Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

Penbbs 456 First Impressions

penbbs 456 vacuum china chinese asia vac

  • Please log in to reply
68 replies to this topic

#1 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 07:26

Hello again to all my FPN friends,

 

Today the long awaited Penbbs 456 vac-filler arrived in the mail, so I thought I'd give everyone still waiting for theirs on the slow boat from China to see what they have to look forward to. Below are just a few impressions after filling it up and taking it for a test drive.

 

fpn_1540884227__p1090516_compressed.jpg

 

- The pen just exudes quality! The translucent blue material looks thick and sturdy. The pen just feels very solid and sturdily constructed.
 

- The 456 is just a tad longer than the 309, but notably heavier due to the additional metal parts (see comparison photos below).
 

- It posts securely, the most securely of any Penbbs pen I own.

 

- The clip is one of the best I've seen on a Chinese pen. It's just the right amount of springiness and slides very smoothly only whatever it is clipped too. Unlike previous Penbbs models, the end of the clip isn't just folded over metal, but appears to be a separate piece welded on.

 

- The vacuum mechanism worked perfectly on the first try and filled up a little more than half the ink chamber with one pump. I'm so happy to have been able to try this filling system without having to pay $70+ for a TWSBI. I've owned TWSBIs before and I'd say the 456 actually feels more solid. 

 

- Although the section threads are metal going against the cap's threaded acrylic, uncapping and capping the pen is very smooth and secure. The metal threads on the section are smooth and I have no problem actually resting my fingers on the threads when writing (something I have to do given the issue below).

 

- The only negative point for me is the balance. The pen is back heavy even when not posted. This probably won't be an issue for people with larger hands. However, with my small hands I must hold the pen on the section threads in order to obtain a comfortable balance for writing. Otherwise the angle of the pen decreases from how I normally write.

 

- As for the nib, it's a super smooth two-tone #6 Penbbs nib. It writes a little on the dry side, but the filling method ensures that there's plenty of ink in the feed to keep it going. The nib has the classic Penbbs slight bend to it which can actually make a little bit of line variation, what I would call "semi-architect." Downstrokes are about 0.5mm while sidestrokes can vary from 0.3 to 0.8 depending on the writing angle. Ink fly increases with pressure, but there's nothing in the way of flex.

 

All in all, I think Penbbs has created their best product yet and can't wait to see what they come up with next!

 

Comparisons

(from left to right: Pelikan M215, Lingmo Lorelei, Platinum 3776 Century, Penbbs 308, Penbbs 309, Penbbs 456)

 

fpn_1540883844__p1090517_compressed.jpg

 

fpn_1540883957__p1090519_compressed.jpg

 

Writing

(slight line variation between vertical and horizontal strokes)

 

fpn_1540884278__p1090521_compressed.jpg


Edited by TruthPil, 30 October 2018 - 10:22.

fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small


Sponsored Content

#2 OCArt

OCArt

    OBB

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,484 posts
  • Location:San Diego
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 07:48

Thanks for the review, I have the same color on order so was happy to see more photos of it.  



#3 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,823 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 08:45

WOO! they made it!

 

I only see a few on ebay for about $70 right now. Are they supposed to be less than that?


Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#4 JollyCynic

JollyCynic

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 260 posts

Posted 30 October 2018 - 09:17

Thanks for the write-up!  I wonder if the metal threads were a way to help with the balance.  Beautiful pen in the wild.  (Their promo shots are always too darned perfect.)

 

Yes, the pen retails from PenBBS directly (well, directly through their eBay or Etsy official shops) at $31.99 for the basic colours, $35.99 for their nicer acrylics (that was supposed to be the price of the Cordierite this time, for example) and $38.99 for their premium acrylics, like Galaxy.  Shipping's $6 on top of that.  Of course, this is for two-tone nibs, which are generally a few dollars more than their standard silver coloured nib, so it may be less than that.

 

Third-party dealers often get them from PenBBS's Taobao shop and sell them to the west with cheaper shipping, so somewhere between the base price and the price with shipping.  With how rare and desirable the recent 469 (double-ended) and 456 (vacuum-filled) models have been, the prices on eBay steadily climb until they're high enough that nobody will buy them.

 

The good news is that new stock should be available every couple of weeks.  The bad news is that until the market's a bit more saturated, they may only be available for a couple of hours each time they're released.  (And the first release of a premium colour might not even last a full minute.)


Edited by JollyCynic, 30 October 2018 - 09:20.


#5 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 36,059 posts
  • Location:North Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 09:33

It looks awesome. I haven't purchased a Penbbs because they don't have a stub standard, but maybe I should reconsider.


Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  

 

Participate in the newest Inky TODs: 

Why do I like those nibs? 

What do I like about my handwriting? 

Whose handwriting do I like?  

Which Script Will I learn? 

Which Inks for my Handwriting

 

Ink comparisons:  The Great PPS Comparison  366 Inks in 2016

 

Check out inks sorted by color:  Blue Purple Brown  Red Green Orange Black  Pinks  Yellows  Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal


#6 amberleadavis

amberleadavis

    Inky! En-Abe-Lawyer

  • FPN Super Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 36,059 posts
  • Location:North Las Vegas
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 09:37

It's $70 on ebay.  For that price I think I'd rather buy a TWSBI.


Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

 

Want to get a special letter / gift from me, then create a Ghostly Avatar  

 

Participate in the newest Inky TODs: 

Why do I like those nibs? 

What do I like about my handwriting? 

Whose handwriting do I like?  

Which Script Will I learn? 

Which Inks for my Handwriting

 

Ink comparisons:  The Great PPS Comparison  366 Inks in 2016

 

Check out inks sorted by color:  Blue Purple Brown  Red Green Orange Black  Pinks  Yellows  Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal


#7 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:08

Yes, the pen retails from PenBBS directly (well, directly through their eBay or Etsy official shops) at $31.99 for the basic colours, $35.99 for their nicer acrylics (that was supposed to be the price of the Cordierite this time, for example) and $38.99 for their premium acrylics, like Galaxy.  Shipping's $6 on top of that.  Of course, this is for two-tone nibs, which are generally a few dollars more than their standard silver coloured nib, so it may be less than that.

 

Third-party dealers often get them from PenBBS's Taobao shop and sell them to the west with cheaper shipping, so somewhere between the base price and the price with shipping.  With how rare and desirable the recent 469 (double-ended) and 456 (vacuum-filled) models have been, the prices on eBay steadily climb until they're high enough that nobody will buy them.

 

The good news is that new stock should be available every couple of weeks.  The bad news is that until the market's a bit more saturated, they may only be available for a couple of hours each time they're released.  (And the first release of a premium colour might not even last a full minute.)

 

I couldn't have said it better myself.

 

The best way to get one of these is to watch Penbbs' Etsy page (preferably with some kind of notification system to alert you to new items) and try to purchase as soon as they go up for sale. Penbbs also has an official eBay account, but it seems like they all get sold pretty quick on Etsy. Beini at Penbbs tends to put up new listings around 11am-noon New York time. Be aware that there's a Penbbs Facebook group that keeps tabs on the listings and is the best place to get alerts on new Penbbs offerings. 


fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small


#8 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:10

It looks awesome. I haven't purchased a Penbbs because they don't have a stub standard, but maybe I should reconsider.

 

I find that a Penbbs 309 with a Goulet/JoWo #6 stub is a heavenly combination. 


fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small


#9 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 10:20

WOO! they made it!

 

I only see a few on ebay for about $70 right now. Are they supposed to be less than that?

 

The most expensive one is the Galaxy which goes for $38.99 + $6 shipping, but they disappear in minutes of going up for sale.

I passed on my chance at one because they were still over $40 within China and just couldn't justify the expense.

 

The Cloud model seems to sell the slowest and is still available all over Taobao.

 

More good news is that Penbbs is still redesigning the 348, so hopefully it will be a nice alternative to the Wingsung 601 for those who prefer #6 nibs.


fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small


#10 penzel_washinkton

penzel_washinkton

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 963 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 14:24

Congrats on your new acquisition! I won't be getting mine at least until end of next week.

So, do you prefer this to the 309?

 

WOO! they made it!

 

I only see a few on ebay for about $70 right now. Are they supposed to be less than that?

 

Should be, I think it is due to stock issues. The 469 had the same situation previously so you can wait it out for a while and I am confident newer patterns will come out.

 

It was sold initially for $30 without shipping, then initial ebay prices were around $40 (incl shipping) for the cheapest model

 

It's $70 on ebay.  For that price I think I'd rather buy a TWSBI.

 

You can wait for it to release new colors, as previously said I am confident it will come back down.

 

 

The most expensive one is the Galaxy which goes for $38.99 + $6 shipping, but they disappear in minutes of going up for sale.

I passed on my chance at one because they were still over $40 within China and just couldn't justify the expense.

 

The Cloud model seems to sell the slowest and is still available all over Taobao.

 

More good news is that Penbbs is still redesigning the 348, so hopefully it will be a nice alternative to the Wingsung 601 for those who prefer #6 nibs.

I think the Cordierite was the most expensive at ebay



#11 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 14:58

Congrats on your new acquisition! I won't be getting mine at least until end of next week.
So, do you prefer this to the 309?


Due to the balance issue I mentioned and the fact that the mechanism is much more complicated and probably harder to clean, I definitely prefer the 309. For those who like a meatier pen though, the 456 is gold!

fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small


#12 penzel_washinkton

penzel_washinkton

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 963 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 15:11

The Galaxy 309 is still your grail pen then, best of luck in acquiring them.

Anyway, I think PenBBS is really doing something great here with their recent releases.



#13 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 15:23

I agree. Although most of the designs are fairly traditional in appearance, the boldness to use various filling systems and the increasing quality of construction really impress me. If you slapped some famous European brand name on these, they'd go for a lot of money.

fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small


#14 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,823 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 30 October 2018 - 23:58

I'll wait for them to come back down in price, but this might become the primary housing for my stacked nibs to be sold in.

Edited by Honeybadgers, 30 October 2018 - 23:58.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#15 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 31 October 2018 - 00:37

I'll wait for them to come back down in price, but this might become the primary housing for my stacked nibs to be sold in.


I'm looking forward to your comparison of the 456 and TWSBI Vac 700. I've never tried a vac filler before so don't have a standard to compare to. All I know is this pen works really when.

fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small


#16 Driften

Driften

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,828 posts
  • Location:Issaquah, WA
  • Flag:

Posted 31 October 2018 - 06:14

I had ordered the same one as this so it's nice seeing more pictures of the blue. I am really looking forward to getting mine but no idea on when it will make it here. It was processed though Shanghai two days ago and no status since. It will be here sooner or later. 

 

I am really looking forward to it!



#17 Honeybadgers

Honeybadgers

    Donor Pen

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,823 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 31 October 2018 - 10:00

I'm looking forward to your comparison of the 456 and TWSBI Vac 700. I've never tried a vac filler before so don't have a standard to compare to. All I know is this pen works really when.

 

 

As of now I have a VAC700R, a VAC mini, a visconti homo sapiens, and I've got a pilot custom 823 on order with an FA nib (and an ebonite feed shortly thereafter) to compare. I hope it's as good as it looks. I am such a freaking sucker for vac-fillers.

 

I may have to come by and check it out when you get yours if I haven't seen them in the sub $50 range, jeff.


Edited by Honeybadgers, 31 October 2018 - 10:00.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)


#18 Driften

Driften

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,828 posts
  • Location:Issaquah, WA
  • Flag:

Posted 31 October 2018 - 17:48

 

 

As of now I have a VAC700R, a VAC mini, a visconti homo sapiens, and I've got a pilot custom 823 on order with an FA nib (and an ebonite feed shortly thereafter) to compare. I hope it's as good as it looks. I am such a freaking sucker for vac-fillers.

 

I may have to come by and check it out when you get yours if I haven't seen them in the sub $50 range, jeff.

 

 

Don't mind you checking it out when it comes in. I picked up my off Etsy before they hit eBay. I do have a Vac700r and 823. The Pilot 823 is one of my favorites so it will be good to see how this pen stacks up. I like that it has more of a separate chamber like a Visconti double power filler.



#19 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 01 November 2018 - 01:36

Regarding weight, mine weighs 31 grams with one pump of ink in it.

By comparison, my 309 weights about 20 grams with the same amount of ink inside.


fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small


#20 TruthPil

TruthPil

    Flexy obliqueness!

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,262 posts
  • Location:Democratic People's Republic of California
  • Flag:

Posted 01 November 2018 - 15:47

For those of you who missed out on the first batch, keep your eyes peeled on the Penbbs Etsy page because a new batch of colors will be released within the next few days. They've already gone on sale on Taobao.

Colors include Autumn, Southshore, Smog, Koi, and that glow in the dark one as well as at least one other.

fpn_1451608922__truthpil_signature_small






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: penbbs, 456, vacuum, china, chinese, asia, vac



Sponsored Content




|