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Author Topic: Question For Those Facing X900 Head Replacement  (Read 3173 times)
JimGoshorn
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« on: February 01, 2013, 04:08:46 PM »
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Hi,

After reading the Inside Out 63 page thread, I have the impression that unless you are really mechanically inclined, replacement is in order. So, I am curious as one of those with a 7900 and faced with a head replacement, what others finally decided to do and why.

Thanks!

Jim
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2013, 04:20:35 PM »
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Jim, you didn't direct this question to me because I don't own a 7900 and haven't been faced with this situation. I do own a 4900 and it is in good shape. But putting my thinking cap on, your question challenges me to ask myself what I would do if I were confronted with a head replacement on my 4900. I did not buy an extended warranty, so it is my risk. Here's how I would think about it: my model is still current, I've heard no rumours that Epson or Canon are about to replace it with something better, the printer otherwise seems to be in very good shape: if those are the "initial conditions" it's really a matter of whether the total cost (hardware and service) of the replacement comes at what I would consider a satisfactory discount to the cost of a new printer, taking into account the value of all the ink provided with the new printer, which is considerable. So for example, if they want 1000 to repair it, the new printer would cost 2500 and the value of ink I get with it is say 1200 (I don't know what tank-fill comes with a new 7900, but just to illustrate the idea), the net cost of the new printer would be 1300. For the 300 more buying new rather than repairing, I'd be tempted to swing for a new printer. At a second-order level of consideration, one may also want to think about whether new printer performance risk is more or less than repaired printer performance risk. That could help sway a decision too.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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dpirazzi
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2013, 08:03:55 PM »
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Also not a 7900 here, but when faced with a head replacement on my 1.5 year old 4900, I walked away. I had it for sale for $1100, with no buyers, and the head replacement was going to be at least $1200, not to mention at least 4 new ink carts that were too low to prime the new head.

It did not feel right to throw away a good printer, but Epson's head pricing is designed to push customers towards buying new printers, warranties, or both...

I'm a happy Canon 8300 customer now.

Dave
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DeanChriss
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2013, 08:22:59 PM »
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I've had a 7900 since late 2008. I've never been faced with the decision you describe but I've given it more than casual thought. I think it's a matter of doing a little math as Mark describes. I also think it's a matter of asking yourself if you're willing to invest X dollars in a printer that's Y years old. If I spend $2200 to repair my printer it will still be over 4 years old when I'm done and there are lots of other parts that can go bad. I personally would not spend that much on $4000 printer (minus rebates) of this age. It if were 2 years old or less I'd probably do it. Three years old is sort of a gray area for me.

It's apparently possible to replace the head yourself for somewhat less if you're willing to donate your time, have the mechanical ability, and can determine without doubt that the head is causing your problem. There are other things that can cause a bad nozzle check pattern. I'd hate to buy a new head and invest the time to install it only to find the problem is something else. Proprietary software is needed to set things up when replacing a head, main board, or just about anything else on these printers. I don't know if that's available from the parts suppliers, but the parts are worthless without it. Once upon a time I might have tried a repair like this myself but I've found that my time and sanity are worth more than I save. YMMV
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 08:24:40 PM by DeanChriss » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2013, 08:53:21 PM »
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I've had multiple Epsons and my last one was a 7900.  I weighed the options:
-D1 doing the official fix
-Doing the fix myself
-Buying a new 7900
-moving to Canon

The costs for Options 1 and 2 are listed in the other thread, but Decision One made no sense as it was going to be more expensive than the cost of a new 7900.  Plus if you buy another one, you get the year warranty and the option to purchase extensions and with D1, I believe you get a 90 day warranty.  I started the disassemble myself and was going to replace the printhead but ultimately still wasn't comfortable with the cost of a new printhead and while you're at it, how about a new pump cap assembly etc-- and with no assurances that it would work.  If I had a 9900 the cost equation would be different.

Anyway, that was my line of thought.  I ended up getting a new Canon 8400 and I've been happy.  It's amazing that after all of the problems I had with that particular printer that it was still hard for me mentally to leave Epson. 

If you can wait, it seems like every month the rebates change for both Epson and Canon and that would be a big factor for me if I were going through this again.  The prints are not identical from Canon and epson but you can get great results from either.  In the end, I got a great deal on the 8400 and that printer comes with full sized ink tanks-- unlike the 6400 and the Epsons.  That in and of itself makes a huge difference from a value standpoint.

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davidh202
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2013, 09:19:21 PM »
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If your machine is more than 2 years old and you are absolutely certain that the head is dead,  pull all the carts so you can reuse them, toss it and buy a new one! Your costs in remaining ink and the new starter set will easily make up the difference as Mark said, and you start from the begining again with a full warrantee.
The time effort and expense to replace a head in these machines is just not cost effective even if you are mechanically inclined. They are just too complex and there is much more involved that can be causing issues beside the head, and without being able to properly diagnose ...
 I have definate issues with the stories about Decision 1 or any other repair service coming in with a quote of $1400 -$1800 to replace half the parts on a 7900 that can be purchsed new for $2300-2600 because they cannot diagnose the issues properly!
It is just throwing out good money after bad.

Some people are just gluttons for punishment!

David
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 09:19:34 PM »
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.  The prints are not identical from Canon and epson but you can get great results from either. 



I'm interested in your observations about the differences in the prints between the two.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2013, 04:09:50 PM »
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Also not a 7900 here, but when faced with a head replacement on my 1.5 year old 4900, I walked away. I had it for sale for $1100, with no buyers, and the head replacement was going to be at least $1200, not to mention at least 4 new ink carts that were too low to prime the new head.

It did not feel right to throw away a good printer, but Epson's head pricing is designed to push customers towards buying new printers, warranties, or both...

I'm a happy Canon 8300 customer now.

Dave
And the print quality remains the same?
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2013, 04:14:19 PM »
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Thanks to all who have answered. As Dave said, it just doesn't feel right to think of getting rid of the printer.

The printer had the capping station replaced 11/11 and I bought it 12/08 so this would be the second repair in a little over a year (clog happened end of November and held off while I kept track of the Inside Out thread).

I am not a heavy user, but under the same conditions I had no problem with either 7600 or 7800 to this degree; only usual clogs (more in the 7800 than 7600). Seems each time Epson "improves" their printers, they become more difficult to maintain  Embarrassed I'm not sure, if I get rid of the printer, that I would be confident in another Epson. If I did, I would definitely get the warranty (can they be extended again?).

Decision One said that Epson had listed up to $1,580 in parts and $100 to come to the house and $175/hr for service so I figure I would probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 (don't know how much ink is required for this so that could be more).

Would be interested in hearing the differences in output compared to Epson as well.

Jim
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davidh202
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« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2013, 05:28:01 PM »
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As Dave said, it just doesn't feel right to think of getting rid of the printer. The printer had the capping station replaced 11/11 and I bought it 12/08 so this would be the second repair in a little over a year (clog happened end of November and held off while I kept track of the Inside Out thread).
Decision One said that Epson had listed up to $1,580 in parts and $100 to come to the house and $175/hr for service so I figure I would probably be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 (don't know how much ink is required for this so that could be more).
Jim

Run away as fast as you can from that deal !!! buy a new machine.
It reall hurts to see one of these wind up in a scrap yard but... 
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2013, 07:11:06 PM »
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I agree with David. Makes no economic sense to repair it at that cost. See if you can dispose of the current one in a way that it will be recycled for parts and materials.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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JimGoshorn
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 12:20:29 PM »
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So, if a replacement printer is in order, which brand would be best? I am used to the way Epson works but understandably, after reading some of these posts, I do feel a bit hesitant. Canon has been mentioned here but how does the output compare?

Jim
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Sal Baker
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« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2013, 01:46:33 PM »
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So, if a replacement printer is in order, which brand would be best? I am used to the way Epson works but understandably, after reading some of these posts, I do feel a bit hesitant. Canon has been mentioned here but how does the output compare?

Jim

I'm also interested in hearing a comparison.

Sal
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smjphoto
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2013, 02:49:34 PM »
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I strongly suggest you get some familiar prints printed on a canon using the same paper you have used before.  Nothing anyone says will be as effective at convincing you, one way or the other. Even better, is to be present when the prints are made, so you can see and experience the interface differences.

For what it's worth, I went from Epsen 17" to canon 8300, and am VERY happy. I just don't see how my assessment will be very valuable to you unless you know me very well, or I have something negative to say ( we are much more likely to give importance to negative observations ).

Feel free to pm me if I can help. I struggled with this decision, also.
Stuart
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dpirazzi
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2013, 12:41:27 AM »
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And the print quality remains the same?

As far as I can tell, yes. I have reprinted some of my 4900 prints and they are virtually identical when I use the same paper.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2013, 02:07:42 AM »
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Check John Dean's comments:

http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/message/4259

Comments are more than a year old but I think he is still happy with the Canon iPF8300. The iPF8400 did not change much compared to the iPF8300.


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Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
500+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, November 2012:
rearranged categories, Sihl Masterclass papers added.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2013, 09:52:53 AM »
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Check John Dean's comments:

http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/message/4259

Comments are more than a year old but I think he is still happy with the Canon iPF8300. The iPF8400 did not change much compared to the iPF8300.


--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
500+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, November 2012:
rearranged categories, Sihl Masterclass papers added.

Ernst, I started reading the article you referenced with interest until I hit this statement: "Unlike the Epson K3 and Epson VM sets, the grays are not greenish-brownish". As I know from my own measurements of grays produced in Epson professional printers (most recently the 4900, but the 3800 before that) - and not even using the ABW driver option, this statement does not correlate with my findings. Therefore I don't know what else to believe in this article. Perhaps it is paper-dependent because my measurements were done on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk. But thanks for bringing it to our attention. Always useful to read of other peoples' experience, especially if it differs from our own.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Sal Baker
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« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2013, 09:57:46 AM »
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Check John Dean's comments:

http://tech.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/message/4259

Comments are more than a year old but I think he is still happy with the Canon iPF8300. The iPF8400 did not change much compared to the iPF8300.


--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
500+ inkjet paper white spectral plots, November 2012:
rearranged categories, Sihl Masterclass papers added.

Canon claims that the x400 series has more advanced screening and dithering, although I've found no one that can say whether the difference is visible.  The software and Adobe plug-in has been improved and there is a new improved multi-sensor for calibration.

What really interests me is the improvement in control of the monochrome channels for the advanced black and white mode.  From Canon:

The new tint and tone controls over the four monochromatic shades allow a user to create even more expressive blacks with smoother gradations especially in dark areas. Found in both the Printer Driver and Print Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, the new tone control in the monochrome photo mode includes adjustments for:
Soft Tone
Middle Tone
Medium Hard Tone
Hard Tone
Strong Hard Tone

Again, I've found no one that has actually used the feature yet.  I guess these printers are just too new.

Sal
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 10:20:49 AM by Sal Baker » Logged
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2013, 10:59:51 AM »
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Ernst, I started reading the article you referenced with interest until I hit this statement: "Unlike the Epson K3 and Epson VM sets, the grays are not greenish-brownish". As I know from my own measurements of grays produced in Epson professional printers (most recently the 4900, but the 3800 before that) - and not even using the ABW driver option, this statement does not correlate with my findings. Therefore I don't know what else to believe in this article. Perhaps it is paper-dependent because my measurements were done on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk. But thanks for bringing it to our attention. Always useful to read of other peoples' experience, especially if it differs from our own.

Read further I would say. The basic Epson grey inks are warm and that shows more mid range than in the blacks, the high lights will shift to the paper white color. The Epson B&W print becomes neutral by the additional mixing in of color inks, both in ABW and Color mode. That is different with HP inks and its B&W mode or Color mode, the grey inks are neutral by themselves. Nothing new written there, plain carbon black pigment is warm, the HP pigment particles probably have an outer shell (encapsulation) that has some complementary coloring to make them more neutral. Of the straight matte carbon black pigment inks the MIS Eboni is the least warm ink, actually slightly more neutral than the HP Vivera MK, you can see that in the black patch measurements of Aardenburg PDFs, select the same matte paper PDFs then. While you are there check some recent results of ImagePrint tests there, related method described in an article on LuLa's pages, The weakest link is the title I believe.To achieve something similar as HP does with its driver, ImagePrint has some media presets for Epson inks that limit the mixing in of color inks more than the Epson driver does, the fade resistance increases by that method. Due to warmer character of the grey inks it will still need more color ink to get to neutral B&W output.

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Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.

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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2013, 11:05:16 AM »
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Yes of course I read the whole thing. As I say, when I measured the output with a Pulse Elite spectrophotometer from my 4900 on IGFS, it was close enough to neutral that the human eye wouldn't detect an issue.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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