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what is the "go-to" second hand printer (another mutoh vs roland)

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by Nismoasfuh, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Nismoasfuh

    Nismoasfuh Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    South Florida
    So, our Mimaki JV3-SP has finally given out. And honestly, I'm done dealing with the print head problems and error codes. Time for a change.
    I'm in the market for a 54" printer/cutter. and i have been looking at the Roland VP540 and the Mutoh VJ1324.
    I know there are a bunch of threads about this already, but I kinda just wanted a newer and more updated re cap of how everyone's printers have been holding up, I'm sure by now some you probably owned both and can really help out.

    I found a couple vp540's on ebay for about 11k, I'm really tempted to have them crate it up and send it out. I just want to know what are some common problems on either/or of these printers. Is there a way to know the model year of the printer without the serial code? As it seems that each iteration of a printer is produced with the same look for quite a few years. Sorry for the really basic a noob questions, I just really need to get the shop going again.
  2. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    Can't really comment on the Roland, we've been a Mutoh shop since I bought our first printer - a VJ-1204. Since then we've had a 1204, 1304, 1604, and currently run a 1624 and a new 1624x. The 12xx and 13xx series are fantastic printers, and use the same head as the bigger 16xx series, but unfortunately you deal with finding the right medias to fit those since they both have static size/width limitations. in my experience, even though our 1304 is listed as a 54" printer, I found numerous times that some rolls of 54" media would not fit without modification because certain rolls of material may have a core that's 1/2"-3/4" too long...yes if the core length is more than 1/2" longer than the 54" media width you'll either have to shave it down by hand or basically wedge the media in between the stops - not good. (Really kind of a stupid thing to have to fight, but the 13xx series is basically a 12xx series made a little wider, so finding extra room top make a 48" printer a 54" printer was obviously a challenge for the engineers.) Again, this was my experience with a 1304 - I am assuming nothing has changed on the chasis for the 1324...

    Aside from the media size drawback all the VJ machines are simple to use, print great and easy to maintain. However, I would suggest upping the ante and just diving right into the 64" machine - you can get one brand new from SignWarehouse for just a few thousand more than the Vp540 on eBay. Then not only do you get a new machine with a 2 year warranty, but one with the ability to print 5' material which really opens up a whole new door, especially when you're doing banners. (We do a ton of 5' wide banners just because most of our local competition only have 54" machines.) Aside from the wider print ability the 16xx series is built a little more robust, and more of what I would consider a production machine.

    Anyway, that is my .02¢ on the Mutohs. Keep them clean, keep them running, keep the drain lines clear and they should serve you for years and years. (BTW - I hope you realize that the Mutohs are NOT a print and cut machine like the Rolands....they are printers only.)
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Not sure if this will help but another Roland to consider may be the VS540. We have one in the lab at school and that thing gets hammered. Prints great, cuts great even with all the students using it. It also gets used for a ton of promotional printing on campus. Doesn't get much maintenance either. Maybe we've been lucky, but its been a good rig.
  4. BlueMoonATL

    BlueMoonATL Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    This may not be what you want to hear, but it if it was up to me, I'd get a Mimaki JV-33.

    BALLPARK Member

    Dec 5, 2008
    Radford, VA
    I would look for a Roland XC-540. I think it was the last "Tank" built by Roland that just gets the job done. It's a printer and cutter using 54" media. It has great production speeds compared to many comparable models.

    You can get the dryer/fan and take-up reel on some units. Others will just have the take-up reel.

    We love our XC-540 and have had minor issues over a long period of time and it was purchased used. That says a lot about the machine and quality build of the XC-540.

    You should be able to find one in the 10k-12k range. We will be selling our unit once we add a HP LX850, but that appears to be about 60-90 days out.

    Good luck...
  6. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet DIY Printer Fixing Guide

    Aug 2, 2011
    Denver, CO
    As someone who works on these printers in the field and sells used ones, you can't go wrong with:

    Roland SP and VP Series are great - I do not recommend the XC series only because repairs cost much more due to it having 6 heads and they are on the older side now but people seem to love them so take it with a grain of salt.

    Mutoh ValueJets are great as well but run from the Mutoh Falcons and Toucans.

    Mimaki JV33s and CJV series are awesome but run from the JV3 machines. JV3 machines were work horses that made a lot of people happy back in the day but now are not aging well compared to the Sp and VP Rolands with the same heads.
  7. Nismoasfuh

    Nismoasfuh Member

    Mar 11, 2016
    South Florida
    Wow thank you guys! All this information and opinions are truly invaluable. :thumb:
  8. premiercolour

    premiercolour Sales and services from S. California

    SP540 is a bit too slow but it is a work horse. Rarely has problems. VP540 (double the heads of SP540) is known for production machine but the the ethernet connector on the mainboard is known for problem. This issue is not repairable. You can't find a new board in the US last time I checked. We have to import them to replace the board. After replacement, prints very nicely and reliable. Good speed, reliable but now you need to look at the life span of the printhead. VS540, VS540i are the ones I would buy. 3-6 years. Good condition, used is about $8-10,000. $7,000 is a steal.

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