I've used many approaches over the years for determining contrast and printing times when enlarging. Split grade has seemed like an interesting and effective solution and the little I've played with it has shown that it also has potential for me. A few months back, I purchased an analyzer/timer system by Labex/Wallner as it seemed a good solution to my wanted upgrade from my simple comparator and desire for a digital timer. The system is surprisingly capable and its densitometer mode agrees with my trusted Macbeth so that I feel I can use them interchangeably, depending upon what I'm up to. My post is to the question of using a maximum black basis for setting print times. The Wallner has an indexing mode that allows me to pretest a paper batch, determine the maximum black setting for that batch/type and the timer will then take the projected point that I'm analyzing and adjust the direct-read time shown to produce maximum black on that paper. I feel that I have quickly adapted to this system and that I can nail a 95% correct print on the first try quite consistently. The threads I've found in here (especially regarding split grade) seem very centered upon highlight control and this has been a general way of functioning for me in the past, too. Sometimes I use the analyzer to calculate the tonal range of a negative but usually use experience to determine contrast grades or filters. I've been pleasantly surprised at the usability of this system and the flexibility it allows in switching papers during a printing session. Does anyone else function off of max black? I didn't find any threads on this in here.... if there is, I'm sorry for starting another!