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Platinum Century 3776 Vs. Platinum Balance



Mister5

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I was wondering if any of you had experience using the Platinum Century 3776 and the Platinum Balance (or the Cool, which I think is the same as the Balance other than having a transparent barrel), and whether there's enough of a difference between the two to justify getting a 3776 Century. I have a Platinum Balance in Fine, and its a great writer.

 

I also really like the Platinum Preppy with the Extra Fine nib, and I'm contemplating an Extra Fine in the Century 3776, though the Fine in the Balance might be good enough. I've been gravitating towards more rigid nibs with feedback (I've been contemplating getting an Aurora Ipsilon Extra Fine as well) rather than more flexible or smooth nibs, as I don't think I need as much ink flow as a flex pen, and I like the feeling of control via feedback.

Inked: Aurora Optima EF (Pelikan Tanzanite); Franklin Christoph Pocket 20 Needlepoint (Sailor Kiwa Guro); Sheaffers PFM I Reporter/Fine (Diamine Oxblood); Franklin Christoph 02 Medium Stub (Aurora Black); Platinum Plaisir Gunmetal EF (Platinum Brown); Platinum Preppy M (Platinum Blue-Black). Leaded: Palomino Blackwing 602; Lamy Scribble 0.7 (Pentel Ain Stein 2B); Uni Kuru Toga Roulette 0.5 (Uni Kuru Toga HB); Parker 51 Plum 0.9 (Pilot Neox HB)

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The main difference is that the Platinum Century 3776 series has gold nibs, while the Platinum Balance series has steel nibs.

 

Both are fantastic writers, but the Platinum gold nibs tend to feel "softer". If you like more rigid nibs, stick with stainless steel.

Scientia potentia est.

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I have three 3776 Century pens: UEF, EF, and F. I can't compare to the balance, but I was surprised at how rigid these gold nibs are. I can't get any line variation out of them at all. Even if the gold bends the tines don't open. (This isn't a complaint - I knew this going in.)

 

Nibs can vary, but in my case the EF is the most pleasant writer. The UEF needed some work to get it writing when it arrived - the tines were tighter than any other pen I ever purchased. They actually crossed like you'd cross your fingers when I was adjusting it. Yikes. The EF and F worked fine out of the box.

 

In your case - if you go with the 3776 I'd suggest getting the SF nib. I didn't... but I wish now that I did.

 

I feel Pilot's pens offer a slightly better writing experience but you have to pay a lot more to get a Pilot with a similar nib size as the 3776's mighty nib. The 3776 Century pens have a more "interesting" writing experience, though... an almost pencil-like feedback.

 

Just for comparison - the Pilot Custom 74 and Custom Heritage 91 are about the same price as the 3776 Century. The nibs are smaller but they're softer. They definitely yield more to line variation...

Edited by JunkyardSam
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Thanks - another question - what is the advantage of the regular fine nib over a soft fine nib?

Inked: Aurora Optima EF (Pelikan Tanzanite); Franklin Christoph Pocket 20 Needlepoint (Sailor Kiwa Guro); Sheaffers PFM I Reporter/Fine (Diamine Oxblood); Franklin Christoph 02 Medium Stub (Aurora Black); Platinum Plaisir Gunmetal EF (Platinum Brown); Platinum Preppy M (Platinum Blue-Black). Leaded: Palomino Blackwing 602; Lamy Scribble 0.7 (Pentel Ain Stein 2B); Uni Kuru Toga Roulette 0.5 (Uni Kuru Toga HB); Parker 51 Plum 0.9 (Pilot Neox HB)

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The difference between a regular firm nib and a soft nib is -- the soft nib is more flexible. Not a "flex nib" by any means -- but the nib will yield a little with pressure. If you apply some pressure on downstrokes you'll get some line variation. Not a lot -- a soft nib isn't something you want to push to any extreme - but many find the cushioned bounce you can get with a soft nib to be pleasant.

 

Since it sounds like this might be your first nib I was suggesting to go soft since it will be a different experience from what you get with a steel nib. My 3776 Century pens are NOT soft, and are actually firm enough that they're almost like steel nibs.

 

Some people prefer firm nibs, though. Some soft nibs will have a feeling of "stutter" if you write too vertically with them (because the semiflex nib is catching on the paper on an upstroke.)

 

But you can get "firm" with a steel nib, so if it's your first gold nib try soft so you actually get a different experience from what you could pay less for.

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It's the manufacture of the nib that makes it stiff or soft or flexible, not the gold or steel.

The nib on the Balance/Cool is softer than any nib you'll get on a Century 3776, unless you have a nibmeister rework it.

The 3776 nibs are stiff with feedback, they aren't meant to be pressed for any line variation. The SF has a hint of bounce to it, but it's nothing like the softness of the Balance/Cool nibs.
The HF hard fine would be closer to the Aurora nib, the SF would have less feedback.

 

I like the F on the Cool, the SF in the Platinum 3776, and a Hard MF in a Sailor 1911.

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