Epson R3000 printhead (?) issues

nertog

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If your tinkering around a new printer why don’t you look at the Canon Pro 300..
It’s not an Epson, but it will surprise you what it can do without any issues..;)
2 reasons why not: Canon has a quite visible print raster (or high dot-visibility) with their pigment printers and I dislike thermal printheads in general. Nearly every time I see prints from an HP or Canon printer I can see unevenness in dot ejection, which leads to a similar issue as what I currently have with the Epson R3000. I do have to admit I did not try the latest generation thermal heads from Canon.
 

hanklebender

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Yeah, the ink tanks are clean. The R3000 uses a stationary cartridge system with ink supply lines and dampers, so the actual ink tanks do not influence ink flow that much. The dampers are also clean, btw.

In the end, I sold the printer for parts. On my last R3000 now...time to look for a good replacement.

What's the consensus on using the Epson P700? Anyone in EU with experience (good or bad)?
Not a reliable unit. I threw mine in the garbage
 

Ink stained Fingers

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do you need pigment inks really ? How much are you printing ? You may have a look to the ET-8550 -
 

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The Epson ET-8550 prints beatifully and even darker blacks than the Epson P700 and printing costs are just a fraction of the Epson P700 due to the built-in CISS system using ink cheap ink bottles instead of expensive cartridges. Epson Claria HD dye ink is very fade resistant and durable. I had 2 R3000 before and in the end both suffered from a stucked MB/PB switch (a design fault on this printer) and it does not have the essential waste ink tank (corrected in the Epson P700) forcing you to install an external ink waste bottle, but even than it only solves the problem for 50%, because the printer also dumps ink on the left side during cleaning cycles. that has direct acces on the waste ink pad underneath the printer. Now if the printer functions well the prints are beautifully too, but it has flaws most notorious the MB/PB valve switch stucking causing ink leaking on the paper during printing.
 

nertog

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do you need pigment inks really ? How much are you printing ? You may have a look to the ET-8550
Need is a big word :) I would be happy with the ET-8550 if it would print b&w is neutral as the r3000 and if the dot pattern would be less coarse.
The Epson ET-8550 prints beatifully and even darker blacks than the Epson P700 and printing costs are just a fraction of the Epson P700 due to the built-in CISS system using ink cheap ink bottles instead of expensive cartridges. Epson Claria HD dye ink is very fade resistant and durable. I had 2 R3000 before and in the end both suffered from a stucked MB/PB switch (a design fault on this printer) and it does not have the essential waste ink tank (corrected in the Epson P700) forcing you to install an external ink waste bottle, but even than it only solves the problem for 50%, because the printer also dumps ink on the left side during cleaning cycles. that has direct acces on the waste ink pad underneath the printer. Now if the printer functions well the prints are beautifully too, but it has flaws most notorious the MB/PB valve switch stucking causing ink leaking on the paper during printing.
How's your xp-15000 comparing to the ET-8550? I am on the fence...especially because I print b&w quite often + the test prints I have here (ET-8550) show a coarser dot pattern in cyan-blue-magenta areas than my old r3000 pigment machine.
 
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Ink stained Fingers

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High quality B/W printing could be a reason to stay with pigment inks, it's a matter of the spectral uniformity of the gray tones which is better with pigment inks than with dye inks - it's a principal difference between inks, and not just a matter if a printer uses 0 or 1 or 2 gray inks. This could be a decision point for a dye vs. pigment ink printer.
The R3000 uses 2pl min droplets, the ET8550 droplets of 1.5 pl, I would not expect much of a difference in the graininess of printed areas, it depends pretty much on the driver settings, we may do another test if that would be of interest.
 
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nertog

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The R3000 uses 2pl min droplets, the ET8550 droplets of 1.5 pl, I would not expect much of a difference in the graininess of printed areas, it depends pretty much on the driver settings, we may do another test that would be of interest.
The LC & LM inks contribute as well, it seems. IMHO there are visible differences if you look at smooth gradients.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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The LC & LM inks contribute as well, it seems.
Yes, and they are used in the Advanced B/W mode to create the monochrome toning, it's a principal decision upfront how important these benefits in the B/W modes are for you - you either 'want' these properties or you accept what you get from a dye ink printer, other dye ink printers like the Canon Pro 100/200 won't overcome these differences.
 

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Need is a big word :) I would be happy with the ET-8550 if it would print b&w is neutral as the r3000 and if the dot pattern would be less coarse.

How's your xp-15000 comparing to the ET-8550? I am on the fence...especially because I print b&w quite often + the test prints I have here (ET-8550) show a coarser dot pattern in cyan-blue-magenta areas than my old r3000 pigment machine.

I cannot compare it to an ET-8550, because I do not have it, but did you choose the highest printing quality ? Because it does not have light inks, the lighter colours have to be printed using smaller droplets and when the printing quality is mediocre it could be you can seem some coarser dot pattern, but overall when compared to my Epson SC-P800 the Epson XP-15000 it does a pretty good job, but the pigment ink printer does a bit better in smoothness, but you will have to use a magnifier to see the difference. From looking distance the dye ink Epson XP-15000 gives a lot more punch and much deeper blacks (and thus more contrast). Do you already bought the ET-8550 or are the prints made on a printer from someone else ?
 

nertog

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Do you already bought the ET-8550 or are the prints made on a printer from someone else ?
No, I don't have the printer and will likely never get it. The XP-15000 might end up on my desk though. A while ago I received some test prints from a forum member done with the ET-8550 at several quality settings. My conclusion:
- Good, but not excellent monochrome output
- Not as smooth as older 6-ink claria printers with LM and LC. Slightly coarser than my R3000 in cyan-blue-magenta gradients.
 
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