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  1. Recently, one of my old CON-70 converters wore out and broke after years of intensive use. So off I went to buy a replacement. To my surprise, I found that Pilot has redesigned the CON-70 slightly. It is now labelled as the CON-70N. The upper metal part of the CON-70N is silver; previously, only CON-70 converters that came bundled with pens were silver-coloured, while old CON-70 converters sold separately were black. Now it seems all CON-70N are silver regardless of whether they are bought separately or not. The new design of the CON-70N differs from the old CON-70 in two respects: Firstly, there are now moulded ridges on the inside surface of the converter - a narrow band of ridges near the top of the clear plastic part close to the metal top, and a wider band of ridges in the region of the "neck" of the converter where it narrows somewhat towards the front end. I am not sure of the function of these ridges; perhaps they are meant to help guide ink flow downwards. The second difference is that on the metal rod that hangs in the middle of the converter, the new CON-70N has an additional small metal cylinder bead (presumably an agitator?) on top of the black rubber stopper thing that was present in the old CON-70. This metal agitator (?) moves freely and independently of the black rubber stopper along the axis of the central rod, and it does make a slight clunking noise as it moves. This clunking sound remains audible when the CON-70N is installed and inked in a pen, although it doesn't seem quite as loud as the clunk of the big agitator in the discontinued CON-50 screw converter. It is more like a dull leaden "thunk" sound, which I find less annoying than the bright rattle of the ball bearings inside the current CON-40. Apart from the above differences, the CON-70N is the same as the old CON-70 in dimensions and in operation. I was able to fit it in a Kakuno and it is now installed in my Custom Heritage 91; I think it should fit in any pen that was able to take the old CON-70. Having now inked it (with Sailor Sei Boku, in my Custom Heritage 91) I do not find any functional differences. It works exactly the same, no worse, nor any better. It fills well, all the way to the top, just as my old CON-70 did. Alas, it still exhibits some degree of converter wall surface tension issues, although my past experience with the old CON-70 has been that after about two weeks of continuous usage, the surface tension issues tend to abate and the converter then functions very well. I shall see whether this will also be true of the CON-70N. Lastly, a note regarding pricing. I bought mine for RM45, which is about 11USD. Not sure whether there will be price differences in other regions.

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