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Noodler's Ahab



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post-156064-0-46349800-1578418287_thumb.jpgI spent days reading reviews, watching videos, etc before getting one... so here's my small contribution (nothing new but then I didn't mind a single time reading again and again the same reviews so...)

 

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I flushed the pen, brushed the feed (the usual water, 10% ammonia, a drop of detergent) just to be on the safe side.

 

Nib:

 

Very smooth, even when flexing hard. Very wet too: it made Diamine Syrah look really dark when other pens show it on the pinkish side, it made Parker Quink a real black.

 

Flex:

 

Easier and easier. The variation goes from hair thin (because of the speed, otherwise it's a M on the fine side) to 2 mm. I flexed like mad for hours on end without ever railroading. I've had this pen for two weeks and gone through many many refills without a single problem, doing entire pages of nonsensical flex. Now I'm experiencing some railroading then nothing for hours, but before I tinker with it I want to understand what is going on. (I haven't noticed that the breather tube changes anything and prefer to leave it on as I would probably lose it otherwise). Even with the current hiccups, I am as pleased as I can be.

 

I don't want to get it into the "oh you can't call it a flex nib" but here's what I mean: I've only ever had normal pens with steel nibs, none of them can do what the Ahab does. I've played (and still play) with dip pen nibs and none of them would ever become an everyday writer. And I get to do things that can pass for pseudo-calligraphy. I have the best of both worlds...

 

Looks:

 

I expected the Ahab to look kitsch, or cheap, or completely ugly. I had chosen Iroquois and am really pleased with the material: subtle swirls that go from copper to grey to dark brown streaks ... really beautiful.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I would buy it again, had no idea I would love it so much. As a side note, I bought it for the good and the bad reviews: the good ones made me dream of it, the bad ones made me want to make it work for me. I've had it for two weeks, used it every day for long sessions of inept flexing and normal writing, and many many refills. I really hope this pen lives forever.

Edited by timotheap
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dan in montreal

Congratulations on your purchase. When you do your homework, it limits the amount of (bad) surprises once you get the pen and start using it. I have a few and they are almost always inked. As you did, I read a few reviews before buying them and my expectations were rather low. Mine needed a bit of work, but I managed to get them to function as I wanted them to. I use them to draw and doodle and the flexy nib does its job. If you know beforehand you are not getting flex as you would from a gold nibbed vintage pen and you are willing to tinker with them, they can be fun. I've had mine for a few years and the smell is almost gone (but I must say, it is tenacious).

Thanks for the review.

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Thanks, Dan. Good to know yours are still around. Mine didn't smell a lot and it has already pretty much faded to a rather sweet smell.

 

Timo

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Your handwriting is beautiful. You truly made the Ahab sing -- something I could not get mine to do.

Still, it was a worthwhile purchase for a flex experience, not to mention that it was tons of fun to play with. I did get tired of fighting/playing with it and recently passed it along to a flex-curious FPN member.

"You have to be willing to be very, very bad in this business if you're ever to be good. Only if you stand ready to make mistakes today can you hope to move ahead tomorrow."

Dwight V. Swain, author of Techniques of the Selling Writer.

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Very nice review. I got mine (a blue demonstrator) ages ago, and did nothing whatever to it, and it always wrote well.

 

I did have to bury it in coffee grounds to get rid of the stench. ;)

 

Oh, that's something to keep in mind if I get another Ahab that really reeks, good to know !

 

 

Your handwriting is beautiful. You truly made the Ahab sing -- something I could not get mine to do.

Still, it was a worthwhile purchase for a flex experience, not to mention that it was tons of fun to play with. I did get tired of fighting/playing with it and recently passed it along to a flex-curious FPN member.

 

Thank you! I have to admit I keep my fingers crossed nothing gets out of whack, sometimes people have issues a bit later down the road (but then others find it gets better).. I hope I manage to make it work anyway.

 

Thanks for the review. It is always useful to have another opinion.

 

Thank you !

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Nice review and penmanship!

 

I would credit the Ahab with renewing my interest in fountain pens, precisely because it is not a fancy pen but a writing tool that I can experiment with and customize. I have two Ahabs—a clear demonstrator and a Black Pearl, and I may add more. I liked the standard tip, and I agree that it offers a welcome flex experience. I have also used it with Zebra G pointed nibs, Jowo stubs (1.1 and 1.5), and my own crisp italic nibs, shaped from the untipped Noodler nonflex nibs that go for a whopping $1.

 

I recently purchased the refillable 308 cartridges, and I like them. Prefer them to using the converter, in fact. I haven’t tried using the Ahab as an eyedropper (the sheer volume of ink it would contain alarms me). But be forewarned—although I never noticed a smell from either of my pens, the baggie of cartridges did release a strong stench initially, which has since dissipated.

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  • 3 months later...
mad_pharmacist

I have read mixed reviews on this pen. In terms of performance, mine wrote extremely well out of box. I haven't encountered any flow issued even when flexing. The only problem is the smell. While I don't like it, I don't hate it either. I let it air out the smell, but it still lingers. Unfortunately, whenever I smell it, I get scratch through and start coughin a bit. Not really a pen to use during this pandemic. I would have liked the body in ebonite.

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My Ahab tends to lose a lot of ink volume to evaporation. Have you noticed the same? My Konrad does the same, for that matter.

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Nice review. Mine never did stop smelling and I ended up getting rid of it!

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inkstainedruth

I don't have an Ahab (they're a little large for my hand) but I have several of the Flex Piston Creapers and three Konrads (as well as I think 5 Charlie pens at this point). The only pen that didn't work well was one of the Charlies -- and for a pen that came free with a bottle of ink I'm really not complaining too much. Plus, some of the other Charlies are used with more problematic inks -- Bay State Blue and Kung Te Cheng -- and I also put Blue Ghost in one.

People also complain about the resin smell, but truthfully, I've never noticed it. The FPCs and Konrads are what led me to Pelikan (I found I really like piston fillers). But having the more expensive pens did not in any way push the Noodler's pens the the sidelines (in fact I just inked up the ebonite Konrad this morning, with Noodler's 54th Massachusetts.

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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Never noticed any smell issue with mine, which I bought when they first came out, and I'm pretty sensitive to weird smells. I have two incoming, a Zuni and a Comanche, and now I'm a little worried they're going to stink.

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I wouldn't.

 

Seems to be a genetic trend. Some people are more sensitive to some smells than others. It is similar to the taste of aniseed or liquorice, some people can't stand it and some love it. So, chances are that if you didn't react to your former one, you won't to the others.

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My Ahab tends to lose a lot of ink volume to evaporation. Have you noticed the same? My Konrad does the same, for that matter.

I use the two Ahabs a lot so it's hard to tell - but I filled one of them on Saturday morning, haven't used it since and it's still as full as can be. So nearly four full days - how does that sound? I still love mine every bit.

 

I seem to have been really lucky as every Noodler's pen I've had has had no issue at all ( I have a Dixie #10, 2 Ahabs, 1 resin Konrad, and the latest addition is a Nib Creeper. I also have a Triple Tail that performed very well until I ruined the nib by attempting a regrind.....duh)

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Never noticed any smell issue with mine, which I bought when they first came out, and I'm pretty sensitive to weird smells. I have two incoming, a Zuni and a Comanche, and now I'm a little worried they're going to stink.

None of my pens had a smell that was overpowering. Oddly enough I now sometimes get a whiff when I pick a pen - but nothing that prevents me from using them. The first Ahab (I think I got it 5 months ago) has no smell left.

 

And they are a true joy. I can't explain it, but I happen to have (what I find) a very pretty pen or two... But they have no actual appeal to me, whereas my Noodler's are really something special to me.

20200421_224717.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been curious about flex nibs for some time, and since I wanted to practise some Copperplate, I decided to buy an Ahab, because even if I end up using real flex nibs with a nib holder, I like the idea of having a fountain pen which I can use anywhere.

 

I received the pen yesterday; it's the pima tortoise version; though it doesn't resemble the photos I had seen, having absolutely no yellowish shade.

 

IMG_5049.JPG

 

Although I had read about the smell, I wasn't prepared for the stench! After disassembling it and leaving it soaking for several hours, now it smells much softer, and, thankfully, not of cheese any more. I can certainly live with the smell it has now. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the lovely smell a Grestch electric guitar of mine had when new, which is great!

 

What worries me is the greasiness it seems to have. In spite of having left it, as I said, in water for several hours (first water and soap, then clean water), it still feels greasy. When I took it out of the box, some of the transparent parts inside were yellow. Now, only the threaded end of the filler unit is yellow, but I don't now whether that matters, as it's the part that is in contact with the thread of the section, and not with the ink. Anyway, the inner part of the filler unit is not completely transparent and clear, and gives the impression that it's still got some grease inside.

 

How can I clean it completely, if soap and water won't do it? I don't want this grease to get into my ink bottles if I pump the filler several times, but on the other hand, maybe if I remove all the grease around the threads they won't seal well, and ink will escape in spite of the o-ring between the filler and the section.

 

It isn't true that you live only once. You only die once. You live lots of times, if you know how. (Bobby Darin)

 

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go. (Oscar Wilde)

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NumberSix

Possibly my favorite thing about Noodlers pens is the plunger filing system (on Ahab, Neponset, Triple Tail). Its easy to get a full fill, holds a lot of ink, and makes for a fun and effective flushing process when changing inks.

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NumberSix

Never noticed any smell issue with mine, which I bought when they first came out, and I'm pretty sensitive to weird smells. I have two incoming, a Zuni and a Comanche, and now I'm a little worried they're going to stink.

 

Ive just counted, and Ive owned around 20 Noodlers pens (every style except Konrad). Bought from at least five different online dealers. A fairly even mix of demonstrators and solid colors. Not a one of them smelled bad.

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