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Sheaffer Prelude - pendemonium cursive italic


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8 replies to this topic

#1 HesNot

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 15:01

I picked up a petrol blue Prelude with a fairly broad pendemonium custom cursive italic nib (ground from a broad prelude nib) recently to give a more exotic nib a try. I mostly have fine and medium vintage pens, so this was a step outside for me with respect to both the pen (modern) and the nib.

I have to admit that I didn't know quite what to expect. I hadn't used an italic or some variation thereof for a long time, really since probably intermediate school when my interest in hand lettering tapered off due to my increased interest in girls and guitars ;) I knew I wanted something that was not a strict italic so that I could use it more on a daily basis.

I inked it up (converter was included) with Waterman South Seas Blue - which has nice shading, flows easily and compliments the pen. But first I have to discuss the aesthetics of the pen itself. I was really pleasantly surprised. The petrol blue color is a really beautiful deep and vibrant blue, darker than slate, darker than royal, but not yet navy. Quite unique and very appealing. I was also surprised at the overall fit and finish of the Prelude, it is quite solidly made without being a brick. I'm usually not a huge fan of heavy lacque over brass pens, but the Prelude (unposted as is my habit) is quite nice and not overly hefty. The size is also about right for my hand, very close in dimensions to my aero "51". I also like the slight depressions in the plastic section which are not as aggressive as the Lamy Safari for example, and provide a nice guide without being obtrusive.

My first impression writing with it was - yikes - I'm going to have to swap out nibs or something as this will not work for me. The nib itself is very smooth and the flow is about perfect, by the way, so this is not a reflection on the nib work. But it has a good amount of line variation and, as a fine/medium guy, it was just intimidating to have that big downstroke. Some of that is accentuated by the lousy paper we use at work which is where I tested it initially, which has some creep. But even then I measured it and it is only 1mm so this isn't that broad a line, it just felt that way to me! I decided, however, to forge ahead and give it a try, and if I over time didn't like it I can always get it reground or pick up another medium CI from pendemonium.

Over a couple weeks I have found myself going back to it with regularity. It has started without a hiccup every time and continues to lay down a well balanced line. I've even used it to take some notes during meetings or phone calls and compared to my usual chicken scratch it has encouraged me to conform my writing slightly and has certainly added some flair to my daily writing. I do think I'll eventually give a medium cursive italic or stub a try but this has definitely filled a gap in my small collection.

And I remain astounded at how much I've grown to like the pen itself. I can't speak for the factory nibs, obviously, but the fit and finish compare very favorably with the Sonnet - in fact I like it a good deal more than the Sonnet I owned. At the current closeout prices they appear to be a really good value as well - solid construction, some interesting finishes and at least in my example very good writers. Just a nice, medium size daily use writer. I'm not sure if is completely in my "untouchables" group (i.e. ones that will likely never end up in the marketplace for one reason or another) but it has taken a solid place in my small collection.
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#2 Velma

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 16:47

Until I got my Legacy, and Craftsman, and 875 Balance, I spent several years with at least one Prelude inked. I have always found them to be good, sturdy pens, and the extra-fine italic nib made me very happy. (Hmmmm... perhaps I should ink one this week.)

Beware of going to PenHero, though -- Jim has so many lovely finishes that you may find yourself buying a number of Preludes, and sitting and cackling madly over them. (I really don't need the rosegold one, but Tracey has one, and it looked so lovely next to my copper Prelude....)

#3 rowdy

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 17:16

Though I'm not a guy who can use a nib other than a F/M/B I really like the Prelude. I got the brushed chrome gold trim finish in medium for Father's Day last year and it has been quite the workhorse and very dependable.

It's on a hiatus right now but will be coming back into use shortly.

Enjoy.

Rowdy

#4 RonB

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 19:19

I like the Prelude as well, especially for the price. It seems underrated.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, HesNot. I am also trying to adapt to a stub nib that I have on one of my Sheaffer Legacy II's.

Ron
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Favorite Pens: Parker "51"Lamy 2000; Bexley America the Beautiful; Pilot Custom 823, 912 and 74; Sheaffer Early Touchdown; Parker Vacumatic; Sheaffer Legacy

#5 FredTSkunke

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 20:25

The Prelude is great, but my opinion is that the grind you get at Pendemonium makes all the difference. I keep buying pens, use them for a few days, and then find that I need to send them to Pendemonium to be ground to cursive italic. A pen out of the box is just too boring for my tastes :)

I am an avowed Pendemonium cursive italic fan. I just recieved pen #19 back from them yesterday.

Edited by FredTSkunke, 22 August 2006 - 22:38.


#6 Ann Finley

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 20:37

I have two Preludes--the Rainbow & the Brushed Chrome w/gold trim. I was very pleasantly surprised with how well balanced the first one I bought felt when writing (it makes my writing look better), so I bought another one. I have the factory italic, as well as the fine nibs I bought with the pens, and I find that the italic writes too wet for me as a lefty overwriter...But I surely like these pens w/the fine nibs.
Generally speaking, I'm not fond of cartridge pens, but these are keepers!

Thanks for doing the review. Maybe it will inspire a few FPNers to get some nice pens at a low price! :)

Best, Ann

#7 pvdiamon

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:18

I would love to hear how your Preludes are handling different inks. It wrote great but had very bad nib creep with Noodlers; it loves Namiki but doesn't do so well on "plain" paper.

John
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#8 rowdy

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:41

Mine has subsisted mainly on Waterman Florida Blue which my Prelude likes. It is also good with Waterman BB and Sheaffer carts (of course).

I actually have three of the Brushed Chrome/GT with medium nibs but the other than the one I got for Father's Day I don't use the other two (a fella has to have spares doesn't he?)

My thoughts. Hope this helps

Rowdy

#9 Ann Finley

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 00:02

I would love to hear how your Preludes are handling different inks...
John

So far, my Preludes seem to like Pelikan ink and Sheaffer's own brand (I've got the newer Sheaffer's Slovenian.) I wanted to use Herbin Rose Cyclamen in my Rainbow model, but the pen was hard-starting after a week or 10 days. I'm not sure if other Herbin inks (or other brands) would do this or not, as I've stuck with the Pelikan & Sheaffer's inks, since I've had no problems at all with them.

HTH, Ann






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