So I have been looking at 3 machine in particular:
- The Bernina Aurora 440QE with BSR
- The Janome Memory Craft Horizon 7700 QCP
I now have spent weeks on the net researching all three. At the beginning I favored the Pfaff simply because my mother has had one for 40 years now and it still works and I suppose because it is German (as I am German...) but then I found all over the net the most horrible reviews of the machine. An excellent review thread can be found here. A lot of people had problem with he machine eating fabric and giving all sorts of incorrect warnings and errors. I found this really disappointing as I loved the fact that it has a long arm and that was one of the most important feature sfor me.
So I went to Direct Sewing Machines in Battersea and had a look at the Pfaff and Bernina. Chris from Direct Sewing Machines is very helpful and most knowledgeable and explained the machines to me. I had a go at the Bernina and found it to be a very accurate machine but also very small with a particular short arm. Chris assured me that it is the best machine on the market and that it has the advantage of still being a bottom loader rather than a top loader. Pfaff also used to be bottom loaders but changed recently to top loaders and he thinks that the quality hasn't been the same since. I also read in several reviews that the production of the machines has been moved out of Germany and that quality has thus suffered.
If one spends that amount of money one has to be sure of the purchase and at this point I wasn't at all. I didn't want to risk the Pfaff with all its teething problems nor did I want to have the small Bernina albeit it being the superiour machine.
So I went home thinking and thinking and a bit more of that. Then I remembered that a fellow quilter in the summer told me about the new Janome 7700. I asked in my local quilt shop what the feedback on the machine was and it seemed to be entirely positive so are the reviews on the net. This is a fairly big machine and weights about 13 kg but it is not to big to handle and it has the much desired long arm plus all stitch variations one can think about. It is a top loader but Chris from Direct Sewing Machines assured me that Janome are the best company when it comes to top loaders. It has a hefty price tag of GBP 1800 but with the part exchange offer it is a more "manageable" price.
So I think I will take the Janome
Does anyone have any experience on the above machines ?
P.S I have meanwhile bought the Janome and posted a review here.