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music nib comparison


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45 replies to this topic

#1 jglass

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 22:51

This is a comparison of three pens - Salor Pro Gear, Platinum 3776 and Pilot Custom 74 - each with a music nib. I found some significant differences in the way each of them writes, which I thought might be interesting for folks who are looking for a music nib, but wondering which one to get.


APPEARANCE & DESIGN
They're all black with gold trim and gold clips. The sailor has the flat top & bottom, while the other two are rounded. They're handsome, in a standard way, but nothing to write home about. They've each got the brand name and model name (except the sailor, which says "founded 1911" rather than the model name) engraved around the cap-band. Platinum's cap band is the least appealing to me, but that's just personal preference.


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CONSTRUCTION & QUALITY
All great. I got two of them used and one new, but they are all well made pens. The quality of the construction is exactly what you'd expect from a pen in this price range - solid.


WEIGHT & DIMENSIONS
The pens are all roughly the same size. The Sailor is the shortest of the lot, at 5" capped, and the Pilot is the tallest, at 5 1/2" capped. They are all plastic, so rather light in the hand. I would call them medium-sized pens, with a nib sections that are just under half an inch wide.

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NIB & PERFORMANCE
This is where it gets interesting. Although all music nibs, they write rather differently. The PIlot and Platinum have three tines each, while the Salor has only two. Each one is very wet and extremely smooth, but the line variation on the Sailor is not as clear as on the Pilot, and the Platinum showed the most line variation of the three. But by far the most dramatic difference among them is the writing angle. To get the full line width on the paper, you've got to hold the Sailor at a rather precise 90 degree angle to the paper. At a lesser angle, the nib doesn't make consistent contact with the paper, and you get some very thin lines, or just flat out skipping. The PIlot is less finicky, but I still found that as I wrote at my normal 45-degree angle to the paper, I got lots of inconsistencies in the flow. The Platinum, however, is easy like Sunday morning. At any angle, it writes a thick, juicy line, with plenty of line variation on the horizontals. Here's a writing sample.

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FILLING SYSTEM & MAINTENANCE
All cartridge/converters. Maintenance, so far, has been a non-issue. They all start up consistently, no matter how long they've been sitting on my desk. The don't clog or leak. They each go through quite a bit of ink, but that's just the way things are with these juicy nibs.


COST & VALUE
None of these pens will break the bank. They were each around the $150 - $200 mark for me, although I bought two of them used. They are solid pens and worth every penny.

CONCLUSION
Although they're all great, the precise writing angle is an inconvenience on the Sailor and the Pilot pens. I don't mind it on crisp italics, when I'm generally writing in a more careful, deliberate fashion. I was hoping to use the music nibs in a more casual way, both when composing music and as an extra-bold nib to have on hand for regular applications. Having to hold the pen at that certain angle doesn't help the ease of use. The last thing I want to think about when trying to get my thoughts (musical or otherwise) on paper is the angle of the pen. In conclusion, what a surprise: Platinum wins!
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#2 jandrese

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Posted 19 February 2010 - 23:44

Fantastic! I too found that Platinum wins the music nib shootout. Your experiences are exactly like mine. Nice review.

#3 dizzypen

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 00:15

Thanks for this. I now know I'm on the right track. Now if I could just find a used one :hmm1:
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#4 jglass

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 02:55

jandrese - glad to know I'm not the only one!
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#5 Brian

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 08:16

This is a most useful and informative review. Thanks.

#6 Ed Ronax

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 12:13

Excellent review, thanks.
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#7 Bentley

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Posted 20 February 2010 - 17:50

I just recently picked up a Plantinum pen with a Music nib and I am very happy with it. I would agree with your assessment of the Platinum- it is easy to use and gives some good line variation. The line variation is not as defined as a stub or italic nib but I have had no problems with skipping and having to hold the pen at a precise angle so, in my opinion, it's a good trade off and more practical for daily writing tasks at work.

#8 linnicky

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:50

I have these 3 nibs too. I also found the 3776 be the best among the 3. The Sailor is a bit too wet to show the line variation. The Pilot is the least smooth .
Thanks for your review.

#9 dizzypen

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 19:31

:headsmack: Though I was looking for a Platinum 3776 I have a Sapporo with MS nib on the way. Why? Well it was purple. I have a serious soft spot for purple. I think it will be fine. I write at a high angle anyway!
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#10 talkinghead

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 19:42

I have these 3 nibs too. I also found the 3776 be the best among the 3. The Sailor is a bit too wet to show the line variation. The Pilot is the least smooth .
Thanks for your review.

Great review and I agree with the above findings. Kept the Platnium, sold my Pilot, and since the Sailor version has only two tines, I had it ground to a Cursive Italic by Mike-It-Work...sweet nib now! :thumbup:

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#11 SamCapote

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:57

Thanks for this great review and photos. I went with the Platinum 3776 for $100 from Todd's site today.
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#12 Alice L

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 01:33

Thanks for a helpful review! I, too, have only recently acquired a Platinum 3776 with Music Nib. It's a keeper!!

#13 hsianloon

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 12:35

Thanks for your review, love the type that compares it with other pens ! Was leaning to the Sailor on virtue on the nib being more 'decorated', but first and foremost writing quality, so I went ahead with the Platinum, ordered my 3776 Resin Platinum, on the way to me soon !

#14 angushunter

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 14:32

Thank you for this review; it's really helpful. I had my heart set on a Sailor music nib, but like you, I don't want to have to hold the pen at a 90 degree angle all the time, and I want to use the pen for more general writing. So it doesn't sound as though the Sailor is really the pen for me. Now I'm off to look at the Platinum pens with music nibs, something I hadn't yet even considered. Thanks again! :happyberet:

#15 JonathanBarboza

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 20:43

This review helped me immensely. I ended up buying the Platinum and love it! I recently saw someone that had it ground to a crisp Italic. I bet that is amazing!

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#16 spyrusthevirus

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 22:23

and how about their performance on music writing? can you post a short example of each?
the platinum looks so amazing!

#17 Delphideo

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 22:49

and how about their performance on music writing? can you post a short example of each?
the platinum looks so amazing!


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#18 Lefthander

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 23:23

When you say 90 degree angle to the page you don't mean vertically do you? I'm assuming that you mean the pen must be held perpendicular to the line on which you write. I have a Sailor music nib on an old Sailor Mosaic and even though I have difficulty with it because I'm left handed I don't recall it being that hard to write with. I may have to ink it up again and try it :)

#19 tinta

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 00:31

Terrific review, "jglass".
Nice to see the three Japanese music pens side-by-side.

I'm surprised by your experience with the Sailor nib.
Though I can't make comparisons with the other Japanese makes, my two Sailor 14K music nibs (one stock & the other adjusted by John Mottishaw) are both quite forgiving, when it comes to writing angle,......as long as I don't rotate the nib-section. (I tend hold my pens, at or near a 50 degree angle.) Found it easy to stay in the "groove".
For me, these nibs can also produce a fairly wide line-width variation, particularly the "Mottishawed" nib. Better than I expected, but not as extreme as my old Pelikan OBB.
Would love to try both the Pilot & Platinum.

Cheers: tinta

Edited by tinta, 18 September 2011 - 00:36.

*Sailor 1911-M, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Professional-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14c.factory "H-B" *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm stubs (PB) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. stub (PB) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub

#20 tinta

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 01:13

One thing to add:
Could the performance of the Sailor music nib be, because of the paper? The positive results I get are all written on Rhodia vellum.
I've just jotted some figures & a note on a Bell Telephone statement, & indeed there was almost no line variation.
Cheers: tinta
*Sailor 1911-M, Black/gold, 14c. 0.8 mm. stub(JM) *2 Sailor 1911-M Burgundy/gold pens: 14c. 0.6 mm. "round-nosed" CI (MM) & 1.1 mm. CI (JM) *Sailor Professional-Gear Slim Spec. Ed. "Fire",14c.factory "H-B" *2 Kaweco SPECIAL fountain pens: 14c."M" "B",-0.5 mm & 0.7 mm stubs (PB) *Kaweco Stainless Steel Lilliput, 14c "B" -0.6 mm. stub (PB) *Montblanc 254, 14c. "BB" (1.1 mm?) flügelfeder factory stub






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