View Full Version : Update

Ed Parkyn
02-21-2007, 9:27 PM
Update of my "Newbie" research as promised from 2/07. I e-mailed the Epilog representative but did not get a response until a week later and that was to say he was leaving town for a trade show for another week. They did send me sales materials for almost the entire product line so all was not lost. It was almost the same for the Laser Pro reps. It took a week, so I tried again, with the promise that this time I would CC the factory in Taiwan for help. The next day a rep contacted me from out of state offering to help. I then heard from the local Laser Pro reps, who came by the next day for a demo. Unfortunately, they were not prepared as well as they should have been. Although the machine worked well with various materials I supplied for the demo, there was no auto height adjust for the head and their laptop was having problems running the graphics program. They did not have the accessory for engraving round pieces and some very nicely engraved tile samples kept falling off of the wall of the van because the velcro was worn out. I suppose one could chalk it all up to youthful inexperience, but a line had to be drawn when one of them made...mildly disparaging remarks about Universal's line of machines with the approval of his partner. I have read this forum's threads and received sales materials from Universal that state the opposite of what was said. I feel first that this demo should have been re-scheduled for another time with equipment that was fully functional and there should have been a full complement of sales materials on hand for me to look over at my leisure. After all, I am looking at spending $15,000 to $20,000 at least (not $500.00) and should expect service that speaks of good value for my investment. Secondly, they knew up front I was comparing products and in that light should have taken care to not be negative in the slightest way. I believe that Laser Pro will now go to the bottom of the heap. Epilog is next and then Universal. Now for the good part. I really enjoyed seeing the laser at work and understand the enthusiasm displayed within this forum even more now. My enthusiasm is growing and I'm looking forward to the time when I will purchase my own machine.

Mike Hood
02-21-2007, 10:27 PM
Sorry to hear you had a negative experience. I bought a Pinnacle ZX, which is a Laserpro Explorer II and love it. The sales experience was very positive, and the only minor technical issue was dealt with very quickly and accurately.

I know what you mean about bashing the competitors. I ruled out my regional Epilog Rep for the same reason. He was eager enough to compare things that cast a bad view of the competition, but unwilling to admit he was incorrect after the fact.

He swore Laserpro used steppers instead of servos, and went so far as to claim they were inferior to the ones they used. Niether was true.

Ed Parkyn
02-22-2007, 2:57 AM

I think that just the overall experience of seeing a live demonstration was enought to offset negativity of almost any kind. That's why Laser Pro is now at the bottom of the heap and not dropped entirely from consideration. I'm more than a few years older than those reps and can easily remember making similar errors in judgement, when, God help me, I was the same age. I was also very fortunate to have had older, very experienced people just quietly point the right way to go. With time I learned the finer nuances of avoiding those errors to the point where at least I would not be making a habit out of doing them.

Ed Parkyn ;)

Vicky Orsini
02-22-2007, 8:59 AM
I'm sorry you had a bad experience as well. Funny, but we all seem to have gone through the same thing with the different models. In my case, it was the ULS rep who was bashing all the others, and that made a difference in my decision as well. I simply felt that I couldn't really trust her for good after-sales service because of her attitude and negativity. For that, my LaserPro rep got top marks, and it was his helpfulness and positive attitude that sealed the deal.

Not trying to sway you one way or another. I love my LaserPro, but if you're not happy with your rep now, you probably won't be happy with the service he gives you later. The factory in California is very helpful, but they should be a secondary resort, not your first.

Best of luck!

Mitchell Andrus
02-22-2007, 1:51 PM
That's too bad about your reaction to the Laserpro rep. But, if that's the way you'll decide the value of the machine long term, so be it. I bought my Laserpro Spirit because of the pass-through doors and a few other positives. If my rep had trashed talked any other machine, I'd still have needed the pass-through doors and would have found a way to rise above the poor salesmanship and place the order.

I too had an at-home demo from a another maker's rep, and he trash-taked the abilities of the other's machines. I expected this, it's his job. And his demo, like yours, was filled with pitfalls and potholes - at home demos are the pits - nature of the beast. I got over it.

If your Laserpro's rep. looses your sale and others, he'll learn, but you don't need to loose out on a feature set you might otherwise find attractive just to punish the rep.

Joe Pelonio
02-22-2007, 2:41 PM
All companies, laser and otherwise are going to have some sales people better than the others. I've found cars I liked and asked to see the sales manager and asked him for a different salesman as I couldn't stand the one I was talking to.

Unfortunately in the laser business there are not usually more than one in any geographic area. Rather than eliminate a brand based on such an experience I'd contact their headquarters and tell them of your experience, they might fly someone out to help you, if not, you're probably better off eliminating that one.

Mike Hood
02-22-2007, 3:21 PM

I'm an electrical engineer in the "real world" and my decision making skills are better suited to objective linear-flow type situations.

I wanted the best features for the price I could afford.

Some criteria I used:

US Made tube. (with a two-year replacement warranty)
DC servos motors (steppers are slower, louder and require homing)
FAST DC servos. You need that head to move. Rastering is slow enough as it is.
Bed size (I need the size)
Feed through doors. Even if the table is small, you can always feed stock through (ie: 12" x 24" becomes "infiinite" x 24" wide)
Autofocus (you don't have to use it)
Air assist (you will use it)
Vector table (you will use it)
Rotary attachment (most use it eventually)
Driver-based control (no need for specialized software)You can plug in any name you want, but I think all of those factors were criteria I used. I don't care much about onsite service. I've only had one small issue and it was an email away from resolution. (My Rep is on here everyday as well...) :)

Ed Parkyn
02-22-2007, 5:22 PM
Thanks to you all for your insight. As I originally stated, Laser Pro won't, as a manufacturer, be tossed aside, but rather they will have to wait their turn while I consider their competition's lines. If I need further information, then I'll contact the factory for a different sales team and a complete sales package that includes current pricing. My intention is to proceed with demos from Epilog and Universal, so hopefully "trashing the competition" will not happen with their reps here. I will take whatever time is necessary to obtain what I need. What counts with me the most right now are the personal experiences that everyone on this forum has freely shared and the amazing amount of camaraderie displayed towards each other and newcomers like myself. I really appreciate it.

Ed :)

Ed Maloney
02-22-2007, 6:31 PM
The trash talk will give you insight as to the vendor's "insecurity" of other features that may not stack up well with the others. It will highlight what they think is important to distract you from the hard questions.

Ed Parkyn
02-23-2007, 2:05 PM

I understand completely. By the way, how do you like that new machine? For guys it's almost like having a new baby in the house. My wife, of course, always likes to chime in with a cheery "boys and their expensive toys!" Then she walks away giggling.

Ed Parkyn

Keith Outten
02-23-2007, 5:53 PM
The trash talk will give you insight as to the vendor's "insecurity" of other features that may not stack up well with the others. It will highlight what they think is important to distract you from the hard questions.


Surely you will also take a look at Trotec and Xenetech engravers to be fair and balanced in your research :)


Ed Maloney
02-23-2007, 6:54 PM
I am having no problems at all with the Epilog. Of course it's still in the box, so right now it's maintenance free as well!

Ed Maloney
02-23-2007, 6:55 PM
Keith - You make a good point. I better open the box to make sure there is something in there!

Glenn Corser
02-23-2007, 7:28 PM
I encourage you to look at Rob Bosworth's used lasers. That is who we bought from and it has worked out very well. We paid about 1/3 the price of a new 60 watt ULS for a 2 year old machine. Additionally, I'd like to say thanks to Mike Null, the vector grid is great and has really improved things. Also thanks to Mike at OEM Optics, his products and service can't be beaten. We bought 2 lenses from him, the first didn't fit quite right in our machine and we used a little too much force fitting it into the lens carrier - within an hour of use it cracked. He worked with us to figrue out the problem, replaced the lens free of charge, and we have been using both without problems since then.

Ed Parkyn
02-24-2007, 2:10 AM
I will be considering every machine that I can personally see in my area.

Ed...better sneak up on that box! :)

Mike Null
02-24-2007, 7:04 AM
I 've had a Universal and recently purchased a Trotec. Also used Epilog 100w machines for a couple of years. For the type engraving I do I only had occasion to use a pass through feature once in nearly 9 years. There have been a number of times when I opened the front door to engrave a large item.

I am more focused on capacity of the table (more small items at once) and speed. I do this for a living so productivity is key.

I can attest to the high level of tech support provided by all three of these companies even though problems were rare. The other thing about tech support is parts availability. I haven't needed anything from Trotec but Universal and Epilog both over-nighted parts so you minimze your downtime.

I guess my point is that you should have a good idea of the work you're going to do and not buy a machine based on something you "might" do.