It's been quite a while since I've contributed to this thread, but I usually check in 2-3 times a week for updates. As we all appreciate, Eric and his genius buddy Steve have certainly done a stellar job of R&M(research & maintenance) on the X900 printers. I was just about to make a donation, but decided to write this first. I put my 9900 into operation on April 20, 2010 and simultaneously started a "Printer Problem Log", which I have been adding to as necessary. I now have exactly 100 entries and will shortly be adding to that. All of this due to the various posts on this and another forum before I bought the 9900, thus I was somewhat prepared. I say "somewhat prepared" because after using two 7600s for many years I was quite astounded at the frequency of issues with the 9900. The most prolific of course being the ubiquitous head clogs and seemingly unending cleaning cycles necessary to finish a job that had been started only after making sure I had a good nozzle pattern. One job consisted of 10-24x36 prints. Near the middle of the job I noticed the colour shifting slightly warmer than the first prints. After a couple more prints I ran another nozzle check and found both the C and LC had many dropouts. After two cleanings the LC was gone completely. Eventually I was able to finish the job, but the dumped ink and wasted time certainly cut into the profit margin as you might expect. I won't go into any more detail at this point, except to say that the next few months were full of wasted time, paper and ink. On Thursday, Nov.26, 2010 I talked with a tech at Epson and arranged a service call. Here in Canada the service company is Glodyne Decision One and the following Wed a tech arrived. He installed a Pump/Cap Station and a new Print Head. The printer couldn't communicate with the new head at all, so he reinstalled the original head and it worked fine. For the next couple of months I experienced the usual nozzle dropouts, but nothing a few pairs cleanings couldn't take care of. Mar. 29,2011 I started having massive dropouts in the LLK and could NOT solve this issue. April 5, 2011 was my second service call. This time another NEW Print Head and this one worked. Also, the damper assembly was replaced. Therefore, I had 2 service calls and various parts replaced within the first year of use. By the middle of April I was starting to see banding in the blacks, as well as an issue with the overall quality of the printed image. Looked rather "grainy", as if printed at 360dpi. April 28, 2011, another service call. When the tech removed the Pump/Cap Station from the box there were several pieces broken and had to be returned. He did install the new Wiper Blade in the older Pump/Cap Station. Ran several head alignments and the mechanical alignment as well. Through the summer months there were the usual nozzle dropouts, accompanied by more frustration and wasted time, paper and ink. Hmmmm, I guess this is becoming too long a read now, so I'll skip to the chase. Had to take 6 weeks off due to health issues and then back Dec.1. I believe the printer had worn me out! Near the end of Dec I noticed escalating issue with the Y ink, dropouts more often and difficulty clearing the problem. Checked the ink bay and was pretty sure there was a problem with the Y connector seal. Jan.17 2012, another service call. Replaced the left ink bay and yet another Pump/Cap Assembly. From that point on I dealt with air pockets in three ink lines along with the accompanying clean cycles and wastage. Epson replaced some of the ink wasted in these situations without any discussion. Other related issues as well, including a sever banding issue in the MK. And the saga continues. During the following months the dropouts continued, as did the seemingly never ending cleaning cycles, including several power cleans. Through Christmas 2012 the printer seemed to behave quite well and then into the new year also. However, last week I noticed a banding issue appearing in the blacks, although all of the nozzle checks were 100%. Could not get a solid deep midtone through highlight, especially in a B&W print. Also noticeable in full colour prints, but rather subtle in some. Called Epson two days ago and the next service call will probably be Wed, Mar. 6. It's a slow process here in Canada it seems.
WHEW!!! Sorry to be so long winded here, but this has definitely been a long journey and I have tried to keep it as short as possible, leaving out repetitive issues. I started this post with the intention of offering only one piece of advice to anyone in the market for a X900 large format printer, but also felt that some history might help along the way. My advice is as follows, quite simple actually - RENEW YOUR WARRANTY TO THE LIMIT!!! I was reluctant to lay out that amount of money until three service calls later. They would have paid for a new printer easily, so it was a no-brainer at that point. I now have one month left on my final warranty extension with Epson, so I'll be relying on Eric's site for guidance from that point forward. I have at least done the Wiper Blade cleaning but not much else, since the machine is still under warranty.
Once again I will repeat - RENEW THE WARANTY!!! It's an insurance policy well worth the money. Believe me, I know from experience.
Thank you Eric, and now back to your site to leave some $$$.