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rhymingisfun
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Anyone able to compare the CH 912 FA nib and the regular Pilot Falcon nib? I recently purchased the Falcon and now I'm having buyer's regret hearing that the FA nib on the Custom Heritage 912 and the Custom 742 are even better.

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After reading a few zillion reviews of the Falcon vs. the Falcon Nib, there are two consistent points worth considering. The Falcon (FA) nib is easier to flex, and has more line variation. Unfortunately, this reveals the second consideration - flex it out beyond a few short strokes and it starts railroading. The nib works well for Asian writing, not so well for western. Whether one considers this better or not probably depends on how you intend to use the pen.

 

Now, that said, I'd go with what someone who actually has the pen has to say over me - I'm just passing along the gist of the overwhelming majority of the reviews I've read. But I went with the Falcon (it arrives tomorrow) specifically over the FA nib - though I do have a Desiderata for uber-flexing, and thus it wasn't as important an issue for me.

Edited by Kataphract
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uhhh the elabo nib is more semi-flex you could have gotten it cheaper via the CH91 really... the Fa... well it is touted as a "full flex" alternative but not necessarily a vintage flex alternative

 

The Elabo and the Falcon are the same, no? Based on conversations with owners of vintage pens, a Falcon is not a semi-flex nib, hence why it is called soft. I got a really good deal on the Falcon, so price doesn't matter, beside the fact that I own a CH 91 with an FM nib, The nibs are totally different and the give on the CH91 is not comparable.

 

Edit: I have an FM nib, not SFM

Edited by rhymingisfun
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After reading a few zillion reviews of the Falcon vs. the Falcon Nib, there are two consistent points worth considering. The Falcon (FA) nib is easier to flex, and has more line variation. Unfortunately, this reveals the second consideration - flex it out beyond a few short strokes and it starts railroading. The nib works well for Asian writing, not so well for western. Whether one considers this better or not probably depends on how you intend to use the pen.

 

Now, that said, I'd go with what someone who actually has the pen has to say over me - I'm just passing along the gist of the overwhelming majority of the reviews I've read. But I went with the Falcon (it arrives tomorrow) specifically over the FA nib - though I do have a Desiderata for uber-flexing, and thus it wasn't as important an issue for me.

 

I'm glad you did your research, that makes me feel a lot more reassured in my purchase. I really shouldn't fret because I love using the Falcon. Haven't had it railroad on me yet, but I don't push it beyond what I feel is okay. After using it for the past three weeks I have a sense for how much pressure feels good and i'm happy with the amount of flex that I get, knowing that it's not a real flex pen. A real pleasure for everyday writing with a nice amount of flair. My cursive is beginning to look better than ever.

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I use Pilot/Namiki Falcons in sef through broad, and a 74 custom with a sf. I have no experience with the FA.

I also have read alot about the FA's flow problems. I have also read that if you want to "flex" it, moving it slowly and holding it near vertical is best, but again, no personal experience with that nib.

 

The Namiki Falcon (Elabo) nib, i have heard, was designed to be optimal for hand writing of Japanese characters, where precise control and variation in the line is required. I like using them as daily writers, in particular the SF & SEF. The SM has a substantial line width after it breaks in. My SB when not pressured, does a line a tad wider than my Pelikan m800 B. All 4 sizes are very wet with the Noodlers inks and Iroshizukos i use in them. The SB is very wet with any ink i have used in it.

"I am a dancer who walks for a living" Michael Erard

"Reality then, may be an illusion, but the illusion itself is real." Niklas Luhmann

 

 

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Do not regret the purchase of the Falcon, it is one of the best writing nibs in my arsenal. I love it because of the feel that that it gives when it writes - soft and springy and wet. In my opinion, it is great for fast and furious writing and gives a bit of flair. It is not made for flex writing of the copperplate variety. I like the Falcon so much that I have all nib sizes from SEF (soft extra fine) to SB (soft broad). Do note that SEF, which is very fine, will feel scratchy on "normal" papers not specifically made for fountain pen use.

 

I also have the FA nib in a Custom Heritage 912. It is a softer nib than the Falcon nib. It does give good line variation, but its feed will not keep up during flexing, or even during quick cursive writing. It needs a wet ink to work well. It has been said that the FA nib is made for Asian writing, and even for Asian (Japanese / Chinese) writing, the strokes made should be slow and deliberate, more akin to calligraphy than normal writing, otherwise it'll start skipping. It can be used for copperplate writing, but it's not the best tool for it.

 

I wouldn't say whether the FA nib or the Falcon nib is better, but rather that they are good for which particular purpose, as they are very different nibs. I use the Falcon nibs (SF, SM, SB) for daily writing, and SEF for small characters. I treat FA nib as a hobby nib, using it to write Copperplate or Asian calligraphy, though I'm far from artistic. There are others who use these nibs for sketching, and they might want to chime in for this purpose.

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Ritchie Mac, you've answered my question perfectly, thank you so much! I love my SF Falcon nib the more I use it, and it suits my purpose well. The difficulty with the FA feed keeping up reassures me the Falcon is the right pen for me.

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I gave a namiki falcon and a pilot 823 FA nib to a calligrapher to play with.

ie lets see what a calligrapher can do with these nibs.

 

She had a little play with both and then started to use the falcon.

 

Oh my gosh its amazing to see a pen in action used by someone who can really write beautifully.

 

That told me something.

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  • 1 year later...

 

Instead of starting a new thread I thought I'd just resurrect this one. Most reviews, like the posted Nibsmith review, seem to favour the regular Falcon nib over the FA nib. The Pilot Falcon nib outperforms the FA nib in terms of ink flow consistency when the nibs are pushed for line variation. For this reason I never opted to upgrade from my Pilot Elabo/Falcon to a FA nib. .

 

Fast forward 2 to 3 years and Pilot continues to offer both the Falcon and the FA nibs in North America so I assume people are still getting the FA nibs. Are the FA nibs improved at all in terms of the feed being able to keep up, or is the Falcon still the more reliable soft nib performer. Last fall I tried out the FA nib in a penshop, and it hard started and railroaded like crazy, so I ended up getting the Pilot Custom 74 soft nib instead. I don't want to write off the FA based on one experience, but what is the consensus here today by those who have experience with both the Falcon and FA nibs as to which is the better performer.

Edited by max dog
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Researched the FA nib more on line and the consensus by a lot of reviews seems to be the FA is plagued with hard starting issues out of the box and requires a lot of tinkering to get the soft tines aligned just right. Sounds like the Noodlers pens. No thank you, will stick with my pilot resin Falcon/Elabo.

Edited by max dog
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I am only single data point. Have one FA nib. No railroading, no hard starting. I can write fast in cursive script and the feed keeps up perfectly. It works well for writing Chinese characters, but it is not designed for Western ornamental scripts.

 

To be honest, whenever I see video reviews of people struggling with this nib I do wonder why.

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You've made the right choice!

 

At one time I was considering the FA nib, but after extensive research I found an uncomfortable number of issues about it's poor performance when it comes to flex. At that time I already owned the Custom 74 in soft fine, and I thought "what exactly am I getting for paying around £130 for the FA nib"? Essentially, I was getting a Custom 74/912//743 with 2 semicircle cut outs in the nib to make it a little bit softer than the nib on my 74. I could add that with a dremel in minutes.

 

Around that time I was playing with the idea of using fountain pens for flex, but after considering the FA nib as well as a disastrous experience with vintage Pelikan flex nibs, I decided that it's best to stick with dip pens for flex.

 

As you have an Elabo, I would stick with that because if you want flex then there is achance it may perform poorly; if you're just looking for soft then it's around $200 CND to get a boring looking pen with a nib that's only a bit softer than the Elabo. I think a lot of people have rose tinted glasses and unrealistic expectations of the FA nib.

Edited by Bluey
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Just FYI. The FA nib and the Pilot soft nibs are not the same. To put it another way, the FA nib is NOT a regular soft nib with cutouts. A simple look at the tine sweep will illustrate this.

 

I do agree with the dip pen part though. It's the only reliable way to get good flex and not get hammered on price from the vintage flex merchants.

 

 

Edit: Just grabbed the FA and wrote this. Excuse the poor handwriting please.

fpn_1484716740__falcon.jpg

 

That's about as far as I would be comfortable in pushing this nib, though it may get a little softer with age (if I keep it long enough to find out).

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To put it another way, the FA nib is NOT a regular soft nib with cutouts.

Who says it isn't?

 

Besides it's not a lot different to my crappy effort in terms of flex. The cutouts simply add flex and softness

post-124227-0-23464400-1484718445_thumb.jpg

Edited by Bluey
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The FA is the soft pilot falcon nib with the shoulders cut out for added softness. Problem is the feed design is not improved to accomodate the extra flex in my opinion so you get more railroading.

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..and if you cutout the shoulders of the std falcon nib without reinforcing elsewhere you reduce the structural integrity of the nib resulting in more misaligned nibs out of the box which may explain the hard starts many complain about. IMHO.

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The FA is the soft pilot falcon nib with the shoulders cut out for added softness. Problem is the feed design is not improved to accomodate the extra flex in my opinion so you get more railroading.

It's quite different to the Falcon in both shape and structure(not to mention the Falcon pen feed is completely different and has no fins), and somewhat closer to the Pilot soft nibs. See below

 

 

Me. Go and look at a #10 soft fine nib and you will see that the shoulders and tine are shaped differently to the FA nib.

Yes it's slightly thinner

post-124227-0-16374600-1484750910.png

Edited by Bluey
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