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Epson Stylus Pro 9600 replaces 9000 & Epson 9500 Print E-mail

The newest Epson 9600 is a better printer in every respect than the ones before it. The Epson 9500 large format color inkjet printer was introduced at DRUPA in May (2000). FLAAR review editor Nicholas Hellmuth inspected the new Epson 9500 and Epson 7500 during this two-week trade show.

We now have two Epson 7500 printers in our facilities for testing.The output is very pretty. But the output from the 7600 and 9600 is even nicer..

Epson Stylus Pro 9000 & Epson 9500Four companies use similar piezo printheads: Epson, Mimaki, Mutoh, and Roland: Mutoh uses approximately the same Epson printheads as the older Epson 9000; Roland uses an Epson printhead one generation past that of the Epson 9000 and therefore gets variable droplet sizes out of it ; Epson then came out with the newer faster heads for their Epson 10000 that also has variable droplet. These are the piezo printheads now used by Mimaki JV4.

If you want to do giclée fine art prints, is the Epson 9600 with Epson long life inks a better choice than the Epson 9000 with aftermarket inks from Lyson and other companies? The ability to use aftermarket inks is the sole feature of the 9000 which is an asset.

The inks for the 9600 sure are longer lasting than those for the older 9000. A review of the Epson 9000 printer in Publish magazine (a respected trade magazine) stated that : "the glossy (Epson) film, while providing a gorgeous print, showed signs of distinct fading after only a day outside!"

I found that Epson prints from (early model) desktop Epson inkjet printers faded even indoors in my office after several months, even when my ceiling lights had UV filters and even when that particular office had no windows to the outside. Other tests suggest that not only the color fades (ruining the image) but that in some cases certain kinds of Epson paper may turn unwanted colors as well. It is worth noting that none of the glossy advertisements warn you about these drawbacks. Recently, however, Epson ads began posting warnings about ozone and other environmental problems such as cigarette smoke. Some of the problems, however, are primarily with the hybrid inks of the Epson 1270. The Epson 7500 and 9500 use the "new encapsulated" pigmented inks.

If you carefully select the highly regarded inks such as Lyson, Luminos and others, your nice Epson 7000 and 9000 prints will last for several years. Thus many fine art printers accomplish highly regarded printing from the Epson printers. But again, we receive occasional reports of paper discoloration and color fading faster than is supposed to occur. Just realize that "archival" ratings for inkjet prints are idealistic. In real life prints fade much more quickly. Nonetheless, the inks for the Epson 7500 and 9500 hold up longer than the inks of the Epson 7000 and 9000. By the way, don't pour just any ink into the printer. Some inks will tend to clog; others will work better. Since pigmented inks lack the color gamut of dye inks, it appears that the new UltraChrome may be a hybrid ink. By dropping the 200 year claim they were able to improve the color with the UltraChrome inks for the models 7600, 9600, and 10600.

In recent months FLAAR review editors have received occasional reports from end users. Some love their Epson printers and buy them over and over again, Yet other users want to get rid of them and buy another brand that is more practical for actual production of prints. Primarily problems which people consistently write about are: lack of media that works with the proprietary inks, excessive ink usage and hence high costs, very slow output, inability to print on backlit media. These comments are on the 9000 and 9500. For the 9600, they are still not fast, but the inks works better on backlit media. More media is available for UltraChrome inks than was available in previous years for earlier inks.

We have compiled all this helpful information into a FLAAR Premium Report Series on "Fine art giclée printers". Of course some users of other printers have a tough time as well. Sometimes it's more false expectations than a bad printer. In other words, the ads promise things that no wide format printer can really deliver in everyday usage by a typical user. Its a constant challenge for our editors to sort out fact from fiction. Its even more difficult to ascertain which of the problems result from operator error (usually inexperience) and which problems result from generic bad design or inherent software problems. We do our best to gather a full range of pluses and minuses, pros and cons, and generate comparative evaluations. Some of these reports are listed below. If you need to print black-and-white, or if you do color with large areas of black within your image, you had better get these reports before you rush off to buy any printer. The Epson 9600 is especially outfitted to accomplish top quality in grayscale black-and-white photographs and fine art giclée.

PlotterSupplies does sell reconditioned Epson printers. If you wish a refurbished Epson printer, contact Michael E. Falagrady National Sales Manager Plotter Supplies, Inc./Qmax Digital toll-free: 800.365.3305 303.450.2900 fax: 303.450.0926 e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Every several years there is either a new Canon iPF printer or a new Epson or a new HP water-based printer that is made for giclee, decor, or fine art photography. It is hard to keep track of the advances in improved inks and color management features. FLAAR is keeping track by visiting giclee ateliers around the world that have these various brands. Each brand has its good points and a few issues and an occasional deficiency. 

Since FLAAR itself does not sell printers, for you to find out information on prices and availability of each model that can print fine art giclee well, we suggest you contact a company that offers all three brands: Canon, HP, and Epson. This way they are not going to push just one brand because they offer all three. Plus you need a company that has plenty of experience with fine art photographs, photo labs, and giclee atelier. 

If you are looking for a place that is not a box-pusher (meaning you want a place that provides service after the sale), then one place we know for many years is Parrot Digigraphic. Their telephone is 978.670.7766.


Last updated: November 7, 2003.
Previous updates: Sept. 23, 3003, Jan. 15, 2003, Oct 22, 2002, Jan 24, 2002.



The complete FLAAR Reports are in full-color PDF format. Our institute has comprehensive FLAAR Reports on over 73 different wide format inkjet printers, RIP software, color management, scanners, digital cameras and on countless markets such as wide format inkjet printers for photography, giclee, proofing, CAD, GIS, graphic design, signs, and specialty applications too. All FLAAR Reports by Dr Nicholas Hellmuth and his team are available on

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