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Pen Review : Pilot Custom 74 (Music Nib)

pilot pilot custom 74 music nib custom 74 fountain pen pen review fountain pen review stub nib classic cigar design

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#1 mehandiratta

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 07:19

PILOT CUSTOM 74 - MUSIC NIB

 

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Music Nib

 

 

This happens to be my latest addition or you may call addiction to Pilot Pens. After buying and using PILOT CAPLESS I realised that I need more Pilot Pens and lot of fellow fountain pen users and friends recommended me to buy Custom 74 and here I must thank Dhruv for connecting me with Bunkidou Shop. Dealing with Bunkidou was an amazing experience and his service was excellent. I actually bought two PILOT pens from him, CUSTOM 74 and CUSTOM HERITAGE 92. And the EMS service was so amazing that the pens reached to India from Japan within 5 days. I will be doing reviews of both, however this review is about PILOT CUSTOM 74 WITH MUSIC NIB. 

 

 

 

 

DESIGN & BUILT : 4/5

 

The pen is regular sized classic cigar shape pen. The pen comes in various colours like Black, Burgundy, Dark Green and Dark Blue with gold trims. There are demonstrator versions also available with chrome trims also, but the music nib is only available in Black colour in Japan.

 

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Beauty Shot

 

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Uncapped and Capped – Classical Cigar Shape Pen

 

 

The classical cigar shaped pen is thickest at the cap centre-band and cap tapers down to rounded finial at top. The finial is visually separated by gold colour band. The clip is stiff and sturdy and has a ball end.

 

 

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Pilot Custom – Cap View – The clip is stiff and sturdy and has ball shaped end

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Cap View

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Cap Inner View

 

 

The cap has dual centre band, with slim one at top and broad one below where branding is done and reads “PILOT  – MADE IN JAPAN *CUSTOM 74*” . The clip also displays the the brand name PILOT engraved.

 

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Centreband

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Close up showing clip & centreband branding and beautiful nib

 

 

The pen is extremely well detailed out. There is a gold colour band at the bottom of barrel separating it from the bottom finial and also there is gold colour band at the bottom of grip section (as you can see from above image) separating it from barrel.

 

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Rounded Finials separated via gold trim bands

 

 

The material used is plastic resin which is of same quality as Pilot 78G, thus nothing premium in that regards.The material is very well polished and finished. The quality control is superb and amazing and that is where Pilot excels.

The pen uncaps in 1 – 3/4 turns and the grip section is slight concave albeit just a little bit.

Below are the few images showing the comparative with other pens:

 

 

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Pilot Custom 74 vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari

 

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Pilot Custom 74 vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari – Capped

 

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Pilot Custom 74 vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari – Uncapped and Posted

 

 

I actually wanted to buy demo version but music nib was not available available in any other colour, so I had to settle for this. But this black colour has grown over me because of its classical, understated and professional look.

 

 

 

 

BALANCE : 5/5

The pen is made of resin and is light weight and superbly well balanced whether you write with cap posted at the back or not. yes the cap posts securely at the back. The pen is of regular length comparable to that of Lamy Safari as shown in comparison above. The pen is slim and the grip is perfect.

 

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Writing Unposted

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Writing Posted

 

 

Few specifications are as follows:

 

Length (Capped) : 141 mm

Length (Uncapped) : 125 mm

Length (Posted) : 158 mm

Dia (Section) : 9.7 mm

Dia (Barrel) : 11.5 mm

Dia (Cap) : 14.5 mm

Weight (Capped) : 20 g

Weight (Uncapped) : 12 g

 

Pen is very ergonomic. I absolutely love this pen because of the grip and balance.

 

 

 

 

 

NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 4.5/5

Now comes the best part for which the pen was bought irrespective of the colour and by the way this colour has really grown on me. It looks so decent and professional. Well the pen comes in various nib widths, EF, F, SF, SFM, M, SM, FM, B, BB, MS, & C but the I am here using Music (MS) nib which has 3 tines. The friction fit nib is #5, 14 K Gold nib and writes amazingly soft and wet. I would say it writes fairly wet on higher medium side. The nib offers amazing and precise line variation . Its actually a kind of very wet stub and thus it helps in shading a lot. Even this black ink shades a little bit. It suits my script writing very well.

 

 

 

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Pilot Custom – 14k #5 Gold nib – Beautiful Nib
 
 
Writing cursive with the nib gives you a feedback but by no means it is scratchy. Feed is made of plastic. When first I inked this pen it used to get dry but after flushing the pen its a loveliest wet stubby pen I have. Ink just dries at 25 sec mark.
 
 
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Pilot Custom – Nib Unit View – Top

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Nib Unit View – Side

 

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Pilot Custom – Nib Unit View – Bottom

 

 

The pen actually came only with black ink cartridge so had to purchase the converter separately. It actually takes all the Pilot proprietary converters , CON 20, CON 50, CON 70 and also Pilot cartridges. I like CON 50 because its easy to fill and clean and also I like its small ink capacity because I like changing inks.

 

 

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Pilot Custom – Ink filling via Pilot cartridge or converter

 

 

The pen can not be used as eyedropper because of metal tenon underneath the grip section which accepts the cartridge or converter.

 

 

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Pilot Custom – Metal tenon

 

 

I have enjoyed writing every single letter with this pen. Below are the images of my handwritten review containing ink drying times and writing samples:

 

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Handwritten Review – Page 1

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Handwritten Review – Page 2

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Handwritten Review – Page 3

 

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Pilot Custom 74 – Handwritten Review – Page 4

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION: 13.5/15

The pen is no nonsense , classic looking pen. And at 82 USD shipped via EMS from Japanto India in 5 days, its terrific value for money. Cant beat that. Lot of retailer are selling it at 160 USD. So buying via Rakuten really helped. I recommend this to all the fountain pen users who like using stub nibs. Must buy.

 

 

What I Like:

Classic Design

Superb Finish & very well detailed

Ergonomic Size & Wonderful Balance

Beautiful 14K wet Nib

Better than many higher priced pens

Complete Value for money

 

 

 

What I don’t Like:

Material quality is same as Pilot 78G

Proprietary Converter and Cartridges.

 

 

 

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This is for the love of my life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My other reviews can be checked at my blog here : MEHANDIRATTA

 

 


vaibhav mehandiratta                               

architect & fountain pen connoisseur 

 

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#2 visvamitra

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 08:38

Great review :)



#3 mehandiratta

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 09:51

Great review :)

Thank you vis...


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#4 Tootles

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 10:03

Nice review.  I've been toying with the idea of a music nib.

 

Your point about the plastic being the same as in the Pilot 78G has just killed the whole Pilot 74 line for me, as I really do not like the feel of the 78G.   That's okay, saves me the trouble of buying one and finding that out myself.  So, helpful review from that aspect. :)

 

With regard to the music nib itself, in your opinion how does it compare to - say - a 1.5 mm stub?



#5 mehandiratta

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 11:38

Nice review.  I've been toying with the idea of a music nib.

 

Your point about the plastic being the same as in the Pilot 78G has just killed the whole Pilot 74 line for me, as I really do not like the feel of the 78G.   That's okay, saves me the trouble of buying one and finding that out myself.  So, helpful review from that aspect. :)

 

With regard to the music nib itself, in your opinion how does it compare to - say - a 1.5 mm stub?

Plastic is like 78G but a bit more thicker...

Secondly the instrument is wonderful...

 

if i compare it with 1.5 stub... it is more wet and soft in comparison with stiff stub nib... JoWo 1.5 have bit drier flow... this is super wet...

I loved it... As far 1.5 stub is concerned you can still write cursive smoothly... with this you will have more feedback... but not scratchy at all...


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#6 Maurizio

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:07

Very nice comprehensive review and nice to hear of the good service by Bunkidou I think I may have to buy one of these.

I have the demonstrator model with a medium nib for which I paid the top retail price here in the US. My pen writes nicely and the nib has a slight bit of "spring" which makes writing with it more enjoyable. The plastic on the demonstrator does not at all feel cheap; indeed it feels high grade to my hands with a bit a softness. I have a 78g which was the only Pilot pen that ever disappointed me as a writer and the plastic on that pen is clearly inferior compared to my C74. If the plastic on the regular C74s is the same that is a negative for me.

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#7 mehandiratta

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 12:36

Very nice comprehensive review and nice to hear of the good service by Bunkidou I think I may have to buy one of these.

I have the demonstrator model with a medium nib for which I paid the top retail price here in the US. My pen writes nicely and the nib has a slight bit of "spring" which makes writing with it more enjoyable. The plastic on the demonstrator does not at all feel cheap; indeed it feels high grade to my hands with a bit a softness. I have a 78g which was the only Pilot pen that ever disappointed me as a writer and the plastic on that pen is clearly inferior compared to my C74. If the plastic on the regular C74s is the same that is a negative for me.


It is not inferior by any means... Plastic resin is similar to 78g in color and material.. However on C74 it is very well polished and feels tad better because of more thickness...

vaibhav mehandiratta                               

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#8 SeminarianMike

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 15:24

Thanks for sharing !! ☺️

#9 mehandiratta

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 15:42

Thanks for sharing !! ☺️

Thank you for reading this


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#10 Manalto

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 15:50

Thanks for your comprehensive review, Vaibhav. It answered a lot of questions I had about this pen, and particularly the music nib. It's always a pleasure to see how a pen performs in your expert hands. Your writing skill evokes "old school" architect, from before the days of CAD, and becoming a lost art, I'm afraid. 


Edited by Manalto, 15 January 2016 - 15:53.

James


#11 Oranges and Apples

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 16:48

What a review. There is a lot of detail in this. Thank you, I appreciate it.



#12 alexander_k

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 17:03

Excellent review that leaves me with no questions to ask. Great handwriting, too. I like this pen because it performs well and doesn't cost too much but the nib is really very interesting. Thanks for sharing your impressions with FPN. 



#13 Prithwijit

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 17:36

Truly Amazing review Vaibhav. We are lucky that you spend so much time and effort in compiling a review of such quality and calibre The effort that has gone into making it really shines through. Please keep up the great work.

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit


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#14 mehandiratta

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 19:04

Thanks for your comprehensive review, Vaibhav. It answered a lot of questions I had about this pen, and particularly the music nib. It's always a pleasure to see how a pen performs in your expert hands. Your writing skill evokes "old school" architect, from before the days of CAD, and becoming a lost art, I'm afraid. 

Thank you Sooo much for liking the review... well i agree with you that the art is becoming lost... 


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#15 mehandiratta

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 19:06

What a review. There is a lot of detail in this. Thank you, I appreciate it.

Thank you again... M glad you liked it

 

Excellent review that leaves me with no questions to ask. Great handwriting, too. I like this pen because it performs well and doesn't cost too much but the nib is really very interesting. Thanks for sharing your impressions with FPN. 

Thank for the compliments... Nib is amazing....lovely wet stubby nib...


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#16 mehandiratta

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 19:07

Truly Amazing review Vaibhav. We are lucky that you spend so much time and effort in compiling a review of such quality and calibre The effort that has gone into making it really shines through. Please keep up the great work.

 

Regards,

 

Prithwijit

Thank you... means a lot coming from you...


vaibhav mehandiratta                               

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#17 Diderot

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 19:19

Excellent review, thank you.



#18 mehandiratta

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 03:13

Excellent review, thank you.

My pleasure... Thank you for reading and appreciating the review...

vaibhav mehandiratta                               

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#19 Benpiggy

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 03:53

Thank you for the excellent and detailed review.  I will want to own a MUSIC nib someday.

 

Cheers, Ben



#20 KKay

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 04:58

I liked your handwriting very much.  The review was superb!







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: pilot, pilot custom 74, music nib, custom 74, fountain pen, pen review, fountain pen review, stub nib, classic cigar design



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