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Thread: Babylock Symphony sewing machine & Pfaff quilt expression 4.0

  1. #1
    Senior Member Grammie Sharon's Avatar
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    I've looked at the Symphony sewing machine today by babylock. Does anyone have one? Can you give me the pros and cons to this machine? I also checked out a Pfaff quilt expression 4.0 based on a recommendation from a friend who teaches quilting and has one. What are your thoughts on this?
    Thanks. Any help is appreciated. I own an Elna Su which is 33 years old and has been good to me. These new ones are amazing.

  2. #2
    np3
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    I bought the Pfaff Expression 2.0 instead of the 4.0 because I didn't need the extra features it offered. The 2.0 is also on sale right now for $600 off. I love it with the built in walking foot and the 1/4 inch foot with guide.

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    I have the Symphony and love it. I had a choice of the Pfaff 4.0 at Quilt Festival, but after some online research found it supposedly had a LOT of bugs/problems.

  4. #4
    np3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaigai
    I have the Symphony and love it. I had a choice of the Pfaff 4.0 at Quilt Festival, but after some online research found it supposedly had a LOT of bugs/problems.
    I understand that the 4.0 takes some time to learn all the features. I have several machines, so the 2.0 was all I needed. I didn't look at the Symphony, so I don't know how they compare.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Grammie Sharon's Avatar
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    I've also looked at a Janome 6600 and Janome Horizon and the Viking. It makes you crazy the more you look. Thanks for your replys.

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    I might be looking for a new machine myself. I have/had a Pfaff 7550 and love it but something seems to be going out on it. I saw both 2.0 and 4.0 at the store. I am figuring the 2.0 is all I really need. The 4.0 has all the whistles and bells on it though.

  7. #7
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    The Pfaff Expression 2.0 is on promo per the Pfaff website for $999 thru the end of March. If it meets your needs, that seems like a good deal to me. I DIDN'T get the Pfaff QE 4 b/c of the bad reviews, now I hear they are resolved, more or less. But I'm loving the start/stop seeing w/o the foot control on my Babylock Quest Plus, so that's fine. It has the built-in walking foot that's just like Pfaffs. How did I ever live without it!? I think IDT is a major asset. Does the Symphony come with all the attachments like the Brother Laura Ashley NX 2000? B/c it comes with tons of extras, which is a real bargain if you would otherwise buy them.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grammie Sharon's Avatar
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    The babylock had 17 different feet, one touch thread cutter. auto preser foot lift, needle up/down, start stop, free arm 440 built in stitches. the quilting extension table. The dealer also offered 2 year upgrade.

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    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I have the Babylock Espire (which is now marketed as the Symphonie) and LOVELOVELOVE my machine. Just to set the stage for you, I jumped from Pfaff to Babylock because Pfaff Quality (both in machines and customer service has gone downhill) Now if a sewer has never owned a Pfaff, they may not notice, but as a Pfaff-girl, I NOTICED!
    The only thing I miss from the Pfaff is the IDT BUT it is no big deal to exchange the walking foot for the Babylock.

    What I like about the Baby: Good light, motor speed select, good throat size, good sewing space (with or without the extension table), needle up/down and sideways adjustment, good quality on fancy stitches, not touchy which threads she uses, even bobbin wind, large bobbin, ease of using decorative bobbin threads, automatic foot lift (can be set), freemotion 2 thumbs up, and she does NOT pull the beginning fabric down the feed dogs.

    I won't get another Pfaff - not that they are bad, I just like the Baby better.

    OH- and you can set the stitch to sew at a 45 degree angle. Not sure when I will need that but it is THE coolest feature. lol

  10. #10

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    Does your friend who has the Expression 4.0 free motion quilt on it. I have one and bought it for free motion quilting and it is awful. The thread breaks constantly. I can't even free motion quilt one block without the thread breaking at least 8 times. It shreds the thread. I have tried every kind of thread you can imagine. I have had the dealer look at it several times and he did put about 6 factory fixes on the machine. Still no good. I am so disappointed with this machine but am stuck. I wanted the longer throat and scissor cutter that's why I bought it. It works well for piecing but not free motion quilting.

  11. #11
    np3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky Brawley
    Does your friend who has the Expression 4.0 free motion quilt on it. I have one and bought it for free motion quilting and it is awful. The thread breaks constantly. I can't even free motion quilt one block without the thread breaking at least 8 times. It shreds the thread. I have tried every kind of thread you can imagine. I have had the dealer look at it several times and he did put about 6 factory fixes on the machine. Still no good. I am so disappointed with this machine but am stuck. I wanted the longer throat and scissor cutter that's why I bought it. It works well for piecing but not free motion quilting.
    I use my 2.0 for FMQ all the time. The larger throat was one of the features I bought it for. It has made me into a much better quilter!! Can't imagine why you are having trouble. I belong to a Pfaff Club and everyone does FMQ with their Expressions.

  12. #12
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    Hi,

    I have the Symphony and absolutely love it.....also have an Elegante 2 that embroiders, they're very similar machines except for the embroidery.
    I have no problems with either of my machines and they are easy to operate and do everything and anything I'd want a machine to do.
    Bev

  13. #13

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    Does some of the ladies in your club have the 4.0 Expressions? If so, do they use the sensormatic free motion feature of the spring action feature. Maybe I just got a lemon but I have tried everything and nothing has helped.

  14. #14

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    I just bought the Symphony on the recommendation of the store owners. They felt that I'd be happier with it over the Pfaff Ex 4.0. I'm having a hard time with the display screen changing when anything barely touches it. I've learned how to lock it and now I'm doing that, which helps but is kind of a pain when you are applique stitching. I had a needle bust this morning since it went from straight stitch to zigzag when I just passed some material through the throat area. Also, I'm having the same issue on the sewing speed. The slide keeps moving to a slow speed. It seems so odd that it moves that easy. Also, I had the sensor foot button set to on to piece my borders on my quilt top and I had a hard time keeping the top fabric where it should be. The sewing shop owner said to piece with it off and it should help. I thought the foot sensor was the great thing about it. I'm pretty frustrated and I'm hoping I didn't make a big mistake getting a Symphony. I've sewn for years on my old Bernina 930 and haven't had issues like this.

  15. #15
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter
    I have the Babylock Espire (which is now marketed as the Symphonie) and LOVELOVELOVE my machine. Just to set the stage for you, I jumped from Pfaff to Babylock because Pfaff Quality (both in machines and customer service has gone downhill) Now if a sewer has never owned a Pfaff, they may not notice, but as a Pfaff-girl, I NOTICED!
    The only thing I miss from the Pfaff is the IDT BUT it is no big deal to exchange the walking foot for the Babylock.

    What I like about the Baby: Good light, motor speed select, good throat size, good sewing space (with or without the extension table), needle up/down and sideways adjustment, good quality on fancy stitches, not touchy which threads she uses, even bobbin wind, large bobbin, ease of using decorative bobbin threads, automatic foot lift (can be set), freemotion 2 thumbs up, and she does NOT pull the beginning fabric down the feed dogs.

    I won't get another Pfaff - not that they are bad, I just like the Baby better.

    OH- and you can set the stitch to sew at a 45 degree angle. Not sure when I will need that but it is THE coolest feature. lol
    These are the things I love about my espire(older symphony), have never had any problems with it, the display, or the speed moving as previously mentioned. ABSOLUTELY LOVE LOVE MY MACHINE

  16. #16

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    Yes, the Babylock Symphony has some really cool things that I do like about it. I wanted to give an update to the last posting. Locking the screen has helped the most. I went to the wonderful sewing store owners who sat with me for 2 hours going through everything they could think of to show me and help me with in learning the machine. It seems that the foot may be the cause of the fabric moving so much when I sew. They increased the pressure of the presser foot. Also, we used the quilting foot with the guide. The straight stitch foot also helped to keep things from moving and creating crooked seams. The thread cutter is only cutting about half the time now on the top thread. I'm still hoping that this machine isn't a problem one (lemon). I do have to say that it will sew through multiple layers without any trouble. It is like a billy goat, handling any kind of terrain.

    Rippin Renee

  17. #17

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    I now am on #2 Baby Lock Symphony sewing machine.
    #1 When using the decorative stitches to quilt I became very unhappy. They would skip stitches (you could see the holes where the needle went in but the thread did not) . This made the workmanship very poor and I would have thrown it away but it was my "10-10" quilt. Made from clothes that I wore for 10-20 years as I gained and lost 10-20 pounds.

    I mentioned it and the shop said that the auto sensor was not turned on.
    A couple of months later I tried again. Again I would have thrown the results away ... the stitching was soooo bad. Skipped stitches, uneven stitches, tension wadding, breaking needles.

    The owner promised me that he would make me happy and after two 8 hour days sewing at the shop he replaced it with his demo.

    At first it looked good but alass this did not last.
    All of the above happened again. Plus the "bobbin amost empy" warning did not show up and the machine continued to run.
    When the thread broke the machine just kept on running.
    When the needle breaks the machine does not even slow down.

    I am going in tomorrow and see what happens. I can not sew with this machine. It does not always do it and I can not find a pattern to the madness. I bought it to quilt the many quilt tops that I have and I would not even try it now. Two "Trouble" quilts are enough.
    If I have to use a straight stitch I can use my 30 year old Brothers machine, so far it sews great!

  18. #18

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    I wish I had gotten your machine as your discription sound heaverly.
    (What I like about the Baby: Good light, motor speed select, good throat size, good sewing space (with or without the extension table), needle up/down and sideways adjustment, good quality on fancy stitches, not touchy which threads she uses, even bobbin wind, large bobbin, ease of using decorative bobbin threads, automatic foot lift (can be set), freemotion 2 thumbs up, and she does NOT pull the beginning fabric down the feed dogs. ) This does not describe my machines in any way!!

    Wish Wish

  19. #19
    Member vagabondmom's Avatar
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    I just recently bought a Symphony and so far (only had it 2 weeks) I have been happy with it. I have already peiced 2 tops with it and it has been performing well. On my older Kenmore I found I liked using the walking foot for most everything, including piecing. So far I haven't used the walking foot for piecing, but think maybe I will in the future. Haven't yet tried FMQ on it. Have not found any glitches re the screen or speed control.

  20. #20
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    I've had my Pfaff QE 4.0 for seven months now, and just love it. It does everything I ask of it and then some. Just this week I hemmed a pair of jeans for my father and it went through all those layers of denim like it was sewing through two pieces of quilting cotton. FMQing isn't a problem. There were problems w/ earlier versions of this machine, but those have been corrected. My only complaint is the markings on top meant to help with thread direction for threading --- they are the same color as the body of the machine and are very difficult to see. Other than than, I am pleased as punch.

  21. #21
    Junior Member adorabowe's Avatar
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    Love my quilt expression 2.0 as well, the IDT was the main thing that swayed me into a pfaff and I'm very glad I bought it. Also do FMQ with no problems!

  22. #22
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    I purchased a Symphony a couple of months ago thinking it was the perfect quilting machine. I'm having a lot of troubles finding the exact settings to get a scant 1/4" seam. Could you help me out at all? Thanks!

  23. #23
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    Can you give me an approximately cost that you paid for the Symphony. I am trying to make sure I am getting a good deal at my dealer.

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