Example just for illustration:
I open a new AICS5.5 and AICS6 doucument and fill a rectangle with PMS 485 (Bright red) from the PMS Colorbooks. I understand that the new + Books in AICS6 are LAB. The color in the actual rectangle in AICS6 looks very close to a PMS 485 in a swatch book (yeah!). The color rectangle in AICS5 looks a bit more orange, but not horribly off.
My problem is with the SWATCHES PANEL ITSELF. In AICS6 all the swatches appear really off and generally desaturated? For instance the 485 swatch in AICS6 looks like a "rust" color (certainly not a true red of any kind). I realize that you should never rely on a computer monitor to make Spot Color decisions, but really, do they need to display this far off? What can the color look so good in the document and so lousy in the swatches panel? If I change the document mode from RGB to CMYK, should not the swatches panel change to match?
Here is a cut-n-paste from what I am getting - looks at the measured values in Photoshop.
I don't have CS6 to check but I'm curious. Can you please make this test in a RGB document after assigning to it the color space (profile) of your monitor by choosing Assign Profile from the Edit menu.
In case you are unsure about the name of your monitor profile, it is displayed next to Monitor RGB - on the RGB menu in the Working Spaces section of the Color Settings accessible from the Edit menu or (Shift + Cmd + K)
this is what I get pretty close you might have different color settings and you might have different previews turned on like overprint preview though I do not see any difference when change to overprint preview but I think there is something else going on with your CS 5. Did you check you actual color book to see which version is closer it looks to me that your CS 5 version is more like PMS Warm Red which more vermillion.
I am not using CS5.5 anymore, so my main concern is with the CS6 Colorbook Palette looking so far off. Once I use the PMS color in a document objcet it appears as it should, but the Palette is useless - they might as well just list PMS names with no swatches at all?
The pantone colors in the Color Libraries panel and the default display of the pantone colors in the Swatches panel in CS6 are displayed using the Lab color space. Or at lest this is how it is supposed to work and I don't have CS6 to check. You showed us the Color Libraries panel but not the Swatches panel and it will be interesting to know if you have the same problem there. The spot colors displayed in the Color Libraries and the Swatches panels should be the same as the color displayed in the document. What you are experiencing is not normal and it is interesting if someone else with CS6 can confirm this. Do you have this problem in both RGB and CMYK documents? You can't change the display of the colors in the Color Libraries panel but you can change it in the Swatches panel. To find clues about the problem, please check what happens if you double click on the spot color swatch in the Swatches panels and change it for example to RGB color made using RGB values that are the same as the values you get when you convert a copy of the Pantone color to RGB color by selecting the RGB sliders from the menu of the Color panel? So far, unless it is a bug confirmed by others, to me it sounds like something is corrupted in the display of the Pantone colors on your computer and a troubleshooting like resetting the preferences may need to be done.
I have tried some other combinations as you suggest, but still not getting there (See Attached).
The color shown in the Swatch Options panel is not too far off (of course it should be the same), but the swatches and library panels are not even close (although they do agree).
Never noticed this problem until I upgraded to Mountain Lion last week. I have been runnig CS6 since last May in Snow Leopard without a problem that I noticed?
Yes this is a problem for CS6 users who want to use documents originally made in CS5 and earlier. (Which is everyone I know.) The new Pantone swatches are now based on the LAB color space, not the CMYK space, so things do look DIFFERENT. Check out this page for a more full explanation, and some workarounds:
... explains what happened. There is a workaround or two, but these aren't great for people using a print workflow which includes Photoshop and InDesign. Oh well.
I get that the color formulas at the root in AICS6 are in LAB values, and that it great. The problem is that the Swatches and Colorbook libraries are not converting the LAB values to display properly. What I see in the Colorbook Palette, and the Swatches palette should match what the same color looks like in a document with that same swatch applied. You can't tell me that an Illustrator "document" can interpret a PMS color fairly close from LAB values but the Palettes can't. If not, what is the point in displaying swatches at all - just list them by name and forget about it.
I have not even worried about the CS5.5 to CS6 conversion yet. I am saying that in CS6 alone this is a problem (at least what I am seeing).