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Visconti Mirage - Don't Waste Your Time Or Money



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I love my Visconti HS. One of the best pens in my collection. I was excited when I read about the Visconti Mirage as it promised to be a much more affordable, lightweight pen I could use on a more daily basis. Ordered one in the dark blue. Went in to pick it up and liked the look and feel so much I decided on the spot to get a green one as well. Took them home to fill, only to find out that the supplied converters did not fit. My retailer (shout out to Bertram's Inkwell) gladly replaced the converters with the proper screw in models. Home again, filled the pens, and they wrote beautifully -- for a short time. They wrote to dry. No ink coming through the feed. Absolutely none. Cleaned, flushed, refilled. Wrote beautifully again -- until the ink in the feed was all gone. Primed them. Wrote beautifully again -- until the ink in the feed was all gone. You can clean, flush, refill and prime these pens all you want. As long as you do something to put ink into the feed they write well. But don't expect the ink to actually flow into the feed from the converter. That simply never happened. Took them to a nibmeister (another shout out here -- Tim Girdler has done wonders with many pens in my collection). After an hour he couldn't get them to write either and was totally mystified. So now I have two brand new Visconti Mirages that simply do not write. My suggestion -- admire the design, and buy a different pen.

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  • Honeybadgers

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The Good Captain

Are the screw converters Schmidt K6 ones? I've sometimes had flow issues with these, in Conway Stewarts, and eventually replaced them with Faber Castell ones which are made from more of a nylon material, slightly translucent. That seemed to cure the problem but it can depend on the ink as well. As we all know!

The Good Captain

"Meddler's 'Salamander' - almost as good as the real thing!"

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My retailer is waiting to hear back from Coles of London (Visconti's US distributor) as to whether this is a known issue for which they have a solution. One of the reviews of this pen on Goulet indicates a similar problem. Assuming Visconti has nothing useful to offer, I will be returning the pens. If it is fixable, I still like the look and feel of these pens -- as long as they write. But yes, my nibmeister tried different converters, filled and refilled, bled the ink when filling to make sure there was not a vacuum forming in the converter, and still we were writing the pen dry with a converter full of ink as soon as the ink that was in the feed from filling the pen was gone. We also wrote the pen dry when removing the nib, feed and converter from the pen (in other words -- nothing but nib assembly attached to converter and no body or section) so we could watch the ink in the converter and make sure it was not stuck up at the top of the converter. Ink was touching the feed and still the ink was not working its way into the feed. Lay the nib down on a paper towel and no ink wicks onto the paper towel, either from the feed side or the slit side. Ink just didn't flow. The only time I have ever seen something like this before -- ink simply not flowing to the feed -- was with a $3 pen from India. And a heated reset of the ebonite feed solved the problem.

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ParkerDuofold

Hi Edlazurus, et al,

 

I've had similar problems with my new L.E. Rembrandt, (Azure Skies), but fortunately, not to the severe extent you've experienced with those Mirages.

 

Ironically, the green one was on my shortlist... I was hoping the newer model would be improved upon. :(

 

I guess the name fits... if you see any ink on the page... its probably a mirage.

 

Be well... hope it all works out for you. :)

 

 

- Anthony

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inkstainedruth

Thanks for the heads up about the Mirage.

I've read bad things about Visconti QC just in general. OTOH, a friend of mine absolutely loves hers -- although I don't know what model(s) she has....

I really like the look of some of the Van Gogh pens, but I tried someone's a while back and thought it was too heavy for me. But after getting used to the weight of a TWSBI 580-AL, I have considered looking at them again -- once I get money again, of course, to pay for one....

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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Ruth -- the Visconti QC has always been puzzling to me. Up until these Mirages I had never had problems. My HS is one of my very best writers. And I have a second-hand Visconti Cosmos that writes beautifully as well. Ditto the Cosmos I gifted to my son. And his former college roommate has a Visconti he loves. The commonality there is they are all fitted with the Palladium Dream Touch nib. Maybe that is Visconti's sweet spot and their other nibs just don't pass muster.

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Hmmm, was just looking at those pens. They look really nice and I have a bunch of Viscontis (15), all of which I am happy with.

 

I hope that this is just a freak accident. But if this is a universal problem, would be really bad for Visconti's reputation.

 

Erick

 

Using right now:

Cleo Skribent Classic "F" nib running PR Plum

PenBBS 480 "F" nib running Pelikan Brilliant Brown

Nettuno 1911 Oceano "EF" nib running PR DC Supershow Blue

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all manufacturers have duds. visconti just happens to have a disproportionately high amount of them. But when they work, they're like nothing else on earth.

 

Return it. get another. And another. And again. And again. And again. Eventually you'll get a good one and you'll be glad you were patient.

 

Still doesn't excuse visconti's garbage quality control.

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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ParkerDuofold

Hi all,

 

It seems to me that Visconti follows the normal business model of putting most of their effort into the upper-echelon models... those are the ones you seldom ever hear any complaints about... in other words... you get what you pay for.

 

That said, for $120, I expected more than what I got from my last Rembrandt. If Lamy can turn out a perfect writing pen for $50 or less... Visconti should be able to do the same for $125.

 

Be well all. :)

 

 

- Anthony

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Hi all,

 

It seems to me that Visconti follows the normal business model of putting most of their effort into the upper-echelon models... those are the ones you seldom ever hear any complaints about... in other words... you get what you pay for.

 

That said, for $120, I expected more than what I got from my last Rembrandt. If Lamy can turn out a perfect writing pen for $50 or less... Visconti should be able to do the same for $125.

 

Be well all. :)

 

 

- Anthony

 

 

 

 

buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuulllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllssssssssssssssss***************************************iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

 

 

my divina metro cost a thousand dollars and it has a massive defect where it sucks ink into the section (which is ugly, visible, and impossible to clean as the sleeve is fixed) - my first two also didn't even write properly.

 

The homo sapiens is the flagship at $700 and has huge issues. I replaced mine three times before I got one that wrote.

 

Visconti's dreamtouch nib is a famous problem child.

 

It's weird, but visconti is actually well regarded at the lowest end of their line. Their steel nib pens are often regarded as very high quality and rarely with any issue. the dreamtouch-equipped pens over $500 tend to have a 50-80% failure rate

Edited by Honeybadgers

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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Visconti's dreamtouch nib is a famous problem child.

 

It's weird, but visconti is actually well regarded at the lowest end of their line. Their steel nib pens are often regarded as very high quality and rarely with any issue. the dreamtouch-equipped pens over $500 tend to have a 50-80% failure rate

 

Regarding the dreamtouch nib: why? It's just a piece of metal. Is it really the nib, or is it the feed, the converter, or something else? If it's really the nib, then what makes it problematic (I'm still lusting after a HS, so I'd like to understand).

 

I agree about their steel-nibbed pens. I adore my van Gogh, even though I don't use it for long sessions because the metal section is too slippery for me. It's a very good pen and just lovely to look at - I could look at that thing all day.

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I have several Visconti internal fillers and the C/C ones. I guess I’ve been lucky, but they’ve all written well. One of my Michelangelo pens had the magnet in the cap loosen and be on the nib unit instead of inside the cap.

 

Sometimes the HS doesn’t like to write when neglected for a few days. But a light rinse solves that. I got what I call the internal fillers from Chatterley’s Luxuries (pentime.com) not only for the often better price but for the superlative service Bryant Greer provides.

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Regarding the dreamtouch nib: why? It's just a piece of metal. Is it really the nib, or is it the feed, the converter, or something else? If it's really the nib, then what makes it problematic (I'm still lusting after a HS, so I'd like to understand).

 

 

In my experience Visconti tends to tune their Palladium nibs to be very smooth and very wet, to give a really pleasant writing experience. However, it's rather easy to go a little too far with either and end up with a pen that writes fitfully at best, or doesn't write at all at worst.

 

Edit: Further to the topic of the thread, I think the Mirage is greatly overpriced. $159 MSRP for an injection molded pen with a steel nib? That's nuts.

Edited by jekostas
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I have like 6 Visconti pens, ranging from Rembrandt to HS to more expensive LEs. Steel nibs, palladium nibs, gold nibs...... None of them write well out of box.

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ParkerDuofold

buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuulllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllssssssssssssssss***************************************iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

 

Hhhhmmmm... :unsure: ...am I to take from this that you disagree?

 

 

my divina metro cost a thousand dollars and it has a massive defect where it sucks ink into the section (which is ugly, visible, and impossible to clean as the sleeve is fixed) - my first two also didn't even write properly.

 

You kept spending a grand on a pen... three times over... that you were never satisfied with? :huh:

 

 

The homo sapiens is the flagship at $700 and has huge issues. I replaced mine three times before I got one that wrote.

 

Again, you kept buying an expensive pen you weren't satisfied with? :huh: I would have stopped after the first fail... most assuredly, the second.

 

 

It's weird, but visconti is actually well regarded at the lowest end of their line. Their steel nib pens are often regarded as very high quality and rarely with any issue. the dreamtouch-equipped pens over $500 tend to have a 50-80% failure rate.

 

My experience has been the opposite... and I read comments from many others here who love their HS Series pens.

 

 

Have you ever contacted Visconti to complain about these failures?

 

 

- Anthony

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I'm guessing those pens were replaced either by the retailer or under warranty. It's absurd to assume that Honeybadgers bought a new pen every time he says "replaced".

Edited by jekostas
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ParkerDuofold

I'm guessing those pens were replaced either by the retailer or under warranty. It's absurd to assume that Honeybadgers bought a new pen every time he says "replaced".

No more absurd then going through so many bad pens without demanding a refund after the first... or definitely the second failure... or buying additional (different) models from a brand that's given you so much grief already.

 

Be well. :)

 

 

- Anthony

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