I am in the process of shopping for a new longarm machine. There is nothing wrong with my machine. It is a workhorse and has served me very well for 11 years, but I am ready for a machine with a few more bells and whistles. When I bought my machine in 2001 there were only a couple of brands to choose from and very few "add-on" options. Now machine shopping is like car shopping - there are several brands, loads of options to choose from, and everyone loves the brand they drive! My first priority is to get a machine with great stitch quality and a fantastic stitch regulator. A lower priority is to get a machine that is quieter than the one I have. Now are other machines really quieter? I don't know, and I did not know how to find that out.
My husband came up with a great idea, he suggested I download a decibel app for my phone and test the loudness of the machines. So I did that. For 99 cents, I learned that the machine I am most interested in, quilts at the same volume as my current machine.
The stitch quality however, is much better. I can deal with the noise, if the stitches are pretty.