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Viking:Sapphire 960Q (Sewing Machine)
Viewed 2402 time(s)
Review rated Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 5 people   
Reviewed by:berngard3
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About berngard3
VA USA
Member since: 12/18/06
Reviews written: 5
Sewing skills:Intermediate
sewing machines reviewed: 1
Bio: more...
Report a problem with this review
Posted on:11/27/13 4:42 PM
Approx price paid:$2700
Had this machine for:2 months
Recommended? Yes
Online Merchants:Amazon.com
Viking Sapphire 960QFeatures
  • Computerized
  • Needle Threader
  • Needle Up/Down Setting
  • Embroidery Stitches
  • One step buttonhole
  • Drop-In bobbin
  • Free Arm
  • Adjustable Stitch Length and Width
  • Adjustable Presser Foot Pressure
  • Adjustable Needle Position
  • Auto Threading
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Review:
1. Adjustable Tension on every type of stitch, as well as adjustable length and width. But, you can't adjust the bobbin tension. I purchased this machine because I ruined the tension on my old Viking 500 by making handbags (lots of bulk in some of those seams). I love being able to adjust this tension so precisely.

2. So many programmed stitches! I think this machine has close to 350, including heirloom, quilting and embroidery stitches. I doubt I will ever use them all, but they're there.

3. Automatic notifications for all sorts of things: low bobbin thread, machine overheating, etc. I've had to turn off some of the "beeping", but left it on for major issues.

4. This is a truly computerized machine. It is built on the Sapphire/Diamond body, so it is larger (won't fit in my old cabinet). But it's not heavy like the Berninas. (I actually ended up buying this Viking because Bernina could not (or would not) give me a pricing on the new 560, nor would it stock the number of machines my dealer needed to meet the demand.) The learning curve can be high on switching from a manual machine to fully computerized.

5. Touch screen: everything is on the screen--changing stitches, tension, length, etc.

6. Screen Advisor: the machine is programmed with a Help feature, and the screen will answer a question, such as "What is this?" The machine will also tell you what size needle to use, what tension the material requires, what foot is appropriate, etc., although I found the choice of fabrics upon which to sew is quite limited.

Troubleshooting:
1. Lighting: have had to add a SewLite from Neulux to the inside arm (no space on the needle housing). I really like having LOTS of light on my project when I sew. The machine comes with a needle light, and a light on the arm, but I found the throat just too dim for my liking.

2. Needle Threader: I find manually threading the machine much faster than using the threader. Could be I was just raised on a machine where I did this myself. And this mechanism gets in the way of threading that hook immediately above the needle.

3. Automatic Thread Cutter: does not cut the bobbin thread when I am free motion quilting 50% of the time.

4. Stop/Start Automatic sewing button: WOW! That goes fast, even on the slowest speed setting. I really have no control over the machine or my project when using this feature.

5. Needle housing sits a little low; hard for my fat fingers to get in there. And I have to contort to see the screws for changing the needle and the foot collar.

6. Changing stitches? I had the machine change stitches on my by itself several times while sewing today. I'm hoping this is just a glitch (or maybe my finger or wrist touched the screen). This is a touch screen machine (which I love; IMHO the stylus that comes with the machine is old technology), and the screen responds quickly when touched.

7. Presser Foot Up/Down button: I found even while using this I was unable to sew very small areas (such as a 3/8" grossgrain ribbon end); small items are not always wide enough to span the feed dogs, and without those you cannot advance the item through the needle (the presser foot rests on the needle plate so you can't push the item under it to force an advancement either). And the width of the presser foot arms may also not hold such small items in place to sew them. With more manual machines this is something the sewer can control.

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7 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
karen149 said...
Nice review! I just got this machine. There is a software update to correct the changing stitches on issue #6. There are also four new stitches to download, two of them are Christmas Omni Motion Stitches.
11/27/13 4:48 PM
lgrande said...
I'm surprised that there is a 'recommend' for this machine given the many, many negatives listed; seems a 'maybe' might be more appropriate.
11/28/13 8:29 AM
hese61 said...
lgrande, i finally got my 960q. All in one, its a wonderful machine. About number 5, I'm a not-so-small-man (198cm tall) and my hands are really big. I don't have any troubles under needle area :) Software has some bugs, not major ones. Some translation typos in Finnish language so I changed language to Swedish.
12/2/13 3:16 PM
hese61 said...
I forgot something. I'm glad that machine is upgradable :)
12/2/13 3:22 PM
berngard3 said...
Update: about a week after writing this review I had to take my new machine into the dealer for service. The upper thread would not draw up the lower thread. Found out the bottom cutter had not reset and was out of place (just needed to slide back into place). Since I don't like using the thread cutter that much anyway I figured I can live without it. But IGrande may be correct; this may be a "maybe" machine. There are still many features I like, but it takes getting used to.
12/8/13 4:40 PM
karen149 said...
I recently took a lesson on my 960Q and it was recommended to use the stylus on the screen vs. your finger as it will get confused on what you are trying to tap on after awhile with a "fat" finger. There is a Settings feature to calibrate the screen with your stylus by touching a target in several areas. It's OK to use your finger on the area outside of the screen, though.
12/12/13 11:56 PM
MinaLMcGrady said...
Wow $2700- I am trading in a machine to get $500 off of this machine and the price will be $1200.
3/16/14 2:59 AM
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