Your first step is to calibrate your monitor.
"Print color management" education is too broad to be covered in a forum post. There's ample tutorials available on the web, as well as numerous books in print. Start by searching using the words quoted at the start of this paragraph.
I'm a fan of Jeff Schewe's The Digital Negative, and The Digital Print.
The point I attempted to make was that the "LR-to-Printer" method gave prints that were quite dark & muddy, while the "LR-export to JPEG-open w Adobe Reader-print" method gave very acceptable results, so I don't believe the problem is due to a mis-calibrated monitor because the print looked almost exactly like Adobe Reader showed on the screen. I know that I will need to calibrate my monitor to get a better match w Adobe Reader, & appreciate the suggestion on how to do it, but don't think it will fix my basic LR problem.
I see on the "More Like This" list that has appeared on the right side of my browser window that apparently this problem has occurred before, e.g. in the 2009 post "Is there a serious flaw in the LR Print Module?" I will review that discussion more fully (it is a long one) & look at the other discussion threads mentioned to see if they are helpful & report back.
... this thread gives a good overview. There might more to that because you seem to get better results using the JPEG-export route, but still, the underlying problem is discussed in that thread: My print is too dark - and I *have* calibrated and profiled
The underlying "problem", is the OP to the linked thread's monitor wasn't properly calibrated. The suggested "kludge" compensated the image for the fact that his monitor was too bright.
My prints from my properly calibrated monitor and printer are spot on. I don't need to apply kludges to the image to compensate for an improperly or non-calibrated workflow.
Every reliable source one may consult states that a calibrated workflow is imperative for WYSIWYG output. One may go down blind alleys of kludges, or looking for a software "fault", and continue to produce 2nd rate or worse prints, or emulate the standard in digital printing.
The best output comes from a hardware calibrated workflow. At a bare minimum, use a web based calibration target to tune your monitor "close" to accurate.
That is certainly true if you watch your prints in a 2000 LUX environment which is where the D50 point of the ICC profile is defined for
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I have a feeling that it has something to do with the Colorsync profile, but cannot figure out what Reader &/or Lightroom does or doesn't do. Any thoughts?
It's mostly about display calibration! And no, not all settings are created equally, they need to be targeted for that visual match to the print. All discussed here:
Why are my prints too dark?
A video update to a written piece on subject from 2013
In this 24 minute video, I'll cover:
Are your prints really too dark?
Display calibration and WYSIWYG
Proper print viewing conditions
Trouble shooting to get a match
Avoiding kludges that don't solve the problem
High resolution: http://digitaldog.net/files/Why_are_my_prints_too_dark.mp4
Low resolution: https://youtu.be/iS6sjZmxjY4
I have a different Canon printer. When it was installed on my system, it defaulted to automatic color management by the printer itself. When I installed LR the first time, it defaulted to having Lightroom manage the color. As we all know ( ! ), having two managers in the same room at once can lead to weird results.
In my case, with only an eye ball calibrated monitor, I prefer the prints I get by letting the printer manage the color. I turn off having LR color management in the print module. If you chose to turn off the printer's color management, that is done in the printer driver and Canon makes it hard to find.
An entirely different printing path with my Canon printer is to use the Canon provided LR plug in. It works very well even though I prefer the Print module with the LR color management turned off.
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In my case, with only an eye ball calibrated monitor, I prefer the prints I get by letting the printer manage the color.
Eyeball calibration is fraught with issues.