Thread Number: 8650
No Sound?
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Post# 96104   4/14/2010 at 09:24 (3,469 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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I was just wondering would you still like vacuum cleaners if they were silent?

Post# 96107 , Reply# 1   4/14/2010 at 10:48 (3,469 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

What an interesting topic! I would say, I would probably still like them if they made not sound --- but not nearly as much. A large part of what initially fascinated me about vacuum cleaners (and still does, with the vintage machines anyway and not the "modern screamers") is the sound they make. At an early age I, as many of us, could identify the brand (and in some cases even the model) of a vacuum cleaner by its sound.

The earlier Kirby 500-series machines make a very musical sound: There's a clearly audible high-toned whine of overtones from the cooling fan that plays the chord known as a "tritone" - one major third on top of another. E.g, C-E-G#. The later 500-series and the first Sanitronic have a high-pitched major 2nd set of overtones - e.g., Bb-C.

With other machines, such as the early Electroluxes, especially the ones with cord winders and filters, you hear mostly the rushing sound of the air in through the floor nozzle. That distinctive swoosh-swishh sound is very pleasant!

Post# 96108 , Reply# 2   4/14/2010 at 10:54 (3,469 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Maybe the most distinctive sound of beater-bar Hoovers is, well, the beater-bar! You can hear that pleasant "bddddddrrrrrr" sound a mile away! There used to be a lady who lived above me in my old apartment (she's gone to her glory) who had a Hoover Guardsman. When she'd fire that wonderful machine and start vacuuming, my ceiling would vibrate from the agitating sound! I loved it!! I also like how the Hoover motor (in older Convertibles etc.) takes a long time to wind down when you shut if off. With a Kirby, nearly as soon as you turn the machine off it stops running, but the Hoover rolls down for quite a while.

The Eureka/Electrolux Sanitaire makes a similar sound since it too has agitators in addition to bristles, but the motor sound is different -- more like an older Kirby actually.

Post# 96111 , Reply# 3   4/14/2010 at 11:26 (3,469 days old) by petek (Ontario)        

I agree with what Charles says. One of the nicest vacuum sounds to my ears are the older Eureka uprights. Electroluxes up until the plastic body machines have a pleasant sound to them, just to name a couple of brands. Not enough thought or resources are put into toning down the noise of new vacs as their ought to be I think

Post# 96113 , Reply# 4   4/14/2010 at 11:48 (3,469 days old) by joe22 ()        

i read somewhere that people equate the noise a motor makes with its power. good news for bissel and dirtdevil, lolzzz

Post# 96114 , Reply# 5   4/14/2010 at 11:55 (3,469 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

I'd have to say I wouldn't enjoy a completely silent vacuum cleaner. One of the greatest pleasures in using them is listening to the sound of the motor; how it starts up and winds down, how it sounds on carpet vs. bare floors, etc.

There are certain things I do when I'm running a vacuum, in order to better enjoy the sound. I'll turn it on, and then go into another room for a minute to see what it sounds like "far away". Sometimes I'll put my ear to the hose end as the motor winds down to hear the echo. Or I might connect the hose to the blower end to hear the super silent rush of air. One of the best things about the Canadian Electrolux trigger switch hose, other than the convenience, is that you can just let it go and enjoy the soft sound of the canister motor for a minute before starting the power nozzle again.

I also like the solid vibration of an agitator brush or beater bar on a floor above, although I haven't yet gone the length of turning a machine on and then going downstairs for a minute. Come to think of it, there's no reason why I can't.

Post# 96115 , Reply# 6   4/14/2010 at 11:57 (3,469 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Love the sounds of the older machines, Lux, ect, that is one thing I am not big on with my Dyson

Post# 96117 , Reply# 7   4/14/2010 at 12:54 (3,469 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Hahahaha, I thought I was the only one who would turn on a vacuum cleaner (or floor polisher) then go outside to listen to it! The only downside about doing this is that the motor is running constantly, instead of pitching up and down as it would when the machine was being used -- so it's not quite the same as standing outside and listening to someone vacuum.

There used to be someone with whom I could mutually indulge this bit of auditory fun -- Stan Kann! Whenever I'd call and say I was coming by, he'd "just happen" to be running one of his vacuums when I'd walk up the front walkway to his house. And I'd do the same for him -- when I was expecting him to come over, I'd keep an eye out the front window. When I saw his car pull up, I'd start using my Hoover 700 for him. I'd see him walking up the sidewalk -- he would stop and tilt his head with a sweet smile on his face listening to his favorite vacuum cleaner! (I sure do miss him -- still.)

For me, there's a certain pulse-tingling excitement around walking down the street and hearing the sound of a vacuum cleaner - even today. Even when it's a "screecher."

But I've had some pleasant surprises as well, like the day some years ago when I was walking my dog Oz around the neighborhood. I passed a cute little white house and heard what I =knew= was the muffled sound of an Electrolux XXX emanating from inside!

I was brazen enough to knock on the door where the sound was coming from. When an elderly lady opened the door with an Electrolux hose handle in her hand [a dark turquoise 1205-era replacement hose with chrome handle] I nearly fainted! And I could see, yes, an Electrolux XXX sitting on the bare wood floor behind her!!

I said hello and told her I used to work for a vacuum cleaner repair shop and that as I walked by, I recognized the sound of her Electrolux. [I didn't want to come right out and say I was a collector or that I was obsessed with vacuum cleaners!] I said, "That's a sound I don't hear much anymore, as more and more of these wonderful old machines are disappearing."

Fortunately the old lady was very sweet and nice, and she exclaimed, "Oh, this sweeper is a real Jim-Dandy! My husband bought it for me many years ago and I wouldn't think of replacing it! I've had it repaired a few times, and did get more modern attachments for it because they're easier to use." (I noticed she had a matching dark-turquoise flip-over floor/rug.)

I told her, "Well, you really made my day - I love these old Electroluxes and I'm glad to know that some people are still using them. I don't suppose you by any chance got the floor polisher attachment with it" and I described it to her.

She thought for a moment and said, "I seem to recall something like that but don't think I ever used it, and don't know what might have become of it. It may still be around here somewhere, who knows."

I didn't want to totally freak her out by asking her to go look for it! It was enough, I thought, that I had gone up and knocked on her door. I bid her good day and continued down the street with my doggie Oz.

After that day, whenever I'd pass her house I'd linger, waiting to hear her Electrolux and thought that if I ever happened to see her again I'd ask about the polisher. But I never did run into her again, nor did I ever hear her XXX running again.

A few years later as I was walking up that street with my new babies Madame Pepperoni and Eva and walked by the nice lady's house, I saw a real estate company's "For Sale" sign in the front yard......

Post# 96119 , Reply# 8   4/14/2010 at 13:19 (3,469 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

Yes indeed, my ears perk up as well whenever I hear a vacuum running, although I've never had the nerve to knock on someone's door and ask them about it. I do, even today, often find an excuse to loiter around a running vacuum, especially if its a soft-sounding one (not many of those around today, sadly).

Charles, I think its great that you and Stan would do that for each other. Also, how lucky it was that the lady with the XXX was willing to talk about it. I wonder how many XXXs are still being used by their original owners or their offspring?

Post# 96120 , Reply# 9   4/14/2010 at 13:52 (3,469 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

I wonder how many XXXs are still being used by their original owners or their offspring?

The optimistic side of me says, probably a lot of people are still using XXXs. But the pragmatic side of me says, probably not.

Yes, there are still a few "little old ladies" who still put their XXXs into good and regular service. But most people want roaring power, disposable bags, and of course, super-duper-quadruple-stage magna-hepa filtration (much of which, I suspect, is hype). The few old machines still being used most likely have been relegated to second-class status for use in garages, attics, basements, summer homes etc.

Stan used to point out that even the relatively wimpy Lux XII had more than sufficient power for the use for which it was intended -- dusting. He would say, emphatically, "You only need enough suction to get the schmutz from the floor into the hose!"

Post# 96121 , Reply# 10   4/14/2010 at 14:29 (3,469 days old) by ohio_tuec ()        
You only need enough suction to get the schmutz from the flo

How true that is! I'm sure most people would even consider an XXX wimpy by today's standards. One of the reasons my father (when he first found out about them) liked the Oreck so much was because of their amazingly simple design as well as the fact that even now they use high efficiency, low-amperage motors. While I know it isn't vintage, one of my favorite sounds is the almost Regina Electrikbroom-like whine and rush of air you hear with an Oreck XL-21. That, and the very distinctive sound (and slight hiss) when a Hoover Dial-A-Matic winds down ;-)

Post# 96122 , Reply# 11   4/14/2010 at 15:29 (3,469 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Now the XXX is another sound all to itself, and the sweet smell when its running, might as well have gone to a spa! I use mine for the hardwood floors and the step back in time and unwind it provides, love the coast down sound too, they had it right!

Post# 96133 , Reply# 12   4/14/2010 at 17:44 (3,469 days old) by vacbear58 (Sutton In Ashfield & London)        
My choice

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Unfortunatly my XXX had had its motor replaced by a 240V version when I bought it so I cannot comment on its "native" sound.

For me, the best sounding cleaner is my Hoover 612 (US 61), I love the gentle whine of its motor with the "rythum secion" of its brushroll in action - the sound that means carpets are being really cleaned. Second place goes to my 160, it is just not quite as smooth as the 612


Post# 96136 , Reply# 13   4/14/2010 at 17:54 (3,469 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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While talking about hearing over peoples vacuums, some times I try to make people hear or see mine. When I wash the car with my dad, I will sometimes take out one of my older vacs, like a 1400s Eureka, and use it a little but leave it out where someone can look at it. Sadly, I never seen someone stop and look.

Although once I did come home with two Hoover Elites from the Goodwill. When I started to bring them out of the car, my neighbor looked at me funny. Guess people are too busy today!

Post# 96138 , Reply# 14   4/14/2010 at 18:40 (3,469 days old) by a1945 ()        

This is a good question, I might still be in interested in vacuums but my biggest draw to vacuums are the sounds they make. There is no other sound like a vacuum makes, it's hard to describe, I'm sure ya'll understand.

Post# 96140 , Reply# 15   4/14/2010 at 19:14 (3,468 days old) by aeoliandave (Stratford Ontario Canada)        
Thank goodness we are not 'most people'.

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If I wanted silent vacuuming I'd have a central vac system and would not be a collector. There's nothing more soothing than the hushed hum of a vintage Electrolux or the drumming throb of a vintage Hoover upright.

Contemporary plasti-vacs? I've very very few that I'd want to listen to any longer than absolutely necessary, but there are some.
I want to be able to converse without shouting over the vacuum, at least be able to hear the background music that's playing for my Vacuuming sessions. :-)

Post# 96141 , Reply# 16   4/14/2010 at 19:19 (3,468 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        
The Old Soldiers Soldier On

Its at least heartening to think that there are a few 40-50+ year old machines still in service. I bought my Electrolux 88 (made in 1965) from an Aerus salesman, who said he got it from an older lady. I have no reason to doubt it; it was (and still is) in perfect running condition, and almost entirely rust-free, even the inside of the bag chamber. It only came with a hose, which was, a little oddly, a green non-electric 89 hose. It's great to think of that lady using that vacuum for all those years, and taking very good care of it.

As far as the issue of cleaning power goes, all of the older machines I have (none so old as the XII or XXX) are, in my admittedly non-professional opinion, just as good or perhaps better than the newer machines at cleaning. The one let-down, of course, is the leaky woven hoses, but with an airtight hose, I fail to see the difference in cleaning effectiveness and efficiency versus a new machine (again, a non-professional opinion). I've never measured the suction or conducted a cleaning test like others here...this is strictly observation and "feeling".

Speaking of the vacuum cleaner "rhythm section", that's one of the major differences between the older and newer Luxes. When I use the Model Gs or the 86/88/89 with power nozzles, I can hardly hear the canister at all over the whine of the power nozzle. Like I said above, I keep disconnecting the power nozzle to hear the canister motor. With the Epic, however, the power nozzle is a sleeping baby compared to the roar of the canister.

Post# 96143 , Reply# 17   4/14/2010 at 19:25 (3,468 days old) by petek (Ontario)        

Hmmm in that pic above is that vac turned on... I don't think so from the look of the bag

Post# 96153 , Reply# 18   4/14/2010 at 20:22 (3,468 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
After you service a Convertible,

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
turn it on and hear that hum. Heaven. I used to love to hear my tennant and next door neighbors cleaning in the Summer with the windows open. They BOTH had HOOVER convertibles. "AHHH"

Post# 96160 , Reply# 19   4/14/2010 at 21:34 (3,468 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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and on hearing the music Dave, I have to be careful, the disco will get stuff broken, moving too fast, great work out though! Poor neighbors if I have it turned up enough to hear all over! Fun Day!

Post# 96170 , Reply# 20   4/15/2010 at 01:54 (3,468 days old) by beerad (Beautiful Vancouver BC)        
I love

I love the hummmm of the lux 89s and ap200S. I also love the sound of the older Brown Filterqueens, especially when they are winding down, just after being turned off.

Post# 96175 , Reply# 21   4/15/2010 at 10:33 (3,468 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

The 80 series and AP series share more or less the same motor, don't they? The pitch/tone on all of them is exactly the same. Of course the AP series is considerably louder, but its not an unpleasant sound.

Come to think of it, the Model Gs have that very same pitch/tone.

Post# 96176 , Reply# 22   4/15/2010 at 10:36 (3,468 days old) by rexaird ()        

I would still like them. Oddly I've actually thought about how I'd feel about my vacuums if I ever went deaf (odd, but my mind tends to wonder in strange directions). I still have the carpet lines, and look/feel of using the machine, and the way they work. But it would be missing something without the sound of it. I've always found machines like the older, quieter Electroluxes to be very calming, I love using those on stressful days, they're kind of soothing to me.

Post# 96177 , Reply# 23   4/15/2010 at 10:56 (3,468 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

I completely agree; the sound of an Electrolux running is indescribably soothing and comforting, almost like its saying to you "Don't worry; I'm here now and I'll just hum along quietly and get the work done with no fuss and bother".

I was just thinking that its not only the sound of the motor running that appeals to me; its all the sounds a vacuum can make, such as:

1. the sound of the wheels rolling across a bare floor

2. the rolling of the cord winder reel as the cord rewinds and the click of the cord as it locks

3. the click of the hose when connected to the machine end, or when connected to the wand, or when attachments are connected to the wand, etc.

4. the click of the switch when turned on and off

5. the click of the front cover being latched or unlatched.

Post# 96199 , Reply# 24   4/15/2010 at 18:01 (3,468 days old) by constellation86 (Roy, UT)        

I love the sound of my model 61 Hoover the best. But the model G lux is very soothing when I'm not running the power nozzle.
Anybody else notice that the vacuum in the picture isn't running!

Post# 96221 , Reply# 25   4/15/2010 at 23:09 (3,467 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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And, the bag is full.

Post# 96224 , Reply# 26   4/15/2010 at 23:46 (3,467 days old) by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        

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I agree, I love the sounds the different vacuums make, from the quiet hum and air woosh of the Electrolux and Filter Queen to the almost as quiet hum of the Constellation, the drone of the Hoover uprights from the Convertible on back, to the whirr of the Kirby and the sweet zoom of the Royal and Electro-Hygiene. Even the "prrrrrrreeeeeeenn" that the Kenmore torpedo tank makes when you fire it up. I think vacuuming would be pretty dull if we didn't have the sounds to go with it!

Post# 96237 , Reply# 27   4/16/2010 at 09:48 (3,467 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        
The soothing sounds of a Eureka Mobile-Aire canister...

eurekaprince's profile picture
without the annoying Vibra-Beat carpet nozzle attached of course!

I think I mentioned this here somewhere before, but in the 1960's, when our family bought our Eureka Automatic Upright Model 260 (or 250? can't remember...), my mother's brother bought a Eureka Mobile-Aire canister for their home. I will never forget hearing how they used to use the sound of the canister alone to help their new-born baby fall asleep! They would let the machine run in the baby's bedroom until she dozed off!

Does anyone else agree that the sound of this particular canister is in any way especially soothing?

BTW... I can tell the sound of a 1970's Eureka Vibra Groomer Rugulator/Vanguard Upright a mile away!!!!!!!

Post# 96282 , Reply# 28   4/17/2010 at 03:35 (3,466 days old) by kenmore81 (Warwick, RI)        
If I wanted silent vacuuming I'd have a central vac syst

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You took the words right out of my mouth Dave.
I have thought about central from time to time just to have and use at times when people are sleeping etc...
But I talk myself out of it pretty quick.I mean what fun WOULD vacuuming be without the sound of a Convertible or Lux?Even my Royal with its modern(98) motor they still managed to make it sound nice. Well you know you have one lol. Its loud but it still has that nice "air-flo" soud.

Sirelux/Bob- I to love the Click sound of the hose/wands and of the wheels rolling across the floor. Especally with the GE/Premier wheels. They make a distinct squeek when there rolling across any floor. When I got my new/old Premier I was hoping the wheels made the "squeek" of the ones I remeber as a child.It did. So I guess they all did even when new!

As far as Power nozzles go its true about them drownding the sound of the canister. As much as I love my Kenmores, The PN would drown the sound of the canister so I to would sometimes use stright suction just to hear the vacuum.
Anyone else like the sound of the Eureka's picking up sand I think its the way the fine dirt going through the paper tube of the F&G bag?Or the clinking sound of pebbels going through the chrome wands of a caniser vac?

Post# 96284 , Reply# 29   4/17/2010 at 05:58 (3,466 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Or the clinking sound of pebbles going thru a METAL Royal,Old Kirby and Hoover,Eureka metal fans.The clacking of plastic fans just isn't the same or as satisfying.

Post# 96305 , Reply# 30   4/17/2010 at 14:10 (3,466 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        
Snap! Crackle! Pop!

I forgot about the sound of something small and grainy rattling through the wands and hose; as long as its not something big and problematic. I do check the floor and all other surfaces very carefully, though, to make sure there's nothing big and nasty, but its always fun to hear the sound of small pebbles, grains of sand, un-popped popcorn kernels, etc, flowing through the wands and hose.

Post# 96307 , Reply# 31   4/17/2010 at 14:22 (3,466 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

Heh heh, when I was a kid I thought it was fun to pull out kleenex and scatter them across the floor, to watch (and hear) them FWOOP into the Electrolux wand!

Post# 96316 , Reply# 32   4/17/2010 at 16:11 (3,466 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

Goodness, the fun sounds a vacuum can make are endless. Paper, tissues, dryer fabric softener sheets, etc, do make that fun "fwoop" or farting sound when they get sucked up.

Re: the GE wheels. My folks had a GE swivel top when I was young, but I don't remember the sound of the wheels at all...strangely enough, I remember it better at the end of its life, when all the wheels had disappeared!

Post# 96323 , Reply# 33   4/17/2010 at 21:06 (3,465 days old) by electrolux~137 ()        

I remember it better at the end of its life, when all the wheels had disappeared!

Like the sound of my mom's Electrolux AE when it had lost all its wheels?

Scrape scrape scrape scrape scrape
Scrape scrape scrape scrape scrape

... being dragged across the floor and down the stairs?!

Post# 96332 , Reply# 34   4/18/2010 at 01:45 (3,465 days old) by electroluxkirby ()        

I would still love them, but I do like the sounds. I finally got a new hose made for my Electrolux XXX, and a cord for it. It has a very nice sound; doesn't sound anything like my Olympia One or Automatic AE. I can't actually hear the TV and phone when the XXX is running.

Other things I enjoy listening to are my Maytag 606 Washer, KitchenAid Custom 21 Dishwasher, Sunbeam Percolator, and any of my IBM typewriters when typing or idling.

Post# 96339 , Reply# 35   4/18/2010 at 03:46 (3,465 days old) by beerad (Beautiful Vancouver BC)        
ahhh ooooooooooo

I remember I love the sound of the sand travelling up the hose of the lux 89 as I was vacuuming the carpet with the power nozzel. I just went very slow and I heared more and more sand flying up the hose. a very distinct sound of its own. Is there anyone eles who experienced this with the oler luxes and the braided hoses?

Post# 96347 , Reply# 36   4/18/2010 at 07:47 (3,465 days old) by hooverbaby (Dalton in Furness, UK)        
Sound is the main appeal!

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I'm sure that my main reason for becoming interested in cleaners is due to the sound which they make. I especially like the sound of older Hoover uprights but there are others that run sweetly.

In common with many collectors, my interest began at an early age. Although I've always valued appearance and design features of machines, my interest in them developed after becoming initially hooked.

Post# 96366 , Reply# 37   4/18/2010 at 10:38 (3,465 days old) by sireluxomatic ()        

That describes it pretty well. The bottom of that machine was a disaster area.

Post# 96390 , Reply# 38   4/18/2010 at 14:09 (3,465 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
and having just finished the vintage floor sweep with my xxx, something about the feel of it, smell of it, of course sound of it, more like a pleasure cruise than work, AND, my skittish cat doesn't even move or run with that machine, not sure if sound level, or the quality of the sound? It was fun. I use a newer blue/beige flip nozzle with gleaner for the plush area rug, works pretty well for long hair cat owner.

Post# 96399 , Reply# 39   4/18/2010 at 14:51 (3,465 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Ok, somebody will want to kill me, but the old xxx got moved back into weekly rotation, its in the inside vac closet now! Guessing that the Silverado will move to garage, or the Kemore Progressive with $4.50 hepa bags maybe? Cleans ok, just not a good handshake, its a feel thing. PS, my xxx is a frankenlux from 3 units! But I sure LOVE it.

Post# 96411 , Reply# 40   4/18/2010 at 16:47 (3,465 days old) by louvac (A)        
What about the bag and the cord?

Not only the sound of the machines themselves does it for me-it's the gorgeous billowy cloth bags when inflated! I love the shapes and colors! I just love the way a Kirby bag inflates! And, Royals, too! There is just something about it!

And, I was never and I am still not now, a fan of "Cord-O-Disappears"!! I like seeing the cord. I guess it's rooted from when I was kid that those retractable cords made the machine appear as though it operated on batteries. And batteries back then were not of the caliber that they are today. So "battery-operated" always (at least to me) meant, mediocre quality.

I guess for me it's part of the whole package... sound, bags, and cords....the overall form....!!!!

Post# 96432 , Reply# 41   4/18/2010 at 22:31 (3,464 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

gottahaveahoove's profile picture
LOVE it all.

Post# 96448 , Reply# 42   4/19/2010 at 02:12 (3,464 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

For those who like "poofy-Billowy" bags-you need a NSS M1-the top mounted HUGE bag is just right for vacuum lovers that like large bags.And the delightful "THOOP" as something picked up is blown into that bag by the HUGE NSS fan!And ProFlite has a large wide sweep upright vacuum that looks like a lawnmower-its bag sort of look like the grass bag on a rear discharge lawnmower.The machine is too bag for my home-but tried it out at Greenville Vacuum and sewing-It like the NSS-has a huge metal fan!When you picked up rice with it for testing-made really nice tinkling sounds as the rice went thru the fan.I want one anyway!-just have to figure where to put it and use it.Mike the vac store operator suggested I buy it and use it to vacuum large floors for hire.The machine and bag are a really cool blue color.This one vacuums a path 24" wide.

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