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Discussion on stub, italic and music nibs


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#1 marklavar

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 15:26

I would like to initiate a discussion about italic, stub and music nibs. Which are the best, the smoothest? What about line variation and breadth?

I'm contemplating the purchase of a stub (or italic or music) nib, but I'm pretty new to the whole thing and am seeking advice. I've had good reports of the Stipula 0.9mm stub, but would like more feedback on these types of nib in general.

#2 RyanL27

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 15:47

I don't have any experience with music nibs, but between cursive italics and stubs, I prefer the smoothness of stubs for everyday use. It's been my experience that stubs require much less care when squaring the nib to paper, so I can jot quick notes and write at full speed while still getting great line variation. Cursive italics give better variation because the horizontals are spidery thin and thus, with sharper corners.

I'm not sure about Stipula italic nibs, but I know that some factory italics are really more like stubs with slightly more rounded corners. I think this is the case with Conway Stewarts if I'm not mistaken. I'm sure a certain Dutchman might know a lot more as to how Stipulas compare to other custom nibs.

You should definitely take the plunge for a nice italic/stub though - they are so much fun!
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#3 scogre

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 20:14

Hi Mark,

I'm with Ryan on this! I don't know anything about music nibs, but I have lately acquired an affinity to italic nibs. I now have two stub nibs, and one left-foot cursive italic nib. I really love the way the cursive italic nib writes! It lends so much character to my writing that it is a thrill to write with! But it is one of those items that you have to take your time with. I have to slow down to about 2/3 of normal writing speed to get it to perform right. The stub nibs are very smooth, and I can just take off writing at full tilt with these. The line width variation is not as noticable with these, so does not lend as much character to my writing. Overall I just love my cursive italic nib, but for everyday usage I'd go with the stub.

Scott.

Edited by scogre, 25 July 2006 - 20:16.


#4 DRP

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 20:39

I agree with the previous remarks. It takes a bit of "getting used to" when you first start using a stub or an italic nib though it won't take long.

Stub nibs are typically enjoyable and smooth. An italic nib offers more line variation but you have to pay closer attention and write more slowly. Somewhat more practice is needed to get to the point that you enjoy an italic nib.

I've used mostly Sheaffer and Bexley stub nibs and have been completely satisfied with both. My only experience with an italic nib is with a Sheaffer and I found it quite satisfactory, also.

Regret that I have no experience with a music nib. Have heard from others that it is enjoyable.

I also concur with the recommendation to "take the plunge" and get a stub or italic nib though might suggest that you start with a stub nib first. After you become familiar with your stub nib, it's easier to move to the italic. I enjoy my stub and italic nibs

#5 Margana

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 20:53

The remarks so far reflect my experiences as well. However, I've only tried stubs that would rate as fine in width and, while smooth, the line variation is fairly minimal. Would a slightly larger stub nib produce a line closer to what an italic nib can create?
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#6 Stephen-I-am

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 21:21

I asked this same question and Richard Binder said yes. ;)

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#7 FrankB

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 22:24

Of the responses thus far, I am right in there with no experience of a music nib. I have GOT to try one and soon! I agree that stub nibs are a pleasure to use and relatively trouble free ownig to their rounded corners. Cursive italics have sharper corners, thus rendering more pronounced line variation. Formal italics have sharp corners, and Richard Binder even makes his formal italic sharp as a knife. I have a combination of stub, cursive italic and formal italic nibs in my stable. I use them for different kinds of writing. - E. g. stubs for informal rapid handwriting like journalling, cursives for letters, and formal italics for formal presentations like thank you notes, RSVP's, or gift items.

For someone trying their first italic-style nib, maybe a stub would be a logical first step. That is how I started. I still love stubs for their ease of use and their adaptability to faster writing. I still have my first stubs and use them often. I added other italics from there.

I have found that Parker Duofold italic nibs and Stipula italic nibs function similarly. The Duofold italics are somethimes a little sharper, but both companies make cursive italics that are easy to write with - well, for me.

#8 TimButterfield

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 00:06

I enjoy my stub nibs also (primarily Bexley and DaniTrio), even more than my italics (Pelikan/Mottishaw and Aurora). My CS Churchill has a fine italic, which is more cursive than crisp. I have a Sailor music nib, which is basically a broad stub. It is very nice, very smooth, probably the smoothest of all of my stubs.

#9 marklavar

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:08

The problem I have is that all the stubs/italics I've tried are too broad for my taste. I'm really looking for a very fine type of stub/italic, but it seems these do not exist. Or am I wrong?

#10 petra

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 12:41

You can get a fine italic, for example from Conway Stewart. But the narrower the point, the less line variation you'll see. The effect is very minimal and not very satisfying. Maybe what you need is a flex nib, not a stub or an italic, if you want to be able to make a very fine line AND be able to create some line variation.

Petra

#11 TimButterfield

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 12:54

I'm really looking for a very fine type of stub/italic

Conway Stewart offers fine and medium italic nibs. As mentioned, I have a fine italic on my Churchill. It is not a crisp, sharp edged italic, but is more cursive, almost a stub. I also have medium stubs on a couple of my Nakaya. One is a regular and the other an elastic flexible. They are both very smooth to write with. If the specific nib you want is not available, you may be able to order just a custom nib from a nibmeister and put it in a pen you already have. That would let you try out a nib or two without having to buy the pen as well.

#12 The Noble Savage

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 15:10

I have several Stub/Italic/Music/Cursive ect. nibs in my collection.

I know that you expressed interest in the .9mm Stipula Italic

It is a super smooth nib that is not broad at all. They are quite wonderful to use. I never would of bought mine if a friend of mine was not selling it. I am a huge fan of the Stipula 1.3 Italic along with the 1.1 but the .9 is a pure pleasure to use. Normally, that nib is too narrow for my liking but before I sent it out to Stipula for a nib swap, I decided to try it out. Well, I liked it right away!!! I have to admit that the friction fit Stipula nibs have a lot more character to it. They are smooth and very springy. Not to say that the Screw in nib units for Stipula are not. They are just as smooth but I find them to be a bit more on the rigid side in comparison.

I have enclose some photos.

Stipula Etruria Amber Celluloid 0.9mm

Posted Image

Stipula Etruria Nuda 1.1

Posted Image

Here is a comparison of my Bexley Prometheus with an ultra Broad Stub nib that is in excess of 1.4mm+ while the nib on my Stipula Etruria Black has a Standard friction fit 1.3 Italic nib.

Posted Image

I hope this helps

TNS

Edited by The Noble Savage, 26 July 2006 - 15:18.

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#13 The Noble Savage

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 17:16

And here is the last one.

Posted Image

It is a close up of the Bexley Prometheus Ultra Broad Stub. I found out that the Nibs on the Prometheus fit the Delta Dolce Vita OS and the Dani Trio Mikado pens and if it fits the Mikado, it WILL fit the Genkai. The feed is ebonite and the unit unscrews out, like a Pelikan nib would. The DaniTrio Stub is pretty darn close in width but it is firmer than the Prometheus Stub. The Prometheus has a nice amount of flex and that accounts for the much broader line.

As for smoothness, I found that almost all of Stipula Italics are extremely smooth and easy to get used to. My first introduction to speciality nibs was a Sailor Magellan SE with a 21kt Music nib. This was super smooth but my first real Stub/Italic was the Stipula 1.3mm on a Saturno that I bought off of the greenboard. I thought that this nib would be sharp and catching on everything but that was not the case. It is as smooth as butter. This is where I compared the rest of the stubs to. If it is as smooth and wide as the 1.3mm Stipula nib, then it is for me.

I ventured out and tried more narrow stub/italic nibs. I found them to be more practical for daily writing, especially for note taking in meetings and what not. I am normally a medium to BB kind of guy when it comes to standard nibs and speciality nibs. So going out and trying a .9 or a .7mm nib was way out of my comfort zone. But I was glad to try them out and now I use them quite often. I am still partial to 1.1 and 1.3 but the occasion dictates what pen I use.

If you are new to the world of stubs/italics/cursives/music nibs or whatever, I would go with a .9 smooth Stub. It is a great medium width to try out to see if you like them or not. They are easy to get used to and learn how to write with. This is a middle ground that will either steer your broader, more narrow or the .9mm could be your size.

From my experience with my pens, I find the Stipula 1.3mm italic to be equal to Bexley Stubs and close to the Sailor music nibs.

I hope this helps!!

TNS
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