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Thread: Refurbished Voyager Longarm machine ???

  1. #1
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    Refurbished Voyager Longarm machine ???

    Just wondering if anyone has a refurbished Voyager 17" Longarm Quilting machine ?? Or had a new one ? I was at a quilt show a few weeks ago and someone was there selling refurbished ones with a new Hinterberg Stretch frame. It has a stitch length regulator, end tensioners, flexible lamp, external bobbin winder, cloth aprons and starter kit with DVD. You can order them for $3999.00. Are they good machines, is the price good or any other advice would be helpful. Is it a good system for a beginner ?? I'm not sure if I'm going to get one yet, but it's something I've been thinking about. I don't want to spend too much as I might not like it. Don't know if I will really get into long-arming..I never even played around with the one at the show. Don't know anything about any of the different machines or frames out there. Thanks for any info.

  2. #2
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I would make up my mind first if I were really interested or not. That is a lot of money to pay for something you may not like to use. However, I have heard of a lot of people that use that machine and they seem to like it. Yahoogroups has a group you can go to. I would buy within my price range, so get what you can afford and don't worry about everyone elses expensive machines. There are all kinds of machines out there and also a lot of used ones. There is the Jukis that can be put on a frame and Brother and several others but aren't 17". Lots to look into. Watch youtube videos and see if it something you would really like to do. I want to put my quilts together so bought a long arm, I do not want to quilt for anyone else or anything like that. Even if I make a quilt once a month it is worth it to me to have a machine to use. Have fun.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    the only 'complaint' that i've heard about the machine is that it is very heavy - 35 pounds, i think. it would take 2 people to put in on or take it off the frame. i have the frame, and i just love it. still wishing for a longer throat machine... i'm using a juki
    Nancy in western NY
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  4. #4
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    I got a refurb Voyager in November. (I use it on my Bernina frame) I do love it. :-)

    I am really happy with the condition of my unit, it looked like new.

    If you are not sure about FMQ on a frame, you could get just the frame and try it with your regular sewing machine. You will know pretty quickly if it is for you! (I knew right away that I love having a frame!)

    Also, be aware that the quilts frames are HUGE. mEASURE YOUR space.
    Long arm quilting in Carmel, Indiana http://quiltcycle.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
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    I've had a Voyager 17 and a Hinterburg stretch frame set-up for 4 yrs. Have been happy with both. Did find that my Voyager doesn't like Aurifil thread for quilting tho, does ok with Connecting Threads tho. The machine is heavy, weight is closer to 50 lbs., so do need two people to get it on and off frame. But you should play around with some at a show and/or dealer before jumping in.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    I was told 65 pounds. I put it on the frame all by myself, because i just could not wait!!!
    Long arm quilting in Carmel, Indiana http://quiltcycle.blogspot.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member almond's Avatar
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    Several years ago I purchased a grace frame and a 1600 Janome. The machine more then paid for itself. Someone came in and offered me a good price for it and I sold it and got a Viking 18" machine. Have a few bugs in it but do like the longer arm. Good luck with your choice. Just remember it does take more then one quilt to learn how to use it. I agree with sewbeadit to watch you tube. Sharon Schamber has great videos.
    Mary

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    I bought a new Voyager 17"& my DH bought me the Hinterberg frame for it in 2005.Idid quite abit of research,but had never used one. I dove in blind folded! I have test drove others since, But I absolutely love my Voyager,I keep both of them oiled. It runs like it was new. I just recently bought the stitch regulator for it, hehehe and kinda had to learn all over.I have 3 different frames from Hinterberg, For the work manship and quality (I think) their the best.You may want to check why they were refurbished.I recieved a letter from Nolting last summer,telling me that Hinterberg is now a part of Nolting Longarm Quilting Machines.I still get my supplies & great service from Hinterberg.I hope this helps you,and the price you gave not bad at all since mine 7 years ago.

  9. #9
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the info. I really should have taken it for a ride at the show. $4000 isn't that bad COMPARED to the new Nolting they had set up next to it. That was over $9000 ! I think I would like one because I don't like FMQ on my regular sewing machine. I'm not really looking to do other people's quilt's either, just my own. Right now I do hand quilting so needless to say I don't get very many done. I'm going to another quilt show on Feb. 25th so maybe they'll be there also. From what I've read so far, it seems like a pretty good system. Thanks again

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    slk350, you and I are in the same spot. I would say that I'm not a beginner, but also wouldn't call myself an expert... I'd say 'seasoned beginner'. I've been quilting for several years and have until now been a kitchen table quilter. We put an addition onto our home where we built a new dining room and that quickly got taken over by my fold out quilting and cutting tables. : ) So this spring we are exploring the option to have someone come in and re-finish the basement to make a sewing/quilting studio for me and with that my long time dream of getting a machine quilting frame. And even though I will be able to design the space the size and cost of quilt frames makes what to purchase a hard decision. I've gone to several quilt shops and gotten opinions and checked out the frames that they sell. Mostly it seems that they want to sell me whatever they have in the shop and it makes me not feel like I am getting honest feedback. They are mostly recommending the Grace Majestic Frame or the Baby Lock Pearle with a Crown Jewel machine.. which I'm sure are SO nice to have but with a $9500 price tag is out of my reach and you need 12 feet to set them up. I'm looking at the same combo that you are, the Hinterberg stretch with the refurbished 17" long arm Voyager. I called the company [(319) 378-0999] and spoke to a very helpful man named Lance. He really put my mind at ease and had a lot of answers to my many questions. Sounds like a company that stands behind their product. Also, the "refurbished" designation makes you think it was a broken machine that got fixed to be sold. That's not it at all. They are trade-ins that are reconditioned to work like new. I'm strongly leaning towards that combo package for $3999 at that price I don't really think you can go wrong.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sylviak's Avatar
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    I bought my Voyager and Hinterberg Stretch frame five or 6 years ago and have really enjoyed using it. There should be a lot of them on the market since Nolting isn't going to make any more of them, but it would be a great starter machine. It is heavy...about 70 lbs...but it is easy to use. I bought mine with a stitch regulator, but it's not a necessity. The quilt in my avatar was done with the Voyager. My DH (who is NOT handy!) and I put the frame together in an evening. You might also want to check out the Tin Lizzie, which is not as expensive as some of the other machines and it's owners seem to really like it.

  12. #12
    Super Member slk350's Avatar
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    Thanks kimv44 for the recent info. I did see more long arm set ups at the Sewing Expo a couple of weeks ago. The frames ARE really big. I wouldn't do anything bigger than a queen quilt. I'm still going to check out other long arms when I can. Not so sure I really want to put it in my dining room, but no basements down here in FL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slk350 View Post
    Thanks kimv44 for the recent info. I did see more long arm set ups at the Sewing Expo a couple of weeks ago. The frames ARE really big. I wouldn't do anything bigger than a queen quilt. I'm still going to check out other long arms when I can. Not so sure I really want to put it in my dining room, but no basements down here in FL.
    I love my Voyager and Hinterberg stretch frame. In addition to how dependable my Voyager has been the length of the frame is adjustable for the space you have. You determine the length of the frame by the length of the steel bars you purchase. These can be cut to a size that works for you but do this BEFORE you put the ends on. It is next to impossible to get the ends out of the steel bars once in. Ask me how I know this...Well anyway you can purchase new ends from the company if you ever want to change to a larger or smaller size. I have two sets of bars for different situations now. You do have to take the machine off before you can change the bars out to change the size of the frame. The Voyager head is heavy. I think the carton and packaging with the machine in it weighed 70 pounds so the machine head weighs near that amount. I cannot imagine that any of the other machines are any less heavy though. I love that the Voyager is one of the quietest long arm machines I tested before I purchased and it works like a dream. Yes, there is a learning curve but that would be true for any long arm set up that is new to you. Be sure you want to commit to the space these machines take up before you purchase. I find (and my friend who has different machine, a new HQ) that you need a space the length of the machine plus at least 2 feet so you can get around one end of the machine. Front to back space you need is 5 feet minimum so you can access the back of the frame. You won't need to do this often but if you are one of the people who prefer working from behind and for some applications you will need to set your frame up to allow extra space for that. To save floor space in the room where I use the long arm I have purchased some drawers that fit under the machine. I store all my manuals, threads, accessories, markers, etc., for the long arm in these drawers.
    Good luck and happy quilting

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