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Thebai Xi Mai (Fine Wheat)

thebai china ef

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21 replies to this topic

#1 antichresis

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 02:42

Has anyone tried this? Black body x EF nib is the only option. Comes in gold or silver trim. US$9.00.

 

 

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Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

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#2 Seele

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:28

antichresis,

 

The one you showed is the Gen 2, introduced just after I ordered my Gen 1 Rev 2...

 

This I call the "Little Wheat", and like their Thyer, the Gen 1 is based on an existing pen (a Cross homage) but with extensive upgrades; the nib is made using expensive processes like hot rolling to give a thicker middle and progressively thinner towards the edges. Many tipping grind shapes were tested until one was found to be the best compromise.

 

The Gen 2 is more likely a complete in-house design and with further performance enhancements, but for me the Gen 1 Rev 2 is already excellent; perhaps I have to plan on making another Taobao purchase...


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#3 antichresis

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 07:59

Seele, thanks for the feedback and the correct translation! Bummer about them putting out a new pen just as you've bought the old one. :o

 

I do like my Thyer—it was the best pen I got from my last Taobao order—and this looks promising. Can you share some thoughts about your Gen 1?

 

How fine is their extra fine? My Thyer is quite smooth for the nib width and I'm hopeful(?) that they can replicate the smoothness on a pointier nib. It's also quite a lot more expensive than the Thyer (still pretty cheap though), but our one review on the Thyer is right that scratch marks will show pretty soon on the section. Is there a design flaw on your Gen 1?


EDIT: oh wait, do you mean the Gen2 is totally different?


Edited by antichresis, 28 May 2017 - 08:15.

Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

Your Kilometrage May Vary (#ykmv), a Philippine blawg about ink and fountain pens.


#4 Seele

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 11:13

antichresis,

 

This is the link to the Gen 1 Rev 2, the original Gen 1 Rev 1 page had more information about the pen but as it's no longer available the page is no longer online. While the Gen 1 and Gen 2 use pretty much the same nibs, the F nib gives a little more spring in the Gen 2 section due to some fine tuning of the section and feed.

 

I must say I have only been using mine sparingly, not putting it through the daily rough and tumble, and only been using Waterman Absolute Brown in it. That said, the vented 0.58 nib on my example is delightful: very smooth but with just the right hint of feedback that makes writing very much an interactive experience. It also has just a little bit of springiness and that correlates to the amount of ink it puts on the paper: Absolute Brown shades like crazy in this. I certainly am not unhappy about having it instead of the Gen 2!

 

Regarding the Thyer section: if the cap is held on by a set of steel "claws" then having scratches on the section is a matter of course, I certainly do not feel at all bothered by that.


Edited by Seele, 28 May 2017 - 11:17.

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#5 TruthPil

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 13:51

Thanks for another hot top on a new pen!

 

Here's the information for the Gen 2. The explanations seem quite extensive and it looks like a nice, wet writer.

It seems like it's only available in 0.38mm now, so I imagine the line width would probably be identical to the Thyer (especially considering the same people are tuning the nibs).


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#6 Seele

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 15:20

TruthPil,

 

Being in the Mainland I think it would be easy enough for you to get one to have a hands-on test!

 

In the product page, TheBai states that the nib has been further optimized for the Gen 2, especially the EF; I have always been one who favours a little portlier line thicknesses unless there are no options, but judging by my experiences with the Gen1 Rev 2, the broader (vented and signed) nib performs remarkably well. With a lighter touch and the pen held more perpendicular to the paper - as in normal for writing in Chinese - the ink supply is very well regulated; tightly-packed lines simply refuse to merge into a puddle, although it is nowhere as dry as the Thyer. Writing latin cursive scripts quickly, I can feel as if the throttle opens up and gives wetness in proportion to the writing pressure, thus offering appealing shading. Amongst the dozens of pens that I possess, it has to be one of the top performers.


No, I am not going to list my pens here.

#7 antichresis

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 00:33

Regarding the Thyer section: if the cap is held on by a set of steel "claws" then having scratches on the section is a matter of course, I certainly do not feel at all bothered by that.

Yes, pity about that. I wish they could change (Thyer Gen 2?) the gripping method to that one on a Sheaffer Triumph Imperial. It would probably cost more to manufacture though.

 

Thanks for another hot top on a new pen!

 

Here's the information for the Gen 2. The explanations seem quite extensive and it looks like a nice, wet writer.

It seems like it's only available in 0.38mm now, so I imagine the line width would probably be identical to the Thyer (especially considering the same people are tuning the nibs).

Hahaha, I'm going over Taobao for pens I can order next time. I searched for "钢笔" and just kept scrolling down. I'm actually concerned that I'm flooding this board with too many posts.  :lol:

 

Isn't the Thyer 0.45mm? I actually don't know if I can tell the difference between the two but the Thyer is a good width for me and the amount of feedback / tooth from the nib is very low just as I like it. Hopefully they are similar. My biggest concern with the pen is how sharp it will be since I don't use coated "nice" paper.

 

TruthPil,

 

Being in the Mainland I think it would be easy enough for you to get one to have a hands-on test!

 

In the product page, TheBai states that the nib has been further optimized for the Gen 2, especially the EF; I have always been one who favours a little portlier line thicknesses unless there are no options, but judging by my experiences with the Gen1 Rev 2, the broader (vented and signed) nib performs remarkably well. With a lighter touch and the pen held more perpendicular to the paper - as in normal for writing in Chinese - the ink supply is very well regulated; tightly-packed lines simply refuse to merge into a puddle, although it is nowhere as dry as the Thyer. Writing latin cursive scripts quickly, I can feel as if the throttle opens up and gives wetness in proportion to the writing pressure, thus offering appealing shading. Amongst the dozens of pens that I possess, it has to be one of the top performers.

Now you're making me want to get the Gen 1 as well!!  :D


Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

Your Kilometrage May Vary (#ykmv), a Philippine blawg about ink and fountain pens.


#8 Seele

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 02:44

antichresis,

 

It would be interesting to compare the Gen 1 and Gen 2 with nibs of the same type. in the Gen 2 product page it says, they are planning to offer the Gen 2 section at a discount to Gen 1 owners, something to think about...

 

That said, do bear in mind that the pen is rather small and slim, the section might even be a bit too slim for some. I have no problems with that though, having Sheaffer slim Targas myself, that does not faze me much.


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#9 antichresis

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:02

Oh, how thin? Thinner than the Thyer?


Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

Your Kilometrage May Vary (#ykmv), a Philippine blawg about ink and fountain pens.


#10 Seele

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:19

Oh, how thin? Thinner than the Thyer?

 

The section tapers from 10mm in diameter to 8mm.


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#11 TruthPil

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 04:36

An important question for me is, can you remove the nib and put different nibs in, like a #5 nib or something?


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#12 Seele

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 08:04

An important question for me is, can you remove the nib and put different nibs in, like a #5 nib or something?

 

I've just finished the fill in it so just did the cleaning. The nib is small, Nib Creaper compatible. But then the whole deal about this pen is the superb nib; as TheBai said, the aim is to produce a pen with first class nib, third class rest-of-it, and fifth-class price... or something like that.


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#13 antichresis

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 05:51

I've recently figured out the comments section on Taobao. Here's a useful photo:

 

TB2PtMuXRU4h1JjSZFLXXaFMpXa_!!0-rate.jpg


Hero #232 Blue-Black is my Waterman Florida Blue.

 

Your Kilometrage May Vary (#ykmv), a Philippine blawg about ink and fountain pens.


#14 TruthPil

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 03:59

I finally ordered one of these with a medium (Western fine) nib and look forward to writing  a review of it. 

 

Thebai is really doing some great things for the FP market in China!


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#15 Seele

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 02:39

I finally ordered one of these with a medium (Western fine) nib and look forward to writing  a review of it. 

 

Thebai is really doing some great things for the FP market in China!

 

TruthPil,

 

It might be what we call the "tall poppy syndrome", at some less specialized forums there are no shortage of critics who claimed that Thebai did not do much to improve on the base pens and charge a premium, etc. But of course they presented no evidence, and the base pen is not available internationally, so I can only judge the Little Wheat on its own merits.


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#16 TruthPil

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 04:10

 
TruthPil,
 
It might be what we call the "tall poppy syndrome", at some less specialized forums there are no shortage of critics who claimed that Thebai did not do much to improve on the base pens and charge a premium, etc. But of course they presented no evidence, and the base pen is not available internationally, so I can only judge the Little Wheat on its own merits.


That's fair. I think what matters most is does the pen write and feel the way one would expect for a pen in that price range.

My previous Thebai experience with the Thyer was excellent. Although I don't have a stock Jinhao 911 to compare it with, it writes a lovely wet and smooth EF line and was certainly worth the extra 7RMB at least for the peace of mind.

I want to support this brand because they are trying to be innovative. Some of their ideas seem gimmicky, but things like selling individual "DIY" nib units with a set of micromesh sheets so you can tune your own nib ought to be encouraged.

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#17 TruthPil

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 00:34

My "Fine Wheat" came yesterday.... It's design bears a very close resemblance to a Cross Townsend. I got the glossy black version with chrome trim and it looks very classy. Great looks, great feel in the hand, and a nice smooth nib with a pleasant touch of feedback. The nib is equivalent to a Japanese medium (mine is marked as a medium).

 

However, this is the fifth Chinese pen I've received (to be fair, that's out of somewhere between 30 and 40) that is too dry to be useable. I filled it up and when no ink went onto the paper I took a closer look and noticed that no light can pass between the tines. I'm going to have to work on this pen to get it to write, but I don't mind too much for such a handsome pen. 


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#18 Mech-for-i

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 05:27

keep us updated, we wold want to know how it goes



#19 TruthPil

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 07:29

keep us updated, we wold want to know how it goes

 

I managed to get the nib to write wetter by pulling the tines apart some with my thumbs. It lays down a decent Western fine line now, but then I had an embarrassing moment with it today. I was writing something down for a student and it skipped and would not restart. In desperation after several failed attempts, I flick it a little and got ink on the table....but at least it wrote again. I think I'll just have to disassemble the pen and clean all the parts carefully in case something is causing the skipping. 

 

I spent quite some time examining the nib under a loupe. There's more tipping material on this pen than most Chinese pens and I can tell that they worked on smoothing it. However, the smoothing seems to be a little uneven so that the tipping on one tine is a little more worn than on the other. That just means you have to hold it at a certain angle to get maximum smoothness. Even then it isn't "buttery smooth," but that kind of smooth isn't desired by Chinese so I wouldn't expect it. 

 

After I use up this fill, disassemble and reassemble the pen, then refill, I'll give another update. 

 

This is a nice pen over all, but doesn't seem to be any better than a similar priced Hero for last year's releases.


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#20 Mech-for-i

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Posted 04 February 2018 - 08:03

good to know such details. I was on the look out for this pen but somehow never got the urge to actually go buy one. One of the thing I am keenly aware of is that the Mfr's philosophy of having a 1s grade nib but 3rd grade assembly sounds to me a bit on the over the top wishful thinking ... even the best nib cannot function alone and your experience kind of reflect the situation I would say. Fro all the user comments its certainly not a bad pen but as you've put it - does not seem to be better than ...







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