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  1. I've been trying to find an ink that would best complement my Pilot Custom 823 Amber <m> both in terms of color aesthetics and usability. I've used Iroshizuku take-sumi (bamboo charcoal black), Tsukushi (horsetail brown), J. Herbin Lie de Thé, Diamine Oxblood, KWZ Honey...and while some were really good (take sumi and Oxblood), others had lovely colors (Lie de Thé and Honey) but didn't write very well. I also sampled a bunch of brown inks ranging from Edelstein's Smoky Quartz (interesting color, but a tad too greyish/green tones for my taste) to Waterman's Absolute Brown (really nice, but looks better on some paper than others). Amongst those samples was Noodler's Kiowa Pecan, which is a lovely warm, caramel color that really matches the body of my Pilot Custom 823 Amber...and so far it writes really well, nice thick, wet lines with wonderful shading on Tomoe River and Leuchtturm paper. Now if I can only make my handwriting as pretty as my pen and ink 😜hah hah. (on Leuchtturm1917 paper) (on Tomoe River Paper)
  2. Hello, All. I've had my Pilot Custom 823 for about a month now, and I love it. It writes beautifully and I've only ever inked it with one type of ink: Pilot Irushizuko take-sumi (black). Earlier today though, I inked it up again for a long writing stint..and it started to feel clogged and not so smooth. It would lay down light ink at first then get dark, then light again. Also, the feedback started to feel more "scratchier" on a Leuchtturm notebook where just last night it was smooth as butter. So I thought I would flush it out. I have a GouletPens flushing solution and so I went about flushing it out with water first, then used the solution...but as I did, I noticed a weird stain on the inside of the barrel that no matter how hard I tried to flush it out, would not come off. I'm very hesitant about disassembling my PC823 for fear of voiding the warranty, but wondering if there's anything non-intrusive I could do to try and remove this weird stain. It probably isn't hurting why ink per se, but it's just me knowing it's there that's probably the main issue. Still I don't like that a really expensive pen (at least for me) has a stain on the inside of the barrel.
  3. I just want to share my initial experience with the replacement ebonite feed for the Pilot Custom 823 and 743 I purchased from Flexible Nib Factory. The one I got is a black ebonite feed with the “2 Slit Ink Slot.” Attached photo is a top view of the said feed, showing the two “ink slots” or ink fissures in the feed air channel (see Figure 1). I have this ebonite feed installed on a Pilot Custom 823 fitted with a broad nib. Having used this pen on long writing sessions in the last few days, I am happy to report that the feed works splendidly. As I had hoped, the pen writes much wetter now than with the original Pilot feed. And though I have never had any problems with ink starvation with the 823, I have seen the ink flow noticeably ebb from time to time with the original Pilot feed in use. With the ebonite feed, I have found the ink flow to be consistent. Thus, it seems that the ebonite feed makes not just for a wetter writer but also a consistent one at that. For what it is worth, I have noticed the comb feeds to the ebonite to be constantly full of ink. By the same token, ever since installing the ebonite, the pen has also become prone to nib creep, that spontaneous pooling of ink on the nib surface. Often the nib creep happens around the breather hole, sometimes on the shoulders (see Figure 2). In any event, this ink pooling does not affect the functioning of the pen, just the looks of the nib maybe. While the ebonite feed works well, the installation is not as foolproof as it could be because of the way the nib goes onto the feed. It all has to do with the way Flexible Nib Factory makes these ebonite feeds. As with the Pilot feed, the ebonite feed has side wells toward the rear where the two corners of the heel of the nib nest into (see Figures 3 and 4). However, unlike the Pilot feed, the ebonite feed lacks a rear stop to the side wells, meaning it is possible to have the corners of the heel of the nib in the well, but have the nib sitting too far back in relation to the feed (see Figures 5 and 6). There is a simple workaround to this design feature, which is to set the corners of the heel of the nib against the front of the well where there is a stop or wall that prevents the nib from moving any further forward (see Figure 7). With a firm hold to keep the nib in place, the user then just needs to insert the nib-feed assembly into the section, in order to put the pen back together. Note though that given there is no back stop to the well where the nib heel fits into the feed, the user has to make sure to have a firm hold on the nib and feed once the whole assembly is set in place. After all, the greatest chance that the nib could shift further back on the feed is when one is pushing the nib-feed assembly back onto the pen section. Other than this one quibble, the feed fits well overall. Maybe a little too well with the one I got, as it took quite a bit of force to install the nib and feed into the section. Well the force was nothing outrageous, at least nothing that indicated to me that something was going wrong with the installation. Rather it was definitely more that what I had to expend if it were with the Pilot feed. At any rate, one indication that the nib on the 823 is in far enough into the section is if the date code imprinted on the bottom left of the nib appears just above the section (see Figure 8). In all, the ebonite feed is definitely worth considering if you are looking to turn your 823 or 743 into a consistent wet writer. Flexible Nib Factory also offers the “3 Slit Ink Slot” should you want an even wetter writer. But from the way my “2 Slit Ink Slot” performs, I am guessing the “3 Slit Ink Slot” would be too much of a good thing, at least for a “normal” nib (i.e., a non-Falcon nib). At any rate, both “2 Slit” and “3 Slit” models are available in red and black ebonite. Ordering from Flexible Nib Factory was a smooth process all the way. My feed was promptly sent by USPS first-class mail the day after I ordered online. I received timely updates on the status of my order via email. And after only a couple of days, I received a padded envelope with a the feed encased in a small plastic tube. Thanks for reading, and I hope this review proves useful.
  4. The Pilot Custom 823 has been my grail since long and I finally got one last year as a high school graduation present. Now, this review might seem heavily biased, but I assure you that isn’t the case. This truly is a perfect pen for me and I can find NO faults with it, whatsoever. That being said, hope you like the review. Design and Appearance: The pen has a classical cigar design. It has rounded ends with slight tapers, a few accent bands and a ball ended clip in yellow gold trim. The center band is engraved with ‘CUSTOM 823’ and ‘PILOT MADE IN JAPAN’ each group of text separated by three stars. It is also filled with a black lacquer that sharpens the look a bit. I love that little detail. The clip has PILOT engraved vertically, but no lacquer filling. The resin used here is a translucent black, or smoke as Pilot calls it. It looks classy yet not boring as that slight translucency kind of glows with the shade of the ink filled. Overall, I find it quite nice in terms of looks. Quality and Construction: The pen feels solid. It’s nothing like the Platinum 3776 which feels slightly flimsy, in my opinion. Construction is also quite good. You can see the seams on the section but they are smoothed out so you don’t really feel them. The threaded cap is liquid smooth. The blind cap for the vacuum filling knob unscrews with some roughness but I don’t really notice it at all since I keep the knob unscrewed always. The one caveat about the 823 is that the material is susceptible to cracks if you were to disassemble and over tighten anything. I’ve made a promise to myself to never disassemble the thing. Filling System: One of the main USPs of the 823 is the vacuum filler. I’m not a huge fan of the system itself, because it is tough to clean, but I LOVE the heft and balance it provides to the pen. Mine works smoothly. It also has a good ink capacity so I like using it for notes. I know it’s not going to run out anytime soon and being with a fine nib, that helps too. One thing about the system is that it seals off the section if screwed all the way in. This helps in things like air travel and avoids any leakage. But what it also does is limit supply to the feed so once you’re out of all the ink already stored in the feed, you’ll have to unscrew the blind cap and saturate it once more. It might be troublesome to unscrew it each time you write, so I just keep it unscrewed all the time. I’ve taken this pen on the flight with half a barrel of ink and there was no leakage whatsoever Comfort and Writing: The pen fits my hand like a glove. The balance is perfect. The section has a gentle curve that allows a nice grip and the threads on the barrel are smooth enough to not bother my grip. As I mentioned earlier, the vacuum filling rod really helps with the heft and balance of the pen. As for writing, Pilot has nailed this 14k fine nib. It is unbelievably smooth for how fine it is. The grind is also slightly unusual in that I sense a slight architect character in it if I were to lower my writing angle a bit. The nib itself does have a very slight bounce to it. The paired blue-grey feed has no ink starvation problems and I think it looks pretty good too. I have it inked with Waterman Mysterious Blue but the sample is written with Krishna Paakezah. I do prefer using slightly wetter inks in it, they feel so much nicer to write with. Final Thoughts: I got this pen used, but it was only inked once and then stored. It still had the stickers and all. For the price I paid, I don’t know if there’s any other pen delivering this much value. Yes, the 823 doesn’t have an award-winning design. Yes, the 823 does not have fancy Italian resins or celluloids, neither does it have the elegance of a German pen. But what it does have is a fantastic writing experience coupled with a perfect balance (at least for me). It is a pen that just works.
  5. (For those that quickly want to know how I feel about this pen: scroll to the last paragraph. If you have a few minutes and would like to read about my journey, read on!) Compared to things like violins, pianos, paintings, vintage cars or yaghts, fountain pens make for a relatively cheap hobby. The process of discovery is addictive, but if you define certain limits for yourself then there's a lot of fun to be had for relatively small amounts of money. For me, the fun is in writing, in how a pen feels to me. A pen that makes me want to write, that screams "pick me up!" every time I walk by, that's what it's about for me. A secondary appeal is craftsmanship, how well a pen is designed and made. This is not to be confused with expense: I am just as pleased with the incredible amount of quality Pilot can deliver for 20 bucks in the form of the Metropolitan, then I am with the lasting durability of a Montblanc 146. The danger with a hobby like this, is the ever-lurking thought that there's a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow somewhere, a new experience that's just around the corner, something special that's available to those-in-the-know and which is just waiting for you to discover it. This is the feeling that I had regarding Pilot pens in the 150 to 250 euro price range. This feeling was fueled by near-unanimous praise by fountain pen lovers, especially for the Custom 823. More than perhaps any other pen on the market, this pen seems to be able to make pen friends close ranks. This sparked my curiosity, but alas, they can't be found in stores in Europe, either brick & mortar or online. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada. That gave me the itch. Deep-down I knew that pens are very very personal, that my own preferences do not necessarily reflect those of the majority, and that I really needed to stick to my modus operandi of going out to try pens before I buy. But there was this itch. This grail pen that everybody raves about and makes even Matt from the Pen Habit forget that it's basically a cigar. And I just couldn't get my hands on it. What I *could* get, was a Metropolitan. I found a batch of those in a store and bought a M. Obviously at that price point Pilot hit it out of the park with that pen. It's very enjoyable to write with. So I thought: "if a 20 euro Pilot is already *this* good, just imagine what a Custom 823 must be like!". Plus, I wanted to add a vac filler to my little herd. So I ordered one from Japan. I agonized over the nib choice. My fav pens are two Sailors with 14k H-M nibs and a MB 146 with a vintage EF nib (which is nothing like an EF on paper). After reading tons of posts on FPN, I decided to go for a F. The total price of the pen, including import duty, was around 250 euros, which I think is a significant amount of money to pay for a pen. My only pen which cost more is my old, used MB146 EF which I bought from a collector. So expectations were high. The pen arrived this week and I've used it intensively over several days and compared it to my other pens. And, welllll.... I have doubts. The tines were slightly misaligned and there were some skipping issues, which is not good, but thankfully I know how to fix that and it was solved within minutes. But these shortcomings surprised me. The vac mechanism only works if the pen is strictly straight-up; if you have a shallow ink bottle then you need to find another one that will allow you to fill this pen. The stopper only opens when the filial knob is completely unscrewed (sorry, two or three turns just doesn't do it). From an ergonomic point of view, I love it. Precisely the right format for my hand, fits like a glove, without the need to post the cap. Cosmetically, I like the design a lot. Very handsome pen. Then, the nib. I'd learned from FPN that Pilot nibs are not as fine as those from Platinum and Sailor, meaning a Pilot M is more like a Western M whereas a Sailor M is more like a Western F. This is exactly my experience with my own Metropolitan M. I wanted something like a Western F so I ordered a F and kept my fingers crossed. Well, this is nothing like a Western F. This is possibly even narrower than a Western EF. It's approaching needle-thin. I checked if it was indeed a and not an EF, but the pen is clearly labeled as a F. The nib being this narrow offers me advantages as well as disadvantages and they sort of cancel out, leaving me feeling kind of flat about it. On the plus side, I've discovered that it improves my handwriting, which I like a lot. Another plus is that ink lasts forever. It also rounds out my little collection, which ranges from a 1.1 mm stub via a Sheaffer that writes like a B and that MB146 nib (which is an architect nib offering B horizontal strokes and vertical F strokes) down to a typical M (the Metro) and a few Western F's. So it's not more of the same but really something new. On the downside, I have three concerns. First, the feel on paper. It's smooth and well made, but the fact remains that this nib has a very small contact area and obviously that's something you feel every time you write. It feels like a needle, for lack of a better comparison. It also feels stiff (a nail) even though it isn't: the tines move as I write, there is bounce, there is cusioning, but I cannot feel it (whereas I sure can feel it with my Sailors, the MB146 and the Sheaffer Targa). Second, it's hard to write up-tempo with a needle-fine nib. Fast writing is tricky. The nib is unforgiving. Write rough, it'll feel and look rough. So when taking notes at work, I find myself using abbreviations etc. to keep up. Third, and most important to me, is emotion. Writing with this pen lacks emotion. The exquisite feedback of my two Sailors offers me a sense of contentment and joy every time I pick one of them up. Both Sailors are very very different in how they feel and write, but both offer me that, each in its own sweet way. That little Metro also offers an emotion: fun. It's a fun little pen. Likewise, each of my pens offers me a certain emotion and for that I cherish them all. The Custom 823 is a high-quality writing machine but there's no emotion. Perhaps it will grow on me. Perhaps if I had not already known Sailor, I would have loved the 823. Perhaps the emotion of the 823 will reveal itself over time and perhaps its value will be what I dislike about it now: it forces me to slow down, it tells me that writing should not be rushed. Regarding ink: I'm a firm believer in starting a new pen with ink of the same brand. However.... regular Pilot ink bottles are literally unobtainable in Europe and their upscale Namiki Iroshizuku range is expensive. As an alternative, I chose Sailor Jentle Souten blue, another Japanese ink, and it's a very good match. For those contemplating the purchase of this pen: A-nib choice is crucial; do not order it unless you are very very sure which nib is right for you. B-ditto regarding pen size; this is the largest pen in my little herd; small-handed people might find it too large. C-do not expect pefection straight out of the box just because it is a Pilot Custom 823; as with most fountain pens these days, it might need some minor adjustment (mine did) and there might be minor shortcomings. D-just because everybody else loves it doesn't mean that you will, too. Unless money is no object, when in doubt, wait until you can try one, even if that takes time. Use FPN to find someone near you that has one and do coffee together somewhere.
  6. Aditkamath26

    Pilot Custom 823 Nib And Related

    Hello pen people. I am posting this in dire need of advice. I might buy a Pilot Custom 823 next week or so from the Nibsmith. I am not convinced on the nib size. I am either going for a fine nib or a medium ground to a medium-fine according to Sailors mf width. Can anyone say how the fine nib compares to other fines like TWSBI or Platinum 14k fines on the Century model? If you can provide a writing sample of the Custom 823 fine or medium with other nibs like Jowo fines, mediums or Sailor mf etc, it would be of great help. Any help in decision making would be very much appreciated. I have to say that the Pilot waverley nib is almost the perfect line width for me. I have tried it on a friends pen. Also can anyone tell me about the blue ink that comes with it? And any comparison photos with well known blue inks would be much appreciated. Arigato Gozaimasu!
  7. m_osman

    Pilot Custom 823 Fine

    I am fairly new to fountain pens with a limited experience. Thus my experience only reflect my opinion. I was ready a lot of rave reviews about the pilot custom 823 watching a lot of videos as well. I kept an eye for this pen for sometime, and finally purchased it, i wanted something that can write a fine line smoothly, everyone said how much it is a smooth writer out of the box without having to adjust anything with the nib. I order the amber , the color is nice with the gold trim. The plunger filling system is very interesting , I really liked it. but when I started writing with it (yes i flushed it) the nib didn't impress me. I am not saying it is bad or anything. The ink flow was good but it was just ok , not so smooth as i would expect and not toothy or scartchy, I'd say it has more feedback, a bit of drag or control if you would say just that you know you are writing and a very small sweet spot. My main problem wasn't the nib (although it didn't impress me much) the weight and how the pen feels in hand. I have smallish/medium size hands. when I started using the pen, I use all my pens unposted. it felt back heavy , it would feel it want to slip down while resting and writing thus putting more strain holding it. It did feel uncomfortable for extending period writing , I tried so much to like it but it didn't fit well. I still consider my m600 the perfect balance in size weight and comfort. Am I the only one who isn't so much impressed with the fine nib of the 823 and the comfort and weight of it ?
  8. In this case, a Clairefontaine Triomphe A5. And the pen of choice - Pilot Custom 823, the double reservoir makes flying with a FP so much easier and worry free. ink!
  9. This pen has been on my radar for a long time. I write a lot, and so have been considering investing in a pen that I would enjoy writing a lot with. I'd caught Neil Gaiman mentioning it on Twitter as a pen that he uses pretty exclusively for book signings which, for him, must be pretty exhausting and demanding pen sessions. Respecting his opinion on such things quite a lot, and after doing a lot of my own research, I jumped in. To date, my pens have been under $50 (Lamy Al-Star, Safari, and a whole lot of cheap Chinese pens). I did try buying a Pilot Namiki Falcon a few years ago through Levenger but that was a train wreck and I still have Pen Traumatic Stress Disorder from that purchase. Spending a lot on a pen again, especially a Pilot, took a lot for me to screw up the courage to do after that. No writing samples below, but it suffices to say we're off to a great start. I'm keeping this one loaded up with Noodler's Black Swan in English Roses and it's working out quite lovely thus far. http://i.imgur.com/K8jEeTJ.png http://i.imgur.com/LhP2pGx.png http://i.imgur.com/KlFE6Bk.png http://i.imgur.com/uitJ5A0.png http://i.imgur.com/yRLJKYX.png
  10. Hello all, I am having trouble deciding on my next purchase. After going through a rabid acquisition phase where quantity mattered over quality, I am now branching out more into expensive pens. Well, expensive for me. I recently bought a Pilot CH 91 in Soft Fine and I love it. The nib is sweet and the black on rhodium furniture is gorgeous. My one quibble is that it's a rather small pen. It's just this side of comfortable for me to hold. So naturally my attention turned to the Pilot CH 912, nearly the same pen but bigger and with all the size 10 nib options. So my question is, how do you people feel about buying more than one pen in the same model? I would probably get either the Fine or the Soft Fine (again) or possibly the Sutab nib. Then I would only have the size difference to tell me which was which. I flirted with the idea of making the jump up to the Pilot Custom 823. Having a broader range of models appeals even if I don't like the gold furniture as much. The bigger size and greater ink capacity are also pluses, but from what I can see of the writing samples I've scoured the web for, the Fine is too fine and the Medium is too bold for my taste. Would I be better off getting a CH 912 with a nib I know I'll like but then effectively having two of the same pen, or broaden my collection with a completely different model with a nib I'm unsure of? If you guys have duplicates of the same pen, what is your thought process? If you have multiple Pelikans, do you have one in each colour or one in each nib size? What's the appeal to having a fistful of the same pen? Any insight would be appreciated.
  11. Aetheric Continua

    Numbers On Pilot Custom 823 Nib

    Hello, all! I finally received my Pilot Custom 823 <M> today and I'm super excited. Haven't been able to ink it up yet, as I'm currently at work. So I'm spending (probably an abnormal amount of) time looking at every detail of this beautiful writing instrument. On the nib, I understand that "14K" is the same thing as "585" (gold content) and the "15" is the nib size, but on the bottom left I see the number "115." What does it mean? A few searches didn't seem to lead me anywhere (not to say I didn't miss something).
  12. Uncial

    Pilot 823 With Flex Mod

    Sorry if this has been done to death before, but I did a search and couldn't bring anything up on it. Has anyone tried the custom 823 with the flex mod? I've seen them for sale on ebay and they tend to be the same price as the normal ones. The mod looks like it is the same as that recommended for the Noodler's Ahab, done with a dremel. If anyone has tried it I would appreciate hearing of your experience and possibly some writing samples if possible.
  13. Greetings all, Glad to join the pen community online. I'm relatively new to the hobby and have an 823 newbie question. I'm going to be away from my new Custom 823 for about three weeks and it's inked up with take-sumi Iroshizuku (so far my favorite combination ever.) Given the nature of the ink, the pen, and its valve-close system, should I still empty the pen before I leave it to sit? If I should flush the pen, does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the last few drops of water out of the 823? Thanks!





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