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Thank you for the update, Pixey.
Truthfully, I have to wonder how much the size and weight of this machine will stop the purchase of it ... esp by those of us who are older and can't even manage anything that bulky and heavy. I am so happy to have and love the 15000 and my money is going to just stay where it is and work for me instead of spending it on the new machine.
Well, I went to my dealer’s demo launch of the M17…though I had already told him that I was not likely to be an early adopter. And in fact only came home with 5 spool thread stands for my 500e and 15000 (which were on sale). The M17 is definitely an impressive machine, both in features and size. He and I had a good chat afterward and shared a laugh at the fact that the drawing showing it being carried in the manual is NOT drawn to scale at all.
I did think it interesting that they are openly promoting it as a use-in-place, non-portable machine. With the embroidery unit staying on it but with the arm stowed off far to the left during regular sewing mode. Which is part of why there is not a separate extension table. And are even offering to deliver and set it up like a piece of furniture if needed. He said the box that the machine alone comes in is 63 lb. And the separate embroidery unit box is also pretty massive.
One new element I had not picked up on I the manual is that the needle plate mechanism is now entirely magnetic without a manual switch. Another thing that I noticed is that it is really picky about the sequence of steps used in attaching the stitch regulator (select something on the screen, then plug it in the back of the machine, then select something else to activate). Also, while it comes with the built in 2 spool thread stand, there is no option for attaching a 5 spool thread stand.