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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is an account of my experience in purchasing a DTG for my Retail Business. I have been studying DTG for over 4 years but never puller the trigger until now. In reading numerous threads on this site and others, this is a question that gets asked a lot, so I thought I would share my experience in the hopes that it will benefit someone looking to take the DTG plunge.:rolleyes:


First a little about my situation. I have a Brick and Mortar Retail store in Las Vegas. I am already doing shirts, with a Roland Versacamm for Full Color and 1 color vinyl and a SG800 Virtuoso Printer to do Sublimation, so I am familiar with the Industry. I was looking to supplement my T-Shirt business by adding DTG, because I lose business :mad: when customers “feel” the Vinyl print or realize they can’t have the “feel” of sublimation on black or dark shirts. I needed something to keep them from going elsewhere…and that is where DTG fits for me. Most of my Customers order less than 3 dozen shirts, but if they want more and it’s a simple design, then I am connected with a Screen Printer that charges me “contract” pricing. So enough about me, lets get to the search. Keep in mind everything you read is my opinion based on my experience (your results may vary).


First let me say that I had absolutely no interest in a “re-purposed” printer. I wear too many hats at my store to add “DTG Repairman” to the long list. I wanted a brand name printer from a reputable distributor. So, I contacted 7 suppliers in late June to early July to get info and send them some artwork for them to print me a sample (12” x 14” on a black shirt). I wanted to get everything together by August 1st, because I planned on making my purchase at the Long Beach NBM Show. Here is the list of the Distributors (in no particular order) and the result I received from each.


Distributors for the EPSON F2100
EQUIPMENT ZONE
They were the only ones to not only send me my print on a black T, but also their own print on a white T. The Rep was very helpful and got me all of the info I asked for. They used Garment Creator to do my print and the cost estimate was $3.65 and took 3:45 to print.


DTG MART
They got me my sample very quickly and were in constant contact with me about the shirt. After talking with them about the print, they sent me another shirt that was printed in High Resolution mode so I could see the difference. They used Kothari and the estimate was $2.07 and took 2:45 to print. The hi res print was $2.39 and 4:15 and the print was a little brighter.


MELCO
I contacted them through their website and an email and no one ever contacted me back. Also, they were not at the NBM Show for me to ask questions. I would not recommend them based on my experience.



IT SUPPLIES
Same as Melco, no one got back to me. However, they were at the NBM Show and I went to a class they sponsored. They were nice and knowledgeable, but I couldn’t get past the no call back. You might get a different result, but I was disappointed.


Distributors for Other Printers
OMNIPRINT – FREEJET 330TX+
They sent me a print on a cotton shirt and a polyester shirt. After 2 wash tests the cotton shirt was breaking up and after 5 washes looked terrible. When I contacted them about it they said they would send me another shirt. I got it in, washed it twice and had the same bad results. When I showed it to them at the Trade Show, they tried to take it from me :eek: so I wouldn’t show it to the other Dealers. However, the poly shirt was very nice and has washed up very well. But unless you’re just going to print on poly only, then I wouldn’t trust this printer. Plus, (no pun intended) it is $6000 more than the F2100 and it is way slower. Cotton print cost $2.29 at 3:47, Poly cost $4.95 at 6:21. To me…not worth it.


HIRSCH SOLUTIONS – BROTHER GTX
Contacted them and went through the preliminary process. Sent them my file to have a sample printed and never heard from them. Tried calling to get an update and never got a return call. Visited them at the NBM Show and was not impressed with their Customer Service. The feeling I got from them, was that their new printer is so “fast” that nothing else matters. Which to me is their way of diverting the focus from their high cost in white ink waste. #Not4me:(


KATANA
Even though this seemed more like a DIY DTG, I read good things so I thought I would contact them. I did a request on their website, didn’t get a response, called them and didn’t get a response, so I gave up. Two weeks after the initial contact, Justin called me while “traveling” and said that he just got the contact info. I told him it was two weeks old, but he didn’t seem to think that was a big deal. I went over with him my situation and asked if they would be at the NBM Show, he said they don’t do Trade Shows but he had customers in Vegas with their printer and he would contact them when he got off the road and set-up a time for me to visit them. That was almost 4 weeks ago and I haven’t heard from him. I guess it’s a long road. :confused:



So, after all of my research, samples, discussions and reading a whole lot of threads, I decided on the Epson F2100. But now, which Distributor? I narrowed that down to Equipment Zone and DTG Mart prior to going to the NBM Show. I visited them both and spent quite a bit of time with each one over the course of 2 days. While I felt that either one was going to be a good choice, my deciding factor boiled down to picking a Distributor that was a “one stop shop”. I had done just as much research on the Pre-Treat Machines (don’t want to go into detail here) and definitely wanted the Pearl PTM. I also already own a Hotronix, so I wanted my Hover Press to be a Hotronix as well so I could use the same platens. Finally, I did a lot of research into the RIP (don’t want to go into detail here) and was set on the C-Breeze. The only Distributor that carried them all was…DTG Mart. I had a very good experience with both and depending on your situation you may choose differently. But DTG Mart was the choice for me and now I’m looking forward to my Training on the 18th. :)



I know this was very long, but hopefully it had some helpful information that can be used by someone in a similar situation. After my Training, I may do an update…depending on how this is received. Thanks to a lot of you out there as some of my research was done on these very pages! :D
 

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First of all, the printer itself has nothing to do with the durability of the printed shirt.

If you use the same ink and pretreatment with all of these printers, you will get the same results.

Also the skill and experience of the operator is also very important, as is the T-shirt itself. Not all t-shirts print the same. You can have two 100% cotton t-shirts printed by the same printer, and get different results. Sometimes even the same model t-shirt from different suppliers will give different results.


I had the F2000 for around a year, and I had the opportunity to compare it with a much cheaper Polyprint TexJet, and a really cheap Epson P800 conversion. Using the same inks and pretreatment, all these printers produced the same results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First of all, the printer itself has nothing to do with the durability of the printed shirt.

If you use the same ink and pretreatment with all of these printers, you will get the same results..

Also the skill and experience of the operator is also very important, as is the T-shirt itself. Not all t-shirts print the same. You can have two 100% cotton t-shirts printed by the same printer, and get different results. Sometimes even the same model t-shirt from different suppliers will give different results.


I had the F2000 for around a year, and I had the opportunity to compare it with a much cheaper Polyprint TexJet, and a really cheap Epson P800 conversion. Using the same inks and pretreatment, all these printers produced the same results.

I'm not sure what any of that has to do with my buying experience. However, I've read a lot of your posts and know that you are one that I rarely if ever agree with. You immediately contradict yourself by stating that, "If you use the same ink and pretreatment with all of these printers, you will get the same results." Then say "You can have two 100% cotton t-shirts printed by the same printer, and get different results. Sometimes even the same model t-shirt from different suppliers will give different results.":confused: Also, you are not going to use the same ink in an F2100 as a Freejet or a Brother. Your statement that an F2000, a TexJet and P800 would produce the same results is absolutely absurd. It's false information like that, that misleads new DTG printers and that is why I wanted to share my experience.


After the Pre-Treat process, the RIP Software is the next biggest factor in getting quality prints. So, you can have the exact same printer and get a wide variety of results just by changing your RIP. Using C-Breeze or Kothari is going to give completely different results (based on the settings) than using Garment Creator. If you're looking into DTG make sure to read multiple threads so you can see the "users" that are helpful and the one's that are not.
 

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You immediately contradict yourself by stating that, "If you use the same ink and pretreatment with all of these printers, you will get the same results." Then say "You can have two 100% cotton t-shirts printed by the same printer, and get different results. Sometimes even the same model t-shirt from different suppliers will give different results."
No I don't. The variable in this example is obviously the shirt. Two 100% cotton shirts may be of a different brand, model, color, or even just supplier... all of which can affect the result. Personally, I never had the "different supplier" issue, but there are others in this forum who had.


After the Pre-Treat process, the RIP Software is the next biggest factor
We agree then, as I was talking about the printer, the hardware itself, which is obviously the least important factor in regards to print durability. The F2100 is definitely the best DTG printer for a beginner who doesn't know anything about garment printing, and I have said so in other threads. I have nothing against Epson, or the suppliers you mention.

Also, you are not going to use the same ink in an F2100 as a Freejet or a Brother.
This forum is full of GTX, F2000, and pretty much every other printer brand owners, using Firebird, Image Armor, and DuPont inks.


our statement that an F2000, a TexJet and P800 would produce the same results is absolutely absurd.
I've tried it... Have you?
 

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Hi Steve,

for sure you considered a lot more distributors than my self, but I want to say that my experience and decision is very similar as yours, including Katana, I'm also set with DTG Mart, I'm just not totally ready yet, but's where I'm getting mine, great guys there, they're very responsive.

Thanks for your review, it just assured me that I made the right decision.
 

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Hello all,

I didn't have a bad shopping experience, but what I was looking for was very specific. I didn't want all of the excess maintence and humidity bother. I've owned a FreeJet 330TX for 1 1/2 years and have had no problem with print quality or wash outs when pretreated properly. It is over the top costly, but again I was looking for low maintenance.

I haven't compared the speed of the other printers, but I'm not brick and mortar with a large customer base so that wasn't a factor for me.

If I had to do it all over, I'd probably choose one with a much lower price tag and would have just dealt with the maintenance and humidity control issues. Ohio doesn't have outrageous humidity all year around.

I will say that OmniPrint has excellent customer service.
 
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