Printers & Scanners

This page discusses the features, cost, pros and cons of various AIO printer-scanners useful to members of our group.


AIO means "all in one," i.e., printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine.


"Tabloid" paper is 11"x17". "Super-tabloid" is 13"x19". Since professional music paper is often 9"x12" (12"x18" when printed 2-up), the larger size is easier to work with.


There is a trend toward tanks for printer ink instead of cartridges, which should lower total costs of printing.


Once, Paperport software came free with many scanners and was commonly used, but lately its development has slowed. We're searching for a good alternative.


A good casual scanner is Google's PhotoScan. You use your phone's camera to take several photos of a page. The software then automatically merges them, corrects perspective, and cleans them up, giving you one clear image. And it's free. You just don't want to use it to scan an entire arrangement.


Brother MFC-J6945DW

From Al Lowe, Jan 2020: This is the successor to the MFC-6890CDW, used by several of us in the group. It scans and prints both sides of tabloid 11"x17" (and duplex 8.5"x11", of course). Its document feeder will handle an entire big band chart in a few minutes. It comes with "up to 1 year of ink" included. It uses tanks of ink. It's a PC Magazine's "Editors' Choice."


Review on PC Magazine . Buy on Amazon .



Epson WF-7720

From Al Lowe, Jan 2020: The Epson WF-7720 is the latest version of the beloved WF-7520 and 7620 (see below - no longer available). It's a super-tabloid machine that prints and scans 13"x19" double-sided. It uses ink cartridges, not tanks, therefore the cost/page is higher.


Review on PC Magazine . Buy on Amazon .



Epson Eco-Tank ET-16650

From Jon Boyd, Mar 2021:


Dear fellow BigBandCharts members,


I had previously provided and extensive review of my Epson Workforce WF-7520 (no longer available). Biggest drawback was the cost of ink!  Extraordinary.


I made the jump, and so far am really pleased with my new printer, the EPSON Eco-Tank  ET-16650.


As an all-in-one, it can

  • scan up to 11 x 17, either flat-bed or Auto document feeder
  • Print up to 13 x 19 (which is great for printed music)


And has  better scanner software package.


Best feature is the ink.


It purports to do 7,500 pages on one bottle of black ink, 5,000 in color. (smaller bottles / tanks).
They claim I’ll save 80% on ink, and I believe it!


Highly rated by most reviewers.    


I do suggest that early on you purchase the ‘maintenance tank’.  Sooner or later you will need to replace it, (it catches ink as the machine cleans itself, I think!)





Buy on Amazon, Best Buy. Review on PC Magazine (Mar 2020).



HP OfficeJet Pro 7740

From Al Lowe, Jan 2020: The HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 is a tabloid printer but can only scan 11"x14" legal-sized pages. It's a PC Magazine's "Editors' Choice."


Review on PC Magazine . Buy on Amazon .



Brother MFC-8710DW Laser Copier/Scanner

Andrew Conway  (C-M Group), July 2016: We went with a Brother MFC-8710DW laser copier/scanner. Here's why:


The scanning glass takes legal 8.5"x14" paper, so we can capture most of our library and reduce easily to US Letter if we need to.


It has wireless printing, so I can shoot any document with an app like Genius Scan on my phone and print directly, reduced to US Letter or Legal (Genius Scan is a lifesaver, btw! And free!)


Print speed is blazing: 40 pages per minute. It also prints duplex, so we can print concert programs. (We are having a couple boxes of paper pre-printed with our color logo, so we'll use that stock for program covers).


The price is right and the toner that comes with it apparently does upwards of 3,000 pages. A replacement toner for about $80 will do something like 8,000 pages I think.



Brother MFC-6890CDW

(No longer available. See Brother MFC-J6945DW)

Several of us in the group use the  Brother MFC-6890CDW printer . (I bought mine after it was recommended here.) It scans 11x17, prints 1-sided 11x17, plus 2-sided 8.5x11. It has a document feeder that will feed an entire big band chart through in a few minutes. It comes with free Paperport software (which you use to control the scanning process). Cheap Chinese ink cartridges are available on eBay for a few bucks for all 3 colors + black. I found mine at Staples Online for $350 in December 2011. ( Thanks to Al L )



Epson WF-7520/7620

(No longer available. See Epson WF-7720)

From  Jon B , January 2014: I have found my Epson WF-7520 (all-in-one) does a great job scanning and printing. The Epsonscan software can be pre-set to match the exact size of the pages you are scanning, so that you get clean edge-to-edge scans, even over-sized sheets. Always scan in B&W to keep the file size small. 


With scans as discussed above, I typically print 9 x 12 pages, using 12 x 18 inch paper.
I set up a custom 9 x 12 paper type, and print two-up onto the 12 x 18 inch paper.
Multiple page charts can either be printed 2-sided, or taped together using the ‘Filmoplast P’ tape.  I use an 80# digital paper, from Neenah Paper. I particularly like their “CLASSIC CREST” - Classic Natural White – Smooth Digital – 80 lb. Text, in 12 x 18 sheets. This paper is a slight eggshell color, and works great for printed music, as it is much less harsh to read that bright white. The 80 lb. paper has a great durable feel and should hold up quite well.  It blows normal copy paper away!


From  Lance H , November 2014: I love my Epson WF 7520. Very easy to set up, and the auto feed works great if your originals are in decent shape. 


From  David B  (C-M group), January 2016: I've got the Epson WF-7620, which can handle oversize music, it duplexes on paper up to 12x19 (I only ever use up to 11x17), it was on sale for $200 at Staples when I bought mine, then it went back up to $300 by the time my wife decided she wanted one also (we maintain two different offices) but then it dropped to $200 again for a short while and she bought one. The duplexing works like a charm, the ink is amazingly water resistant once it dries, the scanner is excellent, and the printing is very crisp and easy to read.

A laser printer which can handle all the workload that my Epson can handle, including oversize paper and duplexing on all sizes of paper, would cost several thousand dollars.


From  David B  (same as above), July 2016: I've been using the Epson WorkForce WF-7620 for a year now. It can print on paper up to 11x17 and can scan music which is just larger than that, so it can scan all the orchestra sized and old band music sized paper. It duplexes also, automatically.

It's an inkjet and can be found on sale occasionally for $199, although most of the time it's in the mid $200s. The ink technology has come a long way and once the ink has dried it doesn't smear if a little water gets on it. I've been handing out music for the past year printed on this printer and nobody has complained about the music smearing. The ink is a bit pricier than laser toner, but to buy a laser printer that has this printer's capabilities would cost well over $1000.

Because it's not a laser printer, it doesn't generate much heat nor does
it take much electricity to power it. And the scanning software that comes with it is very versatile and produces excellent PDF files. It can be used wirelessly or with a USB connection or with a cabled network connection.



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