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Re: Alps printer



Georgie,

Hi. I really like this printer. I got it in January, as soon as I could,
because I was enrolled in a graduate bookmaking class here in Texas. I
thought I'd probably use it to make books and I certainly did.

> Is it incredibly slow? The ink
> cartridges seem to be inexpensive, but are they really? Is the printer
> picky about papers? Could you print 80lb. text?

It's slower than a laser printer, faster than my HP 560C ink-jet, but
not by much. It makes four passes through the printer, registration has
been excellent, except for heavy, high gloss paper...it squirms around a
little. I've run Strathmore Writing Cover Bristol (about 80lb) through
it. Works pretty well. The main drawback is that since it doesn't spray
ink onto/into a paper surface, it needs a smoother finished surface to
make really crisp text. At 600X1200 dpi, the stuff looks very close to
offset printing!

I've experimented with a lot of papers and determined that it likes
lightly coated stock. The best paper I've used is (sadly) the Hammermill
Laserprint, a premium laser printer paper. I'm using it as a benchmark
to find other papers. I just finished a project where I printed a
vermillion color text onto an etching paper, Lana Gravure --250 GSM,
with no problem. The clients were knocked out by the sharp, colored
text.

Cartridges are a bit of an Achilles heel. I found that in a "production"
mode the cartridges sometimes jam, or (worse) break. The manual warns
about the printer getting hot. I don't know if that was my problem or
not. It was using a heavy vellum paper that also had a tendency to jam
the printer, sometimes taking a cartridge "out" with it.  I've gotten
pretty good at repairing the broken ink tapes in the cartridges. I might
try to return some to the manufacturer. Under less demanding
circumstances the printer doesn't seem to mind a heavier paper...I guess
it gets tired <grin>.

The heavier the paper, the greater the chance of problems. I had to
baby-sit the printer during the 800+ sheets that I ran through it. At
$6-7 dollars a color the costs are probably less than for a comparable
ink-jet, especially on uncoated, rough paper...the ink really soaks into
these! On my  eleven books I went through $200.00 worth of cartridges,
but over half of that was the metallic silver-the most expensive, least
capacity cartridge. It printed on every page and was really beautiful.
There's not another printer that can do that.

There are other aspects of the printer I like as well--it will allow for
multi-pass printing. I used this to print 4 color and metallic on the
same paper.  Again, that's really something other printers can't offer.
I'm really sold on the printer. I still like the "look" of my HP
printer, but for the permanence and other features, the Alps can't be
beat.

good luck

Darryl


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