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Old February 7th, 2014, 10:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
mikemillis mikemillis is offline
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Hi there - My name is Mike , i live in New England. Considering starting a small one head embroidery business. I had a screen printing business for 13 years, now after a break, I'm getting back into it. Starting to look at machines, here are the contenders:
Amaya XTS
SWF 1501
Barudan Elite
ZSK
Tajima Neo Plus

What do you folks think about these machines?
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Old February 8th, 2014, 05:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
pd87 pd87 is offline
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They are all good machines, but my personal favorites are Barudan and ZSK. I own Barudan and have friends working with ZSK. If the thread tension is good you will have very few to no thread breaks on a whole day of operation. My best was 4 days in a row without thread break only bobbin changing.
The stitch quality is excellent on both machines, especially on small lettering and caps they are doing great.
For Barudan it will be easier to find used machines or spare parts...

But ZSK is offering a lot of different hoops and Frames for their machines, right from the factory. If you want to do embroidery on shoes, pockets... They offer frames for everything...

What I don't like:
Barudan: Access of the Lubrication points. On the left side of the head...

ZSK: Price for the Frames...difficult to get a used one for a good price.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
Meh Meh is offline
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I am also new to this whole thing.. this post helped a lot! I'm going to create my own and maybe get additional help too!
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Old February 8th, 2014, 05:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
mikemillis mikemillis is offline
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How about those Amaya XTS machines. I like the technology, but any of you folks with experiencee good and bad?
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Old February 9th, 2014, 09:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
pd87 pd87 is offline
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Hallo mikemillis,
I think in the price class of Amaya, Tajima, Barudan, Happy, ZSK you won't find any bad machines. They are all sewing very well. Amya is putting a lot of new technology in their machines.
But new technology comes always with a price. If you have a ton of extra features it is more likely that something breaks and if something breaks, how complicated will it be to fix it.
Another thing is the tensioning system. All the people I have talked to, are setting the tensioning on their amaya xts manually because the auto tension function is not working very good. If you think you can avoid any tension problems by setting the machine to automatic, you might be wrong. But you have to ask an experienced amaya user about this.
This is still a very good machine, but for me personally, easy repairs and maintenance of a machine is a very important point. That is why an Amaya was not the right embroidery machine for me. On the other hand, the features like speed, easy communication between computer and machine and the small Cylindrical Lower Arm are really nice features. If you call a tech for maintenance and repairs anyway, than it could be the best machine for you.
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Old February 9th, 2014, 10:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
Robert Young Robert Young is offline
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I agree with what pd87 is posting... the difference is they are in Germany where ZSK is more readily available. I worked on a 20 head ZSK years ago but as we are in Texas finding quick maintenance help was limited to say the least. Great machine, no doubt! But when something when wrong we were lost.. So go with what is prevalent in your area so any downtime you experience should be as minimal as possible.

Here the dominates are probably Tajima, SWF and Melco. Much easier to find help on any of those three in this area.... having worked on Tajimas for over a decade when it came time for me personally to put my money down I went with SWF. (ha, yep that is correct) Because by that time SWF had worked out most of their initial rollout failures (they were pretty bad at the start!@!) and the machine is for all practical purposes a different colored Tajima but at a much lower price! We bought two bridge model 1501s and a specialty modified 4 head for LESS than the ONE specially modified Tajima version would have cost!!

I tend to shy away from the Amaya... have posted on other threads about this. Perception to me (only because of all the plastic) so NOT based on anything other than that... but still it is my perception that those are more hobbyist machines. not industrial. I mean if you look at a Tajima, SWF, and Amaya side by side it seems pretty clear one is quite a bit different. TRY, just TRY to knock over one of our SWFs. lol I know this is wrong, I get that.... but often perception is greater than reality.

Here is an image of one of our machines in my study at home. Fit through our standard doors and is a monster machine! lol best of luck!
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Old February 10th, 2014, 11:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
minimalist minimalist is offline
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I run barudan. With that being said after taking a serious look at the Happy machines that would be my next purchase. Why? The barudan multi heads I have are constructed with support beams that run the length of the machine. I have a product that we cannot run on the multi heads because the item hangs down long enough to catch on the support beam. I've tried every way I can think of to mitigate the problem but no solution other than running them on my single head which takes forever.

Also keep in mind to look at the cylinder arm. Large square cylinder arms will not have much horizontal travel if you plan on using hooptech clamps doing narrow projects. My ZSK couldn't do the same job the barudan did with the same hooptech clamp because it ran out of horizontal free travel with the item being embroidered.

Amaya, out. I don't want to have to use their proprietary software to run the machine.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 03:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
Robert Young Robert Young is offline
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I have a product that we cannot run on the multi heads because the item hangs down long enough to catch on the support beam. I've tried every way I can think of to mitigate the problem but no solution other than running them on my single head which takes forever.
this is a GREAT point... the machine choice is also determined by the mix of products or Niche that you want to get into... if you don't know then that is a different issue (no business plan!) ours are bridge models without cap attachments... as our niche is custom art and fabrics for interior designers.
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