Epson Stylus Pro 4900 - Free!

March 02, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I follow several web forums online and recently I saw this post; Epson Stylus Pro 4900 - free. Needs some work. Must pickup in Connecticut. If you are not familiar with Epson printers, the x900 series is their current top of the line family. The 4900 is the "desktop" version - it pretty much takes over an entire desk - that prints roll or sheet paper up to seventeen inches wide. The x900 series is renown for its ability to produce nearly the entire visible light gamut with an impressive eleven color cartridge array. They are also renown for terrible head clogging problems if they are not used regularly and kept in carefully humidity-controlled environments. 

Connecticut is not that far from New Hampshire, so I reached out to the owner and inquired about the machine. Mark Savoia at Still River Editions, http://stillrivereditions.com/ quickly got back to me. He explained that the printer has clogs in at least five of the eleven colors and that since they are now typically printing larger than seventeen inches, they do not want to invest in repairing the machine. The clogged head pretty much rules out color printing unless I want to invest more than the original cost of the machine for a new head and a full set of color inks. No - I don't want to do that. However, six channels is more than enough for high quality black and white printing. 

I have been printing black and white images using a six channel Epson 1400 for many years. The results are very good and I have developed processes that work well on gloss and matte papers. I don't have a big need to print larger than the thirteen inches that the Epson 1400 can produce, but a seventeen inch capable machine would allow me print full size sixteen by twenty prints. Additionally, roll paper is quite a bit less expensive that cut sheet paper. Therefore, last Monday I made the roughly 150 mile drive down to Still River's shop in Danbury, Connecticut and picked up the machine. 

The machine is in very good condition and came with all the original accessories - even a hard copy of the user's manual. Over the next few weeks I'll get it fired up and see how bad the head issues really are. Once I have the necessary number of colors working properly, I'll begin working on adapting my black and white ink sets to the new machine. From there I may want to look at some other ink options that would further enhance my prints. It's going to be a bit of a journey and at this point I have no idea how well this is really going to work out. 

I'll keep you posted. This could be a ball or it could be a disaster. Either way, it's going to be educational and hey, life's for learning. 


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