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  1. Hi, is there anyone in India who is willing to sell the TWSBI diamond 580 or Vac 700r? I'm in for buying some Twsbi pens and wasn't sure where to look for them. I want to try them out. If you're interested in selling yours, message me:)
  2. During the weekend I was playing around with Pentax Takumar lenses from the 1960s and 1970s, mounted on a Canon EOS M body. This image was created with a Takumar 85mm f1.9. TWSBI Vac 700, inked with Sailor Jentle miruai, 1.1 mm italic. The image with the lens was shot with the Canon EOS 22mm f2 kit lens.
  3. http://i.imgur.com/hWL4f5B.jpg http://i.imgur.com/xYNXeGV.jpg
  4. willyc50

    Vac 700 Replacement?

    Has anybody heard if TWSBI will be replacing the vac 700 with another full-sized model? I have (and like) both the 700 and the vac mini, but prefer a larger pen because I have big hands.
  5. Portamenti

    Lubricating A Vac 700

    Good Morning Everyone, Sorry if this is covered anywhere else... I haven't found it anywhere in my searches. I have a Vac 700 that is getting stiff to plunge for refills. I'm wondering where exactly I should be applying the grease that came with the pen? Do I pull out the plunger, and lubricate the shaft? Do I need to lubricate the o-ring, and if so, how do I go about doing this? Thanks so much in advance, -Portamenti
  6. eloquentogre

    Nib Sizing Issues With Vac 700's

    I have two Vac 700's. The first I got in fine, assuming it would be like my Pilot Metropolitan fines. But it was thicker, more like a medium. So I ordered a new extra fine nib, and a second vac 700 in extra fine since overall I liked the first so much. Now I have the new XF nib for my first vac 700 and the new pen with its own XF nib I have a slight issue. The two nibs vary tremendously in size. The new pen's nib is a perfect, true extra fine. But the new nib for the older Vac 700 is much fatter. Like at least two proper nib sizes fatter. See the included image. Now I love how smooth the not so XF nib is, but I wanted an Extra Fine and I really haven't gotten one. I was thinking of getting a Twsbi Classic or two (because I like the more conservative look, and don't like the sharp edges on the pump knob of the Vac 700's) but if the nibs vary so much on average I can't afford to waste the money. Have any of you had similar issues?
  7. Sorry about the sub-par pictures. It appears I scuffed up the lens on my iPhone and that is my only camera, so I’m doing my best. This is not meant to be a formal review, but rather an overview of a pen that I’m really enjoying. The ink shown in all of these pictures is Noodler’s Upper Ganges Blue, which I have become quite fond of and is great for a demonstrator because it doesn’t look like just black in in the barrel. Overall I think this pen is wonderful and I would gladly buy it again. But, it’s not for everyone… Appearance The Vac is a goofy looking pen, no doubt about that. The cap and filling knob have facets while the barrel does not, the clip is brushed and all other metal parts are shiny, there’s a strange bulbous bit in the middle, etc. But somehow it all winds up just working for me. While some may be annoyed that it is only available in various shades of demonstrator, I am too distracted by watching my ink slosh around to be bothered… Filling Admittedly, the vacuum filling mechanism was a major reason I got this pen. I’m still getting used to it, but it is effective and a fun little novelty. Also, if you want to fill from a small sample it is easy to fill with a blunt tipped syringe without any mess. The pen is also really easy to take apart so that you can thoroughly clean all the little parts out when you change inks. It’s so slick and makes me want to start taking apart other pens… Nib I bought this pen with a 1.1 mm stub which was buttah smooth and very wet. And a bit too broad for my daily writing so I switched to a M. Still very smooth and no flow problems at all except for Salix, which seems to just be a bad fit for this pen. I’m glad that, at least in my limited sample size of N = 2, I have not experienced the horrible flow issues that other people report with TWSBIs. General writing experience I think this is so far my favorite pen to write with. It fits my hand very well (no hint of the issues I feared with step from section to barrel), good weight, nice nibs that are easy to swap, and a big ink capacity. Not sure what else I could ask for! This pen was purchased with my own money and I am not being compensated for this review in any way. All opinions expressed above are my own and you are free to disagree with them if you want.
  8. So ive decided i want to add a twsbi to my collection. Ive done all the research i can on the models but still undecided... I like the diamond 580 in rose gold and the vac 700, so its between those two... What are your thoughts? They are both the dame price. I havent been able to find a dealer that sells the rose gold nib units though... I dont have any vac fillers and the only piston fillers i have are noodlers.
  9. TWSBI – Vac 700 (Goulet M nib, Blue) http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3732/11346039556_ec1b75cfde.jpg Specifications: Length (capped): 145mm Length (uncapped): 134mm Length (posted): 174 (!!) mm Width at grip: 10mm Widest width: 15mm Nib material: Stainless steel (Stock Jowo), gold plated stainless steel (Goulet) Nib length x width: Jowo – 23 x 9mm, Goulet – 24 x 9mm Introduction My personal experience with TWSBI has been interesting. A Taiwanese company that has made impressive and rapid improvements in a somewhat slow moving and increasingly overpriced industry, TWSBI set out to make modern, well writing pens that are good value. My first TWSBI was a Diamond 540. I loved it – it was cheap, looked great and was a large capacity piston filler. But as time wore on, issues began to arise – a bone dry nib that went out of alignment too easily (Two issues that I see far too much with the other Bocks in my collection), a filling mechanism that required far more maintenance than my trusty Pelikan, and small cracks around the grip section. Towards the end of our relationship, the Diamond no longer set my heart aflutter whenever I picked it up like it used to. This all came to a head when the metal ring on the cap abruptly broke off when I twisted the pen too tightly. I guess some romances are doomed from the start. This experience slightly soured my view on TWSBI, so I wasn't exactly eager to try the Vac 700. After all, it was awkward looking, had a similarly dry nib, and was a relatively expensive purchase from a company that I didn't have much faith in. One TWSBI Diamond 580, a Jowo nib change and a price drop later, the Vac 700 was suddenly a much more appetising proposition. How could I say no? I decided on the blue version. Presentation Unabashedly Apple inspired, the the Vac700 shares the same box with the Diamond series and my iPod Nano: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2894/11346049716_56103e3ea7.jpg Underneath the white plastic insert, you get TWSBIs famous wrench, a bottle of silicon grease and spare O rings. You know, the kind of stuff that more expensive pens should include but never do? http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7455/11346070424_c5b16924fa.jpg The presentation is nice and fits with the overall modern impression of TWSBIs pens. Appearance http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7331/11346047636_2db1bb3ef8.jpg TWSBI set out to make the Vac 700 clash as much as possible, and boy did they succeed. The cap jewel is TWSBIs usual bold red logo. On the business end, the clip clashes nicely with the smooth chrome of the rest of the pen: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3673/11346069094_75c585d4ca.jpg The body gently tapers down to the end. Having a bulbous middle section means when you unscrew the pen, the barrel width clashes with the grip: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3784/11346065674_b8a3fabb4d.jpg The faceted turning knob and cap are designed nicely to clash with the body, which is smooth. And finally, if you chose the clear demonstrator version, the dark ends of the pen clash with the clear middle of the body. In case you haven't picked it up, I'm not a fan of the appearance of this pen. Placing the Vac next to the Diamond, it's clear the Vac was intended to be the complement of the Diamond's design, to the detriment of the resulting overall look of the Vac. The plastic itself is a dark blue, much darker than my Pelikan demonstrator is. Build quality While the jury is still out on the long term durability of TWSBIs current generation of pens, I have high hopes for the Vac. Like the Diamond 580 now does, it has metal rings to reinforce the plastic, including a ring in the grip section which was a hot-spot for cracking on my 540. The rest of the pen is thick, sturdy plastic that has no give when twisted or otherwise forced. Then again, Pelikan M2xx series do without the metal rings and do not suffer cracking issues, so perhaps TWSBI is using cheaper plastic? Either way it's difficult and pointless to speculate this early. When closed, the pen is a sleek shape with a bulging midsection (Kinda like a pen version of my father then). When opened, the pen assumes it's awkward pose - The abrupt gradient from the middle of the body to the grip means I have to hold the pen tighter to get a more secure grip - and this means I'm pinching the already sharp threads very tightly. Annoying. And posting the cap just makes the pen look ridiculous: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3721/11346040006_6874634d3f.jpg One curiosity of this pen, and vacuum fillers in general is that you must unscrew the blind cap a little to allow ink to flow through freely through the feed. While a minor inconvenience, it does mean that the pen is totally safe for flying. And as a bonus, TWSBI said you can remove the rubber seal at the end of the piston rod if you don't like unscrewing the blind cap. Personally, I've found the nib leaks ink into the cap when the ink reservoir isn't sealed, so I'll leave it on for the time being. One issue I should point out is that I'm naughty, and frequently return unused ink to its ink bottle when I wish to change colours (I'll slap myself on the wrist later I promise), this is a very, very messy operation with a vacuum filler, with the feed section literally squirting droplets of ink all over the place, not an issue if you have good fountain pen hygiene, but I don't. Nib I received a predictably good Jowo nib on my unit. What interested me however, was comparing it to the Goulet nib. The Goulet nibs are also made by Jowo and I expected the Goulet nib to be a rebrand of the Jowo nib that shipped with my Vac 700 – but to my surprise they are definitely different nibs. http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5529/11345965045_6acb0990dc.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7407/11346112203_605c1a327c.jpg Not that the visual differences really matter, but both nibs taper to the same angle. The Goulet nib appears to be the same width Jowo nib, and the flares are cut differently too. The Goulet nib also has a flatter top section where the nib rests against the of the feed – the Jowo nib on the other hand is uniformly round, and fits the native Vac feed better: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2879/11346110103_d6cdcbb301.jpg Writing with the nibs is different too. After much comparison, nib swapping, and getting a friend to double check to confirm that it wasn't a figment of my imagination, I feel confident to say the Goulet nib is stiffer, and is wetter. Neither nib has any hard start or skipping issues (anyone else find it depressing that in 2013 it's a pleasant surprise to find a pen that never does either of those things?). Overall it's impossible to say if I prefer one to the other – the stiffness of the Goulet nib means you need to be more judicious about how you hold the pen to get its sweet spot, but when you do the pen is smooth, lush and wet (I swear I don't write erotic literature for a living). The Jowo nib, as pretty much everyone who owns a Diamond 580 will tell you, is lightly springy, reliable, and also smooth. So if the Goulet nib doesn't necessarily write any better than the stock nib, why buy the Goulet nib? Well aside from having a spare, very reliable #6 nib, consider the fact that we are living in the fountain pen equivalent of a post apocalyptic world. When was the last time you physically saw another fountain pen out in the wild. Not often? If wearing the Goulet Pens logo on your pen can help raise some awareness of fountain pens and support a fountain pen retailer, then I think that's a fine reason to use this nib. Drag Test/Writing sample: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5548/11346107933_7e67f2b433.jpg Overall 3.5/5 A vacuum filler for around $65? With a good Jowo nib? Bargain. However, as a flagship for TWSBI I find it lacking – your more expensive pens should not be so thoroughly upstaged by a cheaper model. But with this and TWSBIs speed of innovation in mind, I can confidently say that the next version of the Vac will probably be an extraordinary pen. The Good: + Flushing a vacuum filler beats the hell out of flushing a cartridge converter. + Well made. + Includes extra seals and silicone grease. + With recent price drops, it's great value. + Able to post the pen deeply with the blind cap unscrewed a little. + Can seal up the ink reservoir for flying. + TWSBIs customer service is second to none. The Bad: - Awkward looking, made somewhat embarrassing by the fact the pen is large and noticeable. - I found the pen uncomfortable to hold, but others do not, so be aware this may be a problem. The Ugly: - The TWSBI Diamond looks better, is more comfortable to hold, has a similar ink capacity and is $30 cheaper. Comparison With the TWSBI diamond of course: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3787/11346067324_7bba01b735.jpg http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7293/11345967275_216fd3751d.jpg http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5525/11346068464_4cab0109bb.jpg
  10. Hi all, Carried out my first pen modification toady, it went quite well. I didn't break anything anyway! So I got a Vac 700 with a 1.1mm snub nib a few days ago, got to say seriously smooth nib there. I had been happily enjoying the effect it had on line variation whilst using Private Reserve's Copper Burst when what should happen? My Noodlers Konrad Flex nib arrived, along with some Private Reserve Sepia. Inked it up and Oh My, what a combo It wasn't perfect, very scratchy and the pen body was awful coming from the Vac 700. But I couldn't put it down, It was throwing out such fine control over then line variation that when I compared it to my 1.1mm snub's efforts they just looked boring and childish!! But I couldn't keep my eyes off the TWSBI, and the Konrad looks like a 50p pen. What to do, what to do?....Brain wave, stick the Noodlers nib on the TWSBI........ TADA!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452789866/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9449939479/ Here is what I had to do to get it to work: 1. The nibs are both #6, but have a slightly different curvature, the Noodlers has a shallower curve. So find a 6mm piece of metal rod that matches the TWSBI nib perfectly. Put the Noodlers nib over the rod to see how much re-shaping you have to do. 2. Start GENTLY squeezing the bottom for the nib together in a pulsing motion (i used pliers), literally 1 or 2 squeezes at a time. Put it back on the rod and see how it compares. 3. Dont try to get it anywhere near perfect, just get it a little deeper. Test fit it to the TWSBI, Its a tight fit. 4. You may find that the Noodlers nib wont go as far in as the original, if this occurs gently squeeze the nib together about 3-4mm from the bottom. Pulsing motion again, 1 or 2 times. 5. Time to modify the feed. All i did for this was run a used stanley blade down the TWSBI channel a few times I didnt want to make the feed as big as the noodlers one because I didn't want to wreck it for use with the 1.1mm stub. However the pen does dry out if I try to use max flex at any speed above dead slow, so I may have to re-visit this. 6. Putting it back together. The feed will only go in one way, dont force it, on its own it will just slip in. Note the orientation of the pen and feed when you have got it to slip all the way in. Get the noodlers nib and line it up so that there are 6 fins left visible on the back of the feed (ensuring that the feed channel and the tines line up 100%) try to push both the nib and feed in simultaneously, you will encounter problems if the feed slides ahead of the nib. 7. Check cap fit. First couple of attempts i made, the pen wrote fine, but the lid would not go on, nib wasn't far enough in. So be careful when you first attempt to fit the cap, even now my nib is less than a hair width from the cap when its on. Bad points: Only thing i can think of is that I like the engraving on the TWSBI nibs I actually do kinda miss it. If fact the TWSBI nib looks better generally than the Noodlers. Oh yeah and I still have to widen the channel a bit, which my rule out putting the snub nib back on. Here is a writing sample (not great) using the TWSBI Vac700 Flex nib! http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452707954/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/39505524@N02/9452690942/ Well thats it really! Its on here now if anyone wants a cheap flex nib on a Vac 700! Cheers James
  11. Recently I won a very generous PIF and was the lucky recipient of a TWSBI Vac 700. Everything about it was wonderful, and I had it in continuous rotation since I received it. Until a little over a week ago when I flushed it, left it sitting in a cup with a cloth to suck out the excess water, and then I stored it. I took it out today and Yikes! It smells like something is growing in there. I flushed it again (with some dish soap) and tried to dry it out better, but for the life of me I can't get all of the water out of the barrel. I noticed that when changing inks there was always a good amount of water droplets left in the barrel after flushing, but the ink capacity is so large it was never enough to effect the ink so I didn't think much about it until now. Is there some trick to flushing Vac fillers I'm missing out on?
  12. tonybelding

    The Ultimax Pen

    I’ve been collecting pens for years, and I’ve gone through a bunch of ‘em, vintage and modern, cheap and expensive, common and obscure. Some have been bad, many have been excellent, and I’ve had fun and learned a lot. However, I always had this impulse somewhere in the back of my mind, this idea that I was someday going to find The Ultimax Pen — my perfect fountain pen (and ink) that I would always want to keep inked and nearby. There were a long string of pens that came close, that might have been The One, but there was always something not quite 100%, some compromise, and some other pen promising some other feature or trait to lure me away. (Furthermore, I put at least as much time and effort into trying out inks.) Well, I think I’ve finally solved it. The winner is a clear TWSBI Vac 700 with a fine nib, the matching Vac 20 ink bottle, and Noodler’s Texas Blue Bonnet ink. If you read my review of the Vac 700, you know it impressed the heck out of me, and the Vac 20 bottle only made it better. The biggest lingering qualm I’ve had was the way the ink sometimes stopped flowing; then I had to jiggle the filler knob to get it working again. I finally removed the point seal from the plunger. That means I can keep the filler knob screwed down all the time, and it will write freely. This may not have totally solved the flow problem, but it has reduced it so much that I don’t find it a bother anymore. The other half of the equation is ink. I like blue, and I’ve searched long and hard for the perfect blue ink. Texas Blue Bonnet has been one of my favorites for a long time: it’s waterproof security ink, shades fantastically, and is an attractive-yet-dignified dark(ish) blue color. My long-standing gripe has been that it’s one of the higher-maintenance inks and sometimes leaves deposits of blue gunk on nibs and feeds where evaporation occurs. The stuff can be cleaned off, but it’s worrisome. Thanks to all the rubber O-ring seals, the TWSBI Vac 700 seals up very tightly when capped, and it can sit idle for very long times without drying out. Furthermore, I can easily disassemble it down to the bare nib and feed and drop the parts in a sonic cleaner, if I ever need to. If there was ever a pen made to handle a high-maintenance ink with aplomb, this is it. The Vac 700 isn’t the most beautiful pen design, but it has grown on me. It’s solid, it’s well finished, and I really like the demonstrator aspect of it. It has a high-tech-gadget style that I like. So that’s it! I don’t know where I go from here. I doubt that I’ve bought my last fountain pen, or tried my last ink. I do think it’s gonna be different from here on, though, because I’m not going to be looking for The Ultimax Pen anymore. I’ve got that.





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