Thread Number: 35114  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Thoughts on the Riccar Prima w/Tandem Air Nozzle??
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Post# 378393   9/13/2017 at 21:01 (377 days old) by Jumby75 (Los Angeles, CA)        

I thought I would start another thread in my quest for finding a new canister. The Miele C3 Marin is set to arrive tomorrow since there was some deal with the company not getting their Miele shipment yesterday.

Anyway, I spent most of yesterday and today reading up on the Riccar Prima/Simplicity Wonder. Lots of posts on this vacuum and I was curious if anyone who has used it regularly for awhile can give me some pros and cons. I do like the metal brushroller and the fact you can replace the bristles, plus the ton of attachments it comes with. However, I haven't heard much in regard to the air quality and filters. Has anyone compared it to a Miele or Sebo to see if the filtration is comparable?

I'm also confused as to when this vacuum came out and how long it's been out. In going over the posts, people are referencing this as the machine to check out a couple of years ago, but then I read that it was just released this past spring? I just want to make sure I'm reading up on the right model if I'm considering it.

Also, I asked my dealer about it and he said it cleans great, but might not last as long as the Sebo or Miele. He said the brush roll housing has a fan to improve air flow, but it can get damaged quite easily by a penny or a piece of glass. He also stated the canister is a thinner plastic and the wheels are not of the same quality as Miele/Sebo. He sells a ton of Riccar, and even showed me the uprights when I was there, so I don't feel he is purposely misleading me. Plus, I've know him for years. He's a solid guy and very honest. I didn't even know the Prima existed and said I was looking at Miele and Sebo, so that's what I tested out when there. Does the Tandem Air nozzle differ from the full size nozzle?

My reason for possibly leaning to the Prima is I really like the Tacony corporation. My vac dealer also sells Babylock sewing machines, owned by Tacony, and the service by them was impeccable when we purchased a machine several years ago. They really are a solid company and definitely stand by their products. But it sounds like this is a great vacuum, but hearing what my dealer said makes me rethink considering the Prima.

Thanks again and apologies for my ignorance on some of the issues, but I'm just trying to get better informed and make the right decision.

Post# 378409 , Reply# 1   9/14/2017 at 10:16 (376 days old) by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

dysonman1's profile picture
The Prima launched almost four years ago. I got one of the first prototypes, which was in a beige color, which we affectionately called "buttuglya". The new ones are gorgeous.

I've never had any dust leak past the hepa bag into the compartment. The hepa filter shows carbon dust from the motor - but no dirt can be tapped out of it. I know the returning air is way cleaner than the air in the house (the attic fan pulls a constant stream of air into my home).

The power nozzles have always been NOT included with the Prima. Your choice is: the compact power nozzle (like a Miele 217), the full size (my favorite), the full size with dirt sensor, the Tandem-Air with rubber belt, and the Tandem-Air with lifetime belt. Both full size power nozzles, as well as the Compact size nozzle, use lifetime belts as well.

The Tandem-Air nozzles have a fan to assist with airflow, BUT, the dirt passes through the blades of the fan (like it does on a Kirby, for example). I wouldn't let that fact deter me from buying one, however, I love the cleaning ability and durability of the full size power nozzle. It's a tried and true nozzle that will run for decades. The Tandem-Air nozzles were just launched six months ago, but they are based on the very old design of the ULW (ultra light weight) cleaner Tacony has built for 20 years.

I also own a Miele (several actually, from the Blue Moon to the Gemini), and while they are good, I HATE the price of the repair parts ($125 for a brush roller is a LOT of money).

As a vacuum collector, I'd say go for the one you like best.

I do sell a ton of Prima vacuums to people at the factory outlet store, but I've never sold a Tandem-Air nozzle yet. The price is a factor when selling at the outlet store, so people are very happy with the full size power nozzle (and it's lower price than the Tandem-Air). If anyone asks for one, I can certainly obtain one from the warehouse that's just several hundred feet from my desk. No one has asked yet.

Post# 378418 , Reply# 2   9/14/2017 at 12:33 (376 days old) by Jumby75 (Los Angeles, CA)        
Thanks Tom!

I was hoping you would answer this post since I read most of your threads regarding the Prima and it sounds like a great vacuum. Like I said, big fan of Tacony and I think they really stand behind the products they sell. Moreover, I have a great dealer that always takes care of me, so I know I can't go wrong in that regard.

Regarding the PN, I asked my dealer specifically about the Tandem Air nozzle, so that is what he was probably responding to. I'm pretty new to this, so I didn't know there were other PN's for the Prima and didn't ask him about them either. But that is what was confusing me because I was seeing posts about the Prima coming out a few years ago, but then I saw some newsflash about the tandem air PN's from earlier this year. And of course, I was reading reviews from others about the Prima.

I went on the Riccar site and just so I get this straight, there are 3 PN's that are not the Tandem Air. They are the Premium PN w/dirt sensor (RPB-450), the full size PN (RPB-400S) and the compact PN (RPB-70), correct? The one you are suggesting is the RPB-450? Is there any difference between the full size and the premium w/dirt sensor PN other than the actual dirt sensor? I've had dirt sensors before and it's not a huge deal to me, but if the PN w/sensor is actually better for some reason, then I would be interested. Do you think the Tandem Air PN will be improved later?

Also, as far as what comes with the actual Prima, I printed off a manual and hope someone can confirm if they are sold with the following attachments:

1. 2-n-1 tool (which looks cool)
2. Crevice tool
3. Soft sweep bare floor tool
4. Handheld turbo brush
5. Fur Get It pet hair remover
6. Tool storage bag.

Also, I noticed the Tandem Air models come with the Vac&Shine. I'm pretty interested in this attachment and wonder if anyone has had any experience with it as I wouldn't mind adding this to the package.

So basically, when purchasing the Prima, you have a choice of PN's to select, correct?

Post# 378491 , Reply# 3   9/16/2017 at 02:46 (375 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Mine didn't have a turbo hand tool-just the weird pet hair brush which I have no use for.The bare floor tool is GREAT-like how it maneuvers much like Sebo and Miele bare floor tools.

Post# 378499 , Reply# 4   9/16/2017 at 07:55 (374 days old) by blackheart (North Dakota)        

Yeah according the the site the Tandem air deluxe (which uses a stretch belt) does not include the handheld turbine. The premium does though. If you are wanting something like that though I'd recommend the HEB which is an optional electric mini brush, it'll clean much better than a turbine. Neither Miele or Sebo offer an electric hand tool.

AS for the models being sold separately from the nozzles. I could be wrong but i don't think that's the case anymore, i think they just come prepackaged with a nozzle based upon which machine you choose. At least that's the way our order sheets appear to be. I mean you could certainly check with your dealer about seeing if the premium dirt sensor nozzle is still available for them.

Post# 378502 , Reply# 5   9/16/2017 at 09:29 (374 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
prima and wonder

I've had mine for two years, it's a great canister, I would not hesitate to recommend it. It's very quiet but very powerful, I have not tried the tandom nozzle so can't say how well that works, but the hard floor tool is also very good. I would say this machine is as good as a Miele or Sebo, and the repair parts, should you need them will be cheaper. Whenever I am asked about finding a good canister I actually suggest this over a Miele or Sebo.

Post# 378503 , Reply# 6   9/16/2017 at 09:42 (374 days old) by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

dysonman1's profile picture
The Prima/Wonder come in a box with NO power nozzle but does have the electric hose and electric wand, if you order PrimaP.2 This machine can accept either the Compact Power Nozzle, the Full Size, or the Full Size with Dirt Sensor. The two "Tandem-Air" models come packaged with the Tandem-Air power nozzle included in the box. One has the stretch belt, and one (the Premium) has the lifetime belt.

The Tandem-Air packed machines include additional attachments such as the Fur-Get-It tool, etc.

As to the full sized power nozzles, I bought the Premium Central Vac kit for my Vac-U-Flo when we moved several years ago and Evan Rogers (of The Vac Shack in Festus, Missouri) installed it. That kit contained the Full Size power nozzle with Dirt Sensor. It came with a 3-row brush roller made of extruded aluminum. Within a few weeks of using it, I switched brush rollers to the standard round steel brush roller with the blue-backed brush strips (the brush roller of the Full Size nozzle WITHOUT dirt sensor). Cat litter pickup improved as did surface debris pickup.

The assembled Vacuum Cleaner Convention guests used the Tandem-Air power nozzle all three days of the Convention. Everyone who used it liked it. Being as I own the world's first Tandem-Air power nozzle (on the 1974 Air-Way), we compared it to the new Tacony-built nozzle. The new Prima tandem-air nozzle is awesome and picks up so much faster. It's a great nozzle. Only the customer can determine if it's worth the extra cost - a lot depends upon your carpets (how deep are they? how expensive were they?).

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