Today we focus on a product that’s received something of a makeover and an upgrade. The RICOH desktop gelsprinters commonly adapted for dye sublimation have been made over and upgraded as the new Sawgrass Virtuoso HD sublimation printers.
In the RICOH-to-Virtuoso makeover, the printers have taken on a new look but they also come with functional upgrades that allow you to plug them into your web-based business.
What’s new and what’s not about the Sawgrass Virtuoso HD?
What’s new – Virtuoso HD Advantages
Let’s start with the new name. Why are these machines now sold as Sawgrass Virtuoso printers instead of RICOH gelsprinters? Because they’re now available exclusively from Sawgrass and authorized Sawgrass dealers. That’s an upgrade because it means technical support comes from one source. In the unlikely event that your printer isn’t working correctly, there’s no need to bounce back and forth between the distributor, the ink manufacturer and the printer manufacturer. Solutions are faster and simpler than ever.
But let’s face it these are very well made printers. You may never need to access Sawgrass tech support. Fortunately there’s more to the Virtuoso program. Sawgrass has worked closely with RICOH to expand the gamut and increase the ink yield. The SG400 now produced 687,754 colors; a 25% increase in gamut.
They also doubled the maximum print resolution, from 600 x 600dpi to an impressive 1200 x 1200 dpi. This means you can now produce stunning high resolution HD images that stand up to close scrutiny. This makes the Virtuoso printers ideal for photographers and others who want to produce quality sublimated keepsakes on ceramic tile and similar blanks. The collective result of these upgrades is a focused printer that produces a much broader range of color for more vivid transfers at a lower operating cost.
Sawgrass also addressed the main hurdle for beginning decorators by adding asmart new software package called CreativeStudio. CreativeStudio is a web-based graphic design application that can be accessed from any PC, smart phone or tablet. Its large template and image library can greatly reduce design time and make your startup more efficient, productive, and profitable. It’s not a complete graphic design application like CorelDRAW or PhotoShop, but it’s a great resource, especially for web-based shirt retailers. Creative Studio includes…
• A vast library of stock designs, monograms, photos and other design elements.
• A built-in library of the most popular sublimation blank products and product shape masks.
• Downloadable product previews for customer approvals or e-commerce.
• Free cloud storage for your designs created with CreativeStudio.
• Built-in Web2Print capabilities, maintenance utilities and support resources.
• Powerful and easy-to-use color management with a WYSIWYG* preview.
CreativeStudio helps you manage the back end too, with CS Print and Color Manager. CS Print and Color Manager has been designed to work specifically with CreativeStudio Online Designer and Virtuoso printers to ensure optimal color accuracy and print quality. In short, it’s a brilliant way to get the most out of your hardware purchase. It’s compatible with Window 7, 8/8.1, and MAC OSX. Best of all, it’s free when you register your new Virtuoso HD printer at Sawgrassink.com.
What’s Not New – Virtuoso HD Overview
So that’s what’s new about the Virutoso HD printers. What’s not new? There’s good news – or good ‘not-news’- here too. The Virtuoso HD printers use the same reliable gel based inks pioneered in the RICOH GXe and SG printers. That means clogged heads are somebody else’s problem. In addition to reliable ink delivery, the Virtuoso HD printers also deliver fast print speeds and high quality images your customers will love.
And of course, you get all the benefits of desktop dye sublimation. Sublimation produces the softest hand of any digital garment decoration solution on the market. And sublimated apparel is extremely washfast because there’s no ink or film to wash off the garment. Yes, it’s still limited to white and gray polyester apparel. But you also still have access to hundreds of polymer-coated sublimation blanks including mouse pads, license plate blanks, socks, arm sleeves, cell phone & tablet covers, jigsaw puzzles, ceramic tiles, key chains, luggage tags, tablet covers, coasters, metal plaques and more.
Virtuoso Prices and Startup Packages
The Virutoso HD printers have kept the affordability that made the RICOH SG line such a popular startup T-shirt printer. For those who already have a heat press, our SG400 starter packages include the essentials including the HD ink installation kit and a package of True Pix Classic sublimation paper for just $550.00. No heat press? No problem. You can choose from four package levels and select the best fit for you. Those who want a tabloid-sized sublimation solution should consider the Virtuoso HD SG800, which accommodates 11″ x 17″ sheets and starts at just $1,625.00 for the basic starter package. Our Virtuoso SG800 HD Deluxe starter package comes with a swing away heat press, sublimation paper, Vapor Apparel shirts and more for only $3,195.0. Whether you want to start small or go big, we have a package option for your needs and budget. Start your shopping here, or give us a call at 800-899-5655 and let us tailor something just for you.
There are lots of T-shirt Printing startup options on the market and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. But if you want your shirts to be the softest and most durable money can buy, you should consider dye sublimation. The Sawgrass Virtuoso HD SG400 and SG800 have made significant upgrades to the entry-level sublimation market. They’ve eliminated the support headaches of dealing with “third party” inks and added a web-based design resource that makes it easier than ever to sell your wares online. And all for less than $600. That’s quite a makeover. For a more in-depth look at the features and benefits of the Sawgrass Virtuoso HD product line, click the link below to view the archived version of our Virtuoso Sublimation Webinar.