Xante Impressia opinions

8Bit

New member
Hello all,

I've been in the printing business for 10 years and am in the process of going out on my own. My volume isn't yet large enough to justify a storefront and higher-end equipment. So I'm starting in my house for now. Currently I'm running a Docucolor, which is off-service, and is starting to give me all kinds of trouble. As I've now learned, Xerox's off-plan service rates are absurd and it's next to impossible to find a non-Xerox tech to work on them.

Anyway, I've been looking at the Xante Impressia as well as some of the lower-cost used copiers from Canon & Konica (need to keep it under 10k if possible). My original plan was to get the Impressia as a 'bridge' of sorts until I get my volume up and can afford something else. But that plan quickly went out the window when I learned how much the cost of high-coverage prints ran (I knew it sounded to good to be true). I'd have to drastically raise my pricing on my current customers/jobs or just not make any money. And neither of those options sound very appealing.

However, I'm still interested in one. Just not as my main production machine. But in my research, it seems the vast majority of opinions on Xante are negative. Granted, a lot of the stuff I'm reading is years old at this point. But it's still concerning. A bad decision at this stage could potentially be the difference in my success or failure. So I was just wondering if anyone here had an Impressia (or even an Ilumina) and could answer a few questions for me.

1) How do you now feel about your purchase? Great? Regret it? Take it or leave it?
2) What kind of stocks have you successfully ran through it without a lot of trouble?
3) What type of jobs do you find yourself running on it mostly?
4) Do you find the consumables regularly reach the end of their life cycle (or at least come close)? Or are you frequently replacing parts with 20,30,40% left on them?
5) How does the color hold from sheet to sheet as well as from one end of the sheet to the other? I had some 12-up business card samples run and noticed that one side of the sheet was darker than the other. Not sure if the machine just needed calibrating or it is just a common thing.
6) How is registration?

Also, if anyone had any suggestions on a sub 10k used copier brand/model I should be looking at I'd appreciate it. I need it to be able to run cover stock at least up to 100# (preferably 110), gloss label, and digital vinyl window sticker stock.

Thanks in advance for any input/opinions!
 

arossetti

Well-known member
1) How do you now feel about your purchase? Great? Regret it? Take it or leave it?
Regret - The product is decent, service and support is horrid. The proprietary consumable pricing is inflated compared to similar systems.
2) What kind of stocks have you successfully ran through it without a lot of trouble?
We run mostly envelopes with some pre cut invitations.
3) What type of jobs do you find yourself running on it mostly?
>5m envelope runs
4) Do you find the consumables regularly reach the end of their life cycle (or at least come close)? Or are you frequently replacing parts with 20,30,40% left on them?
Everything seems to exceed life.
5) How does the color hold from sheet to sheet as well as from one end of the sheet to the other? I had some 12-up business card samples run and noticed that one side of the sheet was darker than the other. Not sure if the machine just needed calibrating or it is just a common thing.
Do not run enough high coverage runs, mostly return/mailing addresses.
6) How is registration?
Seems suspect.

If you can find a rebranded Xante (Pitney etc), an OKI, PSI, or anybody else you would be better off if it means not dealing with Xante support. I try not to bad mouth vendors on a whim so you have to really screw me over to receive public shamming. Xante service sucks, the technicians might be good if you can get to one. In order to do so you have to call in, wait 2-3 days for a tech to call you back and then start your troubleshooting. However the woman who covers my region as the customer liaison to service which acts as the gate keeper to the tech is unresponsive and rude. Every issue I have had that required service took 3x more time then what is customary.

I have had to call for several issues and send my machine to Alabama for service twice so I have a lot of experience to draw from.

Xante service sucks.
 

8Bit

New member
Wow. I guess chalk another one up in the "negative review" column, haha. Thanks for the response arossetti.

Unfortunately your customer service experience seems to match the vast majority of what I've already read/heard. In all my research I think I've come across exactly two overwhelmingly positive opinions on Xante.... and one of those came from a customer testimonial video on their own website. :rolleyes:
 

bjprntg

Member
Arossetti, is your post referring to the xante illumnia (oki based engine) or the new impressia (ricoh based engine) I understand still having to deal with xante service, but I have heard favorable reviews on the impressia.
 

Bretman

Well-known member
Hi gang,
So, 8bit,

Naturally I will agree with the majority here.
We bought an Illumina production series about a year ago.
Illumina, Impressia... dosn't matter.
Our machine has worked quite well. Very little problems for the most part.
The Impressia appears to be equally as dependable. The support sucks as stated.
We have waived the purchase of additional warranty extention and will be taking the risk for the next year.
We print a variable product on 18 pt board as well as envelopes on our machine.
Flat sheet bus cards etc was found to have a registration problem and we gave up printing these items on this machine. We run a Konica for the majority flat sheet work.
With a reasonable product, we can only hope that Xante will eventually get their s#**t together soon.
 

arossetti

Well-known member
Sorry I assumed this was about the illumina. The paper path of the Ricoh machine limits your stock selection which may make it difficult to use as a universal printer.
 

8Bit

New member
With a reasonable product, we can only hope that Xante will eventually get their s#**t together soon.
Hope so. Shame as it does seem like a pretty good product that would have it's place in many shops. And the guy I've been dealing with at Xante has been an absolute pleasure. Very laid back, low pressure, and rather honest about the product's own limitations. None of that "Get this machine and you'll be BOOMING in no time!" spiel that I've gotten over the years from so many salesmen.

Thanks for input guys and keep it coming. At this point, I'm thinking I might just do another lease/service plan with Xerox (maybe Konica) for now. Printing envelopes in-house isn't a huge need at the moment anyway. I was mainly just looking for opinions on the machine, or brand in general. The Impressia seemed like it might be the perfect bridge during my transition but, as I feared, seems like it was too good to be true.
 

Craig

Well-known member
I have had the IMPRESSIA for a few months now.

I am on the 3rd feeder modification. The feeder leaves A LOT to be desired. It is a BAD copy of a Straight Shooter!
You have to set the feeder PERFECTLY in order to get the envelopes to feed with any consistency.

The printer is hit and miss on fusing an envelope when iQue is set to envelope for paper thickness. You have to do a scratch test on everything before and during a run.

Service is horrid!

The printer itself prints very well though and consumables are half the cost of Oki type, that is why I still have it. I am hoping they address the fusing and feeding issues. I will be making a stop at their booth at Print 13!!
 

arossetti

Well-known member
I have had the IMPRESSIA for a few months now.

I am on the 3rd feeder modification. The feeder leaves A LOT to be desired. It is a BAD copy of a Straight Shooter!
You have to set the feeder PERFECTLY in order to get the envelopes to feed with any consistency.

The printer is hit and miss on fusing an envelope when iQue is set to envelope for paper thickness. You have to do a scratch test on everything before and during a run.

Service is horrid!

The printer itself prints very well though and consumables are half the cost of Oki type, that is why I still have it. I am hoping they address the fusing and feeding issues. I will be making a stop at their booth at Print 13!!


Good point about the feeder, I showed up early on the first day of a show and Xante was there with the Impressia, the guy demo'd it for me and couldn't get it to feed more then a couple envelopes at a time. I thought it was interesting that even at a show they couldn't get the printer working correctly. Albeit I was probably one of the first people at their booth.

BTW, did I mention that their service sucks?
 

Craig

Well-known member
I had a funny the other day. One of the trade magazines came in with a Xante printed envelope in the bag. The back side was double printed on both envelopes (we get 2 of the publications). They don't even have quality control on their advertisements!!! I snapped a photo and sent it to my sales rep.
 

arossetti

Well-known member
I had a funny the other day. One of the trade magazines came in with a Xante printed envelope in the bag. The back side was double printed on both envelopes (we get 2 of the publications). They don't even have quality control on their advertisements!!! I snapped a photo and sent it to my sales rep.

My sample envelope was printed correctly but I did show one of my designers a couple things I found humorous on the magazine cover. Most notable the subtitle of the magazine "America's Most Influential and Widely Read XXXXXXXXXor Commercial Printers". Not to mention 1 of the 6 articles is already out of date and.... who pays $10 retail for a magazine which only has 25 pages of actual content?
 

Wags

Member
I have had the Illumina for a year now and it does the job. The reason I purchased this was for printing envelopes and letterhead. Printing these on our Xerox was not possible because most of our customers run them back through a laser writer and the toner would melt and cause a big problem. This also saves me making a plate and clean up time on the press. Is it the perfect solution? Not always perfect as I can still print things cheaper on the Xerox than on the Illumina. So I pick and choose what I run on it. Service has been okay, although as someone pointed out, it sometimes takes a day or two to get things resolved. I will say the issue I'm having right now has at least been replied to within the hour which I wasn't expecting.

A bit of advice. I bought the ink drums from a third party a bit cheaper than through Xante. The web page said they were compatible. They did work but I began having trouble with the Magenta and had to return it. Although I did get it returned the process left me down for a few days. It could be this was just a fluke but I don't think I'll take a chance again. Saving money is our goal but at the cost of a ruined job or being down when the customer is waiting is not worth it.

I've not had any trouble with my feeder other than it "bounces" a bit once in a while when printing. Seems to happen when the paper is getting close to being out. I notice it more on envelopes than at other times.
 
You are one of the few from what I have read on most forums who is happy with Xante.

I called Xante too many times. Never had a response in under 2 days.

Xante and many others take an Okidata (which is a toy never meant for production) and try to beef it up. For the most part it just doesn't work. Just take a look at the fuser it's tiny.

The best machine I have seen is the Meteor but the price is way too expensive. We purchased a Konica c6501 and I am trying to get a feeder to work with it.

For small jobs a couple thousand Konica works great but with a feeder it would kill Xante. Also, I hear the Ricoh 651 feeds and prints envelope great.
 
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Shawnd

Well-known member
Maybe we are just one of the weird ones but we have been rocking along with a Straight Shooter (before PB bought them) and Xerox 7400's for over 4 years now and have had great success printing envelopes of all sizes. Colors are close enough that we don't get complaints, pretty much 90% of our print jobs on it is variable data.
 

Wags

Member
I'm not completely happy but it was a way to keep printing and save some money at the same time. Any machine you buy will have issues. I've had my share of problems with other pieces of equipment including my trusted Macs. Often printers are made to do things they were never intended for and the consequences or often mechanical problems. So far my issues with the Xante have been few, but then again I don't run it every day. Most things I still print on our Xerox if I can since the click charges are still cheaper than the cost on the Xante.

In the end, we're all in the age of the printed page dying a slow death. Do what you can as cheaply as you can and ride it out. I've been in printing of over 40 years so my ink days are ending soon.....I hope!!!
 

Wags

Member
One thing I will add about customer service. I recently asked for help from Xante and was answered quickly which was nice. They suggested something and asked for printer settings. Also a picture of the problem. I did so and they responded with two fixes or at least something to try. Both of these caused the problem to be worse. I then tried something on my own which had been suggested from an earlier issue. This solved my problem (so far) and I responded to Xante with my solution. The response I got was there is no one easy fix to any problem and some experimentation is necessary. Well yes, I know this. And this is not the only tech support that seldom solves the problem. I've had this happen with Adobe and other software companies before. One tech even told me that if I resolved the problem to let them know what it was that fixed it. Really??? I'm not their tech support but it seems this is the future of any tech related item. And now the sermon ends. Amen. (Or is this not politically correct these days?) ;)
 

Printshopgal

New member
Xante Impressia opinions

I have owned 5 Xante machines and have been very happy for the most part. My latest, the Impressia, has its good points and its bad.

The good:
Good quality prints.
Paper does not touch drums so they don't scratch as easily which means they last longer.
I run up to 110lb Classic Crest, Stardream/Envelopment Cover, Crane Smooth AND Lettra, and their matching envelopes.
We do a lot of wedding printing (invitations, programs, menu cards) along with our commercial customers who order letterhead, envelopes, business cards and flyers.
Even color (for now). The more the drums are used - nothing is for sure.
Registration is good as long as you don't exceed the 110lb.

The bad:
Does not print heavier than 110lb
Manual feed tray holds too little
No straight pass option
 
Straight Shooter WAS NOT purchased by Pitney Bowes OR Xante!

Straight Shooter WAS NOT purchased by Pitney Bowes OR Xante!

Maybe we are just one of the weird ones but we have been rocking along with a Straight Shooter (before PB bought them) and Xerox 7400's for over 4 years now and have had great success printing envelopes of all sizes. Colors are close enough that we don't get complaints, pretty much 90% of our print jobs on it is variable data.

Straight Shooter WAS NOT purchased by Pitney Bowes OR Xante! In fact they still sell independently. Also they launched a new product line at Print 13' for the Impressia and standard Ricoh printers as well as a new feeder for OKI brands.
 

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