3880, which carts, which inks?

Started Jan 17, 2013 | Discussions thread
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dperez Regular Member • Posts: 288
3880, which carts, which inks?

I've been researching the subject of cartridges and inks for several days.  I found topics in here that talk about both...  and a pointer to nifty-stuff the looked at cartridges for 16 PAGES...  At this point, I've got so MUCH data, I don't know which is good information and which isn't...

So, if this should be tacked on some other discussion, feel free, but...

Just got a new 3880.  I'd like to use refillable cartridges and inks.  I'd like to use 3rd party ink that I can replace one cartridge at a time rather than having to replace ALL the cartridges at the same time.  I have access to a ColorMunki as needed so I can profile if necessary, though I'd prefer to be using inks that provide the best output and durability at the least cost WITHOUT having to profile constantly.

For Ink, I looked at

Price for small bottle (3.4 - 4 oz)

  • Inkjetmall                        $25
  • Inkjetcarts                       $14
  • Image Specialists              I can't find any prices on this site
  • Precision Colors                $12
  • Ink Republic                    $18
  • Inkjetfly                          $21

As I understand it (I believe this was in the nifty-stuff topic), the ink from Inkjetmall (Cone), Inkjetcarts and Precision Colors are the same Image Specialists ink (IM-K4).  Unfortunately, I can't even find the 3880 on the Image Specialists site, much less an price for their ink.  Also, in this forum I found some statements that the Cone ink was NOT the same as the other inks, being "encapsulated" and so close to the Epson ink that it can be substituted one cartridge at a time...  So, WHICH is it?  IS the Inkjetcarts ink exactly the same as the Cone ink, or not?  'Cause in another topic in here, at least one user with a 4900 found significant differences between the Inkjetcarts ink and the OEM, and could not substitute one cart at a time...  I'd love to get the ink for HALF what Inkjetmall is charging, but I don't want to waste all my time trying to get a decent print every time I have to change a cartridge...

For cartridges, I'd like to stay with the 80 ml cartridges so I can keep the cartridge cover closed and use the regular printer cover and so on.  I found

Price per set of 9 cartridges

  • Inkjetmall                  $156
  • Inkjetcarts                $280 (I THINK these are bigger than 80ml)
  • Precision Colors          $128
  • Inkrepublic                $280 (bigger than 80ml?)
  • Inkjetfly                    $125
  • Efillink                       $168

Presuming, the sets between $125 and $168 are the 80 ml ones, do ALL of these auto-reset?  If not, do any besides the Inkjetmall cartridges (according to their site) auto-reset?  Are there differences that make one cartridge easier to fill than the others?  Do they all have the internal bladder, which according to my reading is very useful in providing even, consistent flow to the head?  Are there any differences y'all know of that would affect longevity?  What else do I need to consider in selecting the cartridges?

Basically, I'm looking for opinions on the "best" cartridges, and the inks that are likely to perform best.  The topic at Nifty-stuff was a couple years old, and used a 3800, so I'm hoping for some more recent information.

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