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Third Party Ink Companies:

Ink companies and so called pseudo ink companies talk about their product, relating to it being clog free, drying faster, matching the OEM(printer manufacturer- Epson, Canon, and HP), how well its filtered, and its light fast quality.

There are so many so called third party ink companies that are no more than resellers, who do not know anything about their product. When trouble appears the cost savings of their ink disappears.

When you buy from AIS, you buy from the manufacturer and designer.

Our Lab technicians are always testing inks whether ours or other 3rd party inks for constantly, color, and structure. So, If you have an ink that is giving you trouble contact us and we can test it.

Most third party inks that we test do not match the OEM even though they claim to be a match, so profiling is essential. We offer free custom profiling for anyone purchasing our inks.

To the credit of most pigment ink manufacturers, their inks have a decent light resistance, but some do not have temperature stability. UltraMax has both.

Ink BS:

We have seen headlines from different companies stating they filter through OSMOSIS 3 times. Theirs inks are clog free and numerous other jargon. However, an ink should be clog free from its composition and filtering. Pigment particles vary in size and ideally should be filtered to an absolute state to assure the ideal structure. So when you hear a company stating, “they filter their pigment ink to .2 micron,” they do not no what they are doing. No pigment ink can filter through a .2 micron absolute filter. Filtering the ink several time is excellent, but filtering it through the wrong filter is several times wrong. Three wrongs do not make a working ink.

First of all no ink is clog free from drying out when not in use for a long period of time or when the printer is placed in a very dry atmosphere. We help people every day with their clogging issues on Epson and other inks. To understand about clogging go to:

Inks that dry fast are a double edge sword. While that ink is great for the media, they often clog and remain clogged. In today’s business climate and working environment, it is better if the inks are a just little slower to dry.

Inkjet Ink Technology:

As the development of inkjet print heads have progressed with finer and finer ink droplets, the need for superior ink technology has become a must.

Digital inkjet inks are comprised of a number of elements of which there are colorants whether pigment or dye, glycol's, humectants, resins(binders), surfactants, and proprietary elements. 

With the rise in interest for higher gloss inks, there has been an increase in the resin content. These types of inks, like the new Epson K3, tend to dry faster. When the resinated pigment dries it forms a hard solid structure which can cause nozzle blockage, and therefore, become more difficult to unclog. 

At Symphonic Laboratories, we spent a great deal of effort testing inks in various printing conditions, including letting a printer sit for weeks in a dry atmosphere. We know that not everyone prints in the same or even ideal temperature and humidity conditions. We sell an amazing amount of cleaning fluid to customers that have clogged nozzles using inks from the printer manufacturers as well as other third party ink companies.

After months of testing we formulated a new ink comprised of three very special chemicals, an exceptional resin, a superior suspension agent, and a unique chemical called Flo-Guard. This revolutionary formula increases flowability, maintains a wetting between the pigment and resin, thus, allowing the inks to perform in a myriad of conditions. It increases the time the ink can sit on the shelf and most significantly, allow for higher pigment loads for richer highly saturated inks. 

One of the most difficult inks to maintain stability on is Magenta. Our formula has maintained complete stability for over 3 years.

Testimonials have come in from users of both our Dye and Pigment inks structured with our Flo-Guard formulations.

We make several type of cleaning fluid with Flo-Guard for different purposes. There have been countless positive responses from our technology. Do not underestimate the importance of cleaning fluid for your capping station.

Giles Prett from Crane Paper Company: “I was asked by American Inkjet Systems, Inc. to Beta test a new Magenta ink called Magenta 27. I was asked to allow my printing room to drop in temperature as low as 60 degrees. I am please to report Magenta 27 flows extremely well, dries well, does not clog easily, and is extremely rich.”

AIS Background:

AIS, American Inkjet Systems, designs and manufactures a number of different lines of Inkjet Inks and Cleaning Fluids. Symphonic Giclée UltraMax ink is one of them. There are over 16 Pigment Colors used in special combinations. These special blends allow AIS to produce ideal color pallets for specific printers to maximize results. Of these 16 colors certain combinations are used to more accurately control the hue value of inks, such as Magenta, Yellow, Green and Orange. For instance we have a Golden Yellow and a Sunflower Yellow. They as well as all our inks can be used in any Epson Printer. Golden Yellow will produce stunning Reds and Oranges where an ink set do not have more than 8 colors. Sunsets and fall leaves come alive. It is also very good for flesh tone.

The choice of raw materials are essential for quality results. High quality pigments that we choose for the UltraMax Line offer high chroma, greater brilliance, and superior light resistance. These pigments are ground into the ideal particle size and then nano filtered exceeding the requirement of inkjet ink.  This is an expensive process, but results are well worth it. UltraMax inks; therefore, cannot clog a nozzle due to improper particle distribution, which is what we have found in other inks. Special dispersion agents and our Flo-guard are used to increase shelf life and stability.

Because we control ever aspect of ink manufacturing, UltraMaxII-Art Ink sets are aimed to be blended to form the ideal hue values for Fine Art and Photographic printing with 4C, 5C, 6, and 7C ink sets. Just to clarify 4 Color refers to 4 main colors(CMYK) plus light colors. Because light colors are blended with their dark color counterpart in the print driver or Rip software, they perform as one color. So Light Light Black, Light Black and Black become one color.

In our Case 5C refers to CMYK+a 5th main color again with light colors. Our 5 Color uses Lime Green in place of Light Light Black. This allows for clean glowing greens such as in fields of grass and leaves. With this combination one can use a warmer yellow to enhance the warm range. Together this color group will give you greater liveliness of all colors.


The approach of blending colors has allowed AIS to create an ink set that can be directed to produce brilliant Reds, Greens, and Blues. Unlike the new Epson inks that are balance more toward Pantone Pre-Press.

You may wonder what is he talking about, since you may have seen and printed good prints from the Epson inks. If you are thinking this, I can understand, but if you a printing on Fine Art Paper or Canvas you may have noticed with Vivid Magenta, and even with Epson Orange you’re Reds are not true and rich. You may also have looked at your profile in a Gamut Viewer and have seen a wide coverage, which may have you wondering, where’s the Red.

In our 7 color setup for the 79 and 9900 we use a warm Orange, Violet, Lime Green, and Sunflower Yellow.  This combination offer great Reds, Blues, Purples, Greens, for art reproductions, scenic's, flesh tone, just about every aspect of Photographic and Fine Art Reproductions.

Black and White Printing:

UltraMax Black Carbon inks have high density values while our Light Blacks are neutralized with light fast pigments to offer cleaner gray tones. When used with our software you can create a what we call “Any Tone,” a method of using primarily Black inks with an addition of any amount of color to shade the gray from cool to warm at an infinite range.

Misconstrued Science:

Below are two profiles of Epson printers printed on the same canvas with their respective inks. We used ColorThink Software for the demonstration.

Looking at the 3 images of the 2D Profiles you might  assume that the 7900 will produce more color and that there is a chance that both will produce a good Red.  When in fact the the results prove otherwise.  The 7800 uses a Red Magenta while the 7900 uses a Bluer Magenta and a Yellow Orange but both use the same Greener Yellow. The Yellow Orange with the Bluer Magenta does not form a great Red, However the 9800, produces the better Red. You may say how can that be? Look at the profiles. This method of determination is not capable of determining brilliance or even pure accuracy. While it is a great tool when comparing one profile to another from the same printer and inks using different media, it is not going to tell you this important information. You need to make a print out and judge for yourself. We have conducted numerous tests with our Neon Inks which are the most brilliant colors for inkjet printing and adjusted the color management controls of the added colors to find the profile looked the same but the results varied greatly.

          Epson 7800 Canvas                                   Epson 7900 Canvas                           A Comparison of Both Overlapping

All our testing of color inks are done using lab tools, software, and the most important aspect, the printer. While we look at the profile structure, we look at the final image. You only have a handful of colors to choose from, while a painter and a child has an enormous choice of colors.

A painter does not use 4 colors or even 7 colors to paint with and a child drawing with crayons will desire as many colors as you are willing to offer. In inkjet printing we use limited colors so when adding the sum of colors they may lean to one side or the other.

Consider a monitor can portray 16 million colors while your inks and paper may only offer between 400,000 and 600,000 colors and with limitations in Red, Blues, Purples, Fuscia. The question remains, do the colors I have in my printer give me what I need? With AIS technology you have a wide choice and the help of our custom profiling to insure optimum results.

In the Field:

While we have numerous Giclée printers uses UltraMax Inks, John Hockensmith flew up from Kentucky to spend time at our studio leaning but showing me his results printing on Non Coated Fine Art Paper. The prints were stunning. The Greens were glowing as were the Reds. The colors were rich and vibrant. Overall I was amazed. Being a somewhat of a perfectionist I never thought about uncoated paper.  This is not to say that you can get the gamut of a coated paper, but WOW, the results certainly were impressive.

UltraMaxII is the ideal choice for photography, portraits, scenic's, fine art, as well as black and white.

Symphonic Giclée UltraMax II Ink Technology Designed for the spectrum and depth of color for Fine Art and Photography  What you should know about Inkjet Inks for Epson Printers. Contact Us: American Inkjet Systems, Inc. 34 Chestnut Avenue	 Emerson, NJ 07630 Tel: 201 263-9177  9 Am to 7 PM 201 753-4600 10 AM to 7 PM