I'm looking for a little collective wisdom regarding choosing between a BN-20 and a VS-300i. I can read the spec sheets, and have received quotes from my Roland dealer. While there is obviously a price and size difference, and while that matters, these aren't the primary factors for me. What I'm really interested in is the stuff they don't tell you before you buy, such as ruggedness, ease and cost of both owner and dealer maintenance, parts availability, versatility, print quality, etc. The stuff that current owners and service techs know about, but the buyer only finds out about after the fact!

Thanks in advance for your response!

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I believe I posted on this in the past - the short version unless specific questions - as owner, service tech, and long history in the industry.

The VS300i should be the entry level -

the lastest version machine is the Tru-Vis - but my money is still on the VS

The BN is nice but extremely slow and good for overnight work 

The BN is harder to service and one where you bring or ship in - very little onsite work

The VS is the work horse more versatile, more user friendly and can offer what the BN cannot

Parts are available for both, but the quality is much better on the VS. You can get special inks on both, but on both IMHO are not worth it. 

Thank you for the prompt reply. I did search as well as scroll a bit before posting, but I did not find your earlier post. If you can point me to it that would be great! :)

Much of what you say confirms the impression I've been getting from reading manuals and various things around the web.

However, your last comment about the special inks is new to me and I'd like to hear more, since this is one reason to choose these machines over their larger CMYK-only brethern. Are you referring to the Wt and Mt inks, or also to the LcLmLk inks? What is it that makes them problematic?

Exactly on the Wt n the MT inks. Users think they have a customer base for the inks and then find out - the have it they will come approach - does not materialize. Next the users generally like set it and forget it, not so with those inks. Although, firmware for them will turn on the machine and have it clean more often, tends not to be enough to stop from clogging. The inks if left in, will completely exhaust themselves in 6months from no use due to the cleaning process. The firmware was unpdated to allow for cleaning solution to be used when not in use, but not may do. The special inks are not design for heat applications. If you like color variations then go with the 7 color and the cleaner - if not so much, then dual cmyk. If you have OCD and the maintenance type then go with the special inks. Whatever you do, you want the VS as entry level and if it takes some extra months over the BN, - you are welcome in advance. 

So first, my sincere apology for not responding earlier. I saw the post when you made it, but was traveling so didn't respond right away. I do really appreciate the information. It has been very helpful in coming to a decision. We are purchasing a Roland factory refurbished VG2-540 with the Wt ink option.

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