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Thread: Innova sit-down vs HQ Sweet 16 or Tiara? is nearby dealer important?

  1. #1
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    Innova sit-down vs HQ Sweet 16 or Tiara? is nearby dealer important?

    I make art quilts using painted canvas layered with fabric/batting/canvas,etc--thick surfaces with different types of thread. I am looking into getting an innova/sweet 16 or Tiara.

    Does anyone have experience w/the innova sit down?

    I liked it when i tried it at a quilt conference, but there is no dealer w/i hours of where I live vs. there are local dealers for the sweet 16 or tiara.

    How good it telephone support? is it sufficient? do you need to take it to be serviced?

    I hear about alot of tension issues w/the sweet 16. i change the type of thread frequently. will this be a problem? is having a nearby local dealer necessary?

    Is there any different between the babylock tiara and the HQ?
    warranty differences?

    I look forward to getting some recommendations!
    Happy Holidays!
    sandra

  2. #2
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I've heard nothing but wonderful comments about Innova support. I don't have a longarm, but have been coveting one for years. I've test driven many and always come back to the Innova for quality for the price and support. That's the machine I'm going for when the time comes!

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    it is always nice to have service, tech support close by- even if you don't need it often-when you do need it it's nice to have. you said you have 'test driven' the Innova....what about the other 2? if there are dealers close by stop in & test drive the others too & ask all of your questions concerning warranties, tension/thread issues, type of sewing you plan to do...then you can make your decision based on personal knowledge & experience. often when you purchase from a local dealer you are entitled to *free* 'owners classes' to learn all the ins & outs of your machine- and with mine I also received 5 years of free cleanings...weigh all of your options before investing- it is an investment
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Senior Member qwkslver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarogier View Post
    I make art quilts using painted canvas layered with fabric/batting/canvas,etc--thick surfaces with different types of thread. I am looking into getting an innova/sweet 16 or Tiara.

    Does anyone have experience w/the innova sit down?

    I liked it when i tried it at a quilt conference, but there is no dealer w/i hours of where I live vs. there are local dealers for the sweet 16 or tiara.

    How good it telephone support? is it sufficient? do you need to take it to be serviced?

    I hear about alot of tension issues w/the sweet 16. i change the type of thread frequently. will this be a problem? is having a nearby local dealer necessary?

    Is there any different between the babylock tiara and the HQ?
    warranty differences?

    I look forward to getting some recommendations!
    Happy Holidays!
    sandra
    For what it's worth I haven't had a minutes trouble with my Sweet 16 but I don't use any type of thread but King Tut. If you switch between types of thread you will have to fiddle with the tension I think. Other than that though I love mine, it's a tank. I have never had to call technical support for anything.

  5. #5
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Maybe bring a WIP, or something thick that you work with, into the dealer's shop (if they don't mind) and try a few different threads.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  6. #6
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I really do not know the answer on these machine for you, but Viking also has a sit down machine now. I saw it at a local dealer, I did not try it out but you might keep this in mind also. Good luck in your search.

  7. #7
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I've heard nothing but glowing reports about Innova service. Not necessarily for the sit down, but I wouldn't expect anything different from the same company for a different machine.

    As far as how important it is to have a local dealer depends a lot on you. I feel comfortable with machines, and with phone/e-mail support to do just about anything - so the local dealer was not as big of an issue to me as getting the machine I really wanted. If you are not that comfortable with perhaps making minor repairs with phone/e-mail support then perhaps you should consider the local dealer option.

    HQ Sweet 16 and Baby Lock Tiara are the SAME machine. HQ makes them all, Baby Lock re-badges and sells it under their name. For this reason I've found that *most* of the time you can get a better price on an HQ.

    I'm going to throw another monkey-wrench into the works ... there are other sit down machines out there as well. Not sure if you've explored these. Seems in the last few years all the manufacturers are getting into the sit-down market.

    APQS has a machine called "George" ... one of the wonderful things about APQS is the lifetime warranty.
    http://www.apqs.com/machines/george/

    Nolting has the "Quilting Bee"
    http://www.apqs.com/machines/george/

    And Pennywinkle Ranch has a sitdown called the Sunshine 16. Pennywinkle is a smallish Mom-and-Pop company.
    http://www.sunshine16.com/Freestanding.html
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  8. #8
    Junior Member sandyquilts's Avatar
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    I can't really answer about a sit down machine. I have a Nolting 24" Pro (stand up). Nolting service is prompt and tireless. My dealer is 3hrs away, Nolting Mfg is way far away ......... BUT BUT both are a phone call away or email. I will say Nolting's service is top notch. I really haven't had trouble with my machine (knock on wood).

    I belong to a longarm group that meets at a Gammill dealer. There are lot of different machines represented in the group of 60 members. I did try out their Gammill's sit down .... it was nice.
    Sandy
    http://sandyquilts.blogspot.com

  9. #9
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    I have a sweet 16 which has given me not one bit of trouble. I think those who have trouble with tension are afraid to really crank the top tension - it is not at all like dsm machines and needs to be turned one to one 1/2 times.

    My dealer is about an hour or so away. I hear that HQ has excellent service. My dealer is exclusively an HQ dealer so I got excellent training in how to use it.

    Many companies have gotten on the bandwagon and are now making sit downs. Make sure your dealer knows how to train you and knows how to set them up.

  10. #10
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Ditto ... HQ makes the both the Tiara and S16 ... the only difference on the Tiara being the paint job, and I believe one of the thread guides are reversed. So, I'm sure in most cases you are going to find that the T will be more expensive than the S16, being that you have an extra corporate layer before it gets to you!

    I shopped around for these two last Spring, and my end conclusion was that the S16 was the better option, as I had 1-800 support whereas there was absolutely none for the Babylock Tiara. Of course, that was in Canada ... could be different where you are.

    With the type of quilting you are wanting to do ... be sure to test drive any of your candidate machines with the same sorts of sandwiches that you will be doing. Tension might be an issue as already recognized ... also you might need to find the right size/type of needles to get the results you want.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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