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What's the scoop on Epson Pro 10000 and 10600 Print E-mail

The Epson 10600 is the Ultrachrome ink version of the Epson 10000. These have six inks (not seven as the 7600 and 9600). Although Epson is now at model number 10600, there are thousands of earlier model 10000 Stylus Pro printers on e-Bay and elsewhere. So it is worthwhile learning a bit about the model 10000.

The Epson Stylus Pro 10000 dye and 10000 archival ink wide format inkjet printers are a tad faster and better constructed than their predecessors, the Epson 9000 and 9500. In January 2001 Epson Japan already introduced this new model 10000. Since desktop models offered 2880 it had been presumed the new large format models would offer 2880 dpi with variable droplet size. Roland already offered variable droplet size last year, but at 1440 dpi.

In fact the Epson Stylus Pro 10000 lists only 720 x 1440 dpi (the actual printheads are 360 dpi; it’s software which allows rating dpi at 720). Thus this is not 2880 dpi, but that does not matter in the slightest. What counts is the speed and actual print quality. The prints we saw at CeBIT trade show looked very nice. The designation is the Epson Stylus Pro 10000 for the dye-based ink version; Epson Stylus Pro 10000 "arc" for the pigmented ink version. In Europe the brochures listed 10000 for dye and 10000cf for pigmented. I guess cf = color fast. In the USA the model designations are 10000 dye and 10000 "arc" for archival.

This Epson printer will be competition mainly for the Roland, Mimaki, and Mutoh. The slowness of piezo systems inhibits its acceptance in places that have Encad, Hewlett-Packard, or ColorSpan printers. ColorSpan also introduced a new printer recently, the X2 update to the ColorSpan DisplayMaker Mach 12. Both are very fast production printers for commercial print shops. But some people prefer an Epson printer no matter what.

With an Epson you do NOT always need a RIP if you print only photographs or fine art giclee prints. You need a RIP primarily if you require PostScript to eliminate the jaggies on text. If you do really large files, or operate a commercial company, you will eventually need a RIP for its extra layout and color management features. But if you intend to use an Epson printer in your home, or for a small retirement business, then you can start out with the bare printer and no RIP (presuming you never need to print text; text requires PostScript; PostScript implies having RIP software).

One person complained that his Onyx PosterShop RIP could not address certain features of his Epson printer. Evidently Epson restricts access. Not a good sign. Most other printer brands allow all RIPs to access all controls.

If this will be your first printer, then we have a special report that holds your hand and leads you through all the basic questions that will assist a first-time buyer of a large format printer. This is the FLAAR report on "RIP + Help." This explains what RIP software is, why this is useful, and includes tips, warnings, information, and help for a wide range of matters for a newbie. Here you will really appreciate that FLAAR is based at a university; Professor Hellmuth has plenty of experience writing in a manner that explains what you need, and why. You can fin this Report plus others in the FLAAR Premium Report Series on RIPs for Large Format Printer

No, we can't save you from printer problems that we don't know about, and yes, even the worst printer has some redeeming usefulness. Thus you need to make the final decision yourself. But at least we can provide plenty of helpful tips.

You can get factual information specifically on the Epson 10000 and newer 10600 from a professional source, Parrot Digigraphic. The Epson 10600 is readily available for shipment from Parrot.


Epson stylus pro 10000 parrot digigraphic
Epson 1440dpi stylus pro 10000 parrot digigraphic
Image from the FLAAR Photo Archive (of Mayan ceramic art) bring printed on Epson at Parrot Digigraphic.
Epson printer inspected by FLAAR at office of Parrot Digigraphic.



Last updated: Oct. 3, 2003
Previous updates: May 12, 2003,Dec. 9, 2001, Sept. 17, 2001, June 12, 2001, March 21, 2001 after CeBIT, First posted March 7, 2001



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