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JV3-160 opinions

Discussion in 'Mimaki' started by BobCap, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. BobCap

    BobCap Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Gilobert, MN
    My Mutoh Rockhopper has finally died. I have the opportunity to pick up a Mimaki JV3-160S printer.

    I have a few questions about this machine.

    Any idea how old this machine would be?

    Guys that have them please give me your pros and cons on this machine.


    Bob Cap
  2. Masseria

    Masseria Member

    Jul 23, 2012
    I only know from a jv33 that lived like 6 years, not printing 24/7 but with good use.
    I got a jv33, for 2 years now... and im surprised.
    Here, mimaki's supplier is very expensive... and they wont teach you anything about the machine... so if you want to make your jv33 work and make profit of it. you should first investigate, and learn everything about it. (How to change printhead, Service menu important items, disarm everything and built it back again).
    Anyway, because mimaki prices here in Argentina, we are thinking to move to mutoh, selling this mimaki jv33, because when printehead died for first time, the replacment cost of printhead, dampers, head cable , pump and cap station was aprox. 4200 dollars + 100 dollars for tech guy. this is mimaki "official" supplier.
    Of course you can buy dampers, head cable, and everything from our loved china people, or other resellers.
    Im Running a jv33 with ss21 ink sublimation. (MMCCYYKK)
    So here is what i think.
    -Working 7-8 days straight without stopping until printhead died without problems.
    -Fast cleaning.
    -Fast replacement parts.
    -good price for its quality. (when we bought it)
    -Mimaki Rasterlink Pro5SG is very easy to use,you can have a monkey run the machine on weekends for you and can reach good colors with it.
    -Slow printing (4 pass 720x540) 4'30" per meter in a 1.6 meters widht media.
    -Very Expensive Original Parts and service tech.
    -If using a bulk system with non-original mimaki inks, double ink (MMCCYYKK) settings and auto-jump from one bulk to the other wont work, as mimaki supplier says...
    -this machine cant stop printing, if jv33 take a good sleep like 1 week stop, when you need it back you will need to make a little maintenance.

    We are looking to change our mimaki jv33 to a Mutoh ValueJet 1628 TD 64" with x2 DX5 Printhead. Anyway i think i will stay with Jv33 because the experience we have with it.
    Mutoh is much faster, no more banding, and cheaper spare parts.
    Price for a jv33 and ValueJet 1628 is 2000 dollars only. which is non-sense when comparing production speed, and costs.

    Hope i helped you.

    Sorry for my English.
  3. wildside

    wildside Very Active Member

    Aug 28, 2005
    mimaki tends to make solid machines

    we use the slightly smaller 130spii, had it almost 6 years now and it is a work horse, any problems we have had have been user error more than anything.

    we have toyed with the idea of leaving it and going to a hp latex, but with all the problems people talk about with them around here makes me happy i decided to stick with the tried and true solvent machine, it may cost more for ink and parts, but haven't had to put any parts into it yet, knock on wood

    with regular maintenance a mimaki is a solid machine, no complaints about ours other than getting to be a "old man" in the digital world
  4. Matt-Tastic

    Matt-Tastic Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    the 160S is a 3 head machine, meaning it prints 6color only (2 colors per head). The print quality (for its time) is fine to good, and the speed was adequate for the era. these days, the money you would spend on a 160S (hopefully no more than 2-4K) is a worthwhile down payment on another printer that is faster, easier to maintain, better quality, has parts more readily available and may even have a warranty.

    If you're a fan of Mimaki (I am), the JV3 is a solid printer, that will last a long time if its taken care of. With a 7+ year old one, you have no clue what has happened to it over the years, and you don't know what will break down in the next year or 2. if you get a nice one, you'll more than recoup your investment. if you don't, you'll have a boat anchor.

    i'd personally go for an HP Latex or maybe one of the new Epson SC printers.
  5. DRPSignsNGrafix

    DRPSignsNGrafix Very Active Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    We have a JV3-160SP here. I'm new to this company. But the machine has been here for a long time. The only problem was with some y-code errors lately. after numerous trips to repair it's running great. Replaced the motor. Now runs good. This thing is a work horse. Runs great, colors are pretty good. Will be better when I get spectrometer and start to calibrate and tweek profiles. But there built like a tank.
  6. jayhawksigns

    jayhawksigns Very Active Member

    Jan 8, 2005
    JV3s were tanks, but they are getting up there in age. Ours still printed fine when we sold it after getting our HP. It had 8+ years on it.
  7. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Maseria is talking about a totally different machine, the JV33 which is much newer. The JV3 came in several variants over the years in 3 different widths and 2 heads configurations. The "s" version as Matt mentioned is the 3 head version. This also the earliest/oldest/slowest version.

    All of the JV3 machines were excellent solid built machines but they are by todays standards nearing the end of their time. They can still be great machines but they are getting to the point that problems can crop up at any time just due their age (a 160s is from around 2002 or so). That being said there are plenty of parts still available for them and most RIP's do still have support for them as well. In good condition and properly setup they can produce excellent prints and during their time were just about the industry reference standard for a solid solvent printer under 72".

    We ran our 160SP hard for years with little to no trouble. Personally, I'd not touch one nowadays when a JV33 or other machines based on the much newer machines based on the DX5 heads can be had for a decent price. The JV33 has the same great solid built and qualities as the older JV3 but better speed, easier maintenance and other assorted improvements.
  8. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I had one the S model is the oldest of them all it was the one I had if you can get it with good heads for $5000 or less do it if not out source and buy a JV33 I have the JV33 now and its way faster and cheaper to replace heads on.

    The mimakis are work horses even in a high production shop they will last.
  9. LaserMan

    LaserMan Member

    Feb 15, 2012
    We have 2 Mimaki JV 3's. They've lasted around 8 years now. Have had the usual maintenance issues with them. Nothing major yet.

    That said, about 2-3 years ago, we bought a JV 33. IT's at least triple the speed of the JV 3's. Much worth the extra $$$.
  10. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    solid machine. best of luck gettin' it up and runnin'. only major problems I've seen from these, have been the ones inherited from previous owners/transportation to new home. nothing a few new parts can fix, however.

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