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drewharty

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Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« on: April 01, 2022, 02:02:26 pm »

Hello,

My 9880 printer just failed for a final time, and I am in the market for a new printer. I typically make 30x50 and 40x60 prints using Piezography K7 neutral inks, with mat black.

One of my great frustration with the 9880 was the constant trouble shooting, which I think was a combination of mechanical failures on the printer and using 3rd party carts. I also tend to print full time for 2-3 months then not use the printer for 8-9 month, during which time I flush out the inks with Ink Jet Mall flushing fluid and do bi-weekly nozzle checks.

I am looking at either a refurbished 9890, 8000, or P9000. Can anyone make recommendations about the durability and maintenance requirements of these printers? I've read horror stories about all of them. I've also read that Epson has improved the durability of the printhead in the P9000, but I wonder in comparison to what.

Some of my questions and concerns are:

1. Are Epson's extended warranties voided by using Cone inks?
2. The lack of programable head cleaning cycles on the 9890. Do you find that programming daily cleaning cycles helps lower clogging issues and extend the life of the printhead?
3. Are more cart slots an advantage because I can eventually map out a failed ink positions on the printhead, or do more cart slots create more problems with pressure, ink delivery, and air in ink lines?
4. Are the mechanics of the new printers an upgrade from the older 9890, or should I expect the durability to be the same or worse?
5. Iv'e read an initial fill can damage the thin membrane on the P9000 printhead. Can anybody confirm this?

6. Has anyone made direct comparisons between BW prints from Epson's OEM BW inks and Piezo inks?

Thanks for any advice. I love photography but dread printing because of the constant problems and cost of maintaining printers.

Drew Harty
www.drewharty.com


« Last Edit: April 01, 2022, 02:12:14 pm by drewharty »
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deanwork

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2022, 03:27:21 pm »


Hi Drew,

I will answer the questions that I know.

I use a 9890 for K7 Carbon only and have done so for about eight years. Actually Iím doing a job of 100 30x40s right now!  It has been outstanding and I use it far less than any of my other printers. I just replaced the head and ink selector unit ( dampers) six months ago and hope to use it for 5 more years. There are three things that I do that keep it clean running.  1. Run something through it every week. When Iím not using it I turn it on on Sunday do a nozzle check  and run a couple of 8x10s to keep the ink flowing. Usually I need to do one cleaning, often the black channel. I ran k7 for 5 years but switched to k6 after one of my channels clogged and I see absolutely no difference when doing reprints. Then I lost another channel and had to reassign the ink channels and reprofile. I went for years with two dead channels. ButÖÖ.what I should have done at that point was replace the dampers because Iíll bet anything those channels were fine on the printhead until it finally delaminated and had to be replaced. 2. After every significant job I clean the capping station with a lint free cloth dampened with distilled water. I still havenít replaced the cap station because the tech said it looked like new and Iím getting perfect contact with the head.  3. Alway keep your refillable ink carts at least half full. When they get lower they start clogging every time, and then you waste tons of ink and also wear out the head. I keep 700 ml bottles here and top off the carts after each session . This is more important than you might think. 4. If you use cotton media exclusively as I do I would blow the paper dust  off the carriage area and bottom of the print head every session, using the paper cutter will collect it there and ends up in the nozzles. Simple but important.

Epson improved the 9900 heads after years of disaster, those went into the 9890 too and then the P9000. Most of the 9900s and 9890s still out there would almost certainly have those improved heads. If you can find one with six or 7 channels that you can get cheap, immediately replace the ink selector unit and chances are big that youíll end up with 8 good channels. Check the capping station to see if it is all dried out. If it is replace that immediately too or better yet donít buy one with a died out cap station because most likely it effected the head too.. If you see no signs of head delamination, and the visible nozzle checks look good, you could end up using it for quite awhile.

Donít know about the warranty with third party inks. I believe they give you a much shorter warranty. That is what my tech did, but he was not Decision 1.

Iíve heard that if you donít use the printer regularly the programmable cleaning software is awesome. Havenít used it yet but will.

Yes more slots are a great advantage because you can remap them inks you have to have (6) and go years longer if the head is not delaminated. I donít think there is anyway to remap the black channel though. There have been reports that the 9890s heads lasted longer than the 9900 which has more slots and pressure used, but I donít know if anyone knows for sure.

From what Iíve heard the durability and image quality for piezo is about the same but the P9000 is faster.

I recently had bw prints from a full scale 4x5 drum scan done on several printers and work flow. My k6 Carbon was more dimensional than all of them and they all have great new black density. The Epson 9570 produces perfectly neutral results with great separation in all of the tonal range right out of the NEW ABW mode. Same as the new HPZ9. I found the same for the Epson  P2000. The Canon 4000 print I had made was not even remotely acceptable to me in terms of print color neutrality and bronzing on fiber gloss. The Epson 9570 and p2000 is so clean and easy from a well made rgb profile. The P 9000 should be close to that or the same using QTR and the oem inks. A little more subtlety in high values with k6 or k7. You have more print color possibilities with the Piezography pro inks and k7 will have to be special ordered twice a year only from now on.

John







Hello,

My 9880 printer just failed for a final time, and I am in the market for a new printer. I typically make 30x50 and 40x60 prints using Piezography K7 neutral inks, with mat black.

One of my great frustration with the 9880 was the constant trouble shooting, which I think was a combination of mechanical failures on the printer and using 3rd party carts. I also tend to print full time for 2-3 months then not use the printer for 8-9 month, during which time I flush out the inks with Ink Jet Mall flushing fluid and do bi-weekly nozzle checks.

I am looking at either a refurbished 9890, 8000, or P9000. Can anyone make recommendations about the durability and maintenance requirements of these printers? I've read horror stories about all of them. I've also read that Epson has improved the durability of the printhead in the P9000, but I wonder in comparison to what.

Some of my questions and concerns are:

1. Are Epson's extended warranties voided by using Cone inks?
2. The lack of programable head cleaning cycles on the 9890. Do you find that programming daily cleaning cycles helps lower clogging issues and extend the life of the printhead?
3. Are more cart slots an advantage because I can eventually map out a failed ink positions on the printhead, or do more cart slots create more problems with pressure, ink delivery, and air in ink lines?
4. Are the mechanics of the new printers an upgrade from the older 9890, or should I expect the durability to be the same or worse?
5. Iv'e read an initial fill can damage the thin membrane on the P9000 printhead. Can anybody confirm this?

6. Has anyone made direct comparisons between BW prints from Epson's OEM BW inks and Piezo inks?

Thanks for any advice. I love photography but dread printing because of the constant problems and cost of maintaining printers.

Drew Harty
www.drewharty.com
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Lessbones

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2022, 08:25:52 pm »

Really spot on-- great advice, John-- this should be pinned as required reading for anyone getting into inkjet printing.
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unesco

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2022, 02:20:23 am »

6. Has anyone made direct comparisons between BW prints from Epson's OEM BW inks and Piezo inks?

I spent a lot of time comparing K7 inks to OEM modes (both baryta and rags, both analog scans and digital). What makes a real difference are not the inks themselves, but using them with QTR and properly(!) made curves. At the end of the story I have kept OEM K3 and switched to QTR. The difference to K7-QTR tandem is (very) small in most cases. But it needs a lot of time spent on curve try and error design compared to ABW - for K7 you will spent even more time unless you use some tools which can help somehow, but still learning curve is long.

In modern Epsons, ABW works really well, but for the best prints I still use QTR/K3, especially, when you want to have subtle toning.

I have not tried Piezo Pro.

Hope it helps.
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drewharty

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2022, 01:04:08 pm »


Hi John,

Thanks for the very informative reply.

The description of your maintenance routines should be first page reading in the Epson user manual. I did some of things you recommend but not all, and probably not as rigorously. I will add cleaning paper dust (I use photo rag) and keeping carts full to my routine. The only additional maintenance I did was occasionally removing the right side cover and pump cap station so I had direct access to the printhead to clean accumulated gunk on printhead frame. I also cleaned the capping station and wiper blade regularly during any sustained printing.

My 9880 failed shorty after switching from piezo flushing fluid to K7 inks. I had clean nozzle checks before the initial fill, and had lost one channel after the fill. I changed all the dampers to no affect, replaced some carts to no affect, and some 200 ml later of various levels of cleaning and two additional initial fills, I decided to map out the failed channel. I had completed several piezo pro linearizations and was printing my first test image when the printhead just stopped depositing ink on the paper. I changed the pressure pump and board on the printhead to no affect (I have a 9800 I use for parts), then decided it was time to move on.

From what you and others are saying, I am thinking the P9000 may be the best choice since the P9000, 8000, and 9890 all share the same print head technology, and no printer seems to have more or less maintenance issues than the other. The refurbished 9890 I am looking at with a new printhead and pump cap station is priced at $3200, so doesn't offer significant savings over a new P9000 with a full warranty and free shipping. It would also be great to have the programable auto clean cycle in the  P9000.

Just to confirm, you are recommending the P9000 over the 8000 because the additional channels will serve as a backup in the event that a channel fails? You don't see any potential problems running several channels with flushing fluid and mapping them out with Piezo Pro?

One thing I worry about with a new printer is that I will be locked out from doing any internal maintenance and will have rely on Epson's expensive service plans. I've had my 9880 hauled apart several times to replace failed parts using the Epson service manual.

Is your 9890 difficult to do internal maintenance on? Do you know if it is mechanically similar to the 9880?

From what you and Unesco posted about K7 verses Epson OEM inks, I am less sure about which direction to go and will have to experiment. On the one hand, Piezo inks on photo rag clearly give a sensual quality to my prints that have large areas of smooth value transitions punctuated by areas of detail. And, from what you and others have said, using refillable carts that can be topped off is an important part of maintenance. On the other hand, it will cost an additional $2000 to set up a new printer with piezo pro or K7 inks and flushing fluid. I will loose the Epson warranty.  And, although Cone has really improved their inks since the Sundance days, my experience thus far says using 3rd party inks creates more maintenance problems.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.

Drew


Hi Drew,


I use a 9890 for K7 Carbon only and have done so for about eight years. Actually Iím doing a job of 100 30x40s right now!  It has been outstanding and I use it far less than any of my other printers. I just replaced the head and ink selector unit ( dampers) six months ago and hope to use it for 5 more years. There are three things that I do that keep it clean running.  1. Run something through it every week. When Iím not using it I turn it on on Sunday do a nozzle check  and run a couple of 8x10s to keep the ink flowing. Usually I need to do one cleaning, often the black channel. I ran k7 for 5 years but switched to k6 after one of my channels clogged and I see absolutely no difference when doing reprints. Then I lost another channel and had to reassign the ink channels and reprofile. I went for years with two dead channels. ButÖÖ.what I should have done at that point was replace the dampers because Iíll bet anything those channels were fine on the printhead until it finally delaminated and had to be replaced. 2. After every significant job I clean the capping station with a lint free cloth dampened with distilled water. I still havenít replaced the cap station because the tech said it looked like new and Iím getting perfect contact with the head.  3. Alway keep your refillable ink carts at least half full. When they get lower they start clogging every time, and then you waste tons of ink and also wear out the head. I keep 700 ml bottles here and top off the carts after each session . This is more important than you might think. 4. If you use cotton media exclusively as I do I would blow the paper dust  off the carriage area and bottom of the print head every session, using the paper cutter will collect it there and ends up in the nozzles. Simple but important.

Epson improved the 9900 heads after years of disaster, those went into the 9890 too and then the P9000. Most of the 9900s and 9890s still out there would almost certainly have those improved heads. If you can find one with six or 7 channels that you can get cheap, immediately replace the ink selector unit and chances are big that youíll end up with 8 good channels. Check the capping station to see if it is all dried out. If it is replace that immediately too or better yet donít buy one with a died out cap station because most likely it effected the head too.. If you see no signs of head delamination, and the visible nozzle checks look good, you could end up using it for quite awhile.

Donít know about the warranty with third party inks. I believe they give you a much shorter warranty. That is what my tech did, but he was not Decision 1.

Iíve heard that if you donít use the printer regularly the programmable cleaning software is awesome. Havenít used it yet but will.

Yes more slots are a great advantage because you can remap them inks you have to have (6) and go years longer if the head is not delaminated. I donít think there is anyway to remap the black channel though. There have been reports that the 9890s heads lasted longer than the 9900 which has more slots and pressure used, but I donít know if anyone knows for sure.

From what Iíve heard the durability and image quality for piezo is about the same but the P9000 is faster.

I recently had bw prints from a full scale 4x5 drum scan done on several printers and work flow. My k6 Carbon was more dimensional than all of them and they all have great new black density. The Epson 9570 produces perfectly neutral results with great separation in all of the tonal range right out of the NEW ABW mode. Same as the new HPZ9. I found the same for the Epson  P2000. The Canon 4000 print I had made was not even remotely acceptable to me in terms of print color neutrality and bronzing on fiber gloss. The Epson 9570 and p2000 is so clean and easy from a well made rgb profile. The P 9000 should be close to that or the same using QTR and the oem inks. A little more subtlety in high values with k6 or k7. You have more print color possibilities with the Piezography pro inks and k7 will have to be special ordered twice a year only from now on.

John
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drewharty

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2022, 01:13:59 pm »


I used Studio Print for years, and am a newbie with Piezo Pro and QTR.

When you use QTR with Epson OEM inks, are you creating new quad curves or creating a profile to use with an existing curve? This may be a dumb question, but I assume you are creating a curve for all the color channels, and that is what gives optimized color and highlight and shadow separation when making BW prints?

Does QTR allow you to null a print channel or map one channel to another like Piezo Pro?

Thanks,

Drew


I spent a lot of time comparing K7 inks to OEM modes (both baryta and rags, both analog scans and digital). What makes a real difference are not the inks themselves, but using them with QTR and properly(!) made curves. At the end of the story I have kept OEM K3 and switched to QTR. The difference to K7-QTR tandem is (very) small in most cases. But it needs a lot of time spent on curve try and error design compared to ABW - for K7 you will spent even more time unless you use some tools which can help somehow, but still learning curve is long.

In modern Epsons, ABW works really well, but for the best prints I still use QTR/K3, especially, when you want to have subtle toning.

I have not tried Piezo Pro.

Hope it helps.
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Ferp

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2022, 06:56:53 pm »

What makes a real difference are not the inks themselves, but using them with QTR and properly(!) made curves.

This. 

With one exception.  The HD blacks from InkJetMall are a gamer-changer compared to the older Epson blacks, particularly for printing on matte.  My Epson is the venerable 3880, and my understanding newer models have blacks with a greater dMax, and so the effect of this would probably be less on those printers. 

When comparing OEM vs K7, it's instructive to consider to consider the Piezo Pro inks, which are only K4 (K5 on ten ink printers).  You can debate whether Pro is really more than K4, as typically you're printing with both cool and warm inks, so all seven inks, but as far as I'm concerned it's effectively only K4.  The bulk of InkJetMall's customers have switched to Pro, to the point where they were going to stop making K6 & K7.  There was enough of an outcry to cause them to partly relent, but the point is that the vast majority of customers have voted for fewer shades.  The control afforded by QTR is the key factor.

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deanwork

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2022, 09:47:37 pm »

Hi John,

Thanks for the very informative reply.

The description of your maintenance routines should be first page reading in the Epson user manual. I did some of things you recommend but not all, and probably not as rigorously. I will add cleaning paper dust (I use photo rag) and keeping carts full to my routine. The only additional maintenance I did was occasionally removing the right side cover and pump cap station so I had direct access to the printhead to clean accumulated gunk on printhead frame. I also cleaned the capping station and wiper blade regularly during any sustained printing.

They Could Have Told Us These Things, ever wonder why?


My 9880 failed shorty after switching from piezo flushing fluid to K7 inks. I had clean nozzle checks before the initial fill, and had lost one channel after the fill. I changed all the dampers to no affect, replaced some carts to no affect, and some 200 ml later of various levels of cleaning and two additional initial fills, I decided to map out the failed channel. I had completed several piezo pro linearizations and was printing my first test image when the printhead just stopped depositing ink on the paper. I changed the pressure pump and board on the printhead to no affect (I have a 9800 I use for parts), then decided it was time to move on.

The head is just old and the pressure just got to it.

From what you and others are saying, I am thinking the P9000 may be the best choice since the P9000, 8000, and 9890 all share the same print head technology, and no printer seems to have more or less maintenance issues than the other. The refurbished 9890 I am looking at with a new printhead and pump cap station is priced at $3200, so doesn't offer significant savings over a new P9000 with a full warranty and free shipping. It would also be great to have the programable auto clean cycle in the  P9000.

Right now for me, the P 9000 or P 8000. ABW on the 9570 is like QTR quality now. QTR has a very capable toning tool much easier than Studio Print and $ 50.00.

Just to confirm, you are recommending the P9000 over the 8000 because the additional channels will serve as a backup in the event that a channel fails? You don't see any potential problems running several channels with flushing fluid and mapping them out with Piezo Pro?

I would love to see the full 9000 pro set. Lots of split-toning.  Lots of inks to keep up with. Donít know about the longevity. You would have to ask the Piezography user group about how safe all that flushing  is. I never had any problems but only did one switch on two printers.

One thing I worry about with a new printer is that I will be locked out from doing any internal maintenance and will have rely on Epson's expensive service plans. I've had my 9880 hauled apart several times to replace failed parts using the Epson service manual.


Epson does not want you working on anything. It is a big part of their profit, fixing things. Ink- media - fixing things.





Is your 9890 difficult to do internal maintenance on? Do you know if it is mechanically similar to the 9880?

I quit working on them since the 9600s. Itís easy enough to access the capping station and wiper blade. There is a YouTube about that.

From what you and Unesco posted about K7 verses Epson OEM inks, I am less sure about which direction to go and will have to experiment. On the one hand, Piezo inks on photo rag clearly give a sensual quality to my prints that have large areas of smooth value transitions punctuated by areas of detail. And, from what you and others have said, using refillable carts that can be topped off is an important part of maintenance. On the other hand, it will cost an additional $2000 to set up a new printer with piezo pro or K7 inks and flushing fluid. I will loose the Epson warranty.  And, although Cone has really improved their inks since the Sundance days, my experience thus far says using 3rd party inks creates more maintenance problems.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out.

Drew


For me itís a big advantage being able to do everything on one printer. I wish they would get the 9570 straightened out. Thatís a horror story.
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unesco

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2022, 03:56:26 am »

I used Studio Print for years, and am a newbie with Piezo Pro and QTR.

When you use QTR with Epson OEM inks, are you creating new quad curves or creating a profile to use with an existing curve? This may be a dumb question, but I assume you are creating a curve for all the color channels, and that is what gives optimized color and highlight and shadow separation when making BW prints?

Does QTR allow you to null a print channel or map one channel to another like Piezo Pro?

QTR is only for monochrome printing (but including duo- or tri- tone). I always create a new curves for each paper, sometimes variants - proper balance between K, LK and LLK channels, some addition of LM and LC, and then linearise them.

Sub-curve for each channel maps input luminosity (0-100%) of printed image into intensity of ink dot placement in this channel. Three designed overlapping sub-curves for K, LK and LLK (or seven for K7) added to each other should create linear density gradient on paper. Because it doesn't in practice, at the end one need to make corrections at the end called linearisation (scanning gradient patches with spectro).

One more thing - Epson black and gray inks are not neutral, they have olive tint, so some tiny sub-curves for remaining color channels also have to be added (usually Y is not needed, unless you want to have strong sepia look), before linearisation. You can make it with C and M, or LC and LM or all four.

Yes, you can null any channel - you just put zeros in mapping curve. I am not sure what you mean as mapping one channel to another, but each channel can be designed independently of any other, so you have full flexibility.

Furthermore, you can design one curve which is cool and another which is warm and mix them for highlights and shadows mapping (or even three, another one for mid tones).

Important - using QTR requires time and learning as well as very good source material for print (e.g. medium format drum scans or perfect digital high resolution image). It native mode is 720 ppi, and all source material is interpolated to this resolution via spline method. Heavy AI based interpolation in source is not recommended.

There are some cheap tools that help above design (you can easily google them) - I don't use them (tried), but can help for new QTR users.   
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unesco

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2022, 04:03:07 am »

This. 

With one exception.  The HD blacks from InkJetMall are a gamer-changer compared to the older Epson blacks, particularly for printing on matte.  My Epson is the venerable 3880, and my understanding newer models have blacks with a greater dMax, and so the effect of this would probably be less on those printers. 

When comparing OEM vs K7, it's instructive to consider to consider the Piezo Pro inks, which are only K4 (K5 on ten ink printers).  You can debate whether Pro is really more than K4, as typically you're printing with both cool and warm inks, so all seven inks, but as far as I'm concerned it's effectively only K4.  The bulk of InkJetMall's customers have switched to Pro, to the point where they were going to stop making K6 & K7.  There was enough of an outcry to cause them to partly relent, but the point is that the vast majority of customers have voted for fewer shades.  The control afforded by QTR is the key factor.

Yes, 3880 inks are not the blackest on MK (unless you use Epson Hot/Cold Press paper). For me, my P800 gives significant improvement to that. However, the longer I print, the longer realise that I do not need the blackest black of black and super duper specifications but in fact good tonality. That's why I more often use 3880 over P800 (its easier to design good curves for it compared to P800 inks). My perfect match is 3880 + QTR + Epson Hot Press (MK) or 3880 + QTR + Harman Gloss Baryta Warmtone (PK).

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Lessbones

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2022, 03:24:25 pm »

i'm surprised nobody ever seems to consider the p10000 as an option for 44"-- i've never been a huge fan of the 20000 because of the extensive cleanings needed, but i don't think it was really much worse than most other epsons i've used.  It has the same head as the 95xx series, but i've never had the media handling nightmares i've heard tell of, and the prints are fantastic.
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deanwork

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Re: Epson 9890, 8000, or P9000 recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2022, 04:09:16 pm »

Yea, I know. After the debacle with the 9570 I was seriously considering the P10k, but they discontinued it. I know I could have done something good with the extra light light gray and the dither and color gamut is great like the 9570. Qtr will apparently never work with the latest Epsons ( 10k, 20k, and 9570 ) but studio print would and that could have been awesome. If only they had dropped the price of the 10k they would have never needed the huge expense of producing the 9570. Oh well. See what happens this fall.


i'm surprised nobody ever seems to consider the p10000 as an option for 44"-- i've never been a huge fan of the 20000 because of the extensive cleanings needed, but i don't think it was really much worse than most other epsons i've used.  It has the same head as the 95xx series, but i've never had the media handling nightmares i've heard tell of, and the prints are fantastic.
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