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  1. #21
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    Cheri, I just bought the Passport 2.0 as Cathryn recommended for a lighter weight machine. I already have a high end machine but I find I'm using this machine for just about everything. The IDT system is wonderful and feeds the fabric so nicely without the need for a walking foot. The stitch quality is excellent and I couldn't do without the needle threader.

    I purchased mine from a dealer and I had to make a 45 minute trip to get there, but it was worth it. I highly recommend the machine and it is within your price range.

  2. #22
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    I have a Baby Lock Espire (now the Symphonie) and I lOVELOVELOVE my machine. It is at a higher price point but I know that Baby Lock has some lower end machines too. Mine has EVERYTHING that my quilty heart desires and then some. My backup is a Brother which I paid around $300 for and she is good too.

    My must have features are needle up/down AND position change.
    Good stitch quality (particularly blanket stitch)
    Good lighting (although I can add an external light)
    Good grip on feed dogs (doesn't pull the beginning down)
    Motor speed control

    On the more advanced machine:
    Large throat
    Options for stitch manipulation
    Cutter
    Needle threader (that's where the Baby Lock shines!)

    I used to be a Pfaff girl but since Pfaff, Singer, and Viking are being handled by VSP (a holding company) I found the quality and customer service to have gone downhill. I would not buy either of these brands at this time.

    The best thing you can do is test drive. I found that Janome and Bernina do not work for me. Nothing wrong with the brand - we are just not compatible.
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric
    Martina (aka MadQuilter in other forums)

  3. #23
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinaG View Post
    I used to be a Pfaff girl but since Pfaff, Singer, and Viking are being handled by VSP (a holding company) I found the quality and customer service to have gone downhill. I would not buy either of these brands at this time.
    The 3 brands may have the same holding company, but they are not even on the same continents. Each one is still a separate and unique individual enterprise. They each have their own research and development, marketing AND manufacturing facility. A Singer is not a Pfaff anymore than a Cadillac is a Buick.

    Customer service is more on the dealer end than manufacturing end, for machines that are ONLY available through a dealer. You MAY be able to get a Singer at a big box store or through the mail, but you can not purchase a Pfaff that way, and I don't think you can get a Viking either.

    There is absolutely no reason to avoid Pfaff because of quality issues, because they don't HAVE quality control issues that are any more severe than any other brand.
    Cathryn

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  5. #24
    Missouri Star

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    Nov 2012
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    Kitchener, Ontario Canada
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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    I have a Janome 3160QDC that I think is probably about that price range in the US. I paid a little more for it here but we're in Canada so everything costs more. I like it, and it has most of the features you talked about. This is the only new machine I have ever had so can't tell you about any others.

  6. #25
    Missouri Star

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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    Well, Cheri, if there is one 40 miles away I would at least call and talk to the owner. It would be cheaper than a new machine.
    Be blessed,
    Sandy

    God has a plan and it is a good plan.

  7. #26
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    Regardless of brand, the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE to look for in a new machine is a dealer that can do repairs! I paid an extra 10% for my Singer so I could buy it from my LQS because they do all of their repairs on site. No matter which brand or model you buy, you will need to have your machine serviced at some point (even if it's just regular maintenance) and a good repair person makes a world of difference.
    *Dee*
    Believe
    There Is
    Good In The World

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  9. #27
    Missouri Star

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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    2140 and 2144 (both upgraded to 2170) Pfaff. Had a Pfaff before Singer bought Pfaff the first time. Dealer was really good and learned a lot.

    There are very good support groups for all machines online. Yahoo has some pretty good Pfaff ones, and one called Compusew with Jan is a master ongoing tutorial for Pfaff/Viking software and Embird. Babylock has a couple of really good ones. Unfortunately, the best answer giver passed away, and he is much missed.

    I also have the Brother PQ 1500S. That also has a Yahoo group.

    My advice for any new machine - take some of your own fabric and get the dealer to let you try the machine in the way you use it.
    Even if it's the best machine ever made, it might not suit you. Never mind sales pitches. Test and get what works best for you.

  10. #28
    Beginning Stitcher

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    Feb 2013
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    Woodhaven, MI
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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    I'm a Viking girl myself, and that was after 20 years with a Singer.

  11. #29
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cat n bull View Post
    The 3 brands may have the same holding company, but they are not even on the same continents. Each one is still a separate and unique individual enterprise. They each have their own research and development, marketing AND manufacturing facility. A Singer is not a Pfaff anymore than a Cadillac is a Buick.

    Customer service is more on the dealer end than manufacturing end, for machines that are ONLY available through a dealer. You MAY be able to get a Singer at a big box store or through the mail, but you can not purchase a Pfaff that way, and I don't think you can get a Viking either.

    There is absolutely no reason to avoid Pfaff because of quality issues, because they don't HAVE quality control issues that are any more severe than any other brand.
    I did not mean to imply that they were all the same machine. Sorry that I may have implied that.

    My experience with Pfaff is based on personal experience and as a user of the older models I could definitely tell the quality difference in the newer ones. Had I not been a former Pfaff girl, I may have been OK with the quality of the new machines. Even dealers find their support weaning from their supplier. (At least that is what I hear.)

    Everyone needs to make up their own mind but for me (due to personal experience and additional research) the decision was to go with a different brand. It wasn't an easy decision either because I LOVE the Pfaff IDT.
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric
    Martina (aka MadQuilter in other forums)

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  13. #30
    Quilting Royalty

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    Jun 2013
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    St. Louis MO
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    Default Re: I hate my machine, what do you have?

    I am another Babylock girl, however my machine was considerable more expensive. I bought the Symphony right before Christmas and just upgraded to the Crescendo. I sewed on a Melody in a class and liked that machine a lot. Babylock and Brother are pretty much the same thing, although Brother has many more lower end models. I went with Babylock because of the quality control and service capability in my area. Babylock is a St. Louis, family owned company.

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