I bought one of the small bottles of DBlBk at the Ohio Pen Show in November. I was wondering if it was the new formula or not, but it seems to be the old one given that mine shades. I prefer the colour of the reformulation, but it's unfortunate that it lost the shading qualities. Seems more like a deep blue now rather than a blue black?
The R2 version was released in the Summer of 2012, but hadn't made its stateside debut until October. I speculate that Distributors / Vendors were clearing ye olde version from their inventory prior to offering the R2 version at the retail level.
I agree that there is a greater Blue aspect to the R2 version, which to me makes it more of a Blue-Black than ye olde version, which had the unfortunate Teal aspect.
. . (I'd often mix some Royal Blue into ye olde version to off-set the Teal.)
I agree that the low[er] shading potential of the R2 is a bit of a disappointment, but I hope that I can get a bit more shading with other pen+paper combos; and dilution might open-up the ink just a bit to reveal shading that could be hiding.
I'm torn about whether to buy or not. I'm pretty sure the sample I got recently from Goulet's is R2, but it's pretty close to Majestic Blue that I own and quite enjoy.
The difference between DBlBk-R2 and Diamine Majestic Blue is greater that of DBlBk-R2 and Diamine Indigo.
None of those inks are considered a powerhouse of shading.
I've posted a wee review of Majestic Blue HERE, so one can read across points on those documents.