Printer Review: Epson Solvent S-Series One Year Later

    Last year I wrote a review describing my initial experience with the newest Epson Solvent SureColor S-Series printer, the S60600. You may recall that I could not find anything negative to write about it.

    Well, I figured one year and hundreds of prints later is a good time to give everyone an update on these solvent printers. On our tech support floor, we run more than 25 different wide format machines. We typically use them to run profiles for each printer/product combination. There are times when we print on both the Epson S60600 and the Epson S80600 continuously five days straight. But the next month, we’ll only use the once or twice a week.

    As a testing facility, we are a very odd user since we will have spells of not using a machine for some time, but that makes our situation prime for a review that is ideal to satisfy both types of users.

    LexJet has a wide variety of customers, so when I receive questions about a new purchase, it could come from a new owner who is starting an all new book of business or from an owner who is already established and is replacing or adding a new unit to a fleet of machines.

    If you fell into either of these situations before the arrival of the Epson Solvent S-Series last year, I would have a totally different printer suggestion for each of the users mentioned above, depending on usage, experience and job/product aspirations.

    But after one year of using both the S60600 and S80600 Epson S-Series printers, I can now attest that this is the best solvent printer technology available with regards to reliability, image durability, image detail/sharpness and color fidelity for either user mentioned above.

    From print to print, the Epson machines are extremely consistent. We are seeing that more customers coming from a photo/art production environment moving into solvent S80600s.  If you were to tell me five years ago that a solvent print would be approved by photographic/fine art consumers concerned with gamut and image quality and durability, I would have told you that we’d have a long wait to get to that point. We have arrived. But talk is cheap, and the proof is in the print. Ask us for a sample to see it for yourself.

    I’ve seen a second shift in productivity, as well. Normally, if a larger user was replacing two older printers, we’d sell them two new printers. However, with the speed of the S60600, we recommend customers buy this one printer to do the work of two older solvent printers. It’s great news that there’s now so much more speed available.

    The image quality of the S80600 and the speed and quality of the S60 have delivered beyond expectations, but what has changed a year later? I found one negative thing to write:

    Dear Epson, in the next generation of solvent printers, can you have a simple on/off for the light inside of the printer? The current light is on a 10-second timer, and I don’t like having to hit it to see my print. Literally, a light switch is all I’m complaining about.

    We have no maintenance issues, which is an amazing feat. We do once-a-month manual cleaning, and it keeps the printer pristine and running like a top.  We even let the S60600 go for four months with no cleanings, and the printer showed no signs of slowing or spitting ink (but don’t try this at home).

    At no point have I seen a loss of image quality mid-print thanks to the new maintenance and filtration system Epson added. Also, the additional pressure rollers help immensely with a multitude of materials from fabrics and canvas to films and more rigid papers, especially regarding feed accuracy and head strike issues that were inconsistent in the prior printer generations.

    I’m certainly not here to fluff, even though each article I write about these printers may make it seem so. For the doubters out there who are researching, come down to Florida and spend some time with us. I’ll give you the reins so you can feel great about your decision. I’m confident you’ll see what I see.


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