It took a bit to get anyone's attention when we arrived at the shop but I was patient because I really wanted to look at this machine. Finally, a salesperson broke away from a one-on-one sewing lesson to see what we needed. I explained that I wanted to look at the Eclipse DX. Of course, it turned out that the machine was missing the manual, the power supply, and the foot pedal. Yes, this made it a challenge but the salesperson finally located the power supply and the foot pedal.
I had brought a baggie of fabric to test the stitching with. It was a fair selection of fabrics - denim, quilting weight cotton, home dec cotton, stretchy knit, and fleece. On the heavy fabrics and the knits, the stitching was pretty much perfect. However the quilting weight cotton and the home dec cotton, the stitching didn't seem quite right and I was unable to adjust the needle tensions to correct. I'm willing to admit that this could have been a user issue. There was no manual available to check the tension settings and I'm really spoiled with having an electronic display.
Then, I decided to re-thread the machine. This turned into a major challenge and we waited for the salesperson to return. I'm not sure that the salesperson appreciated the fact that I had cut all the threads so I could thread the machine myself but she did finally explain to me what I needed to do. Once I understood the procedure, it was pretty easy. The hardest part of threading the loopers was getting enough thread into the hole with enough slack to thread the machine. I was amazed that the machine could thread the loopers 100%. I did miss the fact that this machine also had a needle threader. I had this machine threaded in less than 5 minutes on the first try.
This machine was very pricey. This particular dealer had the machine listed ~$2500. If you had a trade=in, the price was about ~$1100. I'm not sure about the price even with the looper threading and the needle threaders.
I have located another dealer about 2 hours away that carries both of the Juki models that I'm interested in seeing and carries the Babylock machines. I suspect that the Juki MO-1000 is a twin of the Eclipse DX. It would be very nice to see all three machines and test them at the same time.
I really think hands on playing with the machines is the only way to go. If I can't thread the machine or adjust the tensions by myself, I won't use the machine when I get home. I'm still wondering just a little bit if I'm going to miss having the electronic display or having a free arm.
Have you used this particular machine? I would love to hear about the pros and cons.