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Hi we have been looking into getting a dry lab but were just wondering what peoples thoughts were over whether to go inkjet or dye sub ? The modern inkjet quality looks great but the print head life and cost looks a worry or is that not really an issue ?

Thanks in advance

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It really depends who you get it from.  Noritsu is going to rip you off on parts and service.  Remember that inside every dry lab is an Epson print head. The Noritsu sales guy told me that since they consider a $1000 Epson print head to be the functional equivalent of a laser print engine, they think it is ok to charge over $5000 to replace it.  That is highway robbery.  I have no idea what Fuji charges for theirs, but I do know that on the Epson Surelab it is less then $2000.  I will not reward Noritsu's exploitative business practices with my money.  I chose to purchase a Fuji DX100 for anything under 8" and I run anything larger then 8" on my HP Z6100.   If i needed more speed I would have gotten either the Epson Surelab or the Fuji DL600.  

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I have really liked the DX100. The colors are great, the paper is great, the speed is great, (even at the high res slow speed setting it is still fast).  The image quality is far better then any AGX lab I have owned or used.  Period.  Inkjet looks better the wet.  

 

However, it has just started producing some banding in the blacks in the high speed mode.  Slow it down it goes away.  It could be the weather, and I have not tried high speed printing since November.  Once it warms up and the humidity comes back, if it is still acting up I will send it in for warranty repair (probably around June).   All inkjets with piezo print heads are strange about temp and humidity.  My HP Z6100 with disposable thermal print heads laughs at the weather.

 

This brings to mind another great thing about the DX100.  Put it in a box and ship it out for service.  Much cheaper then having to have a tech come out.  I really like it, and would buy another in a second.  If things pick up next year I might actually buy another one.  

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Epson D700 unit all the way for us the unit comes with a full warranty which can be extended for three years and the quality is amazing we use it for all our studio print work.

 

When i grow the business i will be looking at the SLD 3000 Epson Lab

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All that is fine but I am an user who has experience with both the Noritsu and Epson Dry Labs and although the Noritsu heads can and do fail and are costly to replace but i have found that they are still more reliable than the Epson Surelab. The Epson machine that i had suffered a head failure and flushing unit failure within the warranty period.After asking around i found that other labs in my area who had bought the Epson surelab are also facing head and ink failure issues. I would not recommend the Epson surelab to anybody and would recommend that you stay with Noritsu even if they are a little more expensive. Also even though the head in the Noritsu is from Epson there is a difference in the head and i have found that the Epson head fails faster.

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All that is fine but I am an user who has experience with both the Noritsu and Epson Dry Labs and although the Noritsu heads can and do fail and are costly to replace but i have found that they are still more reliable than the Epson Surelab. The Epson machine that i had suffered a head failure and flushing unit failure within the warranty period.After asking around i found that other labs in my area who had bought the Epson surelab are also facing head and ink failure issues. I would not recommend the Epson surelab to anybody and would recommend that you stay with Noritsu even if they are a little more expensive. Also even though the head in the Noritsu is from Epson there is a difference in the head and i have found that the Epson head fails faster.

 

my surelab d700, the head only last for 6 months with prints average arround 150 prints 5x6 per day. the second machine onlylast 3 months. under warranty the first machine had major ink leak on yellow in house. after warranty expired, the head fails again, and the replaced head only last for...1 day !!! yes 1 day..... maybe it's cheaper to fix than the noritsu, but if problems come one to another day by day..it will kills your bussines

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The first thing to remember is that every dry lab made by anybody has used Epson print heads.  

 

They differ in other ways, like the ink supply system, capping stations, paper transport, head configuration, ink, software and so on.  The initial quotes on the Epson D3000 head replacement was far lower then it has turned out to be. Initially they were saying around $1200. It has turned out to be about the same as a Noritsu, so now a head replacement on a full size drylab Epson, Noritsu, Fuji is going to run about $5000 USD.  That is insanely overpriced when you consider that a laser replacement is about the same.

 

I suspect that they see it as a profit center and that people are used to paying.  I have no idea about the small labs like the D700/Fuji DX100.  The big question is how many cuts happen between replacements.  

 

Personally, I prefer user replaceable thermal print heads like what HP uses in their machines.  I think it is a superior technology that is far more reliable and that is the reason they sell significantly more wide format printers to production shops then Seiko Epson.  I would never ever, buy another Epson wide format printer.  I really wish HP would get into the photo imaging business with a 12" wide dry lab.  I would also like to see a company like Chromira take their x/y cutting and sorting tech and couple it with a HP z6200 and an inline dryer. That would be the perfect dry lab in my opinion.    

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The first thing to remember is that every dry lab made by anybody has used Epson print heads.  

 

They differ in other ways, like the ink supply system, capping stations, paper transport, head configuration, ink, software and so on.  The initial quotes on the Epson D3000 head replacement was far lower then it has turned out to be. Initially they were saying around $1200. It has turned out to be about the same as a Noritsu, so now a head replacement on a full size drylab Epson, Noritsu, Fuji is going to run about $5000 USD.  That is insanely overpriced when you consider that a laser replacement is about the same.

 

I suspect that they see it as a profit center and that people are used to paying.  I have no idea about the small labs like the D700/Fuji DX100.  The big question is how many cuts happen between replacements.  

 

Personally, I prefer user replaceable thermal print heads like what HP uses in their machines.  I think it is a superior technology that is far more reliable and that is the reason they sell significantly more wide format printers to production shops then Seiko Epson.  I would never ever, buy another Epson wide format printer.  I really wish HP would get into the photo imaging business with a 12" wide dry lab.  I would also like to see a company like Chromira take their x/y cutting and sorting tech and couple it with a HP z6200 and an inline dryer. That would be the perfect dry lab in my opinion.    

Agree

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