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Hello everyone. ASA pens from Chennai is making all the right noises these days, with their beautiful and unique Nauka and Trans-nauka making the rounds and getting praise from everyone. Today I am going to review the first ebonite pen that I bought from ASA, the ‘Writer’, which gets somewhat less attention than their other offerings. My concern before buying any pens from ASA was the size of their pens, most of which are pretty large for my preference. And so one fine day I messaged Mr. Subramanium and he suggested either ‘Writer’ or ‘Genius’ and I settled for the former. I chose ‘Writer’ because this pen has the cap flushed with the body of the pen. This particular design feature seemed appealing to me. The ASA Writer, note the cap flushed with the body and the name inscription lining with ASA branding I didn’t have any idea about ebonite pens before buying this pen and Mr. Subramanium helped a lot in deciding the particulars like the nib, the finish, filling system and the site of inscription. I bought a matte/bakul finish of black ebonite with a German made medium nib-feed unit branded as ‘Versace’. I was very impressed with the pen after I received it and since then it has been one of my most reliable writers. 1. Appearance & Design (9/10): ASA Writer is a beautiful traditional cigar shaped pen with gentle tapering towards the lower end of body. The section also tapers in a smooth fashion. The cap is flushed with the body. The clip is a standard ASA ball end clip with good fit and springiness. The design feature I don’t like is the cap taking almost three turns to open. For a person who continually caps and uncaps his pen, this pen requires much effort in this respect. I have my name inscribed on the cap and that name inscription is in line with the branding just at the top end of the body. That’s a nice little bit of detailing. There is a small ring like protrusion at the top of section, just beneath the nib which probably seals the section to the cap when closed. This doesn’t pose problem while gripping. The matte/bakul finish is very attractive over the body and cap. The section is glossy ebonite. I have been using this pen for long, but the glossy section has not got many scratches. This is a light weight and well balanced pen. No pungent smell from the pen. The Writer, note the glossy section and the ring like structure near the top end of section 2. Construction & Quality (9/10): The ebonite is of good quality. The nib and ebonite feed also feels very well built. I ordered the pen with a schmidt converter which again looks solid. The cap looks thin at the border, and there is no end ring to support it. But it seems very unlikely that the cap will break with regular usage. One negative point is that the threads over section is bound to accumulate some dirt over use. I don't know foe sure, but this may have to do with static electricity formed on ebonite. 3. Weight & Dimensions (7/10): It’s a light weight pen. The dimensions are as follows Pen Length Capped 145 mm Pen Length Uncapped 130 cm. Pen Length Posted 150 mm Average Barrel diameter 14 mm at the section base & 12 mm at taper end Average Section diameter 12 mm at Base and 11mm near Lip Average Cap diameter 15 mm This pen feels very comfortable and well balanced unposted, while it becomes too large and awkward after posting. I never use any of my pen posted except the miniature pens like Pilot petit mini, so that is not an issue for me. it slips easily into hand and writes right away. From left : Sheaffer No nonsense, Waterman Hemisphere deluxe, Waterman Harley Davidson free wheels, ASA writer (all capped) From left : Sheaffer No nonsense, Waterman Hemisphere deluxe, Waterman Harley Davidson free wheels, ASA writer (all posted) 4. Nib & Performance (9/10): The #5 versace nib-feed combo that came with this pen is amazing. It is smooth with very generous flow and good line consistency. I was so impressed with this nib that I ordered my ASA Rainbow Acrylic pen with the same nib and once again I was bowled over by its performance. Later I swapped the nib with a JoWo 1.1 stub nib bought from ASA. This JoWo nib is a beautiful writer as well with perfect smoothness and flow. No feathering or blotting or burping, ink and paper remaining the same as other pens. Both nibs have very little flex. Line variations with 1.1 nib is good. There is no edginess or catching the paper at turns while writing with this stub, even at a high speed. 5. Filling System & Maintenance (10/10): This pen is 3-in-1, which means one can use it as either eyedropper, with a schmidt converter or with standard international cartridges. I have always used this pen with converter as it offers quick hassle free filling and keeps the barrel clean. No burping or any leakage noted when I tried it as an eyedropper. As mentioned earlier, the converter is of very good quality, can be disassembled and cleaned easily and fits perfectly with the body. The cap and clip 6. Cost & Value (9/10): This pen is valued at INR 1500 (38$ ). It’s a pretty impressive considering the beautiful features and 3-in-1 filling system. This has the potential to become one of the daily workhorse of any fountain pen user with little maintenance. Conclusion (Final score, 53/60): I ordered this pen as my first ebonite pen and it turned out pretty good. This pen from ASA has got little recognition, when by all standards it is one of the best pens they have to offer. You can order this pen from their website. Be sure to discuss any doubts with Mr. Subramanium before placing an order. Writing sample Have a nice day. Good bye.
Hello Everyone, Today I am going to review ASA Rainbow, a beautiful acrylic fountain pen. ASA have many famous models, and in recent times the Nauka has taken all the limelight. I love my Nauka, but thought of giving some lesser known ASA models their dues first. ASA Rainbow is one of the best looking models from ASA, due to the vibrant acrylic material used to make these pens. What I like most: The looks, what’s more- it’s very comfortable pen for everyday use. What I don’t like- I love this model, so nothing to complain about. 1. Appearance & Design: ASA Rainbow is a medium sized simple cigar shaped pen. There are two varieties – round ended and flat topped. I bought two different colours of this model at different times, but both are round ended. The body is thicker in the middle portion and tapers slightly towards both ends, tapering towards the section is more pronounced than the bottom end. The cap is larger than the body without any tapering. There is one dome shaped finial at the top of the cap which is flushed with the rest of the cap body, thus hiding the clip ring in clipped versions of the pen. There is no ring at the bottom of the cap, though the construction is good and there is very less chance that the cap lip would actually break with regular use. The clip is a simple slender triangular shaped one with a tear drop end. It protrudes a bit too much at the top for my taste before gradually coming back to touch the body of the cap. It’s springy and functional. The section is a slender one with a step like flaring at the distal one third for easy gripping. ASA is imprinted on the top of the clip. No other branding in the body which is a very good decision. What sets these pens apart is the vibrant acrylic materials used to make these pens. I absolutely love these colours; I have one orange-black swirl and one red-black swirl rainbow. The pens look very pretty. One can spend hours on end to look at and appreciate these beautiful patterns and depth of colours in these pens. 2.Construction & Quality: The pen is built well. The material is lightweight. I have no idea whether these will break if someone accidentally drops them on floor and neither I’m much inclined to test for myself. The acrylic has some camphor like smell when put to nose, but under normal circumstances, no smell was perceived. These pens have 3-in-1 filling system, but none of them leaked when used as an eyedropper. There is no burping issues with either with the Schmidt or the Versace nib units compatible with these pens. The cap closes by about three turns, which is a bit too much for me. note the protrusion of clip 3.Weight & Dimensions: the pens are very light, and ideal for long writing sessions. The pen dimensions are as follows Length of the pen capped: 132 mm Length of uncapped pen: Versace nib model- 120 mm, Ambitious nib model- 125 mm. Length of nib: Versace nib model – 20 mm, Ambitious nib model - 25 mm. Posted length: Versace nib model - 162 mm, Ambitious nib model- 167 mm. Diameter of section: Lowest at the step- 11 mm, at the section end- 12 mm Maximum Barrel diameter: 15 mm Section length: 24 mm I use them without posting. They are very good EDC pens . From Left to Right- Waterman Hemisphere, Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari, ASA Rainbow, all capped From Left to Right- Waterman Hemisphere, Pilot Metropolitan, Lamy Safari, ASA Rainbow, all posted 4.Nib & Performance: The pen comes with a Schimdt nib unit by default. I chose another available threaded nib unit called the Versace nib. This nib was also there in my ASA Writer and I am impressed with its performance in both the pens. This Versace named nib is smooth out of the box with a well-controlled medium flow. It has superb feel on paper and there is very less feathering and bleed through even on very cheap papers. It’s a #5 nib, available only with medium tip. This nib fits inside a Jowo housing and as a result one could easily swap a Jowo spare nib with this nib. The ambitious nib in the red pen is a #35 fine flex nib with wet juicy flow and lots of feedback. It has a good ebonite feed, akin to the feeds seen in kim pens. The nib flxes easily with medium pressure, but the feed occasionally cannot keep up, thus resulting in rail-roading. 5. Filling System & Maintenance: This pen is a 3-in-1 system by default, so no complaints there. The red one with ambitious flex nib has a small plastic pipe as a feed tail, so it is meant to be used as an eyedropper. I pulled out the pipe and used it for normal writing with a Schimdt convertor without any problems. I didn’t try flex writing after removing the feed tail though, so cannot comment on that aspect. 6. Cost & Value: It’s a relatively costly pen from ASA at INR 1800 (US $ 48) but considering the beautiful colours, great Schmidt nib and a 3-in-1 filling system, it’s a very well-priced pen. The ambitious nib model cost less. 7. Conclusion: I would love to recommend this pen to all users with any level of experience with fountain pens and a love for beautiful things. My suggestions: A bit slender body would look better or a slightly longer body with current diameter. Few users find this model a bit stocky as a pen. I personally have no complaints. ASA can think of putting cap ring for extra protection to the lip. The clip design can be improved. ASA website ASA Whatsapp no of Mr. Subramaniam - +91 9176607660 ASA email- email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org my other reviews (In no particular order): 1. ASA Swan 2. ASA Writer 3. Ranga Thin Bamboo 4. Krishna Butterline Stub nib pen 5. Guider Egg- acrylic and ebonite 6. Kanwrite Desire 7. Kanwrite Heritage 8. Franklin Covey Lexincton Black 9. Gama Kuyil 10. Gama Forever
Hello Everyone, ASA Swan is one of the less advertised models in their website, so its a relatively obscure product from ASA. i found it while browsing their complete catalogue. It is a simple acrylic pen, devoid of any extra appendages. I chose the ASA Swan because of its plain and simple design, lacking any extra ornamentation or glitter. I liked its pristine look and de-glamorized appearance. As if the shiny body itself is speaking of the inherent quality. It’s a very personal choice to keep at least one pen with simplest of features. It was intended to provide the eyes some relief from the pressure of viewing all those too self-conscious gaudy Chinese pens for days on end. But I agree that the same featureless look that caught my attention may not appear attractive to many fountain pen lovers, as was evident from the flak I received from a few of my colleagues when I took it to work. Still I like this pen. Today I am not allotting marks separately as this pen is more of a subjective choice. ASA Swan 1. Appearance & Design: This is a rod shaped pen. The acrylic comes in different colours like white, light blue, green. Contrary to the common features of acrylic pens, these pens have a single coloured body with no ripples, swirls or patterns. That keeps things simpler. There are two kinds of designs, flat ended and round ended. The body tapers gently towards the section and the section has a notch like portion at the distal end, beneath the nib for easy gripping. The cap is a simple cap with ball end clip. Design-wise it may not attract all fountain pen users. It’s a light weight pen. The body and cap 2. Construction & Quality : As usual the construction and material is very good from ASA. The acrylic is of good quality, smooth and the pen feels a quality product in hand. The clip is of good quality with springiness and it doesn’t catch rust even after rough use for sometimes. I bought it for everyday usage, although someone might feel tempted to use it more aesthetically, flashing it as a part of their sophistication and aristocracy. The cap fits on the section with three turns, which is a bit frustrating, but as I am accustomed to ASA products by now, that doesn’t pose many problems. There may be some minute imperfections or asymmetry in shape, but again that’s expected for such products. The threads are well crafted, so there is no tightness or problem while closing and opening the cap. The cap lip doesn’t have any rim, but it shouldn’t crack with normal usage. 3. Weight & Dimensions: The dimensions are as follows Pen Length (Capped) 133 mm Pen Length (Un-capped- with Nib) 120 mm Pen Length (Un-capped- without nib) 101 mm Section Length 25 mm Cap Length 65 mm Cap Dia 15 mm Barrel Dia 14 mm Section Dia 11.5 mm This is a small fountain pen with slightly thicker feel. The balance is good, both in un-posted and posted state. But it’s a bit too much long for my hands while posted. No problem felt with long writing sessions. The Schimdt medium nib....also notice the notch like area for easy grip The Schimdt converter 4. Nib & Performance: It came with a Schimdt monotone medium nib unit, which was smooth but pretty dry. I had to correct it to suite my taste. The nib is a threaded one. One can choose from other no 5 nibs. There is no breather hole. No flex at all. As Schimdt nibs feature regularly in various higher end ebonite and acrylic pens, I presume that many of the users will be perfectly happy with that. If you wish for another nib, that could be arranged by ASA. 5. Filling System & Maintenance: This pen is 3-in-1 filling system. I use it with a schimdt converter as this helps me to keep the pen clean. As eyedropper the pen will hold a generous amount if ink. 6. Cost & Value (9/10): This pen is valued at INR 1250 (31 USD ). Its an affordable pen with great value on the long run. The availability is a bit of a problem as this is not one of their flagship models. I advise others to directly contact ASA for more information. 7. Conclusion: This is a nice little plain monochrome acrylic pen with a good default nib unit. Have a nice day. The whatsapp no of ASA is 9176607660 Email id: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: http://asapens.in/eshop/