Soprano is a diode not IPL.
Soprano has 2 modes, SHR which is advertised as painless and the regular single pulse mode.
If you compare the pain caused with SHR mode to that of the single pulse mode even on other more aggressive machines then most people would usually tell you that it’s painless (in comparison, not actual painless) I don’t really like that saying “no pain no gain” simply because this is what technology is all about, having a problem (pain) and trying to solve it. Which is usually the case but you can argue that’s its far from perfect.
In terms of results, I’ve seen happy clients and I’ve seen unhappy clients. Usually the problem is that whatever hair left is not very suitable for laser hair removal anymore than actual seeing results. We usually try to mix SHR mode and single pulse mode in attempt to catch as much as possible. In terms of feeling, as said before, i don’t know a machine which is more “comfortable” than the Soprano. You can also add another machine to it which blows cold air while treating (it’s called Zimmer) and then you could be more aggressive.
In terms of costs, it’s AMAZING. The only real consumable that it has is the head piece which costs about 15,000 USD to get replaced. It may seem steep but I’ve been using the same head piece for almost 3 years now and it’s still in good condition. They say it can do anywhere from 5 million pulses and up, my older machine is probably on 30 million pulses by now.
In terms of other things the machine needs, it’s only a matter of adding water when it goes down and changing the filter.
You can get a used one, get a certified technician to refurb it to specs and besides a service once a year, you will be good to go.
I don’t have a Gentlelase (maybe someone who does can comment) but i have a Candela V-Beam which is a photo machine by the same company. The way the machine works is VERY similar to the Gentlelase and it has ALOT of consumables. You has gas canisters that you need to replace all the time and some other things for the laser piece. The V-Beam needs a 30 min warm up period before you can use it when you first open it in the beginning of the day, and it has lots of small annoying bugs that your laser tech would need to get used to unless you plan on calling the company on a daily basis.
In general as people would tell you here, your clients will look for results and as i’m sure you will get good results with the Soprano, a Gentlelase using Alex is considered more aggressive than the Soprano or other machines.