Really need feedback from Xerox 700i users (trying decide between C6000 and 700i)
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this!
I have been trolling these forums for weeks now, and am still at loss wether to go with the Konica Minolta bizhub C6000 or the Xerox 700i.
A little background...I own an Advertising Agency, and we decided to invest in a local Print Shop. At the time, three years ago, most of our work was offset, but some of our clients were looking for Short-Run solutions. The shop was using a Xerox 242. We're running between 15,000 to 25,000 colour impressions a month, 90% of which is 110lb, 300GSM stock, 12" x 18" stock.
Over the years, the demand for short-run has increased extensively. The 242 was a great little work-horse, but the quality isn't there for most of our larger clients. Even after several calls to Xerox service, the machine still produces mottling and very noticeable banding on prints with a 100% coverage. These results simply aren't acceptable for graphics work.
I was approached by Konica Minolta last month and they put together a great package for the bizhub c6000. I've done comprehensive testing, with multiple substrates/papers, and have to admit - the results were impressive. The text, even at 4-points, was crisp and easy to read. Gradients, both colour and greyscale, were rendered flawlessly, and the machine itself just looked sturdier. What's more, it handled some 130lb offset paper we put through it with ease (I realize the CED only reates it for 300GSM). Overall, this would be an easy sell to my clients.
Last week my Xerox rep caught wind of the KM deal, and countered with great offer on the Xerox 700i. While I have an excellence relationship with Xerox, I'm really uncertain about this machine. I've read so many bad reviews and horror stories regarding the previous incarnation of the machine, the Xerox 700, that I'm really at a loss. This coupled with the shoddy, unreliable output of the 242, makes me question weather I wan to remain with Xerox. Will it be the same for the 700i? Is the 700i just a 242 with more "bells and whistles?"
I would really appreciate any feedback from 700i users - especially those who print quality-critical graphic documents. Can this machine compete with the C6000 in terms of text sharpness, gradients, and overall output quality? Is it able to produce consistent, quality results, over time?
(For example, the 242 was great for the first 6 months, then quality dropped and has never returned - despite 2 complete rebuilds of the machine.)
Please read my UPDATE 2 findings on page 2 to see what I purchased.
Last edited by tysus; 03-29-2012 at 08:11 AM.
semi unrelated, but wouldn't your Xerox rep let you demo the 700i so you can see for yourself?
Actually, I have a demo set-up for tomorrow afternoon; I'll be testing the same file and paper I used with the C6000. Of course, these are demo machines - both KM and Xerox, are always going to have them fine-tuned for these purposes. I'm guessing tomorrow's tests on the 700i will look great.
What I really wanted was feedback from users who've spent time with the product. For example, Konica provided me a list of several users who had the C6000 installed for three months or longer; everyone of them had nothing but great things to say about the product and their service.
I asked my Xerox from the same, but haven't received anything. I thought I'd give the forums a try with the hope that someone out there had experience with the machine.
Xerox 770,700i and 550 all same engine with different speed.700 series only advantage u get is autoduplexing in 300gsm.
550/560 is NOT the same engine as 700i/770. There are lots of different discussions about the two engines, so you should be able to find out that those are not the same engines.
Originally Posted by design
My customers with the 700i are extremely pleased with the quality, productivity and service of the machine. One of my customers is running over 120 000 prints per month (SRA3) and has had no problems with the machine so far (even though the machine is not made for those kinds of volumes). The particular customer has a Double OHCF, IOT, Light production finisher with bookletmaker and square fold trimmer.
Overall it is a great machine and I, as a sales REP, am extremely pleased with it. Also i think the new external EFI Fiery System 10 is extremely fast, easy to use and the colors are amazing.
Originally Posted by tysus
Wether it's the KM or the Xerox, you'll find both satisfied and unsatisfied customers. If you have the volumes, than you won't have problems. But, and there's a big but:
Don't buy a machine like the 700 for a print shop. The rule is that you have to use the machine in relatively long printing stints, to have the reliability 2 mil prints later. If you constantly warm it up, 100 times a day, for 3 color copies, which are generally what the print shops are doing, than you will definatelly not be doing your volumes, and at the same time destroying your machine.
Production machines are made for production, for print shops it's better to use high end office series.
If most of your work is heavy weight printing going to sensitive clients I would steer away from the 700i. The color variance from inboard to outboard is very large on heavy weight stock. I'm talking from a 700 perspective so I may be off base with the 700i but I don't think anything has changed between the two machines to fix that issue. I run my 700 a lot with zero issues but a lot of my work I put on it is text weight or non-critical work. I have an 800 that I run the rest of the color work on.
If you have too ask and wait, he is not very hungry. What I have seen, the back to back registration on the 6000 is better than the 700i, the color is more consistant, especially over longer runs. I did not do any finishing off either.
Originally Posted by tysus
Thanks for your feedback!!! It's really appreciated.
I finally managed to get an appointment to test the 700i.
The same test was run with KM bizhub c6000, and the Docucolor 242, external EFI Fiery and GRACoL, with the following parameters:
1) A file created internally, in Illustrator 5.5, (CYMK, PDF, Prepress), that contained; 12 vector graphics; a 4K colour photo to test flesh tones; a 4K black & white photo to test greyscale; 11 greyscale swatches from producing black at 5%, 10%, 20%, etc. to 100%K; and Avenir "Quick Brown Fox..." text test with small-caps and all-caps at 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4pts.
2) Paper tested comprised of; Cougar Digital Uncoated 80t, 80c, an 100c; Mohawk Via Felt Pure White 100c (offset not digital); Mohawk Vellum Kraft 80c (offset not digital); McCoy Digital (both silk and gloss) 80t, and 100c; and Hammermill Color Copy Digital 28t, 100bright (used to test EFI uncoated Pantones). With the exception of the Hammermill, all paper was printed on 12" x 18".
Following the test, I compared the results, then conducted a single-blind test using the Cougar 100c output (3 pages from the each machine tested) with 4 designers, and 5 office workers. I simply asked them which output they preferred.
Testing the 700i:
When I showed up to the meeting and handed the tech the paper samples, she immediately looked the Mohawk Laid and Kraft and said, "the machine probably won't run these, but we'll try anyway." I purposely placed these papers in the stack as I knew they were not meant for digital presses. I saved those for last.
During the testing, the 700i produced 5 false jams with the stock. For those unfamiliar with the problem, the Printer registers a jam but, when the High-Cap tray is opened, there is no visible sign of a jam. The same issues with our 242 High Capacity Feeder. Xerox techs have suggested the problem stems from everything from humidity issues to not enough stock in the feeder. As our printer is located in an environmentally controlled room, I'm guessing the issue is either poor design or a bad sensor. Regardless, it was discouraging to see the issue still exists on one of their flagship products.
Everything went smoothly, for a while, before the machine actually experienced a real physical jam - on the Cougar uncoated 80c stock. Following the jam, the tech aggressively removed the paper, (I actually think there was a bit left behind in the roller), and readjusted the printer profile for uncoated stock. After that, we tested the Mohawk Laid and Vellum Kraft, which pulled without incident.
Lastly, I asked the tech to run Pantone Uncoated swatches, 8 x 8 - on the Hammermill stock, before calling it day.
Comparing the Results:
I tested the output under a number of lighting conditions including daylight (6500K), fluorescent (5000K), and incandescent (2700K).
Both text and images were noticeably crisper and more refined on the C6000 compared with 700i. One of the vector files had a very slight damask overlay in the backgrounds. This was clearly noticeable on the C6000, barely noticeable on 700i, and not at all noticeable on the 242 output. What's more, the greyscale charts produced by the 700i were muddy and yellowish compared to the smooth and more precise looking results of the C6000.
Another factor was the construction of the KM - it's built like a truck compared to the plastic, toy-like feel 700i.
I've had a hit and miss relationship with Xerox in the past, but they've recently put a lot more effort into building a stronger partnership with us. Also, I really like our Sales Rep - he's gone to bat for us a few times and he's there when we need him, or have an issue that techs claim is "our fault".
Part of me hoped the 700i was going to produce comparable results to the c6000 - sometimes it's easier to stick with a supplier you know (and trust - for the most part). The results, however, were not in favour of 700i. The proof was, literally, on the paper.
Last edited by tysus; 03-26-2012 at 07:15 AM.