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  1. 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
  2. I'm currently reviewing some of my favourite Diamine inks. This is Strauss from the Diamine Music Gift set. Bearing in mind the paper I use is very smooth, this ink dries in 10-12 seconds.It flows quite wet compared with some Diamine inks, but lubricates the nib quite well.No start-up problems noticed. No skipping noticed.It is currently available as one of the gift set of 10 x 30ml glass bottles, or in single 30ml plastic refill bottles from Diamine. Neither of these has an inkwellWater test on the review form shows this isn't a waterproof ink.Diamine sell it directly to end-users on their web-site.It's reasonably priced.

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