Thursday, March 27, 2008

Printer chat

I am the slightly sentimental and proud owner of an HP LaserJet 5MP printer. It's a laser printer that I bought in approximately 1995. Yes. It still works too. With my 2 year old iMac. Isn't that incredible?

I am not a techno-freak and I don't crave the newest and latest gadgets. Every so often I think it would be a good thing to own a new printer. One that takes up slightly less space, prints faster, possibly one that does photos, colour, 1200dpi, even A3. We think about it and research the options but never end up doing anything about it. This usually comes down to the fact that my printer works well, is a laser printer, and my music scores look good anyway. We don't print photographs at home.

Most of the printers around now seem to be inkjet, and I assume this is because of home photo printing. They are also incredibly affordable, compared to what I paid for my LaserJet many years ago in the US.

What I really want to know is: will inkjet printed music scores look like laser printed scores? Printing orchestral scores on A4 is always a risk, especially on a low-ish resolution printer, because if you have around 22 staves you have to have really good resolution for the size of the little black dots. My printer does 600dpi as its maximum, so right there it's behind the eight-ball in terms of quality for a full size score. However, all the orchestral pieces I've done over the past years have been printed by a copyist (God bless Symphony Services Australia commissions) and sent to me in the post, which is a rather privileged existence of which I am only too aware.

And it's very difficult to work out whether you still need to have PostScript in a printer, if you are a Finale user. I have seen an HP DeskJet 1280 which is A3 size and has PostScript. I think. I usually leave it to David to read the fine print, no pun intended. He's much better at that stuff than I am!

If anyone has advice or opinions on this topic, I'd be very grateful to hear from you!

I think, in the end, that it's really difficult to get a one-printer-does-everything printer. Hmn.

And please, no Finale vs Sibelius backchat! I have already picked a side and I'm too old to learn new tricks. :P


traceyleigh said...

Hello hello!! I didn't even know you had a blog, sneaky thing!! Yay to finding you.

You can get very good quality high resolution ink jet printers. Epson are usually the best ones in my opinion and I am sure you can get Epson Postscript printers that are inkjet, colour and high resolution! I only know of HP being the other that does postscript printers. That being said...what is the importance of postscript for your scores?


Maria said...

Well I'm actually not so sure if it's still important but it was when I bought my printer way back. You had to have PostScript for the music to look the way it's supposed to. I have got some spec sheets for Epson, they seem very good. Good to hear a positive opinion of them!

I've only just started this blog and haven't told anyone about it... not sure really why I'm doing it but it's actually quite fun! Yay for you finding me! xxx

traceyleigh said...

So it is the program that you use then that requires the postscript function? I wonder if you can now convert them to PDF's to overcome that problem? That is what the 'printing' industry does now. Definately go down the Epsom path if you do upgrade. Like Mac, to me, they are the industry 'standard' unless you go to the high end HP market and then that is too expensive for your needs probably.

I have a blogger account too that I started for food related stuff ages ago but just can't seem to keep up with it (let alone my lj that I've had for so many years now). I love reading and commenting on other peoples though. Hope that you keep it up!


fgq9jUZtz.L.iRjpqWB40GXWnOfPlg-- said...


Congratulations on Lillian's arrival. :-) How many months late am I???? I was very much hoping that you would have a little girl.



Maria said...

Hmmn, yes TL I think my friend in the USA does that, converts to pdf's to get around it. I think it's the graphics part of the program that needs PostScript. Must research more.

Georgia, hello! ((())) I've just started this blog.
Yes, baby Lillian was born on 6 October 07. She is delicious. Hope you and your gorgeous girls are well!