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  1. Ink Review : Diamine Händel (Music Collection) Pen: Lamy Safari, M-nib Paper: Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review London, summer of 1727. “I have been commissioned to write an anthem for the coronation ceremony of my benefactor Prince George – but what to use as a theme? Now, while attending mass in Westminster Abbey, my eye is drawn to the minister’s vestments. A whirlpool of dusty red and purple shades in the muted light of the cathedral. Ah… this setting inspires my muse. I see the theme of my anthem now… Zadok the Priest anointing King Solomon. Yes… that will be it.” In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of 10 subdued ink colours named after well-known composers. In this review, we take a look at Händel. After the above introduction, you're sure to remember that this is a dusty red-purple ink. Diamine Händel is a muted purple ink, with a heavy red undertone as is obvious from the chromatography. The ink works really well in fine nibs – well lubricated, and good contrast with the paper resulting in an easy read. This is one ink that I actually like more in EF, F and M, than in the broader nibs. With broader nibs, the shading becomes very prominent and the red undertones of the purple colour become much more visible. I personally prefer my purples without too much red, so this makes the ink less attractive to me. Below you can see what the ink looks like when heavily saturated. I really poured the ink on Tomoe River paper and let it dry up. This gives you an idea of the ink's behaviour when used in very wet & broad nibs. Händel behaved really well on all the papers I tested – with only a touch of feathering and bleed-through on the Moleskine paper. Drying times varied widely from 5 seconds on absorbent paper, to 20 seconds on more glossy papers (all with M-nib). The ink’s look & feel is fairly consistent across paper types, and the result looks good on both white and more yellow paper. The ink has no water resistance to speak of – even short exposure to water will obliterate your writing. Diamine Händel is a nice muted purple, that looks great in finer nibs. Personally I’m not a fan of the strong red undertones in this ink, but your preferences may vary. Technically, Händel behaves very well on all types of paper. Just be aware that this ink has zero water resistance, so probably not a good ink for the workplace. My overall score: B+ Technical test results on Rhodia N°16 notepad paper using a Lamy Safari
  2. Ink Review : Diamine Wagner (Music Collection) Pen : Lamy AL-star, M-nib Paper : Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review Zürich, spring of 1848. I recently visited St. Beatus Caves at the Thumersee, where – according to legend – the holy man fought a dragon. Sun rays from the cave’s mouth lighted up the dark interior, casting a yellow-green reflection on the walls. You can almost imagine the dragon guarding its golden treasure, its scales a green-golden sheen in the reflected light. Ah… this setting inspires my muse. Yes… I see an epic hero-filled story spanning several operas. I will call it “Der Ring des Nibelungen”. In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of 10 subdued ink colours named after well-known composers. In this review, we take a look at Wagner. After the above introduction, you're sure to remember that this is an inspiring yellow-green ink. Diamine Wagner is probably the most intriguing colour from the Music Collection. A wonderful yellow-green ink that looks especially nice on white paper. The ink behaves really well on all the papers I tested – even on Moleskine there was no visible feathering and only limited show-through and bleed-through. What I really appreciated is that the ink works wonderfully in all the nib sizes – even the fine ones – getting a bit darker in the broader nibs. The contrast with the paper is excellent, resulting in an easy read without the ink dominating the page. This inks also shades beautifully with just the right balance between light and dark parts. I’m loving it ! Not an ink for the workplace, but what a great choice for personal journaling ! A comfortable chair, a journal with quality paper and a fine pen filled with Wagner… and I’m happily purring like a kitten ;-) Water resistance is poor – that lovely golden-green colour quickly dissipates, but a readable faint-grey residue remains. Diamine Wagner is a great ink, and probably the crown jewel of the Music Collection. If you’re looking for an ink outside the usual colour spectrum, this ink will definitely fit the bill. It’s a gorgeous ink for personal correspondence. I really enjoyed it, and I’m sure you will too ! My overall score : A+
  3. Ink Review : Diamine Bach (Music Collection) Pen: Lamy AL-star, M-nib Paper: Rhodia N°16 notepad 90 gsm Leipzig, a late afternoon in November 1726“I have left the busy city for a quiet walk in the woods. It’s cold and dark and somber – the gloomy mood intensified by the dark brown towering oaks that resemble an open-air cathedral. This setting inspires my muse. I hear in my mind a grand baroque piece commemorating the Death of Christ, ideally suited for a performance in my beloved St Thomas Church (Thomaskirche). I think I will name it the Matthäeus-Passion.” In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of 10 subdued ink colours named after well-known composers. In this review, we take a look at Bach. After the above introduction, you're sure to remember that this is a dark-brown ink. Diamine Bach is a dark-brown ink, which to my eye is close to a true brown, with very little red in the undertones. This is also evident from the chromatography. Bach is a well lubricated ink with excellent contrast to the paper. An ink that easily tolerates even the finest nibs. With broader nibs, it starts to show some really nice subdued shading, without too much contrast between the light and darker parts of the text. Nicely done! The ink behaved perfectly on all the papers I tested – with only a touch of bleed-through on the notoriously bad Moleskine paper. Drying times are mostly in the 10-15 second range, but tend to increase on more glossy paper (all with M-nib). The ink’s look & feel is fairly consistent across paper types, and the result looks good on both white and more yellow paper. The ink has no water resistance to speak of – even short exposure to water will obliterate your writing. Technically a very good ink, but for some reason it fails to speak to me. I tried to like it… but nope… didn’t work. I’m sure though that there are others out there that will appreciate this incarnation of brown. Inkxperiment – Heron at a PondI’ve recently started to experiment with ink drawings, keeping things simple and more-or-less abstract. I find it to be a fun extension of the hobby, and have found single-ink drawings a nice challenge. It also gives you an idea of what the ink is capable of in a more artistic setting. For this drawing I used 90 gsm sketch paper. I used a piece of cardboard dipped in ink to create the background together with the trees. For the pond I applied ink with a dip pen, and used a water brush to spread it out. I then added in the heron and the rest of the plants. The end result gives you a good idea of the colour span that Bach is capable of (which is limited – Bach is more at home as a writing ink). ConclusionDiamine Bach is a nice dark-brown writing ink that works well with any combination of nib and paper. The ink has a limited colour range though, which makes it less suited for drawing. Also of note is its complete lack of water resistance. Bach is technically an excellent ink, but I find it hard to get excited about it. A decent ink, but – for me personally – not a keeper. My overall score : B Technical test results on Rhodia N°16 notepad paper using a Lamy Safari
  4. Here's my first review of the Diamine Music Collection inks, all of which are awesome in my book. Diamine Handel is a soft, red-leaning purple ink with an attractive green sheen on heavier deposits. http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/912/5lYrjg.jpg
  5. Ink Review : Diamine Chopin (Music Collection) Pen : Lamy AL-star, M-nib Paper : Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review Paris, winter of 1839 Winter... and I'm cold to the bone. The river Seine shines a dull grey, the leaden sky a blue-grey carpet of monotony. I feel really depressed, this atmosphere suffocates me with a feeling of despair. But this setting inspires my muse - I'll capture this dreary moment in the 4th prelude of my Opus 28. In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of 10 subdued ink colours named after well-known composers. In this review, we take a look at Chopin. After the above introduction, you're sure to remember that this is a blue-grey ink. Diamine Chopin is a really nice blue-grey - I place it right in the middle between those two colours. The colour is subdued, and has a vintage feeling. It's a colour that really appeals to me, and one that can be used in all circumstances, both at work and for personal use. It's not a festive colour though - more an ink to use when you're in a serious mood. There is some subtle shading going on, which gives your writing extra character. Chopin exhibits good flow and performs well on a wide variety of paper. I really like this ink ! Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm - drying time 15-20 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-through.Paperblanks journal paper - drying time ~15 seconds, no feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through. Nice vintage look on this off-white paper.Generic notepad paper 70 gsm - drying time ~15 seconds, no feathering, a hint of show-through, no bleed-through.Moleskine journal - drying time ~5 seconds ! No feathering, significant show-through, minimal bleed-through. Impressive !Tomoe River paper - drying time ~25 seconds, no feathering, minimal show-through, no bleed-through.Original Crown Mill cotton paper - drying time 15-20 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-through. Very nice vintage look.Impressive behaviour ! Even on the lower-quality paper. This is an ink you can use on the cheaper paper in the workplace. There is no avoiding comparison of this ink with Vivaldi, also from the Music Collection. Vivaldi is a purple-grey, and also a really nice ink. I like the colour of Chopin a bit better, but Vivaldi beats Chopin solidly on the water-resistance front. Chopin has almost zero water resistance - after water has touched the ink, the text remaining requires effort to decipher (there is a readable residue, but not what I would call easily readable text). Conclusion Diamine Chopin is a very vintage-y blue-grey colour that looks great in all nib sizes and on all types of paper. It behaves surprisingly well on cheaper paper, which is a big plus at the office. Chopin has an aesthetically pleasing colour that I enjoy very much. In my opinion, this is one of the better inks in the Music Collection. A pity though that the ink has really low water resistance. If you like greys and blues, this definitely is an ink to consider. I think you will like it ! my overall score: A
  6. Ink Review : Diamine Strauss (Music Collection) Pen : Lamy AL-star, M-nib Paper : Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review Vienna, summer of 1873. Last night in a red-brick dance-hall in the centre of Vienna, I witnessed bats flittering across the ceiling. Their playful aerial acrobatics were an amusing sight. This setting inspired my muse: I can see the notes of a similarly playful musical piece… a fitting overture for an operetta. I think I will call it “Die Fledermaus”. In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of 10 subdued ink colours named after well-known composers. In this review, we take a look at Strauss. After the above introduction, you're sure to remember that this is a red-brick coloured ink. Diamine Strauss is a kind of red-brick colour, to my eye a red-brown ink but firmly on the red side of the spectrum. Technically the ink performs well – flow and lubrication are ok, and the ink doesn’t feather. It can handle even fountain pen unfriendly paper like Moleskine, where there is only minimal bleed-through. The ink looks somewhat flat in finer nibs, but becomes more lively with decent shading in the broader nibs. Contrast with the paper is excellent, resulting in an easy read. And yet… for an ink of the Music Collection, this one doesn’t sing to me. For me, the colour doesn’t work – it seems the ink can’t make up its mind: does it want to be a red or a brown? What you get is an in-between colour that I personally find unsatisfying. And it’s not that I dislike red-brown inks ! When done right, they can be really beautiful – Diamine Terracotta e.g. is one of my favourites. For some reason, this ink doesn't scan well. The non-colour-corrected scans turn out too purple. I first tried to colour-correct, but ultimately decided to go with the original scan - I'll add a photo to the comments later on. Diamine Strauss is fairly smudge-resistant – when rubbed with a moist Q-tip cotton swab, the text remains very readable despite a reddish smearing of the ink. Water resistance is totally absent though – when the ink comes into contact with water, all text is completely obliterated, leaving only some reddish-brown smudges. Definitely not an ink to use when some measure of water resistance is required. Strauss is an ink that is technically ok, but with a red-brick colour that is not to my liking. In my opinion this is the worst ink of the Music Collection. I’ve used it for a week or so in preparation of this review, but it is unlikely that it will find its way into my pens again. If you’re looking for a red-brown ink, my personal advice is to look elsewhere. My overall score : C
  7. Ink Review : Diamine Tchaikovsky (Music Collection) Pen : Lamy AL-star, M-nib Paper : Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review St.Petersburg, 1891 Well met stranger... my name is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and I'm here at our famous Blue Bridge looking for inspiration for a wonderful fantasy ballet called "the Nutcracker". This blue setting makes me think of a magical dance, playful blue roses... why not waltzing flowers ? Yes... that's it ! I see the music before me, a magical dance called "the Waltz of the Flowers". In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of 10 subdued ink colours named after well-known composers. In this review, we take a look at Tchaikovsky. After the above introduction, you're sure to remember that this is a wonderful blue ink. Daimine Tchaikovsky is a wonderful true-blue ink that just looks good without being pretentious. The ink writes smoothly with good contrast in the finer nibs, making it perfectly usable in a business setting. But it's with the broader nibs that Tchaikovsky really opens up with some fantastic shading. I really like it... this ink is doing its best to entice me to move up a notch from my current comfort zone of F/M nibs to a broader M/B spectrum. The ink exhibits good flow and performs well on a wide variety of paper. And with the right kind of paper (like Tomoe River) and a wet nib, it produces a striking red sheen. Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm - drying time ~15 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-through.Paperblanks journal paper - drying time 10-15 seconds, no feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through.Generic notepad paper 70 gsm - drying time ~10 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-through.Moleskine journal - drying time ~5 seconds ! Just a hint of feathering, significant show-through and bleed-through. Nevertheless - looks great, just don't expect to be able to use both sides of the paper.Tomoe River paper - drying time 15-20 seconds, no feathering, no show-through, no bleed-through. Really nice red sheen on this non-absorbent paper !Original Crown Mill cotton paper - drying time 10-15 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-through.Impressive behaviour ! Even on the lower-quality paper. This is an ink you can use on the cheaper paper in the workplace. Unfortunately, Tchaikovsky has no water resistance to speak of. The blue colour quickly dissipates when the ink comes into contact with water. What remains on the paper is barely decipherable. A pity... Conclusion Diamine Tchaikovsky is a true-blue ink that is at home with all types of paper, even the lower quality ones. The ink works well with finer nibs, but is really meant for use in broader nibs where it exhibits a beautiful shading. And on the right kind of paper, the ink shows a striking red sheen. This is one of the better classic-looking inks of the Music Collection. If you're looking for the perfect true blue ink, this might be it, if you're willing to ignore the total lack of water resistance. A great ink form a great collection ! my overall score: A
  8. Ink Review : Diamine Schubert (Music Collection) Pen : Lamy AL-Star, M-nib Paper : Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review Vienna, autumn of 1821, banks of the Danube river Greetings wanderer, my name is Franz Peter Schubert and I am enjoying my afternoon walk along the banks of our famous Danube river. Thunderclouds are gathering and the sky is gleaming with a magical light, that colours the river a deep green-blue. This setting inspires my muse - I've got an idea for a wonderfully complex piece. I think I'll call it "Wanderer Fantasy". In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of ten subdued and seriuous-looking inks named after well-known composers. In this review, we take a closer look at Schubert - after the above introduction, you're sure to remember that this is a green-blue ink. Diamine Schubert fits in the spectrum of blue-green colours, but leans heavily towards the green side. Personally, I find it a rather dreary colour that's not really to my taste - dirty riverwater indeed ;-) Me, I like my blue-greens more on the bluish side, like Iroshizuku ku-jaku or Pelikan Edelstein Aquamarine. In broader nibs, the ink looks more lively and exhibits more shading. But still, this colour is not really my thing. OK - but how does it behave on paper ? For this, I did some tests: Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm - drying time 15-20 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-through.Paperblanks journal paper - drying time 10-15 seconds, no feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through. Looks better on this off-white paper.Generic notepad paper 70 gsm - drying time ~10 seconds, no feathering, no show-through, bleed-through only on the ink-swab.Moleskine journal - drying time ~5 seconds ! No feathering, significant show-through and bleed-through.Tomoe River paper - drying time ~20 seconds, no feathering, some show-through, no bleed through (with the exception of minimal bleed-through on the ink-swab).Original Crown Mill cotton paper - drying time ~10 seconds, no feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through.Technically, Schubert does really well on a wide variety of paper, and even behaves on the lower quality ones. In a Moleskine journal, it is perfectly usable if you use only one side of the page. In my opinion, the ink looks nicer on off-white, more yellowish paper. On white paper, I'm not a fan of the colour. The ink is reasonably smudge-resistant, and exhibits a fair water-resistance. Even after 30 seconds of running tap-water, I still had no difficulty reading what remains. On the 15 minute droplet test, the ink did behave poorly - in this case the text has all but vanished. Conclusion Diamine Schubert is a well-behaving ink on a broad range of paper, and has a fairly OK water resistance. Technically - I see nothing wrong with this ink. But for a teal ink, I personally find it too green for my taste. The resulting colour is not to my liking. In my opinion, blue-greens only look nice when they are closer to the blue side of the spectrum. my overall score: B
  9. Ink Review : Diamine Mozart (Music Collection) Pen: Lamy Al-Star, M-nib Paper : Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm Review Vienna countryside, summer of 1788 A hot late-summer afternoon just after a refreshing shower. Farmers in the red-brown freshly plowed fields. A friendly wrestling match between two young men trying to impress their lovers. Yey ! Mudfight. How hilarious ! This setting inspires my muse. I've got a splendid idea for a comical opera buffa with lovers as a theme - I think I will call it "Cosi Fan Tutte." In 2015 Diamine released the Music Collection, a set of ten inks named after well-known composers. This is a collection with serious, subdued colors. In this review, we take a look at Mozart - after the above discussion, you're sure to remember that this is a red-brown ink. Diamine Mozart is a nice red-brown ink, almost pinkish red-brown as shown in the chromatography. This ink writes well, with good flow, and exhibits some nice shading. Looks real good in broader nibs where the shading is more pronounced, and where the red-brown color shows its best. In finer nibs though, I find that the ink looks rather bland and uninspiring. Because of my small handwriting I typically use the finer nibs, so this Mozart is not really my thing. OK - but how does it behave on paper ? For this, I did some tests: Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm - drying time 20-25 seconds, no feathering, no show-through and no bleed-through. Nice-looking on this white paperPaperblanks journal paper - drying time 10-15 seconds, no feathering, some minor show-through, no bleed-through. Looks more reddish on this more yellowish paperGeneric notepad paper 70 gsm - drying time 10-15 seconds, no feathering, no show-through nor bleed-throughMoleskine journal - drying time ~5 seconds, no feathering, significant show-through and bleed-through. Looks more reddish on this off-white paperMozart is a well-behaving ink on a wide variety of paper. Personally I like it best on pure white paper. On off-white, more yellowish paper, it looks really red. Too red for my taste. The ink is smudge resistant, but totally not water-resistant. Short exposure to water leaves a reddish residue that remains more or less readable. After a longer soak, the text is gone and only red-brown mudstains remain. Conclusion Diamine Mozart is a well-behaving ink with good flow, that tolerates a wide variety of paper. Even Moleskine journals are OK if you use only one side of the pages. A shame about the complete lack of water-resistance though. The color - as always - is a personal thing. Myself, I'm not a fan of this Mozart. It's a bit too red for my tastes. But if you like red-brown inks, this Mozart might just be your thing. my overall score : B





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