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HP Vs Kodak(Encad)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Printers' started by Felix Sepulveda, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. I'm considering a 60" wide aqueous printer (debating between aqueous and solvent for my next printer). In my first post I already asked about solvents.

    Now I will like to get opinions from experienced users between the HP Designjet 5500uv and the Kodak 1200i (almost the same as Encad 1000i). I know the HP is a proven workhorse and the print quality is very good. From Kodak/Encad I can't find enough users information. Your opinions and experiences are going to be very helpful for me.

    I do fine art printing and will like to do some signage as well.


  2. WB

    WB Active Member

    Feb 9, 2006
    well I can't really comment on the newer Encad 1000.

    but we've used Encads for the last 6-7 years (lastest was an 850) and recently bought a Designjet 5500(but are running dye inks)

    hands down the HP blow the Encad out of the water, as far as I can see it's a far better printer.. Now that being said I have not used a 1000i so I'm sure Encad has made some improvements, but I've still heard better things about the HP's

    hope that helps
  3. RobGF

    RobGF Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    I think your needs exclude one another. If you're interested in fine art, for many the bench mark printer has been the Epson (7600/7800/9600/9800) systems with the Ultrachrome Inks setup (pigmented, aquious). Lately Canon has stepped up to the plate and by all reports is making a series of printers which may be better for this task. Haven't tested the Canon's out...

    I've got a bunch of printers here including the Epson, the HP 5500, and the Encad 1000i and I would not dream of trying to sell fine art or even not so fine art off anything but the Epson. If I had a Canon maybe I'd be making that same statement about it.

    If you're looking to do signage off any of the systems mentioned, some dude (dude-ette) with an eco solvent or hot solvent system will be providing a more cost effective solution to your market and a solution with much better outdoor performance. If you're looking for temporary signs that happen to be laminated as a side line to the fine art you might be ok as long as you accept the limitations of any of those systems.

    As for the Encad vs. HP aquious debate -- this will sound compeltely deviant and bizarre, but I prefer the Encad 1000i (it's nothing like the older generations). I have both of these systems for printing indoor posters and trade show stuff. I prefer the 1000i because it's less a pain in the *** than the HP... It's easier to load media on the Encad; the simple path for media on this device makes it easier to handle stiffer media for pop-up application with less fuss; the Encad is measurably faster than the HP; low temp activated films can be applied to the Encad prints with less cure time than the HP; take up is superior with regard to sensor positioning...

    But... if you are comparing Encad to HP, you will find that the HP produces a less obvious dot structure; it produces fine detail on very small items such as text in a superior way; it is more user friendly for the uninitiated with helpful prompts; it has a more reliable print head system; the little media wizard is helpful for those who don't want to know about setting heat for particular types of media; there's more support out there for the 5500... The HP5500 really is a superior machine a lot of the time, especially for casual use, but if you're banging out indoor work the Encad will eat it alive for productivity.

    I run dye on each of these machines so I cannot help you with a comparison of their pigmented options.

    Hope my insane rambling helps.


    PS: I'd rather have a jalapeño enema than use an Encad 800 series... avoid them like any plague you can imagine
  4. Thanks for your comments,

    Sorry that I didn's explain better my situation. I already have two Epsons 9600 for my Fine Art Business. They are 44" wide and I need to print bigger, that's why I'm looking for a 60" aqueous.... Going over 44" I will be printing mainly in canvas, but of course being able to make a good print in photo paper is also desirable.

    I understand from your reply that the HP prints better......and that the Encad is more production oriented....

    My interest in Solvents is because I have seen some rather good prints from Rolands and Mimakis that make me think that some of my market can accept those prints considering the lower cost and the ability to be displayed outdoors with less protection, and as I mentioned I want to venture into the signage market.

    Rob, how is banding on the Encad ??? Do you think that printing on canvas (Encad) will produce results similar than on the HP ?
  5. RobGF

    RobGF Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    The HP will produce a finer quality image than the Encad as it's dot is smaller. With a textured surface like canvas this may not be as obvious and I would suggest testing. I still don't think either of these would make for a fine art printer. You could look at a Roland FJ 600 to get the width you would like and a quality similar to the Epsons.

    As for Eco-solvents, knock yourself out. Sure they have a nice image but eco and hot solvent printers just don't have that impressive a colour gamut. I couldn't fathom trying to produce fine art on them but that's based on MY expectations. Yours may differ.

    I still think your wants as described aren't compatible unless you're willing to accept compromise.

    Good luck
  6. Thanks Rob,

    Well... my expectations (and those of my customers are high). As you suggest testing is a must for my case and as I mentioned in another post there might be two printers in my future.

    Thanks again.
  7. Checkers

    Checkers Very Active Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Hiya Felix,
    I have a fair amount of experience with the older Encads and the produce quality graphics for tradeshow and POP displays.
    Encads may not be the better quality printer, but service is there when I needed it. I can't pass judgement on HP's commercial support. However, I can tell you that for consumer products, their service SUCKS! And, judging by your location, support should weigh high on your list of wants and needs. Because, it's not a question of "if" something goes wrong, it's more a question of when, and how soon can you fix it.
    I agree with the other comments above, including yours. In order to suit your demands, you will need to purchase 2 printers. Pigmented aqueous inks will serve the high end, outdoors for a short term market and the solvent printer will work for long term.
    As for quality, you'll have to leave that decision up to the client after you show them samples and give them the pros and cons of each type of print.
    Good luck because it's not an easy decision.

  8. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

    Jun 24, 2003
    I use encads,, and the support is good . I have absolutely no complaints with thier call center... I have yet to purchase a new ink cartridge. They are replaced FREE under warranty..... I know they are getting better though. This last set is running strong and lasting a LOT longer...
  9. Thank you all again, for Fine Art I will have to watch also a new pigment Canon (60") that is comming soon, it will have 12 inks.

  10. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

    Apr 18, 2003
    Kinda resurrecting an old thread. I'm considering an HP 5500UV PS 60" printer, with the intention of COMPLEMENTING my Roland SP-540V. I'm not sure if it will, but am asking the question here. Primarily looking to use it for the higher-end indoor printing market as I've got the outdoor market covered with the Roland. What I'm asking is, what can I do or do better with the HP that I cannot or should not do with the Roland? How much better print quality and through-put can I realistically expect with the HP? Not looking for mass production here, but don't want a dog-slow machine either. I see the HP at fastest are like 500+ SFPH, but what is realistic? TIA...
  11. RobGF

    RobGF Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    Well, if you switch to dye inks you will find that you get a much nicer colour gamut than with your eco-solvent. You will also find that there are a lot of top choice trade show medias out there which are for aqueous. As for the speed issue, it depends on your expectations. A lot of the sales guys told me to expect about 150 sq ft per hour at production speed. By the time I had settled on a carriage speed and pass count (VARware through Wasatch) for nicer medias I found that number to be about 80. YMMV. 500 sq ft per hour is a pipe dream with this printer.
  12. Bogie

    Bogie Very Active Member

    May 17, 2007
    FYI, if you want to wait a little while, Epson's coming out with a wider version of the 9800...
  13. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

    Apr 18, 2003
    The one I'm looking at has the built-in RIP...is this good or should I be using Wasatch? If Wasatch, I'd have to spend about $2000 to upgrade my Roland-only version to the full-version. BTW, are there any specific downfalls of this printer?
  14. RobGF

    RobGF Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    I don't run an internal RIP on this printer. Previous generations HP RIPS (in the 2500-3800) series sucked but I suppose this may have changed with the newer. My experience with the older RIPs gives me a bias towards Wasatch. Additionally with Wasatch (or any other major vendor, I suppose) you would be able to access VarWare controls enabling you to control the speed of the carriage, etc.

    The downfalls of this printer are few; it's a very well established printer in the aqueous market. I personally do not care for the paper feed path nor the paper load procedure but I'm sure it's not worth getting upset about. I also find it annoying that the paper path out of the printer isn't more gradual -- there's an abrupt drop on the front of the machine. Prints that are finished and left hanging over the drop to dry sometimes will develop little bend marks.

    Unless you have a certain use for this printer, I'm not entirely sure why you'd get it. If you do... I'd certainly change to dye inks.

  15. Kevin Dooley

    Kevin Dooley Merchant Member Representative

    Oct 19, 2007
    Solid answers from Rob here - nobody ever got fired for buying an HP. Dye inks give you a better color gamut and selection of media available. Intelicoat makes a terrific media called POS300 -resists curling if you do trade show graphics that will get rolled up and shipped to "another town and one more show" - works great with HP aqueous. My $.02.

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