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Discussion, tips, pictures, reviews and peer to peer support for current and future Brother GT-541 and Brother GT-782 DTG owners.



Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

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Old January 22nd, 2008 Jan 22, 2008 5:39:58 AM -   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

I also have a Brother, had it about a year and a half and it is great. No problems
I have printed as dark as military green and it looks great
I also wish it printed white ink, but at least I do not have to worry if it IS going to print, because it prints always. We wer just away in October for a month, came back and pushed the print button, no problems
 
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Old January 22nd, 2008 Jan 22, 2008 10:02:22 AM -   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

We've had the Brother since Sep 2005.

As mentioned by a previous poster, we also had to purchase an ink head due to not monitoring humidity. That has been the only technical issue we could not solve with cleaning the print heads. (The smallest piece of fuzz results in banding.)

For printing on darks, we use plastisol transfers or for full color use Transfer Express' new Digiprints or contract printing by a Kornit Co. (contractdtg.com). We charge high prices for either of those options because they cost more and should. In fact, for some printing on lights we use transfers if the volume and no. of colors doesn't make DTG pricing competive. (We don't short-sell the uniquiness of no color limits, no seperations required, full gradients and so on.)

Like mentioned, there was no white ink machine that would pass our wash test standards. (There was no Kornit then or at least I didn't see one or it wasn't as perfected or something. I don't know that I wouldn't stick with the Brother even if I was shopping in today's market.) But the speed of printing was probably the No. 1 selling point.

Nothing beats the File --> Print simplicity of the Brother and it is a solid machine that gives us no worries.
 
Old January 22nd, 2008 Jan 22, 2008 6:35:41 PM -   #18 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

We purchased the Brother GT541 in November 2007 and the print count shows 1600 prints in 2 months. Best piece of equipment we have purchased so far. They delivered it, set it up in 1 hr. Immediately we started printing a 700 piece order L/chest and Full Back on Whites. 3 bad shirts and that was our fault. Not a bad scrap percentage, if you ask me.

This printer ROCKS. We had the TJet2 for 2+ years and had multiple mishaps as to no fault of ours. We wanted the white upgrade so bad and used it several times and gave up.

My only wish is that we had bought this 2+ years ago when it premiered. This printer is truely the best and easiest to use that I have seen so far and we attend several shows a year to see what is new. The white isn't ready yet for any printer except maybe the Kornit and who has that kind of money to put down for smaller shops.

Kudos to Brother on this one.

~Annette~
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Old January 23rd, 2008 Jan 23, 2008 5:16:13 AM -   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewmuchstuff
We purchased the Brother GT541 in November 2007 and the print count shows 1600 prints in 2 months. Best piece of equipment we have purchased so far. They delivered it, set it up in 1 hr. Immediately we started printing a 700 piece order L/chest and Full Back on Whites. 3 bad shirts and that was our fault. Not a bad scrap percentage, if you ask me.

.....

~Annette~

We are looking at possibly making the investment in these printers. I have seen some say that these are for short runs and is cost prohibitive/time prohibitive for larger runs. Yet I have seen some people use these large runs such as above.

Where is the break on cost and time that you would goto contract screen printing or plastisol transfers? I am trying to do a ROI on this printer and currently I am only planning on short runs and event use with it. But if it makes sense to do larger runs then I can modify my ROI.
 
Old January 24th, 2008 Jan 24, 2008 6:41:49 AM -   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

I have a DTG kiosk from SWF EAST in Tampa FL. I have had great customer service and yes it does print on dark if you have the machine set for white ink. Love it. Good Luck Karen
 
Old February 2nd, 2008 Feb 2, 2008 7:09:38 AM -   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

Quote:
Originally Posted by brentonchad
We are looking at possibly making the investment in these printers. I have seen some say that these are for short runs and is cost prohibitive/time prohibitive for larger runs. Yet I have seen some people use these large runs such as above.

Where is the break on cost and time that you would goto contract screen printing or plastisol transfers? I am trying to do a ROI on this printer and currently I am only planning on short runs and event use with it. But if it makes sense to do larger runs then I can modify my ROI.
Well that is something you can figure as you go. Avg. L/chest is around 45-55 cents of ink on the Brother. Full back is around $1 if you are printing a 13x15 print. White shirts avg. price $1.09. So you have approx. $2.50 cost in the shirt. Labor to print the shirts - we use college kids, $7 an hour. Avg. prints for an hour of work is around 40-45 shirts. (We don't rush them as more mistakes happen when someones is hurrying) Sell the shirts for around $8 ea. Pretty good ROI if you ask me. So its not really a quantity question as to turn-around time and profitability. No screen or setup charges on a DTG as in screen printing or transfers.

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Old March 13th, 2008 Mar 13, 2008 11:00:06 AM -   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

I just came upon your post re: the Brother GT-541. I'm wondering if you purchased it. We too are considering purchasing one. The only problem I'm having, is I can't find anywhere the cost of the ink cartridges. Does anyone have that information?
 
Old March 13th, 2008 Mar 13, 2008 11:12:47 AM -   #23 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

The ink cartridges are $200 each.
 
Old March 13th, 2008 Mar 13, 2008 11:29:19 AM -   #24 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrownocp
I just came upon your post re: the Brother GT-541. I'm wondering if you purchased it.
No, not yet. We are really conflicted as to the Brother verus another model that does white ink. I like that the Brother has great reviews on this forum, but the lack of the white ink limits what shirts I can sell. Also, the cost of the ink gives me a little concern. On the other hand, if I get a machine that does use white ink, then there are generally more maintenance issues, but the cost of the inks are cheaper. Also, I've heard that the Brother print heads can only print up to something like 600 dpi, whereas the Epson print heads, which are also less costly to replace, and print at much higher resolutions. I really need to get to a show & see each machine in action, but it's now down to either the Brother, or HM1. I heard great things about the support from SWF East, so that's a plus.
Sign me.....
"Still Undecided, but close"
 
Old March 13th, 2008 Mar 13, 2008 1:21:03 PM -   #25 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdsales
No, not yet. We are really conflicted as to the Brother verus another model that does white ink. I like that the Brother has great reviews on this forum, but the lack of the white ink limits what shirts I can sell. Also, the cost of the ink gives me a little concern. On the other hand, if I get a machine that does use white ink, then there are generally more maintenance issues, but the cost of the inks are cheaper. Also, I've heard that the Brother print heads can only print up to something like 600 dpi, whereas the Epson print heads, which are also less costly to replace, and print at much higher resolutions. I really need to get to a show & see each machine in action, but it's now down to either the Brother, or HM1. I heard great things about the support from SWF East, so that's a plus.
Sign me.....
"Still Undecided, but close"
Sounds like you have done your homework. I just would not get that hung up on the resolution thing. Because of the fabric, t-shirts can only hold so much resolution and most people don't print more than 1440 x 1440. Unless you put them side-by-side, the average consumer is not really going to notice.

The bigger things to think about is the ability to print white ink or not, the cost of the ink vs. the amount of maintenance / reliability and whether you need / want to move the printer around. Answer those questions and you will have the correct choice for your business.

Best of luck.

Mark
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Old March 13th, 2008 Mar 13, 2008 1:54:30 PM -   #26 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

The things I like about the HM-1 is that it can be setup for dual CYMK (no white ink), and then changed over later when I'm ready & confident enough. Also, it appears fairly portable, is less than the Brother, and ink is cheaper. White ink for me right now is not an issue, but it would be great to know that when I'm ready, so is my machine. With the Brother, I hear it's really fast, prints great, and once again, of all of the models mentioned in this forum, there seems to be more people with Brothers than HM-1 (guess because it's been around longer), and everyone sings it's praise. Moving it, though, is somewhat of an issue, as there's no definate answer as to if it's really OK, or not. I'm going to reserve final judgement until I see both in action, and keep watching this forum.
 
Old March 13th, 2008 Mar 13, 2008 2:06:33 PM -   #27 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

fdsales, You are right where I'm at and you are down to the same two machines. I was looking into the T-jet Blazer Express or the refurbished T-jet 2(so much cheaper). But after reading so many bad posts on the T-Jets I'm a little scared. Does anyone know how much the DTG kiosk with white ink are selling for? I'm going to the trade show in Minn. on March 28-29 so I will get to see the Brother, T-Jets, and DTG run. Hoping this will make my mind up for me.
 
Old March 13th, 2008 Mar 13, 2008 2:19:37 PM -   #28 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

I paid $17000 for my HM1 but I think the price may have come down a little bit, also at the show you will get a much better price and lots of extras.
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Old March 13th, 2008 Mar 13, 2008 2:29:21 PM -   #29 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

Trying contacting Don @ SWF East for pricing. He is a frequent forum member, and he can answer all your questions. Perhaps he may pop in here.....
I had also considered the refurbished TJet 2, as the price as $10,000, but for about 6,000 more, I could get a new system. I just perfer new; every piece of "refurbished" equipment I have purchased over the past 23 years had some issues (lets face it, it's still used).
From all I have read here, it seems the most reliable machine is the Brother; the best support has been Don @ SWF EAST & also Equipment Zone. I had a bad experience w/ US Screen so unfortunately there are not in my short list, but it appears by at least a few forum members, that their new Blazer model is a vast improvement over previous TJet models. I really like the Brother, but I know that I'm going to want white ink, and as much as I've read about white ink issues/pretreatment, I really feel that it's really, really close to getting almost perfected. So my thinking is that if I have a dual CMYK machine for now, and then when I think "white is right for me", I can just switch over on the same machine.
 
Old March 14th, 2008 Mar 14, 2008 5:15:05 AM -   #30 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking to purchase Brother GT541 Need Input

When and if white gets perfected it most likely will not be a system that could be retrofitted.Just my 2cents
 






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