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Need to Demo the New SureColor Epson 6000?

We have the 9 ink 24 inch Epson P6000 in Oakland, so call us or email us to schedule a hands-on demo to see first-hand how the new printer works. You can bring your own file and we can print something out for you. Our demo printer is set-up in a working hands-on printer environment In Oakland and can be seen by appointment.

Hands on review of the new Epson SureColor P6000 by John Zax of Lotus Color

Out of the Box:

The form factor of this machine is identical to the previous Generation of large Format Epson Printers, the x900

Series. This is a good thing because it is a well- engineered and ruggedly constructed printer, with an excellent rotary paper cutter, well designed paper feed system that did away with the awkward spindles, effective ink supply system that gives the user a choice of large capacity cartridges, and very good printing speeds at the best quality of printing.

If this is an upgrade it will be very familiar and if this is a first LF Epson, the most important instruction is that four people really are required to get it out of the box and on to its included stand. The way everything is packed and the quick start booklet make initial assembly and start up very easy to accomplish. Software and drivers were not included with the printer but are quick and easy to download from the Epson Website with the included URL.

Using the printer:

The printer has connections built in for USB, Firewire 800, and Ethernet. In our studio the Ethernet is the

preferred interface which the printer and driver instantly established on its own. We run a Mac studio with

Several generations of computer, OS’s and versions of Photoshop but had no problems making it all run.

The on board control panel is bright, colorful and easy to read. The initial screen shows ink quantities,

paper feed setting, and platen gap setting. The menus that are accessible are more comprehensive and

easier to use that on previous models. There is no longer a need to shut down the printer and restart to enter

a “secret menu” for advanced maintenance issues, most of these choices are now included in the main menus.

Most notably, the more rigorous cleaning routines:

It’s no secret by now that the x900 series printers suffered from more severe clogging problems than any

previous generation of Epson printers. There are several things on these new printers that have been done to address this issue. Epson has built into the printers a comprehensive set of self-cleaning routines. While many people on the forums have complained about the most rudimentary self-cleanings

that previous models had, this is a kind of shortsighted thing to take arms up against. Anyone who has suffered through a serious clog can attest to the fact that much more expensive ink goes down the maintenance tank

than is used to keep the problem from happening in the first place.

The SureColor P series will activate itself several times during the day if left unused and do a short quick

head clean. The control panel will light up and the pump can be heard doing a small cleaning. And every 24 hours it will initiate a standard cleaning cycle, this is actually a parameter that can be set in the menu but I feel is best to leave at the default. If roll paper has been placed in the printer or the black ink has been changed over and a nozzle check has not been run, the printer will do so automatically. These are all beneficial changes in the programing of the printer. There has been much debate over whether or not it is best to leave the printer on or turn it off between uses. These changes make me believe it truly is better to leave the printer on.

Improved Ink Set that Pops

The most significant improvement in this series of printers however is in the actual ink set that they print with.

Epson had indicated that the black inks would be blacker and that they had worked on the Yellow ink, a weak link in almost all printing technologies. A simple look at the profiles supplied with the printers shows this to be a major advancement, even over the 12 ink system of the 9900. The narrow pedestal of the black part of the profile of all previous models has become a sturdy base of darker blacks and more substantial dark colors around the spectrum. the advances in the yellows no only extends the yellow itself but adds significantly to the reds and greens that the printer is capable of rendering. I am truly excited by this.

At the current time, I have not found any third party paper companies that have updated their sites with profiles for these new machines, the P600 and P800 are showing up so it’s just a matter of time. In our studio we make custom profiles for all our papers any way and we have noticed an improved gamut across the board.

In conclusion I feel these printers are a significant step forward for Epson.

Reviewed by John Zax