Update 12-22-2015: After reading my blog post the X-Rite tech support contacted me and tried to back out of their douchebaggery of blowing me off. They actually claimed that they would have replaced my Colormunki for free had I asked them too, even though it was out of warranty. But unfortunately, they will no longer offer me a replacement. He then challenged me to add this to my post. Well, put your money where your mouth is and replace it, then I might be persuaded to remove this post.
—-On second thought Iv’e been eyeing the Spyder5Studio bundle and it looks as if this system has a hell of a lot more to offer and it has professional software modes that aren’t exclusively written for dummies. It also costs less to boot!!!
After about two years of service my X-Rite Colormunki Photo had become unusable. The device is both a monitor color calibrator and a color spectrometer all-in-one. It is used to profile printers in order to create color profiles for printer/paper combinations. I have found that the manually produced printer profiles render color correct printed images far easier than any other methods. The stock profiles that come with the printer and paper manufacturer’s profiles to be, well, OK but not all that great either. To get those great prints that pop, printer profiling is an absolute must.
I was attempting to profile some of my papers with my Cone Color inks with the partially but permanently clogged PK/MK print head. Much to my dismay the Colormunki could not be calibrated with it’s internal white-balance card and there is no other option to be able to calibrate it with an external white-balance card. When the dial was rotated the indications in the software showed the dial in another position, usually in the horizontal position. I was dead in the water 🙁
After some troubleshooting it appeared as if there were some sort of position sensor that was slightly off, I could get the software to indicate that it was in the calibrate position when the dial was rotated slightly clockwise, the same was true for the measure position. Since my device was no longer covered by X-Rite’s warranty I decided to jump into it myself. This is what I found:
The reflective targets for the position sensor was broken into eight separate pieces. The device had never been dropped since I owned it new.
The sensor was an optical type that rotates with the wheel. The reflective targets were mounted on a thin plastic strip mounted on the outer cover. It appears to be a binary device, when none of the reflectors are in place it indicates the horizontal position, when one sensor is in front of one of the detectors it either points up or down, and when both sensors reflecting it will be in the calibrate position.
At this point I decided to contact X-Rite to see if I could possibly purchase a new sensor strip and their reply was flabbergasting. They refused to offer any help and told me they don’t offer parts and basically told me that I was screwed and that I probably f-ed up any possibility of ever being able to create an accurate profile ever again. The rat bastards basically told me to piss-off.
The Colormunki comes apart quite easily but there are quite a few parts to keep track of:
Note that there is absolutely NOTHING that was taken apart that would have any effect on the calibration qualities, so long as I put the white-balance card back correctly. I thought about several ways to reproduce a new strip, actually a piece of white paper was sufficient to trigger the sensors. Ultimately I chose to glue the existing pieces back in place, at least the critical pieces with the reflective strips.
After glueing the pieces back in I reassembled the Colormunki and it worked flawlessly.
Bottom line; This device was built rather cheaply and had I not been tech savvy and mechanically inclined I would have been S**T OUT OF LUCK! I rate X-Rites’ tech support as substandard and would NEVER recommend them or their products to anyone for any reason.
There are other manufactures that produce devices and kits which don’t try to pack everything into one device. So when something goes wrong with one you won’t have to replace them all, as is the case with the Colormunki device brought to you by monkeys themselves. I think that the tech at X-Rite knows something that I don’t, quite possibly the ability for my Colormunki to hold its proper calibration after a few years. Time to look into other avenues…