Edited by J85909266, 24 March 2015 - 18:17.
Noodler's Ahab Flex + Adjustment Tips
Posted 24 March 2015 - 18:11
Posted 10 April 2015 - 18:34
Thank you for the review! It certainly pushed me into the decision to buy the Ahab!
I honestly think that there are a lot more negative comments posted than positive ones simply because of human nature. If you are annoyed you want to gripe and tell everyone how much you hate the product. People who have a great experience aren't searching threads for answers - they are off happily writing or drawing something. ;-)
I personally feel lucky - I not only had a great experience out of the box with my Ahab, I've also had a great time fiddling around with it as well! I feel that I have learned quite a bit in the process of messing around with it. It's also brought me into the greater world of fountain pens since I've had no experience with them before now.
Basically what I was initially looking for was a fountain pen that either had or would accept a Zebra G-Nib for drawing. I've found a couple of great brush pens, like the Pentel and Kuretake sable hair brush, and it would be nice to find the same in at least the most frequently used of my dipping nibs. I couldn't find one off the shelf, but I did find the articles here on FPN on how to modify the ebonite feed on the Ahab to accept the G nib, so I took the plunge and bought one.
I cleaned the pen per the instructions and put it back together with the nib/feed as close as possible to how it came out of the box. (I counted the ribs, or whatever they are called, and took a quick picture prior to taking it apart). I filled it up, wrote with it for several hours to test it, and it was fantastic! Very smooth, so I was determined to get another one later since this one was for the G nib conversion. I just couldn't get the hair line thinness that I wanted with the Noodler's Flex nib.
After reading the instructions for the mod here in the forums I got to work - long story short, I had to also widen the 1st 4 fins along with doing some other tuning and then it worked like a charm. I used it for drawing without a hitch other than some railroading when I really flexed the nib for multiple lines in a row - but I was well past the width where I'd normally switch to a brush or brush pen anyway, so that wasn't a major problem.
On a whim, I put the old nib back in. It doesn't fit well due to having to cut the ebonite for the G-nib conversion. However, after working with it to get it aligned properly, it worked well. It takes some fiddling to properly get the nib and feed aligned now after being pulled out, but it does stay put with a snug friction fit. I had cut the bare minimum material from the ebonite to get the G-nib to fit.
I was amazed to see that it wrote just fine, just a little dry. After separating the end of the tines on the Noodler's flex nib to increase the ink flow, along with getting them properly aligned, it's now the smoothest writing pen I can imagine. Wow. It's almost like a brush - I'm dying to try a gold nib pen now for comparison.
To wrap up, I've been extremely impressed by this pen, and I'm now a huge fan of the Ahab Flex. I do sympathize with the people who have had problems with the pen though - hopefully you were assisted by customer support wherever you bought it...
I'm not affiliated with them, but I highly recommend Goulet Pens, www.gouletpens.com . I've been touch with their customer support, and they have far exceeded any expectations I had helping me with an unrelated issue - truly fantastic support.
I'm definitely going to order a few more of these pens. They fit my hand extremely well (I have big hands), and I definitely want to try putting a couple of the Goulet nibs on them, such as the broad and 1.1 italic for starters. Also another one to tinker with of course, I want to try to improve the amount of force it takes to flex the nib, etc I love the tinkering aspect personally. I'm more than happy to fool around with a $20 pen to make it work like a far more expensive pen .. but if it's a $200 pen, I just want it to work! I wish Noodler's (or Luxury Goods if they do all the distribution) would just set people's expectations properly.
In closing, I highly recommend this pen -- but only for the people willing to tinker with it and up to the challenge of turning a good pen into a great one. If so, read the posts carefully on tuning the Ahab, go slow, make only one change at a time, and test after each change so you have a good idea where to troubleshoot if you run into issues.