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Question. Comparison Of Mb Ebonite And Plastic Feeds.

ebonite plastic feed ink mb

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22 replies to this topic

#1 Cyclopentadiene

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 09:16

Hi all, 

 

I was wondering if there was any difference in charicteristics provided by the modern production plastic feeds and the previous ebonite feeds fitted to the MB 146 and 149 range? Is the difference in flow etc. noticeable?

 

Many thanks,

Badger

 

 



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#2 Penne Stilografiche

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 12:57

Not all 146's or 149's have the same flow, whether they were made the same year or if the were made 50 years apart. I could not answer your question because I have only owned a modern 146  and a modern 149.


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#3 jar

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 13:09

I have not noticed much if any difference.


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#4 Penne Stilografiche

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 13:24

I have not noticed much if any difference.

I have noticed the more vintage montblancs seem to be wetter and flow smoothly. Maybe it's because most of my vintage MB have wider nibs (B, BB, etc.). Also Jar, do you ever sell any of your pens cause' I interested in one...


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#5 jar

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 13:39

I have noticed the more vintage montblancs seem to be wetter and flow smoothly. Maybe it's because most of my vintage MB have wider nibs (B, BB, etc.). Also Jar, do you ever sell any of your pens cause' I interested in one...

 

I don't sell pens.


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#6 Penne Stilografiche

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 13:43

 

I don't sell pens.

I kind of figured that... :bawl: Do you know how many of those Montegrappa Reminiscence pens were made? I can't even find one for sale...

 

 

 

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#7 CS388

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 13:47

Currently working on my 146 and testing the old split ebonite feed vs the new plastic feed.

 

After testing the feeds and cleaning them, I noticed the ebonite feed took longer to dry - possibly slightly porous? 

The plastic feed, of course, is completely non porous and dries with a wipe. 

If the ebonite is slightly porous, this may affect the ink flow? (As the feed could be somewhat soaked, or primed, at all times?)

 

Yet, having said that, I found little or no difference in the writing experience or ink flow.

 

(Should also add that I'm just guessing here. I'm a novice and this is my first investigation into feeds.)



#8 jar

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 13:56

 

I kind of figured that... :bawl: Do you know how many of those Montegrappa Reminiscence pens were made? I can't even find one for sale...

 

");

 

 

 

Check with Airline International and Eddy can likely help you.


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#9 Penne Stilografiche

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 14:03

 

 

Check with Airline International and Eddy can likely help you.

Thanks Jar, Hopefully I they have one in stock. Your post about it has made that pen move to the top of my want list.

Thanks

Vin


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#10 Barry Gabay

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 15:20

Good morning Badger,

Have owned & used many ebonite feeds from all generations, as well as early 90s & current plastic feeds for 149s. Ebonite feeds only on the few 146s I've had over the years.

The plastic feeds on 149s are much easier to remove for at-home surgery. They have excellent seal & flow. On quite a few occasions, I've watched residual ink actually flow uphill to the top of the nib slit when a first-generation plastic feed was re-set with its nib in the section. Saw this happen with several different 149s. Amazing! These pens had such a tight seal that the ink was actually drawn up into the feed & nib. The fact that a tiny amount of residual ink was drawn against gravity from the ink chamber, through the feed, and into the nib without any shaking attests to the quality of the plastic feeds. You can also hear a "phfft" of air expelled as the nib & feed are set into place. Have only one plastic feed at the moment, a current production, and haven't fiddled with it yet.

I'll admit to a partiality for ebonite feeds, but only because I prefer older 149s, and those have ebonite feeds. Some writers & contributors to this forum love their new models with plastic feeds set with an older nib. Georges Z, for one, has high praise for such pens.

Either way, ebonite or plastic, you won't go wrong with a properly adjusted nib-feed configuration. When nib & feed are correctly aligned, a 149 or 146 (or any good fountain pen for that matter) will give years of flawless writing and require only minor and infrequent nib-feed adjustments.

Enjoy the weekend,
Barry

#11 hari317

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 16:01

very well explained Barry. Thanks! I have a similar experience, MB has done a wonderful job with the plastic feeds, perhaps the best plastic feeds on the market today.


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#12 karmakoda

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 16:13

Easy answer, ...what Barry said.

Only three of my MB pens have plastic feeds, and they are excellent writers. 

I wonder, if after many years of use, and abuse, some of the porous properties of ebonite are minimized due to residual ink deposits?

Having said that, all of my pens with ebonite feeds work perfectly, and the ebonite, especially on the split feeds, seem like tiny ink sponges.

My preference is ebonite, for obscure aesthetic reasons.



#13 entropydave

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 17:00

Hello 

 

This is a tangential question, but hopefully no one will mind.  Is there a reliable way to tell the difference between ebonite and plastic feeds?  I am sort of developing a sense for it but it has been simply by looking at some I know to be one or the other.  

 

Are there some rules of thumb--e.g. one weighs more than the other, one is cooler to the touch, one can be dented with a thumbnail, etc.--that allow one to tell the difference?

 

Insights gratefully received.

 

David.



#14 harlequin-RIH

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 18:11

That's a great question, I've also wondered that myself.



#15 hari317

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 18:59

Hello 

 

This is a tangential question, but hopefully no one will mind.  Is there a reliable way to tell the difference between ebonite and plastic feeds?  I am sort of developing a sense for it but it has been simply by looking at some I know to be one or the other.  

 

Are there some rules of thumb--e.g. one weighs more than the other, one is cooler to the touch, one can be dented with a thumbnail, etc.--that allow one to tell the difference?

 

Insights gratefully received.

 

David.

It is very easy to distinguish the ebonite and plastic feeders in the case of montblanc. Pls look at the pictures posted in the pinned topic at the top of this forum: dating 149...


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#16 sarahfar

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 23:37

ebonite. Always ebonite. Most say they can't tell the difference, but I really feel like I can and it really is across brands. MB went to plastic to save money. I know some of the Japanese companies use plastic too, and both they and MB do OK with plastic, but whether it is Omas, Delta or MB I always prefer ebonite.....



#17 karmakoda

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 23:57

Last time this discussion came up, somebody posted the video below, Aurora pens,  interesting to see the cutting/shaping of the feed.

I was also thinking about Omas, Aurora and other current pens with ebonite feeds.

Seems odd that cost cutting would be the reason to use plastic feeds in premium, flagship pens like the 149.

Even more odd that  plastic feeds, (does that mean cheap feeds?) are used in expensive Limited Edition Montblanc pens.  

Seems more likely that Montblanc designers have decided that plastic feeds are more dependable in service and quality control.

See the 2:12 mark of the video for feed cutting

:



#18 sarahfar

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 00:43

Yeah there's a big discussion somewhere. Omas and when Delta uses it has a really great hand cut ebonite feed. I'm sure somewhere in the argument MB maintained they had better ability to maintain quality control. I own a lot of MB pens and the plastic feed is not enough to stop me from buying one. And some of the elite Japanese makes use them too. 

 

Yeah, I would love to see the ones made that are actually hand cut. So much of this turns out to be personal preference and hard to pull out the performance from something in my head. Just my preference Hand cut ebonite like Omas and Delta, MB ebonite and then plastic. But I understand others see no difference



#19 johnkim424

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 04:32

entropydave, there is no sure fire way of telling what kind of material the feed is made of.  Only sure way to tell is the design of the feed.  Modern plastic feeds work wells with modern stiff nibs but you run into problems if you use modern feeds on vintage MBs specially ones with flexible nibs.  The reason being plastic feeds are limited in the amount of ink that can be supplied to the nib.  This is the principle reason why nibmeisters will not modify non ebonite feed pens for added flexibility.  This is another reason why vintage MBs write wet.  I prefer ebonite feeds over modern plastic feeds because I like my MBs to write juicy wet! 


Edited by johnkim424, 23 June 2013 - 04:35.


#20 entropydave

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 08:36

Thank you for the answers so far.  It seems that there is no way surefire way to tell from a comparison of the materials themselves.  My sense thus far is that plastic tends to have a higher gloss than ebonite and the edges tend to remain a sharper, but this has failed me as a heuristic before.

 

What surprises me is how little variety there seems to be in the designs of feeds now.  No one even seems to do "lengthwise" feed designs like on the Pelikan 400 or Montblanc 254.  I am a big Montblanc fan, but not of the 146 or 149 for aesthetic reasons.  The pens I love are the 1960s 1x/2x/3x models as well as the very early 1970s 22x--especially the first version of this pen.  Both of these pens have very unusual feeds, even if you compare them to other "internal" feeds like the Lamy 27, Aurora 88 or Parker 61.  They seem to me plenty juicy even on BB nibs.

 

The feeds on the 1x/2x/3x is especially clever, it seems to me, since they have some scope for flexing to maintain tension.  (For those that do not know them, they are a bit like a banana with a double row of teeth running the length of the banana.)  The "fins" or "teeth" of the nib can become brittle in my limited experience though.

 

I am also a bit surprised that more experimentation with the color of the feed is neither made, nor accepted.  (Perhaps it is and I am unaware of it.)  The Aurora Optima Auroloide I have with the new red-brown ebonite feed seems to have annoyed a lot of people, though I like it very much.

 

David.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ebonite, plastic, feed, ink, mb



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