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Printer Recommendation

Postby bkshepard » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:56 am

Asking the brain trust here...
I'm looking for a new printer that would allow me to do up to 13"x20" paper, double-sided. I do a lot of orchestral work that needs to have either 10"x13" or 9"x12" parts and I'd like to be able to print them 2-up, and just fold them rather than tape individual pages. I don't need color for this work, just really solid black. Do any of you have recommendations for good, dependable options in this area? My main computer is a Mac and I would prefer the printer to be networked either via ethernet or wireless. Thanks for any suggestions and recommendations.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby BuonTempi » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:44 am

What's your budget?

I'd be surprised if you could get a machine that does that size, duplex, without spending several thousands. Most office large-format lasers can handle A3/Tabloid but not much bigger; otherwise you're looking at large format inkjets, which don't do duplex. (And most inkjets of that size use paper rolls.)

To get that capability, you're going to need a fairly "industrial" piece of kit, i.e. a digital press from Xerox, Heidelberg, Ricoh, etc. On the plus side, these machines will bind your booklets for you; but they are not cheap and they won't fit on your desk.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby bkshepard » Thu Feb 23, 2017 3:21 am

I'm aware that this isn't your basic desktop printer and I'm okay with spending the money for the functionality. I've seen several that will do 12x18, but would love to find one that will do 13x20. I'm just wondering if anyone on this forum has had any experience with these. Thanks!
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby MikeHalloran » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:26 pm

Do you really need the extra inch? Actually, if you're on a Mac, this should work:

13 x 19 printers are readily available. Although HP seems to have discontinued theirs (wtf?), they are readily available from resellers such as Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/HP-OfficeJet-Wireless-Printing-G1X85A/dp/B00JOI5O8C/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1489519560&sr=1-1&keywords=Officejet+7612

The 7612 will support printing up to 13" wide and 44" long—note that these custom sizes are not available in Windows—Mac only. It has duplexer for automatic double-sided printing and scanning.
http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03618348

The 7110 is a printer only. Ithas a duplexer available as an optional accessory. Otherwise, its paper handling abilities are similar to the 7612.
http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03565793

Amazon has the 7110
https://www.amazon.com/HP-Officejet-7110-Format-ePrinter/dp/B00A8NPWWU/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1489520971&sr=1-1&keywords=Officejet+7110

The Duplexer is only $50. I have no idea if it works with 13"x20" paper but it should with 13"x19".
http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/oas/product-detail.html?oid=5358096

https://www.amazon.com/HP-Automatic-Two-sided-Printing-Accessory/dp/B00BBX06SG/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1489521150&sr=1-1&keywords=HP+C7G18A

I am also looking for a wide format printer but more for its scanning functions. I might wind up with a 7612.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby RMK » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:16 pm

In my experience, the large publishers (Boosey and G. Schirmer e.g.) are now using 19 X 13 paper resulting in a 9.5 X 13 page. I wonder if that is because printers for that size are more available or less expensive?
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby motet » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:29 pm

"Officejet" is inkjet, no? I wonder if the ink is waterproof, a problem with some. I have an HP all-in-one inkjet printer of about 10-year-old vintage and it's kind of a piece of junk (I don't use it for music). The scanner is good, though. Perhaps they've improved since then.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby MikeHalloran » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:31 am

motet wrote:"Officejet" is inkjet, no? I wonder if the ink is waterproof, a problem with some. I have an HP all-in-one inkjet printer of about 10-year-old vintage and it's kind of a piece of junk (I don't use it for music). The scanner is good, though. Perhaps they've improved since then.


The big problem with any inkjet is cost. My wife is a school teacher and thinks nothing of printing pass-outs on my HP. I keep trying to get her to use the laser printers at school—this would save me a few hundred dollars a year. My use is limited to proofs etc. For quantity, I upload the file to a local print shop that knocks it out on their laser—as long as it's not full color, cheaper than printing it at home (FedEx/Kinkos wants a lot more money for the same thing).

HP inkjet prints are water resistant to the degree that the paper is.That's probably true of all of them though some of the off-brand inks are prone to running. Laser and thermal printers are more water resistant with ordinary papers.

My Photosmart Premium c309a is an excellent printer. It was the last one they made that prints on inkjet CDs (due to licensing restrictions, only Epson does so nowadays). In 8 years, I had to replace a print head and I found a generic part on eBay for $20. It's faster for me to print on a CD than to write on one—part of that's my handicap but the rest is that it is really that fast.

I got so turned off on Epson over the years... just don't want to go there.

While researching this, I found out that Tabloid is 11 x 17 but 13 x 19 is called Supertabloid. Ok then, never knew that... Here are a few tabloid and supertabloid printers—unfortunately, the lone laser is tabloid only.
https://www.lifewire.com/top-wide-format-printers-2768866
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby motet » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:50 am

The ink for my HP Photosmart C6180 is completely non-waterproof. A splash of rain and everything's ruined. But I think some inkjet inks are waterproof. The printer broke as soon as it was out of warranty. I had it fixed and it's been OK ever since, but mainly use the scanner. The software the runs it is unfriendly and buggy. It's also bloated with ads for toner and paper, and leaves half a dozen processes running in the background even when you're done with it. When I turn it on, it whirs and thrashes and shakes the table for several minutes as it moistens itself. Scanning doesn't work reliably over wireless. HP use to be a very classy outfit, but went seriously downhill when Carly Fiorina took over and began selling cheaply-made consumer products, and Meg Whitman has continued in that vein. Messrs. Hewlett and Packard must be turning over in their graves. Thanks for the Epson report. I've heard Brother is perhaps better.

Laser printing is not quite as durable and the printing on the covers of my rental parts, subjected to hard use, often gets work off. So I'd love to find a waterproof inkjet for printing covers.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby MikeHalloran » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:27 am

HP now lists which of their inks are dye or pigment based. Pigment based inks are more resistant to water. On mine, the black cartridge is listed as pigment while the colors are listed as dye based.

I remember the older printers where you really had to print one page at a time and the paper looked wet while you waited for it to dry. The HP printers I was given with my day job were like that. Nowadays, the pages come out relatively dry except for my personal stationary that I rarely use—a great fountain pen paper but that is not an option I can use anymore.

One thing I like about my c309a is that it has a black & white mode that doesn't use the color cartridges. I use this for much of my printing which does save money. Being on a Mac, the drivers are part of the OS—you cannot download them separately.

When I bought mine, I was music director at a church in the Silicon Valley where 95% or more worked at HP, many in the printer division. Buying anything else was not really an option back then. Yea, things are certainly different, nowadays.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby michelp » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:35 am

Another thing to take into consideration is the cost per page (ink). Apparently, laser printers have a lower cost per page. And the ink is more water resistant.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby BuonTempi » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:32 pm

MikeHalloran wrote:The 7612 will support printing up to 13" wide and 44" long—note that these custom sizes are not available in Windows—Mac only. It has duplexer for automatic double-sided printing and scanning.
http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03618348

The 7110 is a printer only. Ithas a duplexer available as an optional accessory. Otherwise, its paper handling abilities are similar to the 7612.
http://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03565793.

From the HP specs, the printers don't support duplexing larger than tabloid (17"). There are few limits on passing-through a very long length of paper, if your paper path is flat and you have the memory for it; but the "back-stop" of a duplexer is a constraining factor.

You can do "manual duplex" fairly easily, and you can get imposition software to create booklet spread PDFs and split them into "back" and "front" files. That will certainly increase the options: otherwise it's a digital press.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby MikeHalloran » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:34 pm

Hmmm... one of the printers did have a duplexer that supported 12.2" x 18" but still, not 13x19. Neither could I find any laser printers that supported supertabloid.

I remember using a laser printer that supported tabloid and duplex printing when I worked at a church and the phone company. Same model both places. I knew how to get it working when it would freeze up or have paper jams etc. since it was the devil I fought in both places. Haven't thought of that in years. The church paid a fortune to keep that thing running and maintained. I no longer remember the brand but it wasn't one that made consumer grade printers.

The reason I have held off buying something like the 7612 is that I do not have a place to put it. I have a scanning project and Kinkos wanted hundred$ to do it for me. If I was able to rent it for a few hours, I would have gladly done so. One of my tasks this year is to remodel my studio so that I have a place to put it.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby bkshepard » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:21 pm

Thanks, everyone, for all the feedback and recommendations! I had seen several printers that would do 12x18, but was hoping I might get lucky and find one that could handle 13x20. Fortunately, the demand for that size paper is fairly low and I can continue to do those parts as single sheets taped together.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby MikeHalloran » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:58 pm

I decided that, if I ever need super-tabloid again, I can send it out.

In the mean time, I bought a Brother MFCJ6935DW
http://www.brother-usa.com/MultiFunction/ModelDetail/4/mfcj6935dw/Overview

It supports full duplex scanning at 11" x 17" (single pass!), has a projected ink cost of .9¢ black / 4.5¢ color and is blazing fast compared to any printer I have ever owned. My wife walked in to make some copies and from the time she put the source on the scanner bed till the first copy was done was 5 seconds. How will I learn to live without waiting for my HP (and Epson before it) to get ready?

You don't have to download the Mac drivers to use it but you have more functionality if you do as I found out (I tried it both ways). I have it set up wirelessly through my Time Capsule—all I needed to do was give it my network password. As I will keep my HP hooked up to the FAX line (it also does CD printing), no need to do it any other way.

I bought it after reading this review:
https://www.computershopper.com/printers/reviews/brother-mfc-j6935dw

I've not tried photo printing and can always go to my HP if I don't like those results. I do like the fact that these cartridges are rated at 3000/1500 @ $80 set instead of 1000/450 at $125 a set for the HP.

It's big so I bought a small utility cart to put it on. That way, my wife can roll it into her office when she wants to scan.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby motet » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:12 pm

Mike,

Is the ink waterproof? Could you perhaps spash some water on a test sheet and tell me if the ink runs?
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby MikeHalloran » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:34 pm

motet wrote:Mike,

Is the ink waterproof? Could you perhaps spash some water on a test sheet and tell me if the ink runs?


Good news!

First I tried sprinkling and then I tried with wet hands. These were pages I printed about 12 hours ago. The ink does not run, even after 10 minutes. When the paper dried, the print looked good even if the paper didn't. This is 20w plain paper at the normal, default print setting. It's possible that some common liquids will corrupt the print but soft water doesn't. I didn't try fresh pages but rather went for a real world condition. I tried both black and color.

I would have been ok with this printer even if it did run a little but this is better — much, much better.

Thanks for asking me to test.


When I tested scanning the other day, it didn't look that great at 100dpi (my HP is much better). Changing the resolution to 300dpi, however, gave me very good results. Like printing, scanning is very fast.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby motet » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:37 pm

Thanks for testing it! I may get one to print my covers; laser toner comes off when the parts are subject to heavy abrasion.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby HotAsIce » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:54 pm

get Brother or Cannon
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby MikeHalloran » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:42 pm

HotAsIce wrote:get Brother or Cannon


Why?

I like my new Brother MFCJ6935DW but what are the reasons for your recommendations? What does Canon bring to the table?
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby motet » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:35 pm

The cannon could come in handy for getting rid of the old HP Inkjet.
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Re: Printer Recommendation

Postby MikeHalloran » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:54 pm

motet wrote:The cannon could come in handy for getting rid of the old HP Inkjet.


Ha! Yes indeed, it could.

I am not getting rid of my c309a, however. It was the last HP to print directly onto CD/DVD. Being forced to live right-handed nowadays, it is faster and easier to type and print than to write onto the CD blank. Of course, it only looks 1000% better. I hated CD printing on my Epsons.
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