Why is Epson image quality distinctly inferior to HP?

Brian Raila

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I have compared 2 brand-new out-of-the-box printers, and am surprised at the degree of difference. The two are HP 7740, and Epson WF-7820. Original 'setup' cartridges. The paper is a Hammermill 20#, 96 Brightness. 300 dpi.

The original image (300 ppi) is shown above the printed results shown side-by-side, in the attached Original Image, above scan of HP 7740 print beside Epson WF-7820 print.pdf.

The printouts were scanned, 300 ppi, side-by-side on the Epson 11x17" flatbed.

I expect, of course, some disparity between the original and the print. The HP yielded about what I'd expected. The Epson was so different, that I initially figured I'd somehow goofed a basic setting.

A scan of the prints is somewhat deficient as a means of comparison, but their relative traits as seen in the scan are a fair comparison of what appears on paper.

The HP print is very slightly 'faded' from the vibrancy of the original, but the chroma/hue/brightness/contrast are faithful within that consideration.

The Epson print: On the top 1/4 of the page, It doesn't even look like the same shade of green. Most disturbing of all is the gray rectangle, mid-page, surrounding the blue-rectangle titles "Investment Calculator, Average Return Calculator, ROI Calculator".

Viewed by the eye, the distinction between the two, vis-a-vis the gray, is even more pronounced than in the attached scan. Though that gray is quite light to start with, on the HP it appears as distinctly a visible element of the design. On a casual glance at the Epson, the gray rectangle seems altogether absent, i.e., it is only apparent when deliberately 'looking for it'.

The original document's red title label and its box – 'Exhibit YYY' – is distinctly faded on the Epson.

I welcome comment on this difference. I do not expect identical output across printers, but it's as if the Epson is holding back on ink volume (the relative chroma/hue are appropriate). The ink volume on text is so meager as to be nearly unreadable – i.e., in Chart of "Initial investment" $25K, and $20K, etc.

It's as if one need tweak a setting on the Epson: 'Adjust saturation and brightness'. Or some sort of whacky 'Disable Ink-Saver Mode'.

Am I overlooking something?

Is this related to Epson's self-touted "Heat-free Technology"? I thought that didn't pertain to inkjet.

Is there any test procedure I ought run? I'm deliberately avoiding Firmware Upgrade, so as to not invalidate third-party cartridges, going forward.

– – –

For amusement, in the "Can't win for trying" department, you should see the result of the HP scanner (also 300 ppi). That evasive gray rectangle just plain disappears, from both. And the Chart of "Initial investment" $25K, and $20K, on the Epson print, becomes illegible. See attached HP 7740 print beside Epson WF-7820 print [scanned on HP].pdf.

Timely comments are welcomed, as one of these two must soon be returned.

Many thanks,

BR
 

Attachments

  • Original Image, above scan of HP 7740 print beside Epson WF-7820 print.pdf
    4.8 MB · Views: 58
  • HP 7740 print beside Epson WF-7820 print [scanned on HP].pdf
    4.6 MB · Views: 49

flyboy

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i find that my Epson ET-3750 has the same issue. I have not examined it to the degree you have but things come out with anything from a slightly faded to faded, whether it is text or pictures. However with my prior HPs everything was crisp and clear.

However i do not absolutely need perfect printouts as i print a lot of B/W documents in my studies and i appreciate buying ink in bulk. i collate my documents into books and glue the spine, so i can put them on my bookshelf with one big index as some of the stuff i d/l is very useful and important later on.

The HP was very expensive with the seemingly constant shelling out for new printheads and the mess involved with refilling or trying other means to get around the printheads. Then there was the updates... I learned not to plug it into the net. Then the ever so convenient 'no warning' total shutdown, can't even scan, when the printhead was low whatever that meant, which typically was when I absolutely positively needed a print yesterday. Bottom line with HP- never again.

So I just remember to select the - media quality/best- on the printer dialogue and I will get a better printout.
 
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Brian Raila

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i find that my Epson ET-3750 has the same issue. I have not examined it to the degree you have but things come out with anything from a slightly faded to faded, whether it is text or pictures. However with my prior HPs everything was crisp and clear.

However i do not absolutely need perfect printouts as i print a lot of B/W documents in my studies and i appreciate buying ink in bulk. i collate my documents into books and glue the spine, so i can put them on my bookshelf with one big index as some of the stuff i d/l is very useful and important later on.

The HP was very expensive with the seemingly constant shelling out for new printheads and the mess involved with refilling or trying other means to get around the printheads. Then there was the updates... I learned not to plug it into the net. Then the ever so convenient 'no warning' total shutdown, can't even scan, when the printhead was low whatever that meant, which typically was when I absolutely positively needed a print yesterday. Bottom line with HP- never again.

So I just remember to select the - media quality/best- on the printer dialogue and I will get a better printout.

Ahoy, Flyboy –

Many thanks for the prompt reply.

1) Interesting that your experience has been similar.

2) On aversion to HP: I was a solid HP-only guy, for 40 years. Then, the incident that brought about trying these two as replacement for my HP 8600 [flawless performance since 2012]. I had used third-party cartridges for some years; no problems. On 3-15-24 I had a screwy software freeze, that could not get the printer out of pause. In desperation, after all the usual resets, and remove-the-printer-reinstall-the-printer routine, etc., reached for a firmware upgrade. I cannot swear that this freed up the printer, but on 3-16-24 it started working as expected.

On 3-20-24, in the middle of a large print job, it called for a fresh Magenta. I swapped one in (same 3rd-party brand as the exhausted). Chugga-chugga registration routine, as expected. But then – "There is a printer or ink system error." Never saw that in 12 years. Figured, "Ahh, weird as it seems, maybe it's just a flawed cartridge." Put in a different, brand new, same-3rd-party brand. Chugga-chugga, etc. Bam – "There is a printer or ink system error."

I spent DAYS troubleshooting. And in reading up, got updated about class-action suit against HP, etc. Now, I can't be certain the failure is related to cartridge matters, but I AM highly skeptical that a routine cartridge swap should correlate with massive failure at a large scale. And I AM certain, like you, HP- never again.

3) That's a worthy suggestion, to be mindful of 'quality' parameters. I shall investigate if there's any improvement in richness/saturation to be had.

4) On the subject of "I learned not to plug into the net" – I hear you. This bastard HP 7740 is right now displaying a message "Update Available: <Skip> <Download>". That's right, you guessed it. The <Skip> button does not react in any way. Doesn't even clear the touchscreen.

I INVITE COMMENT FROM anyone with insight. I've read of, on some machines, 'disabling (i.e., hard-blocking) upgrades'. I'd appreciate advice. How do I keep this Epson from phoning home? Is it safe to allow it to connect to my local LAN?, etc.

Best regards,
BR
 

James Mike

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It's as if one need tweak a setting on the Epson: 'Adjust saturation and brightness'. Or some sort of whacky 'Disable Ink-Saver Mode'.

Is this related to Epson's self-touted "Heat-free Technology"? I thought that didn't pertain to inkjet.

Is there any test procedure I ought run? I'm deliberately avoiding Firmware Upgrade, so as to not invalidate third-party cartridges, going forward.

– – –

Many thanks,

BR
Without dedicated equipment we cannot ascertain whether it's an issue with the printing profile on the epson(likely calibrated against epson papers) not quite matching your particular paper or a limitation with either the printer itself or the inks it is using. The inkset(if it ends up being the limiting factor) is far more likely to be deliberately to be formulated that way to differentiate across product lines or hit a certain price point for the consumables rather than hitting limitations for ink designed for piezo-style printheads. Canon does this with their megatank line for printers for example with the 4 tank models having at the very least worse fade resistance compared to the more expensive 6-tank inkset.

I'd probably try printing photos with very saturated colors and see how far you can you can mess around with the color settings and whether than can get you the results that you like.
 
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flyboy

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I just printed off a paper with Best Quality selected and it is perfect, so my guess is that the printer defaults to lower quality to save ink.

To me that is perfect. Thanks Epson !
 
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