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Message Board > Sewing Machines > Janome vs Babylock ( Moderated by Sharon1952, EleanorSews)

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Janome vs Babylock
Should I keep my 6600 or trade it for a Symphony?
Allegro
Allegro
Member since 5/12/10
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Date: 4/12/13 12:29 PM

I bought a Janome 6600 a little over a year ago and haven't really been excited about it. I would never describe it as a machine that I LOVE! For most of the time I've had it, I've been looking at other options. I was at a sewing expo yesterday and saw the Babylock Symphony. Boy was I impressed! It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning!

I wonder if there is anybody out there that has used both machines, or even both brands that could give me some real comparisons, pros and cons. How do Babylock machines handle thicker fabrics or seam intersections, for instance? Any quirks that really stand out? I did try it some, but discovered after buying my Janome that I really couldn't fully get a feel for the machine until I took it home and used it there.

I'm not a quilter, but might enjoy dabbling in it from time to time.

I'm afraid that if I get the Symphony, or any other machine, for that matter, I won't be happy with it either. Silly me can be so picky sometimes, I'll admit. I wonder if the fact that I sewed on a Kenmore for 35 years has made it difficult for me to get used to a computerized machine. One person suggested that maybe I was scared of my new machine! I have to say that for me the best feature on the Janome is the needle up/down thing! Awesome! Maybe now that I've had a taste of new technology in sewing I'll be more accepting of something else.

Sew Nanny
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Date: 4/12/13 12:34 PM

I'm not familiar with Babylock sewing machines, but I owned a Janome 6600 for a few years back when they were first introduced. I had trouble with the paint chipping on the bed and also didn't care for the Accufeed system. The foot apparatus was always in my way when it wasn't in use.

I owned a Brother QC-1000 for a short while and then switched to Bernina. Even though I currently own the TOL Bernina, I still wonder if there is a better "fit" for me out there somewhere.

------
Patricia
Bernina 830LE ~ Bernina Artista 635LE ~ Juki MO-735
Bernina DesignerPlus 7

"It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness." Eleanor Roosevelt

JTink
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JTink
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Date: 4/12/13 12:55 PM

If you haven't done so already, make sure you "test drive" a Baby Lock before buying it. Pay close attention to the threading process and the bobbin winding. After using a Janome(I had a Kenmore made by Janome and loved it), the Baby Lock was a bit of a disappointment to me. I feel like for the money I spent, it should have been less fiddly to thread and wind the bobbin...also, I'm still trying to figure out, why the Baby Lock doesn't have an automatic "stop" when the bobbin is full. You have to keep an eye on it and when it starts to slow down, you have to manually stop it by pushing the Stop/Start button.

I did a review of the Baby Lock Tempo I bought a few months ago. It's probably listed as Crafters Choice(CCBL) in the review section.

Allegro
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Date: 4/12/13 1:20 PM

Really? I didn't actually thread it, but watched it done and it looked marvelous to me! I really like that there's a thread cutter for the bobbin after putting it in it's place, and the fact that I don't have to bring that thread up before sewing. I'm also very surprised that the bobbin winder doesn't automatically stop. That's just weird!

This is just the kind of information I'm looking for! Thanks, and keep it coming!

wendyrb
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Date: 4/12/13 2:32 PM

The store test drive and living with a machine at home are 2 different things. At the store everything for me was new; I couldn't tell if I would get comfortable at home or things would still be awkward. A modern machine should have the bobbin stop at full and unusual that it doesn't. Call your dealer about that or bring it in to the tech. Could be a simple repair. Did you get starter lessons? I've got some habits from my previous machines and the teacher at the beginner lesson noticed things I need to change. These are good pointers and make a difference in set up and sewing.

I hope with some help from your Babylock dealer you'll soon be happy with you new machine.

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

Allegro
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Date: 4/12/13 4:31 PM

[The store test drive and living with a machine at home are 2 different things.]

Exactly!

JTink
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Date: 4/12/13 6:46 PM

I was Hell bent on getting a new machine and talked myself into this one. I was just a few weeks out of hand surgery and couldn't really test drive it myself. I have never been comfortable working with a machine at the store. I can only get the real feel, here at home. I watched the sales lady do the threading and the bobbin. I understood the workings, just didn't understand how fiddly it all is. And I tend to wonder if any of that would have made a difference to me, if testing it at the store. I would have considered it a learning curve.

I wasn't really able to put the machine through it's paces for almost a month after bringing it home.

About the bobbin: it's the way of this machine...the book even says: When the bobbin winding becomes slow, press Start/Stop button to stop the machine. There is no way to put it through the little hole, without three hands. I just got a tangled bobbin this afternoon. It's a mess. I can't even get the thread off of it. I'm taking it to the store(where I bought the machine)and let them know that this is happening more often than I can tolerate.

I take full responsibility for this bone headed decision. It was an expensive lesson learned.

wendyrb
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Date: 4/12/13 7:19 PM

Oh my dear If there's a gene for being bone headed, maybe we're relatives.

And also, my Babylock dealer has a policy of trading in a newly purchased machine for the sell price and applying that to a more expensive model. This goes for a full year. Not sure if it's a Babylock corporate policy or simply my dealer. Why not ask? Now that your hand is working again and you can more carefully test, is that option? More and more machines have their manuals online. With what you know now, I'm sure you could read through and trouble shoot for things you dislike and confirm it has what you do like. The reviews here were also a huge help to me in researching my new machine. It got to the point that my financially conservative husband said- enough! You've really done your homework. Go buy the darn machine!

I know trading up is more money, but maybe you'd land on a machine that is a better fit. There's value in not stressing yourself out from the moment you sit down to sew. And 1 last

------
Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them. Andy Rooney

Pfonzie- my honey Pfaff Creative Performance, Bernina 930 and 830, Evolution serger.

ShirleyJo
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Date: 4/12/13 7:57 PM

Quote: JTink
the Baby Lock was a bit of a disappointment to me. I feel like for the money I spent, it should have been less fiddly to thread and wind the bobbin...also, I'm still trying to figure out, why the Baby Lock doesn't have an automatic "stop" when the bobbin is full. You have to keep an eye on it and when it starts to slow down, you have to manually stop it by pushing the Stop/Start button.

Maybe this depends on the model?? Because I have the Babylock Espire, predecessor to the Symphony, and it winds beautiful bobbins and stops when they're full. And it's super easy to thread and has a great needle threader. Mine has been flawless.

Not sure what budget range or brand you want to stay in Allegro; but if you liked the Symphony, other machines to look at at would be the Babylock Crescendo upgrade from the Symphony, and the Brother equivalents, the NX-2000 Laura Ashley (Symphony), and the VQ3000 Dreamweaver (Crescendo). If you review the specs of the machines on the Brother and Babylock websites, you'll see they're each very much the same. If you move down from the Symphony, you'll be at the Melody (Laura Ashley NX-800 in the Brother). These are quite a bit smaller machines to begin with, they have stitch selection buttons rather than Symphony's big touch screen, and because you have lots of little buttons on a much smaller machine, yes, they feel a bit more fiddly.
Not sure about the bobbin winder. But they make great travel machines for those that want a full-featured but smaller (not mini), lightweight machine.

Anyway, wishing you the best in finding your perfect machine! I ended up with primarily Brothers, simply because where I lived at the time, that was the dealer with the best prices and service dept. But Babylocks are wonderful too.



------
Slightly too many machines...

ShirleyJo
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Date: 4/12/13 8:43 PM

Quote: JTink
I was Hell bent on getting a new machine and talked myself into this one.... It was an expensive lesson learned.

Oh JTink, I am SO with you there! Only in my case it was a a big sewing and embroidery combo. I just HAD to have it, it was SOOO "pretty"!! I barely tried it out at the dealer, handed over the credit card to the tune of 6 grand, and happily hauled that big red box home, hoops, CD's, and all!

A week later I finally had a day off. Sat down to actually sew... and... within an hour, knew I'd made a huge mistake. What can I say, that machine was a great machine, wonderful, beautiful, just spiffy, and every other adjective one might insert, but it just did not fit me. No clue why. For me, it was like a really dull boyfriend. "Nice guy, no chemistry!" I couldn't trade it back to the dealer, she only carried that one brand at that time, and it was that brand's top of the line. There was nothing to trade up to. I tried to talk myself into loving it, well that didn't work. My head said "yes" but my heart said "no." Every time it wanted to get together and sew, I suddenly realized I had to wash my hair.

So that poor faithful (utterly boring!) machine just sat in my sewing room like a doorstop, collecting dust, and making me feel guilty every time I looked at it. It was my "wadder machine." I finally decided life was too short to let a a bad relationship ruin my creative life, it was time to move on, and I needed to break up. So I sent it off on a blind date with Ebay. And yes... expensive lesson learned


-- Edited on 4/12/13 9:20 PM --

------
Slightly too many machines...

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