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Colorverse - Dark Energy Ink Review



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Intensity

Colorverse is a newcomer from South Korea to the fountain pen ink market, as far as I know, but has quickly captured the attention of many for its complex shades, interesting presentation and ink names, as well as lots of sheen and color shifting! Some of the small 15ml companion bottles are "glistening" and contain micro shimmer particles.

 

As soon as I saw "Dark Energy" samples, I ordered a 4ml vial to try out, and then a full bottle set quickly followed. I know I will be trying more of these inks, but gradually--they are not at all cheap. $33-$36 per set in the US market for the total of 65ml + 15ml in two bottles. It is true that price per milliliter is not so bad (comes out to about $22.50 for the equivalent of a 50ml bottle), however many of us rarely or never finish full ink bottles, and 80ml of ink is a lot to go through--especially for the kits where both bottles are the same color. So that would be the biggest negative in my book: the single-color sets, such as "Dark Energy", are a bit too expensive, while the dual color sets are relatively more reasonable. I suppose Colorverse may have had ink trading in mind for the 15ml bottles of the single-color sets, and part of the expense are all the (arguably unnecessary) extras, such as stickers, paper bookmark, booklets, and fancy cardboard box.

 

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On to the ink!

 

It is a rich brownish maroon kind of hue with a color shift and sheen in the olive green range. This ink has a stronger sheen than my beloved Sailor Tokiwa Matsu, in that it glitters metallic olive green more strongly when the light hits the ink right. In terms of overall complexity on the page, I think it's similar to Sailor's Rikyu-Cha and Tokiwa-Matsu: sometimes it's more brown, sometimes it's more maroon, and the shift to olive green makes it ambiguous. The sheen easily comes through on Rhodia and Tomoe River paper.

 

Saturation is very high and flow is good, similar in feel to the Sailor inks I've used. I wouldn't have been surprised if someone told me that "Dark Energy" is made by Sailor.

 

Water resistance is good even on Tomoe River: while the darker brown hues wash off, a clearly legible and defined line remains. On Tomoe River, more of the dark components wash off, and the remaining line is pinkish red. Just dab liquid away with a tissue, and there's not too much smearing left behind.

 

For those who will be using this ink with juicy nibs on poorly absorbent paper, keep in mind that drying time can be VERY long with such a combination: up to 2 minutes on Tomoe River! However if you use a narrow line pen and don't let the ink pool up (in other words normal writing with something like a fine nib of a Lamy Safari), it dries very quickly--an interesting dichotomy.

 

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Water rest on Tomoe River:

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Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Intensity

I agree, I love pretty much everything about these inks, other than the price ;)

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Very nice review! Thank you. I loved your quote "I wouldn't have been surprised if someone told me that "Dark Energy" is made by Sailor." That is exactly what I thought when I first tried Colorverse Crystal Planet. It had the feel of a Sailor ink in every way.

 

I also agree with your assessment on price. Ouch! It is great for the person who only uses a few inks, but for most of us here, it isn't practical. I am hoping that they will realize that and begin selling the larger or smaller bottles individually for a reasonable price.

 

Overall, though, a very nice ink.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Intensity

I also agree with your assessment on price. Ouch! It is great for the person who only uses a few inks, but for most of us here, it isn't practical. I am hoping that they will realize that and begin selling the larger or smaller bottles individually for a reasonable price.

 

Exactly my thoughts. If they could offer these inks in 2 sizes instead of boxed pair sets, it'd be a more palatable expense. I'd get a bunch of 15ml bottles and a couple of 65ml of my favorites. It could well be that they are marketing the ink to be a premium product with a relatively premium price (marketing does work). The original idea of having cute companion bottles for sets like "Schrodinger + Cat" or "Matter + Antimatter" are great, but now that we've seen them, and seeing that some sets come with 2 identical inks, it's time to split them up :)

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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Honeybadgers

I got a bottle of string/brane and a bunch of samples including dark energy - I think dark energy is worth it, despite the fact that it comes in a rather silly 15ml bottle in addition to the 65. I would just prefer a cheaper single 65mL bottle of each, since I only have 15mL of Brane and would love a full bottle, but have no way to obtain one.

 

String is a little prone to smudging on good paper and a wet pen, but it's a stunning color, reminds me of platinum citrus black, which is one of my very favorite inks. And brane is a crazy saturated silver sparkling green.

 

The box does bother me - it's big, bulky, and you have to cut the label to open it, which irks me more than it should, but I keep most of my inks boxed for display.

 

The big bottle is amazing, but the little one is all but useless.

 

I'd be much happier with regular 65mL bottles in a smaller box that didn't require I cut the label. And the stickers and little odds and ends are fun, but I just don't really need 'em. Good for bullet journalers that like stickers though!

 

All that said... I love anything space themed, and these inks really do work hard to justify that ultrapremium price. So I'm probably going to buy more, and after running my entire sample of dark energy through my vintage japanese shiro nib, I'm pretty sold on a bottle. It sheens hard, but a much more subdued sheen than the other big hitter, Oku-yama. and it's well behaved and doesn't smudge.

Selling a boatload of restored, fairly rare, vintage Japanese gold nib pens, click here to see (more added as I finish restoring them)

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I have several bottles of Colorverse inks...I love the ink and the colors...

 

Price - ugh - way too high - I'd prefer a lesser price without the fancy box and other non ink items..and without the 15ml bottles.

 

The part I really can't understand is on the sets that they have where there is a large bottle of one ink, and a small bottle of a different ink....AND you can't buy the ink in the smaller bottle in a larger bottle...or by itself...

 

So if a person wants to buy a bottle of Gluon..you can only get it in 15ml bottles AND you have to purchase the set of Photon(65ml) and Gluon (15ml) for $33-$36 + shipping...makes no sense to me...in some of their sets they have the same ink in a 65ml bottle and a 15ml bottle.,,why have a 15ml bottle in a set at all? Lower the price and offer the 65ML bottle. Offer all of the inks in a 65ml bottle..

 

I have spoken with 2 retailers who carry Colorverse inks, and they don't understand it either...they have both said they passed their concerns on to Colorverse, but they are not aware of any plans by Colorverse to change this marketing... I think marketing the inks in this manner will ultimately harm the overall potential that the Colorvere inks have.

 

They are very nice inks though.

Edited by Bill P
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I love these inks & don’t regret my purchases one iota. They are pricey but not out of line with other premium inks. And for me, those others fail to excite and have less desirable characteristics.

 

The small bottles provide a lot of fun, enabling me to swap colours with friends.

 

As usual with inks we all have our preferences. I’d rather pay more for inks I love, than buy cheap & have it sitting unused.

 

I’ll definitely buy more Colorverse.

Verba volant, scripta manent

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I have several bottles of Colorverse inks...I love the ink and the colors...

 

Price - ugh - way too high - I'd prefer a lesser price without the fancy box and other non ink items..and without the 15ml bottles.

 

The part I really can't understand is on the sets that they have where there is a large bottle of one ink, and a small bottle of a different ink....AND you can't buy the ink in the smaller bottle in a larger bottle...or by itself...

 

So if a person wants to buy a bottle of Gluon..you can only get it in 15ml bottles AND you have to purchase the set of Photon(50ml) and Gluon (15ml) for $33-$36 + shipping...makes no sense to me...in some of their sets they have the same ink in a 50ml bottle and a 15ml bottle.,,why have a 15ml bottle in a set at all? Lower the price and offer the 50ML bottle. Offer all of the inks in a 50ml bottle..

 

I have spoken with 2 retailers who carry Colorverse inks, and they don't understand it either...they have both said they passed their concerns on to Colorverse, but they are not aware of any plans by Colorverse to change this marketing... I think marketing the inks in this manner will ultimately harm the overall potential that the Colorvere inks have.

 

They are very nice inks though.

Smaller bottles are there to facilitate swapping between friends. Someone bought a bunch of these inks in Australia (as per Instagram photos) as a group buy and they swapped smaller bottles. So you get to try 2 colours.

 

Now some may argue that why not keep the quantity equal, to which I'd say that someone or the other would have had problems with that too, so it is what it is.

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Intensity

The small bottles provide a lot of fun, enabling me to swap colours with friends.

 

Smaller bottles are there to facilitate swapping between friends. Someone bought a bunch of these inks in Australia (as per Instagram photos) as a group buy and they swapped smaller bottles. So you get to try 2 colours.

 

That's totally okay if you are getting a set of something like "Dark Energy" where both bottles contain the same ink.

 

It's NOT okay if you're getting mixed ink sets and want a larger amount of the small ink and happen to like the large ink, but not as much as the small bottle of ink. Or even if you don't care so much for the large ink, you're then spending $33-$36 for a full set just to get the 15ml bottle you want, and then you will trade your 65ml bottle for someone else's 15ml bottle of the ink you like, if you're "lucky"?.. It seems the small bottles of unique inks contain inks with more interesting properties, so it's more difficult to find people who'd want to swap theirs. 15ml is really not much ink, even by my conservative use standards, and in reality not everyone has friends nearby with the same fountain pen usage interests. Sure there are on-line Classifieds for that, but it's still an extra hassle and the added cost of shipping materials, shipping cost, and potential of damage in transit.

Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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I agree with all of the above.

 

But, my attitude with a new manufacturer is to wait. I will probably buy the "set" of Crystal Planet or Supernova, but then I will wait several months or a year. I believe what they will do is begin selling the larger bottles individually, and perhaps the smaller bottles in sets such as Diamine does with their Music set. If they don't and they continue their current marketing strategy, it will mean that I will just buy only a 2-3 rather than a lot.

"Today will be gone in less than 24 hours. When it is gone, it is gone. Be wise, but enjoy! - anonymous today

 

 

 

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Color difference on 2 different papers is stunning. 65 and 15 ml are both okay but not both together!

Life is too short to drink bad wine (Goethe)

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I have several bottles of Colorverse inks...I love the ink and the colors...

 

Price - ugh - way too high - I'd prefer a lesser price without the fancy box and other non ink items..and without the 15ml bottles.

 

The part I really can't understand is on the sets that they have where there is a large bottle of one ink, and a small bottle of a different ink....AND you can't buy the ink in the smaller bottle in a larger bottle...or by itself...

 

So if a person wants to buy a bottle of Gluon..you can only get it in 15ml bottles AND you have to purchase the set of Photon(65ml) and Gluon (15ml) for $33-$36 + shipping...makes no sense to me...in some of their sets they have the same ink in a 65ml bottle and a 15ml bottle.,,why have a 15ml bottle in a set at all? Lower the price and offer the 65ML bottle. Offer all of the inks in a 65ml bottle..

 

I have spoken with 2 retailers who carry Colorverse inks, and they don't understand it either...they have both said they passed their concerns on to Colorverse, but they are not aware of any plans by Colorverse to change this marketing... I think marketing the inks in this manner will ultimately harm the overall potential that the Colorvere inks have.

 

They are very nice inks though.

It must be physics... sort of you have to accept the Standard Model - gluons aren't found separately in nature either! neither are quarks...

I really love the physics playfulness of this ink maker. What I totally agree on is the price is too high... sort of like the energy limit for the kind of physics that's referred to though...

I've limited myself - so far - to Quasar and Gravity Wave. But the other themes are sort of tugging my interest, too. Guess I'll have to avoid the event horizon! or the black hole...

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

fpn_1425200643__fpn_1425160066__super_pi

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That's totally okay if you are getting a set of something like "Dark Energy" where both bottles contain the same ink.

 

It's NOT okay if you're getting mixed ink sets and want a larger amount of the small ink and happen to like the large ink, but not as much as the small bottle of ink. Or even if you don't care so much for the large ink, you're then spending $33-$36 for a full set just to get the 15ml bottle you want, and then you will trade your 65ml bottle for someone else's 15ml bottle of the ink you like, if you're "lucky"?.. It seems the small bottles of unique inks contain inks with more interesting properties, so it's more difficult to find people who'd want to swap theirs. 15ml is really not much ink, even by my conservative use standards, and in reality not everyone has friends nearby with the same fountain pen usage interests. Sure there are on-line Classifieds for that, but it's still an extra hassle and the added cost of shipping materials, shipping cost, and potential of damage in transit.

I have had no problems swapping both locally & further away. No Classifieds etc required. But then I swap inks, spare bottles & samples frequently both with people here & abroad. It’s the way I get to try some very unusual or hard-to-find inks.

You also assume that everyone thinks the smalller bottles have the “more interesting properties”. Actually that’s far from the truth. I dislike shimmer inks, for example, so happily swapped the smaller bottles that included this type of ink. And there are others that feel the same. There are lots of people in this hobby, with different preferences.

As I said, I had a lot of fun swapping & will do more, of both Colorverse & other inks. Because you find it a hassle you can’t assume everyone does.

Verba volant, scripta manent

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Intensity

To add to my previous review, I had both "Dark Energy" and Sailor's "Tokiwa Matsu" inked up at the same time and after I wrote with them on the same page, I realized that they are basically exact opposites of each other in colors, at least apparently. The two together are an interesting complimentary look. Olivey-green base of Tokiwa Matsu goes well with the dark olive-green color shift and olive-green sheen of Dark Energy. And the coppery reddish color shift of Tokiwa Matsu and coppery sheen are basically the base color of Dark Energy.

 

Have I already mentioned a bunch of times how much I love these two inks? :wub:

 

WGVfISJ.jpg

(Yes, Dark Energy is this much of a chameleon--it can look a bit like Diamine Syrah / Binder Burgndy in certain light/certain angles, but then not at all like Syrah from other angles and clearly nothing like it on the color swabs shown in the first post).

 

 

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Edited by Intensity

“I admit it, I'm surprised that fountain pens are a hobby. ... it's a bit like stumbling into a fork convention - when you've used a fork all your life.” 

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chromantic

Reminds me of Oku-yama, nice enough color but doesn't thrill me (I gave the Oku-yama away).

 

Also, marketing trumps practicality with these Colorverse inks, a pet peeve of mine - "ooh let's make a line of astronomically-themed inks and designate them with random astronomy terms that don't give any indication of what the actual color might be". (In the other thread that includes a picture of some boxes, the label for Sun Spots (I think) shows a much darker color than Black Hole - huh?)

 

That's a nice Conklin btw, certainly goes well with the ink.

It's hard work to tell which is Old Harry when everybody's got boots on.

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