Icynene is great stuff and having the tub and lines covered is great for heat retention, but what about the pump? I’ve been given a few different… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Hi Chris! Great website, I really appreciate all the reviews and info on what to look for in a quality tub. Recently looked at a Master Spa HL628L. Including the cover, steps, initial chem, and delivery they quoted us $7k US. No way to comparison shop around our area, so I’m wondering, is this a decent price? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

admin
Admin

Sorry for the delay I’ve been volunteering all month for a bunch of kids at spring training.. damn near killed me 🙂

good price man

Jeffrey f. Kelaghan
Guest
Jeffrey f. Kelaghan

Does anyone know if Crocker Portsmouth is a good spa…They say its Master Spa but dont see the crocker portsmouth on the site?

admin
Admin

crocker for some reason private brands the line… but yeah its the same spa. it’s a CLarity Balance 8

Preston
Guest
Preston

Chris I came across your site while researching for a new hot tub and it is awesome! Funny thing is my wife and I went to one of those hot tub expos you mentioned in your video. Their sales staff were very easy to work with and we left there happy and with a new Twilight series spa! We opted against the Fusion Air Stereo as it was nearly $700 but had them throw in the WiFi module (which I hope will eventually have a skill for Alexa soon). In looking into other sound options such as Bluetooth speakers, I… Read more »

Andrew S
Guest
Andrew S

Hi Chris,

I am looking into getting a Master Spa Clarity Balance 7— is $8400 + tax Canadian a reasonable price for a 2018 model, including steps and delivery?

admin
Admin

Yeah good price doesn’t get any better it should be ~~$10k ish

Amber Kuettel
Guest
Amber Kuettel

I bought a Bar Harbor SE 110 system. I told the salesperson that I was looking for a hot tub that I could use in the deep winter in central Oregon as I am a firefighter and the whole family is and we wanted a nice hot tub for after we have been on car crashes for hours. I got the tub and was shocked at how long it took to heat up and how fast it loses temperature. I also didnt realize we would not be able to all the jets on all 5 seats at the same time.… Read more »

admin
Admin

Hi Amber

the problem with all 100v plug in tubs is exactly that there simply is not enough available power to keep up with the heat loss…

yes, it is easily solved by hard wiring it. and will remedy you problem.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Chris, Looking for a great hydro therapy hot tub. Would like lounger but not a deal breaker, if there is a better tub with good seating. I have an Island Artesian now and I put all the power to one or two seats. It has 2-4.5hp pumps and its ok, but looking for a lot more if there is such a thing in hot tubs. Looking for a 7 to 8′ tub. What model do you recommend in the Master Spa? or other brands. I am in Northern IL north of Chicago.

admin
Admin

Hey Paul All tubs do good Hydrotherapy (hot water therapy) but for massage therapy, you need to look for the big jets not the number of jets 🙂 read this on what makes a good therapeutic massage spa. Personally, I sit in a Twilight spa every day, for long term muscle tension relief it rocks. Go see these boys.. they do a great job. Master Spas of Southern WI 2242 W Bluemound Road Suite A, Waukesha, WI, 53186 Phone 414-607-8827 Fax :414-607-8826 Email kwhueff@gmail.com Remove Details from Google Maps 2242 W Bluemound Rd Suite A, Waukesha, WI 53186 masterspaswi.com +1… Read more »

Paul
Guest
Paul

Chris, I did not know the term that I was looking for, but it is Massage Therapy. Thanks for the reply and the great site. Great information in helping us lay people figure out what spa will work best. I was very close in purchasing on either a Bullfrog A8 or the Hot Spring vanguard until I read through this site. I ended up getting a Master Spa TS 8.2 and its set to be delivered this week. I did not see the post and recommendation for the dealer in WI till late last night so did not get from… Read more »

admin
Admin

thanks, Paul I’ll email you over some info. this sheet will take into account the eco pure filter and the chems and give you an easy solution.

You can buy the spa marvel here: the rest of the chems any local spa shop will have.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Hi Chis,

Thanks so much for your site… it was very helpful in sorting out the good from the bad in the crazy hot tub sales process. We are about to pull the trigger on a Master Spa 7.2. Can you explain the advantages of the Master twin filter system relative others in the industry particularly the canister style that Coast Spa puses?
Thanks

Kevin

admin
Admin

Hi Kevin All filters filter really well. People love the sound of a “pressure filter” housing, heck it’s filtered under pressure! It must be good! The reality is almost all of the industry has moved away from this filtration system and moved on to “suction side” filtration. There is one big difference between the two systems: On older “pressure filter” systems the water is filtered on the pressure side of the pump and on suction side filtration it is filtered on the suction side of the pump! That means that on the pressure filter system the water goes through the… Read more »

Kathy
Guest
Kathy

Chris do you recommend slipcovers as a second skin for the existing cover. I have a twilight eight footer

admin
Admin

It’s always a good call on any cover. All hot tub covers suck… The regular ones fail because fo water ingress or snow load and the FRP covers are too heavy and fail because they destroy the vinyl Pro tip: 1. Take any new hot tub cover and unzip it and remove the cores 2. Take a roll of Tuck tape (The red tape they use when they build a house to seal the vapor barrier, or any tape used to tape seams in vapor barriers on houses) 3. tape around all the edges and all the seams The manufacturers… Read more »

Jim Griffin
Guest
Jim Griffin

We are considering purchasing a used Caldera spa, Geneva model, 2013, From the second owner. It is set up inside his garage and is currently drained but looks a little grungy. The price is $2500 which sounds like a great price. Would you take a chance on this, not knowing the history? what do you think would be the most costly repairs I might anticipate? I suspect that the spa has not been maintained and the water has not been properly treated. Appreciate your comments.

admin
Admin

Hard to say.

I’m not a fan of the brand to start with, the little dicky low flow circ pump fails a lot, and they murder you on those bloody mid grade proprietary parts, the heater relay board failures are epic the Invensys system again has never been a great reliable system funny enough they now sell a balboa replacement for that tub but they sell it at twice what you can buy it for anywhere else… I would want to see it running first.

Jim Griffin
Guest
Jim Griffin

We took your advice and bought a Master twilight. You are very convincing. Thanks a lot.

admin
Admin

I hope I was convincing for the right reasons. There is a small group of 4 or 5 brands I really like because they spend the money on the tub instead of the spin, marketing, and bullshit… if you have issues hit me up.

Happy Hot Tubbing

John F Donnelly
Guest
John F Donnelly

My wife and I just bought a Twilight Series 240. The sales guy said that with the EcoPur system we would not need any chemicals. I am new to this, but your video you even say that you use a half a part per million of chlorine and I Googled a care guide from Master Spa and they even recommend 2-4 parts per million. Having never owned a pool or spa, I want to make sure I am doing the right thing in maintaining the water. Can you help me out?

admin
Admin

Hey John.

In my experience that is simply not good information.

Master is right with eco pure alone you should run around 2ppm about the same as a salt water hot tub, but if you add an enzyme like Spa Marvel you can get down to a lot lower.

Order it from me, its the best price, you help support the site, you get my support for questions and it has got a 100% money back guarantee if you buy from me 🙂

You can buy it here:

Ill email you over a tip sheet.

David
Guest
David

Hi Chris, we are planning to purchase either a Masters tub (TS 7.2 or 8.2) or a ThermoSpas tub (Park Avenue line). I’ve scoured your website, but don’t see any reviews or comments on ThermoSpas. They get very good customer reviews, and have a unique direct-to-customer model, but I would love to get your take on ThermoSpas as we weigh which brand to purchase. Thanks for all you do – you provide the most helpful, unbiased information about hot tubs I’ve found anywhere. – David

admin
Admin

Hey David I like the direct to customer deal. I had to do some digging around on this one, haven’t really come across Thermospas too much 🙂 First off the shell designs made me smile, there are right out of the 80’s all the sharp angles and terrible use of space 🙂 Water environments are all about space, and the footwells on most of the models make them no good for anything over 2 or 3 people. Jetting wise again this is right out fo the 80’s all the cheap low flow jets so you can quote mad numbers of… Read more »

Lauren
Guest
Lauren

Hey Chris, I really like the way you layout how great Master Spas are. Thank You. In the video you mention there are other companies that are doing all four things that you feel make a perfect tub. I was curious if you could tell me those other companies. Simply because Master Spa while perfect for my therapeutic needs is quite expensive. Just wanted to do some more research into other companies and make sure I am not missing a tub that is equally as good but cheaper. Thanks again for your invaluable service you provide here.

admin
Admin

Hi Lauren There are 5 in my tier one group. Master is my top because they have the best factory direct to customer support system so its less dealer-centric, and their quality control and consistency is solid. They also do a massive range from entry-level to crazy therapy massage models. Artesian is my second choice, small little outfit but built well and consistent, no factory direct support though at all so you need a good dealer. Beachcomber Leep models (stay away from the Hybrid models its bad tech) the only downside is they do not do any high-performance models and… Read more »

Marty
Guest
Marty

Hi Chris –

We are comparing the Master Spa 8.2 and the Hot Springs Envoy. They both seem similar. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Marty

admin
Admin

Hey Marty Tons of difference. The best thing about Hot Springs, in my opinion, is the brochure and the marketing. The reason I started this forum was these hot tub makers that are owned by big equity investment companies making these mid-grade spas and selling them as a top end with massive spend on marketing, spin, branding and advertising. Shells: HS – thinner shell supported by sprayed on rigidizer then prop supported with high-density foam and pedestals, inexpensive. MS – Hand rolled self-supporting Fiberglass shell with vinyl ester resin core, expensive and strong. Parts – HS – Proprietary parts made… Read more »

Jim
Guest
Jim

Thank you so much for this site! We are looking at the 2019 Master Spa precision 7. It’s “branded” by a local dealer here as a Crocker cape cod model but it is the Master Spa Precision 7 in the clarity series. Couple of questions, first – these dealers just make their brochure with the new name but nothing is actually different on the tub, correct? We were told it’s not worth getting the speakers in the tub because of sound, would you agree? Lastly, we’ve been quoted $7,500 seems like a lot but from what I’ve read here their… Read more »

admin
Admin

Hey Jim

yeah, guys do this goofy branding sometimes, everyone likes to be the big shot 🙂 but they are all the same.

price is good for that unit and its def one of my top build quality tubs.

Scott Stark
Guest
Scott Stark

Hey Chris, I’m thinking of buying the Twilight TS67.25, and I live north of Charlotte. The local MasterSpa dealer gets mediocre marks for service, and is pretty far away from my house in Asheville. To make this kind of purchase I would want a local service provider should I have any problems, but I don’t know how to find a good, quality spa service group in my area. Can you recommend the best way to find service providers in the North Charlotte suburbs (cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville)?

admin
Admin

Hey Scott

There is a top service guy down there that can take great care of you if you buy a brand with a standard parts list.

The only other brand I would even look at around there would be the Marquis and after the tub I got my hands on last month and shot this review of they are right on the edge of my recommended list, the QC was abysmal.

Crystal Clear Pool Service
$125 call out $85/hr.
$300 delivery darren ccpools67@yahoo.com

Frank Hunt
Guest
Frank Hunt

Chris, We are looking to buy a master spas tub in upstate NY. We were concerned with the cold winters and the tub insulation. How does the Master Spas brand deal with extreme cold. Do you have any suggestions in regards to insulation. We are currently looking at the Twilight Series 7.2,7.25,8.2,8.25.

admin
Admin

When it comes to insulation forget the hot tub marketing speak, go to the industries that are regulated and have set codes like the housing industry… You simply could not use radiant barriers in a house as a primary insulator!!! The State of NY issued warnings against it in the ’80s and now in the unregulated hot tub industry… Its the miracle insulator 🙂 You need R-value so that means as much insulation as you can pack into the space. But!!! you need access too. You don’t want high-density foam in any thick amount or you are screwed if you… Read more »

Jim
Guest
Jim

Chris, We’re looking for hot tub with a self supporting shell but having trouble finding any other Thermospas which appear to be greatly over priced. We’re considering a Master Spas LSX-800 but the shell doesn’t appear to be self supporting. I posted this question on their web page “We’re Looking at the LSX 800, does the tub depend on the frame for support or is the frame primarily to support the skirt?” and received the following reply “Hi Jim! Yes, the spa does depend on the frame largely to support the weight of the spa. Thanks for asking!” Do you… Read more »

admin
Admin

yeah that would be a sales guy that does not know what he is talking about 🙂

It’s a hand-rolled self-supporting shell for sure 100%

Jim
Guest
Jim

Chris,

Thanks! We’re in the New Orleans area and don’t have many of dealers. Master Spas uses Swim Spa International as their dealer for this area. Swim Spas uses local service techs for support. Have you had any experience with Swim Spa International? We’re also looking at Thermospas, have you every reviewed their hot tubs?

Thanks

Jim

admin
Admin

Hey Jim Yeah, I know Swim spa international they do a lot of event sales and are good with support, they have a location in Phoenix. I also have 4 independent service guys there registered with the site so you should not have any issues with service on a brand using good parts and standard build, if you ever have an issue hit me up and I’ll put you in touch with good service people. The problem is all the crap in your market I would not touch with a 10-foot pole. you have a mix of lower end cheaper… Read more »

Mike Wiesenburger
Guest
Mike Wiesenburger

Hi. Wife and I are thinking of buying a Master Spa Legend Series, its used. Near as I can tell from the serial which is a letter and the number 6 to start, I think that means 2006 was year of manufacture. I think it’s the LSX, no numbers, since I found a very old spa dealer site that still had some info and the pic matches. It has a lounge and a “Extreme Therapy Seat” which is a fairly deep seat with a mess of jets poking everywhere plus these crazy hedgehog looking multi-jet foot things. They are asking… Read more »

admin
Admin

Hi Mike

Depends man… a good rebuild can be a great buy but $4700 for 2006 is at the high end, worth it if its really rebuilt, but it’s a 12-year-old tub… For that money, I would want new pumps, a new pack, and new cover…

Mike
Guest
Mike

Probably should have mentioned that this spa looks brand new, nothing at all wrong, no scratches, dings, dents. nothing missing, all controls work smooth. I really would not know it was 12 years old except for the serial thing, whoever had it before took care of it like a car collector babies his 57 Chevy. The cover will be new and they replaced the 6hp pumps already. They are going to test for 2 weeks and then replace whats needed if needed.

admin
Admin

Hey Mike

There are always exceptions. Something taken great care of and in great shape has value!

Matt
Guest
Matt

Hey…. Great work on the website and thanks for trying to bring some insight about hot tubs. The market makes it very hard to find a good quality hot tub versus what could be a money pit. So Thanks My wife and I are in the market up in Bismarck North Dakota and are looking for a good long lasting and well built hot tub.. in town we have Hotspring dealer that had a Grandee NXT 7 2018 fully loaded for 14k.. up in Minot they may have a Master Phelps 2018 LSX 800 for 12K. Those were the two… Read more »

admin
Admin

Hi Matt Hot springs are not on my recommended list. That moto massager is clunky and prone to failure I’ve not heard good things about them. in general, on the discussion forums, almost 27% of all request for service on a sample we did were for this company because they use a proprietary parts list instead of a good OEM part… I’m dead against these guys that make goofy parts to just fit their spas they are nowhere near as reliable as the really good OEM stuff. here is why I would never buy, sell, or recommend a spa with… Read more »

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Hey there. We are in the market for an 8 footer. I really like the Master Spa Balance 8. I checked it out at our local dealer that’s been here for years and apparently with Master Spas for years. I also went to another dealer and liked the Dynasty Passport 8. Also, a good long running dealer.

Both priced about the same. All things be equal, what direction would you recommend between the two?

Thank you for your input.

admin
Admin

Hi Jeff I like the Balance, new shell design and big open area for the footwell. Big Quality differences between the two brands. Shell – Balance has a hand-rolled self-supporting shell, Dynasty is a thinner shell that needs props under it to keep it together. parts – Balance uses balboa, Dynasty gecko… balboa rules man. The build quality is way better on the Balance, I got one and reviewed it and it was a mess, the guy that traded it had nothing but trouble. check out the video on the dynasty here: https://hottubuniversity.com/dynasty-spa/ For comparison, goto this video, its a… Read more »

Brad
Guest
Brad

Found your site. Great information! Looking for a mid level spa. Looked at bullfrog x8l and a master spa balance 8 clarity today. Thoughts on both? The bullfrog doesn’t have the jet packs since it’s their lower end model. Both were similar in price

admin
Admin

Hi Brad. Both are good tubs. I like the new layout on the clarity, big open spaces are what you want in a water environment and that footwell just has so much room you can actually get 14 sets of legs in it, the BF, unless you have friends with no legs, will be a squeeze. the shell on the clarity is a hand-rolled vinyl ester resin cored self-supporting shell the BF is an ABS plastic shell, a lot less expensive to build and it needs pedestal s to support it and keep it from breaking, I’m not a fan… Read more »

Tibio
Guest
Tibio

Hi Chris,

What are your thoughts on the twilight 7.25?

Thanks

admin
Admin

one of my top rated tubs, with the flow control system and the neck jets plus those monster jets in the footwell its just a performance machine, and they build right.

Matthew Nikkel
Guest
Matthew Nikkel

Hi Chris. Do the lower end Master Spas such as their Contractor Series hold up as well as the high end? What’s the difference between their lines in terms of build quality?

admin
Admin

Hi Matthew

all the lines from top to bottom have the fundamental 5 things so yes. what really changes is the jetting and features.

Tim Cavin
Guest
Tim Cavin

Hi Chris. Just set up my new Twilight 8.2. Factory default on filter cycle is 4 hours a day. It’s usually just me in the the tub twice a day. Is this the correct amount of time? Is there a ‘better’ time of day to run the filtration cycle? Thanks, Tim

admin
Admin

yeah, that should be fine. it really does not matter when you set it up to run. typically the idea is 2-4 hrs a day spaced 12 hours apart.

Jessica
Guest
Jessica

Thanks so much for this site. I’ve done a search to see if you have posted anything on portable/plug & play hot tubs and couldn’t find anything specific. We’re looking at a Master Spa Getaway Bar Harbor and finding it impossible to find reliable reviews or price comparisons. Can you help??

admin
Admin

Hi

You wont find much it’s brand new.

Master bought one of the biggest rotomold machines in the world, and they put good parts, clamped the plumbing lines and used Icynene foam insulation. The color and finish is nice and the shells are solid. one thing, in a cold northern climate its a really big tub for 100v so on cold days when you take the cover off they loose temp pretty quickly. But it’s also a dual voltage unit so you can just hard wire it and bingo the heater is 3 or 4 times bigger.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Great site! Very informative. So here goes, total newbie in Columbus, Ohio area. Want a well-made tub that will be as low-maint as possible, useable year-round, for general use. Will sit on a concrete patio. 6 person most likely. Seems like you like Master Spa the best? Professor, please tell me what I should do, where can I go if you know anyone here. Thank You !

admin
Admin

Hi Dave. Having all this information and experience and its the brand I put out in my little local market where my kids go to school and my wife shops… It’s reliable and easy and gets me good referral business. I don’t endorse it because I sell it I sell it cause I endorse it 🙂 I literally went through everything out there and I wouldn’t buy any of it. There are a few options outside of your market area and there is a good independent service guy down here I use called Endless Summer Pool and Spa Service With… Read more »