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@TitoThePencilPimp @silverlifter  Hey guys... I didn't follow that either and apparently I'm the "he" in question.  I don't pretend to understand much of the magic around nib servicing.. however... when i placed the order there were several questions around how i wanted the nib tuned... I don't recall all of the questions but they included my comment that i wanted it glassy smooth.  It also asked right or left handed... angle I hold the pen... how far forward or to the back I hold a pen... end result?  smoother than glass..   it's an amazing writer.  In the end.. that's all I care about.  :)  

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Detman101
14 hours ago, TitoThePencilPimp said:

It is not that serious...

Just an aside....I love the feel...tone...push...of that statement and plan to use it more often.
🤩

That is all.

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Barry Gabay

Sailor nibs unreliable?   Maybe I'm just fortunate, but the more than 25 Sailor fountain pens I have purchased new in the past few years in a variety of sizes & models, but primarily KoP, have all performed flawlessly right out of the box. Have also purchased second-hand Sailors which also wrote wonderfully. 

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29 minutes ago, Barry Gabay said:

Sailor nibs unreliable?   Maybe I'm just fortunate, but the more than 25 Sailor fountain pens I have purchased new in the past few years in a variety of sizes & models, but primarily KoP, have all performed flawlessly right out of the box. Have also purchased second-hand Sailors which also wrote wonderfully. 

Well, I'd say you are fortunate, but not because of Sailor nibs. 😉👍

If you want less blah, blah, blah and more pictures, follow me on Instagram!

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Barry Gabay
2 hours ago, zaddick said:

Well, I'd say you are fortunate, but not because of Sailor nibs. 😉👍

Thank you, sir.  Being your friend is something I feel very fortunate about. 

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Writing Uphill
On 1/7/2021 at 5:23 AM, MoriartyR said:

I don’t want us to create the impression that Nibs.com is the only good option for this service. Some other vendors have already been mentioned, and I would like to call out nibsmith.com (Dan Smith) who has tuned many nibs wonderfully for me and also frequently offers great discounts on his pens. He just delivered an Aurora 88 to me that is so sumptuous to write with that it is immediately my favourite pen and raised the bar on how I imagined a nib could feel. It is that good.

 

 

To add a datapoint in the opposite direction: Received Kaweco Al Sport from Nibsmith with the tuning service included. Sadly, the check did not prevent a grossly defective nib from going out. The issue is that the nib slit is wildly off-center and a little dog legged. Dan did a great job adjusting the nib around this issue, and it might work fine for a right-handed person with his fixes (given the direction of the misalignment) , but it was a failure for me, a lefty. While Dan seems a great nibmeister, he should have never accepted a nib like this from the manufacturer to start with. Still waiting to hear back from him on a replacement, which is the other downside — many of these shops are single proprietorship, which I generally support, but it means slow response times (if he spend all his time on email, he’d never get a nib out the door, which I fully understand). So, I’m stuck sourcing a nib from elsewhere to fix the problem. At least the price of the pen was inline with other retailers, unlike some of the others mentioned here. 

 

From now on, I’ll stick to shops like Goulet, who if asked, will perform an inspection, but not a tune. I’d rather have a pen sent to me that has good quality control as new than  to have a defect worked out by the nibmeister. 

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Honeybadgers

I'm just gonna point out that there is no way on god's green earth anyone could ever reasonably accuse Sailor of having poor nib QC. They're easily one of the top three best mass-market factory tuned nib makers in existence. You may not like the way they tune them to have that sharp #2 pencil feel, but I've never gotten a poor writing one.

Visconti, on the other hand... has more than just nib QC problems (though those are obviously the most well known)

 

I wouldn't go so far as to argue that all vendors should tune every nib before shipment, because that would add a not-insignificant cost to us, since the margins the retailers make are a downsight smaller than the rather hilarious markup many pen makers charge (which, honestly, is something you could definitely level at Sailor, the level of disrespect they have for their customers' money is a little laughable sometimes) since having an in-house nibmeister is an additional cost. 

 

The best option for good retailers is to just offer good customer service. I will always buy a visconti from Goulet because they will ALWAYS make sure it's right. They will test it at my request, and if it still sucks (because a dip test can hide baby's bottom) they will take it back, pay for shipping, and exchange or refund it, no questions asked.

 

 

 

 

 

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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A Smug Dill
On 1/5/2021 at 5:21 AM, zaddick said:

Well, one does not buy directly from either company so there is that to start with.

 

Actually, Sailor Pen actually operates its own online shop at https://sailorshop.jp to service customers in the Japanese domestic market. So, unless “one” somehow inherently or automatically excludes hobbyists (of any origin and persuasion) with delivery addresses in Japan, “one” could buy directly from Sailor if so desired.

 

219250740_Sailorsownonlineshopdoesnotacceptoverseasorders.png.a04e55342754e0611e7d6b08e789202d.png

 

On 1/5/2021 at 5:02 AM, eclectic2316 said:

Sailor when their nibs are notoriously unreliable?

 

I haven't heard that one before. Notorious in which circles or scope specifically?

 

On 1/7/2021 at 3:56 PM, TitoThePencilPimp said:

Sailor nibs are known for their high quality control and reliability. Now, some may not like the feedback that is built into a Sailor nib (that is how they are designed). I would dare say the quality control of SAILOR pens is higher than that of Pelikan.

 

I agree, on both counts, from my experience of owning a dozen Pelikan M-series pens (and eight to ten additional nibs) and thirty-odd Sailor pens.

 

On 1/9/2021 at 4:20 AM, Barry Gabay said:

Sailor nibs unreliable?   Maybe I'm just fortunate, but the more than 25 Sailor fountain pens I have purchased new in the past few years in a variety of sizes & models, but primarily KoP, have all performed flawlessly right out of the box.

 

1 hour ago, Honeybadgers said:

I'm just gonna point out that there is no way on god's green earth anyone could ever reasonably accuse Sailor of having poor nib QC. They're easily one of the top three best mass-market factory tuned nib makers in existence.

 

If one's only experience with Sailor nibs is through sub-¥1,200 steel-nibbed pens such as the clipless Fude de Mannen, F-nibbed HiAce Neo or (model number 11-0073) desk pens, I suppose one may conclude Sailor's nibs QC leaves a lot to be desired. (I have about ten of those all up.)

 

Anything at or above ¥3,000 (nominally US$30) is perfectly OK out-of-the-box, in my experience.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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TheDutchGuy
2 hours ago, Honeybadgers said:

there is no way on god's green earth anyone could ever reasonably accuse Sailor of having poor nib QC. They're easily one of the top three best mass-market factory tuned nib makers in existence. You may not like the way they tune them to have that sharp #2 pencil feel, but I've never gotten a poor writing one.

 

Well said. +1.

 

2 hours ago, Honeybadgers said:

Visconti, on the other hand... has more than just nib QC problems (though those are obviously the most well known)

 

Has? Or had? Visconti always seems to take a beating. I own three. I’ve tried dozens (in stores, at shows, from friends, etc). No problems at all. The early HS pens seem to have had issues (loose bands, BB, firehoses). I am not aware of remaining QC issues at Visconti, at least not more than other brands. Apparently it is hard for a company to redeem itself. Trust arrives on foot yet leaves on horseback. I get that. But really, are they currently objectively worse than other brands?

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A Smug Dill
4 minutes ago, TheDutchGuy said:

Trust arrives on foot yet leaves on horseback. I get that. But really, are they currently objectively worse than other brands?

 

That depends on which ones the “other brands” are.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Honeybadgers
17 hours ago, TheDutchGuy said:

 

Well said. +1.

 

 

Has? Or had? Visconti always seems to take a beating. I own three. I’ve tried dozens (in stores, at shows, from friends, etc). No problems at all. The early HS pens seem to have had issues (loose bands, BB, firehoses). I am not aware of remaining QC issues at Visconti, at least not more than other brands. Apparently it is hard for a company to redeem itself. Trust arrives on foot yet leaves on horseback. I get that. But really, are they currently objectively worse than other brands?

 

I can't say "has" with absolute certainty, but apart from the reports that the 18k nib is light years more consistent , I have heard nothing new about the brand's fit and finish otherwise. And my experience is only ~2 years old.

 

The nib on my first Divina Metropolitan (23k Pd, F nib) was unusable, and the pen had a problem with no seal between the metal inner sleeve of the nib housing and celluloid, letting ink in and staining the setup - and can't be removed. Coles exchanged the pen for a new one, but same issue, it wrote horridly and the ink got into the section. Visconti said that's unfortunately just how that pen is made, mine was not a different one. I returned that pen to goulet (who gave me NO problems) and eventually missed just owning that piece of art so much I bought a gently used one. it had a tiny stain inside the section too, so the issue is widespread. And its M nib wrote badly too, though not unusable. I found a workaround by touching a micro-thin layer of silicone grease to the rim of the section whenever I fill it if I want to use it. Also, the clip doesn't sit right on the divina's shape, so it slips off to the side on a spiral and looks bad.

 

Then my first HS (23k, F) was (bleep), wouldn't write, and the tail cap wouldn't sit correctly flush. 

 

Unfortunately I waited about a month and a half before contacting coles about it, and they said to pound sand since they only cover nibs for 30 days, no help.

 

Goulet, again to the rescue, took the pen back, exchanged it to an EF, tested it, and when sending me the new one, threw in a $100 visconti pen case just because they're awesome. But this one, they failed to notice, had the "mypen" jewel on the top (which was the factory one that just fills the magnet hole) mis-punched by visconti, and sat hilariously off-angle. The nib finally wrote like it should (no skips, hard starts, scratchiness, and utterly damned glorious) so another email to coles had them send me a replacement little jewel for it that was shaped and fit properly.
 

There's just no excuse for these issues. A person should inspect every $500+ pen before it goes in the box and notice the hilariously angled-up cap jewel, or dip the pen in some ink and write a few lines with it. Aurora does, why can't visconti? My MB149, lamy 2000's, all my pilot, platinum and sailors, pelikans, cross peerless, etc, nothing I have north of $100 has had such a bad level of fit and finish as my five separate experiences with visconti, which every single one of has had nib and QC problems.

 

Basically, their sub-standard fit, finish, and post-sales service has me pretty much done with the brand unless something else they make comes along in my price range that I just couldn't live without. But right now, a HS and divina metro will likely be my only pens from the brand for as long as I live. Aurora, OTOH, has left such a spectacular first impression that I drool over nearly everything they make.

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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20 hours ago, TheDutchGuy said:

 

Well said. +1.

 

 

Has? Or had? Visconti always seems to take a beating. I own three. I’ve tried dozens (in stores, at shows, from friends, etc). No problems at all. The early HS pens seem to have had issues (loose bands, BB, firehoses). I am not aware of remaining QC issues at Visconti, at least not more than other brands. Apparently it is hard for a company to redeem itself. Trust arrives on foot yet leaves on horseback. I get that. But really, are they currently objectively worse than other brands?


in my experience Visconti is still sending out pens with poor quality.  I’m 0 for 3 in the last 2 years.  They are better than Stipula though!  
 

NM. 

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TheDutchGuy
2 hours ago, Honeybadgers said:

There's just no excuse for these issues.

 

Agreed, of course. No product should be malfunctioning or ramshackle, regardless of price. If Platinum can get the Preppy right, well... It’s just that my experiences are rather positieve (thankfully) and it made me wonder how long it would take for a brand to redeem itself. But if they’re still sending out crappy stuff, then it’s a different matter.

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Fascinating topic.  

 

Let me add just a couple of things. 

 

Last year, I purchased a Montblanc JFK with a BB nib from Fritz Schimpf.  I asked them to please make sure the nib was tuned appropriately for my writing style.  They did a magnificent job and the pen is absolutely perfect.  I must say that every Montblanc I have purchased has worked well out of the box.  But because the JFK was such a special pen and I was purchasing overseas, I wanted to make sure it was tuned before it came to me.  

 

On the other hand, I purchased other fountain pens - a Retro 51, a Conklin Duragraph, Stipula Adagio, a Pineider and two Leonardos - all with stub nibs.  All of the nibs were very poor and in some cases did not write.  I purchased each from reputable dealers, and all were kind enough to accept a return with a full refund.  

 

I know I am an anomaly, but the two Visconti's that I purchased last year are wonderful writers.  I purchased a Visconti Rembrandt with a M steel nib.  I purchased it from a reputable dealer because I expected to return it based upon what others said about Visconti nibs.  I was pleasantly surprised that the nib writes very smoothly and is nicely wet.  Then a couple of months ago, I saw a Visconti Michelangelo on eBay.  It had the notorious palladium nib in F.  But I decided to take a chance, bid on it and won the pen.  I expected that I would have to change out the nib.  I could not believe my luck since the pen writes very well.  It is not as wet as the Rembrandt, but is just a wonderful pen.  

 

My take-away from these experiences is that I want to purchase my pens from reputable dealers who will stand behind the pen and accept a return if necessary.  If I am going to purchase a pen from eBay or other place, I need to be willing to pay the price to have the pen adjusted or the nib replaced.  

"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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To answer the OP question...

 

Why not? I cannot see the point. If you are getting a pen, the easiest is to get it with the factory nib and only if it fails, consider other avenues. But then, I am lucky. Products in EU must have a minimum warranty, and it is not too difficult to find B&M stores.

 

From my point of view, an FP is to be written with. If it does not, then it is defective and should be returned, just go back to the shop and ask for a refund or a change. Better yet, try the pen at the shop (just without ink one can see if it is scratchy, or a tiny dip may show the line) before buying.

 

Specially for an expensive pen, any defect should be inadmissible. If I am to spend 500-1000 USD/EUR on something, I expect it to be not less than perfect and if it isn't, then the provider/vendor/maker should own up to. After all that's why there is a money-back, return policy in most goods (at least here, well yeah, not for used underwear or edibles, and the like...). And if I like the pen, then I'd ask for any defect to be fixed.

 

In many other cases, it may be cheaper to just buy a replacement nib if that's the last resort. This is specially true for mid-range/cheaper pens (less than say 200 USD/EUR). It would not be justified to fine tune a nib when a new one (or even a new pen) costs much less. That point, the new pen, is the point: if unusable, it is cheaper to return the pen get your money back and buy a new one.

 

But then, that is when you have B&M stores at hand. Some sellers have facilities for returning goods without questions (like Amazon) but the timing may be inconvenient. And in some cases the added cost may be well worth it. I'm thinking of fpnibs.com who can regrind nibs at very sensible prices.

 

In any case, reputation should be paramount. I wouldn't buy a "luxury" item with a reputation of sloppiness in any aspect. I'd rather grade it as a scam and stay away no matter the looks. Specially in the case of an FP where arguably the single most important and valuable element is the nib. It'd be like buying a Rolls Royce with a half-broken cheap no-marks, third-party, hard-starting, rattling, noisy engine. And paying for it full RR prices.

 

So, shortly, as for why would someone not buy a tuned nib, it all depends on your circumstances and needs, YMMV.

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:52 AM, TheDutchGuy said:

 

Well said. +1.

 

 

Has? Or had? Visconti always seems to take a beating. I own three. I’ve tried dozens (in stores, at shows, from friends, etc). No problems at all. The early HS pens seem to have had issues (loose bands, BB, firehoses). I am not aware of remaining QC issues at Visconti, at least not more than other brands. Apparently it is hard for a company to redeem itself. Trust arrives on foot yet leaves on horseback. I get that. But really, are they currently objectively worse than other brands?

I bought a Visconti Opera last year and one tine was significantly bigger, sent back for replacement. Even after replacement it wasn't very smooth and the cap band fell off as soon as I opened the pen. So for me all those -ve reviews came true. Thankfully I got full refund.

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Writing Uphill

Update on Nibsmith: Tried every contact method he gives on the website and no response for five days. So glad it’s a cheap nib. Got a new nib from Jetpens and it’s flawless. 

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osokijack
3 hours ago, Writing Uphill said:

Update on Nibsmith: Tried every contact method he gives on the website and no response for five days. So glad it’s a cheap nib. Got a new nib from Jetpens and it’s flawless. 

 

I have the same issue here. I am glad your nib is cheap, I have two orders for a total of more than 1000$ and he barely reply to my messages. Now the orders are delayed again and after I tried to cancel my orders he disappeared.

 

 I am very concerned and disappointed. I have raised a claim with PayPal, hopefully I'll get my money back this way.

 

Please consider writing a review on his Facebook page. We should try to inform others to be careful.

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eclectic2316
On 1/4/2021 at 10:19 PM, stevesurf said:

Interesting!

Indeed, purchase with tuning is well worth the expense from nibs if you're desiring a particular pen, like a mid range Visconti (less costly than a Homo Sapiens) or a mid range Sailer (less costly than KOP) and in UEF, EF or F and desire a wet or dry writer.  Otherwise, you would do better and trust your purchase from any authorized reseller and then take advantage of nibmeisters after purchase that is most likely the best road. See the following (edited and updated from SBREBrown:

 

"Mike It Work" Masuyama
Dan NibSmith
The Nibgrinder Marc Brown
Indy Pen Dance
Pendleton Pens

Thank you. Most helpful.

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eclectic2316
On 1/6/2021 at 10:04 PM, MoriartyR said:

To express the OP’s point from a different angle I absolutely agree that the nib-tuning offered by some retailers is a very valuable service, which is often provided free of charge. I would recommend always buying from such a retailer.

 

Far too many new fountain pens are sold with nibs that hard-start, skip, or will not write at all. Some very popular pen brands have unacceptable quality rates. Yes, these manufacturers should do much better, but that isn’t reality and it isn’t going to change soon, if ever. Retailers will generally resolve issues if they are notified but it is still extremely disappointing and bothersome to receive a faulty nib and have to return it and wait for the product to be corrected.

 

I would go further than the OP and suggest that all online pen retailers should provide free pre-delivery nib-tuning by a competent technician. If they are serious about running an online fountain pen business, selling to remote customers, then they should consider this service essential, since one cannot otherwise buy many pen brands with confidence. Does a good business just send out products unchecked when they know the failure rate is unreasonably high? Let’s be generous and say a 5% or higher failure rate is unacceptable - and I doubt anyone here would assert that Pelikan or Visconti or Montblanc ship better than 19 out of every 20 pens with good nibs.

 

In a sane world nibmeisters exist (a) to work for pen manufacturers, (b) to work for pen sellers, and (c) to provide nib work for customers to either repair a damaged nib or make a desired change to a functional nib’s characteristics (e.g conversion to an italic or a different width). We as customers should never need the services of a nibmeister to fix a new nib that isn’t functioning correctly. I really am strongly against the often expressed acceptance here that one should expect to send a pen to a nibmeister after purchase. No new pen should require the attention of a nibmeister just so it writes reliably.

 

And don’t forget that we in this forum do not represent the vast majority of fountain pen buyers. Most buyers will never know that there is such a thing as a nibmeister, let alone how to find one. They will just receive an inferior product from a retailer and put up with it or simply throw it in a drawer and never buy a fountain pen again. And that’s a terrible shame because a properly functioning fountain pen is a true pleasure to write with and I want every buyer to get a good one.

 

Great Points.

Especially how foolish it is for retailers to ship pens that may have inferior nibs.

Thank you.

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