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Visconti Mirage - Don't Waste Your Time Or Money



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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).

 

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.

 

It's the tipping. They all seem to suffer enormously from overpolishing. baby's bottom so severe they won't write at all is insanely common. The nibs are quite soft and I think a very large number of them were made and overpolished by people with heavy hands or on a machine set up to do steel nib polishing..

 

When they're right, they're incredible. I will never give up my divina metro or my HS now that I have a medium that writes well and an EF that writes well (the medium was not my choice and I may have it ground into an XXF) but I don't think I'm going to buy another visconti for a long time until I hear some good news about their nib quality control because it's been years now and nothing seems to have improved. my HS is the latest model (as determined by the engraving on the clip) and the nib required two send-backs.

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'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".

 

Returned and another one was sent to me by both coles and Goulet. Three homo sapiens and two divina metros (both divinas got sent back and I bought a used one later that wrote well, two of the HS got returned)

 

I'm not stupid Anthony :P yes I might just throw away a five or ten dollar pen because shipping is more than it was worth, but I don't make enough money to just have five dead viscontis, :lol:

 

My point was that across two models I had to replace both multiple times. I'm on my third divina metro and finally have one that writes, and my third homo sapiens. Coles told me to pound sand after I gave up and just decided the second homo sapiens was going to just get nibmeistered but then changed my mind after 37-ish days (they only warranty nibs for a month) but goulet saved my ass and even threw in an $80 visconti case for my time, totally unsolicited! They earned probably another $300 in sales from me for that little gesture.

 

Don't get me wrong, I will NEVER part with those two visconti pens I own, now that they write properly. The divina metropolitan is the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen, let alone pen. And a dreamtouch nib that is actually tuned correctly is one of the greatest writing nibs I've ever used. I'd take a well tuned dreamtouch over a MB 149 nib any day, which makes the value of the Homo Sapiens relatively impressive.

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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It's the tipping. They all seem to suffer enormously from overpolishing. baby's bottom so severe they won't write at all is insanely common. The nibs are quite soft and I think a very large number of them were made and overpolished by people with heavy hands or on a machine set up to do steel nib polishing.

That's pretty shocking.

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The last Visconti I bought went back six times. I could see the ink pooling under the nib but that thing just would not write for anything or anyone*. I could swear they were just sending back the same pen with the same nib and feed set up and hoping I wouldn't notice and give up. The last return came back with a nib that skipped more than Rocky in that stupid movie. I gave up, got a refund and have never bought another. But oh....that Medici. You naughty tempting Visconti people, how can you produce such beautiful pens that won't write?!

 

*An HS variant but with one of those metal nibs that are a silvery colour, not nearly as good bounce as the old gold Dreamtouch nibs but still had a pleasing softness. People complain about the price of Montblanc, but at least they write and don't cost you a small fortune in return shipping.

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Has anybody reached out to Visconti fir a statement on their quality control, as a private person or retailer?

I can't imagine Visconti isn't aware there is an issue and wonder what they think.

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What did Bertram's Inkwell say about why they supplied two pens with the wrong converter and about them not writing when they gave you new ones? Have they had other people with this problem?

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Handschreiber

Interesting to read of your experiences here. I bought a Visconti "van Gogh" a decade ago and it had the worst nib I ever wrote with. It is nice to look at, really marvellous, but literally painful to use.

 

Since then, if I spend a lot of money for a pen, I expect that it works properly. So, I don't buy any Viscontis. Why should I? There are so many brands that look great and offer perfectly working pens.

 

It may be different, if someone would give me a new and really, really expensive Visconti, that writes perfectly, as a present. Or better: a compensation. :-)

Edited by Handschreiber

Cheers, Stefan

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When Visconti's write they are an absolute dream. They were a lot better in the past about exchange if there was a problem, but sadly the qc just seems non existent now. A friend bought one and had a nib (brand new) that I could only describe as mangled. Just a quick glance and you'd know it would never write. To be fair to them they changed it and all was well, but it did make me wonder - if they are aware there is a significant issue, why don't they do a quick check before posting?

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Has anybody reached out to Visconti fir a statement on their quality control, as a private person or retailer?

I can't imagine Visconti isn't aware there is an issue and wonder what they think.

 

Seeing as Visconti is italian, I'm sure the reason has something to do with pasta.

 

Coles will give you fantastic customer service as long as you return the pen to them within 30 days of purchase. So don't hum and hah about getting it nibmeistered. send it back immediately.

 

I won't make any excuses though. I personally have the two pens that I have lusted after more than any other from them, and now I'm never buying another until I hear a lot of good things about their QC improving on the dreamtouch. The stupid part is that on a pen so expensive, there's no excuse to not have every single pen checked by a human with a loupe. I've had more than just nib issues with my homo sapiens (the magnetic cap jewel was super off-kilt on two of them. But coles just sent me a jewel for the one I finally kept, no hassle, but it was obviously wrong with a cursory glance.)

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 aren't the only ones with iffy QC. Aurora are just as bad with terrible warranty and customer service - more like customer contempt. The only Italian pens I buy now are vintage.

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The Good Captain

I've been quite lucky with Aurora, but I've never bought the Ipsilon model which seems to attract a great deal of criticism.

My Aurora 88 large - all just plain black - are superb. Mu only comment would be that the letters designating nib widths might just as well not be there!

Wonderful pend.

The Good Captain

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

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When they're right, they're incredible.

Based on your open and honest thoughts about these pens, I went to Appelboom (which is around the corner for me), tried every HS in the shop, found one that ticked my boxes (and then some) and took the plunge. This is a Mirage thread, so I won't hijack it any more that I already did. Will post about it elsewhere.

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Update -- I went back and exchanged my two Mirages to get "working" pens. But before leaving the store, I filled them and tested them to see if the problem continued to exist with the new pens. And, once again, same issue. These pens write beautifully when you dip them in store. And write beautifully after filling. But with the new/replacement pens, once again the only ink that made it to the nib was ink already in the feed as a result of filling the pens. They wrote dry as I was sitting in the store testing them, with a full converter. No ink coming out of the converter into the feed. It is not an issue of the nib skipping or hard starting. It is an issue of ink not making its way from the converter to the feed so it write to bone dry with a converter full of ink. Returned the pens.

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Ouch! Poor Bertram too - must be scratching his head and is probably ticked off that he has been given duds and not exactly making customers happy. Bert is a great guy, so I am sure he is very concerned.

 

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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Without reading through all the replies/remarks, just the OP and two or three down the line, this sounds a lot like my Visconti experience.

 

I have several, each a different model, and all but one are lovely in every respect. The exception is my one Van Gogh, which, like the OP's Mirage, will write as long as there is ink in the feed, but it won't keep a flow of ink to the feed to continue writing. A hard starter and frequent stopper. The only Visconti I have that I just quit dealing with a long time ago. Maybe one day, I'll try sending it to a nibmeister, but for now it's just easier to pick up another pen.

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I have a Delta Maori and from day one it gave trouble with ink flow. I tried everything; flushing, dish soap, pen flush, added a ball to the converter and then a spring. The problem persisted. I've used it for over 3 years by forcing ink through the feed as I write. Three days ago I pulled out the nib and feed and under the nib there was a blotch of sticky oil! Rubbed it off, cleaned up and it writes perfectly. I wish I'd done that three years ago!

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Update -- I went back and exchanged my two Mirages to get "working" pens. But before leaving the store, I filled them and tested them to see if the problem continued to exist with the new pens. And, once again, same issue. These pens write beautifully when you dip them in store. And write beautifully after filling. But with the new/replacement pens, once again the only ink that made it to the nib was ink already in the feed as a result of filling the pens. They wrote dry as I was sitting in the store testing them, with a full converter. No ink coming out of the converter into the feed. It is not an issue of the nib skipping or hard starting. It is an issue of ink not making its way from the converter to the feed so it write to bone dry with a converter full of ink. Returned the pens.

A feed design problem?

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...once again the only ink that made it to the nib was ink already in the feed as a result of filling the pens. They wrote dry as I was sitting in the store testing them, with a full converter. No ink coming out of the converter into the feed. It is not an issue of the nib skipping or hard starting. It is an issue of ink not making its way from the converter to the feed so it write to bone dry with a converter full of ink.

This is a phenomenon that I have noticed with multiple _new_ pens from several different brands. I've never, ever noticed it with a well-used, older pen. I consider that to be an important clue and it helped me in learning how to fix it. The bad news: it's a most annoying issue that can drive you up the walls. The good news: it's only physics and therefore it can be solved. If the pen writes well when dipped in the store, then the nib is fine. If you can, sure, return the pen. But then you won't have the pen. If you're careful and persisent, you can probably solve the issue and become happy with your pen.

 

Three possible causes:

- remnants of oils and residues from manufacturing: clean and flush! Instructions are everywhere to be found here on FPN. *If* possible and *if* you're confident about it, then remove the nib and feed and clean them. This will also allow you to clean and flush the inside of the barrel of a piston filler. Note: removing nib and feed might void warranties and/or lead to problems (Pilot, TWSBI) - when in doubt, don't.

- a physical obstruction: the ink channel might be blocked or incorrectly cut, or there might be a small foreign object somewhere. Get a hand lens, seek good illumination, remove the nib and feed and carefully examine. Same disclaimer as above.

- surface tension issues: especially cheaper converters tend to attract the ink much more than the capillary force from the nib and feed does. Result: no flow. If you see a bolus of ink in the converter with air beneath it, then that's a tell-tale sign. With piston fillers, a tell-tale sign is that the pen writes again after you gently tap the barrel with a pencil. A good-quality converter helps a lot (never had issues with Graf von Faber Castell converters). Otherwise, put a small (!) drop of dishwashing soap in 200 mL of hand-warm water, gently mix (no foam!) and repeatedly fill and empty the converter. Then flush with clean water and try again. If no result, then leave the converter filled with the soapy water for a few hours, flush, and try again.

 

If you want to be really really thorough: flush converter as described, then leave nib + feed + converter in the soapy water for a few hours, then rinse with clean water to remove all residues of soap, then fill the converter with the ink you want to use in the pen and leave it overnight while you put the nib and feed in the ink bottle overnight (yes, really). Take them out gently the next day, remove excess ink with a rag (no flushing!), re-assemble and write. So far this has solved the problem in even the most persistent pens.

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