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Is My Platinum 3776 Faulty Or It Is Expected?


kenpurpur
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Thank you all! I appreciate you all sharing your thoughts and experience!

 

This makes a lot of sense. I am after all going to go with a harder nib as I write more with pressure than lighter. Am thinking about getting a M 3776!

 

Omkar

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Yep. You want flex get a dip pen - Zebra G or Nikko G, get the attachment (.20c) for extra ink and flex all you want. SF pens, Pilot Falcon and FA nib - are just soft, bouncy.

Dont forget these Japanese pens are more accomodated for East Asian script which isnt curvy.

 

You may have to soak the nib overnight to get it going better, seems Platinum have made a few lately that are dry SF writers out of the box.

What is the best way to soak a pen - just in regular water?

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I generally use the ink I am going to write with. It's rare to have to use anything else especially as most inks have flow or lubricity enhancing agents in them - in very small amounts. With modern pens it's more likely you'd have to flush out with a cleaning agent after taking a pen apart yourself than with a factory new one.

 

If you have a convertor in the pen it's easy; fill the pen and either leave the feed well saturated with ink or if already full, carefully turn the convertor knob anticlockwise, with the nib down over a piece of scrap paper/ ink cloth until you see the ink flood the feed a little, just enough to wet the join between feed and nib, not so you have a drop dangling precariously!

With a cartridge you may have to try squeezing a bit of ink out or alternatively dip the nib in some clean water to achieve the same effect but be ready to have to write the water back out of it again when you next use it.

 

If you leave the pen capped like this is allows the ink to fully saturate the area and after a while of being inked a new pen will respond to this. It helps to get the whole area inky to begin with though.

 

This is very useful reading: http://www.richardspens.com/?page=ref/feeds/evolution.htm Particularly the bit at the end.

 

I think I remember reading/ hearing about a pen shop owner in Japan specialising in Pilot pens (among others) recognising that a new pen, even one with a plastic feed won't have the same behaviour as one that has been inked and used for a while, therefore they recommend not having a nib adjusted to suit a writing style until it had been inked several times.

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Thank you all! I appreciate you all sharing your thoughts and experience!

 

This makes a lot of sense. I am after all going to go with a harder nib as I write more with pressure than lighter. Am thinking about getting a M 3776!

 

Omkar

 

 

In general, I believe that fountain pens are meant to write with very little pressure. You may not believe it, but it's possible to change your writing habits so that you don't press down so much. This actually produces less hand fatigue over long writing sessions. And I believe that if the pen doesn't lay down a good line without a bit of pressure, it's not set up properly.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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  • 1 month later...

I had the same experience; the SF nib requires a very heavy hand out of the box, and that is not how

I write. I returned the SF and ordered an F. Will post when it arrives. Good to read all the comments on adjustment,

though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello,

 

here is a little video review of the Platinum Century 3776.

 

 

Thank you for watching!

 

MontPelikan

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Some thoughts on the above replies.

 

There are multiple issues in this thread. Some people are pushing their soft nibs too far! They are not flex nibs, as pointed out -- and the YouTube videos of abuse are really messing with people's expectations about these pens.

 

However sometimes these pens will not write out of the box (especially the 3776 UEF and 3776 SF) -- I don't believe it's because they are "intended to write dry" ... The two I got wouldn't write at all... And yet others get pens that work well.

 

In this case it's almost always an issue of overly tight tines restricting flow. So we either have to correct the problem ourselves, send to a nibmeister, or return to the seller.

 

Someone above used a razor to widen the tines. A razor seems WAY WAY WAY too thick! Most people use very thin brass shims. I use a thin index card. You want a VERY MINIMAL gap between your tines at the tip. Maybe a paper's width at most. Less than a paper's width, even. JUST enough for ink to flow. If you increase the gap to be too wide you could damage your nib and end up with a gusher. Remember, be careful and go minimal with your nib adjustments. A little goes a long way.

 

I feel like it's irresponsible of me to recommend self adjustment of nibs but if I had to send every pen I've purchased that required adjustment to a nibmeister I'd be out hundreds of dollars. It's worth learning how to adjust your pens, but don't "learn" on expensive pens. Start with steel nibs, and remember that gold is softer than steel in most cases.

 

Bottom line --- do the drag test. Drag your pen by its tail. Does it produce a line under its own weight? If not there's a flow problem and it's most commonly overly tight tines touching at the tip. But get a loupe and do a lot of research before working on your nib!

 

PS. Ink does make a difference. Some inks actually require a wider gap than others. Nathan Tardiff even confirmed and warned about this regarding some of his inks. (Specifically it's in his Polar Brown blog post:

 

 

"The tines of the nib should be open sufficiently for a ray of light to clearly pass through them – any tighter and flow will be restricted" - Nathan Tardiff:

 

 

Edited by JunkyardSam
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Some thoughts on the above replies.

 

There are multiple issues in this thread. Some people are pushing their soft nibs too far! They are not flex nibs, as pointed out -- and the YouTube videos of abuse are really messing with people's expectations about these pens.

 

However sometimes these pens will not write out of the box (especially the 3776 UEF and 3776 SF) -- I don't believe it's because they are "intended to write dry" ... The two I got wouldn't write at all... And yet others get pens that work well.

 

In this case it's almost always an issue of overly tight tines restricting flow. So we either have to correct the problem ourselves, send to a nibmeister, or return to the seller.

 

Someone above used a razor to widen the tines. A razor seems WAY WAY WAY too thick! Most people use very thin brass shims. I use a thin index card. You want a VERY MINIMAL gap between your tines at the tip. Maybe a paper's width at most. Less than a paper's width, even. JUST enough for ink to flow. If you increase the gap to be too wide you could damage your nib and end up with a gusher. Remember, be careful and go minimal with your nib adjustments. A little goes a long way.

 

I feel like it's irresponsible of me to recommend self adjustment of nibs but if I had to send every pen I've purchased that required adjustment to a nibmeister I'd be out hundreds of dollars. It's worth learning how to adjust your pens, but don't "learn" on expensive pens. Start with steel nibs, and remember that gold is softer than steel in most cases.

 

Bottom line --- do the drag test. Drag your pen by its tail. Does it produce a line under its own weight? If not there's a flow problem and it's most commonly overly tight tines touching at the tip. But get a loupe and do a lot of research before working on your nib!

 

PS. Ink does make a difference. Some inks actually require a wider gap than others. Nathan Tardiff even confirmed and warned about this regarding some of his inks. (Specifically it's in his Polar Brown blog post:

 

I agree almost 100 percent, except that in my experience it can take so much force to adjust steel nibs that this doesn't really prepare you to work on gold nibs. I think adjusting a medium or bold gold nib would be a better introduction, as long as you do it gently and slowly. EF nibs are more difficult.

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.--Thomas Paine, "The American Crisis", 1776

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  • 3 months later...

Platinum 3776 is dry. I have both the medium and broad. If I primed the feed, it would write to my with liking only for 1-2 lines, then it writes dry.

 

I have had both pens for more than a year and undergone countless dishwashing flushing and ultrasonic cleaning. Still dry.

 

If you are in the market for a smooth pen that writes 'normally', you might have to look elsewhere. 3776 is certainly not a pen to buy without trying due to the excessive feedback and dry ink flow. A liquid pencil, if you like. The broad nib is way smoother, the medium nib is a liquid pencil that scratches despite having perfectly aligned tines. Yes, scratch, not just feedback: when paper is being scraped off, it is scratch. If it is purely sound and tactile sensation, I would call that feedback.

 

I am not dissing the Platinum 3776: some people might enjoy the pencil tactile feedback and dry flow to be used on poorer or absorbent papers. The fact that I have not sent my pens to a nibmeister or refunded shows that I appreciate the qualities OOTB and could turn to these pens when I get sick of smoother and wetter pens for a totally different writing experience - not the most pleasant - but interesting with the correct inks and papers. And for me, the price of the pen does not justify the cost of a nibmeister. I certainly would not acquire any more Platinum 3776, unless, of course, it's the music nib, judging from how my 3776 broad writes.

Edited by minddance
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  • 8 months later...

I just got one of this and yes the nib feels a bit dry and "scratchy" at the beginning, but after a few weeks of using it, and teaching myself how to write with the pen, it is actually a great pen

 

The SF nib is weird at the beginning, and required some pressure to get nice saturated lines and I found that posting the cap helped adding some pressure and getting thicker lines.

I tested one at the Anderson Pen counter in Chicago, and it felt nice and had a bit of variation of the writing so I was a bit surprised. I chatted with AP people and they were very good at trying to solve the issue.

I flushed/cleaned the pen once, and just used it for a while with the included Platinum ink cartridge

It seems that now it gave a little (or it is just me getting used to the pen) and I'm just enjoying it.

 

 

 

Since my original response I also got a 3776 SF and it arrived with the EXACT issues that prompted Kenpurpur's original post.

 

It's my second (of 5) 3776 Century pen to not work, at all, out of the box.

 

I do NOT believe the 3776 SF is designed to be so unpleasant, because once I adjusted the nib it became quite wonderful. (The nib bends with moderate pressure but offers very little line variation. I do not believe it's designed to offer line variation.)

 

I followed the standard instructions of flossing and widening the gap between the tines as shown in the Pen Habit Flow Adjustment video:

 

http://penhabit.com/2015/01/16/adjusting-your-fountain-pen-part-1-ink-flow/

 

However -- 3776 Century nibs are much more difficult to adjust than Pilot or Sailor gold nibs. The gold seems to be thicker and firmer and the tines REALLY don't want to yield.

 

That said -- I enjoy the pen quite a bit now that it's properly adjusted.

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PS, thanks guys
I tried opening the tines with a 0.04mm shim It is much better

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm not sure I quite understand the whole “soft nibs are not designed to give line variation” view expressed by some of you. I prefer to write with a fountain pen because I have better control of the (variation in) width along each pen stroke, compared to say using a ballpoint pen, a felt-tip marker or a 4B pencil. I get user-controlled variation even with a Lamy steel EF nib, then more so with a Pilot Vanishing Point 18K gold F nib, and more again with a Platinum #3776 14K gold SF nib.

fpn_1534690736__lamy_steel_ef_nib_stroke

 

fpn_1534690818__platinum_3776_sf_nib_str

 

I recently bought three Platinum #3776 Century pens – a Bourgogne, a Chartres Blue with rhodium trim, and a ‘Black Diamond’ – with SF nibs. The black one was first to arrive, and took a bit of getting used to before it would write relatively smoothly for me (although it's actually my fiancée's, and literally has her name on it), although I'm not sure whether the pen or I was being broken in. I got along with the blue one a bit better. The red one was the smoothest to write with out of the box.

 

However…

 

fpn_1534692694__platinum_3776_sf_nib_str

 

After about half an hour of practice earlier tonight, I was able to produce a vast range of pen stroke widths, both for a given character and still vary the width within each stroke, with the blue one. The red one writes how I suppose what most of you would refer to as ‘wetter’, and the result is I cannot tease the ultra fine line width out of it.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the blue one is certainly not faulty for being able to produce needlepoint writing with nearly no pressure, but is also capable of delivering what seems roughly equivalent to a Japanese Medium nib when I try. The red one has a far narrower range and is thus less capable; I've yet to determine whether it's a characteristic of the ink or the individual nib. The narrowest line I can produce with the red is far broader than than on the blue one.

 

Am I not supposed to get, or even expect, the range of variation I got (intentionally) in the sample shown above with the SF nib on the blue #3776?

 

Just to pre-empt, to me a ‘line’ is language-agnostic. If I'm able to produce a stroke (which looks like shallow backslash) with a narrow start at the top, widening gradually to maximum width about four-fifths of the way, and then narrowing to nearly a pinpoint again because that is the variation I'm aiming for, then I'm confident someone writing in the script of a different language can also get variation in the stroke width as intended (if he/she really tried), and the soft nib just enhances that capability and the range.

 

Of course, I've ‘practised’ the stroke probably a couple of million times over four decades, and I don't know how many times someone would practise a particular stroke in Copperplate before expecting it to come out looking right at will.

 

 

What is the difference between the F and the SF nibs?

 

I can get far less variation (in terms of the range, end to end) out of the Platinum #3776 F nib. The SF nib on my Chatres Blue pen writes far, far finer when I so desire.

 

fpn_1534521831__ina-ho_sample_-_poem_on_

Edited by A Smug Dill

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct, and valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Mine is like your red one. It is smooth and wet and pleasant to use for Western cursive writing, but I wouldn't use it for a script that demands line variation.

 

I am hoping to have a Sailor Broad in my clutches later today and will be interested in trying to use it for writing Japanese, but in the end, there is nothing like a brush.

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I'm starting to feel like I got an oddball 3776 because mine has never been adjusted and never had a flow problem.

Edited by Manalto

James

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I'm starting to feel like I got an oddball 3776 because mine has never written dry, never been adjusted and never had a flow problem.

 

I don't think you are an oddball. These nibs seem to vary, as A Smug Dill's explorations attest.

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Over the years and a good number of Platinum pens, my thoughts....

 

1. The type of ink matters.

2. The size of the nib matters.

3. How one writes matters.

 

FINE nibs appear more friendly to some inks than others. The better blue ink sold by Platinum in the fancy bottles is always dry. Using a Kobe ink, no problem. Pelikan Blue, no problem. the same Platinum ink works fine with a MEDIUM nib. My 3776 Black Diamond has a FINE nib that was stingy with ink. A thorough flushing and not using Plat cartridges took care of the problem.

 

How one writes means much. I am left handed with strong upper strokes and I push the pen downward. FINE nibs are scratchy and, without modifying how I hold the pen, impossible to use. I have no issues with MEDIUM nibs. Japanese characters generally require FINE nibs to be legible and Japan is Platinum's primary market. This may be the culprit.

 

It is impossible to believe quality control is the main problem. Hate to say it but, sometimes our expectation of performance and quality might be too great. There are human factors in play that diminish the results.

 

As a long term user of Platinum pens I believe Platinum erred in revising the design of the nib breather hole and using plastic feeds instead of ebonite. The older pens, IMHO, wrote better. The new design seems an attempt to find a new common denominator at a competitive price point in Japan.

 

Platinum nibs are the same design as Nakaya. Other than tuning the nib, there should be no difference.

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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Over the years and a good number of Platinum pens, my thoughts....

 

1. The type of ink matters.

2. The size of the nib matters.

3. How one writes matters.

 

FINE nibs appear more friendly to some inks than others. The better blue ink sold by Platinum in the fancy bottles is always dry. Using a Kobe ink, no problem. Pelikan Blue, no problem. the same Platinum ink works fine with a MEDIUM nib. My 3776 Black Diamond has a FINE nib that was stingy with ink. A thorough flushing and not using Plat cartridges took care of the problem.

 

How one writes means much. I am left handed with strong upper strokes and I push the pen downward. FINE nibs are scratchy and, without modifying how I hold the pen, impossible to use. I have no issues with MEDIUM nibs. Japanese characters generally require FINE nibs to be legible and Japan is Platinum's primary market. This may be the culprit.

 

It is impossible to believe quality control is the main problem. Hate to say it but, sometimes our expectation of performance and quality might be too great. There are human factors in play that diminish the results.

 

As a long term user of Platinum pens I believe Platinum erred in revising the design of the nib breather hole and using plastic feeds instead of ebonite. The older pens, IMHO, wrote better. The new design seems an attempt to find a new common denominator at a competitive price point in Japan.

 

Platinum nibs are the same design as Nakaya. Other than tuning the nib, there should be no difference.

 

Thank you.

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Sorry. Additional point regarding quality.

 

If the quality of the pens is lacking, sales should be declining. Users would avoid buying Platinum unless they have succeeded in reaching the magic quality/price point where sales continue despite quality issues. American car companies have been there for years. It is doubtful a company around for one hundred years would suddenly decide to produce faulty products. If there were real issues they should or would have acted to fix them.

 

Has there been commentary about quality on Japanese websites or blogs. I don't see it. Wagner, for example, has used Platinum for their club pens for several years running. This is the club for serious pen users in Japan. A decline in Platinum quality may be a softly whispered rumor. I have no idea. Has anyone who speaks/reads Japanese heard anything?

stan

Formerly Ryojusen Pens
The oldest and largest buyer and seller of vintage Japanese pens in America.


Member: Pen Collectors of America & Fuente, THE Japanese Pen Collectors Club

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Platinum nibs write raw and unrefined and unfinished. They are also quite dry. I have the M and B nibs. For rough copier papers and absorbent papers, they work quite well, but on Rhodia and Maruman, I dislike the appearance of the ink.

 

I don't know this raw and unrefined (some may disagree) nib sensation upon paper counts as problem or low quality.

 

Some can argue that it offers good foothold of the paper, the dryness is good for absorbent papers etc. There can always be good in the bad and vice versa.

 

But I dislike Platinum 3776. I like the Preppy.

 

I can't complain about its build. They seal inks and prevent dryout very well. The cartridge convertor certainly needs to be greased quite ocassionally.

 

It makes me NOT want to buy another Platinum pen. So, forget about Nakaya if it writes the same.

 

I cannot imagine how anyone can describe Platinum 3776 as silky smooth or glidey or the "smoothest pen in the collection", it compels me to wonder what kind of pens the reviewers have been using, dip nibs, perhaps?

 

Apart from my M and B nib, I have tried several other pens in the same widths and other nib widths. They write consistently Very feedbacky and noisy. So I don't think there's a quality control issue. They are just meant to write this unrefined way.

 

Anybody trying to buy the 3776 please try before you buy and/or buy from retailers with good exchange/refund policy so that you won't have to live with regrets.

 

Platinum 3776 is an acquired taste that I could not acquire even after 3 years. Of course, you are free to love it and get addicted to it :)

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What you refer to as "raw" is what many people call feedback. it is indeed a question of personal taste - some like it, some don't. None of my 3776s are dry but I did open the tines a bit on all of them.

Edited by DasKaltblut
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