Epson Stylus Pro 9600, 9400, 7600, 7400, 4000
Epson 7600 or 4000 - which is best for
Some comments on the pros and cons of the
4000 vs the 7600
PROS on the Epson 4000:
Costs less than the Epson 7600.
17" wide format, although only 4" wider
than the Epson 2200, 17 inches does allow one to now print the popular 16"
x 20" format and have at least a 1/2" border all the way around. The
standard 17x22 has 51% more image area than the standard 13x19 format.
The 4000 is between 1.7 and 1.9 times
faster than the 7600 (because it has 180 nozzles per color vs. the 7600's
96 nozzles per color).
It has a slightly smaller foot print
than the 7600.
Auto switching between Matte Black and
Photo Black ink modes is a feature than many will appreciate. To switch
black ink modes on the 7600 wastes time and about $100 worth of ink.
If you're not a photographer or other
artist who needs 7 ink colors, the option of having an Engineering Bundle
with the Dual CMYK print engine configuration is pretty cool and speedy
(up to 1.9 times faster than the photographic model, which is already 1.7
to 1.9 times faster than the 7600).
The Epson 4000 has all of the large ink
cartridge (110 ml or 220 ml size) economy of the 7600 -- only about 50
cents per square foot for ink costs, compared to about $2.00 to $2.50 for
the Epson 2200. (Ink cost based on averaged photographic image densities.)
The Epson 4000 has a paper tray. The
7600 does not have a paper tray or a stack loader. It can only print
sheets by loading one at a time. Both printers can print from rolls. The
4000 can also print one sheet at a time, allowing for the use of heavy and
thick art papers, just like the 7600. Both allow up to 1.5mm thick (60
Most artists won't need RIP software for
use with their Photoshop images, but if you do (for vector and PostScript
files), the Epson Stylus Professional 2.0 Software RIP is only $299 for
the 4000. You'll pay $1995 for the EFI Fiery Spark Professional 2 Software
RIP for the 7600. The least expensive 3rd party RIP for the 7600 is $995.
The 4000 comes with FireWire
connectability built in. On the 7600 you'll need to pay $199 for an
accessory FireWire card.
We think the service costs might be
lower for the 4000 because of another advantage it has over the 7600: The
4000 has "Auto Head Alignment & Nozzle Check Technology". A built-in white
beam sensor precisely aligns and checks all color channels automatically.
This means fewer service calls from inexperienced users.
Epson is claiming that the 4000 has even
more accurate "Professional Level ICC Profiles" that give "extremely
accurate color out of the box".
CONS on the Epson 4000:
It is limited to 17" wide. Many do not
consider a printer to be "wide-format" unless it is at least 24" wide. The
standard 24x30 format has almost twice the image area (92% more) of the
No "dye" ink option (which is not much
of a problem in our opinion, as we think dye is a dying option).
An internal 10/100 Base T Ethernet card
for the 4000 is $299. It is $239 for the 7600
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