I know this topic has been beaten to death here, but after several weeks of testing a half of dozen papers, I am getting close.
I really wanted to like the Ilford Gold silk. The tonality of the images on the nice warm substrate are simply beautiful, but the gloss differential is simply unacceptable. It's not visible under normal viewing conditions when under glass, but I want to be able to hand a print to a gallery director without embarassment. I tried the new HP Baryte paper preset and profiles with the Gold Silk and lo and behold, the gloss differential virtually disappeared which was great, but along with it went the shadow detail under the heavier ink load. I may be able to use this paper for lighter images.
HP's Pro Satin, which I love for my color images, performs very admirably with B&W images, but I want the look feel of a fiber paper for my B&W work.
Epson's Exhibition Fiber prints beautifully, but it's too white for my taste and the OBAs are a possible long term problem.
Harman's Gloss FB Al is a beautiful paper, but too white as well and the surface is the only one that still shows very faint starwheel marks from the Z3100 and is too sensitive to handling.
My favorite so far is Museo Silver Rag. Absolutely beautiful reproductions and my favorite warm tone paper. My only issue (which I hope is only with my sample) is that there are surface imperfections in multiple places on each 8 1/2 x 11 and 13 x 19 sheet. They are circular and about 4-5mm in diameter and the ink doesn't take well so it looks like gloss differential. I am working with paper that I bought over two years ago when it first came out, so maybe I am dealing with early production problems. Before I buy a few hundred dollars worth of this stuff, can someone let me know if current production has eliminated the coating problems. I haven't really read anything here that would lead me to believe that it is an issue, but I want to make sure.
I have one other paper on order that I am going to put up against the Silver Rag and that is the Photo Rag Baryta. I should have it early next week and I'm excited to see how it performs. One of these two papers will take the leading role in my B&W printing. Anyone here specifically compare the Silver Rag with the Photo Rag Baryta for B&W work?
Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.