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Review of Lava Inks

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Hardware' started by Flame, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    Vancouver
    Alright, I went ahead and ordered a complete set of Lava inks for my Mutoh Falcon II. Here's what I thought.


    1. Price was awesome. Less than half what I've been paying for my OEM ink.

    2. Ink came from Canada??? So shipping was a little weird, but it came fairly quick.

    3. It WILL change your color profiles. It's fairly close, but it IS different colors when using the Ultra ink. So one shade of blue on the oem inks isn't the same shade of blue as with the lava inks (ask me how I figured that one out...).

    4. There is a SIGNIFICANT increase in odor when using these inks. It's almost like you're running a full solvent machine, the smell is sulfurous (sp?), and requires some form of venting (for me... open doors and windows) or it's almost enough to knock you out. It's seriously that bad.

    5. I had no issues with ink clogging, or ruining the machine. There seemed to be increased banding, but no ruined parts.




    My final decision... I'll sacrifice the $120 every 3 weeks or so, to stick with OEM inks that will print better, look better, and not attempt to kill me with their odor. If set up right, with lots of venting and you're cranking out a LOT of work, they'd probably work fine. Or if you only do tiny short runs, it'd probably not be an issue. But for what I'm doing, they are not going to work, and I'm switching back to OEM inks.
     
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  2. fozzyber

    fozzyber Member

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    good to here such an unbiased option, whth this is why I don't like it. mostly you only get it rocks, or it's crap.
     
  3. Bogie

    Bogie Very Active Member

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    Thanks - If I expand, buying another printer, and move this one to just doing long runs of banners, I might do it...
     
  4. MobileImpact

    MobileImpact Active Member

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    Flamey, Flamey, Flamey!

    I will disagree with a lot of that. We have been using them on our Falcon for a long time. No change in profiles or color, as a matter of fact we mix them with factory inks with NO change. Currently I have 5 Lava cartridges in the machine and 1 Factory Ink. ( Ran out of Cyan and needed one in a hurry.)
    Yeah the are Canadian, but I always get Free shipping (They rebate the 35 bucks for shipping in the form of a free cartridge) and it is usually only 3 days to my door. sometimes two. As far as odor, we have not noticed anything, but we also run a Mimaki here and that may be why we haven't noticed it.

    Sorry you didn't feel like the Ink would work for you. A lot of people here and in general are switching. The cost is right, with out sacrifice (at least for us)

    Kevin
     
  5. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

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    Apr 26, 2006
    Vancouver
    I have ZERO doubt in my mind it changed the colors.

    ZERO.

    I ran one set of panels with oem ink. Later ran extra panels with lava ink. Definitely different color. Not huge, and you can adapt, but it was definitely there.

    As far as odor, that was my #1 turn off. I have never ran full solvent in here before, and the printer is in a 400 sq. ft. room. Couldn't even smell the oem inks, but the lava inks burned. One lady couldn't take it and had to keep going outside (much like the full solvents, a local shop here runs 2 mimaki's... same smell).
     
  6. MobileImpact

    MobileImpact Active Member

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    Master of the Flame,

    That's cool, everyones experiences are different. While you feel it is not the product for you, that's totally cool. We use them, and we love 'em. We have not experienced the issues you are having. My color has been the same, same profiles etc. We do however linearize our profiles pretty regularly and wouldn't notice a minor shift in color.

    As far as the odor, I can't say I've noticed, but I do have other machines running.

    I actually like the ink so much I am switching one of our Mimaki's to their Bulk Ink system later this week.

    Kevin
     
  7. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    I have used Lava Inks and have had very good results. The red is a little to the orange side but other than that, no problems. Cost is good.
     
  8. MobileImpact

    MobileImpact Active Member

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    Not sure that's an Ink Issue. We are getting GREAT rich reds from ours.
     
  9. Jackpine

    Jackpine Major Contributor

    I have had an order issue with the inks....except when I am working late.....but a shower and shave cures that problem. I have a cyan and yellow cartridge in with Mutoh inks and they are 100% compatible. I guess I should "fiddle" with some profiles and improve the reds.
     
  10. Flame

    Flame Major Contributor

    8,283
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    Apr 26, 2006
    Vancouver
    I'd like to also throw in.... they don't last as well. I printed 2 banners with my original inks, and 2 weeks later, the exact two with my lava inks.

    The older ones had a MUCH richer black color to them.... and the new ones, would have the ink rub right off of it!!!! It was like I was using water-based ink. I could take my fingernail, and scratch right through the colors. Even when cured overnight. Everytime the banner creased, it left white. I went back and checked some other banners I did... same thing.

    Maybe the Lava inks work for other people and other printers, but I won't trust them back in my machine. That was scary stuff.
     
  11. WOODBS

    WOODBS Very Active Member

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    Jun 5, 2007
    good to know, i was thinking of getting them. a few more $$, but eco-sol works great and no smelly smelly
     
  12. premiercolour

    premiercolour Sales and services from S. California

    I would like to offer J-STAR ink to above Lava ink reviewers.

    We carry J-STAR ink which is made in Japan. Ink color is absolutely close to oem. A bit stronger odor vs oem but it is far less than Lava. (you get 50% less of the price, note, we can make as less odor as oem just cost wouldn't be competitive vs other third party supplier) We have several signs101 members would vouch for our ink and are currently using them.

    Three days unconditional money back guarantee.

    $80/liter; $70/ 520ml cartridge for Mimaki/ Mutoh and Roland Printers.

    Thank you,
    Francis
    sales@fieldcenterusa.com or
    (949)209-7306
     
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