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Hero 329

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#1 meanwhile



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Posted 16 May 2006 - 22:58

I've never used a real Parker 51, so I can't comment on how the 329 compares - but by itself, it impressed me.

Best of all was the nib. It's smooth but with just enough tooth so that I feel a sense of control. It's fine, but puts down a very wet nice line with no dryness or blobbing, even though I hadn't flushed the pen before fill it up with (ugh) blue Quink - the only ink I had handy. It seemed to me incomparably better than a Pilot disposeable fountain pen (which costs about the same) or even a Lamy Safari.

For those who care, I tested it a Moleskine (cheap skate note: I wouldn't normally pay Moleskine prices for their sort of quality, but I got a deal..) The 329 has a reputation for being a good pen for a Moleskine, and it worked perfectly for me.

Second best was the price - an insane $17 "Buy it now" price on ebay for THREE pens including airmail. The seller was mars_0001 and he posted instantly - I bought the pens on a Friday and had them Tuesday morning. Mars seems to have a small stock of constantly changing pens on ebay at prices much lower than Yan Cheng and the other major sellers. His stock seems to go very fast, so it's worth checking frequently. Communication was excellent.

I've read that there are two sorts of 329 available: older and better, and newer and less good. I don't know which my pens are.

The downsides... Firstly these are not good pens for people with bigger than normal hands. In fact, they're too small for mine. An inch extra length would help as much as more width. But my hands are on the large size - I'm XL or XXL man's glove size. A more average male friend found his a perfect fit. Secondly, the pens are extremely light and don't balance well with their steel tops on - the tops are long, nicely engineered out of steel, and may well weigh more than the rest of the pen.

Overall - a terrific buy unless you have bigger than usual hands. I really can't believe how good the nib was. I'd have been happy with it on a pen costing ten or twenty times more - this may just be my lack of experience with FPs - but on a pen costing the same as sandwich, it's still an excellent deal.

Edited by meanwhile, 16 May 2006 - 22:59.

- Jonathan

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#2 RLTodd


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Posted 16 May 2006 - 23:19

I am pretty sure the H329s I have are the "new" ones. There is the usual variation in the nibs. I have one that is reasonably smooth, one that is rather rough but usable with a light hand, and yet a third that is close to the first. The main issue, to me, is that Hero has no quality control, you get what they are making. (Shouldn't be to hard on them for that as every other manufacture seems to be doing that. "If it doesn't work send it back and we will replace it with another one for you to try.") The one with the rough nib came with the barrel shellaced on! Once I took the shells off and lined up the collectors (these use the Parker "51" collector system) and the nibs the flow was very good on all of them.

A good one, or one made good, with a bottle of ink makes a very nice starter pen. This is especially true for people with smaller hands.

#3 AlejoPlay


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 03:33

I just got my 329 and I am blown away. It has made me forget my LAMY Safari.

I did the paper bag and penny tricks on it so the nib isn't as toothy. It's lovely.

(I have some Parkers on their way to me--I got lucky on eBay--so I can't wait to see how they compare).

#4 contravox


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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:35

Paper bag and penny trick? What in the world would all that entail? Sounds very MacGyver to me.
"I have very simple tastes, I am always satisfied with the very best." - Oscar Wilde

#5 zorroflores



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Posted 18 May 2006 - 04:58

Paper bag & penny trick

Edited by zorroflores, 18 May 2006 - 04:59.

#6 Headache Corporation (TM)

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Posted 25 May 2006 - 05:22

I have a 329 I just got 2 weeks ago. I've personally been very disappointed, it has a lot of tooth and dries out if I don't use it every day. It's filled with black Quink and I'm pretty sure it's not clogged or anything.

I've tried the paper bag trick: it hasn't made much if any difference on the tooth of the fine nib. I had heard good things about this pen, so I definitely feel I didn't even get my $15 worth, which admittedly is not a huge investment.

The Lamy Safari is a much, much better pen, at least in my experience. That's not to say every 329 is bad, but mine certainly is awful! :bonk:

#7 JRodriguez


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Posted 25 May 2006 - 22:30

Nice review. I've had one of these and liked it, though I ended up selling it because I liked my "51"s better. But this really is a good deal!

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