I have a Ricoh AP2610 that is wearing out and not worth using. I have had to do my recent projects on a Brother MFC-J6710DW. This is a great, versatile printer that has served me well. The printouts are pretty good, but not as crisp as the AP2610 (when the AP2610 printer is working well).
I don’t want to have this as my primary solution because of the non-waterproof issue you mentioned. And the same issue (water-based ink) causes the print to gradually bleed as it is exposed to humidity over time. Basically, it is plenty good for one-time projects where the music will probably be thrown away within a few years. Many musicians like to use a highlighter to emphasize key changes, codas etc. This can be a real problem with some inkjets, although many of the inkjet printers use black ink that is at least somewhat waterproof. The black in in my MFC-J6710DW is pigment-based and does not smear when you lightly hit it with a highlighter. If I rub it aggressively with the highlighter, the edges get fuzzy, but my highlighter tip doesn’t pick up much of the black color.
So I have been on the hunt for a better solution. As we all know, there are almost no B&W wide-format laser printer options available below the $4000 level. There is the HP LaserJet Enterprise 700 Printer M712dn for around $2000. And there is the Ricoh SP 6430DN at around $1000. I’m sure both of these would work. Because these are mostly niche products sold in low volume, the supplies are very expensive. You are looking at $200-$500 to replace the toner and drum.
There may be another option. Epson has been promoting their DURABrite Ultra pigment ink. https://epson.com/i/C11CG37201
They claim it is waterproof and makes a crisper image than the water-based inks. They position it as being very equivalent to laser in terms of durability and clarity. If so, then the Epson WorkForce 7720 might be a good solution. It is a multi-function printer that can print up to 13"x19" and uses the DURABrite pigment ink – for UNDER $200. The ink is more expensive than some other inkjets, but the total cost would be far less than the Ricoh laser if you aren’t doiong thousands of pages a month.
Does anybody have real world experience with these DURABrite printers? It is as good as it sounds?