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Which gold nib for Lamy Studio? Breather hole or without?



piblondin

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piblondin

I'm looking to replace the steel nib on my Studio with a gold nib. I noticed that there are a few different ones available that look like they would fit: 

 

1) with breather hole Z55

2) without breather hole Z56

3) black without breather hole Z57

 

I also see that the Studios that come with gold nibs appear to come with option number 1. But is there any reason I couldn't opt for option 2 or 3? What would the functional difference actually be? 

 

Thanks! 

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A Smug Dill
10 minutes ago, piblondin said:

But is there any reason I couldn't opt for option 2 or 3?

 

No, assuming their prices and availability in the market are no barrier.

 

10 minutes ago, piblondin said:

What would the functional difference actually be? 

 

None. They are all nibs designed to perform the same function, namely to put and spread a line of ink on paper.

 

Qualitative (aesthetic, kinaesthetic, writing/line characteristics, etc.) differences are something else.

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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8 hours ago, piblondin said:

What would the functional difference actually be? 

As pointed out, on the actual tip where ink meets paper, there is no difference between steel and gold nibs, at least in terms of transferring ink to paper.

 

Gold alloys do have different elastic properties than steel, and unless the nib is absolutely nail-stiff, there will be differences in perceived flexure characteristics (both spring rate and preload).

 

That said, gold nibs are also usually dimensionally different from their steel counterparts, so which is “softer” or “bouncier” often depends a lot more on how the nib is designed than on the material. Small changes in material thickness or shape can got a long way toward determining how a nib feels in the hand. To me, gold nibs are, for the most part an ornamental thing. They tend to be nicely decorated. Others will have other perspectives.

 

The “breather hole” on the nib is a bit of a misnomer. The hole at the end of the slit, at least in the nibs I have, is used primarily as a locating datum for various press work stages during the forming of the nib. I think traditionally the hole also serves as a stress relief for the tiny saws that cut the nib slit, but as can be seen from various manufacturers, this function does not appear to be universally needed.

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Those all seem to fit the Studio perfectly so the decision comes down to the look you want. I have several black steel nibs for my  AlStars so I'd opt for the two-tone black and gold just for the striking contrast. 

I ride a recumbent, I play go, I use Macintosh so of course I use a fountain pen.

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piblondin
3 hours ago, bogiesan said:

Those all seem to fit the Studio perfectly so the decision comes down to the look you want. I have several black steel nibs for my  AlStars so I'd opt for the two-tone black and gold just for the striking contrast. 

Thanks! I’m interested in the black one and might even get the all-black Studio to match. Unfortunately, the shop I want to buy from is sold out of the black nib. (I currently have the more traditional black/chrome Studio FP.) 

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It was my understanding that the primary difference is that a "gold nib" costs more so the company can afford to spend more time in the final prep of the nib. In other words, it is more likely that the out of the box experience will be very nice. 

If the nibs have a slightly different geometry, I would expect that to translate into some differences. Also, different metals would have different characteristics based on flexibility (or whatever). I have no idea if I am able to tell the difference or not. 

 

I think that if I were really keen on the look of a particular nib, that would probably be the deciding factor for me. In your case, they are all Gold (I assume). I expect that the tip is only gold plated given that gold is so soft. I think that the original reason for Gold was because it was not affected by the corrosive inks (or something like that); I should look that up. 

 

All that said, my Studio has a gold nib because I had read that it had a different feel. My wife's Studio does not. I should test drive my wife's pen, but since my Studio keeps falling apart, I stopped using it. Will give it another go if I can find someplace to repair it (yeah, I posted in another thread about that). 

 

The owner of Edison Pens has the opinion that a Gold nib adds almost nothing and recommends against spending the extra money to get one. On the other hand, when you purchase an Edison pen, he hand tunes it to your preference, which (in his opinion) is what is most important. 

 

Post a picture of it when you make your decision. 

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A Smug Dill
18 minutes ago, pitonyak said:

I think that if I were really keen on the look of a particular nib, that would probably be the deciding factor for me. In your case, they are all Gold (I assume).

 

Actually, he/she wants the Z57 nib, which is black.

 

On 1/25/2021 at 4:31 AM, piblondin said:

I’m interested in the black one

 

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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piblondin
3 hours ago, pitonyak said:

It was my understanding that the primary difference is that a "gold nib" costs more so the company can afford to spend more time in the final prep of the nib. In other words, it is more likely that the out of the box experience will be very nice. 

If the nibs have a slightly different geometry, I would expect that to translate into some differences. Also, different metals would have different characteristics based on flexibility (or whatever). I have no idea if I am able to tell the difference or not. 

 

I think that if I were really keen on the look of a particular nib, that would probably be the deciding factor for me. In your case, they are all Gold (I assume). I expect that the tip is only gold plated given that gold is so soft. I think that the original reason for Gold was because it was not affected by the corrosive inks (or something like that); I should look that up. 

 

All that said, my Studio has a gold nib because I had read that it had a different feel. My wife's Studio does not. I should test drive my wife's pen, but since my Studio keeps falling apart, I stopped using it. Will give it another go if I can find someplace to repair it (yeah, I posted in another thread about that). 

 

The owner of Edison Pens has the opinion that a Gold nib adds almost nothing and recommends against spending the extra money to get one. On the other hand, when you purchase an Edison pen, he hand tunes it to your preference, which (in his opinion) is what is most important. 

 

Post a picture of it when you make your decision. 

I wanted the black one for its appearance, but I ended up getting the Z55 because it was available for a decent price and I'm familiar with its feel on my Dialog. With that said, the Dialog's nib is fine and I ordered a medium, which is what I've been using on my 2000, Safari, and Studio. 

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12 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

 

Actually, he/she wants the Z57 nib, which is black.

 

 

 

Although the nib is black, I believe that this particular nib is gold. Originally I thought that it was the black steel, in which case I would have said "just buy it and try it, it is less than $20".  So, it is still listed as a 14K nib because it has an gold section. At least I assume that is the intent. 

lamy_black_gold_nib.jpg

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13 hours ago, pitonyak said:

It was my understanding that the primary difference is that a "gold nib" costs more so the company can afford to spend more time in the final prep of the nib. In other words, it is more likely that the out of the box experience will be very nice. 

If the nibs have a slightly different geometry, I would expect that to translate into some differences. Also, different metals would have different characteristics based on flexibility (or whatever). I have no idea if I am able to tell the difference or not. 

 

I think that if I were really keen on the look of a particular nib, that would probably be the deciding factor for me. In your case, they are all Gold (I assume). I expect that the tip is only gold plated given that gold is so soft. I think that the original reason for Gold was because it was not affected by the corrosive inks (or something like that); I should look that up. 

 

All that said, my Studio has a gold nib because I had read that it had a different feel. My wife's Studio does not. I should test drive my wife's pen, but since my Studio keeps falling apart, I stopped using it. Will give it another go if I can find someplace to repair it (yeah, I posted in another thread about that). 

 

The owner of Edison Pens has the opinion that a Gold nib adds almost nothing and recommends against spending the extra money to get one. On the other hand, when you purchase an Edison pen, he hand tunes it to your preference, which (in his opinion) is what is most important. 

 

Post a picture of it when you make your decision. 

 

Your understanding is pretty close to mine. I have a couple of Studios with steel nibs and one with a gold nib, and the only practical difference I can feel is that the gold nib is (maybe) a bit smoother, fatter, and wetter (which has nothing to do with the nib material, per se, and a whole lot more to do with the tip finishing, slit and feed geometry.

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A Smug Dill
4 hours ago, pitonyak said:

Although the nib is black, I believe that this particular nib is gold.

 

You're right.

 

I have more than one of them. 

 

On 24/01/2021 at 2:00 PM, A Smug Dill said:

Qualitative (aesthetic, kinaesthetic, writing/line characteristics, etc.) differences are something else.

 

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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bunnspecial
23 hours ago, pitonyak said:

All that said, my Studio has a gold nib because I had read that it had a different feel. My wife's Studio does not. I should test drive my wife's pen, but since my Studio keeps falling apart, I stopped using it. Will give it another go if I can find someplace to repair it (yeah, I posted in another thread about that). 

 

 

I've had a couple of gold nibbed Studios(Palladium trim, which I believe always comes with gold). In fact, an M Palladium was my first gold nibbed pen period, so I have some sentimental attachment to it(unfortunately, that pen is also the only "good" pen I've ever lost-it fell out of my hip pocket walking across campus to teach, and that, BTW, was the last time I put a pen in a hip pocket). More recently, I've replaced it with a nearly identical pen, and it feels nearly identical to what I remember on my first including a subtle but noticeable strong amount of feedback on an upper right stroke.

 

I have two observations. The first is that the M Gold nibs Z55 nibs that I've had write about a half width narrower than a similar Lamy steel nib. Also, perhaps its the weight of the fairly heavy Studio(although I've swapped nibs back and forth between Studios and Safaris) but the overall feel of them for me is that they're somewhat "softer" than the steel nibs. It's hard for me to exactly put into words-I feel feedback from both the Lamy steel and gold nibs, but the feedback on gold to me is very different from steel on the same pen.

 

I have very few pens where it's possible to compare steel and gold side by side. The only others I can think of are the Pelikan M200 and M400 series, which are the same body other than the M400 being dressed up more, and of course the M200/205 having a steel nib. The Pelikan M200/205 steel nibs are notoriously springy(pleasantly so) while IME in the same size an M400 nib is fairly stiff. I have a fine M205 and fine M400 sitting next to each other in my pen case. I like the steel enough that my M205 was my primary pen from roughly 2011 to 2017(when it developed a section crack-I've actually just recently repaired it and put it back into service).

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On 1/28/2021 at 2:34 AM, bunnspecial said:

but the overall feel of them for me is that they're somewhat "softer" than the steel nibs. It's hard for me to exactly put into words-I feel feedback from both the Lamy steel and gold nibs, but the feedback on gold to me is very different from steel on the same pen.

Gold and steel alloys definitely have different flex behaviors. It takes a fairly refined tactile sense to identify it sometimes, but as you describe, I think it is there. Unless the pen is an absolute nail—in that case I suppose it doesn’t matter if you use gold, steel, titanium, or kryptonite.

 

I wonder if Lamy hand-tunes the gold nibs. I believe the steel ones are done automatically, with a final write-test (also automated) before they get packaged. There are a few videos of parts of the Lamy manufacturing process floating around, if I am not mistaken. The most recent one I have seen was posted by Goulet Pens a couple of years or so ago from a tour of the Lamy plant in Heidelberg.

 

The only experience I don’t share is the narrower gold nib compared steel, though I will say my gold Lamy nib/feed is very wet, so it tends to put down a wider line maybe because of the spread of the generous ink flow.

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Now I remember why I thought so, this is a really interesting video. 

 

How its made - Lamy Fountain Pens

 

 

1:41 how the manufacturer nibs (Steel)
States process is the same for gold and steel.

 

3:20 Gold nibs process (extra work)
Final polish and inspection with a Gold nib

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8 hours ago, pitonyak said:

Now I remember why I thought so, this is a really interesting video. 

 

How its made - Lamy Fountain Pens

 

 

1:41 how the manufacturer nibs (Steel)
States process is the same for gold and steel.

 

3:20 Gold nibs process (extra work)
Final polish and inspection with a Gold nib

Thanks for posting. I think I have seen this one before, too, but it has been ages. Nice video, and informative.

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piblondin

So, I ended up getting the Z55 because it's what I had already in fine. The new one is a medium and it was quite dry upon arrive. I've been able to open it up a little bit by just pressing it down to spread the tines. However, the nib itself still isn't as smooth as I'd like. Any tips here? I don't have any of the tools that would be needed for polishing, nor do I particularly want to mess with it myself. 

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