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Author Topic: 3800, 3880 & 2880 confusion  (Read 7420 times)
Crying Saul
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« on: October 10, 2009, 10:00:38 AM »
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Hi all.

In the market for my first exhibition-quality large format printer on a budget, I've read pretty much all there is to read about the 2880 and the 3800. Deciding to go for the 2880 because I don't think I will be printing huge amounts of photographs, I made my way merrily to an Epson specialist to get my new printer. The very knowledgeable and no-nonsense salesman practically sent me back to square one after making me think about cartridge size and ink costs (a subject I was aware of).

He also took the time to put a 2880 on top of a 3800 to show me how small the size difference was. He said the 3800 price was somewhat lowered because of the new 3880, and that the new Vivid Magenta inks made no huge difference except in a few rare cases. He did say that the 2880 is a very good printer, but heartily recommended the 3800 because of the ink issue.

The 3800 would cost me 1200 euros. The 2880 goes for around 700-880 euros. It's a big difference to me.

I intend to print, upon buying, around 30 A3/A3+ prints for exhibition purposes, and then probably between 5 and 10 A4 prints a month, the occasional A3 print every now and then (A2 if I get the 3800), as well as a few batches of smaller formats for family photographs and such (10x15cm, 18x24cm). The salesman also said that if the exhibition idea works out, I might need to do extra prints if people buy them, but this is not something I'm counting on at this stage

Since I am NOT going to get the 3880 (1400 euros), I was hoping to get some comments on the 2880/3800 choice as of october 2009, whether it's sensible to buy a three-year-old printer, etc.

Thanks for your help.
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2009, 10:56:07 AM »
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Quote from: Crying Saul
Hi all.

In the market for my first exhibition-quality large format printer on a budget, I've read pretty much all there is to read about the 2880 and the 3800. Deciding to go for the 2880 because I don't think I will be printing huge amounts of photographs, I made my way merrily to an Epson specialist to get my new printer. The very knowledgeable and no-nonsense salesman practically sent me back to square one after making me think about cartridge size and ink costs (a subject I was aware of).

He also took the time to put a 2880 on top of a 3800 to show me how small the size difference was. He said the 3800 price was somewhat lowered because of the new 3880, and that the new Vivid Magenta inks made no huge difference except in a few rare cases. He did say that the 2880 is a very good printer, but heartily recommended the 3800 because of the ink issue.

The 3800 would cost me 1200 euros. The 2880 goes for around 700-880 euros. It's a big difference to me.

I intend to print, upon buying, around 30 A3/A3+ prints for exhibition purposes, and then probably between 5 and 10 A4 prints a month, the occasional A3 print every now and then (A2 if I get the 3800), as well as a few batches of smaller formats for family photographs and such (10x15cm, 18x24cm). The salesman also said that if the exhibition idea works out, I might need to do extra prints if people buy them, but this is not something I'm counting on at this stage

Since I am NOT going to get the 3880 (1400 euros), I was hoping to get some comments on the 2880/3800 choice as of october 2009, whether it's sensible to buy a three-year-old printer, etc.

Thanks for your help.
One deciding factor is the price of inks. Check in your country how much 2880 carts cost and compare to the ones for the 3800. The 3800 uses much larger cartridges than the 2880 - so ckeck price/ml of ink. For 30 prints, with the 2880 printer, you might already have to change cartridges…
In the end, it might be cheaper to purchase the 3800 and it gives you the posibility to up to print A2+
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 10:59:53 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
duraace
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2009, 11:18:08 AM »
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Quote from: Crying Saul
Hi all.

In the market for my first exhibition-quality large format printer on a budget, I've read pretty much all there is to read about the 2880 and the 3800. Deciding to go for the 2880 because I don't think I will be printing huge amounts of photographs, I made my way merrily to an Epson specialist to get my new printer. The very knowledgeable and no-nonsense salesman practically sent me back to square one after making me think about cartridge size and ink costs (a subject I was aware of).

He also took the time to put a 2880 on top of a 3800 to show me how small the size difference was. He said the 3800 price was somewhat lowered because of the new 3880, and that the new Vivid Magenta inks made no huge difference except in a few rare cases. He did say that the 2880 is a very good printer, but heartily recommended the 3800 because of the ink issue.

The 3800 would cost me 1200 euros. The 2880 goes for around 700-880 euros. It's a big difference to me.

I intend to print, upon buying, around 30 A3/A3+ prints for exhibition purposes, and then probably between 5 and 10 A4 prints a month, the occasional A3 print every now and then (A2 if I get the 3800), as well as a few batches of smaller formats for family photographs and such (10x15cm, 18x24cm). The salesman also said that if the exhibition idea works out, I might need to do extra prints if people buy them, but this is not something I'm counting on at this stage

Since I am NOT going to get the 3880 (1400 euros), I was hoping to get some comments on the 2880/3800 choice as of october 2009, whether it's sensible to buy a three-year-old printer, etc.

Thanks for your help.

When I first started reading your message, I immediately thought you were making a mistake with the 2880 because of cartridge size.  With the small cartridges, you're always running to the store to buy more ink.  I have a 3800, and it goes on and on and on.  Also, considering the relatively low price of the 3800, especially since the 3880 is out, it's a bargain because it's a professional printer.  The quality is gallery quality.  Go for it.  I don't think you need a 3880.  I have decided I don't need to upgrade.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 11:18:33 AM by duraace » Logged
Desmond
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 11:29:05 AM »
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Put it the simplest way, 3800 is cheaper than 2880 if the ink cart. come with were counted. I mean when you use up the starter set of ink of the 3800, you will have spent much more than that to do the same amount of print on 2880.
The salesman I encountered did the same calculation and made the same recommendation as  yours. After using it for almost 1 year, I find it is true and am glad to go for 3800. I didn't know the difference between the K3 and K3 with vivid magenta. I expect that in real life more than 80 % image will show no difference.
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Desmond
Crying Saul
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2009, 11:32:11 AM »
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Thanks for the replies. From your experience, how does the 3800 behave if you don't print *anything* for, say, three-four months? What happens to the ink quality, nozzles etc? Can you just start it up and print again? I insist on this because, like I wrote in the original post, I am not a professional photographer and I don't expect printing regularly.
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michael
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2009, 11:53:24 AM »
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I completely agree on the ink cost issue. The 3800 is the way to go.

I left my 3800 printer unused for two months this summer and it printed perfectly when I turned it on afterward.

I have just finished testing the 3880 and my review will be online later in the week. The Vivid Magenta K3 inks do have a wider gamut than those on the 3800, and the printer also is capable of slightly better dithering and thus slightly smoother images, but the differences aren't that great.

Michael
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jjlphoto
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2009, 01:00:52 PM »
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Quote from: Crying Saul
Thanks for the replies. From your experience, how does the 3800 behave if you don't print *anything* for, say, three-four months? What happens to the ink quality, nozzles etc? Can you just start it up and print again? I insist on this because, like I wrote in the original post, I am not a professional photographer and I don't expect printing regularly.

I live in the midwestern US. I have left my 3800 idle for 4~5 months. No problems. I bought mine when they first came out, and have had to do a head cleaning just twice in its lifetime. Never more than two cycles each time. If you are in southwest US, or other extremely dry climate, that may play a part, and leaving idle for such a long time may be an issue. Perhaps others can chime in in that regard.

I have just ordered a 4880, as with rebates, it was really affordable. Ink costs drop almost in half based on the larger 220ml cart size. The 4880 ink runs around .34/ml. My 3800 ink costs are roughly .60/ml. The 2880 inks run around $1.00/ml. It does add up.
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Peter Mellis
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2009, 01:14:49 PM »
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The ink cost factor makes the 3800 the way to go. Mine has gone unused for a month or more without any issues.

When I got mine I thought that I would never print at the max size (using 17X25 paper); I recently printed a series of pictures at 16X24. While I don't expect to do that very often, it's really nice to have the capability.
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jpegman
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2009, 01:44:09 PM »
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Yes, the ink factor makes the 3800 a bargain, if you do a lot of printing.

According to Eric Chan 3800 FAQ (http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/faq.html#inkcost) a sq foot of paper uses about 2ml of ink (total from all cartridges, some much more than others, and others much less depending on the subject matter)

At 80ml/cart, you have 720 ml to start, which in total will print about 360 square feet (or borderless A3=1.4SF= 257 prints or borderless A4= .67SF=1080 prints, etc). You can do the math to see how much you will use in a year or two.  In short, the 3800 is designed for a "medium" frequency printer.

Also, in Eric's FAQ is the following:

"Once you install an ink cartridge, Epson recommends that you use it up within 6 months. This is to ensure consistency and color accuracy. However, owners of other Epson UltraChrome K3 printers (e.g., the R2400, 4800, 7800, and 9800) have found through experience that it is fine to continue to use ink cartridges much longer than the recommended 6-month period. Many users have reported using a single ink cartridge for considerably longer than a year with no perceived decrease in print quality or other ill effects."

Remember, that if several low usage carts give you problems, it's $50 per cart to replace, whereas the 2880's smaller carts are about $12 to replace, which will probably never happen unless they run out of ink!

It's too bad Epson didn't upsize the 2880 carts to maybe twice the current size - HP offers XL consumer carts that have 50% more ink in the same size cart, but, they would probably not make as much $$$.

Jpegman
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2009, 02:02:34 PM »
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I see you've gotten a lot of good advice.  If you do the math you will see that by the time you buy enough ink for the 2880 to equal what you get with the 3800 you will have spent more than buying the 3800 up front.  In fact, when you buy the 2880 you will need to buy a full set of ink cartridges because the printer will go through the first set pretty quickly, using much of it up in the initial fill.

The only way the 2880 would be a better choice is if you plan on printing very little, but since you mentioned exhibition printing I assume you are printing pretty large prints.

So more money now, but much less in the long run.

I have 2 3800's, which sit idle much of the time, but rarely have clogging issues when I start them up.

IMHO, the 3800 might be the best inkjet printer any company has ever produced.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 02:04:52 PM by Wayne Fox » Logged

Dan Berg
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2009, 02:23:16 PM »
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Ditto to Wayne's comment about the 3800 being that good. Mine sits for extended periods sometimes a month or more and no issues. I thought of selling it after receiving my 7900 but am so glad I kept it. Use it for almost all of my fine art paper printing.
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N Walker
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2009, 05:01:13 PM »
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I started of using A3+ printers (had several of them over the years) but I will 'never' again entertain printers using small cartridges as their ink costs are ridiculous. The R2880 uses 11.4ml cartridges and you will pay through the nose for manufacturers small ink cartridges - around 6 times more than the Epson 3800 ink catridges.

The price of the Epson 3800 includes 380 (on average) worth of inks in the purchase price! As the 3880 has just been announced the 3800 will drop in price. I have no desire to upgrade to a 3880 as the 3800 is producing stunning exhibition quality prints.

To give you an example of ink prices from an established pro UK dealer - I am not suggesting they are currently the cheapest - although a few months back no one could beat their 3800 ink set prices on the web.

Epson R2880 total ink set 101 .94 - 11.4ml cartridges

Epson R3800 total ink set 402.50 - 80ml cartridges

713.58 in 11.4ml cartridges to match a set of 3800 cartridges per ml.

My Epson has never clogged since I have owned it (16 months) and IMHO opinion the best value for money printer on the market.

All of my other Epsons 2180, 1280, 2200 and R800 clogged on occasions and several had a self destruct button included - always just after the warranty.

A light hearted take on ink costs http://www.printercartridges4less.com/shoc...cartridges.html see the video
« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 05:03:22 PM by Nick Walker » Logged

Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2009, 05:18:48 PM »
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Quote from: Dan Berg
Ditto to Wayne's comment about the 3800 being that good. Mine sits for extended periods sometimes a month or more and no issues. I thought of selling it after receiving my 7900 but am so glad I kept it. Use it for almost all of my fine art paper printing.

I agree completely about the 3800. My 4000 couldn't sit a week without getting seriously clogged. For the past year though, because I have been so busy shooting, I have farmed out all my printing to a superb local art printer. My 3800 had not even been turned on for the last 8 months until two days ago. Not a clog. It ran like the day I shut it down.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2009, 02:52:12 AM »
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Quote from: jpegman
Yes, the ink factor makes the 3800 a bargain, if you do a lot of printing.

According to Eric Chan 3800 FAQ (http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/faq.html#inkcost) a sq foot of paper uses about 2ml of ink (total from all cartridges, some much more than others, and others much less depending on the subject matter)


Jpegman


2 ML of ink per sq foot translates to 22 ML per square meter.  Is that amount confirmed by other 3800 users?  AFAIK the wide format models use on average about half of that for a square meter. At least the Z models that I use and I do not expect worse from the Canons.

There is a table comparing the iPF5100 with the 3800 and 4800:
http://canonipf.wikispaces.com/IPF+Vs+Epso...p;+4800?f=print

It gives a 1.5 ML per square foot with the 3800. For the Canon iPF5100 about 1 ML on average if I count all the numbers quoted there and in the LL review linked there.

While I understand the 2880<>3800/3880 economy differences I never see another 13"-17" compared on ink use/price with the 3800 model.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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Czornyj
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2009, 03:05:28 AM »
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Quote from: Ernst Dinkla
2 ML of ink per sq foot translates to 22 ML per square meter.  Is that amount confirmed by other 3800 users?  AFAIK the wide format models use on average about half of that for a square meter. At least the Z models that I use and I do not expect worse from the Canons.

There is a table comparing the iPF5100 with the 3800 and 4800:
http://canonipf.wikispaces.com/IPF+Vs+Epso...p;+4800?f=print

It gives a 1.5 ML per square foot with the 3800. For the Canon iPF5100 about 1 ML on average if I count all the numbers quoted there and in the LL review linked there.

While I understand the 2880<>3800/3880 economy differences I never see another 13"-17" compared on ink use/price with the 3800 model.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/

According to Mark's evaluations, it's 1ml/sq foot rather than 2ml. From my own experience with 7880, it also consumes 1ml/sq foot on average.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...800-costs.shtml
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 04:12:58 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2009, 04:37:39 AM »
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Quote from: Czornyj
According to Mark's evaluations, it's 1ml/sq foot rather than 2ml. From my own experience with 7880, it also consumes 1ml/sq foot on average.
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...800-costs.shtml

I scanned that article fast so I may have missed something but he mentions: never printed on matte papers, no PK>MK>PK switch done, 1.2x the numbers if waste ink on cleanings is also counted.

Not everyone's average use of a 3800 I guess.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/
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Czornyj
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2009, 05:48:35 AM »
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Quote from: Ernst Dinkla
I scanned that article fast so I may have missed something but he mentions: never printed on matte papers, no PK>MK>PK switch done, 1.2x the numbers if waste ink on cleanings is also counted.

But such aspects like PK>MK switching and cleaning are uncountable, one cleans and switches more often, other doesn't swich nor clean at all.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2009, 08:36:14 AM »
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Quote from: Czornyj
But such aspects like PK>MK switching and cleaning are uncountable, one cleans and switches more often, other doesn't swich nor clean at all.

Correct, that is what makes all the user test results so wildly different.
There are however printers that do not need a PK>MK>PK switch and there are printers that need less cleaning.

It would be nice to have 4 different printers available for some months.
All kept on power.
Let them print 10 sheets gloss, 10 sheets matte, 10 sheets plain paper, every week.
Use identical manufacturers papers and the profiles distributed by the manufacturer.
Weigh all the carts after initialiasation, and after the total period.
Measure the ink that is left in the carts after they are declared empty by the printer.
Count the ML per sq foot.

Price of ink varies on the planet, deals exist for higher quantities. It is a variable that can be added after that.
The ink droplet counters in the software seem to work differently per brand and model. Some count on printing only, not on cleaning etc. Do it by weight.



met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Try: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/

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Edalongthepacific
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2009, 12:01:34 AM »
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I have enjoyed this discussion concerning the 3800 vs the 3880. I just purchased a 3800 and could return it for a 3880 but I am somewhat reluctant for this reason. The 3800 gives excellent results and has been in production for some time. The 3880 has still to be extensively tested by consumers. We still do not know its true properties...or do we? I have pushed the 3800 as far as I have been able to in printing red fire trucks and red cars and have discovered the limits of the magenta. Certainly the vivid magenta would produce a wider production gamut. However, I am uncertain if I actually need it, I just enjoyed seeing how much red I could get the machine to produce. As I understand it, the 3880 has the print head and inks of its larger brothers. Isn't this actually a manufacturing expediency rather than a truly reinvented printer? Also, I have read that the 3800 will not accept a vivid magenta cartridge. Are they the same size as the 3880? The chips may be different? It has been said that the vivid magenta will not pas through the print head of the 3800. OH really...Is it not a fluid? I suspect the 3800 could be made to accept vivid magenta with just a little tweaking but then why market a 3880 if it is not much different than a 3800? Those guys in marketing really sail (sale) the ship any corporate employee knows that. And the engineers. Even when they speak you can't understand them. Am I wrong? Should I send the 3800 back? I still have a few days to do so...
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2009, 01:26:57 PM »
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Quote from: Edalongthepacific
I have enjoyed this discussion concerning the 3800 vs the 3880. I just purchased a 3800 and could return it for a 3880 but I am somewhat reluctant for this reason. The 3800 gives excellent results and has been in production for some time. The 3880 has still to be extensively tested by consumers. We still do not know its true properties...or do we? I have pushed the 3800 as far as I have been able to in printing red fire trucks and red cars and have discovered the limits of the magenta. Certainly the vivid magenta would produce a wider production gamut. However, I am uncertain if I actually need it, I just enjoyed seeing how much red I could get the machine to produce. As I understand it, the 3880 has the print head and inks of its larger brothers. Isn't this actually a manufacturing expediency rather than a truly reinvented printer? Also, I have read that the 3800 will not accept a vivid magenta cartridge. Are they the same size as the 3880? The chips may be different? It has been said that the vivid magenta will not pas through the print head of the 3800. OH really...Is it not a fluid? I suspect the 3800 could be made to accept vivid magenta with just a little tweaking but then why market a 3880 if it is not much different than a 3800? Those guys in marketing really sail (sale) the ship any corporate employee knows that. And the engineers. Even when they speak you can't understand them. Am I wrong? Should I send the 3800 back? I still have a few days to do so...
The screening process and drivers are designed around the printer and the colors of the ink, so to put different inks into a 3800 would involve a lot more than just putting them in.  While both inks are a "liquid" there is a lot of ways to make a liquid.  Canon ran into this same problem when they redesigned the black inks originally used in the ipf5000 ... the heads and nozzles wouldn't handle the new black inks so the only option was upgrading to a 5100.  So while it sounds logical and simple to retro a 3800, there's more to it than what we see on the surface.

The 3800 doesn't share the same print head as the larger printers, it just shares the same inkset.  So there may be some validity to the statement this printer is untested, but I'm not sure the changes from the 3800 would introduce any issues into the printer.  It's not like the 79/9900 printers that were entirely new printers from the ground up and have had some issues.

Personally if I could return the printer and apply it towards the newer one I probably would ... but I always like using the latest and greatest.  Nothing wrong with keeping the 3800 because it has stellar output and is certainly well tested and amazingly reliable.    If you are happy with it no reason to change.  There are a lot of 48/78/9800 series printers still in operation today despite being discontinued  years ago.
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