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Author Topic: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?  (Read 23974 times)

jerryw

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Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« on: August 11, 2015, 05:46:34 pm »

As I said in another thread recently: I've had a 7900 for about 4 years now.  I'm very happy with the print quality, and relatively happy with the printer overall (occasional clog, but mostly fixed with standard cleaning, though 1-2 power cleans in 4 years).

But this forum makes it appear there is a significant group of folks (though not a majority) that have had clogging issues that have made them very unhappy.

Makes me wonder:
  • If you had it to do over, would you buy your 7900 or 9900 again?
  • If not, what would you buy that is at least 24" wide?

This is just a curiosity for me, nothing more.  If you would be so kind, please respond only if you are an actual 7900/ 9900 owner.
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Paul2660

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 06:14:47 pm »

Yes,

I would purchase a new 9900.  I fully understand the workflow and issues around the large format Epson's.  I have used them since 2002, starting with the 7600. 
If I did purchase a new 9900, I would also plan on purchase of the extended warranty.  I feel that as long as you have a warranty, Epson will work to make a problem right.  At least they have for me in the past.

I have had my 9900 now almost 4 years.  I don't feel the printer uses the orange/green inks much in my work, (landscape) and it seems they are really more for the proofing crowd.  However I do not want to go back and have to re-profile everything as I would by moving to the 9890. 

As for Canon, I appreciate they have a far different strategy for heads, both in design and maintenance.  I feel the output from either a 8300/8400 and 9900 are so close I could not tell much difference.  But again, I am much more familiar with the Epson workflow (windows) and don't want to learn a new setup.  Too much time and energy for not enough gain.  I also prefer the way Epson loads the rolls, from the top and the paper path of the Epson.

I would also hope that Epson has a newer large format on the horizon, based on the new P800 but that's anyone's guess.

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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cybis

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 07:57:44 pm »

No!

Way too much ink ending up in the waste tank. The fact that Epson still advertises today that these printers have virtually eliminated clogged nozzles is just shameful. They are clog monsters and the printheads are expensive and have too short a life time. I don't need the slightly wider color gamut. I don't like wasting ink when switching black. The yellow ink longevity is inferior to the competition. The grayscale color tint is too finicky to control, probably because the black and grey inks are not neutral enough. there is no gloss optimizer.

I like that it's compatible with QTR.

So next printer is probably going to be the HP Z3200ps, the canon iPF8400, or the next generation of printers.
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louoates

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 09:05:44 pm »

I would buy the 9900 again. But I would sure buy the extended warrantee after going through the expense of replacing the print head this year. The printer works flawlessly for me, despite leaving it sit idle all summer. I love the consistency of the output, paper handling, and ink capacity. I also love having a less than 10 second wait time when I have a phone question for the Epson support staff. I use the Colorbyte rip with no printer woes. I would have to see major, major quality differences to consider switching brands.
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ddolde

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 09:09:26 pm »

I had a 7900 that had failed printheads after a couple years fairly light use.  I wound up junking it instead of forking out $1800 to get new heads installed.

I just bought an HP Z5200 44" wide printer and so far it's great. You can replace your own heads for about $70 each. They just unplug like an ink cartridge.  Not to mention it has a built in spectrophotometer so you can make your own profiles,

You leave it on (in sleep mode) all the time and it periodically runs automatic maintenance on the heads.

At $3200 (from atlex) Epson can't touch that.

That's the long answer. The short answer is hell no never.
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deanwork

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 09:44:24 pm »

Probably not because of all the wasted ink, random head issues, and very expensive warranty cost.

The thing I really liked about HP's service is that, first of all the technician I had over a couple of times in 7.5 years was really good in every way. He knew the printer inside out and could take that thing apart in 15 minutes and replace anything that needed fixing, the first time, by just popping in a module.  It wasn't any of the nonsense of talking to some guy in another part of the country on the phone to tell him what to do. And, with HP you could renew your warranty at ANY time, regardless if the printer has been out of warranty for a year or whatever, and that cost for the warranty was about half of what Canon or Epson charges.


What I do hope is that the next round of Epson large format printers will equal the professionalism of their 3880 series. I think if they redesigned their pressurized inkflow system and cap station, more in line with what they had with the well designed robust 10K model, they  could go a long way to doing that.  We really need 3 competitors in this market to improve the products and keep them honest. Let's hope the new ones out next year will kick ass. I really do hope that. And, I also hope HP keeps one big photo printer in their lineup and doesn't just cater to designers.

John

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datro

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 11:00:40 pm »

I'm printing with a 7900, mostly matte papers, occasionally photo papers, no canvas.  I purchased it in December 2008 which means end of this year will be 7 years on this printer.  I did purchase the 3 years of extended warranty but never had to use it for any repairs.  Last summer I replaced the head and Ink Selector (dampers) as a result of electromechanical failure in the head.  (Up until then, there were zero issues requiring any kind of repair.)  I did the head replacement myself since I have worked on similar equipment in the past and have the necessary tools and background.  After doing all the service adjustments required after replacing the head, my printer is actually more "tuned in" than before the head failed.

PROs:  I love the output quality on this printer. I think the dithering is maybe slightly better than Canon/HP, but I also feel the average viewer or print purchaser would never know the difference.  And like other posters, I also feel Epson has the best paper handling of anyone.  And while I haven't yet ventured into using QTR (I do mostly B&W), I have plans to do that and so I like that I have that option.  Having done the head replacement and studied the internals, I feel like now I know this machine and can fix most anything that needs attention as long as I can get the parts.

CONs:  Yes, it is inconvenient and wasteful when switching blacks.  But I'm not doing that often so for me the inconvenience and ink usage is acceptable.  I"m definitely not happy that Epson inks are behind Canon and especially HP in terms of neutrality (blacks) and longevity.  I'm encouraged that Epson is trying to address this in their new P-series printers (Yellow especially).  I wasted a lot of ink leading up to the realization that my head had failed.  I wish there was a more deterministic troubleshooting workflow (and even logic in the firmware) to help quickly identify when the problem is the head; it would save a lot of people a lot of time and money.

Would I buy another 7900 or 9900?  Maybe.  Right now my 7900 is "the devil I know" and I tend to like to use tools which I fully understand and can master for maximum quality of work.  But I am hopeful that Epson will extend the P-series into LF (24', 44", 64") and bring additional innovation.  I'm hoping I'll get at least another 4-5 years out of my 7900.  When the time comes I would likely look first at the P-Series LF printers from Epson, assuming they do offer something in at least 24".  I would certainly also look at anything new from Canon or HP to evaluate the current state of innovation and reliability in their offerings.  One thing is certain:  It is possible to produce stunning work from any of these printers.  I've seen it.

Dave

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BillK

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2015, 11:00:27 am »

The short answer is hell no never.

I agree with that.

For me the canon user experience is far nicer. As of today I would get a IPF8400. Have a epson7900 and a IPF8300 now.
No dealing with the never ending nozzle check, clogs, cleaning cycles that the epson requires.
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jerryw

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 11:45:08 am »

4 no, 2 yes, and 1 maybe so far.

I realize its a small sample size, and those that are unhappy are probably be more prone to reply.  But interesting nonetheless.

Any more yes people out there?
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Landscapes

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 12:15:17 pm »

4 no, 2 yes, and 1 maybe so far.

I realize its a small sample size, and those that are unhappy are probably be more prone to reply.  But interesting nonetheless.

Any more yes people out there?
What's interesting would be if you take the users that said yes, and gave them a Canon for a month to play with, if they would change their answer to no.

Likewise, what if you took Canon owners and made them use an Epson for a month.  What would they gain?  Surely the Epson isn't going to run any better than a Canon, and surely having to switch the black inks would drive them crazy.

So I can see getting some of those people who would get an Epson again to convert to Canon, but I just do not see a Canon user converting to Epson.
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DeanChriss

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 12:18:31 pm »

Yes, I'd buy another one.

I got my Epson 7900 in December 2008 without an extended warranty and have never had a problem beyond the typical clogging we all know about. So far I have only had to use "normal" cleanings at most. No "power clean" or even "powerful" clean cycles have been needed, though sometimes I have had to do a couple "normal" cleaning cycles to get things going again. My printer is used pretty regularly but several times per year it sits idle for 5 weeks or so. After sitting like that it sometimes has no clogs but other times it takes multiple cleanings to get a perfect nozzle check. Having to run a cleaning cycle before you print can sometimes be incredibly frustrating, but it doesn't use huge amounts of ink. The straight through paper path and paper handling are wonderful.

Because changing printer brands would require all new paper profiles and print files of different dpi for optimal output I wouldn't consider changing brands. Changing all of my print ready files would be too much effort, on top of learning a new workflow.

When it comes to low operating cost I think the HP "Z" printers win hands down. Relative to Canon I think it's just a matter of tradeoffs. At almost 7 years old I'd have, or would soon have, $1720 invested in replacement Canon heads. Canon's operation keeps the user from experiencing clogs and cleanings. That's great until head replacement is required. Canon and Epson both use ink to keep nozzles clean, but with Canon the user does not watch the event so it's perceived as not happening. I may have used a bit more ink in cleanings, but not $1720 more.

YMMV.
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vjbelle

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 01:29:20 pm »

No...... I've owned 7600's and 9900's.  I was lucky enough to actually sell my 7600 after purchasing a new 9900.  That printer lasted 2.5 years.  I threw it away and bought another 9900 which had to be completely rebuilt after 10 months..... very finicky.  After another year the printer would not unclog itself.... no matter what I did.  I threw it away and bought a Canon ipf8400 and will never go back to Epson.  Extended warranties, to me, are a complete waste of money.  Very expensive and the printer is never the same after major servicing.  If it requires servicing out of warranty my best advice is to throw it away and buy something else.  Its just the cost of doing business. 

Victor
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 02:40:29 pm »

I find it hard to sell my HP Z3100 and Z3200 after resp. 8 and 6 years of use with little trouble, easy maintenance and not to forget fast available parts and user doable repairs. Wonder in what category user replaceable heads fall. By the time the printers go really belly up I will think about this question, small chance it will be an Epson.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

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PeterAit

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2015, 02:46:44 pm »

Yes for me. Like the 4880 before it, my 3 year old 7900 has performed flawlessly (aside from minor clogs) and creates great prints on paper and canvas. It gets light use and when it's sitting idle all I do is run a nozzle check every few days to keep the ink flowing. I have never noticed an issue with black neutrality. As for "wasting" ink changing blacks, if I was such a pinch-penny to worry about a few bucks worth of ink I certainly would not be doing large format printing! Hell, a good number of my prints are wastes of ink!
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Benny Profane

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2015, 09:33:31 pm »

Hell, a good number of my prints are wastes of ink!

Ha!
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jhemp

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2015, 11:54:28 pm »

I don't think I could ever buy another. Too much pain and anger with my 7900.  Two failed heads in 1.5 years!!!  $2800 for the printer plus $2500 or more to fix it and then about $1000 in wasted ink and paper.  So over $6000 in less than two years for a printer that rarely worked!  I'm contemplating just finding a good fine art printer to work with for prints bigger than 17x22 and let them deal with the headache.  If the printer f@*ks up a 24x36in print they eat the cost.  Luckily one of the best fine art printers there is just moved into my town.  I guess I'm lucky!

I just fired up my 3880 after sitting in my closet for 8 months and it started printing like it never missed a beat.  Thats what I'm talking about!!!!
J

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jerryw

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2015, 08:31:49 am »

7 no, 4 yes, and 1 maybe so far.

Again, I realize its a small sample size, and those that are unhappy are probably be more prone to reply.  But interesting nonetheless.

I'll weigh-in with my vote now: I'm a probable "no".  Reason: although I love the print quality and the paper handling, I print intermittently, so clogging is a risk for me.  As such, I would prefer to have the peace-of-mind offered by one of the alternatives that doesn't have such a high clogging risk.  However, if I was printing every day - yeah, I probably would buy one.  So, I'm going to somewhat reluctantly vote "no" on the 7900, but only because I print intermittently.

That brings the totals to: 8 no, 4 yes, and 1 maybe so far.
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Ken Doo

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2015, 09:54:48 am »

Emphatic yes. Great image printing quality and no problems at all in my print studio.

The problem with "polls" like these and forum threads on "printers" is that they invariably are about difficulties/troubles with printing (e.g., how do I fix...) rather than "hey guys, I just wanted to take five minutes of your time to let you know everything is going great today..."

The result imho is the appearance that the world is ending and society is falling apart at the seams. Ok, so maybe the last part is true  :P but I think you get the point. This isn't to minimize the extreme frustrations experienced by some printers here, but I suspect that there is a large number of forum participants that are indeed happy with their printers (regardless of brand) and indeed a whole world more that live outside the realm of Luminous-Landscape. (No offense to Kevin Raber who probably thinks I was stalking him in the Palouse this month...  ;D)

ken

cybis

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2015, 10:28:29 am »

Emphatic yes. Great image printing quality and no problems at all in my print studio.

The problem with "polls" like these and forum threads on "printers" is that they invariably are about difficulties/troubles with printing (e.g., how do I fix...) rather than "hey guys, I just wanted to take five minutes of your time to let you know everything is going great today..."

The result imho is the appearance that the world is ending and society is falling apart at the seams. Ok, so maybe the last part is true  :P but I think you get the point. This isn't to minimize the extreme frustrations experienced by some printers here, but I suspect that there is a large number of forum participants that are indeed happy with their printers (regardless of brand) and indeed a whole world more that live outside the realm of Luminous-Landscape. (No offense to Kevin Raber who probably thinks I was stalking him in the Palouse this month...  ;D)

ken
If this was the case, you would expect the amount of 'negative' posts regarding the Epson x900 to be proportional to their prevalence. I suspect the ratio of negative posts to market share for the x900 is very high because those printers are troublesome, not just because their owners are a bunch of whiners ;)

Also, if the failure rate of the x900 is affected by the local climate (temperature and humidity) more than other printers (a big if), it could mean that depending on your geographical location you may bump into relatively happy or unhappy fellow x900 owners. I live in dry and hot Arizona and have only met  x900 owner unhappy about their printer but otherwise generally happy people. :)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 04:41:23 pm by cybis »
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jerryw

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Re: Would you buy Epson 7900/9900 over again?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2015, 10:44:46 am »

Emphatic yes. Great image printing quality and no problems at all in my print studio.

The problem with "polls" like these and forum threads on "printers" is that they invariably are about difficulties/troubles with printing (e.g., how do I fix...) rather than "hey guys, I just wanted to take five minutes of your time to let you know everything is going great today..."

The result imho is the appearance that the world is ending and society is falling apart at the seams. Ok, so maybe the last part is true  :P but I think you get the point. This isn't to minimize the extreme frustrations experienced by some printers here, but I suspect that there is a large number of forum participants that are indeed happy with their printers (regardless of brand) and indeed a whole world more that live outside the realm of Luminous-Landscape. (No offense to Kevin Raber who probably thinks I was stalking him in the Palouse this month...  ;D)

ken

To Ken: Many thanks for your response.  My comments already acknowledged (twice) that unhappy folks will be more prone to respond.

To All: If you would be so kind, please help keep this thread on-topic.  Its simply asking actual 7900/ 9900 owners if they would purchase again - to share thoughts and experiences.
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