-Review- 

Dye Sublimation Ink Comparison Chart
Cost per ML

by Larry Cohn, June 21, 2001
Last Updated May 1, 2002

Ink Type

Printer Model

  Subli-Trans
Wholesale Ink 
  Sublibrite II -
Color Factory
  Laser
Reproductions
  Rotech-Digital -
US Sublimation
  ArTainium -
Tropical Graphics
  Sublijet -
Sawgrass Systems
  Ultra-Color -
Gold Eagle  
  ml Cost Unit
Cost
ml Cost Unit
Cost
ml Cost Unit
Cost
ml Cost Unit
Cost
  ml Cost Unit
Cost
ml Cost Unit
Cost
ml Cost Unit
Cost
Epson 800/850/1520 Black   25 50.00 2.00   26 40.00 1.54   25 49.95 2.00   25 49.50 1.98   25 49.50 1.98   25 133.00 5.32   24 50.00 2.08
Epson 800/850/1520 Color   45 50.00 1.11   39 40.00 1.03   45 49.95 1.11   39 67.50 1.73   45 49.50 1.10   36 72.00 2.00   39 50.00 1.28
Epson 900/980 Black   35 80.00 2.29   34 50.00 1.47   35 49.95 1.43   36 59.95 1.67   35 49.50 1.41   35 184.50 5.27   34 68.00 2.00
Epson 900/980 Color   75 74.95 1.00   72 50.00 .69   75 49.95 .67   72 74.95 1.04   75 49.50 .66   69 104.50 1.51   72 68.00 .94
Epson 900/980 bulk ink system 
(initial ink order)*
          510
990
400.00
620.00
.78
.63
  510
910
480.00
700.00
.94
.77
  See Bulk Prices           340 549.99 1.61        
Epson 900/980 bulk ink system
(refill, black or color)
          100
220
70.00
125.00
.70
.57
  100
200
70.00
125.00
.70
.63

See Bulk Prices           85 137.25 1.61        
Epson 1270/1280/1290 Black             18 60.00 3.33   25 65.00 2.60   18 64.00 3.55   20 65.00 3.25                  
Epson 1270/1280/1290 Color            75 90.00 1.20   75 75.00 1.00   75 74.00 .98   75 75.00 1.00                  
Epson 1270/1280/1290  bulk ink 
system (initial ink order)****
           693
1293
600.00
930.00
.86
.71
  700
1300
660.00
990.00
.94
.76
  See Bulk Prices   See Bulk Prices   510 823.50 1.61         
Epson 1270/1280/1290 bulk ink 
system (refill, black or color)****
           100
220
70.00
125.00
.70
.57
  100
200
70.00
125.00
.70
.63
  See  Bulk Prices   See Bulk Prices   85 137.25 1.61         
Epson 3000 Black or Color   100 90.00 .90   100 70.00 .70   100 70.00 .70   110 72.95 .66   100 72.95 .73   85** 137.25 1.61   110 82.00 .75
3000 Extended/9000 Black or Color   200 149.75 .75   220 125.00 .57   200 125.00 .63   220 144.95 .66   200 144.95 .72   165** 211.25 1.28   215 163.00 .76
Epson 3000 bulk ink system
(initial ink order)*
                          See Bulk Prices           2000 1980.00 .99        
Epson 3000 bulk ink system
(refill, black or color)
                          See Bulk Prices           500 495.00 .99        
Bulk***    118 76.70 .65                   125 58.00 .46   125 58.00 .46           125 75.00 .60
    472 306.80 .65                   250 110.00 .44   250 110.00 .44           250 135.00 .54
    1888 1038.40 .55                   500 208.00 .42   500 208.00 .42           500 250.00 .50
    3776 1888.00 .50                   1000 395.00 .40   1000 395.00 .40           1000 475.00 .48
Mutoh Falcon Black or Color                           220 144.95 .66           220 211.25 .96        
Encad Pro/ProE/500 Black or Color                                           1000 612.15 .61        

*The initial cost of the required bulk ink system apparatus is not included in the above costs with the exception of the "Tanks Alot" system by The Color Factory and the "ColorRite Continuous Flow Ink Systemt" by Laser Reproductions.

The Sawgrass bulk ink system apparatus for the 900/980 is called the "Quick Connect" and the cost is $279, not including ink.  This system for the 3000 is called the "Epson 3000 Refill System" and costs $500 not including ink.

The US Sublimation bulk ink system apparatus for the 900/980 is called "Jetblaster" and the cost is $125.  This system for the 3000 is $425, not including ink.  The ink for the Jetblaster bulk system can be any of the bulk ink size choices that US Sublimation offers.

US Sublimation and The Color Factory also offer bulk ink systems for the 800/850/1520 printers.

** Estimated, based on user measurement in grams, then converted to milliliters based on a conversion factor of 1 to 1.

***Bulk ink delivery systems are available from U.S. Sublimation, as well as other vendors such as M.I.S. Associates, which will allow you to use any brand of bulk ink in any of the above printers.

****For the 1280 printer bulk ink setups, the cost of the bulk apparatus is not included in the initial, except for the 1280 "ColorRite Continuous Flow Ink System" by Laser Reproductions and the 1280 "Tanks-Alot" system by The Color Factory.

For both the Laser Reproductions and The Color Factory bulk systems, you need to order a software reset CD called "The Equalizer" from M.I.S. Associates, for $20. http://www.inksupply.com  This CD allows you to reset the chips in the internal carts so that you can use the bulk system.

Tropical Graphics does not sell a 1280 Bulk Setup directly; they recommend the "Niagara" N-1270 Bulk Setup by MediaStreet, $235, not including the ink.  http://www.mediastreet.com/cgi-bin/tame/mediastreet/niagra.tam

Sawgrass charges $279 for their bulk apparatus for their 1280 Quick-Connect System, not including the ink.

U.S.Sublimation charges $269 for their bulk apparatus, not including the ink.

Additional information about the Epson 1280 can be seen in the article "The Epson 1280 Printer Is Here and Going Strong!"

NOTES: All costs are in U.S. Dollars.  Quantity discounts not taken into account, only single unit pricing is shown.

Data derived from the vendor websites as posted on 6/20/01, (with updates through 8/7/01) and from phone conversations with Kurt De Young, Sawgrass Systems, Rich Foltz, U.S. Sublimation and Bob Smith, The Color Factory between 6/20 and  8/7/01.  Additional updates to pricing have been added on:  10/9/01, 2/24/02, 5/1/02

The above volume fill per dollar comparisons do not necessarily directly correlate to yield. Many other factors affect yield, such as driver ink limiting, frequency of required clean cycles, color correction driver performance, and wasted ink in the tri-color sets when one color runs out. The fill volumes on the 850 and 900 cart sets by Sawgrass are based on Kurt De Young's comment to me that they are filled exactly to OEM fill spec. I did the best job I could to come up with an accurate OEM fill volume spec, although Epson's corporate office would not divulge those numbers.

Copyright ©2002 Larry Cohn. All rights reserved. 
Please contact me if there are any errors, at unhappyguy@hotmail.com

Posting and updating of this chart at http://www.dyesub.org is provided by Cherie Derrick who can be reached at cherie@dyesub.org.  Much of the research data for this chart has been made possible through the cooperation and help of many fine members of the Dye Sublimation and Specialty Imprinting forum currently located at http://www.delphi.com/sublimation/start 

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