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Should we stay with an HP proofer or switch to Epson?

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  • Should we stay with an HP proofer or switch to Epson?

    Hey all.

    We use a 42" HP 5000 for our color calibrated proofs and a 42" HP SpinJet 5500 for double-sided impo proofs. (This replaced a 42" HP SpinJet 1050c that's for sale, btw. 30066 ZIP code.) We're very happy with the SpinJet 5500 because it backs up reliably, and we could care less about color on it. But, I'm tired of constantly chasing color on the 5000. We're ready for an upgrade.

    So here's the million dollar question; do we go with an HP z2100 that's probably slightly slower than our 5000, or do we wait for Heidelberg to complete it's qualification of the faster HP z6100? Or, do we switch brands all together for color and go with an Epson? I've heard good things about the 9880, mainly their ability to hold color.

    What do you folks think based on your experience?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: Should we stay with an HP proofer or switch to Epson?

    Helmet,

    Most of your color success is going to come down to the RiP driving the proofer; the performance of the RIP software and what you feed it. In other words, pretty much any inkjet is capable of achieving a color match. No proofer is gonna' do it on its own - so switching brands or models isn't gonna' cut it.

    You need to look at what the devices bring to the table:

    Dye vs Pigment
    Permanence
    Thermal vs Piezo Electric
    Constant spot vs Variable spot
    On-board spectro vs -------
    Resolution
    +SPEED!+
    Paper compatibility
    Support (check the warranties AND the SMAs)
    Is either company outsourcing their support? To whom?
    What does support look like in your area

    rich

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    • #3
      Re: Should we stay with an HP proofer or switch to Epson?

      Been using Epson printers for contract proofing since 2003 (Epson 9600-9800) and while not being as fast as HPs, (used HP 5000 before) they are a lot more color-consistent. A good rip in front of it is essential but if the printer itself is not stable colorwise, you'll keep chasing the color more often than you should.
      Better train people and risk they leave - than do nothing and risk they stay.

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      • #4
        Re: Should we stay with an HP proofer or switch to Epson?

        Understood.

        We don't have a problem color matching on the HP 5000. Our RIP is Heidelberg Meta 6.5.350 and color mgmt is handled by Heidelberg Color Proof Pro. When we upgraded from PrintOpen to Color Proof Pro, the difference was staggering. Our proofs had never been better. What I dislike about the 5000 is how quickly it strays from a good calibrated state. We don't use crappy inks or paper, either. HP brand Dye ink and Heidelberg Saphira paper, which is the best I've seen.

        My question is, do HPs newer proofers do a better job of maintaining color? Or will an Epson maintain even better? Colorblind's comments about the 9800 are consistent with what I've heard about Epsons, that they hold color well, but I'm looking for feedback from multiple sources.

        Thanks, Rich and Colorblind, for your input. (Colorblind, +the Lamb+ was my favorite Genesis album, too.)

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        • #5
          Re: Should we stay with an HP proofer or switch to Epson?

          We have been using 2 Epson 10600's for 3 years and never had to adjust color. Both use the same color management curves and match each other perfectly.

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          • #6
            Re: Should we stay with an HP proofer or switch to Epson?

            (Colorblind, the Lamb was my favorite Genesis album, too.)

            Hey Helmet, great sense of observation!
            Better train people and risk they leave - than do nothing and risk they stay.

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            • #7
              Re: Should we stay with an HP proofer or switch to Epson?

              Colorblind, I'll have that image of Rael from the album cover fused into my memory forever. A true classic. Did you catch their tour last year? I missed it, but heard it was great!


              Thanks, Worm, for the input.

              Is anyone using the HP z2100?

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