A notch above the ipf6100 in what way. dmax? gamut? ease of use? overall print quality? something else?
Dmax of the 11880 equals the ipf6100, and it looks like ink loading can be increased so it may be able to exceed it. Gamut volume gain to me seems pretty substantial on the only paper's I've worked with so far, Kodak and Epson Prem Lustre, and the gains seem to be in areas that will be useful to try and maintain detail in shadows. I'm actually seeing larger differences in gamut volume than Joseph did, so I'm reprofling the ipf6100 to make sure of my results. I've always felt the Epsons beat the Canon's in ease of use, I especially like Epsons paper feed on the 24" and larger machines far better than Canon's, but of course that's a personal preference opinion.
So based on dmax and the gamut graphs I'm seeing, and a few preliminary prints, I believe 11880 output will be better. I need to qualify that a little however. You already know I like the ipf6100 very much, think it's a terrific printer, and produces fantastic prints. I don't think any quality gains will be obvious, and most likely will be difficult to see even upon side by side comparisons. One other qualification, I do 99.9% color work, and I know many really like the canon printers for B&W. Others will have to comment on the 11880 for black and white work.
Now it seems that we need a review of the Epson 7880/9880 separate from the 11880, as they use a (at least slightly) different inkset.
I concur. In fact, it would be helpful if someone with an 11880 would put a 4880 or 7880 through the paces. I'd love to, and I'm betting my supplier would lend me one for a while, but don't have the time.
I read Joseph Holmes article as well. The increased density in the final page of Bill Atkinsons 5200 patch target is visually obvious. While it could be due to reformulation of inks, my instincts tell me it has more to do with ink load than ink. I have no way of knowing, (perhaps Jeff Schewe or Joseph Holmes will get an official word from epson), but it seems with the amazing control this printer has in dot placement and size, it would be easy to load up more ink and not get into problems. It also could simply be new screening methods allow more ink load as well.
Obviously if it is due to the head/dot placement technology we may not see as much gain in the 48/78/9880 printers. If it is with ink, probably not either because I don't think they are making a new full inkset and thus all but magentas would have to be backward compatible.
I guess thats a rather long way of say I concur