I attended a fairly large spinning event today in Livermore at the Retzlaff Winery. It was sponsored by the Treadles2Threads Guild in Walnut Creek; maybe 200 or so spinners attended. There were maybe a dozen vendors.
I’m pretty sure I was the only person there with a Louet Victoria. I’m renting it for a week–it’s going back without a renewal because neither I nor my spinning instructor could get any take-up going, even with the tension set very high. The flyer just didn’t want to take up the fiber, even when it was fully twisted and ready to be swooped up onto the bobbin. For the kind of money this wheel goes for ($895?!), the bobbin should definitely be ready to take up the twisted fiber when I let go of it. :mad:
OTOH, there were several spinners there with Ashford Joys. Some of these wheels were “old” Joys, according to their owners, who were happily spinning away, making beautiful, even, well-twisted yarns on them.
I saw one or two Lendrum Originals (upright wheels), but their owners had walked away when I passed by, so I didn’t see the wheels in action or get to ask any questions. (I still don’t have a wheel of my own here at the house.)
Ravelry has owners’ groups for all of these makes of wheels: Louet, Ashford, and Lendrum. Join the groups and ask questions of established owners; maybe there will be some points of distinction among the different brands that’ll help you make a decision based on criteria in addition to price.