Shimadzu UV-1601 vs UV-160 spectrophotometer

s_takimoto at s_takimoto at
Thu Apr 1 13:19:05 EST 1999

             Shimadzu UV-1601 vs UV-160 Spectrophotometer

       ....the old UV-160 was much better than the newer UV-1601!

We receive many requests from prospective buyers soliciting our advice about
Shimadzu instrumentation. As a result, we often steer customers to other
reputable vendors who offer analytical instruments which are superior in terms
of performance, reliability, price, tech support, after-sales follow-up and
service. However, we receive more requests for information about Shimadzu
spectrophotometers than anything else as evidenced from the following email
dated 5 November 1998:

To: shimadzu-sux at
From: identity withheld
Subject: UV-Vis spectrophotometer

"I read with interest your homepage. I am looking to purchase a new UV-Vis
spectrophotometer. We have a ceiling price of 10K. What is the best
instrument in your opinion and what types of things should we be looking for.
My experience is primarily with the old Spec2000 and I want to get a more
modern computer controlled instrument. I would welcome any advice you might

In a sincere effort to assist those lab decision-makers who might be
considering the purchase of a Shimadzu UV-1601 spectrophotometer, here are
some things to consider:

#1 - The UV-160 had more built-in functionality; if you want the same level
of functionality from the UV-1601.... then you'll have to fork over
additional monies to buy needed program packs at ~$300 a piece! (One "must
have" program is multi-wavelength which allows the user to do ratio
measuements like 260/280 for DNA/protein quantitation.)

#2 - The UV-160 had an internal built-in printer; if you want an external
printer for the UV-1601.... then it's an expensive add-on option!

#3 - The UV-160 sported a sealed optical bench; if you inadvertantly spill
something inside the sample compartment of the UV-1601.... then you've got
some real problems!

#4 - The UV-160 came with a standard 2 year warranty; the UV-1601 features a 1
year warranty but you can buy an expensive service protection plan from
Shimadzu.... DON'T!

#5 - The UV-160 was a heavy instrument; the newer BioSpec UV-1601 is full of
cheap molded plastic with one of those "hard to read" junky LCD screens!

BTW: Shimadzu is not a life-science company.... don't let the BioSpec name
fool you!

n.b. The older UV-160 Shimadzu spectrophotometer which is no longer in
production was a fairly decent product. Besides its ability to suffice as a
boat anchor, it was a marginally reliable instrument minus the languid CRT
screen which tends to burn out prematurely (and a replacement CRT screen is
not cheap either if you can find one). Shimadzu has them.... for a price, but
you'd probably do better to junk the UV-160!

n.b. And while we steering prospective customers away from the UV-1601, we
would be remiss if: 1) we didn't mention that VWR Scientific dropped the
UV-1201 product offering, and 2) we didn't note that the UV-2401 has a
special "flexible" sample compartment. Shimadzu was jury-rigging the
compartment with a bulky metal retrofit in an attempt to remedy a poorly
engineered design but the sample compartment suffered.... it's smaller!

n.b. Shimadzu is offering a "revolutionary" 12 and 16 cell holder for use with
their inferior line of spectrophotometers. The only revolutionary thing about
these cell holders is the price of the 12/16 cell quartz cuvettes and the cost
of any needed replacements when one breaks accidently.... and they will break!
Individual quartz cuvettes are not cheap; now imagine the exorbitant price of
these fragile 12 and 16 cell quartz cuvette(s).

n.b. To those detractors who think we forge internal Shimadzu memos (like the
tell-all authored by Shimadzu Manager Terry Adams) or make up the emails that
are forwarded to us.... well, you're WRONG! We withhold identities for two
reasons: 1) we won't give Shimadzu the opportunity to scoop a sale, and 2) we
don't need to involve innocent customers who might be targeted by the
curmudgeons who strive to shut us down.

n.b. Once again, we will reiterate our position that we will pay 10,000
Japanese yen to the first contributor who provides incontrovertible evidence
which definitively proves that we have fabricated any of the information
(opinions exempted) presented as factual on our homepage at:! How could we be more fair? How come no
one (not even Shimadzu Corporation) has filed a claim to cash in on this
offer? Could it be that all of our facts are in order? Well.... COULD IT? Now
we'll ask, what are our online detractors offering other than a lot of biased
observations and HOT air?

         Think Shimadzu is missing something.... sure they are!

                Now Beckman and HP customers can marvel at
              the factual information found on this homepage.

          For more information about Shimadzu, call 1-800-LIARS

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