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Forum > Sewing Machines > What to buy: Viking Emerald 203 vs ? ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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What to buy: Viking Emerald 203 vs ?
gaba
gaba
Member since 8/22/08
Posts: 4
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Date: 10/19/10 2:27 AM

I'm in the market for a machine upgrade. I currently have a Janome Harmony 2049 with tension issues, leading to my own tension issues when it breaks down at least once per project. I found a Viking Emerald 203, which is being discontinued, for $749 which includes 2 classes and a 3 yr service agreement. It sews like a dream (note: my standards may be low due to aforementioned current irritating machine) and seems like a good deal, but I haven't really shopped around. There aren't any reviews of the 203 on here, but I think it's basically a souped-up 183. Any opinions on this machine? Suggestions for what else should I look at? I'd been thinking about a BabyLock Grace or Crafter's Choice before getting lured in on the Viking while waiting at the cutting counter. $800 is definitely the high end of my desired price range.

I'd describe myself as an advanced beginner. I sew mostly crafts, costumes, kid's clothes, some adult clothes, and will be doing a lot of home decor in the coming year. Eventually I'll inherit my mom's '60s era Bernina, so I kind of want a machine that does some fancy stuff (cute stitches, east button-holes)since between the Janome and Bernina I can cover the basics pretty well.

Carrie-Jane
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Carrie-Jane
Intermediate
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 12/9/06
Posts: 1160
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Date: 10/19/10 5:51 AM

Hi,
I just got a Janome 4900QC a few days ago and so far I'm really impressed.
Mine came with the quilting kit and the large clear extension table.

I've done a few small projects on it and am (between builders and electricans working on our house!) stitching out samples of all the decorative stitches. I am half way through all of them so far and they come out really nicely. This is my first machine with the 7mm stitch width which really makes the stitches look lovely. It is easy to wind and bobbin and thread and easy to use with nice large press buttons on the front and stitch chart in the lid.

Not sure what they come out price wise over in the US but I would recommend it.

Just to mention that I also have an Emerald 122 and this Janome really is an upgrade for me.

------
My machines; Bernina 135S, Elna 2300, Bernina Serger 800DL.
http://fenullapolkadot.blogspot.com

cherylwashere
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cherylwashere  Friend of PR
Intermediate
USA
Member since 4/10/04
Posts: 1421
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In reply to gaba


Date: 10/19/10 12:12 PM

Hi Gaba,
Welcome to PR newbie. Most definitely look at the BL's. Go to YouTube, there are several video's for the BL's you mention. Viking's are iffy, you may get a good one, you may not. Viking's quality got lost with their merge with Pfaff and Singer.
Cheryl
P.S. I do love my Viking 770, but that is an older model when Viking owned Viking.

------
Bernina 820, Bernina Artista 165, Bernina B330, Pfaff Creative 7530, Janome 1600P

tgm and Kittys
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tgm and  Kittys
Advanced Beginner
Wisconsin USA
Member since 3/8/10
Posts: 8124
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In reply to gaba


Date: 10/19/10 12:25 PM

Welcome
Ask the dealership if you can test out the very SAME ONE you are buying BEFORE you get it home. From my own experience once it leaves the store... I wish I would have tested it very well FIRST!
Not meaning to scare you or anything...I just think in hindsight it is better to test the one you are buying from the get-go. ...Remember too those Viking feet are pricey. ...Just some things to think about.
Good luck on your search!!

------
Home of the adorable Baby & Mittee girl >^,,^<

Oh goody, DH has now getting a nice part time job starts Dec 1st. ~smile~
The sewing workers:
Hello Kitty Kate (green), Hello Kitty Valerie, Dottie Kenmore, Bubba Kenmore the traveler.

Be still & know that I Am God +

M.S.
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M.S.
Intermediate
Member since 3/6/09
Posts: 1257
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Date: 10/19/10 3:36 PM

Babylock may be running some promos. A local quilt shop sent me a mailer with coupons........FYI.

gaba
gaba
Member since 8/22/08
Posts: 4
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Date: 10/20/10 0:06 AM

Thanks for the thoughts (and the welcomes!). I'm going to go test out some of the BL machines tomorrow. That's also a really good point that the viking feet and accessories are expensive. And you're right, Babylock is running a promo according to the shop owner who I talked to over the phone today. He said the Elizabeth is $999 and the Tempo is $699. The Elizabeth seems to be more comparable to the 203 with the stitches (especially satin stitches for applique), buttonhole options, etc. But it's $150 more... hard decisions.

Mufffet
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Mufffet  Friend of PR
Intermediate
Vermont USA
Member since 8/14/05
Posts: 11308
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In reply to gaba


Date: 10/20/10 11:16 AM

Quote:
That's also a really good point that the viking feet and accessories are expensive.


Well, they aren't more than a few other brands, and they are of very high quality and do a terrific job. And once you buy a foot, you have it for as long as you have the machine - could be years and years. I don't find foot prices to be off-putting - you are buying a quality machine, so buy quality feet as well. I know I often post this, but it is very true. Why buy a good machine and then cheap feet and accessories?!

------
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."
--Dalai Lama

I have sewing machines

cherylwashere
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cherylwashere  Friend of PR
Intermediate
USA
Member since 4/10/04
Posts: 1421
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In reply to Mufffet


Date: 10/20/10 11:46 AM

My thoughts exactly.

------
Bernina 820, Bernina Artista 165, Bernina B330, Pfaff Creative 7530, Janome 1600P

Fluffypicklechunks
Fluffypicklechunks
Member since 12/2/05
Posts: 40
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In reply to gaba


Date: 10/20/10 3:49 PM

Gaba,

I was interested in that machine too until I talked to my favorite dealer. They told me they had quit selling the 203 because it kept coming back with electrical problems. They only went as high as the 118 in the Emerald series (a mechanical, non computerized.) If your dealer is willing to do parts and labor for 3 years for a decent price, it might be fine though. That seems long enough to catch/fix any deficiencies, right?

I went with a Brother instead for my computerized machine needs and am happy with it. It has more features, is very good quality, with lower investment. Like you, I have other machines to handle lots of other basics.

gaba
gaba
Member since 8/22/08
Posts: 4
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Date: 10/20/10 5:26 PM

Interesting about the electrical issues fluffypickelchunks. That's what I was thinking too, that 3yrs parts and service should be enough time to suss out any weird issues with the machine.

Just to report back, I went and tested the BL Tempo and Elizabeth and the Bernina 330. Wasn't impressed with the interface on the Bernina or the cost relative to the number of features. Liked the Tempo and if I was comparing the Tempo to the 203, which are both about the same price, I'd go with the 203 hands down. But of course I tried out the Elizabeth and loved it. It is considerably more ($999 vs $750) for pretty equivalent features. Are BabyLocks really that much better? Or more reliable anyway? This is probably the only sewing machine I'll buy for at least the next 10-15 yrs, and maybe ever.

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