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Pixma Pro9500 Mark II Dull Prints -- Is it my printhead??


Hey everyone, I hope I can find some help here. I've tried everything!!


I've been struggling to get accurate colors on prints of a watercolor painting I did. After about a million misprints from color management troubleshooting variations, nozzle checks, print head cleanings, a manual printhead removal and cleaning (with distilled water through the ports), cleaning of the timing tape even,  I FINALLY got my prints to look how I wanted... (HUGE WASTE OF GOOD PAPER AND INKS--I'm sure lots of you are familiar with this level of frustration). Here's where I got it right:


Printing from photoshop (printing from indesign was one of my problems)

Using the native color space (Tried Adobe RGB 1998, which gave my prints a reddish cast)

Disabled the printers color management (like an idiot it took me awhile to figure this one out)

Using the correct ICC profile for the paper I'm using -- Canon Premium Photo Paper Pro Matte; literally tried every other matte paper/fine art paper profile)

Front load printing.

Making sure everything matches, etc. etc.


THEN a bad paper jam happens about quarter-way through a print. I clear the jam; maybe too aggressively cause I'm pissed, right? THEN printer tells me I need to replace a couple cartridges, which is understandable because I've printed a ton by this point). I refill them (I do my own filling). I'm 100% sure I filled with the correct inks. 


Suddenly, colors are quite off again. WTF?!?!?! No matter what I do, I can't reproduce the accurate colors again......!#$%*@#!!


Here's the thing -- Now my test print results don't look quite right either. Tiniest bit of streaking in the black lines along the sides, and in the blacks/grey swatches (see 'test print' attachments). Anyone seen this before??


Ran some cleanings. Same result.  Might be taking out the print head to clean it manually again?? Did I do something to the printhead when I removed the jam?


I've included a few shots. Any feedback would be amazing. Thanks all.


(Not sure if this is relevant information but I'm on an iMac running OS Catalina 10.15.7)



(Correct Print below)




(Incorrect print below - this is what is printing now)



Here's my normal print test:

normal test print.jpg


Here's the print test result now:


wtf test print result.jpg


The black lines are not crisp like in the normal example... and some slight streaking in the blacks and grey (zoomed in below).


wtf test print zoomed in.jpg






A magenta cast is almost always a double color management issue. Check your workflow and ensure only one application or the printer driver is controlling color. 






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Thank you! That's good to know. 


I seemed to resolve the magenta cast -- not now am having dull prints, low contrast. My test prints look smudgy too. I did a thorough printhead cleaning, and may have found the tiniest fleck of ink on one of the cartridge contacts. We'll see if that does the trick.


Crazy what a science this all is!!

click here to view the gallery