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Deep Dark Inks From Cult Pens

cult pens deep dark ink writing rhodia

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35 replies to this topic

#1 Writer01

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 13:01

A short while ago, the very nice people at Cult Pens suggested I'd like to have some new inks to play with. Who am I to refuse an offer like that?

dsc_0001.jpg?w=640 Lots of inks side-by-side

A year ago I started to use Cult Pens' own Deep Dark Blue ink. This was a colour they designed to match their own logo, and it was made by Diamine in the UK (a brilliant firm with the best range of fountain pen inks, I think). I love Deep Dark Blue, and in fact it took over as my mainstay. I tend to have two or three pens with me while working, and the one I use daily (the Visconti, because it's bullet-proof and will never scratch), is generally filled with this ink now.
Well, last month the nice people at Cult Pens gave me some more ink to try, and it was so good, I had to buy some more.
The inks I have tested are the Deep Dark range, including green, brown, red and purple. For comparison purposes I've also mentioned the blue again (which I'll need to replenish soon, since the tide's going out in my old bottle).
All the inks performed well in my pens. I used a pair of Cross pens, mostly my fine nibbed one, and my three Conway Stewarts, which include medium, B and italic medium.

dsc_0002.jpg?w=191 Ignore the doctor's prescription at the bottom!

First observation: it is clear to me that these inks deserve a fat nib. With the fine Cross the ink works well, but it's not so effective as using my standard, Diamine Passion Red, for marking up and editing. The main thing I use this pen for is putting in corrections on my MSs, and for this the Deep Dark Red fails utterly! It's so dark that (for my eyesight) when it is put on paper, it's impossible to tell an inserted comma from blank toner on the page. And it makes my writing look like a drunken spider's … (bottom para).
However, as with other inks, when it's used in a fatter nib (middle para) it suddenly takes on a gorgeous life of its own. The thicker lines start paler and go dark as the nib moves with my italic nib. The variation of line thickness and ink colour is quite noticeable on my Rhodia paper – I just hope that comes across in the photo. I think it's a very good alternative to Oxblood.
The brown ink in the top paragraph shows the colour depth with thicker lines even more distinctly, I think. The brown is a good colour that oddly seems to come out more pale than, say, Diamine's Saddle Brown, but that's no bad thing. I think I prefer this. It'll almost certainly be a regular ink in my Kaweco with the italic nib.
I thought it would be useful to look at a standard Prussian Blue in comparison with the Deep Dark inks. On the photo at the top you can see how the Deep Dark Blue compares.

dsc_0003.jpg?w=191 I like the purple in the middle!

The odd thing is, the purple comes over as darker than the Blue - and yet it's got a slight reddish hue that shows up very pleasantly even with my Visconti medium nib (both were written using this pen).
Once, when talking to another author, he scathingly mentioned fountain pen users who were so – well, let's just paraphrase – weird that they used green inks. I surreptitiously concealed my pen (Diamine Kelly Green at the time). This, for me, is the one colour I probably won't use. I do like greens (as the above anecdote confirms), but this is, for me, either not quite dark enough or too dark. If it were a little more concentrated, so that the hints of the colour came through in the same way as with the purple, I'd like it more. It does show good depth – look at the last couple of lines, where I say "Diamine's Emerald", for example. You can see an almost black shade with the overlapped strokes. However, for my money it could be deeper black so that the greenish tint only shows on occasion.
But that is the only one I won't be using regularly. I really love these new colours. The brown is a bit of an oddity, but I like the way the colour works. As for the others, they give hints of their base pigments which are not apparent at first sight. When I put down a page in Deep Dark Blue, for example, at first glance it could be a Mont Blanc black; the Deep Dark Purple could be anything. However, set the purple against the blue or the red, and all of them take on their own individuality. For me, working with several colours at the same time in multiple pens, this gives me a subtle variation in style that really appeals.
And for now, the only real problem I have is whether to refill my Visconti with Deep Dark Blue or Purple.
Decisions, decisions …
My thanks to Cult Pens for the Deep Dark Blue, Deep Dark Brown and Deep Dark Green – but I bought the other inks for myself. This review was not biased by bribery!

 

dsc_00011.jpg?w=640

 


@MichaelJecks
http://about.me/Michael.Jecks/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtD9U9jSDEjaJsfz7meEK9Q When in doubt, I'll always have a Bernese Mountain dog or a Ridgeback

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#2 lapis

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 13:49

Great review! Thanks!! Good that somebody compared them all together. I started with the dark blue... finally ended up with all five. Sure am surprised what they'll come up with next...

 

Mike    :)


Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


#3 Writer01

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Posted 04 April 2014 - 15:22

You and me both! Diamine and Cult - the ideal combination!


@MichaelJecks
http://about.me/Michael.Jecks/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtD9U9jSDEjaJsfz7meEK9Q When in doubt, I'll always have a Bernese Mountain dog or a Ridgeback

#4 kokopelli_TR

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 03:42

I have the first four and this week I ordered the later purple as well. I have been using Deep Dark Red in my Platinum 3776 Century Bourgogne pen for a while and I think is the color that matches the body of this pen the most. Deep Dark Blue is just a bit too dense in color in my wet pens and I just wanted to say that you can dilute them with water if you don't need such a dark color in occasions. This makes them so economical too :))

#5 The Good Captain

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 14:20

A great review of great British inks. I've got all but the purple but that's purely circumstance.


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#6 The Good Captain

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 14:20

You and me both! Diamine and Cult - the ideal combination!

Exactly!


The Good Captain
 
"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"


#7 The Good Captain

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 14:21

Great review! Thanks!! Good that somebody compared them all together. I started with the dark blue... finally ended up with all five. Sure am surprised what they'll come up with next...

 

Mike    :)

Perhaps something twisted...?


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"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"


#8 swanjun

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 16:17

I'm campaigning for a Deep Dark Teal next!  (I have all five of the others, too.)



#9 lapis

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 17:58

I don't need it but how 'bout a deep dark black?

Jack

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)


#10 Jdm dc2

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 19:37

Great review. These inks look fantastic.

#11 da vinci

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 07:32

Nice review, thanks.

I would be interested to know how easily your pen (the Visconti ) cleans up after sustained use of the deep dark blue? I am guessing there is no ink window to check for staining but does it flush through effectively ?

#12 The Good Captain

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 21:56

I don't need it but how 'bout a deep dark black?

Jack

Methinkth you are taking the pith!


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#13 lapis

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:39

You mean taking  a  pith?

 

:lticaptd:  :lticaptd: 


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#14 Writer01

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 18:19

Nice review, thanks.

I would be interested to know how easily your pen (the Visconti ) cleans up after sustained use of the deep dark blue? I am guessing there is no ink window to check for staining but does it flush through effectively ?

I find a weekly rinse with a weak warm water solution with a mild detergent works fine. Flush through several times to make sure that the detergent is out, and it works like new every time. I don't panic about the lack of a viewing window because I tend to carry a (stupidly expensive) Visconti traveller's inkwell with me. However, if I ever lose that (which is likely since I'm a real berk when it comes to things like this) I'll buy a plastic bottle with a wide mouth. Not as good, but a damn sight cheaper! 


@MichaelJecks
http://about.me/Michael.Jecks/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtD9U9jSDEjaJsfz7meEK9Q When in doubt, I'll always have a Bernese Mountain dog or a Ridgeback

#15 rudyhou

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 04:28

thanks for sharing.  great penmanship.


-rudy-

#16 amberleadavis

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 22:17

Great review.


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#17 proton007

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:50

:puddle:

These inks are nothing like I've seen before. Their shading makes them stand apart, seems some work has gone into making them shade this way.

:notworthy1:


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#18 Scribble Monboddo

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 10:28

fpn_1444386355__deep_dark_inks_summary.jI can't compete with the excellent, detailed review above, but here's an update nonetheless - useful for getting an idea of the colours in action, at least!  For a writing sample, have a peek at my blog entry.



#19 Chrissy

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 10:46

I have DD Orange, and I really like it. I think I reviewed it on here not that long ago



#20 lapis

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Posted 09 October 2015 - 11:18

But Chris, my friend, o'course you reviewed it here. Otherwise I wouldn't have ordered it immediately and rec'd same in June.

 

Mike :)


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