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  #1  
Old 2022-03-23, 10:16am
TacoCat TacoCat is offline
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Join Date: Mar 23, 2022
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Default Torch upgrade Champion vs Mirage

Hey everyone, I want to get some more perspective on the GTT Mirage vs a Bethlehem Champion before I make my purchase.

I had my heart set on a Mirage, but I can get the champion for about $400 less (Canadian).

So I am now ready to buy either one, but can't make up my mind.

I am moving up from a redmax, I have no plans to work soft glass, Boro only. I want to focus on functional hollow stuff mostly, recyclers, rigs and pipes. With some occasional marbles, sculptures and pendants. I also enjoy fuming and plan to incorporate it into a lot of future work.

From what I can find on O2 consumption, full flame, the champion requires 40 LPM, while the Mirage states 26 LPM. Can anyone comment from experience if that is correct? I've read forums where people claim the champion is more O2 efficient, so I'm not sure what to believe.

It also seems that the center fire of the mirage is preferred by most over the champion.

I also gather that the GTT has a more driving heat and will heat glass quicker than the champion. Does this mean it's also more difficult to get an even heat base with the GTT?

My other concern is the durability and cleaning of the two which the champion seems to be the winner, I'd love to hear thoughts on this as well!

Thank in advance all ✌️
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  #2  
Old 2022-03-23, 12:18pm
rcktscientist rcktscientist is offline
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Join Date: Jun 19, 2021
Location: los angeles
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The general consensus is that the GTT centerfire (Lynx) is superior to the Alpha (Champion non-sharp) but the Champion Sharp Flame addresses that to some degree so would be a better choice the the original Champion. Lynx is still king.

Consumption is comparable but the Mirage uses a tad more O2 when full flame. They run at different pressures so LPM can't be the only metric, pressure needs to be considered. Also, that pressure difference is what gives the 'driving' heat vs. the fluffier heat. Not sure which heats the glass faster but I'd guess it's the Mirage. If so, that shorter working time may justify the $400 price diff since you'll be able to get it back through O2 savings.

Bethlehem torches are generally more robust than GTT as far as damage from bumps and such. Cleaning is about the same but GTTs never get hit with a wooden stick....or anything for that matter!

Tough choice but I'd go GTT unless the $ is a major issue since they re-sell far better than other torches.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 2022-03-23, 12:55pm
TacoCat TacoCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcktscientist View Post
The general consensus is that the GTT centerfire (Lynx) is superior to the Alpha (Champion non-sharp) but the Champion Sharp Flame addresses that to some degree so would be a better choice the the original Champion. Lynx is still king.

Consumption is comparable but the Mirage uses a tad more O2 when full flame. They run at different pressures so LPM can't be the only metric, pressure needs to be considered. Also, that pressure difference is what gives the 'driving' heat vs. the fluffier heat. Not sure which heats the glass faster but I'd guess it's the Mirage. If so, that shorter working time may justify the $400 price diff since you'll be able to get it back through O2 savings.

Bethlehem torches are generally more robust than GTT as far as damage from bumps and such. Cleaning is about the same but GTTs never get hit with a wooden stick....or anything for that matter!

Tough choice but I'd go GTT unless the $ is a major issue since they re-sell far better than other torches.

Good luck!
Thanks for the reply rcktscientist! Ok that's great to hear and confirms what I've put together so far as well. I'm really leaning towards the Mirage, I think the time and O2 saved using a mirage will compound and quickly outweigh the higher purchase price.
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  #4  
Old 2022-03-23, 2:55pm
rcktscientist rcktscientist is offline
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Join Date: Jun 19, 2021
Location: los angeles
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In the same boat. On a Bobcat right now but ready to upgrade.
It was 2 choice pairs for me:
LOWER COST - Phantom vs. Sidewinder w/scroll base vs. Red Rocket (previously all around $1200, Phantom now around $1400)
HIGHER COST - Mirage vs. Champion Sharp (currently both around $1800)

I've got 4x 5lpm oxycons I am refurbishing to 95% purity. I really wanted to find a super clean, used Phantom to trade for the group. But, I'll likely just sell them and buy a torch cash.
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