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Looks Like Twsbi Owners Seek To Customize More Than For Other Pens?



Moshe ben David

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Moshe ben David

I don't own any of the TWSBi pens, but just based on the number entries I see here at FPN, I get the impression that a lot of TWSBi owners look to customize their pens with various changes of nibs etc. So this is directed to TWSBi owners: is my perception correct or am I just deluded? Just curious.

Moshe ben David

 

"Behold, He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!"

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I don't own any of the TWSBi pens, but just based on the number entries I see here at FPN, I get the impression that a lot of TWSBi owners look to customize their pens with various changes of nibs etc. So this is directed to TWSBi owners: is my perception correct or am I just deluded? Just curious.

 

Every time I see something like that, to change nibs, or wondering what nibs can be put on it, I keep getting the impression that they like the large ink capacity or piston filling, or the demonstrator style, but don't care for the nibs they come with.

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Moshe ben David

You may be right. All I can think is I see more discussion of people making changes to these pens as well as quality issues than it seems (emphasis on seems -- this is a subjective impression after all) than for most any other manufacturer. Sure creates some doubt of the quality of the product....

Moshe ben David

 

"Behold, He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!"

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The Twsbi Vac 700 was one of my first pens I purchased when I started collecting about a year ago. The pen's primary appeal at that time was the fancy filling system. However I hated the performance of the nib, which I think was a medium. Because at that time, as a newbie, I found it wrote too broad. Like many newbies, I wrote slow, very tiny and too wobbly to know better. I Inked it once and after that remained unused.

 

I have since become wiser, and more appreciative of different nibs. Along the way, I acquired a Goulet Stub 1.5 that was supposed to go into a Noodler's Konrad. The Konrad was a wash, but that's another story. So here I am left with a nice nib that had no home. I somehow put 2 and 2 together, and installed the Goulet nib into the Twsbi on a lark. I have never looked back since. The stub performs beautifully on this pen. The feed and prodigious ink capacity works so well with the much higher ink demand of the stub. So much so the Vac 700 is now one of my permanent daily carry.

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The Twsbi Vac 700 was one of my first pens I purchased when I started collecting about a year ago. The pen's primary appeal at that time was the fancy filling system. However I hated the performance of the nib, which I think was a medium. Because at that time, as a newbie, I found it wrote too broad. Like many newbies, I wrote slow, very tiny and too wobbly to know better. I Inked it once and after that remained unused.

 

I have since become wiser, and more appreciative of different nibs. Along the way, I acquired a Goulet Stub 1.5 that was supposed to go into a Noodler's Konrad. The Konrad was a wash, but that's another story. So here I am left with a nice nib that had no home. I somehow put 2 and 2 together, and installed the Goulet nib into the Twsbi on a lark. I have never looked back since. The stub performs beautifully on this pen. The feed and prodigious ink capacity works so well with the much higher ink demand of the stub. So much so the Vac 700 is now one of my permanent daily carry.

I love my goulet 1.5,exactly as you said very smooth and consistent. It'scurr ently in a cheap nemosine singularity demonstrator which I've used both converter and eye dropper style. Early on I've avoided twsbi because of price and the initial issue of quality control that kept coming up, and it was when I didn't know you could pull the feed out of their nib units (like Edison).

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You may be right. All I can think is I see more discussion of people making changes to these pens as well as quality issues than it seems (emphasis on seems -- this is a subjective impression after all) than for most any other manufacturer. Sure creates some doubt of the quality of the product....

 

That may be really misleading.

 

It´s difficult to get an accurate measurement of someones QC based solely on what people write here. Also what do you mean when you say making changes to the pens? Just to clarify since you seem to make it part of a claim on poor QC.

 

I do not mean to "attack" you in any way, please do not misunderstand :)

I merely wish to discuss this matter with you in such a way that we can try to learn something.

 

 

I´ll also state that i´m quite new too the whole FP-scene but i have been reading a whole lot on this forum before finally posting. Also, i´ll readily admit to loving my TWSBI 580 with a passion :)

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I think it is just easier to swap nibs on a twsbi than it is on many other pens because the spare nibs are available. As far as the qc is concerned, I get thep impression that there are a few people who are very vocal about their past problems with twsbi. They post in almost every twsbi-related thread. Their impact is magnified by the number of people who read their frequent posts then talk about the "well-documented" problems with twsbi, even thus making it seem like more of an issue than actually exists.

 

I also think that if you check the posts about other pens, you will see just as many problems as with twsbi. However, I don't think you would win too many friends here if you started talking about alleged well-known problems with Montblanc or Delta or Faber Castell, for example, because even though there is the occasional problem, folks realize that they are a rarity.

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I got a 580 and I think the nib is nice and smooth but it's a nail (unlike the 540 Bock nibs) so I took a Dremel and am attempting the Pimp My Ahab mod. No luck yet, but there is still metal to remove.


 It's for Yew!bastardchildlil.jpg

 

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mikehodgman

I have 3 TWSBIs and like all my nibs. I did have to fuss a bit with the 580 to get it writing how I like, but they are all good nibs.

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That may be really misleading.

 

It´s difficult to get an accurate measurement of someones QC based solely on what people write here. Also what do you mean when you say making changes to the pens? Just to clarify since you seem to make it part of a claim on poor QC.

...

 

:P But if that's the trend with what most people post, then how would a potential buyer know what to judge other than the manufacture's own words and reviewer's sites when they're more interested in hearing from actual users.

 

If it's a trend, there might be *some* truths to it, and I do often times see that people do have pens that break down but that TWSBI are generous enough to provide spare parts for those people. Not everyone is a tinkerer though, but those who are, tend to be happy enough if they can get the problem resolved, than get a new pen.

 

long story short : other than popular sites like FPN with user input, or manufacture blurb, or reviewers who may only try the pen a few times during the review and never again, where would one judge QC?

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I don´t disagree with that :)

 

I´ll even admit to having avoided certain pens based on reviews and opinions i have read here. All i´m saying is that care should be taken when you evaluate the advice you read.

 

For one thing people usually have got more to say when they got complaints, and they often turn to forums like this to state their opinion.

Second the amount of complaints is closely related to how many of the pen is actually sold. It stands to reason that a popular pen also would have more complaints. This might very well give the impression of bad QC since more people are prone to state their complaints rather than talk about what they are happy with. (except when they are asked explicitly about their opinion)

 

Thirdly, sometimes people get weird ideas about certain brands. This is based on about 15 years in retail where i on occasion come across people having incredible bad experiences with one of our premium brands. Now, i know that the brand really is exceptionally good, and the store receives very few complaints compared to all other brands. Still, someone who have had really bad luck with the brand in question will rarely be convinced by any arguments and will tell anyone who listens about the brand in question. I can easily understand why this is so, we all sometimes do that thing were we take our own experiences and try to make it into a fact for everybody. Still, i´m cautions when reading the complaints of others. Even more so when my experiences are different. (see what i did there? ;) )

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I imagine there is some apprehension of a brand just because of it's country of Origin. Some may even avoid TWSBI simply because it's Taiwan (which many lump together with China).

 

I haven't gotten a TWSBI myself initially because the general impression whenever I looked around was that they broke easy, this may or may not be the case, but I saw it more often with that brand name than most of the other brands I was shopping for. That and the demonstrator look is not usually something I care for, I might get another eventually (I got a cheap nemosine singularity currently) but I'm not likely to make clear-ish pens my primary and that seems to be mostly what TWSBI sells.

 

And I also figure for every 1 complaint there's probably 10,20,30 people who like theirs. That's why when my first Faber-Castell BASIC broke down the section, I didn't see it as indicative of the whole brand/line, because I could only find one amazon review that stated it and just between my experience and that one amazon review, doesn't seem to be enough to indicate a trend, thus why I went with a replacement rather than pushing for a refund (replacement is faster too, and I just loved the nib).

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I've seen the TWSBI bashing on occasion, and I have commented on TWSBI admitted issues; poor quality on nibs severe enough that they fired and replaced the nib manufacturer. I have mentioned TWSBI more often in praise. As of. Now I have none of their pens but TWSBI customer service is a huge part of the reason they still exist. Your cap cracked? Send a new one. Leaky piston? Send a new one. While they may have some growing pains, you can't !speak ill of their customer service.

I will get one of their big piston fill pens before long. Why? What other company stands behind a $50-75 pen?

 

Paul

"Nothing is impossible, even the word says 'I'm Possible!'" Audrey Hepburn

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I imagine there is some apprehension of a brand just because of it's country of Origin. Some may even avoid TWSBI simply because it's Taiwan (which many lump together with China).

 

I haven't gotten a TWSBI myself initially because the general impression whenever I looked around was that they broke easy, this may or may not be the case, but I saw it more often with that brand name than most of the other brands I was shopping for. That and the demonstrator look is not usually something I care for, I might get another eventually (I got a cheap nemosine singularity currently) but I'm not likely to make clear-ish pens my primary and that seems to be mostly what TWSBI sells.

 

And I also figure for every 1 complaint there's probably 10,20,30 people who like theirs. That's why when my first Faber-Castell BASIC broke down the section, I didn't see it as indicative of the whole brand/line, because I could only find one amazon review that stated it and just between my experience and that one amazon review, doesn't seem to be enough to indicate a trend, thus why I went with a replacement rather than pushing for a refund (replacement is faster too, and I just loved the nib).

 

That might be, people have funny ideas sometimes :)

 

The funny thing here is i´m not really that much of a demonstrator fan myself. They usually don´t give me the impression that any consideration has gone into the fact that its see-through, this should in my opinion affect how it is designed.

 

In the 580 i think, obviously, TWSBI has done just that and i think its genuinely beautiful. The Vac 700 however does nothing for me and i´m not that interested in the filling system.

There are only two other demonstrators that i like, one being the Franklin-Christoph 02. That one is really nice but i´don't like demonstrators with converters. I don't have anything against converters in general, just not in demonstrators. I know it can be used as a ED but i don´t like that either.

The other demonstrator i like is the Pilot Heritage 92, not so much because of it looks but because of the positive reviews.

 

It´s interesting that you mention the Basic. It didn't realize until know that i have been reading a lot of your posts. I´ve been following your posts on the Basic as i´ve been interested in that pen. The nib always gets praise and its making me curious. I know the e-motion have the same nib and i quite like that design even if it has a odd cap.

 

I´m sorry for going all OT.

 

 

Back to TWSBI i think the Micarta is awesome, but that pen seems to be a love or hate kind of pen. It did have some issues on the V1 but they seem to have it fixed on the V2.

I think its this pen Kiddie is referring to in the above post. Also, thats the one pen people seem to have the need to really bash :)

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I've seen the TWSBI bashing on occasion, and I have commented on TWSBI admitted issues; poor quality on nibs severe enough that they fired and replaced the nib manufacturer. I have mentioned TWSBI more often in praise. As of. Now I have none of their pens but TWSBI customer service is a huge part of the reason they still exist. Your cap cracked? Send a new one. Leaky piston? Send a new one. While they may have some growing pains, you can't !speak ill of their customer service.

I will get one of their big piston fill pens before long. Why? What other company stands behind a $50-75 pen?

 

Paul

 

Very good point, especially from a region most people would blindly associate with poor customer service/QC etc. Course what's to stop someone from getting enough pieces replaced to have a new pen outside of the nib unit? :D

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Moshe ben David

Many good points raised. KBeezie came closest to where I am coming from by pointing out that the sheer volume of posts on TWSBi can lead to forming of impressions.

 

Also, y'all: take a closer look at what I write. I stated the quality of the product. This is NOT synonymous with QC. Product quality actually starts first with design of the product and then with design of the production process. QC itself in modern manufacturing does NOT ENSURE quality. By the time QC sees something the quality is there or it isn't. If you're thinking of the effectiveness of inspection to remove defective products, I hate to burst your bubbles but I will. Innumerable studies have conclusively shown that there is no real effective 100% inspection. In the Quality (Control or Assurance, take your pick) profession we state that 100% inspection simply isn't. It is often known to be at best 85% effective (e.g., for visual inspection; machine inspection will be get closer to 100% but still never reach it due to tolerance build-ups etc).

 

My field of expertise btw is manufacturing and QA.

Moshe ben David

 

"Behold, He who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps!"

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Many good points raised. KBeezie came closest to where I am coming from by pointing out that the sheer volume of posts on TWSBi can lead to forming of impressions.

 

Also, y'all: take a closer look at what I write. I stated the quality of the product. This is NOT synonymous with QC. Product quality actually starts first with design of the product and then with design of the production process. QC itself in modern manufacturing does NOT ENSURE quality. By the time QC sees something the quality is there or it isn't. If you're thinking of the effectiveness of inspection to remove defective products, I hate to burst your bubbles but I will. Innumerable studies have conclusively shown that there is no real effective 100% inspection. In the Quality (Control or Assurance, take your pick) profession we state that 100% inspection simply isn't. It is often known to be at best 85% effective (e.g., for visual inspection; machine inspection will be get closer to 100% but still never reach it due to tolerance build-ups etc).

 

My field of expertise btw is manufacturing and QA.

 

I figure it's impossible for any one company to have 100% result, because even hand-made and hand-tested individually pieces can't ever bet 99.99% There's always going to be that one. So I imagine when they mass produce at least the parts, and probably only inspect maybe one out of every few thousand parts (with the assumption that the 'batch' is within an identical margin of error), then there's still a chance. I also imagine that some people's expectations are higher than others, and that even more will probably not bother to seek resolution for an issue.

 

So knowing that no company can be perfect, brings of course the other half of the equation: After-sale support. If we were to assume that most of the products of China (Jinhao, Kaigelu, Baoer etc) were nearly identical to quality to TWSBI, then what differentiates the two would be customer support.

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Many good points raised. KBeezie came closest to where I am coming from by pointing out that the sheer volume of posts on TWSBi can lead to forming of impressions.

 

Also, y'all: take a closer look at what I write. I stated the quality of the product. This is NOT synonymous with QC. Product quality actually starts first with design of the product and then with design of the production process. QC itself in modern manufacturing does NOT ENSURE quality. By the time QC sees something the quality is there or it isn't. If you're thinking of the effectiveness of inspection to remove defective products, I hate to burst your bubbles but I will. Innumerable studies have conclusively shown that there is no real effective 100% inspection. In the Quality (Control or Assurance, take your pick) profession we state that 100% inspection simply isn't. It is often known to be at best 85% effective (e.g., for visual inspection; machine inspection will be get closer to 100% but still never reach it due to tolerance build-ups etc).

 

My field of expertise btw is manufacturing and QA.

 

 

And that´s the point i´m trying to make. The volume of post on TWSBI does not necessarily mean anything on the quality of the brand. (being general quality or QC)

 

I´ve stated what i mean in post #11 and i´d like to add a few things. Imagine that 5 people have complaints about the TWSBI, now a complaint pops up on the board and all of the original 5 jumps in to add their bad experiences. Now you have a thread of 6 different people voicing their complaints in a single thread. That would probably convince anyone that the brand has subpar quality.

 

But is this really so?

 

Would it not depend on how many actually bought the pen in the first place? There is a huge difference between a pen by brand 1 bought by 300 customers and a pen by brand 2 bought by say 1500. Naturally the number of people with complaints would be higher for the pen bought by 1500 people. For the same reasons as you stated by QC. It is not 100%.

 

Yet the percentage of complaints compared to actual buying customers might be favorable for brand 2, meaning less actual problems the product compared to brand 1.

Still, the impression on a forum such as this would be that there are more problems with brand 2.

 

 

Of course, i have no idea how the numbers actually are. The numbers i use in my example are completely made up. It´s merely my impression (hah) that the TWSBI 580 is something a lot of people own. This might be because it offers a piston filler without a hefty price tag. It´s a step up for most newbies yet is interesting enough for most seasoned FP-users to by. And they have a lot of happy customers.

In my opinion it is a beautiful pen and it least for me i think it is reasonable that it is a model that has sold really well. (this, this is merely my opinion and hardly any proof.)

 

 

That said, there clearly has been real issues. Cracking issues with 530/540 but resolved in the 580. The V1 of the Micarta were there where troubles with the nib. Resulting in the V2 and problem resolved.

 

As KBeezie stated, they are known for excellent customer service, and furthermore trying to gauge public opinion on what features they want.

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I'll also take this as answer from observation an experience it is not because of the QC but it is probably because TWSBI is the only company our there that can give you a Piston Pen, a Vac Filler for like less than a 100 USD IMAGINE THAT massive ink supply with a very "flexible" application nib since they are your run of the mill JoWo nibs meaning you have parts surplus you like Noodler's pens they are also your step up "tinkering" pens heck some people also like to modify the nibs into semi-flex category just for the sake of it, though I'd like to see someone chuck in a gold nib into one of the pens if that will change the writing experience, I did see someone request to put a vintage flex nib on a Vac 700 now that's something worth seeing

 

to me the JoWo nibs are fine but not the perfect nib as sometimes the Fs and EFs tend to be a bit scratchy but not irreperable

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I have a TWSBI mini in black, and a 540 in gray demonstrator. I like both of them very much. My main issue with TWSBIs is that aside from the Classic, the mini, and the Micarta, none of the others are available in various shades in demonstrators, but no solid colors. If TWSBI is able to bring to market some of the prototype pens on their FB page, I will definitely be acquiring one or more additional TWSBIs.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
Edmund Burke (1729 - 1797)

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