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  A3 printer for orchestral scores?  vyvyanhs at 16:09 on 07 October 2011

Hi everyone,

Now that I can no longer use my university's office printers for A3 orchestral scores, I need to make my own arrangements. There are budget A3 machines from Brother and Canon etc, some of which can do double sided printing, but they seem to be aimed more at colour photo printing rather than the clearest B&W text.

Has anyone any experience of using these for printing music scores, or found any other cost-effective solution to the problem?

  Re: A3 printer for orchestral scores?  MartinY at 10:32 on 08 October 2011

This is not really much help for a substantial score but for special A3 parts I print on A4 landscape and stick the bits together to make an A3 part book. Too laborious for most purposes but it makes some pieces performable without paper shuffling.

  Re: A3 printer for orchestral scores?  Hugh Boyle at 22:31 on 08 October 2011

Could you not become a member of the university library? You would have to pay, but might be worth it.

Affordable A3 printers are usually inkjet which is slow, but manageable. With double sided pages it is more the thickness of the paper you have to worry about than the feature being available on the printer. Just print out right hand pages only first then learn how you need to feed the pages back in again to get the left hand pages to come out in the proper manner. Some printers will require you to do this one sheet at a time which, again, is time consuming, but worth it I think.

What you could do is look out on ebay for a refurnished A3 laser printer. Or, like I am going to do in a few weeks time. Head to your local auction. There is a selection of printers coming up in an auction near me so I am hoping to pick up a cheap A3 printer.

The hardest thing I find with A3 portrait scores is getting them bound. Last time I had to go to a place that does calendars. So there was no cover and the back looked pretty cheap so I still haven’t found somewhere to get this done. I might try stapling it and then covering the spine and staples with a strip of something, but I don’t image this would result in fluid page turns.


re the thickness of the paper

I use 120 gsm

much better result that plain copier paper

this is what I use

  Re: A3 printer for orchestral scores?  Amy60 at 07:48 on 20 January 2012

Any thing from canon should fulfill your needs!

  Re: A3 printer for orchestral scores?  vyvyanhs at 08:16 on 20 January 2012

Actually, for anyone who's interested, I followed Hugh Boyle's advice and got a reconditioned HP office laser printer off ebay. They're about £3K - £5K new but I got a 9000dn for £150 inc. delivery, it's an enormous, fairly noisy beast and makes the place smell like an office but it certainly does the job.

HP have the best reputation for reliability in this field - nb this is not the same as their small domestic printers - and I've been told is less bothered about the microscopic print runs I do than say a Ricoh. I'm not fully conversant with the model numbers, there's a 4000, 5000, 8000 and 9000 series (at least), but the 'd' suffix indicates duplex printing so is rather important, the 'n' is for network so you can just plug it into your router and access it from any PC.

By the way - Re Binding: Alfred Harris Bookbinders in Bristol is one of the few places that can do long sided A3 wire binding with a card back and transparent plastic cover, though he keeps threatening to retire.

  Re: A3 printer for orchestral scores?  adesousa at 14:00 on 24 April 2012

I found that printing on landscape A4 paper and putting both sheets together works for most purposes, otherwise I look for professional services in my area.
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