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Old October 4th, 2006, 02:43 AM   #1
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dvd duplicator/printer advice needed

I need some advice on buying an auto duplicator printer. I have to keep the price under $2000 so I am trying to decide between the Primera Bravo II and Rimage 360i.

I have done a lot of research on the two models but I have yet to find a clear winner. The Rimage seems to have the least amount of bad reviews but its not nearly as popular as the Primera. I like the the way the Primera works but I am bothered by some reports that mention it's lack of quality parts, buggy software and bad tech support. I have no idea if these reports are true or if they are just a few isolated insistences.

Any advice or experiences on one or both of these machines would be great!

Primera Bravo II
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Rimage 360i
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:58 AM   #2
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I would look at the warranties first. Find out who will back thier machine up the best. It is my impression from my reading that all of these type of machine types are vunerable to breaking etc. I also understand that there's a drastic difference in the product of a duplicator if you go up several thousand to a more industrial model. Even then I'd want a phat warranty on it.

My two cents is that both of these machines are over priced for what they are, I've yet to buy one for that reason.

Check out the warranties.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #3
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Recently bought a Microboards DX-1

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Comes in a couple hairs over two grand, If you check around I have seen it for like right at $2000.

I have used a Bravo II as well. I found the Bravo to be a little more flakey. They both got the job done, but the DX-1 software seemed more stable. Before purchasing I spoke with several different sales people and they all said the DX-1 was a more ďrobustĒ machine then the Bravo II, less likely to break.

Donít know that you need it but the DX-1 also will do up to 100 discs verse the 25 the Bravo and Rimage do. Havenít really heard much about the Rimage products.

My personal experience is you can still print a better looking sticky label then what the CD printer will do. This is mainly just labels with lots of graphics or especially gradients, anything solid or not to complex looked great, but both machines left me kinda wanting in printing photos.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 02:28 PM   #4
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Thanx guys for the advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Walker
Recently bought a Microboards DX-1

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Comes in a couple hairs over two grand, If you check around I have seen it for like right at $2000.

I have used a Bravo II as well. I found the Bravo to be a little more flakey. They both got the job done, but the DX-1 software seemed more stable. Before purchasing I spoke with several different sales people and they all said the DX-1 was a more ďrobustĒ machine then the Bravo II, less likely to break.

Donít know that you need it but the DX-1 also will do up to 100 discs verse the 25 the Bravo and Rimage do. Havenít really heard much about the Rimage products.

My personal experience is you can still print a better looking sticky label then what the CD printer will do. This is mainly just labels with lots of graphics or especially gradients, anything solid or not to complex looked great, but both machines left me kinda wanting in printing photos.
I actually hate the sticky labels but only because my epson prints awsome looking graphics on discs. The epson could kill all of these authoring machines when it comes nice prints but the epson is also a huge pain in the ass.

The DX-1 looks like a nice compromise. I also noticed that the ink is cheaper then the rimage ink.

I still like rimage from a price stand point but I guess I could somehow find a way to cough up the extra cash for the microboards. I still think maybe its a little overkill for my needs but I am worried about buying a cheap piece of junk! Regardless, I have to buy one of these machines pretty soon because I dont have the time anymore to manually duplicate.

Thanks again for the tips. It seems like there needs to be more threads about these dvd dup/printers.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #5
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Hey Jonathan,

Just to throw out a couple more options, Microboards does have a smaller duplicator thatís supposed to be as good as their bigger stuff. Comes in a little cheaper

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Also you probably know but I just saw Primera newest small Bravo printer. I guess itís supposed to be the same as the Bravo series but smaller. Comes in around $1500

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old October 4th, 2006, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacob Walker
Hey Jonathan,

Just to throw out a couple more options, Microboards does have a smaller duplicator that’s supposed to be as good as their bigger stuff. Comes in a little cheaper

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Also you probably know but I just saw Primera newest small Bravo printer. I guess it’s supposed to be the same as the Bravo series but smaller. Comes in around $1500

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
Wow, I didnt know about the smaller bravo! That thing is tiny but I think I like gx-1 option the most. There is not alot of information about the gx-1 so I think I might just guinea pig it. I found some refurbished dx-1's on ebay but the warrenties are only 90 days. I might just have to go with the gx-1, the price is right and the 50 disc output seems to be perfect for my projects.

Thanx for those links. I think it's funny that I never came across that smaller bravo during my research.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Nelson
I need some advice on buying an auto duplicator printer. I have to keep the price under $2000 so I am trying to decide between the Primera Bravo II and Rimage 360i.

I have done a lot of research on the two models but I have yet to find a clear winner. The Rimage seems to have the least amount of bad reviews but its not nearly as popular as the Primera. I like the the way the Primera works but I am bothered by some reports that mention it's lack of quality parts, buggy software and bad tech support. I have no idea if these reports are true or if they are just a few isolated insistences.

Any advice or experiences on one or both of these machines would be great!

Primera Bravo II
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Rimage 360i
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
As an owner of 2 Bravo machines I can only give them a 70% rating. When they work it's fine but the repeated breakdowns and returns to Primera are aggravating.

The printing is good but the ink level indicators are very inaccurate.
The DVD duplicating is excellent.
The mechanics are well designed and rarely have a problem.
The breakdowns have been with ink leakages and drive burn-outs.
Service is fast and courteous.

I also have two Microboard duplicators. They have broken down as much as the Primera machines. But I have also found that the gravity fed mechanics on these particular Microboards duplicators are very unreliable in humid weather conditions. The unit mentioned here seems to use a different gravity fed method to change disks. The Microboards service is terrible once the warranty expires. Recently one 4x machine broke down and they managed to dig up an old 4x drive (wrong color too) while Primera replaced a broken 4x drive with a 16x! And Microboards charged hundreds of dollars for the drive. I complained to Microboards (even offered more money if they could install a modern drive) but they never responded.

In the market for a new duplicator I am not inclined to purchase a Microboards again. Rimage and Diskmakers are what I am now interested in but I might just go with another Primera. I want add that aside from the drive burnout, the Bravos have been breakdown free for the past year. It seems that Primera fixed the firmware problems the models originally had.

Why can't someone make a disk printer with individual color ink cartriges? That's the big question.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser
I also have two Microboard duplicators. They have broken down as much as the Primera machines. But I have also found that the gravity fed mechanics on these particular Microboards duplicators are very unreliable in humid weather conditions. The unit mentioned here seems to use a different gravity fed method to change disks. The Microboards service is terrible once the warranty expires. Recently one 4x machine broke down and they managed to dig up an old 4x drive (wrong color too) while Primera replaced a broken 4x drive with a 16x! And Microboards charged hundreds of dollars for the drive. I complained to Microboards (even offered more money if they could install a modern drive) but they never responded.
Bumm.... Maybe Microboards aren't all that after all. Guess I'll cross my fingers and hope nothing happens.

William, The other company I was considering going with was http://www.aleratec.com. Don't really know that much about them, I called um once and asked why their stuff was better than Microboards (their more expensive) the sales rep coundn't really sell me on them other than they have have an all metal houseing (most of them) with no plastic parts. (whatever thats worth)

Discmakers has great support with their dub jobs so you'ed figure they have great support on products you buy.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 04:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser
As an owner of 2 Bravo machines I can only give them a 70% rating. When they work it's fine but the repeated breakdowns and returns to Primera are aggravating.

The printing is good but the ink level indicators are very inaccurate.
The DVD duplicating is excellent.
The mechanics are well designed and rarely have a problem.
The breakdowns have been with ink leakages and drive burn-outs.
Service is fast and courteous.

I also have two Microboard duplicators. They have broken down as much as the Primera machines. But I have also found that the gravity fed mechanics on these particular Microboards duplicators are very unreliable in humid weather conditions. The unit mentioned here seems to use a different gravity fed method to change disks. The Microboards service is terrible once the warranty expires. Recently one 4x machine broke down and they managed to dig up an old 4x drive (wrong color too) while Primera replaced a broken 4x drive with a 16x! And Microboards charged hundreds of dollars for the drive. I complained to Microboards (even offered more money if they could install a modern drive) but they never responded.

In the market for a new duplicator I am not inclined to purchase a Microboards again. Rimage and Diskmakers are what I am now interested in but I might just go with another Primera. I want add that aside from the drive burnout, the Bravos have been breakdown free for the past year. It seems that Primera fixed the firmware problems the models originally had.

Why can't someone make a disk printer with individual color ink cartriges? That's the big question.
Well, I guess I will give the bravo a shot then.

That ink leakage sounds like a serious issue to me! I would not be happy if my $1700 printer leaked ink.

I am a little confused about these drive problems. Don't they just use standard ide burners? It seems like you should be able to just rip one out and replace it with something similar. I have to replace burners all the time on my dup tower.

Yeah, that ink cartrige deal is a scam and waste of resources. I think a lot of these companies out source thier printing technologies from companies like hp so I guess they are part of the blame as well.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 05:14 PM   #10
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I guess you are looking for completely automated, but have you considered separating the two. I have a tower burner that does 5 at a time, and I use a little old Epson 220 to print disks. Tower burner puts out 5 DVD in 7 minutes. Get two or three 220's and you can keep up with the output, though it involves hand work.... Got some kids, put them to work....
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Old October 4th, 2006, 05:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
Got some kids, put them to work....
LOL, My dad used to duplicate gobs of tapes for a ministry, guess who got to stick the little labels on :) ME!! When your a kid its fun though.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Nelson
Well, I guess I will give the bravo a shot then.

That ink leakage sounds like a serious issue to me! I would not be happy if my $1700 printer leaked ink.

I am a little confused about these drive problems. Don't they just use standard ide burners? It seems like you should be able to just rip one out and replace it with something similar. I have to replace burners all the time on my dup tower.

Yeah, that ink cartrige deal is a scam and waste of resources. I think a lot of these companies out source thier printing technologies from companies like hp so I guess they are part of the blame as well.
Forget about replacing the drive yourself, especially under warranty. Not only are the drives locked in with unusual bolts (Microboards and Primera) they probably have some sort of firmware hack that prevents unauthorized drive changes. I don't know of any auto-duplicator that is easy to replace the drives.
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Old October 4th, 2006, 06:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos
I guess you are looking for completely automated, but have you considered separating the two. I have a tower burner that does 5 at a time, and I use a little old Epson 220 to print disks. Tower burner puts out 5 DVD in 7 minutes. Get two or three 220's and you can keep up with the output, though it involves hand work.... Got some kids, put them to work....
I love your idea of using kids as a duplicator. I will have to wait at least 7 years for that option.

On your epson, do you ever have problems with the disc tray being rejected? I have three r300s and I have to fiddle with thier disc trays and restart the print jobs until they actually start printing. I have a 10 target duplicator and it works great but the epsons are just a pain. I am not a big fan of the hand work either but only becuase it is time consuming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser
Forget about replacing the drive yourself, especially under warranty. Not only are the drives locked in with unusual bolts (Microboards and Primera) they probably have some sort of firmware hack that prevents unauthorized drive changes. I don't know of any auto-duplicator that is easy to replace the drives.
I can't believe they make it such a pain to install your own drive. I love installing my own stuff because it's cheaper and less delay. I would like to find out if there is such a firmware hack. That is just greedy bs if there is.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 05:46 PM   #14
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for primera, as long as you purchase same drive as they put in their machines, you can buy them anywhere for cheap and install by yourself (torque screwdriver required).
I have done that on my Bravo Pro because i was suspecting one of the drive to cause problems. it was 2x pioneer DVR-109 and i put 2x DVR-112 and there is absolutely no problem.
Primera is lying A LOT on their products to protect people fiddling with drives or ink cartridge.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #15
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Well, there are some safeguards on the Primera line. It should be pretty straightforward to replace a Cd with a Cd or a DVD with a DVD drive (Might be a good idea to use a model Primera normally uses, and update the firmware with primera's version). There seems to be a chip separate from the firmware chip that stores settings, such as the offsets for the bins and drive. That chip also seems to have a value that determines whether there are 0 cd/dvd devices, Just a CD Device, or a DVD device. If you pop a DVD drive in a unit that was originally a printer only, or in a CD unit, you will get error messages in the software. We're working on a solution, however...

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/BravoHacking/

Last edited by Robert Chadwick; October 30th, 2007 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Added Info
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