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Author Topic: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer  (Read 3826 times)

Dan Berg

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #60 on: April 07, 2018, 06:21:33 PM »

Why not the P6000 or 7000 with a set of InkOwl 700ml refillables.
Only $2195 or $2695.
Gives you 24" The chips have now been broken.
The chips cannot be reset but are replaceable with a new $20 chip every time your 700ml cart shows empty.
Change the chip, fill the cart and your good to go.
That is an ongoing cost but it is still better then the P800 board you have to buy.
With 700ml refillables you can choose one of the following dye sublimation, piezography or third party inks.
A 24" printer for only slightly more then a P5000

Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #61 on: April 07, 2018, 09:47:56 PM »

It's normally not a great idea to buy more printer than one needs. If Roger only needs a 17" carriage I recommend that's what he buys. He needs to looks at the duty service he'll be demanding of it (volume and frequency of use) and the features he needs, in order to guide that decision. This is in the interest of optimizing ink consumption and maintenance.
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #62 on: April 08, 2018, 09:33:28 AM »

Marck and Dan,

I'd gladly buy a 44" printer if I knew I'd be protected against clogs. But no matter which size I choose, I'll be up that hill at one point or another. As Mark says, I am not a pro photographer and don't sell prints for a living. I have a few customers I make prints for once in a blue moon. Otherwise, I use my printer for color management testing mostly. It breaks my heart that a P800 is limited in terms of the number of RIPs that support it. The 4900 was fully supported by GMG, EFI, Onyx, ORIS and a host of others, which allowed me to "learn" these products at my own pace, experiment, and then competently intervene at commercial printers. That is one of the reasons that would make me lean, you see, toward a P5000 -- or maybe a P6000, so that I can continue enjoying specialized CMYK to CMYK transforms for proofing. But since buying an inkjet printer is akin to buying a time bomb, since it's only a matter of time until it becomes unusable, because of unavoidable ink clogs (I've had a 3000, a 4000 and now a 4900), a little voice in me tells me I should put the least amount of money on the machine since I'll end up losing it anyway, with time.

I thought about, perhaps, buying an A3 color laser printer? Same kind of money, horrendous cost of consumables but NO MORE INK CLOG -- ever. For that reason alone, I'd go for it. But the present quality of CMYK toners never approaches the gamut of inkjet printers which in my mind rules out this class of machines completely. I don't mind reprofiling every time I need to use the machine but I'd have to give up on saturation and image quality overall, although laser printing has considerably improved over the year.

I spent time yesterday reading about people's experience with the P800 and it is not clear cut that this machine is a huge improvement over previous generations of ink formulations. Some people claim "clog-free" operations, even over the course of weeks, months while others complain they routinely need to waste ink to unclog it. One way or another, owning an inkjet printer is a costly proposition, there is the initial expenditure of buying the printer but there is also the ongoing "hidden costs" of wasting ink and the purchase of maintenance tanks to keep the printer "operating normally" over and above the regular cost of consumables.

In the end, I agree with you that these machines are made to "print", daily, with medium to moderate to high volume. I've seen one 9900 unit where I used to work at Transcontinental run for months, outputting loads of proofs, seven days a week, sometimes changing rolls two to three times a day, only to have the head fail progressively, to the point that, after a year and a half, a new printer had to be put in, paying $2,000 for replacing the print head didn't make sense.

The only thing I'd consider is to buy my next Epson printer from Europe, to avoid all the stupid chip protection.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #63 on: April 08, 2018, 10:02:07 AM »

Roger,

The cost of bringing in such a printer from Europe, if you will be allowed to and not to ignore the power transformation and cycles issues, would be a big overhead to swallow before you realize any so-called economies on third party inks, which I would not use for my own printer - but maybe that's just me.

Turning to more realistic matters, it's necessary to think in terms of priorities and relative values. The ink for a P5000 costs about half the ink for a P800 on a per ml basis, and with the P5000 as for the 4900, unlike for the P800, when it clogs you can clean one channel pair at a time. So you can get away with a lot more clogging on a P5000 relative to a P800 and still come out financially about even.

Now speaking about clogs - there are clogs and there are clogs. Not all clogs are born equal. My room is with Epson humidity specs but toward the low end - an important point. The kind of clogging I'm seeing on the P5000 is far easier to deal with than was the case on my previous 4900. The P5000 can go several days unused before showing any need for cleaning (printing a bit every day or every other day, and clogs are unusual). Beyond that, I'll see a channel or two that needs a touch-up. It's usually one normal cleaning cycle on a channel pair. It's fast and uses very little ink. So I don't mind those nearly as much as I minded the repeated episodes of lengthy cleaning sessions I endured toward the end of the 4900 ("the end" being when I got fed-up with it and donated it). It was still functional, just a huge nuisance. You know - like a used car after "X" years.

From the kind of things you want to do, a P5000 may be the correct choice; but as I said the other day, condition your choice on what you want the printer to be able to do and how you will use it. I settled on the P5000 because it's the only 17 inch machine with the combination of features I thought very useful to me: built-in auto-cut roll mechanism, flat feed for heavy or still media, good top feed for normal luster or matte papers, and a cassette feed for the thin stuff - very versatile. Also, the print head has 360 nozzles per inch whereas the P800 print head is 180. Maybe it makes some difference, I don't know, one would have a hard time seeing it, but the resolution is there. Also the widest gamut inkjet printer in that size range on the market. The extra gamut doesn't always make a difference, but sometimes it does. So those are the things that settled me on the P5000, knowing that maybe it needs more regular usage than a P800. There are trade-offs in this business like just about everything in life, so one needs to settle on something based on one's priorities, with some careful, orderly thinking about the relative merits and consequences of one factor versus another.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Dan Berg

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #64 on: April 08, 2018, 10:27:20 AM »

Just to clarify the only reason I even brought up the P6000 is they finally cracked the ink chip without the circuit board that is required for the P800.
Gives all kinds of options. If you purchase the P6000 oem 700 ml carts to refill the Inkowl refillables  it is less then half the price of the P800 ink.
Ink for P6000 is around .35 ml and for the P800 .75. That is huge!
The savings on 1 full set of 700 ml carts vs. paying P800 rate is $2500. Pays for the entire printer plus the ink owl refillables..
That $2195 price for a 24" printer is a steal. Want orange and green it is another $500.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 12:50:13 PM by Dan Berg »
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #65 on: April 08, 2018, 11:57:09 AM »

Dan,

You're an invaluable resource :-) Since they "finally cracked the P6000 ink chip without the circuit board that is required for the P800" that is something I'd take into consideration in my decision. My low printing volume would still not justify a P6000 over a P5000 but it's something to think about. The thing is I "hate" to be locked into Epson's own everything. It's so much for the savings in inks although that might become a consideration at some point but for the "freedom" of being able to operate the printer as I see fit. [Although, "operating the printer as I see fit" is maybe what has gotten me in trouble over the year with my 4900?]

This morning, I was toying with the idea of getting another 4900, possibly a brand new one, since I still have so much "investments" in the 4900 in terms of refillable cartridges, cleaning solution, Adjustment Utility, and the pack of brand new ink cartridges I recently purchased, encouraged my "progresses", getting another 4900 would allow to "retain" all that investment and possibly enjoy a few more years of relatively trouble-free operation, the print quality of the 4900 is nothing to complain about -- on thecontrary.

Call me crazy :-)

Mark,

Your points about the P800 cleaning cycles involving ALL channels is somewhat of a show-stopper? I hate wasting Epson inks.
Yes, I did consider all the costs of importing a printer from Europe -- that would be positively insane, I know...
You're making me think twice about getting a P800, especially for the kinds of things I do, prepress and all that...
It's not like I can't afford a P5000 over a P800, it's just the "risks" I hate to take one way or another.
I mean, if you ask me, blindfolded I much prefer the convenience of a P5000 than a P800 regardless of the forthcoming clogs I'll run into.

I keep reading that the inks into the P series may have had possible "improvements" in terms of formulation over the last generation? Which could make them less prone to dry and clog? But that's all speculation to me for there is no mention of it on Epson's site -- I don't suppose Epson would be crazy enough to make that kind of statement...?

The other thing, as Dan mentioned, if the Chinese managed to crack the ink chip in the P6000, it seems to me it's only a matter of time before they crack the P5000 chip? Logical?


Say Mark, how long have you had the P5000 for now?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #66 on: April 08, 2018, 02:10:20 PM »

I've had the P5000 since April Fool's Day 2017 - so just over a year.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #67 on: April 08, 2018, 06:06:47 PM »

Just to clarify the only reason I even brought up the P6000 is they finally cracked the ink chip without the circuit board that is required for the P800.
Gives all kinds of options. If you purchase the P6000 oem 700 ml carts to refill the Inkowl refillables  it is less then half the price of the P800 ink.
Ink for P6000 is around .35 ml and for the P800 .75. That is huge!
The savings on 1 full set of 700 ml carts vs. paying P800 rate is $2500. Pays for the entire printer plus the ink owl refillables..
That $2195 price for a 24" printer is a steal. Want orange and green it is another $500.

If you are going to provide advise or make recommendations to an individual trying to make a rational purchase decision, maybe it's best to start with some facts and that person's needs and usage pattern, not your obsession with the cost of ink and basing a whole decision on the cost of ink to the exclusion of other things that probably could be a lot more determinative.

The over-riding issue for Roger is that he makes only intermittent use of the printer - i.o.w. a low volume irregular user. You wouldn't want to match such a usage pattern with a costly printer that needs very large amounts of ink which could run the risk of deteriorating in the cartridges once opened for lack of use. Unopened cartridges can be useful well beyond the stated expiry date, but once they are opened the ink should be consumed within six months. Next, are the implications of using non-oem ink in a new printer. Most importantly, you void any aspect of the warranty that could be associated (at Epson's discretion) with using non-Epson inks or interaction with non-Epson products. See pages 4 and 5 of the P5000 Warranty document. Then there is an issue of what these 3rd party inks are: can they deliver equivalent quality, DMax and gamut, and what impact does using them have on the longevity ratings of the prints (have any of coloured inks been tested for)? Then there is the whole question of the total and per unit cost of oem inks for printing. For a low volume user it's just not a major issue, just like the cost of gasoline for a car is less of an issue if you drive 5000 km per year than if you drive 25,000 km per year. But even on a cost per print basis, for lower volume users it's just not the big ticket item some make it out to be. For example, in the past year I've printed about 815 square feet. At that annual usage rate, for a 13*19 inch sheet, my amortization of the machine is CAD 1.22, paper is 2.83 and ink is 1.34 totaling CAD 5.39. Even if the ink cost were reduced by half, the overall printing cost would come down by 67 cents, for a saving of 12.5%. For that 12.5% I'm buying more printer than I need, taking warranty risk, ink quality risk, print longevity risk, and augmented wastage risk. Just not worth it, and not worth basing a printer decision on the model for which someone succeeded in cracking a chip code.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #68 on: April 08, 2018, 07:50:06 PM »

Roger, both my previous and current Canon and HP printers state on the back "110 -240 V, 50/60 hertz"  So you may be able to import from Europe. It would be best to check though.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #69 on: April 08, 2018, 08:04:01 PM »

Roger, both my previous and current Canon and HP printers state on the back "110 -240 V, 50/60 hertz"  So you may be able to import from Europe. It would be best to check though.

I just checked the back of the Epson SC-P5000 and it too is 110-240V, 50-50 hertz, so that's not an issue (in principle it was a possibility depending on the specs, but in this case it isn't). The more determinative issues *may be* (I don't know, all would need verification) whether dealers in Europe are allowed to ship them to Canada, warranty coverage on printers not bought within the service area of usage, and the shipping cost and shipping risk (insurance?). I suspect it's not a viable idea, but never having explored it I couldn't say for sure. Again, it raises the same question about how much trouble it's worth encountering to save a few - or even more than a few - bucks on ink.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #70 on: April 08, 2018, 08:51:59 PM »

Mark is right, there must be a TON of protection things, blockages that await the buyer. I don't think I'm prepared to go through that hell after all.
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #71 on: April 10, 2018, 05:41:34 PM »

P5000 are hard to come by in Canada these days. No one seems to have them. I'm not even sure about the ink.
I tried calling Epson directly, to know more about the situation, but they won't say what they have in stock -- if any. They keep referring me to their "dealers". One local dealer tells me 4 to 6 weeks ordering time... And that's not a guarantee. Talk about an incentive to buy Epson again?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #72 on: April 10, 2018, 05:48:40 PM »

Try CCBC-Club Labatt St. Toronto
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Roger_Breton

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Re: Terminally ill Epson 4900 printer
« Reply #73 on: April 10, 2018, 06:36:25 PM »

I've sent them an email -- thanks.
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