Are you sure your files are 100% black? I amazed at how often, after asking that images be given to me at 100% black, I am given files that are 90% black. I think people assume that when they click on default foreground background button they are getting 100% black. Also have you tried every setting?
I'm asking the easy questions as I know nothing about your style of Epson.
Epson ink should work OK. Yes, try different paper settings. Also at one point I think Illustrator wouldn't print a rich black on my 1280 when K was at 100%. Try pushing it down to 97% or so and you can pull up the other colors more too. (Although I just opened my last file of seps and I got good coverage out of 90 90 0 100. Maybe it depends on the driver.)
Edit: in the paper settings also try printing at 1440 dpi.
On my 1400 the driver settings made all of the difference in the world. When I upgraded to snow leopard and had to use gutten print for a while my seps sucked. Once epson updated their drivers and I was able to go back to using the official epson drivers I could dial in the settings so they work every time without issue.
Yeah definitely try different print setting combos.
We have a 1400 as well. Usually we save our seps as rich black, place into illustrator and then print from there. We set the paper to the highest quality matte paper choice (can't remember exactly what it says), that way it lays more ink down.
We have an R1900. We use Accurip when printing from Illustrator and get great results. Without Accurip it is too light. It prints great out of photoshop either way. Accurip is expensive but it will fix your problem.
Thank you all so much for your help! I have figured out a few different ways to make it work.... The R1900 has a new seperate ink "gloss optimizer" and it seems that every time I print rich black (100% of all C, M, Y, K) using premium photo quality paper and turn on gloss optimizer, it prints out dark enough. I haven't tried using matte paper yet? The only problem with how I'm doing it now is that I go through the gloss optimizer very fast. I will try printing from Photoshop and see if that works as good or better, *TripleStampPress* do you know which file format works best in photoshop for printing? Thanks for the input everyone, its been a great help! It totally worth to have a premium membership!!!