Drop in print quality of Canon IP4500

I have a Canon IP4500 that I have been using for a while - primarily, as advised by folks on this forum, for printing CD-R, DVD-R TY Watershields. Of late I have notice a serious drop in the quality of the prints even when it is just to regular glossy paper.

The system is Windows 7 64bit, I am using Surething Deluxe 5.

I’ve replaced the printhead but that has not shown any improvement. I have been using LD Product ink cartridges and not the official Canon but then I have been using these for a few years without issue. I have ordered some of the OEM cartridges to see if that makes any difference.

Does anyone have any idea what might be the root cause of this or anything that I could/should do to address this issue?

I attach examples of an older printed CD and a recent printed CD. I think that it is possible to clearly see the “streaks” across the print surface in the “new” print which are not as obvious in the old version. Also, the overall print seems to be very light and washed out in contrast/comparison to the old.

Thanks in anticipation of any help.

Update - I installed the Canon OEM cartridges and ran a couple of cleaning cycles. Net effect is no different :frowning:

I have noticed that the print head is not firing on all the jets.
Do a nozzle check and clean as necessary .
I have an IP5000 and have found with some cartridges when the ink levels low but not out that particular colour does not print properly, a new tank and clean usually fixes it.

The Canon driver offers several good tests to run, including a nozzle check and alignment. If the print head was indeed replaced, then you’re down to looking at settings in the driver.

Also, both the old and new images are showing evidence of image moire, which results from scanning at high resolution and re-printing at high resolution. Scanning at 300 dpi and re-sampling to 150dpi will eliminate most moire. Original labels are created by relatively low resolution silk-screening processes, which cause that issue when scanned at high resolution. Canon scanner drivers also offer a de-screening filter which also helps reducing moire.

But, assuming the nozzle check test is normal, this will come down to driver settings. The best approach to that will be to un-install the driver and re-install. Making sure you have the latest Win-7 64 driver. I don’t know if SureThing messes with driver settings, I only use the Canon CD-LabelPrint software which does not. If the nozzle check test is abnormal, and you really do have a new print head, and all driver settings are at default, then the printer hardware may be at fault.

Thanks for you help, CDan :slight_smile:
I did the printhead realignment after install. I’ve also run the nozzle check which is giving me the wishy washy results on the color parts (C, M, Y, BK) but PGBK is good.

After several deep clean runs on the colors, there is no real improvement. My thinking is that this is pointing to a printhead needing replacement but why I have this failure on a printhead that is only 3 months old bothers me. I don’t know whether this is because I have been using LD inks (which have never been a problem in the past) or whether I just got unlucky on this replacement printhead.

I assume printheads are still running $50-75, and you’ve already bought one. While its true they are more expensive to run, the new Canon models also print discs and are are not expensive. The PIXMA iP7220 can be had around $80 and compatible tanks around $7. It has a very similar print engine.

Aside from the head itself, there’s also a circuit board and all the pins on the cradle that can go bad. Pull the head/cradle and thoroughly inspect the pins and connectors, clean everything. Getting another head is not really cost effective given the alternatives.

I’ve been using LD compatible tanks in my iP3500 and iP4500 since they were new, with no issues. But everything dies eventually.

The iP7220 sounds interesting. Do you have any experience or know of anyone who has used this with the TY Watershield media? I assume that like the iP4500 that it doesn’t come ready to print CD/DVDs and that I’d have to buy the CD/DVD tray from ebay as well as make the necessary mods to the printer to accept the tray.

We use Epsons and enjoy those but “print quality deterioration” is a print-head cleaning issue, almost solely. And if we’ve used Clone Ink, the Genuine cartridges have some benefits - but of course at a price that’s twice or three times.

I have ended up preferr[B]ING[/B] the recently-deceased Artisan series over the newer replacement Epson Xpression series. The Artisans use an ‘escalator feed mechanism’ that seems flimsy, but after I saw the internals (during a refurb operation), I was impressed with the quality of those moving parts, compared to a tray-feeder’s eventual rubber-pads which will slicken and slide.

Unfortunately, Artisans for sale at Epson Store are almost completely gone (the last year has been Refurb Only, but even those have disappeared for the last few months).

Surething’s templates work great with all of those models, by the way.

Thanks for the feedback :slight_smile: