Thread Number: 16497
Riccar Brillance
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Post# 176013   4/5/2012 at 17:49 (2,915 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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I recently won an action on eBay for a TOL Brillance. Normally I am not terribly interested in Riccars, but this one was selling for hundreds of dollars less than the MSRP, plus I had the money, so I bid and won. I am very excited. This will be the first vacuum I've ever used with two suction motors. The demos online look amazing.

I will post some more about it when Fedex delivers it. Until then, have any of you used one of Tacony's Tandem Air machines and what do you think of it?

CLICK HERE TO GO TO bagintheback's LINK

Post# 176017 , Reply# 1   4/5/2012 at 18:00 (2,915 days old) by director12 ()        

Riccar products are awesome. The 1800 is the best canister, next to Miele. Supralite cleans better than an Oreck, and works with the Bissell Prolite from the early 2000's.

Post# 176051 , Reply# 2   4/6/2012 at 02:41 (2,915 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I also think the Riccar tandem air vacuums are pretty good-unusual design.Have three tandem air machines-Radiance,Radiance Premium,and Brilliance.Its right the little Riccar Superlite is an Oreck "killer".I have both the 1700,and 1800 canisters-got good buys on these when the dealer that carried Riccar here went under.These canisters have very high suction "pressure"they can break any suction meter unless its over 150" scale.One of the reasons I bought mine-it literally blew out Bills suction guage!when you use a tandem air machine-make sure the circuit you use it on has no other appliances on it-otherwise it will trip the breaker if you use the Radiance on it.the new Radiances have trap doors in the suction lines-so clogs can be easily removed without taking down the machine-taking down Radiances is quite a job!

Post# 176317 , Reply# 3   4/8/2012 at 10:50 (2,912 days old) by director12 ()        

I agree. The 1700 and 1800 rock.

Post# 176422 , Reply# 4   4/9/2012 at 04:09 (2,912 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

the only thing on the Riccar 1700-1800,since these are full size canisters-wished they used a larger bag.The small bag it uses fills quickly-esp if you use the excellent power nozzles that these machines have.

Post# 177011 , Reply# 5   4/13/2012 at 19:42 (2,907 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        
The Riccar Arrived

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I've been using the Brilliance for about an hour now, and have not been entirely impressed. Had I payed over $900 like Riccar would like me to, I would be disappointed. First of all, the hose is extremely short. I tried to clean some air vents today,(which are located on the ceiling here in AZ) and I could barely reach them. My $80 Bissell can do this easily. The metal wands also seem cheap, but still better than plastic. The bag is also very small. I would expect something larger from something in this price range, but I have heard these bags can be stuffed and still provide suction. The suction from the bypass motor is quite week. I am using a used bag and filter, but still, quite low.

One thing I am surprised to find is that the vacuum only draws 11amps when both motors are running. I wonder how the power is divided. A 5amp direct motor is pretty good, but the bypass motor's RPM must be pretty slow at that power. But whatever they draw, the vacuum does clean well.My carpet does feel cleaner after I vacuumed thoroughly. Like when I step on a carpet after being vacuumed by my Dyson, it doesn't feel too clean. The Riccar really fluffs up the fibers and feels clean. I think this has more to do with the brush-roll than the extra airflow, but gets the job done.

The vacuum is also much quieter than you'd think it would be. It's not much louder than my Kirby Tradition. One thing I would change about the setup is this: The direct air motor does not shut off when you lock the vacuum upright. You either have to turn it off on the handle, or switch it to tool mode. There is a knob that you have to turn to divert the suction to the hose. There is some switch the turns off the direct air motor when you move it to tools. It would be much easier to just switch it off when you put the handle upright. I know the model was made 4 years ago, so Tacony might have changed it this.

So far, I say if you have a $1000 to spend on a vacuum, a Kirby is a better choice. But for what I spent, it's not bad. I still think my Dyson DC14 is easier to use. But we will see, maybe I'll fall in love with it.

Post# 177044 , Reply# 6   4/14/2012 at 03:38 (2,907 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Due to the "push-pull" airflow action in the tandem air Radiance and Brilliance-the bag can be packed quite hard and full before it needs to be replaced.I also prefer other vacuums to the tandem air system(maybe Tacanoy should shorten and simplify the airpath in these machines)For the $1000 they are sort of disappointing.A Kirby is a better choice-and so is a Royal metal or a Sanitaire.For much less than the price of a Brilliance or Radiance-you can get a TOL Sanitaire Contractor grade and then get a Mighty Mite or some other suction only canister vac-you would have a hose long enough to reach ceilings or HVAC vents without stretching or lifting the machine.I just bought a little Eureka Mighty -Mite canister-great little suction only canister.And you can plug the hose into the back to use it like a blower-compressor.

Post# 177046 , Reply# 7   4/14/2012 at 06:20 (2,906 days old) by williamr1248 (USA)        
Riccar Brilliance

Could you give us another update after you have used the machine several times.
I looked at one in a vac store not long ago. I thought it was a very nice machine but when the dealer went to demonstrate it I was somewhat disapointed in the performance on the store sample carpeting. It seemed well made and very nice looking but not at all what I was expecting from such an expensive machine. I thought it was just me or the store setting but your discription is just the same impression I had on the machine.

Post# 177128 , Reply# 8   4/14/2012 at 16:27 (2,906 days old) by joshdonnell ()        

nothings gonna be perfect

Post# 177661 , Reply# 9   4/19/2012 at 22:09 (2,901 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        
Riccar Update

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Tomorrow I will have owned the Riccar for a week. I have been using it everyday since it's arrival. Here are my thought on the experience:

I can not get over how short the hose is. It is terribly limeting. Paired with the low suction the bypass motor provides, it is not very useful. I have been vacuuming the upstairs bedroom everyday now, which I do not normally do, and the carpet does feel softer. I do think this is because of the aggressive brushroll and extra airflow from the Riccar. I have not found a vacuum that leaves carpet feeling this clean, but some have come close. The Riccar is also very good at cleaning bare floors.

The odor filter seems to be useless. The vacuums does emit a dirty smell after prolonged use. Again, these are used filters, and the smell is not as bad as cheaper machines, but a $900 vacuum should not produce any odors.

I still say I prefer the Dyson DC14 over this. The hose is extremely long, the suction is fantastic, and I can empty it with ease. It may not clean as well as the Riccar, but at least I can clean my ceiling fans without lifting a 23 pound upright. But nothing will ever beat a central vac......

I do think I payed a fair price for such a machine so I will keep it has part of my collection and use it regularly. Now I do have one question. If I listen very closely, the direct-air motor sounds very similar to a Supralite/Freedom motor. Could Tacony be using the same motor in the Tandem Air machines?

Post# 177666 , Reply# 10   4/19/2012 at 22:51 (2,901 days old) by mieles7 (DFW, TX)        

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To solve the short hose problem, maybe you should get this.


Post# 177675 , Reply# 11   4/20/2012 at 01:12 (2,901 days old) by sanifan ()        

Hello, Nathaniel

Thanks for sharing your experience with this vacuum. I've always been curious about Riccar's tandem airs. They seem like well built machines. Which is why I find it interesting that a lot of folks seem to find them lacking in one regard or another. A lot's been said about their complicated air path and how difficult they are to service.

I find it very interesting that you find it lacks for suction, yet it cleans better than your other machines, including your Dyson DC14 which has a lot more suction. Could you talk about this more? I know suction is only part of the equation, but I thought it interesting that the Riccar cleans better despite its reportedly weak suction.

I have a handful of Riccars myself, but they are the 8900 Premier series. I like them a lot. I feel they have good suction and clean well. I've never had a chance to use the Brilliance, though.

The only realistic way I can use my Riccars for above floor cleaning is to use the auxiliary long hose plugged into the port on the back. That setup works very well. Do you feel your opinion of the Brilliance will change with time?

Post# 177723 , Reply# 12   4/20/2012 at 11:02 (2,900 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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Good question. I'm not sure if this is possible, but the bypass motor seems to be designed to create airflow, not suction. Like if you put a turbine-nozzle on the end of the hose, it will spin the brush, but when you place to on the carpet, it bogs down immediately. But when you have only the bypass motor on directed to the nozzle, you can hear tons of airflow from the bottom of the machine. It could be the way the air paths are set up, but there is a lot of audible airflow from the bypass motor.

I do think my opinion will change slightly once I use it on other types of carpet. My grandparent's have carpet almost shag length, and I'm thinking it will do an excellent job there.

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