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  1. Noodler’s Konrad 1820 Essex- Long Term Review As some of you may remember, back in June I posted the following thread: https://www.fountainpennetwork.com/forum/topic/309845-earned-25-want-to-spend-it-on-a-new-pen/page-1 asking for advice on a pen purchase. In the end, I went with a Noodler’s Konrad in 1820 Essex, and I have used it as one of my main everyday writers since then. After five months of nearly daily use, I am finally ready to present my long-term opinions on the pen. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design (8/10) – Classic semi-transparent design When I first received the Konrad in the mail, I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed. The pen was slightly smaller than I had anticipated, slightly duller than I had anticipated, and slightly plainer than I had anticipated. But the design has grown on me. What I once saw as slightly dull I now see as understated elegance and beauty. The pen’s body is transparent, tinted the color of seafoam green. The cap and the blind cap are both an opaque white/sliver acrylic that gives the appearance of pearl. The clip is plain but sturdy and effective, stamped with “NOODLERS INK” and has the unique distinction of being in my opinion the best clip I’ve ever used. The nib is a plain looking steel nib, stamped with “NOODLERS INK CO” and with a slit running down all the way to the feed. The piston in the back of then pen is visible through the transparent body, in my opinion adding to the beauty of the pen. 2. Construction & Quality (9/10) – Solid all around, and an incredible Clip The Konrad is constructed almost entirely from acrylic, except for the clip, the small metal accent on the cap, the nib, and the ebonite feed. The papers that come with the pen claim the acrylic is biodegradable, but to me it feels like it’d last to the end of time. If I dropped my pen capped from any reasonable height, I wouldn’t be excessively concerned. It is well made and well-constructed, and feels sturdy enough. The clip warrants its own statement however. The clip is quite possibly the best clip on any fountain pen I’ve ever used. It isn’t the prettiest, it isn’t the shiniest, it isn’t the thickest, it isn’t the anything-est for that matter, but it just works. I use my pen clips quite often, and they are regularly clipped to the outside part of my pocket. This clip is the easiest to clip on, the easiest to grab off, the sturdiest, and the strongest-seeming clip I’ve ever had the -pleasure to use. The cap and blind cap both unscrew smoothly and easily, and the piston mechanism is smooth turning and feels sturdy. My one complaint about build quality would be that my pen had a quite noticeable imperfection in the acrylic in the cap of the pen, but it adds character to the design in the end and I’ve grown to like it. Another important thing to note is that the entire pen can be taken apart and put back together with no special tooling, making it a very easy pen to repair, service, or modify, should you ever need or want to. … 3. Weight & Dimensions (7/10) – Light, but not too light The pen weighs 15g capped and 11g without the cap, and in my opinion the experience feels most balanced when posted. The pen is on the light end, but not too light. It weighs around the same as a Pilot Custom 74, if that helps any of you picture it. … 4. Nib & Performance (10/10) – Wow. Just Wow. This is the part of the review where I go full on crazy. The nib on my Noodler’s Konrad is the best nib I have ever used. It is glassy smooth, lays down a wet yet controllable line, and, being a flex nib, has a ton of line variation. In terms of the line variation, I cannot claim to know what true vintage flex feels like, I can just say that the Konrad does it pretty gosh darn well. For the first two months or so, the nib was really only semi-flex, which is where I think a lot of the talk about the Noodler’s pens not being real flex comes from. After that however, I’ve been able to get consistent line variation with minimal pressure. The nib is truly a joy to write with. I should also say that upon arrival the nib was also not quite so smooth, and I adjusted it to my liking with micromesh and Mylar paper of 1.0 and 0.3 micron grits. The level of smoothness I get with my Konrad is paralleled in my experience only by complete nails, so to have the combination of the smoothness with exceptional line variation makes the Konrad something special. The ebonite feed keeps up with flow extremely well, and the pen writes with a consistent moderately wet flow, even when being flexed. I have heard complaints about inconsistent flow on other people’s Konrad’s, however, so if you do have flow issues I believe the best option would be to heat-set your feed. I have never had to do this with my Konrad, but it’s nice to know it’s an option if I ever have to thanks to the Ebonite feed. The nibs and feeds can both be easily replaced if you manage to mess them up, replacement flex nibs (tipped) are $5 and replacement feeds are $4. I would be wary to replace my nib, however, because as I said before it took about two months of daily use to truly “break in” the flex in the nib. … 5. Filling System & Maintenance (9/10) – Complete fill every time- worked like a charm for 4 months of daily use so far The Konrad is a piston filler, and has worked reliably for me through all four months I’ve been using this pen. The piston is a plastic nob under a blind cap at the back of the pen. One slight issue I found with the filler is that on a few occasions if I screwed the blind cap on too tightly I would unscrew the entire piston mechanism from the pen rather than the blind cap. The piston turns smoothly and comes pre-greased, but you can always add silicon grease to the piston threads if they ever become “squeaky”. … 6. Cost & Value (8/10) – Fairly cheap, but you might need to buy some stuff to go with it The pen costs $20, and is in my opinion well worth the price. It should be noted, however, that if you aren’t already slightly invested in the pen world it may not be worth the cost to you. For instance, if I didn’t have the micromesh and Mylar paper to smooth my nib, or the silicon grease to regrease my piston three months into use, I probably would not enjoy my pen as much as I do. These are not substantial costs, though, and many pen enthusiasts probably already have them around the house. … 7. Conclusion (8.5/10) – A great, unique pen at a great price, my new daily writer After using this pen for the past several months, I can say with great confidence that it will likely be my most used pen for many more months to come. I have prettier pens, I have more expensive pens, I have pens that feel slightly better in the hand, and I have pens with shiny golden nibs, but none of these pens compare to the simple pleasure that is the Noodler’s Konrad. It has the greatest nib I’ve ever had the pleasure to use, looks good, has great ink capacity, and is incredibly sturdy. What more could you want? All pictures are taken from www.gouletpens.com , the website where I purchased my Konrad. The shipping was quick, and the customer service was excellent. If you are considering the Konrad, I would highly recommend ordering from the Goulet’s.
  2. Very long detailed review with large image files. Consider thyself prepared. The disclaimer: no affiliation whatsoever. I requested and paid for this custom nib grind. This review is entirely my own opinion. YMMV. Etcetera. Photo: Drawing Totally amateur drawing with the Da Luz modded nib. (First ever drawing with a flex nib, go easy!) First Impressions After seeing Joseph Da Luz’s (FPN name: FPVIBERIAN) custom nib grind work on Noodler’s flex nibs, I wanted one. My expectations were that it would be a fun nib, but possibly not on par with my favourite vintage Conklin Crescent Toledo #2 Gold Nib. I was wrong. This Da Luz modded nib in a Noodler’s Konrad (acrylic) has now taken first place in my tiny fountain pen flex selection. If you’re looking for your entry-level Spencerian fountain pen with great flex and modern fittings – this is it. On arrival it was inspected, disassembled, flushed (it had been inked for nib trials), dried, then reassembled. I set the ebonite feed up in my usual position for a Konrad Acrylic – about 4mm back from the nib tip. I had wondered whether it would be difficult to get the titanium overfeed in place, but it wasn’t. Easy. Worked first time. (I’d taken a photo of the titanium overfeed’s positioning prior to disassembly, just in case.) Inked it up, and… oh, my, goodness. Immediate joy. Better than anticipated in every way. Finished better than I had hoped for, wrote wider than anticipated, could write finer than anticipated, and was housed in a modern pen body I was already familiar with that could easily and affordably be replaced.
  3. fountainpenlady

    Massdrop Vote On Noodler's Flex Pen

    Believe this must be a step prior to their having a drop. If you are into Noodler's Pens, place your vote. This drop looks as if Gouletpen is the sponsor or the several, if not all the Noodler's pens will be coming from Brian and Rachel Goulet. It may result in one being chosen and a good price if many also participate in the drop. Here is the link: https://www.massdrop.com/vote/noodlers-pens
  4. Massdrop has a Noodler's Demonstrator Flex Fountain Pen 2 pack going. Say that 10 times! Here is the link https://www.massdrop.com/buy/noodlers-flex-nib-fountain-pens?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Massdrop%20-%20Master%20-%20Writing&utm_campaign=[E]%20Writing%20Product%20Announcement%202015-03-13&mode=guest_open
  5. The title says is all..what do you guys think? Has anyone had the chance of owning both types? My birthday is getting near and I want to give myself a nice fountain pen. Right now I own a resin Konrad, with a modified nib (for added flex) and I'm absolutely in love! Which do you think is sturdier/better made or overal prettier ? Cheers!
  6. OK I am probably one of the last people to try the Noodler's flex pens; specifically a Konrad Ebonite (one of the rubber body ones) and an Ahab. I watched some videos before the Ahab came, and when it arrived, soaked and flushed the nib unit in soapy water then flushed/soaked that out, proirt to filling for the first time. Both skip like crazy (and of course railroad like crazy when flexing them, and i also have vintage flex pens that do not...), but my question is about the skipping. What is your experience, and if similar to mine, what was your solution? Is baby bottoming an unlisted "feature" with all of them, when they are new?
  7. apkayle

    Noodler's 12/25 Ahab!

    My Noodler's 12/25 Ahab just came in the mail. I highly recommend Isellpens for online orders. The pen shipped VERY quickly and Todd included a courteous thank you note with the package. I am not a calligraphist, but I'll attempt calligraphy sometime soon for letter writing and pure fun. So feel free to make fun of my awkward line variations in the writing sample. Actually, many of those jumps between thick and thin lines were unintentional since I'm getting used to this pen. Before I get to the pen itself, I have to say that the pen's box is really really cool! I love the whole whaling theme! Maybe someday soon I'll get around to reading Moby Dick while taking notes with the Ahab. Aesthetics: Dark red with swirls of dark dark dark green striations. This will be a pen I'll especially use for the winter holiday seasons. Honestly, I can't help but think of Christmas decorations when I stare at this pen. I like the silver cap ring and clip. There's nothing overly fancy about them, they're labeled "NOODLER'S INK" and nothing else. The steel nib has the same labeling. Contrary to the many review I've read about the Ahab's clip, I actually like the clip's whale themed design. Here is a picture of the pen with my other "Christmas color" pens (is blue a holiday color? oh well) http://24.media.tumblr.com/265229da2827e979312d382a015a0b2f/tumblr_mnomnnBu0m1r4c920o1_1280.jpg Weight: Feathery light. Functionality: The cap clip is springy and won't fray the material it's clipped onto. The vegetal resin certainly doesn't feel as durable as my stainless steel pens, my acrylic pen, or my plastic Lamy Safari. I read on a review somewhere that the material is dentable with a fingernail. I tested this by pressing my fingernail against the pen with plenty of pressure and did find a dent, but the dent was very shallow. Actually, I'm looking at my pen now and I cannot find the dent. Perhaps I cut into some dust or overlaying oils (I touched the pen after eating some chips, forgive my slobbiness). This pen is definitely wide and thick. This may turn off people with small hands, but the pen's girth really isn't a problem when you account for this pen's nearly non-existent weight. I heard about Noodler pens leaking so I did a "leak test". I put the pen nib-facing-down in my pocket and walked around my neighborhood and ran up and down the stairs of my house while doing some chores. The pen did not leak for some reason, this gives me some confidence in using this pen as a daily writer without having to worry about getting ink all over my clothes. The pen will cough up a few drops of ink if you shake it a few times with your hand, but you have to shake the pen with a conscious effort. I think this is normal behavior for many pens. My Japanese Sailor-Sheaffer and USA Sheaffer 440 pens will spill a few drops of ink when shaken vigorously up and down. I wouldn't worry about using the Ahab as an edc pen. The ink won't spill if you're walking around town. Just don't do any activities that involve shaking a lot like mechanical bull riding or jumping jacks. Writing performance!: Oh boy, this is where all the calligraphists shake their heads at me. I was expecting some scratchiness with the nib. After all (I think), this pen was designed for flex and not daily writing. To my delight, the Ahab's nib is actually very smooth! Flexing wasn't an issue for me, I actually ended up flexing the nib on accident quite a few times. I guess I don't have a light writing hand after all. Well, it's either that or this nib is easy to flex. I wouldn't classify this nib as "rigid" or a "nail." I did 30 short downstrokes with this pen to test for railroading instances. Only 2 out of the 30 instances expressed railroading. (not the most scientific way of testing a flex pen, but I'm new to these kinds of pens) http://24.media.tumblr.com/6a0d7bf13cdcf38b39ac60e27ce2009b/tumblr_mnon4y6jlY1r4c920o1_1280.jpg Since this pen doesn't have serious leaking problems, I wondered if I could use this pen for note taking and math scribbling. I wrote with less pressure to achieve a fine line and compared the Ahab's fine line width capability with my Japanese Sailor-Sheaffer's fine nib. http://24.media.tumblr.com/14b04b0f1bffa2dcdd9eb515f7239327/tumblr_mnon4y6jlY1r4c920o2_1280.jpg I enjoy smooth and wet medium nibs for notetaking outside of the lecture hall. I love sitting back, listening to music, and taking my time with my studies (even if I find my studies to be BORING, at least fountain pens make studying pleasurable). I compared the Ahab's thicker line capabilities (requires very little pressure, no strain on the hand was felt) to my medium nib pens. http://24.media.tumblr.com/8c70d0210b5306d5c0aa55aa006f1885/tumblr_mnomnnBu0m1r4c920o4_1280.jpg Here is a picture of the pens altogether, just for the heck of it. http://25.media.tumblr.com/77fe16a7dc0bf6a245f37bffccb478c5/tumblr_mnomnnBu0m1r4c920o5_1280.jpg Verdict/Summary: This pen does require patience. I spent a loooong half-hour setting the nib and feed to my liking. However, the time spent getting to know this pen is worth it. After tinkering with this pen you'll gain some knowledge on nib/feed setting, eyedropper conversion,and nib swapping. If you're seeking a cheap daily writer and you don't care about line variation, then at this price point I recommend NOT buying this pen. If you're like me and you're looking for a cheap gateway to flex pens, then I highly recommend buying this pen. If you care about line variation but at the same time desire a daily writer, then this pen is suitable but you'll have to be careful to not vigorously shake it. And by vigorous, I mean shaking the pen in the same way mad dictators shake whatever is in their hands when making violent gesticulations during rants. I love this pen. My desire for more pens has diminished greatly ever since I got a hold of this beauty. I have my workhorse pens and a pen with enough flex for my preferences that can also double as a daily workhorse.

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