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Custom Edison Pearl


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#1 Wwillco

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 21:49

The Build/service: 10/10
I contacted Brian about building this pen because of my MB 149. I had recently purchased one in London, and loved everything about it other than the non italic M nib. While I wanted to send it to one of our Nibmeisters for a re-grind, I did not want to be without the pen that I like to write with the most (it’s big enough that it doesn’t tire my hand after a couple hours). My initial email to Brian was answered the next morning- I had told him of my dilemma, and asked for recommendations on what pen to get, and how it would have to be modified to get the feel that my 149 gives, at least as far as writing comfort. He recommended the Pearl or Herald, and told me what he could do to emulate the feel I wanted. With a cylindrical section and a slight extension of the pen’s length, I would have the pen I wanted. After contacting him about the build, I immediately went on his 3 week waiting list; he did not wait until we had all the kinks worked out of the design. His customer service is excellent, to say the least.

Initial impressions: 8/10 (smell)
Packaging: The pen came in a brown packing box. Inside the box it was encased in a plastic tube with cotton stuffed in the ends to keep it from bouncing around. The tube is nice, and I’ll keep it handy for shipping out pens for re-grinding or any other services. Also in the box were 2 notes from Brian and an eyedropper for filling my new pen. This was a good thing, as I didn’t have any eyedroppers handy, and would have made a glorious mess of things by being too stubborn to leave the house and go get one when I had a new pen to try out. One of the notes was written with the pen, showing the line variation on the .7 mm CI nib that I requested. The other covered his warrantee and showed what it encompassed- Brian doesn’t just make the pen, he will repair it, buff out scratches, and re-tune for you when you need. Once again, great customer service.
The Pen: Opening the tube, I was first slightly shocked at the smell of the pen. I guess that recently turned ebonite has a particularly strong smell, and having been locked in the tube for 2 days had… amplified it a bit. This went away quickly, however, and was overshadowed by the pen itself immediately. At first, it seemed that there were tool marks on the pen, but rubbing it with my eyeglass cloth cleaned the dust off, and it was perfect.

Appearance and Design: 10/10
I don’t want people to think I’m just in love with the pen and giving it high marks due to infatuation- I told Brian what I wanted, and he gave me exactly that. In my book, that means 10/10. I ordered the clipless, windowless, extra-less Edison Pearl. I’m that guy that goes to a truck dealership and makes them find the truck with no added amenities whatsoever before I’m even willing to test drive. The pen is solid black ebonite and has no furniture. The ends are not domed, but come to a slight point, which I like. On the body of the pen there is engraved “Edison Pen Co. Pearl 2009”. The ebonite is glossy, and picks up fingerprints easily, as do most of my pens. A quick swipe of a cleaning cloth is all it takes to make it gleam.
Removing the cap is a smooth process, as is installing it. It appears that the pen has one thread groove to start the cap on, or at most two, so it is important to ensure you have the groove lined up properly so as not to accidentally cross thread. The section of the pen is cylindrical, per my specifications. The normal Edison Pearl has a convex section- having not used one, I don’t know how the un-modified Pearl feels. The section of the Pearl is long enough that even with long fingers and large hands I don’t feel the threads as I’m writing, which I like as well.

Weight and Dimensions: 10/10- once again, I got what I specified down to a 32nd of an inch.
Capped: 5 and 3/32 inches from point to point.
Uncapped: 4 and 7/8 inches from nib to point.
Posted: I don’t post it, but here is the dimension: 6 and ¾ inches. The balance is better when un-posted, at least for me.
Weight: I don’t have any means to weigh the pen, but fully inked it is comparable to a Pilot/Namiki Vanishing Point.

Nib and Performance: 7/10
I requested a .7 CI ground out of the upgraded steel nib that Brian offers. The nib is marked “Iridium Point Germany” and is two-tone. The re-grind was done perfectly, and is the equivalent of other pens that I have received from our more well known nibmeisters. Brian tuned the pen to about a 6 on a 1-10 scale of wetness, and it lays down a smooth wet line. I did notice on some inks, however, that it can be slightly dry at the start, but flows nicely after a few letters. These are inks that have historically had issues with dry writing though, such as Noodler’s El Lawrence. When I purchase my next Edison, I will definitely go with an Edison nib.

Filling System: 8/10
Er… Well, it’s an eyedropper… Kinda hard to mess up. Large ink capacity- about 5 shots with the eyedropper to get it full up. I would’ve checked what it takes in ml, but I don’t have the means to do so and I’m not interested in spending the money to buy something that will. The section removes easily, and the threads that hold it to the body are lightly coated with silicon. I don’t know where to get more to replace it, so I’m going to write Brian about that later. However, after several ink changes and flushes, the silicon is still there, and prevents any leakage. I have more trouble filling my vanishing point than I do this pen, and I don’t run out of ink often either. When you are almost out of ink, the pen may give a slight “blurp” of ink, but I enjoy this. It is easily catchable prior to hitting the page, and has caused no problems. As I didn’t get a window installed, I use this as an indication to re-fill.

Cost and Value: 10/10
I spent $ 300 exactly for the pen. Even though I offered extra for the customization, Brian charged me only what his website specified for the pen and the upgrades (upgraded steel nib and CI nib grind). I think that the cost was well worth it- this pen is now my lead daily user and is seldom far from my hand. I’ve just got to figure out what to do with the cap while writing longer than a few words, but I’m sure it will come to me sometime.

Overall: 53/60
I would recommend a Pearl from Edison Pens to anyone that is interested in having a quality writing instrument that comes with not only an amazing pen, but fantastic customer service as well.





Size Comparison: MB 149, Edison Pearl, Pelikan M200


Side to side with a MB 149


In hand- I have large hands; wear an extra large glove


Writing sample; lousy handwriting, good pen

Edited by Wwillco, 09 April 2009 - 23:36.

Edison Pearl Custom .7 CI
Pelikan M200 - Binder .7 CI
Namiki VP Black Carbonesque - Binder .9 ItaliFine
Pelikan M200 - Binder Arabic/Hebrew Nib
MontBlanc 149 - M
Sailor Sapporo - EF

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#2 Brian

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 22:53

Nice review of a nice pen. I like the profile of the section as it is quite different from what is ordinarily offered.

#3 FrankB

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 23:01

Thank you for an excellent review. I am sadly photo impared, but I love photos. Your comparison photos are very helpful for me.

This review hits a bull's eye for me. I love the feel of the 149 - so much that I have four of them. I am really excited about what Brian can do to build a kind of surrogate for a 149. Now that you have gone first, I will probably follow in your footsteps. Thank you.

Edited by FrankB, 09 April 2009 - 23:02.


#4 Glenn-SC

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 01:09

Good review, thanks.

Brian does great work!

#5 Joehek

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:34

Great review thank you. Really like the fact that there are people still available to provide the customization we all need. Great photography, like the background and I think your writing is very good. Curious to get an update on the performance of the nib in the next few weeks.

#6 Wwillco

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 11:44

QUOTE (Brian @ Apr 9 2009, 06:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nice review of a nice pen. I like the profile of the section as it is quite different from what is ordinarily offered.


Brian- Thanks. I wish I could take credit for the profile of the section picture, but it was pure accident. I was fixing to shoot the picture of the writing sample, and thought it should have the pen in it. I uncapped the pen, put it on the Moleskine, and took the shot. Now that I look at it though, it does look interesting. smile.gif

QUOTE (FrankB @ Apr 9 2009, 07:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you for an excellent review. I am sadly photo impared, but I love photos. Your comparison photos are very helpful for me.

This review hits a bull's eye for me. I love the feel of the 149 - so much that I have four of them. I am really excited about what Brian can do to build a kind of surrogate for a 149. Now that you have gone first, I will probably follow in your footsteps. Thank you.


Frank- No problem, I hope it works out for you as well as it did for me. It is well worth the cost, in my opinion, since the Pearl is half the price of my 149 with epic service to go along with it.

QUOTE (Joehek @ Apr 9 2009, 11:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great review thank you. Really like the fact that there are people still available to provide the customization we all need. Great photography, like the background and I think your writing is very good. Curious to get an update on the performance of the nib in the next few weeks.


Joe- Thanks; I can't really take credit for the photos; my camera is smarter than I am and does all the work. If it required me to do something with electronics and a touch screen, you guys would have had to make due with pics from Brian's site roflmho.gif The background to the pictures is "The 12 Apostles" in Australia; I had a panoramic print out that I was trying to figure out the dimensions to (bought the print 6 years ago in Brisbane, still haven't gotten a frame made for it) and thought that it would make a neat background.

The nib- I've been writing with the pen for about a week and a half now, and it has done nothing but get better. The only issues that I had were with dry inks- this pen seems particularly happy with most PR colors I've tried, and Noodler's Zhivago. I noticed that the picture that I took of the writing looks a bit skippy, at least on this screen, but this is not the case in person. When I get home today I will attempt to scan a selection to show this; the nib and its performance are primo already, and seem to only improve.

Edison Pearl Custom .7 CI
Pelikan M200 - Binder .7 CI
Namiki VP Black Carbonesque - Binder .9 ItaliFine
Pelikan M200 - Binder Arabic/Hebrew Nib
MontBlanc 149 - M
Sailor Sapporo - EF

#7 Joehek

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 14:45

QUOTE (Wwillco @ Apr 10 2009, 04:44 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (Brian @ Apr 9 2009, 06:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nice review of a nice pen. I like the profile of the section as it is quite different from what is ordinarily offered.


Brian- Thanks. I wish I could take credit for the profile of the section picture, but it was pure accident. I was fixing to shoot the picture of the writing sample, and thought it should have the pen in it. I uncapped the pen, put it on the Moleskine, and took the shot. Now that I look at it though, it does look interesting. smile.gif

QUOTE (FrankB @ Apr 9 2009, 07:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you for an excellent review. I am sadly photo impared, but I love photos. Your comparison photos are very helpful for me.

This review hits a bull's eye for me. I love the feel of the 149 - so much that I have four of them. I am really excited about what Brian can do to build a kind of surrogate for a 149. Now that you have gone first, I will probably follow in your footsteps. Thank you.


Frank- No problem, I hope it works out for you as well as it did for me. It is well worth the cost, in my opinion, since the Pearl is half the price of my 149 with epic service to go along with it.

QUOTE (Joehek @ Apr 9 2009, 11:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Great review thank you. Really like the fact that there are people still available to provide the customization we all need. Great photography, like the background and I think your writing is very good. Curious to get an update on the performance of the nib in the next few weeks.


Joe- Thanks; I can't really take credit for the photos; my camera is smarter than I am and does all the work. If it required me to do something with electronics and a touch screen, you guys would have had to make due with pics from Brian's site roflmho.gif The background to the pictures is "The 12 Apostles" in Australia; I had a panoramic print out that I was trying to figure out the dimensions to (bought the print 6 years ago in Brisbane, still haven't gotten a frame made for it) and thought that it would make a neat background.

The nib- I've been writing with the pen for about a week and a half now, and it has done nothing but get better. The only issues that I had were with dry inks- this pen seems particularly happy with most PR colors I've tried, and Noodler's Zhivago. I noticed that the picture that I took of the writing looks a bit skippy, at least on this screen, but this is not the case in person. When I get home today I will attempt to scan a selection to show this; the nib and its performance are primo already, and seem to only improve.


Thanks for the update on the nib performance and for the ink clarification. If you have the time I think we would all be interested in any samples you might have.

#8 ethernautrix

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 18:24

Very well done review and photos!

I have a Pearl in black and red vintage ebonite with an Edison nib, and it has been in rotation (a daily user) since its arrival.

Now I'm looking at a black Pearl with the Edison rhodium nib... or maybe a flat-top. I'm on Pen Hiatus, having so many very fine pens that I want to use and pay attention to, but, yeah. The Black Pearl with a rhodium nib. Mmmmm....

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#9 xmattxyzx

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 18:27

My custom Pearl should have arrived today. I was all set to write a review, but nothing!! Tomorrow, hopefully.

#10 jimbro

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 23:10

I hope Wwillco will forgive me for piggy-backing on his excellent review -

Just today, I recieved my Edison Pearl in the mail and my review mirrors his very closely...

I got the Red-Black Ebonite with the solid gold nib, clipless with no engraving, cartridge-converter.

The Build/service: 10/10
I placed my order on March 18th, and it arrived April 10th. As a spoiled American I am accustomed to instant gratification, so the wait was painful, but: (1.) Brian was completely up-front about delivery times and provided me with periodic updates, and (2.) Good things are worth waiting for.

Initial impressions: 9/10
Packaging: The same plastic tube as Wwillco got - the pen was very well packed.
My only reservation: such a nice pen cries out for a nice wooden presentation box, or a silk pouch like the high-end Danitrios often have. But that would probably drive up the price at the possible detriment to the Cost/Value equation, so I don't know.

Appearance and Design: 9/10
As with Wwillco's review, the pen was exactly what I had asked for. I was initially attracted to the smooth lines of the Pearl, like a glossy cigar. It was to preserve that smoothness that I'd requested no clip and no engraving. However, I'm already planning a second Edison with a very special custom engraving - I need to decide on a color and the exact pattern.

Weight and Dimensions: Unmodified from stock size.
This is now one of the largest pens in my collection (when talking about barrel size). My Sailor Sterlings do have a larger diameter cap, and I have a Varuna Vishal which is just a few millimeters longer. This Edison Pearl, of course, is considerably lighter in weight. It is a good, comfortable size that fits my had well.

Nib and Performance: 9/10
I ordered the solid Gold Nib and have no regrets. Brian's enclosed note said this: "The nib is adjusted to about how I like them.. buttery smooth and wet, but not too wet. This is about 6 or 7 out of 10 on the wetness scale." He added the offer to adjust the nib, but it is too early for me to decide if I want that. It is fine the way it is - I may ask for my next pen to be just slightly dryer, but for now, I doubt I'll want to modify this one. As Brian stated, the nib truly is buttery smooth - an invitation to use it.

Filling System: 10/10
Cartridge Converter is what I wanted and what I got. I have one eyedropper pen already, and I'm still getting used to it (it is my first), and I didn't want to risk this pen as an eyedropper until I'm sure I like it better. I'm following the standard format for a review, but part of me wants to drop the 10/10 rating - a rating doesn't seem to fit for this category - it either works or not, and this works. I haven't used the supplied converter yet - I just popped in an International Cartridge and it fits and flows great.

Cost and Value: 8/10

Overall: 55/60
I am very pleased, and as noted above, already planning for a second Edison. Strongly Recommended.


And again, I ask Wwillco's pardon for riding on his coattails. tongue.gif


#11 Wwillco

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 19:50

Xmattxyx- hope your pen came in safely; I'm sure you will love it.

Jim- no worries about piggy backing onto my review; glad that you enjoy your Edison as much as I do mine.

QUOTE (ethernautrix @ Apr 10 2009, 02:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very well done review and photos!

I have a Pearl in black and red vintage ebonite with an Edison nib, and it has been in rotation (a daily user) since its arrival.

Now I'm looking at a black Pearl with the Edison rhodium nib... or maybe a flat-top. I'm on Pen Hiatus, having so many very fine pens that I want to use and pay attention to, but, yeah. The Black Pearl with a rhodium nib. Mmmmm....


ethernautrix-
Thanks! I'm already trying to figure out which will be my next Edison; I like the idea of red and black ebonite. I think I'm going to wait until we see what the options are on upcoming models though; I'm looking forward to seeing what Brian will come up with next.




I'm going to try to get a decent writing sample up today, if I have time; I just opened up my Moleskine to what seemed like the cleanest page and took a picture- didn't realize it was a Greek page, heh. Probably would do better to show English.
Edison Pearl Custom .7 CI
Pelikan M200 - Binder .7 CI
Namiki VP Black Carbonesque - Binder .9 ItaliFine
Pelikan M200 - Binder Arabic/Hebrew Nib
MontBlanc 149 - M
Sailor Sapporo - EF

#12 jmkeuning

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 20:04

Totally cool. I would not have thought of changing the size, but I think it looks great.
Fool: One who subverts convention or orthodoxy or varies from social conformity in order to reveal spiritual or moral truth.

#13 jimbro

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 02:22

QUOTE (Wwillco @ Apr 11 2009, 07:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Jim- no worries about piggy backing onto my review; glad that you enjoy your Edison as much as I do mine.

Thanks for understanding. It seemed somehow "wrong" to start a separate thread for a second positive review of basically the same pen on the same day...
mellow.gif

#14 sam235813

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Posted 13 April 2009 - 14:59

QUOTE (jimbro @ Apr 12 2009, 09:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for understanding. It seemed somehow "wrong" to start a separate thread for a second positive review of basically the same pen on the same day... mellow.gif
Same feeling here... tho my pearl is back in the shop to address some minor issues (*sniff* I miss having it around.)







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