I was at a fiber fest a couple weeks back and finally got to try my hand at various new wheels.
I've been spinning on wheels since 2002 and am very happy with the wheels I have but I have never had a selection of wheels to spin on to compare.
Susan McFarland (susansfibershop.com) had a wide variety of wheels available to test.
I was interested in Merlin Tree's HitchHiker (http://www.themerlintree.com/the_merlin_tree009.htm
) since I will be traveling more for work. It had a different treadling because of the friction drive. But I think it will work well.
I tried a couple Louet models since I've heard such rave reviews from them, but I wasn't happy with the action of them. They seemed harder to treadle than my Ashford Traveler. bummer.
Majacraft Little Gem II was a nice wheel. Had great action and spun wonderfully, but the price tag (over $700) Ouch!
The Schact Matchless spun really nice in scotch tension, much easier than my Traveler, but I didn't like the way it spun with a double drive.
Then I sat downn at the Kromski Sonata, all I can say is WOW! I mean
! It treadled so easily and the fiber seemed to spin itself (I used roving I brought myself to spin on all the wheels).
Now I want one. Price tag is over $500, but I'm thinking if I sell my 70's era Ashford Traditional and my late 1700's Irish style saxony, I may have enough to buy it.