9890 vs 9900

I have an opportunity to pick up either a 9890 from an individual who hasn’t used it for ten months, now sitting in his garage or a 9900 from an art school which states it needs a new print head.
I will probably use piezograph inks.
Any thoughts?
Thanks, Joe

Hi Joe~

I’m sure it needs a new print head after sitting in a garage for the past 10 months, and probably other parts as well. A new print head alone will cost you around $1,000, and the ink selector should always be replaced at the same time as the head, which is about another $200. It’s an expensive consideration. You will need a minimum of 6 good working channels to use it with Piezography, so I suggest checking the health of the machine by printing a nozzle check to see what you’re up against before making the commitment.

Best~ Dana

Well Dana,
Against most expert opinion and advice, your’s included, I bought the 9900 from the CCAD, Columbus College of Art and Design(?), as well as a 4900 they had because who can pass up a great deal??? Apparently not me.

I didn’t do any nozzle checks for fear the ink, old but there, would potentially exacerbate any existing clogs.

Should I do all of the soaking, cleaning, and parts replacing before I do a nozzle check?

Going in I know the 9900 will be for piezo with either the existing head if it will clean or a new one if not, and I’ll use your cone color ink in the 4900.

I’ll look through your site for advice on cleaning, maintenance, and parts replacement for both printers before I make a list of needed parts. Do you have a favorite Epson parts vendor?

What’s life without a challenge or two? Don’t answer that.
Thank you, Joe

Hi Joe,

In this case, the printer has been sitting for how knows how long with pigment inks installed, I would NOT run a nozzle check on this machine, rather try to prevent any more pigment ink getting into the head at this point. Install Piezoflush Cartridges into the printer, but again do NOT run any cleaning cycles or Nozzle Checks, you do not want that pigment ink going any farther then it already has. You can do this without the printer turned on, you don’t want the printer running through it’s start up cycle at this point.

The first thing you want to do is replace the damper selector unit, we always recommend Compass Micro for ANY parts you need to replace. The offer OEM replacements and it’s worth the extra $ invested when it comes to replacing parts on these printers. You should replace the Ink Selector unit https://www.compassmicro.com/parts_detail.cfm?ID=6293&form.mfg=Epson&form.printerstyle=Inkjet&form.printername=Stylus%20Pro%209900. While you have the selector unit out you can access the head, at this point you can use the Head Cleaning Kit attachment and flush the head channels out directly. You will have your Piezoflush cartridges installed at this point so you can remove all the ink from the ink lines using a syringe to vacuum pull the ink out and the Piezoflush into the lines once you have completed this, you can re-assembly the selector unit and prime the dampers with the Flush. You should also consider replacing the Pumping Station and Wiper blade that can also be purchase through Compass micro https://www.compassmicro.com/parts_detail.cfm?ID=6980&form.mfg=Epson&form.printerstyle=Inkjet&form.printername=Stylus%20Pro%209900 & https://www.compassmicro.com/parts_detail.cfm?ID=6312&form.mfg=Epson&form.printerstyle=Inkjet&form.printername=Stylus%20Pro%209900.

Once you have the Ink selector reinstalled, have the head properly flushed and the Capping Station thoroughly cleaned (OR replaced) as well as the wiper blade you can now run the Initial Fill, make sure your waste tank is empty for this procedure. You may have to perform this 2x from experience there can be come residual air left over in the lines from removal of fluids. You may have to let the Piezoflush sit in the printer for a couple of days to break up any stubborn clogs, at which point you can run the nozzle check and verify you have all working channels. IF you do not and you have 1-5 dead channels you can then consider using the printer for Piezography printing, we can re-map for as little as 7 working channels to create a matte printing B&W Piezogrpahy printer for you that is usable.

Good luck to you, and I commend you for your willingness to tackle this process!

Thanks Kelly,
I’ll do both the 4900 and 9900 in the manner you prescribed. I like a challenge and if I can get both of these printers going, yee-haw!
Since I only paid $700. for the pair, I feel I’m way ahead of the game.
If all channels in the 9900 clear and I use cone color, how near to a piezograph print can I achieve?
Thanks for the advice.

You will not be able to get anywhere near Piezography quality with color inks thru the standard Epson driver. There is a huge difference in gamma/linearization, openness of both highlight and shadow detail, smoothness, and of course color/tone of the output. You can get pretty decent grayscale prints with color inks, as long as you’re using a color profile specific to your exact printer, ink and paper combination, though the output will still be grainy, plus the overall smoothness and openness of tones will be compressed compared to a Piezography print made from QuadTone RIP.

Best regards~ Dana