Solved: Print Quality

I have an Epson 4880 and recently switched from Cone pigment to Inkthrift dyes.
For some reason my printouts have a slight posterization look in some areas.
The overall color seems to be accurate, and the nozzles are not clogged.
I’ve flushed and flushed a few times. I’m printing on Epson premium luster and
sometimes on a 3d party premium photo gloss with the same results. I would
appreciate any info that might point me in a direction to troubleshoot this issue.



Posterization implies that dark shades of ink may have been mistakenly placed where lighter shades of ink are intended. Posterization is usually a reversal of tone.

Possibly, it may be that you need to produce ICC profiles. The InkThrift are not color matched as are ConeColor.

But, if as you say, all of the nozzles are printing - then please upload a jpg of your nozzle check and we will confirm whether you have carts loaded correctly with ink. At the same time if you could take a q-tip and smear a drop of ink from each cart onto a white paper and jot down the color postion adjacent - that pic will help us as well.

Let me know if you can not upload an image.

Thanks Jon, I’ll do that. I’m on West Coast time so you’ll probably be gone by the time I upload, but I appreciate
your help.


Hi Jon,

I apologize, but I can’t seem to attach the 3 files that I have. It appears that the file size (.jpg) needs to be under 60kb, which I’ve done, but
It won’t let me load. I’ll dig around a little more and see if I can figure it out.


  1. If the regular uploader is not working with your browser, click on the Basic Uploader

  2. Select one file at a time

  3. The Upload File(s) is a hot link to click on to upload

It may be easier to use the Reply to Thread rather than the Quick Reply option. Or with Quick Reply go into Advanced Mode…

[QUOTE=test;194]1) If the regular uploader is not working with your browser, click on the Basic Uploader

  1. Select one file at a time

  2. The Upload File(s) is a hot link to click on to upload

It may be easier to use the Reply to Thread rather than the Quick Reply option. Or with Quick Reply go into Advanced Mode…[/QUOTE]

Okay, I think that worked. Thanks again Jon.


Weird but from what I see - and if the printed color patches are nozzle check patterns - the Black print head is not printing black ink but rather looks like some dark gray. You have a smear of black ink from the cart however - so we know black ink is in the cart. The print head however, appears to be either printing out some sort of diluted black ink - either from something left in the ink lines from flushing or storage?? I would try to run at least two POWER CLEANS and see if that changes the ink out put from diluted black ink to actual black ink.

Hi Mark~ I see you originally bought Cone Color pigment ink with your 4880 refillable carts a few years ago, then recently bought Ink Thrift dye bottles. Are you using Ink Thrift in the original carts that you previously used with Cone Color? If so, how did you drain/rinse the carts and convert your printer from pigment to dye inks? Have you replaced the dampers in your printer within the last three years?
Based on the extensive testing I’ve done with our Ink Thrift dyes and a variety of different printer models, the results using a standard Epson profile are pretty good and acceptable for most dye printing applications, but for the best quality output, a profile specific to the printer/ink/paper combination should always be used. If you don’t have the tools to make your own profiles, we make high quality custom color profiles, which you can read more about and order here:

Mark~ I just wanted to check in to make sure you received my message the other day, and see how things are going.

Hi Dana, Thank you and Jon. I apologize for not responding sooner. I’ve been so wrapped up in deadlines all week that I forgot to check back. You are correct about the carts. I emptied what pigment
ink that was left in them and then added in some flush, did a few cleanings, emptied those and filled them with the dyes. I realized that there was still some residue in each cart, so I continued to
run a few more cleanings and went from there. Probably not the best workflow. Regarding the dampers. Are they pretty to install? I’ve had the printer for a little less than 3 years with not a lot of
output. I will take Jon’s advise and run a couple of power cleans and see what happens.

Again I want to thank you and Jon again for taking the time to help me out. That kind of personal service is rare these days.

Thanks for the additional information Mark. I think dampers are easiest to replace in the 4000, 4800 and 4880 printer models. You can get the Epson repair manual, which includes clear step by step instructions with helpful photos, from You should use a magnetized philips screw driver whenever working on a printer, to help get screws in/out of tight places, and avoid dropping a screw inside the printer. We have replacement dampers for the 4880, though they are not currently on our website to order- you can call and place a “special order” for the set of 8 dampers, which should be replaced every 1-3 years.
Based on your output, if a few power clean cycles doesn’t correct your output, I believe using a custom profile will give you good results.

I think that’s probably what I’ll do then. I’ll take another stab at power cleaning this weekend, but order up some dampers and maybe a custom profile next week.

Thanks Dana,


Ok, please keep me posted and let me know if you want to go forward with ordering a custom profile, or if there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile: