Epson Surecolor P7000 or 9000 v. Canon Pro-2000 or 4000

I recognize that Inkjet Mall doesn’t sell its Cone Color Inks or Piezography inks for Canon. I’m currently on my 4th Epson 4000 series printer (had the 4000, 4800 and now on my second 4900). Of course, all suffered to some degree or another from the inevitable print clog issues. The current 4900 is still functioning, but every time I start printing I wonder if I’m coming to the end. Yes, I’ve used the Piezo Flush and it’s helped, but Epson’s attitude and unwillingness to deal with the clogging problem is beyond frustrating.

I’m now considering purchasing a 24" or 44" printer and finding it difficult to pull the trigger on one of the Epson Surecolor printers, since I understand they are still using the same pint head technology that was in the 7900 and 9900 and thus are likely to be subject to the same clogging problems. Other than the fact that I can use Cone Color inks on the Epson’s (at least as soon as the new board is available for the larger Epsons), what is the advantage to going with Epson versus Canon, which has user replaceable heads at a reasonable price? Any number of reviewers have reported favorably on the print quality of the larger Canons v. the Epsons. If my 4900 keeps functioning, I plan on converting that to Piezography printing. Why shouldn’t I opt for one of the large Canons for my color printing?

You are exactly where I was two years ago. I took a leap of faith and bought a 24" Canon IPF 6400. They make the same printer in a 44" width. Both have two heads which you install yourself as part of the setup process. Incredibly easy and fast to do. Each head is responsible for 6 inks. There is no black ink switching. Canon regards heads as consumables and prices are reasonable,especially since you can do it in a few minutes yourself.
Ink usage is less than Epsons in my experience. Third party cartridges are widely available.
I was on the B&H website yesterday and saw the newest models on sale and with rebates at ridiculous prices. IMHO, you should go for it.

I misspoke about the print heads. The new models have only one head.

Thanks for your reply Ken. I assume based on your response that you are satisfied with the quality of your prints. I’ve never had an argument with Epson’s IQ, just its ignoring the problem with clogging print heads. I would have made the switch years ago but for the fact that it looked like many serious printers - Jon Cone included - pretty consistently opted for Epson. But that may be a legacy from Epson being ahead of the curve in the early days of serious inject printing.

Epson printers do have higher resolution than Canon and HP ; 2880x 1440 vs 2400x1200. So, yes
IQ is slightly better. Epson’s best quality is also it’s worst - the head. If Epsons printed as reliably as Canons, nobody would buy anything else.

That said, on the other side of the coin,my Canon
has never never caused me to be dead in the water with a clogged channel. I’m very happy with it and print just under 24x36 frequently. Another plus is the print speed. A lot faster than Epson. Back to the print head. The Epson is over $2,000, Canon is $675. A monkey could install the Canon head.

Like many others, I started with a small Epson. I progressed from my R200 to a 1400, a 3880, a 7900 and a 9900. Of all of them, only the two smallest still work properly. It’s always something with an Epson, but when they work, they’re superb. Like you surmised when you opened this topic, why should you expect the same head to be suddenly more reliable? You shouldn’t. I just got tired of fooling with it.

Anyway, that’s my two cents worth.

Best, Ken

Just my quick interpretation of where I think Epson is right now. They have not changed their heads (the heads on the SC-P printers are the same as the 9900s etc) but they have updated their pressure pump, dampers, and cleaning assembly. Essentially everything before and after the head have been updated on the newer models. This is actually really huge. There has probably been less than 30% of the head problems on the new SC-P printers than the old 99s. We had a series of full channel drops on an SC-P6000 in house about a month ago like half the channels dropping to zero and 1 initial fill got every channel back. This would have never happened on the 9900 (without also replacing the dampers and cleaning assembly for new) because the cleaning assembly and damper assembly just don’t work together well on that model: they do on the newer models. Variable dot sizes are a plus for quality.

The Canon’s are also great printers although engineering ink that can go through their thermal heads is problematic. We prefer to encapsulate our ink and print it through PIezo heads . . .

All in all I think we’ve gone over a hump of failings with Epson and are roughly back to the 9880 reliability. We’ll see, fingers crossed.


Walker - Thanks for your further insight on this. That is helpful.