We have been running a Wasatch Rip for about 10 years, and have found it
does a good job for us. It's especially nice that it drives a wide
variety of printers, and can handle up to 4 at once, without additional
license fees. It's also pretty easy to set up and run, and has a good
method of setting up a color work flow that is really flexible. We
currently drive two HP 5000's with it, but have driven Rolands and
Encads in the past. We use it mostly for printing graphics panels for
portable displays and trade show exhibits. It's tiling, nesting and
scaling controls work well for us. It also handles spot color
replacement extremely well.
The only issue we have had has been using it's internal linearization,
and prefer to handle this step with our ICC profile making software. I'm
sure that with some time and effort, and tech support from Wasatch
(which is very good), we'd get to the bottom of it.
We also run a Mimaki with the Ergosoft RIP, and it does a good job for
us too. We have not upgraded it for some time, and probably suffer a bit
from that. Peter Supry of Ergosoft has consistently given us great
support with it. It's biggest drawback is the expense of adding
additional devices. We use it for banners and vinyl work for the most part.
I guess that the advice I would give you is to try to project a few
years ahead, and get a RIP that might handle what you'd like to be doing
then, as well as what you are doing now.
I do have the 4.5 version of the Wasatch SoftRip and I agree
that it is easy to set up and the 4 printer license is nice
too. On the other hand I see the RIP more and more developing
to sign industry use and more special niches while it didn't
add much that was useful for art and photography printing. I
begged them to add some features for B&W printing with quad
inksets but they do not aim at that part of the market. I also
asked them to add more linearising patches. I could tweak the
RIP to drive a hexatone inkset in an Epson 9000 but it asked a
warped logic to get that done. I have not upgraded since as
the RIP drifts away from the kind of work I do. Now I'm using
Qimage and the Epson driver + QTR for B&W. Does that kind of
work better than the Wasatch SoftRip.
I wonder however how good they implanted the Epson 9800 etc
driver in later versions. Is the black partitioned over the
three grey inks etc and can you feed it with greyscale files
that way or will it default to black only? Is the linearising
still based on 14 patches then ?
( unvollendet )
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