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Janome 6600, Pfaff Quilt Expression, or Elna 540?

Janome 6600, Pfaff Quilt Expression, or Elna 540?

Old 04-07-2018, 07:34 AM
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Default Janome 6600, Pfaff Quilt Expression, or Elna 540?

So a month ago I posted about looking for a sewing machine and received great tips and advice in going out and looking for a machine. To recap -- I use my machine 95% of the time for quilting, I wanted a wider opening for quilting, an up/down needle, and if possible an extension table. From those comments I did have a reality check and upped what I would be willing to pay.

My local sewing shop which has such great people and free lessons has three different options for me. The one I am drooling over has more than I wanted on it, but it has such good reviews -- it is the Janome 6600. He is offering a used one to me for $899. It does have some blemishes on it by the plate.

The other used one he had was the Pfaff Quilter's Expression 2046 for $799. The reviews for this one have also been outstanding.

My third option doesn't have all that I want but it would be a good solid machine that I would be buying new. An Elna Expression 520 ($599) or the 540 ($799). It is now made by Janome but is a solid sewing machine instead of a quilting machine.

My main concern with the used machines are the computerized boards and their life span.

Yesterday was more of a walkthrough of what was available, he was working on one of them so next week I'll be able to test drive. Any additional help and advice would be appreciated. Thank You!
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:56 AM
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Look at your list of what you want and determine how important each is and what your must haves are. I have a Pfaff Performance 5.0 which I purchased because I wanted a larger throat opening for quilting but I also have a Pfaff Select 3 which I take to classes and use as a back up machine. It doesn't have up/down or thread cutter and has a much smaller throat opening (6.5" compared to 10") but for a class it is much lighter, the feature I miss the most is the needle up/down. I would ask the dealer what type of warranty he can offer on the used machines and that may help you decide. From experience if you don't buy a machine with the features you really you won't be happy and it sounds like the wider throat opening is a big priority you are looking for. Good luck in your search.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:23 AM
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I don't know anything about the other machines, but I LOVE my Janome 6600. Its a great machine and I am very very very glad that I splurged made that purchase
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:40 AM
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I don't know the other machines, but I loved my 6600.
It was my first "good" machine and what got me seriously piecing .... and FMQing!

Here's my story .................

I outgrew the 6600, wanting more space for the quilting aspect.
Otherwise I loved it.
I lusted for the sitdown HQ-S16 but just could not justify the $$ for a quilting only machine.
I decided on the Bernina 820 ... bigger throat and BSR.
Basically the same $, but it would sew as well as quilt.
Seemed like a more prudent investment!!
Great machine ... but guess what?
I soon realized that while it has a bigger throat, there wasn't more height to allow for more bulk.
Strange enough, no one ever points that out ... always talk about the bigger throat.
And that is not the total solution.

I kept lusting for the S16 and ....... yes, a couple years later I bought the S16 (as well)!!!!!!!!!

In hindsight ....... the 6600 did everything I wanted/needed it to do except the quilting.
And would still do everything today and probably forever.
My better decision would have been to buy the S16 straight up and kept the 6600.
I would have had more $$ for fabric!!!

No regrets ... I made the best decision at the time, for what I knew.

Just sharing my story, in case it helps you ... or others .... making similar decisions!
All I can say, is to think it through ... and do your research!

Last edited by QuiltE; 04-07-2018 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 04-07-2018, 02:16 PM
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I am a Bernina lover but have a Janome 8200. I looked at the 6600 and was sorely tempted. I have never heard a bad word about the 6600; it seems to be a workhorse machine. I'd vote for the 6600.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:34 PM
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I have a Pfaff Expression 2.0 and I love it. I have made 144 full sized quilts on it and 54 wall hangings, and it is still going strong. I got it in 2009. I had it serviced the first 3 years, and then the shop went out of business. I clean it myself now...of course, not nearly as thoroughly as a dealer could. But it is still going strong. Of course, I don't know the life span of the computerized part...but mine still works well.

You will make the right decision for you though. Take some fabric and drive each one. I drove about seven machines, two different shops, before I decided on my Pfaff. But buy the one that makes you happiest!!

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Old 04-07-2018, 05:36 PM
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I have the Pfaff 2044 Quilt Expression, bought it used in 2011. It has been a great machine, user friendly for this sewing newbie. The things I miss is the adjustable foot pressure and the wider, taller throat area. I going to think there is not a lot of difference between the 2044 and 2046. I find my 2044 is sluggish when mitering corners, getting the numerous layers to pass smoothly under the foot is a struggle. I find I to pine for the 6600, the Pfaff 5.0 or the Janome 9400. I love the IDT on the Pfaff and fear it may have me spoiled. The 6600 is closer to my price range and love the user friendliness of the 9400. Decisions, decisions...
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Old 04-08-2018, 02:32 AM
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Love my Janome 6600!
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:05 AM
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Get the features you want. Don't worry about the $$$.
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:13 AM
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I am so use to Pfaffs IDT that it would be hard for me to get another brand. I have the Quilt Expression 4.0
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