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Forum > Machine Embroidery > difference between PE-400 & PE-500 ( Moderated by Pyrose)

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difference between PE-400 & PE-500
considering a first embriodery machine
tkdnrun
tkdnrun
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Missouri USA
Member since 12/15/10
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Date: 2/15/13 10:50 AM

I would love to pick at some of the collective wisdom in this community.

My daughter (14 years old) has been interested in adding an embriodery machine to our sewing and serger machine collection. Some have embrodery stitches and letters but they are limited by the stitch width. She used one in her high scool class (which she got like a 104%!) And had a blast. I will admit the idea of putting a name or cute design on a bag or tshirt is very appealing.
The brothers PE-400 & PE-500 are about the price range I'm looking at ($200-$300) for our first machine.
Does anyone know the difference between these machines (there are tons of reviews for the 400, but no reviews for the 500 on pattern review that I could find other than message board comments) or suggest a machine in that price range for us to start with.
Additional note: I have 2 more girls (12 and 11) who are learning and liking sewing too so this probably something I will get many years out of.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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In reply to tkdnrun <<


Date: 2/15/13 1:36 PM

The PE 500 is the newest and I am not even sure there is a PE 400 unless it is a used one (PE400D).

Overview of the 500

CORRECTION ----downloaded designs can be uploaded from the computer to the EM via the USB cable that comes with the EM, or you can use memory cards. To move designs from the computer to the Em, you would have to purchase PED Basic with a rewritable memory card.

The SE400 is a combo sewing or embroidery and it uses USB connectivity or memory cards. Same as the PE500.

Both have a 4" x 4" hoop, which is usually soon outgrown.

It may be better to go to a Brother dealer and see what is available with at least a 5" x 7" hoop (designated embroidery area).

A dealer can help with questions, provide lessons and service the machine when necessary. The rep should show how to thread and stitch and then let the customer thread and stitch before making the purchase.

I have owned two EM; one the Brother PE 150 (bottom of the line at that time) and Babylock Ellegante (top of the line at the time of purchase). The only time service was needed was when I walked away while the BL was stitching and excess fabric fell into the hoop and knocked out the alignment.

Keep the bobbin area clean, follow the instructions for threading, use ME bobbin thread, don't leave unattended and they are excellent brands.

Sometimes there are issues with bird nesting (thread tangles under the fabric) and this can be due to the thread feeding in the wrong direction, miss threading or use of the wrong wt bobbin thread.

One software program I would add would be a catalog program so you can actually see the embroidery designs that have been loaded onto the computer. Embrilliance Thumbnailer is around $40 and can be purchased online. Walk-in dealers usually charge more for software than when purchased online.

Before purchasing software products, check the support requirements. Most run on Windows and some will run on Mac.

The girls are going to love the embroidery machine and will soon be making items for their friends.


-- Edited on 2/18/13 10:31 AM --

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Allegro
Allegro
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Date: 2/15/13 2:52 PM

I think the PE500 can be connected directly to a computer, but with a cable, not a thumb drive.

tkdnrun
tkdnrun
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Missouri USA
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Date: 2/16/13 1:15 AM

Patti-thanks for the overview of the pe500
I did some research today and among the things I figured out is the other machine is an se400 and it is a combo machine like was said.
Some background, I have a Bernina 450 that I did not purchase the embriodery module with. Thinking that might be an option, I called the dealer and the gal I have worked with told me it sells for $1299. She then told me it was made for windows 98 and needs patches for todays computers and at some point they (Bernina) will stop supporting it. Then she rcommended a Bernette deco 340 (not sure about the number it was in the 300 range) and that was being sold for $1299, but hooked directly to the computer and was going to be supported for a longer time. Also she did mention the larger hoop and how quickly a 4x4 hoop is outgrown.
So I called a local Brother dealer and they said the simplest/cheapest machine they sell is a 780D machine. The price for the 780d was about $800- 900. Still cheaper than the Deco and embroidery unit. I saw alot of positive reviews for the brother 770. Amazon has it for around $575. Would that be similar to the 780? I guess the dealer classes alone might make the price diference negligible.>

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 2/16/13 12:16 PM

Stick with Brother or Babylock for machine embroidery.

Both companies have websites where you can compare the features.



-- Edited on 2/16/13 12:25 PM --

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"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/16/13 5:35 PM

The Deco is Bernina's version of the Janome 350e so I would consider it. You only need a USB. I don't know what file format it requires so check that part out. I had a 350e as my novice machine and gave it to my daughter when I outgrew it.
I may have gotten the Deco if I had known about it at the time I got the Janome so I could have had dealer support.
I really like the BL machines. Dealer support is usually terriffuc and so many classes are offered for embroidery. I also like that they work through USB on bith Mac and Windows. For the next gen that is always into tech that's an advantage.
Stitch Buddy is a native Mac program that is now available for iPads and soon will have an iPhone/iTouch version to sync your files.
Embriliance is another good one. Just one license for both Mac and Windows so as the girls grow up they are not limited by their computers.
-- Edited on 2/16/13 5:42 PM --

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sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

speattle
speattle
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In reply to tkdnrun <<


Date: 2/17/13 0:06 AM

Instead, consider the Brother 950D. You can upload designs via USB stick and I don't believe the other 2 machines have a USB port. Much handier than a cable or a card.

Plus it is a super sewing machine as well.

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Elna Lotus TSP, Singer 503a-Rocketeer, Brother Innovis 1250D, Pfaff Passport 2.0, Kenmore 10-Stitch, Centennial Singer Featherweight from 1950

Mrs.Moos
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Date: 2/17/13 12:51 PM

The Brother 770 can be had (last time I checked) for under $600. It is basically the same machine as the 780D (dealer version)-the 780 has Disney Designs built in.
With the 770 you can buy designs off of Ibroidery.com-licensed designs such as Disney, Warner bros etc. The 770 has usb connectivity.

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Janome 6500P, Babylock Eclipse SX, Janome Coverpro 1000, Babylock BLCS, Juki 654, Juki 735, Janome 1600PDB, Brother ULT 2002D, Babylock Spirit, Brother 770

tkdnrun
tkdnrun
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Missouri USA
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Posts: 88
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Date: 2/18/13 2:08 AM

I have been doing more research and I guess the new question I'm dealing with is do I start small with the pe-500 (about $250-275) and even see if this is something we will use or go straight for the very reasonably priced and more feature rich pe770 (around $575-600)? I have to say I am impressed with all the features that come on the brother machines for the prices.
Also I'm trying to figure out costs for any set up supplies (stableizer, thread, software, etc.)
I read another reviewer/poster say don't go for the bottom of the line in any series, and I can see the wisdom in that, yet I'm really trying to be budget concious and $250 is not too hard for my husband to understand as many of his toys are in that range....
Oh the agony of good things to choose between

reallyrob
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reallyrob
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Date: 2/21/13 1:10 PM

I have a PE500, and I actually like it better than my PE770. If it could do 5x7, I wouldn't even keep my 770. The big difference is the 500 has to be connected to a computer to download designs. You can not use a usb stick in it.

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