ICP-MS Agilent vs Thermo

Discussions about GC-MS, LC-MS, LC-FTIR, and other "coupled" analytical techniques.

5 posts Page 1 of 1
Hi, i have to decide between these two ICP-MS: Agilent 7800 and Thermo ICAP-RQ.
The prices are similar, the Agilent is slighty cheaper butThermo has a refurbished one, ex-demo, that comes at a really competitive price.

Sensitivity wise the thermo is better on chart, better LOD, faster operations for maintenance and cleaning (the Agilent seems more on the classic side on this part), some really nice features like the curve before the collision cell that should lower noise from non ionized species.
But, sensitivity isn't that important for us, we do relative high concentration matrix, drinking water is the cleanest and hasn't matrix interferences problems. We don't do food or pharma and both instruments should be more than enough for our LOD goals.

So is all up to customer service and software. We have many Agilent instrument in the lab and we are super happy with both softwares (masshunter for GC-MS is fantastic) and with local service, they are very fast and smart guys.
On the other hand we don't know anything about thermo, we don't know if the service is on par with Agilent and their Software seems very limited compared to Agilent.
With limited i mean that you strictly have to do what it needs on the sample sequence, like QCs, editing reports seems very complicated (i believe ICP masshunter reports are excel based like GC one, right?)

Anyone has experience with the above instruments and/or softwares?

Thank you
Davide Balbo from Italy
I have only ever used the Agilent ICP-MS but I can say that they are very easy to use and maintain. A change of the cones is the most common maintenance needed on a daily or weekly basis, and they are easy to clean and reuse. Cleaning the lens stack can be done without breaking vacuum and even when running very dirty samples is only required about once a month to ever three months(we run environmental and food, including drinking water, soil, waste water, solid waste, ect).

Once or twice per year you will need to clean or replace the octapole, but that is included in the Preventative Maintenance done by Agilent. If you need to do it yourself it is not difficult, but does require breaking vacuum. Just remember that the oil in the roughing vacuum pump needs to be changed about every two months (we do it monthly due to dirty samples and running day and night constantly), but that is something that only takes a few minutes to do.

Software is similar to the GCMS MassHunter and can be setup for either an advanced user or a technician with limited options. Reports are customizable and are done in Excel and things like Internal Standard Recovery are tracked in real time so it is easy to see if a sample has caused problems as the run progresses. Overall it is an easy instrument to use.
The past is there to guide us into the future, not to dwell in.
James_Ball wrote:
I have only ever used the Agilent ICP-MS but I can say that they are very easy to use and maintain. A change of the cones is the most common maintenance needed on a daily or weekly basis, and they are easy to clean and reuse. Cleaning the lens stack can be done without breaking vacuum and even when running very dirty samples is only required about once a month to ever three months(we run environmental and food, including drinking water, soil, waste water, solid waste, ect).

Once or twice per year you will need to clean or replace the octapole, but that is included in the Preventative Maintenance done by Agilent. If you need to do it yourself it is not difficult, but does require breaking vacuum. Just remember that the oil in the roughing vacuum pump needs to be changed about every two months (we do it monthly due to dirty samples and running day and night constantly), but that is something that only takes a few minutes to do.

Software is similar to the GCMS MassHunter and can be setup for either an advanced user or a technician with limited options. Reports are customizable and are done in Excel and things like Internal Standard Recovery are tracked in real time so it is easy to see if a sample has caused problems as the run progresses. Overall it is an easy instrument to use.


Thank you James!
Davide Balbo from Italy
I have been working with Agilent ICP-MS for 20 years, starting with the HP 4500, then the Agilent 7500, 7700, 7800 and 7900. If you are looking for a robust, reliable and easy to maintain ICP-MS you can't do anything wrong with the Agilent instrument.

I also worked with a couple of Thermo instruments, and my experience was not that positive.

J
jerole wrote:
I have been working with Agilent ICP-MS for 20 years, starting with the HP 4500, then the Agilent 7500, 7700, 7800 and 7900. If you are looking for a robust, reliable and easy to maintain ICP-MS you can't do anything wrong with the Agilent instrument.

I also worked with a couple of Thermo instruments, and my experience was not that positive.

J


Thank you! i guess we will take the Agilent. We are a small laboratory and we really can't take risks with a company we don't know. Thermo could have a great customer service or maybe not, they could have a nice software as well, but at the moment we are only sure about how Agilent dealt with us with our other instruments and all our Agilents have proven to be reliable and we are happy with that.
Davide Balbo from Italy
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