Decisions Decisions Decisions (Advice Welcomed)


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Dear Friends, I have been doing my research on the longarms that are on the market. I test drove the Gammill, the APQS and the Innova. I am completely confused and don't know which to invest in. I am a new quilter and feel like I didn't have enough time with each of them to make a decision. Because this is an APQS Site - tell me why I should invest in this brand as opposed to any other. Quite honestly I don't necessarily feel too much of a difference when I am hand guiding between any of them. I welcome anyones input. Thanks,

Patrice

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Patrice, if you feel you have tried most brands and are still undecided,please consider their customer service. I have had 2 different brands of longarms and by far APQS customer is superior. I feel they do everything they can to help you correct problems and answer any questions you may have. In my opinion,customer service should be a top priority whwn considering a longarm. Becky

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You should buy the one that feels best to you - both in terms of comfortable quilting, ease of use, warranty, and service. I've tried all the machines you've mentioned -- had to teach on a few of them over the eyars. Here's my take: APQS - excellent machine, outstanding warranty, exemplary service, and it is basically easy to use - simple tension, bobbin assembly, etc. Gammill - Lovely machine, nice stitches. No leveler bar, so you have to raise the quilt as you roll, hope you get it right. Two rotary tensioners - first time I used it, I couldn't even figure out how to thread it. Company no longer warranties its machines, but leaves that up to the dealer. Hmmm - shady proposition, I think. Innova - wonderful machine, moves well, gorgeous stitches, simple to use and maintain. However, that table leaves a bit to be desired in my opinion. Not only is it unattractive, it's just not all that sturdy.

So, guess which one I would buy? ;) For what it's worth, that's my opinion only, but I'm sticking with APQS.

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Hi,

I have had 3 machines. APQS Milli, loved my Milli. Life happened and she was sold. Next, I had the Gammill vision, Loved the Vision, did not like the no leveler bar table, life again happened, sold the Gammill. Finally, bought an Innova, and there is nothing bad I can say about her. Easy to use, no oil on table or quilts, you only oil the bobbin, lightening stitch regulator is great, leveler bar is great, love that I can lift the belly bar and smooth the batting. No, it's not the prettiest but it is the one for me. I can take it down and put it up by myself. The table is sturdy enough to stand on if I want to. I have been able to add Pantovision, stitch cameras and even a camera on the back table to stitch pattern boards. Plus, have added the pop up stylus from circlelord and love that too.

24 hour a day, 7 day a week, personal support for any problem. Always nice and patient when you call.

Debbie

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I don't have a local sales rep. There has never been any problem with either the Milli I had or the Innova I now have, that needed any one else to come look at them. Most of the problems you might encounter with any of these machines, would be replacement of parts that do wear out. You can do that easily. Do plan on having a spa treatment at the plant for your machine on a regular basis. Innova does have people who travel to shows and when they are in your area, you can have them come do the routine service instead of shipping it back to Innova. Just call ahead of a show in your area to schedule a visit. But, honestly, Milli and Innova are the greatest, and you won't go wrong with either machine. It comes down to personal preference.

Debbie

PS, keep all the boxes your machine comes in. Great if you have to ship it or move it.

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The bottom line is that you need to make the decision that's right for you. When I was shopping for a machine I had my decision narrowed down between APQS and Innova. The one thing that helped me decide was APQS's great warranty and their great customer service (guess that's two things...). The APQS machines are easily repaired by their owners in most cases and Amy at the APQS factory is wonderful at trouble shooting just by listening to your machine over the phone! APQS stands behind their products and provides exceptional support to owners. This is just my humble opinion.

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If price is a big consideration, be sure you are comparing apples to apples. Yes, some machines have a basic price they advertise, then if you want all the goodies, that's extra. Kind of like going to a car dealer, and you get a price of $12,000..then they ask you "Did you want tires with that? That will be another $1000!" Waiting until a show may save you on options. I got power advance and free shipping when I got my Millie, no charge. For me, the 8 year warranty was a big deal. If a company is willing to stand behind their product for that length of time, they are sure of the quality. This forum is another benefit. Help is always a mouse click away.

APQS sells a quality product, and has an excellent reputation.

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I am a newbie to longarming ,it just happened ,I test run a juki on a gracie frame at a friends home and thats all it took but I knew it was too small instantly so in my hunt for the best machine I turned to the internet because I live in the mountains in the middle of nowhere and neeed something that I could service if needed .I knew if I went to shows to test run them that I would end up with nothing because I would be over whelmed at too many choices . I ended up buying a 2000 milli ,I can still add most of the upgrades as the newer ones if I want to with ease . I have only had it around four or five months with no regrets whatsoever .I took my time looking and reading customer reveiws on all the differant machines and APQS rated the highest in what I was looking for and the customer service is outstanding. This forum is also the best of all the others I was hanging out in learning everything I could before deciding which would be the best machine for me ,good luck and please stop back and let us know what you decide on .

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I confess I dont use an APQS, I use a Gammill vision. I test drove all sorts of machines, and they are ALL really good machines, my opinion is it does boil down to personal preference. although, the APQS forum really does rock, lots of great ideas and inspiration come form this board :-)

Good luck in your search and in your decision - what ever one you make will be the right one for you!

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For me it was Customer Service, Customer Service, Customer Service! I reviewed the ease of fixing my machine myself vs having to return it to get it serviced. I can do almost anything myself and it is all plug and play type fixes for the most part. I also compared replacement parts to see how much it would cost me to replace things are they wore out. I saw tons and tons of very hold machine on the market and still reselling without any difficulty. All in all APQS for me was the best ride and the best customer service.

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Welcome to the forum. You will find the best information here. Everyone is sincere and so willing to share. Both good and bad times. You can always count on an honest answer to any problem. Quilting or anything else that may be on your mind.

I love my Milli. I bought my first one in 2005. I did a lot of testing machines and found the Millie to be the one I decided on. They had the best customer service. I bought my first Millie used from a second party. It ran like a dream and even though I bought it used and not directly from a APQS reptresentative, the APQS team was always there for me. They worked me through a lot of problems, being a newbie, it was most often operator error. They were always patient and stuck with me till the problen was resolved. When I decided to trade for a newer model they were there to help me. Heidi is right, APQS machines do hold their value. The APQS customer service can't be beat. Amy is the greatest, she is patient and willing to help with anything. I have had her on the phone for half an hour or more at times. I definately wouldn't have any other machine. APQS machines and customer service are the best!! This is my opinion and I'm sticken to it!

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MQResource is a website not yahoo group.

Patrice,

Don't forget to check out machine quilting professionals yahoo group as well, lots of great advice, and many users of different machines.

BTW, I love my 2 Gammills, easy to maintain, user friendly, and they last forever!

I just picked up an old 1999 Gammill Optimum and had it retrofitted to Vision and the frame to a Breeze system, all done at my house, smooth as silk! Never need to be sent to factory for maintenance.

The other group to check is MQResource as well.

Have fun!:P:D:P:D:P

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Thanks again Ladies - I think I'm going to do some more test driving over the next month. I found someone fairly close to me that is a rep for APQS (Quilt Shows are a great place for resourcing) and going to drive that one a little bit more. I have a class this week on the Gammill (Statler) so I will keep you posted.

Do any of you think that the screen for the computer driven APQS is too small as opposed to the Statler? Typically I see full size monitors on the Gamill and the one on the APQS is more of a tablet size. Do you have thoughts on that?

Sorry for the all the questions - I just want to make a well educated decision.

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THere are several computer driven systems you can add to an APQS and several of the other machines mentioned. Compuquilter, Intelliquilter and APQS just announced their system.

I think you are making the right decision to test different machines. What your needs are may be different from someone else. My was weight and feel of the machine and Customer services.

Good luck in your decision and no matter what you choose, some back to this forum. Its Great!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I purchased by APQS Freedom last year, with the Bliss System, 12-foot table and Fabric Advance System. I put it together and set it up myself. All I did was follow the directions. (I was scared to death thinking I would mess it up -- but it worked beautifully.) I did have a couple questions, so I called Customer Service and they were wonderful. I didn't get the Millenium because I didn't want to get the thread cutter on my machine. (I pull my threads up and weave them into the quilt after tying them.) So far I have done three quilts for other people (as a business), and they turned out beautifully. The only problem I have had is being gone too much to get all my quilting done. I would suggest you purchase everything on your machine when you buy it. Saves time, saves money and it is easier to put together once than to add on to it later. :rolleyes: Just my opinion.

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I have a Millenium since 2007 & happy with it. Upgraded to Bliss last year and added Intelliquilter which I beleive was the tablet you are talking about. Never tried the other computerized systems in the market. I did a lot of research and when I was ready to invest, I visited a fellow longarmer wit IQ, test drive and ordered. For me, it's ease of use, reputation of the product, the company and its customer service, that is for Longarm and Computer System.

This Forum is the best in MHO, loving & generous.

An informed decision is the basis for best decision, wishing you the best in your quest.

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