I still haven't made a final purchase decision on my planned R2400 upgrade.
The head says just buy 3880 but the heart says I really want the reliability of the 3880 AND the colour performance of the 4900. It seems I expect too much!
Two weeks of research has led me to conclude with great disappointment that the X900 printers are flawed in terms of head reliability.
There is too many repeated patterns of head failure.
A local dealer here in Melbourne who I respect told me he had sold 57 - 4900 printers with no Custmer head failures...... But his showroom 9900 had just suffered a head failure and the showroom 4900 had suffered a similar fate! Both printers had failed just outside the 12 month warranty. Sound familiar?
I started to reflect on all that I had read on this site and others and concluded that the head problems are not just related to low usage or low humidity there must be some electro mechanical factors as well.
Piezo heads are complex hi tech devices that actuate the highly precise ink deposits. My gut feeling is the greater the number of nozels and the smaller the nozzle size the greater the chance of head problems through inevitable manufacturing tolerances.
Perhaps the boundaries to what can be done with ink jet technology whilst providing reliability have been pushed too far in the pursuit of image quality improvements?
Just my thoughts as an electronics engineer and I may be totally wrong.
I decided to have a look on the Epson US site to check what was in the pipeline and found an interesting article on the development of piezo head technology and the innovations that Epson has made over the years.
And then I discovered this link which you may find both interesting and encouraging: Epson are investing in new production lines for new head technology....... Clearly Epson is very serious about the future and retention of its leading market positionhttp://global.epson.com/newsroom/2013/news_20130619.html
This may indicate Epson ARE working on the reliability issue as well as further Image Quality improvements.
We might see new models over the next 12 - 18 months.
Lets hope the next generation deliver both IQ improvements and traditional Epson rock solid reliability