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Noodler's Ahab Vs, Konrad


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Poll: Noodler's Ahab Vs, Konrad (75 member(s) have cast votes)

Noodler's Ahab or Konrad?

  1. Ahab (36 votes [48.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 48.00%

  2. Konrad (39 votes [52.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 52.00%

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#1 gizmoe

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 04:13

I'm interested in the Noodler:s flex pens, but I've heard gripes about both the older Ahab and the new Konrad. I like the larger size and the fact you can use the Ahab as an eyedropper fill. I realize the nib and feed of the Konrad is more adjustable to suit whatever ink you choose, but I'm not happy with the new filling system. (I dislike twist filling converters.) I'm interested in hearing from the Noodler's users which they prefer.

Edited by gizmoe, 09 June 2012 - 04:51.

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#2 P.A.R.

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 05:14

While I have not necessarily used the Konrad FP, I did manage to put an Ahab feed and nib as a comparison into the Konrad RB I bought. I don't know how much the newer FP body differs from the RB other than the blind cap. I'll try to compare them:

Size/Ergonomics: The Ahab is clearly larger, and I prefer its size over the Konrad - even though the Konrad posts quite a bit farther down on the barrel than the Ahab. The Ahab is longer as well as thicker. This is simply my preference between these two models. I also like the shape of the Ahab's grip more - the slight diameter reduction feels quite natural in my hand. In contrast, the Konrad doesn't taper much (perhaps a mm or so) and has a plastic ridge that almost feels like a bur from cutting the plastic. This might help people who have trouble keeping their fingers away from the feed, but it's a little irritating to me.

Build: Despite the moderate size of the Konrad, it is a lightweight pen. The plastic seems a little thin and is more prone to scratching than the Ahab. I also noticed that the Konrad's glossy black finish was worn matte where the cap screws on as well as on the back filler nob. The Ahab's material feels softer, more solid, and smoother than the Konrad. Both pocket clips are of good quality and can fit over any pocket material, but the Ahab's clip is nigh impossible to spring whereas my Konrad's clip is subject to stretching.

Filling: I neither idolize nor dislike piston fillers, but the Ahab's syringe filler holds about the same amount as the Konrad's filler and works considerably faster. The Ahab's filler is simpler to take apart and thus faster to clean. This is not to say that the Konrad isn't easy to take apart, it just isn't as efficient in my opinion.

Nib and feed: they're the same. However, I like the guide of the notch in the inside of the Ahab's section that helps you slide the nib and feed in.

I didn't dislike the Konrad, but the Ahab seems a superior pen in my opinion. I cannabalized a feed from a Bulow x750 and fitted it into the Konrad with an extra Ahab nib - it now belongs to one of my close friends at school as a birthday gift.
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#3 davidw

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 10:47

I just receive my Konrad 2 days ago. The size is similar to my pelikan 400 . Except the Konrad is
slightly longer. I stop from buying the Ahab because a lot of people were having trouble with the
nib and feed.

THe only issue I have with my Konrad is if I leave it horizontally for more then 1 hour.
THe nib is dry up. Seems no problem if I leave it standing with nib up.

I think it is good value considering the flex nib.

#4 Jimmy James

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 12:22

My three Konrads write perfectly. I love them.

I liked my Ahabs quite a bit until I got the Konrad, but they just don't get too much use. They are comparatively balky and therefore are probably in need of some minor feed tweaking to improve flow I think (a light sand perhaps?).

Even once I fix the minor issue with the Ahabs, I just like the shape of the Konrad better. I probably won't buy any more than the 5 Ahabs I have but will probably buy both of the demo Konrads to match their number at 5.

#5 Cerbeos

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 12:47

+1 on the Konrad.

I have larger hands so I thought I was going to absolutely love the Ahab. Instead, I simply like the Ahab and grab for my Konrad 9 times out of 10 with the two pens.
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#6 Cerbeos

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 12:49

Also, davidw mentioned leaving it horizontal for a while dries out the pen. I, personally, haven't had this problem at all. In fact at work - I leave this thing uncapped and horizontal for quite some time and it doesn't dry out. It is flowing nicely by the second stroke in these cases. (Can't complain about that when the pen has sat open for 10-15 minutes).

As always, YMMV with situations like these - he simply may be using a more 'fussy' ink.
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#7 brandon_mn

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 23:17

I have been messing around with a Konrad for about one day, and I like it better than any other Noodler's pen I've tried.

I've had an Ahab and a regular Nib Creaper Piston Filler, both had a terrible smell that I just couldn't forgive. I covered them in hot wax, then peeled the wax off. Then washed them with soap and water. Then repeated these multiple times. The smell persisted. I can only conclude it is intrinsic in the resin used...(?)

However, the Konrad (my model, at least, the Pequods Smoke Demonstrator) doesn't exhibit this smell much at all. Granted, it does smell somewhat like the other pens, but I simply washed it with a good-smelling soap (that is, I rubbed the pen a new bar of soap), let it sit for about ten minutes, and then rinsed the pen of the soap. The smell is substantially better for me. The Konrad must be made of a different material (the Goulet Pen Co site calls it cellulose acetate as opposed to the others' vegetal resin).

That alone makes the Konrad a better pen, in my opinion.

Edited by brandon_mn, 09 June 2012 - 23:18.

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#8 mcg1355

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Posted 09 June 2012 - 23:52

I have both (2 Ahabs and 3 ebonite Conrad's) and haven't even inked the Ahabs since the arrival of the konrads. I would say Konrad hands down. Better size, has an ink window, I like the ebonite material better.

One of my ebonite konrads started leaking at the seam between the bottom of the ink window and the section. It's a really small leak but all the way around the pen. If you fill it partially with water and cover the end of the section with you finger and run the piston down it will slowly leak with the increased pressure. It does leak when inked very slowly inside the cap resulting in an inky finger if not wiped off after sitting overnight. I know it's leaking out of the ink window seam since the ink is just above the threads on the outside of the pen. Anyone know how to fix this?

I don't think my leaking issue is a production pen issue since my understanding is that the first ebonite batch was concept test pens.

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#9 davidw

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 01:26

my Konrad dry up horizontally with cap on. I was using
Diamine evergreen. I had reclean my konrad again and
also chnage to parker blue ink . I will see how this goes.

But I do like the pen.

#10 fair isle

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 02:46

I know some would disagree but I think that both are great pens for a great price. Just be aware that they make take some tinkering. My Ahab wrote perfectly from day 1 (I did flush it before use, but I always do that with any new pen). The ebonite Konrad I ordered from FPH (tuned by Nathan Tardiff) also wrote perfectly without any adjustments. The roaring 20's Konrad needed a fair amount of tinkering, the nib/feed needed to be heat set, it was still problematic so I cleaned the feed with bon ami and now it writes beautifully.

If forced to choose I would say I prefer the Konrad, it is a better size for my hand, I prefer its more classic understated look, and I like being able to see how much ink I have left. Actually I really prefer the ebonite Konrad, which is a terrific pen, I know that's obnoxious as they currently aren't available but I believe that they will be soon. The ebonite Konrad is a little bit bigger/longer and holds more ink, plus its material is nicer. If I were you I would just get a Konrad and then when the ebonite Konrads are released in a larger batch get one of those as well!

I like the Konrad filling system, but then I love piston fillers. I find it easier to get the Konrad completely clean when flushing then the Ahab. I haven't used the Ahab as an eyedropper mostly because I like to switch ink colors up more than that would allow, it is a big pen! If you like big pens and like to use the same ink for a looong time then the Ahab would be a great choice.

#11 ddustinn

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 03:23

In my humble opinion, you can't go wrong with either. I've been using my Konrad a lot more than my Ahab, but I highly enjoy both pens.
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#12 Jimmy James

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:50

In my humble opinion, you can't go wrong with either. I've been using my Konrad a lot more than my Ahab, but I highly enjoy both pens.

This is also my feeling, but since the question is a comparison I voted and went with the Konrad. To the extent my Ahabs perform less well than my Konrads due to the smooth feed issue, that has now been corrected. The pens should be shipping with the same quality of feed (the Ahab with a hole drilled for breather tube) and the same nib. It's really at this stage mostly a question of filling system and pen geometry.

#13 HBlaine

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 19:46

I just finally broke down and and bought one of each of the 3 current models of Noodler's pens out there. And I've now been kicking myself for not getting them sooner.

Of the three, I've completely fallen for the Ahab (this one being the Ivory Darkness). I like the Konrad and the piston flex, but I tend to have to make myself put the Ahab down, and pick up the Konrad. Kind of sad, as the Konrad is such a nice pen. But the Ahab... I love the way it writes, I love the way it feels in the hand, I love the filling mechanism, the "designed for total user servicing', etc., etc. Ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

I must be sort of an odd man out, as mine wrote fine, pretty much out of the box. A quick flush, and into the ink, and they've all been running great.

In fact, I like all 3 pens so well, I went on a little bit of a buying spree, and got different colors in each model. Though the Ahab was the model I bought more copies of. :rolleyes: :thumbup:
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#14 pienaar

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 21:08

I just finally broke down and and bought one of each of the 3 current models of Noodler's pens out there. And I've now been kicking myself for not getting them sooner.

Of the three, I've completely fallen for the Ahab (this one being the Ivory Darkness). I like the Konrad and the piston flex, but I tend to have to make myself put the Ahab down, and pick up the Konrad. Kind of sad, as the Konrad is such a nice pen. But the Ahab... I love the way it writes, I love the way it feels in the hand, I love the filling mechanism, the "designed for total user servicing', etc., etc. Ad nauseum, ad infinitum.

I must be sort of an odd man out, as mine wrote fine, pretty much out of the box. A quick flush, and into the ink, and they've all been running great.

In fact, I like all 3 pens so well, I went on a little bit of a buying spree, and got different colors in each model. Though the Ahab was the model I bought more copies of. :rolleyes: :thumbup:


I am with you, I kept watching Goulet's sight. When their new shipment came in I was thinking that some of the teething issues might have been worked out. This must have paid off as my Ahab is a great pen. The Ahab has sort of messed me up for using other pens, as it fits my hand so nice.
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#15 davidw

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 21:17

Does anyone know where can I purchase the ebonite Konrad ?

#16 Mike Schutz

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 22:21

I have three Ahabs and a Konrad is on my future list. I really like the Ahabs because I like eyedroppers and the Ahab is a wonderful eyedropper. After having three, I've learned how to adjust them. The ability to disasemble the pen makes it easy to clean. The large size also fits my large hand. The Konrad is in my future but for now, I really enjoy the Ahab. A great deal for the price.
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#17 fair isle

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:16

Does anyone know where can I purchase the ebonite Konrad ?


Currently they are unavailable. About 40 were sold through the Fountain Pen Hospital back in April they were a special offer as all had been hand tuned/set by Nathan Tardiff. From what I have heard they will be made available on the same scale as the other Konrad flex pens, but who knows when!

#18 etoyoc

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 02:17

having multiple of each now, I still go for the Ahab most of the time. It just feels better in my hand. In regards to working better? meh... its all in how you adjust the nib/feed. All three of my Ahabs write differently (my 2 Konrads write different as well), but if I am grabbing a Noodlers pen, it is an Ahab. In fact I have been perusing the net trying to find another Ahab that calls to me.
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#19 yasinmadakia

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:58

I have been messing around with a Konrad for about one day, and I like it better than any other Noodler's pen I've tried.

I've had an Ahab and a regular Nib Creaper Piston Filler, both had a terrible smell that I just couldn't forgive. I covered them in hot wax, then peeled the wax off. Then washed them with soap and water. Then repeated these multiple times. The smell persisted. I can only conclude it is intrinsic in the resin used...(?)

However, the Konrad (my model, at least, the Pequods Smoke Demonstrator) doesn't exhibit this smell much at all. Granted, it does smell somewhat like the other pens, but I simply washed it with a good-smelling soap (that is, I rubbed the pen a new bar of soap), let it sit for about ten minutes, and then rinsed the pen of the soap. The smell is substantially better for me. The Konrad must be made of a different material (the Goulet Pen Co site calls it cellulose acetate as opposed to the others' vegetal resin).

That alone makes the Konrad a better pen, in my opinion.


I believe the demonstrator pens have less celluloid in them, hence less smell

#20 Vignette

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 18:18

Do both have the same nib, and, more specifically, the same level of flex?

#21 Silvermink

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 18:24

I prefer the Ahab. I find the size more comfortable, and it doesn't seem like it holds less ink. I actually have an old-style OMAS Paragon nib on my Ahab right now.
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#22 Scribblesoften

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 13:57

Do both have the same nib, and, more specifically, the same level of flex?


Both pens have the same nib and feed. There is some variation in flex, nib to nib.
My Konrad has less flex than my Ahab, but I like the shape better. I suppose if one has both pens and a clear preference for one shape over another, one could assemble the preferred nib into the preferred body. Cheers.

#23 stuartk

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 14:09

I like both models, but I think I'm leaning towards the Konrad a bit more.

#24 inkstainedruth

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 16:32

I don't have an Ahab, but I do have both a Konrad and a Flex Piston. While I like both of them a whole lot, the Konrad is a slightly better size, and is pretty much a daily writer for me (the F-P has a smaller capacity -- and has a smaller nib and feed -- so it is better for trying out samples).
From the reviews and scans I suspect I won't like an Ahab -- it may be too large a pen for me.
I suspect it ultimately depends on personal preference, but I really like the Konrad a whole lot (to the point of seriously considering buying another one -- but then I've considered getting another F-P as well). I'd have to see an Ahab up close and personal. Given that they're the same price, and have the same nib it might be just a matter of size and fill system as to whether people like Ahabs better than Konrads (or vice versa...).
Voted for Konrad, BTW.
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#25 januaryman

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 18:53

I like the Ahab better. Flex is better on either of my Ahabs when compared to my only Konrad.
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