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Ink Review : Diamine Strauss (Music Collection)


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Ink Review : Diamine Strauss (Music Collection)




Pen : Lamy AL-star, M-nib

Paper : Rhodia N°16 notepad 80 gsm






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








Edited by namrehsnoom
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I think it's a pretty color, but tend to like more saturated reds better. It certainly looks more red than some so-called red inks. It appears to be a pinkish red on my screen, but not a salmon-red. I can probably pass on this one. I wasn't sure if the Music line inks are now available as individual bottles (the way some of the Flower inks are) or still just as a set.

Thanks for the review.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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Someone asked on a previous thread what "chalky" looked like. To my eyes, this ink is chalky. While red browns tend to be my favorite ink color, this one not so much. Although, the writing does look better (more saturated) than the swabs.


Thanks for reviewing this one, namrehsnoom.

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I learned two things from this review. One, I may want to pass on this ink, and two, I should reread Dune. :D

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Thank you for your detailed review.


The writing sample makes this ink more interesting than the colour swabs. It remindes me of Black Swan in Australian Roses, in its darker tones (the bat drawing). But then it gets too pink.

Not an ink I would like to use.



SUPORTER OF http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/100x75q90/631/uh2SgO.jpg


My avatar is a painting by the imense surrealist painter Remedios Varo

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Thank you for your very detailed review. :)

I like Strauss as it's a different colour to any other ink I have. I don't know why I don't use it more often. :)

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The ink is darn difficult to catch right on scan or photo. Below a photo that approximates the real colour - as I warned in the review, the scans really are too purple.




In reality, the color is more orangy-red than purple-red - I really consider red-brick to be a correct colour indication.

Edited by namrehsnoom
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Thank you for your very detailed review. :)

I like Strauss as it's a different colour to any other ink I have. I don't know why I don't use it more often. :)


It sure is different from other brownish reds ... But I still think it's a Frankenstein colour composed of parts of red and brown. Sometimes I look at it and see a red ink, other times I see a brown ink. Personally, I find it a confusing ink :) To my eye, the colour also looks different when viewed in daylight vs artificial light. Normally the human eye auto-adjusts whitebalance, but this doesn't seem to work as expected with this ink. Really strange...

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