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looking for a new tig machine and some experienced opinions

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  • looking for a new tig machine and some experienced opinions

    can be new or used. ive got money but dont want to spend over $4k unless im gonna have a really great machine for years to come.

    i have 220v single or 3 phase (4 wire 3 phase, 45Kva transformer can provide the single) 100 amp service in my current shop. ive used my ancient Linde UCC-305 for a few years, an older syncrowave 350, some hobarts, never tried an invertor, but i do understand what advanced squarewave is and does, i think thats the direction im leaning in.

    my regular needs are:
    -thin guage mild and stainless headers and turbo manifold parts, low amperage performance and cosmetic appeal count there.
    -aluminum cylinder head chambers and ports, so AC performance is important.
    -your everyday mild steel structural needs.. beyond 3/4" thickness would be rare for me, but i dont want to be underpowered. this is the last welder purchase i intend to make.
    -expandability would be nice, spoolgun capable perhaps.. but is my least priority of the list.

    i recently acquired a Miller S-54a wire feeder for a song (PDF owners manual here
    ...and i have no idea if a dynasty or syncrowave has the ability to power this unit. anyone know? if i have to set this up with a dedicated power supply that will be ok, but it would be really nice to have one cart handle mig and tig, space is dwindling.

    what questions should i be asking myself to decide between a syncrowave or a dynasty? am i overlooking any other machines? im inclined toward miller but dont mind considering other brands.

    thanks for your time

  • #2
    Tig stick and wire all in one machine. Look at the XMT 350 from miller. It supports all three process. Millers product guide is exellent for their machines and for narrowing down choices in a machine. Happy hunting.


    • #3
      The XMT is a great match for the feeder, but no AC TIG. The Dynastys and Sycrowaves wont run a feeder. From what you will be doing I'd say a new Dynasty 300 would fit the bill. If its out of your range then a Syncro 350 would be nice.


      • #4
        For your situation I'd opt for a Dynasty 300 DX or a Syncrowave 350 LX. Given your aluminum work is repairing cylinder heads, I would lean towards the 350 LX if it was my shop. FWIW a fully setup Dynasty 300 nears $6000 with cooler, torch, running gear, and all.

        And no, don't be looking to run a wirefeeder off a CC machine like a Syncrowave or Dynasty. Any multiprocess machine that is CC and CV is going to rob you of tig features that you find in nice tig machines and since that's what you're looking for.......


        • #5
          thanks fellas.

          okay, so the feeder is a seperate concern, no problem. now to decide between a syncrowave and a dynasty.. would anyone care to explain their preference?

          i know of a guy with syncro 350s and a dynasty 300dx who says go with the syncrowaves (his are the huge 1980's units) and i guess for him the bells and whistles dont mean much whereas constant 100 % duty cycle operation does.

          im not floodwelding dies or anything, if i ever use 200 amps it will be occasional and for limited duration, max duty cycle is only halfway important to me. with the 300dx, are the bells and whistles actually useful? in what instance would the dynasty outshine the syncro?


          • #6
            Yes the bells and whistles are actually used. I use pulse EVERY time I weld. It might be 1.5 PPS for 16ga SS, 250 PPS for 1/8" 3003 Aluminum, or have it maxed for cast iron or aluminum. Not to mention the advanced square wave on Ac is incredible. By the way, I can weld just as thick aluminum on AC as I could with a Syncro 350.


            • #7
              Don’t get me wrong; I’m no tig guy by any means . But I’m learning with the help of the people here. A year ago October I was back in Chicago at Miller’s testing facility. I started out on a Syncrowave welding aluminum. I thought I had died and gone to heaven . After about an hour I got bored and my azz was a sleep so I got up and walked around. Heard this noise coming from another welding booth. Found a hole between the other guys there, and started watching one of Miller’s techs running a Dynasty 300 on aluminum. He had the AC frequency set at 20. My old Gold Star is stuck at 60. Whoa a whole new world for me ! I started asking questions, the Miller tech said here set down and give her a spin. I was floored at the difference, between my Gold Star and the Dynasty. And I could tell the deference between the Dynasty, and the Syncrowave. Now is there that much difference between the two for the money? I’m not qualified to say ! But I bought the Dynasty 300. If anything will ever make a tig weldor out of me. It will be the Dynasty!


              • #8
                Like Pile Buck, I'd go with the Dynasty.

                It allows AC freq adjustment from 20-250 Hz (the Sync stays at 60 Hz). The lower freqs are superb for high-mass weldments like aluminum cylinder heads. The highest freqs produce a narrow arc cone that allows welding in a tight corner, or on thin-guage material.

                It allows AC Balance adjustment from 50%-90% EN (the Sync range is from 50%-68%). There are many times, especially when using new or clean material, that you can run around 80% balance. This puts much less heat into the tungsten, keeps the torch & your hand cooler, and makes the tungsten point last much longer.

                Dynasty weighs 90#. Sync weighs 496#. If you need to toss the Dynasty in the truck for welding on location, no problem.

                Dynasty draws 63 amps at full output. Sync draws 128 amps.

                Try welding with both at your local welding supply. I bet you'll buy the Dynasty
                Barry Milton

                HTP Invertig 201
                HTP MIG2400

                Miller Trailblazer 302, Spoolmatic 30A, Suitcase 12RC
                Clarke Hotshot


                • #9
                  thanks for the help guys, the frequency adjustment sounds like a huge advantage for me over the syncrowave. time to keep my eyes peeled.


                  • #10
                    The Syncrowave will pulse to your hearts desire and it does fine work on aluminum.. If you do lots of gravy, pretty aluminum work that's where the extra cash spent on the Dynasty is worth it.. The Dynasty's AC features is where it shines.. On DC I still love my transformer machines and you lose nothing over a Dynasty.. The Syncrowave will work killer on cylinder heads (as will the Dynasty) but it's not the kind of work that the Dynasty really makes much of a difference.. The Syncro still has a nice AC arc and a good amount of balance control.. If you're not building expensive aluminum stuff I'd get the more robust and cheapter 350.. If you're doing the aluminum gravy stuff it's a no brainer and the Dynasty is the ticket.


                    • #11
                      you can still make excilent welds on aluminum with the syncrowaves and they are verry nice units, but the dynastys realy are the latest and greates. if you got the $$ go for the dyn300 tig runner.
                      you will get more ajustment with the dyn, but more amps per $ with the syncro. take a close look at the syncros they have come a long way from your frends 1980 unit. they are nothing to sneze at. they are also power hungry compared to the dyn. or other inverters.
                      best thing to do would be try them both and see if you think the extra ajustability is werth the $$
                      i went with an inverter as i could not provide the power needed for the transformer. the work i do dose not call for all the ajustability and you may decide you can be just as happy with the syncro as the dyn. for what you are doing. nothing wrong with sticking to transformer tecknology, the syncros alow a lot of ajustability also just not as much as the dyn.

                      (sorry about the caps, nothing ment by them . the wife just left them on again.)
                      thanks for the help
                      hope i helped
                      feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                      summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by fun4now View Post
                        (sorry about the caps, nothing ment by them . the wife just left them on again.)
                        My wife does the same thing!

                        Is your wife 100 % German / California blond?


                        • #13
                          Heck just the weight and size and using less amps is enuff to justify the dynasty. I have several customers that I go to and work in the exact same spot on a hoist setup doing marine work and I am torn between a new Trailblazer and all the trimmings or getting a dynasty and making an electrical set-up for each of them. Then I'd just have to do the other customers with the bobcat.
                          I do need some new things to depreciate out...uncle sam got a big bite outa me last year...thats why I went back to a "regular job"
                          I could keep a Dynasty beside my bed every night...the Trailblazer is too big for that.
                          I will make one point tho and you guys can take it or leave it... I do weld about every aluminum thing there is and If I was welding blocks and heads I would not be happy with the 40% duty cycle and only 300 amps as there would be time you would need to preheat. A bigger inverter or a Used 500 synchrowave would be more in my futur, I do big dies and such and have caused the switch to shut down the smaller machines just about the time you get it going good. Those big bock heads are made to soak up a lot of heat. Check out what your competition is doing.

                          Miller Dynasty 700...OH YEA BABY!!
                          MM 350P...PULSE SPRAYIN' MONSTER
                          Miller Dynasty 280 with AC independent expansion card
                          Miller Dynasty 200 DX "Blue Lightning"

                          Miller Bobcat 225 NT (what I began my present Biz with!)
                          Miller 30-A Spoolgun
                          Miller WC-115-A
                          Miller Spectrum 300
                          Miller 225 Thunderbolt (my first machine bought new 1980)
                          Miller Digital Elite Titanium 9400


                          • #14
                            Pile Buck
                            blond. .............
                            took me a long time to lern to speek blond, but most of the time i understand her after 8 years. i did say most of the time right.
                            not real shore why she types every thing in cap's. as i understand it caps is generaly used to indicate yelling on a chat line, so i did not want any one to get the idea i intended to yell.
                            thanks for the help
                            hope i helped
                            feel free to shoot me an e-mail direct i have time to chat. [email protected]
                            summer is here, plant a tree. if you don't have space or time to plant one sponsor some one else to plant one for you. a tree is an investment in our planet, help it out.


                            • #15
                              the thing about welding overhead cam heads is you dont want to saturate them or they'll bow like a harp and cams/rocker shafts will never go back in. what i need is an instant puddle to start feeding rod into before the rest of the head even knows its being welded. another thing is that im not welding solid billets, the combustion chamber walls are usually 3/8" between surface and water jacket, maybe up to 5/8 in some overlapping corners where water doesnt come as close.

                              i have a commercial hotplate/griddle from a restaurant that i'll use to get the whole gasket surface up to temp with, and will probably use helium on either machine for heads specifically.