Solved: Unexpected Split Tone Gradient Tint



Hey Dana or Jon,

Any idea why there appears to be a yellowish / warmish tone in the first few steps (.09, .17 & .21) of the density print? (still cannot upload or attach image… still getting “Error 2038”… so uploaded it to public dropbox at )

The profile used for this was K7-3880-MPS-Type5. I’m using a split tone of WN1,2,3 and SEL4,5,6,7 inks on Cone Type 5 paper with a GO layer.

I profiled the density print with a B&W densitometer. It looks fairly linear to me.

I substantially flushed this Pro 3880 printer with piezoflush before installing the WN & SEL inks (the printer previously had Epson inks in it). I ran at least ten power clean cycles with piezoflush. It took a lot of flush… I had to dump the maintenance cart twice. I ran numerous WN/SEL test prints after the flush. I know that SEL7 is in what used to be the Y cart slot, but with all of the flush and SEL7 ink run through it, there should not be any Y left in the line or head. I don’t see any hint of Y in the nozzle checks.

So, I’m puzzled. I had expected (and wanted) to see a nice SEL gradient throughout the lighter shades of the profile.

Any suggestions?


Hi John~

I have reviewed the attachment showing your gradient/21 step strip output, and have reviewed many prints I have made with Selenium inks on Type 5 paper with GO for comparison. After examining my test prints, I verified the yellow cast that’s visible in your print is not normal, nor is what appears to be a magenta/reddish cast in the upper mid-tones, and harsh transition jump between the 45-50% range. I know the 38xx, x900 and x890 printers have a thin ink line labyrinth before the dampers, which could be another place pigment gets trapped and seeps out slowly over time- though, I would think all traces of color would have been purged after using PiezoFlush, then installing Piezography inks… In my experience, four Power Clean Cycles is sufficient to flush ink from a 38xx printer, so after ten, I can’t believe there would be any ink left in the lines, damper or head. When you flushed the ink lines, did you also clean the capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the print head to remove color ink build up from those areas as well? If not, I suggest doing so by following our instructions and video tutorial, which you can find here:

Are you reusing your waste ink tanks? If not- it’s something that will help save $ and waste, it’s very easy by following our instructions and using our 38xx waste tank chip resetter :slight_smile:

Please let me know if you have questions, your results after cleaning, or if there’s anything further I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:


Hey Dana,

Thanks much for looking into this. I did not clean the capping station when switching over to the Piezography inks, etc… but I will now, and I’ll see if that clears up the tint problems. I’ll let you know.

BTW, Yes… I do reuse the waste ink tanks using your 38xx waste tank chip resetter. Works great!

Best to you,


Ok, keep me posted John. I’m glad to hear you’re reusing your maintenance tank to reduce costs and waste! :slight_smile:

Have a great weekend- Dana :slight_smile:


Hey Dana,

After 5 additional power clean cycles with all 9 3880 piezoflush carts followed by 6 power clean cycles with the WN/SEL split tone ink carts, the gradient is much improved but still not perfect. It’s hard to believe that any residual color ink or piezoflush could still remain in the lines or heads.

Here’s the gradient I’m currently getting with the WN/SEL split on JCS Type5 with GO:

Here’s the gradient I wish I could be getting: (this is the same gradient as above, but with a gray gamma 2.2 profile applied to it in Photoshop)

I think a different QTR .quad profile could help produce a better gradient with the WN/SEL split tone ink set that I’m using. In a separate post I asked if you could send me the QTR .quad profile used for the WN/SEL SAMP-SPLIT-TYPE5 shown on the IJM website. Not sure how much this might help but I’d like to give it a try.

Your thoughts?



Hey Dana,

I’m finally getting a clean gradient… looks like all of the residual color ink on the 3880 has finally flushed out. I’m amazed at how much flushing it took!

I got the 2880-SELWN-TYPE5.quad profile. Thanks. It’s very nice on Type 5. Might you have any other 2880/3880 SELWN split tone profiles for other types of papers? If you do, could you please send them to me.



Hi John~

I am glad to hear you have finally eliminated the color staining! I have done a bit of research since you first posted about this, because in my experience, 3-4 Power Clean cycles has been sufficient to move ink from cartridges to the print head and purge the previously installed ink (especially if you flushed the printer in between the inks), so I was puzzled how you could possibly still have color staining in your prints. We are well aware that yellow is always the worst for color staining, but you also had what looked to be some magenta and maybe even a bit of cyan staining as well. I have dismantled our 3800 in the past and discovered the thin labyrinth of ink lines in an aluminum sheet between the regular ink lines and dampers, which immediately concerned me as an area where particle build up and clogging could easily occur. I have always known about flushing the internal ink system of a pro model printer, and replacing dampers, etc… but earlier this week I reviewed the repair manual and available replacement parts, and see with this model the entire “ink system” is replaced- including the cartridge chambers, ink lines, the thin labyrinth ink lines, and damper assembly in one unit (instead of being able to replace just the dampers, as I do every few years with our other Pro model production printers). Between the thin labyrinth lines and dampers, color ink in your printer was really trapped and not easily flushed.
Out of curiosity- when you flushed the color ink with PiezoFlush- did you flush the printer and install Piezography inks immediately after (in the same day), or did you allow PiezoFlush to sit in the printer for a while to work on breaking up the color ink particles, then install Piezography a different day?

Yes, I have the JonCone Studio Type 2 curve for the same WN/SEL split I sent you for Type 5, so I will email you tat curve right now.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


Hey Dana,

The first time I flushed the Pro3880 I went from Epson inks to PiezoFlush to Piezography inks in one day. The second time I used PiezoFlush the 3880 sat overnight then got the Piezography inks the next day. At that point I still had a slight amount of yellow and magenta staining. Rather than flushing everything again, I made 8.5"x11" all yellow and all magenta files in photoshop and ran each one with individual piezoflush carts in just the yellow and magenta / light magenta slots until they ran nothing but piezoflush. At that point I switched back to the piezography ink carts and repeated the yellow and magenta files until just piezography inks came through. That assured me that the lines were finally cleared of the color inks.

Thanks for the type 2 wn/sel split profile. If you ever run any additional profiles for wn/sel on any other papers, please let me know.

Thanks much for looking into this.



You are very welcome John. Thank you for the additional information about your procedure/experience, to help me better understand the ink system of these printers.

If/when I make any more WN/SEL curves, I will send them to you. You can also have custom curves made for any paper you wish to print on. More information about custom curves can be found here:

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


Hey Dana,

Do you happen to have the ICC soft proof profiles available anywhere for the WN/SEL profiles you sent to me for type 2 and type 5 papers? And/or any other WN/SEL quad or ICC profiles?

Thanks for the link to custom curves. I have at least three items I’d like to have custom curves made for… I’ll prepare them and get them ordered.

Thanks much,


Let me see what I have for WN/SEL soft proof profiles. Sounds great- I will keep an eye out for your printed targets ad email you the curves as soon as they are ready.

Please let me know if there’s anything else I ca help you with.
Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


I checked and don’t have pre-made WN-SEL curves other than for JonCone Studio Type 2 and Type 5 papers that I already emailed you. Selenium and Warm-Neutral inks share the same shade densities, so can use the same curves to get excellent output. We always believe custom curves specific to the exact printer model, ink, paper and print settings will produce the highest quality output, but know the SEL and WN inks are SO similar that the same curves can be used with both ink sets (or combinations of them). If you use pre-made SEL or WN inks with your split-tone set up, but are not totally satisfied with the results- custom curves will perfect the output for your specific setup.

Happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile: