I've been a repeat customer of the Fountain Pen Revolution website for maybe a year now, and have purchased a number of their pens and nibs in that time. One of my frustrations with their earlier offerings was the #5 "Fine Stub" nib - I bought two or three pens with this nib on board, and always found it scratchy.
When the new #5.5 nibs came out - a significant improvement in almost every way - my question of Kevin (the proprietor of FPR) was when he would be adding a stub nib to the line-up. I didn't get an answer at first - but in the past few weeks they've been listed as on their way, and last week (or was it the week before? - on March 26 2015), they were finally available for $7ea plus postage. I took advantage of the offer - which now seems to have disappeared from their website! - to buy a Serwex 1362 demonstrator with the new stub nib for $9. $2 extra, and you get a pen thrown in? I ordered two!
The new pens arrived yesterday. I swapped the nib from one straight into a FPR Indus (burgundy coloured), inked it up with Diamine Red Dragon... and filled the other demonstrator with Noodler's Baystate Blue (it only cost me $2 - so why not?)...
Here's a picture of one of the nibs - with apologies for the lack of focus:
The first thing I noticed about these nibs was the tipping - unlike my JoWo nibs (which cost at least twice as much), these nibs are tipped with iridium. They're also, as the picture below demonstrates, somewhat smaller. The nibs shown, moving clockwise from top left:
Goulet 1.1mm stub (JoWo #6), in a Jinhao 159 - inked with Pelikan 4001 Black
Lamy 1.1 mm stub, in a Lamy Safari Neon Coral - inked with Diamine Hope Pink.
FPR 1.0 mm stub, in a FPR Indus - inked with Diamine Red Dragon
TWSBI 1.5mm stub (JoWo #5), in a TWSBI 540, inked with De Atramentis Sherlock Holmes.
And here's an initial writing sample - beginning with a TWSBI M nib for comparison:
I really enjoyed writing with these nibs. They definitely lay down a thinner down-stroke than the TWSBI 1.5mm and the Goulet 1.1mm - and marginally less than the Lamy 1.1mm. More significantly, the writing experience was much, MUCH smoother. The nibs glided over the page, and were more forgiving than their untipped counterparts. They also allowed me to write smaller - closer to my normal writing style.
There was a trade-off for this improvement: not only are the downstrokes (thick lines) thinner than for my other stubs, but the side-strokes (thin lines) are just a little thicker - at least, that's the way it looks with my writing - so that the 'italic' look (line variation) is diminished. For mine, that's a very acceptable trade-off - especially given the smoothness of the writing experience - but it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
In the following two photos, I'm comparing just one FPR stub nib (left), to the TWSBI 1.5 mm nib (top), the Goulet 1.1mm (bottom) - while the nib to the right is a FPR Broad. The latter has a visibly rounder tip - gives little or no line variation when writing.
For the price, these stub nibs are an absolute steal - and a great pleasure to use. I'd be more than happy to recommend them. Though they're billed as a #5.5 nib (to differentiate them from the earlier #5 offerings), they'll fit onto pretty well any 5mm-diameter feed (i.e. #5 nib pens) - including (so I'm told) the TWSBI Diamond 580. The Serwex pens I ordered them on had gold-coloured furniture, so were installed with two-tone nibs to match - but you can also buy them as straight stainless steel.
Standard Disclaimer: though I have previously received free review pens from FPR (the new Indus pen, in blue and Demonstrator), I purchased these nibs (and pens) with my own money - and have not been solicited or compensated in any way for this review.