Vivid Magenta V.S. Magenta: The Wider Color Gamut

Motley Ship

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vivid MagentaMany of you who own a printer from the Epson Stylus Pro family (or any printer from any brand in general), are probably familiar with the basic colors of ink cartridges: Black, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta. Ink cartridges have gone by this color-naming convention since the birth of the universe, and rightly so; it is extremely convenient.

However, not too long ago, our executive buddies at Epson Corporation decided it was time for a change. As they started rolling out their new line of printers, Epson also decided to churn out two new colors: Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta. What is the difference between the new “vivid” Magentas and the regular Magentas? Epson answers with one line on their site:

“Now, with the addition of newly formulated vivid magenta and vivid light magenta inks, they offer an even wider colour gamut with a dramatically improved range of expression.” -Epson Corporation

Aside from being ambiguous, the answer tells loyal printer buyers nothing about printer compatibility. I have gone over numerous forum posts about people trying to substitute Vivid Magenta/Vivid Light Magenta for Magenta/Light Magenta, and vice versa. Not only are numerous Stylus Pro owners befuddled, but dealers and others selling the cartridges are having headaches over the ensuing confusion. I can’t tell you how many times I have sold a Vivid Magenta or Vivid Light Magenta, only to have it returned (opened at times) because the customer realized the cartridges were not substitutes for Magenta and Light Magenta. Below, I will try and stem the tidal wave of questions.

  1. Compatibility issues arise with the Stylus Pro 3800/3880, 4800/4880, 7800/7880, and 9800/9880 series printers.
    1. The 3800, 4800, 7800, and 9800 Stylus Pro printers are ONLY compatible with Magenta and Light Magenta. Do not try and stuff a Vivid Magenta or Vivid Light Magenta to replace Magenta and Light Magenta, thinking that you are going to obtain a more dazzling array of color. What you will end up with is a messed up printer.
    2. The 3880, 4880, 7880, and 9880 are upgraded models of their ‘800 predecessors. These are the Stylus Pro models that Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta were made for. You can ONLY use Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta for these models. Do not try and stuff Magenta and Light Magenta in as substitutes (unless you can afford a new printer).
  2. The Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta inks have different product numbers than the Magenta and Light Magenta inks. Refer to the Printers section of our site to select your printer model and view the various product numbers of cartridges compatible with your Epson printer.
  3. If you have a Stylus Pro 11880, 7900, or 9900,  then CHILL. Only Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta are available for those models.

For further information about printer models not listed above, or if you just want to check if am wrong or not in order to leave a snide remark at the bottom of this page, visit the official Epson website. Select “ink” from the menu bar up top, and select your printer model from the drop down list titled “Please Select Your Printer.” From there, a page should load with a list of all the compatible ink cartridges for your printer.

Questions, comments, rants? Leave a message and we’ll have a chat party.


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