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Sawgrass and MelcoJet DTG opinions

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Old September 23rd, 2008 Sep 23, 2008 9:04:48 AM -   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sawgrass and MelcoJet DTG opinions

Originally Posted by martinwoods
Hi JB, I am not sure if I read the post correctly because anajet is not sawgrass (which has the ink thing going) they have the advantage printer. Is that what you meant or did I totally misunderstand the post?
I deleted my post Teresa.I thought they were making the printer together. I'm sorry. .... JB
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Old September 23rd, 2008 Sep 23, 2008 11:49:26 AM -   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sawgrass and MelcoJet DTG opinions

Originally Posted by COEDS
I deleted my post Teresa.I thought they were making the printer together. I'm sorry. .... JB
No biggy, I just thought maybe I was reading it wrong. My friend got it
Old July 15th, 2009 Jul 15, 2009 4:44:28 PM -   #33 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sawgrass and MelcoJet DTG opinions

We would not recommend the MelcoJet. We visited the Melco road show in Atlanta GA last year and were really impressed with the demonstration of the Amaya XT and Melcojet.
We were not entirely new to embroidery or screen printing but direct to garment printing was new to us. We have an embroiderer working for us that has 15 plus years of embroidery experience and a trained graphic artist, so between all of us we felt confident in our abilities. We ordered 4 Amaya XT's and a melcojet and the headache's began.

The AmayaXTs are a great concept. In fact, since we are running our business out of our home, individual machines were really a good option for us. We had done our research, we thought, on Melco and the Amayas before we went to see them. There have been so many issues with the XT's that it would be ridiculous to attempt to cover them all in this venue. Melco goes on about their machines ability to sew caps. Not in our experience. We have had several designs that would not sew out on the Amayas but sewed out perfectly fine on other machines. From thread breaks to registration issues to their inability to sew in as large an area as other machines....the Amayas DO NOT sew on caps well at least not with the hat frames that were sold to us. Our embroiderer has never seen or experienced anything like it, and she has worked on several other types of embroidery machines. We were eventually told the hat frames that were sold to us when we purchased the machines were poorly constructed and that we should upgrade our hat frames. I contacted melco mart and asked if we could be provided with a demo of their better hat frame ($245.00 cost) and if it worked we would buy it. I was told that we could purchase it and if we returned it we would be charged a restocking fee. We did not do this. I found a 3rd party source, bought a similar hat frame for $225.00. This vendor provided a 30 day money back guarantee, with no restocking fee. We have only had this hat frame for a couple of weeks but can see a big difference. We were led to believe by tech support that the issues with the hats were our fault and that we did not know what we were doing. Sewing flats has its regular issues as well. The Amaya operating system is very problematic. The software often crashes for no apparent reason. A machine will just stop in the middle of a design and the only way to get it back up is to shut it down and reboot. Those of you who embroider know that, in most cases, the garment it was in the middle of sewing is lost at this point. Melco tech support would tell us a different thing depending on who we spoke with. We were running the machines too fast, too slow...use manual mode, use automatic mode...presser foot height should be two clicks up for flats, presser foot height should be all the way down. We realized there would be a learning curve but this experience has gone well beyond that. We have established somewhat of a working relationship with the AmayaXTs at this point. However, if we had it to do all over again, I doubt we would have made the same vendor choice.

As far as the Melcojet, do not buy it!!! Our first one never worked correctly from day one. We were provided on-site training, but even that did not help. We have learned over the past several months that the MelcoJet requires several other "tools" that did not come with it, such as syringes and the adapters for the syringes for siphoning, pre-treatment tools etc. The daily, weekly and monthly maintenance requirements do not even come close to what was demonstrated at the show. But even with that, if the machine actually worked, it might be worth it. However, this is not the case. After spending hours on the phone with tech support, being made to feel incompetent, calling/complaining and finally talking with a supervisor, Melco agreed to take the machine back to inspect it. We were impressed when they offered us a loaner in the interim. We were told it should only take about a week to trouble shoot our machine. After not hearing back from anyone after 3 weeks, we called Melco to inquire. We then discovered that Melco had lost our original machine. The loaner worked better than our original, but never worked like the one we saw at the Atlanta show. The black nozzle has never fired at 100%. It takes hours of troubleshooting to get it begin printing well. This is for repeated or new designs. The cost of the ink is horrendous and the machine goes through it like water with the recommended Melco settings. Basically the machine is a $15,000 paperweight. We have spent thousands of dollars and weeks of time and made NO money from it. It has gotten so bad that other than the maintenance, the machine is avoided. Every so ofter we get optimistic and decide to try again to use it. Today it was the magenta line that would not print. After hours of troubleshooting, siphoning, purging and cleaning on our own, we were forced to call Melco tech support once again. We were instructed to do the same stuff that we had already done. The tech then informed us that the problem was either the print head or damper, neither of which are covered under the warranty. Go figure... we have not had the MelcoJet a year and one of the most expensive pieces on it has gone bad. Also since this was a "loaner" machine, it was not new to begin with. Several months ago we asked for the names of users...any reference that was actually using the MelcoJet in a production setting, and were told that such information could not be released.

All in all, our relationship with Melco and their equipment has not been a good one. We are extremely disappointed in our purchases. Judging from the length of time we are now on hold for tech support...we are not the only ones having problems.
Old July 18th, 2009 Jul 18, 2009 3:37:36 PM -   #34 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sawgrass and MelcoJet DTG opinions

We have the Sawgrass Direct advantage printer and we're very happy with it. We invested a load of time to compare the print quality of several machines and we preferred the level of detail we got from the Direct Advantage. In our opinion the only other printers that achieved the same level of detail was the Kornit and the Brother. The Kornit was out of price range and the Brother didn't provide the flexibilty we were looking for. Sawgrass has been great with service. Whenever we've had any issues they've been quick to resolve. We haven't had any major issues with our printer in the year and a half we've had it. All the best for your business.
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Old September 22nd, 2009 Sep 22, 2009 8:53:46 AM -   #35 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sawgrass and MelcoJet DTG opinions

Originally Posted by vancesmom
I am sorry to say that I own a Sawgrass. I am hoping to hear from some other people who do also. I have owned it for about 4-5 months and Sawgrass has replaced the machine three times. I have had to do two other repairs to the machine with parts that they have sent to me. I am now in negotiations about how they are going to either fix or refund my money on the current machine. I have yet to have a machine that will print more than 100 shirts. I liked the quality, but, with no production I can't make customers happy!! Looking forward to hearing from some other Sawgrass owners.
I am feeling some of your pain, VancesMom. I purchased my Direct Advantage Printer last Nov and its been a pretty bumpy road since I've owned it. Like you, I had to send the printer back to Sawgrass in June to replace the entire ink delivery system (nozzle, channels, the works). My current problem is with white ink. Despite regular cleaning and maintenance, the white ink has stopped printing (though my CMYK colors are working fine). The nozzle check shows that the positions for white ink are completely clogged. After doing one power clean (which was recommended by customer service when I spoke to them) they now want me to do another one. So right now, I can't print darks until I resolve this issue (I think the nozzle needs to be replaced which would be a shame since it was just installed new back in June). When printing, its great!! From a clarity and resolution perspective, I think the Direct Advantage is the best on the market. My customers love the print! But, it can't print if the machine is down. And right now, I can only print on white/light colored garments.

The one thing I will say is that Sawgrass customer service is helpful. But I am starting to wonder if I was hoodwinked.

Like you, I'm curious to hear anyone else's story.

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