Two color B&W in Epson 1400 -- Which Gray?

I’ve happily been using my Epson 1400 as what I refer to as a 4C+2MK setup. I removed the LC and LM and replaced them both with Eboni black ink.

I use Gutenprint (Mac) for printing color (there’s a menu option to run the printer as 4C), and either Gutenprint or Quadtone RIP when printing B&W.

I modified the Gutenprint XML file which describes inksets, to include the addition of this 2MK setup. The print quality is far and away smoother than Quadtone RIP — unfortunately, the print driver is extremely buggy with regard to remembering presets properly, and due to the extremely tiny dot size, the prints are warmer than I prefer. So the dot size is a bit of a double edge-sword.

So, I’m back to using Quadtone RIP. It’s much more neutral, but the dots are a bit coarser than I like in the midtones. I’m thinking about swapping out one of those 2 MK cartridges with a gray to get a little smoother prints.

I’m thinking the Piezography Neutral might be what I’m after, but I’m not sure which shade would make the most sense in a Black/1-Gray scheme. Further, any thoughts on 2 color setup that includes HD Matte + 1 Gray?

With the 1.5 picoliter drop size I believe this could work … Thoughts?

(Most of the time I’m using Epson Enhanced Matte.)

I actually suggest medium grey Pro Cool (which is actually a cool neutral) if you are doing a 2K +LK setup.


If I were to use Ultra HD Matte for my black ink in a 2C setup, do you still think the cool grey makes sense? I’m guessing the Ultra HD might be on the warm side in the 3/4 tones.


The UHD is warm (pure carbon). So yeah, cool is best on second ink


Thanks for your help. I’ll post back to this thread with some results.

I went ahead and ordered the Medium Cool Gray, along with Ultra HD Matte Black.

With HD MK in the black and yellow slots of my Epson 1400, and the cool gray in cyan slot, I created (very) warm 2MK and 1MK+Medium Cool Gray QTR Profiles. Mixed together at 70% 2MK and 30% Partitioned MK+Medium Cool Gray I ended up with this:

Pretty impressive for a quick partition and the Ultra HD is no joke (here shown on UPPM/EnhMatte). Lab of just over L 13 is way better than I ever got from my prior carbon black ink (P800 is about Lab L 15 for reference). I could probably get this more neutral with a little more work as my ink limit for the cool gray could be significantly higher, but ultimately I’ve decided not to keep it.

Currently up in the for sale/free section, as I’ve decided to become a one printer guy.

Thanks again, Walker.