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Pixma Pro9000: suddenly horrible color! Need help


I've had my Pixma Pro9000 since 2009. Always loved it's printing quaility, and it's been completely trouble-free until now. Sure, ink costs per print are ridiculous, but the printed pictures are beautiful (I use Pro Platinum paper, again not cheap).


Anyway, just today it failed me. I'm guessing it's a hardware problem where somehow the proper ink is not being injected. Looks like the CYAN or PHOTO-CYAN is just not being inserted in the proper proportions or maybe not at all?


The symptom is TERRIBLE COLOR!!!


I've run the nozzle test and it looks fine. I've run a cleaning (but not a deep cleaning) and no change. I normally print using Photoshop CS6 (Win7 or Win10) with "let printer handle color" and "absolute coloriimetric" intent and don't ever change that, but beginning today the results are HORRIBLE.  Surely this is a hardware issue.


Just to be sure I've also tried printing the same photos using ACDSee, but still dreadful. PS6 does a slightly less awful job, but neither is anything like what it should be.


Since Canon no longer supports the printer, even with phone support, I'm first of all looking for any 9000 (or other similar printer) user who's seen this symptom and can suggest what might be responsible. If it's hardware that can be repaired, I can try and seek out a Canon printer repair agent here in Los Angeles (thankfully I live in a big city). But if it needs parts that are simply unavailable, it may be time for a new printer.


Just for example (and I will post a few more after this, in the next post) first here is an original JPG that I printed about five years ago:




I printed it on the 9000 and it looks identical. Here is a scan of that printed photo, which I think you'll agree is essentially identical to the original JPG... certainly as far as colors go. Remember the above JPG is from PS6 creating a JPG from a TIFF that was produced from a scan on my Epson Perfection 4990 Photo scanner of the 8 1/2" x 11" glossy photo print produced 5 years ago.So the color from this scan may not be quite exactly as it looks on the actual paper glossy print, which truly looks identical to the true original JPG shown above.


Scan of printed photo


And now finally, here is a scan of TODAY'S PRINT just done of the same original. The above scan was of the original print done several years ago. The following scan is from today's print.


Scan of today's defective print


It's clear there doesn't seem to be any blue in today's print.


Well, I did finally manage to contact a printer repair place here in LA. Turns out the guy used to be a Canon tech, so he was very knowledgeable Seemed capable, except that he charges $130/hour plus parts. And of course any estimate costs money too, even if the diagnosis results in a "cannot be repaired" conclusion, assuming it was just a matter of the rightreplacement parts if they were even available. He said it was not unreasonable to imagine a cost all told of $300-$450, which is now about what the printer originally cost new back in 2009.


Prices for  new Pro-100 or its replacement Pro-200 are much more, about $600 or more. And the super 10-tank Pro-300 (which is what I'd probably go with, knowing me) is $900. And that's not counting ink, which is not the same CLI-8 that the 9000 printers use, so it's throw away the remaining stock of new cartridges I currently have stashed for my 9000.


I decided to just seek out a used replacement, and why not a 9000 Mark II. Plenty for sale, but I did find a "mint" 9000 Mark II on eBay that he was willing to take $300 for (less than his "buy it now" value) and that's fine with me. It would have to cost me that much to repair my 9000, if it could even be repaired.


Turns out he's located about 30 miles south of me, so I'm driving there tomorrow to pick it up and save shipping cost and time and nuisance. Hopefully it really will be "mint" (all I really want is that it prints perfectly). I probably can salvage many of the non-empty ink tanks from my 9000 before I toss it. I did use a buinch of ink with the cleanings in my attempt to get back to normal, so BK and PM now need to be replaced But I also put three other brand new tanks in just yesterday, that still show "untouched" and full.


Anyway, painful experience. I had hoped it was something easy and fixable, but alas not. As I said previously, I did get my money's worth out of my 2009  $400 printer investment. And the Mark II version is a perfectly adequate substitute. Time to just move on.