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Artesian vs Marquis


CMMS
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We are looking into getting a hot tub soon. Have had a Hot Spring in the past, but will not get another. Looked at Artesian, Marquis and Master, but Master's rep in WI was useless over the phone. Could not tell me anything about their product. The other two have been very helpful. Interested in what other's experiences with these have been. Looking at Artesian Captiva, Antigua or 748L and Marquis Mirage,Wish or Reward. Problems with any of them? Info on water purification. Ozone helpful? Cartridges with minerals a gimmic or worth it? Thanks!

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Full Disclosure:  I am an Artesian Spas Dealer.

However, I went last year to the Int'l Pool, Spa + Patio show last year for the explicit purpose of adding a new spa line.  The two brands I zeroed in on were incidentally Marquis and Artesian.  I was very pleased with both for many reasons.  And I will not disparage Marquis in any way as they are a fine product, and I hope a Marquis Dealer will be on this thread to expound on their brand so you can get solid, unbiased info (relative to your situation:  Ultimately you should decide what is best for you.  I don't care what brand or tub you pick, I just like to help out).

I like the upper end of Marquis spas and most of their units throughout their 5 lines were ergonomically pleasing, and I am 6'2" and that is hard to be in this industry, as most tubs are made for people at least 4" shorter than myself.

They had some pretty neat features on their upper end lines but overall I just preferred the Artesian Line for a few reasons.  Direct Flow (on their Island Elite or Platinum Elite lines) had me hook, line and sinker.  Marquis does something similar with their H.O.T. zones:  Isolate the flow from the pump to a few unique jets.  And that is pretty cool.  They even have their own controls for said feature in the station the user is sitting in. 

But I preferred Artesian Spas' version, Direct Flow.  It has the same control but instead of isolating the flow into a few select jets, the WHOLE STATION is plumbed directly to a variable speed motor.  Everyone else has a single or dual speed pump.  But the Direct Flow stations have actual variable speeds motors where you control the RPM.  That was awesome.

I also like that Artesian uses several smaller motors and has them stationed very close to where the water is going.  This maximizes the pumps efficiency.  The Captiva/Antiqua Elites have a 6.0 & (2) 3.0 BHP motors that are very, very close to the Direct Flow stations or the other parts of the spa where the plumbing leads to.

Also- I like that Artesian has switchless motors in their Elite lines.  This allows for 10-15 less moving parts.  Its also part of why they offer 5 year warranties on BOTH parts AND labor.  And that is not pro-rated either.

I don't think that the Platinum Elite series is worth the difference in price vs what you can get out of the Elite series, and that is saying something b/c the Platinum line is waaaay more expensive and I could make a ton of money on them..  And that is also why I chose the Island Elite line:  The Signature Series was Marquis high end line and their units would start at $10K whereas I could do the 7' Island Elites in the mid-$8's.  That was also appealing to me.

The 748 is a South Seas product (make by Artesian Spas).  This is their mid range line, and isn't a good comparison when you match them against the Marquis units you mentioned.  It'll be a cheaper price than any of the units you mentioned.  I like them as they move water and have been reliable.  748 is 3 years parts and labor (100%) and if I were you I'd go Deluxe vs Standard:  More features that are better overall.  However, it seems you are looking more at the high-end units.  If that is the case remove the 748 from the list.

Again- Marquis is a fine brand and if you went that way, you'd be fine.  There is a reason that Marquis was the runner-up.  If I lost Artesian Spas today for some strange reason, I'd bring in the Marquis brand in a heartbeat.  I am just giving you the reasons why I chose, as a dealer, to carry Artesian Spas. 

As far as ozone/water chemistry:  I would never pay extra for ozone.  Nor would I pay for an upgraded ozone system.  I see all the advantages of it and yes- they're pretty cool.  But nothing replaces water chemistry.  If you don't take care of your water chemistry, an ozonator or a filter cartridge wont turn you spa from cloudy/green to clear.  I always am being sold on the "story" I can tell the customer to differentiate my product from another's.  But it is only a accessory to you- the user- and how good or bad you are at maintaining your water. 

There are other differences that I am sure I could point out but this is becoming a manifesto. 

Thus- I hope this helps.  Either way I think you'll be pleased with whichever of the aforementioned spas you listed in your opening statement.  

Good luck moving forward.

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Thanks. I have one other question and that is with the jets/pump. I was told they were from Custom-Molded Products out of Georgia. My concern is they are a distributor for foreign made parts and not made here. They say on their website that they have global production and large warehouses on the coasts. Any idea if they make parts here?

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Artesian uses CMP & Balboa.

CMP (jets) are out of Tennessee, Balboa is out of California (pumps, control panel and motherboard).  Most companies use either Waterway or CMP for jets and Balboa or Gecko for the control panel/motherboard.  Gecko is out of Montreal but everything else i mentioned is in the USA. 

Some smaller spa companies or lessor quality brands will use foreign made products, and Apollo Group and Watkins are made in Mexico.  Coast is in Canada and I believe Arctic is too.  

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Hi CMMS.

I am the Marquis dealer in Appleton, WI.  If you are in my area, I welcome you to visit my store.  If not, what area of the state?  

Both Marquis and Artesian are quality spas with multiple product lines.  Marquis is a 100% employee owned company that has been making spas in Independence, Oregon since 1980.  Of the Marquis models you listed, all have the ozone as a standard feature as well as the Spa Frog Inline system.  I personally don't think the inline system is a gimmick and if I am correct, Marquis and Artesian are 2 of the 3 company's that can offer the @ease inline system.  The Inline Frog, whether SmartChlor or Bromine when combined with the minerals does work well.  I prefer the @ease SmartChlor personally.  Just remember that the minerals, whether Frog, Nature2, or whatever anyone else calls it is not a standalone sanitizer, neither is ozone.  They all need low levels of either chlorine or bromine.

Marquis uses Balboa Electronics, CMP jets, and Aqua Flo pumps.  Marquis states they are Made in America and to the best of my knowledge, none of their parts come from outside the U.S.  If you haven't already, you need to feel the HK40 jets in Marquis' Hot Zone therapy.  

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Thank you for the info. I see a couple of posts missing. In regards to the in line @ease. Would the system not inline work better? I believe one of them has a float or something.Even with the increase in the chlor dial, how much higher is it? With our previous spa it was a chlorine level of 3-5. Also, with the @ease system, will the over all amount of chemicals be less and what about cost? What am I looking at for a monthly maintenance program? We are going to wet test this weekend(!) at a dealer that has both lines. So hopefully that will clear things up some more. If we decide on one with a funky shape, how expensive/difficult is it to get a replacement cover? That was something we had to do with our hot spring.

 

CMMS

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The @ease info I received pertained to both in-line and floater, so apply that (info that was in a post that seems to have gone missing) to you overall consideration process.

Chlorine level, measured in ppm, is completely different w/@ease.  Reg chlorine-based tubs run 1-3ppm.  @ease runs .5- 1.0ppm for FREE chlorine, with TOTAL chlorine running 10-15ppm.  The point is for their to be a huge reservoir in reserve to draw from but to keep the chlorine levels as low as what you'd find in your tap water.  

Cost is relative:  Usage once a week vs 2x per day, how many people, how long, etc. all play into that.  I'd say its similar to Spa Frog/Nature II in overall cost.  Bromine is cheaper and chlorine tends to be cheapest overall.

But water chemistry is the same regardless of the brand or model you choose.  So this is very low on your list.  Personally, and others may disagree, I tell a person buying their second spa that if it aint broke, don't fix it when it comes to water chemistry.  If you previously used chlorine, and used it the right way, and were good with balancing pH, alkalinity, etc, then stay with it.  But that is just me.

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I did a long post earlier but it was lost (this forum seems to have a lot of glitches).

I'm a big fan of the Marquis and have sold them for the last 12 years.  Everyone is going to have a different opinion, the Artesian is also a good spa.  There are a lot more similarities than differences between the 2 brands.  Here are some quick things that I prefer on the Marquis Signature vs the Artesian:

-Heavier duty DuraWood cabinet on the Marquis vs. a compressed-foam synthetic material on the Artesian.  The DuraWood material is more like a Trex decking material and is substantially stronger than most other cabinets on the market.  It will hold up a bit better long term being out in the elements.  The Marquis E-Series uses a cabinet very similar to most of the Artesian cabinets.  5 year warranty on Marquis exterior DuraWood cabinet (covers fading and warping) vs 2 year warranty on Artesian

-Marquis HK40 and geyser jets will have a higher gallons per minute output.

-DuraBase ABS pan bottom standard on the Marquis Signature series vs. a standard wood frame bottom on Artesian with a plastic seal underneath (I think Artesian can be upgraded to a pan bottom)

-SpaFrog and Ozone standard on the Marquis Signature, pretty sure these are add ons to the Artesian.

-Easy equipment access with 2 thumb screws on the Marquis, really nice fit-and-finish "underneath the hood".  Make sure to look inside where the equipment is.

-Lots of unique designs and shapes on the Marquis, not just square boxes of hot water.  The Wish model you are looking at is one of my favorite hot tubs, and a beautiful spa with the concave front and step that fits the indention.  If you're looking for a spa that is designed for therapy, I would suggest the Wish, Epic, or the Reward models.

-Marquis is 100% employee owned and the company is great to deal with.  The workers at the factory in Oregon really care about the product that gets shipped out.

 

Like Dan said, both are going to be nice quality spas.  I think you will be happy with both brands, everyone has their own opinion.
 

Dan-I like the DirectFlow concept.  What I've never quite understood is how the Artesian can run 3-4 pumps, a 5.5KW heater, the other electrical components, and not exceed 50-60 amps if they are 3-6 break horse power pumps?  I know the Marquis 2 pump systems approach 40 amps with 2 pumps and a heater running, which basically maxes out a 50 amp circuit.  For electrical code, I think you're supposed to be around 20% lower amps than what the breaker is, which would make 40 amps around the max you can run.  How many amps do the Artesians draw, and do they kick the heater off with all pumps on?

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With Artesian Island Spas (and Island Elite spas, which incorporate Direct Flow), everything is an add-on, technically speaking.  You do not have to buy a cover, ozone, valves for pumps and heaters, so on, so forth.  Its kinda nice as a dealer as you really get to customize a tub in a total fashion.  Though the standard ozone on Artesian lasts 5 years, I personally am not a guy that pushes ozone.  And we have Crystal AOP that that is awesome b/c blah blah blah [insert sales pitch].  Most dealers will have a base package that, say, includes ozone, some sort of water feature, some sort of LED (anywhere from an LED bulb in the footwell up to their DynaBrite LED that is awesome b/c blah blah blah [insert sales pitch]), and delivery, etc.  I have other brands that has X, Y, Z features as standard and that is neat (ala what Marquis and others do).  It'd be cool if Artesian did that and frankly I can say they do if I wanted to.  However, I do like the flexibility to adapt to my specific competition in my specific market, and to be able to adapt from competitor to competitor.  That is something that I never thought I'd say.  So its fun to really get down to the nitty-gritty if I just have that customer that really wants to customize (whoo-hoo!) or are just trying to penny pinch b/c they know everything so they think features X, Y, Z are worthless (ugh... we've all had that customer and they're the worst.  Its like "Why am I working here, you should have my job as you're so smart and I am just a big ol' dummy).  I digress...

As for the motors- They're just like swim spas and other multiple motor units- after you kick on the 4th motor the heater cuts out.  They do indeed use variable speed motors tho on Direct Flow units so you are able to throttle down immensely and thus aren't pulling the amps to the degree that a single or dual speed pump will.  Its pick your poison really:  Island Elites have 2 Direct Flow pumps and 1 or 2 additional motors. There is usually a diverter on the bigger motor that isn't on Direct Flow so you can spread it out across one or all remaining seats if you have more than three users.  But the point of Direct Flow is to have your own seat, with its own motor, and its own ability to adjust the flow.  As most tubs are used by just 2 people it works nicely.  The Platinum Elites have 4 or 5 Direct Flow seats/motors and that to me is overkill.  But when I looked at pricing of Island Elites and their switchless motors and 5 year parts and labor warranty at 100% for all 5 years I jumped. 

The Direct Flow controls are the exact same as the H.O.T. controls and like the pool industry, I bet most high end brands incorporate variable speed motors in the future. 

So I hope this helps you sell against Artesian going forward.  I like Artesian and any good salesman can sell against anything if they frame the argument right.  But who cares really- I just like forums like this one and the other one I wont mention where I can just learn about the industry as a whole and help customers get get solid information that helps them make the best decision for them.  Hence- Why I don't mind letting you know what Artesian does.  You're probably a quality operation as you sell a quality product so this does nothing but help the reputation of the industry as a whole. 

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Mirage and resort- the resort is not one we are interested in but has some features that the spirit has. There is another dealer near here that has the promise that I still haven't pulled off the table. I would like to compare Promise, Mirage and Spirit (I like the Wish but not sure if I want to dedicate that much space on my patio*) to Artesian's Nevis, Antigua/Captiva Elite*.Hopefully by next week we will have made our decision. The options I have decided on are gate valves and a pan. On the Artesians I would add dual footblasters. The chemistry portion of our last hot tub was not a big deal to me, so I don't think I would add those items. The one thing that was mentioned to me yesterday was I would have to change my power box from our last tub. It had a 20 and a 30 amp in the breaker. Is this true and how much can I expect to pay for that? Another question, is there a difference in the pleated filters that I should be aware of? Thank you so much for the information on this,

 

CMMS

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Enjoy your wet tests.  The Wish model is the same exterior foot print as the Resort, and just a tad bigger than the Promise model.

You will need a 50AMP breaker with the Marquis, and I think Artesian as well.    HotSpring/Caldera are the only companies that do the weird 20/30 amp breaker combo.  I'm pretty sure it's an easy swap, you will just need to install a new breaker, and will only be running 4 wires to the hot tub instead of 5 that the HotSpring would have used.

 

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