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1530 Brain transplant
Kelly D.
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Kelly D.  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/13/12 10:45 PM

I have a trusty Bernina 1530 that still outsews any other machine I've ever seen only it's suddenly brain-dead. The screen is blank, but it still sews, you just can't access any electronic functions. It will probably cost $800 or more to replace the brain. Has anyone out there had this repair? Was it worth it? Did it last? What about that trackball, which is what started all this nonsense when it stopped working in December? A local repairman, certified to work on Berninas but not a dealer, fixed the trackball and then a few weeks later the screen stopped working during the sewing madness leading up to Puyallup. Maybe something happened when he had it opened up, maybe the screen was about to go anyway.

At Puyallup, the Bernina People showed me what they thought I would want/need in their line and their best price was around $3600 for the machine they thought was a good match for my sewing profile, which is a fairly equal mix of garments, quilts and craft items. I don't know the model name/number of the machine they quoted, I had serious sticker shock and nearly fainted. Berninas seem way over-priced when you compare with the rest of the market. I don't remember them being so out of line when I bought the 1530.

I can get a Babylock, last season's top-of-the-line Quest for $900 (store demo, so technically slightly used, but really functionally new), but I sewed on it today and honestly it felt like sewing on a toy machine after years on the 1530. It's top speed seemed to be about half the Bernina speed on satin stitch, but the person who really knows that machine was out of the shop today so possibly the performance could be improved if I knew more about the machine.

I put it out to all you fellow sewing enthusiasts. What would you do in my shoes? Fix the old favorite Bernina I know and love to sew on, buy the BabyLock or spring for a new Bernina?
-- Edited on 3/13/12 10:47 PM --

skae
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In reply to Kelly D.


Date: 3/13/12 10:53 PM

Take it in and maybe it justs need the lcd screen replaced. Just have them check it out and go from there.
I say have this machine fixed.

------
Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. (CEV)

sewfrequent

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Date: 3/14/12 6:15 AM

I agree with skae. It might be a $$ repair, but $800 would barely buy you a low-end Activa in new. After using the 1530 for so long, I don't know that you'd be happy with another brand. There are definitely comparable machines out there in other brands for well under $3600, though.

Miss Fairchild
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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Kelly D.


Date: 3/14/12 7:45 AM

As much as I'm not a Bernina supporter, due to the hefty price tags they now bear, I'm with everyone else. I'd take it in to see what is wrong with it and get it fixed, if it's for $800. There might be some funny quirks on the Babylock that you might not like, such as the speed on the satin stitch, as you mentioned. I have several machines, including an expensive Janome which has a satin stitch that is about worthless because it's so slow. And I forced myself to buy a serger because the overedge knit stitch on the same machine is like molasses.

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"Play the cards you are dealt, but choose who is sitting at the table"..AARP magazine

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mssewcrazy
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In reply to Kelly D.


Date: 3/14/12 8:14 AM

I repaired a computerized TOL pfaff with a refurbished computer board from the company back in the 80s as it was nearly new and it with the labor back then was about $800 which I now realize was very high but I didn't feel as if there was a choice since the machine was just out of warranty. I have not been sorry as I have had no more problems. A service at lots of the places and a minor repair runs $300 and up on the new machines so I would vote yes if I loved the machine and it was in otherwise nice shape.

quiltingwolf
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Date: 3/14/12 9:48 AM

I think you should start anew you might put out $800 then something else on it go up. It's an old machine and parts for it are hard to get if available at all. And with time this will just increase. You can get a good sewing machine for $800.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

SouthernStitch
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Date: 3/14/12 10:37 AM

I'm hoping it's more like around $500. But either way, that is not much to keep a machine you adore. How old is it?

OTOH, yes, you can get a good machine for $800 - like the Juki everyone is raving about. But it's hard to step away from the stitching feel you have gotten used to. I'm sure many have had to readjust to another brand after years on a Bernina in this economy.

------
Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
Babylock Evolution
Singer 403a

When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

TessKwiltz
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TessKwiltz  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/14/12 11:15 AM

If I were confident that the $800 would make it like new, I would go for it. But I would ask a lot of questions about how can they tell there isn't something else wrong with it that might've caused the old board to fry and thus fry the new board...

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Tess

"I am a degenerate art supply junkie" - Jane Davenport

A Beginners Needle
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Date: 3/14/12 12:16 PM

So I don't know much about Bernina's, but how much would a Bernina 1530 cost used? Could you find one that maybe doesn't sew, but the LCD works and perform the brain transplant yourself?

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Tina

In my Sewing Room:
Pfaff Creative Performance - Pfurple!
Juki F600
Brother PRW420
Juki 735 Serger

GothDom
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Date: 3/14/12 4:28 PM

Do you like the 1530?
Do you enjoy sewing on her?
If the answer is yes....

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http://www.acdc-vintage.com
This one, that one, and a bunch of other ones!
(though the herd is getting more streamlined)

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