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Testimonials from Wing Sung 601 users?


PartyWithHavarti
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I'm almost about to purchase a steel Wing Sung 601A 'Exposed Feed' variant (plus an after-market steel section), but I can't shake all of the QC issues Wing Sung seems to have. Are there any long-term testimonials from users of the 601 to help me decide?

 

For context, I'm planning to purchase this as a pen to use a lot in grad school to take notes both in class and at home. So my priorities are a pen that is durable, dependable, holds a lot of ink, and won't break the bank. As far as I can tell the 601 might be all of those things...but I'd appreciate some feedback if possible. Thanks!

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1 hour ago, PartyWithHavarti said:

but I can't shake all of the QC issues Wing Sung seems to have. Are there any long-term testimonials from users of the 601 to help me decide?

 

I think the manifestation of lax or failures in quality control — especially, from my personal experience, in regard to Chinese products of yesteryear — is that one unit of a model, perhaps even from the same production batch, may not be qualitatively identical and/or function equally as well as another unit; you just can't be certain, or have any confidence, in advance what you're going to get when you spend money to buy one, or how many units you'll need to get through before (if ever!) you find a ‘good’ one.

 

1 hour ago, PartyWithHavarti said:

For context, I'm planning to purchase this as a pen to use a lot in grad school to take notes both in class and at home. So my priorities are a pen that is durable, dependable, holds a lot of ink, and won't break the bank.

 

So why the Wing Sung 601, if you feel so unsure? Why not just buy a cheap Pelikan M20x piston-filler, or if you don't feel that's robust enough, an even cheaper Fine Writing Instrument Planet series pen (which the manufacturer claims is made of acrylic that is nigh unbreakable) to use as an eyedropper-filled pen, or an Opus 88, for US$100 or less? Cult Pens would often sell the Pelikan M200 Green-Marbled for around £70 or less after discount; and a total order value of £70 qualifies the order for free international shipping, even if you're ordering from a foreign country. Even at the undiscounted asking price today, it works out to ~US$103 according to XE.com. I have not heard of QC issues or concerns regarding Pelikan M20x pen bodies or its excellent steel nibs; and we have half a dozen here (and contemplating buying another two or more, even today).

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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Well, I like the 601A because the shape is identical to the Parker 21, a comfortable pen to me, and it's shiny+cheap. All told it would cost $40 including shipping, which is about half as much as the cheapest pen you mentioned. Of course, the difference in price is partially due to the topic at hand, improved quality control. 

 

When you say "especially" yesteryear, do you mean that Wing Sung (or certain other chinese manufacturers) have improved to the point of not having to worry so much about receiving a dud?

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9 minutes ago, PartyWithHavarti said:

When you say "especially" yesteryear, do you mean that Wing Sung (or certain other chinese manufacturers) have improved to the point of not having to worry so much about receiving a dud?

 

Firstly, I said Chinese products, meaning more generally than just fountain pens and paraphernalia. Secondly, yes, there are some Chinese fountain pen brands I think are more reliable than others in terms of manufacturing quality; HongDian, for one. So far I'm pretty happy with the quality of most of the PenBBS pens I have, including the PenBBS 309 piston-filler which is relatively cheap; I'm not fond of its default ‘sabre’ F nib, but that's because I don't think they write fine enough for my tastes, and not because there is some manufacturing quality issue.

 

10 minutes ago, PartyWithHavarti said:

All told it would cost $40 including shipping, which is about half as much as the cheapest pen you mentioned.

 

Fine Writing Instruments Planets series are not that expensive. Even recently, they were offered at €39 (~US$46 today) after discounts, at which time I ordered my second and third; my first one from a year or so ago was much cheaper at clearance pricing. As for Opus 88, my favourite model is the Picnic, and again I got most of mine when they were offered at the €40–€44 mark.

 

But, if you're specifically after a Wing Sung 601A or Parker 21 lookalike, then I wish you the best of luck! :)

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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I have 6 WS601s

All hooded nib versions

2 X demonstrator single jewels

2 X double jewel (one black, one blue)

2 X Flighter Double jewels

 

One of the demonstrators has been my daily driver for 2 or 3 years now. There are some hairline stress cracks in the plastic. It has been abused. It often travels in a cargo pocket attached to a notebook. It has one of the aftermarket nibs on it. It is nice, but my stock nibs are just fine as well.

I believe the cracks in the plastic are likely my fault for being a little rough with it in use, and rough when cleaning

Complete tear downs are not unusual, I use Iron Gall inks in it (yes, with a steel nib and yes, it's fine) and I didn't always have an ultrasonic cleaner, so I could be quite aggressive with my cleaning methods. Probably too aggressive. 

 

My other demonstrator that has had much less abuse is just fine

likewise with my Double jewel pens, but they get very little use. But are both great pens.

My Flighters are new. Only about month old. both great pens so far.

 

WRT to the triumph nibbed pens and the open nibbed pens, I have no experience with either. I can say that the barrels and filling mechs are likely just fine, since they are (AFAIK) the exact same components used in the hooded 601s

 

This is IMO the ultimate daily driver / beater pen. 

All the classic styling and most of the technical benefits of a "51" and none of the worry about losing or breaking a 70yr old vintage pen.

 

My Daily Driver, pen #003. Inked with R&K Salix when the picture was taken:

Image.jpeg.51cca657b74e62872341a509510ee16b.jpeg

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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a note: the 601 is the "triumph" nibbed version, (and also possibly the open nibbed pen as well...)

Neither of which looks like a Parker 21

 

The classic 601 (hooded nib version) is a very VERY good copy of a Parker "51" Vacumatic.

With an updated (and improved) filling mech and a nib that is slightly smaller in diameter.

I believe the plastic in the 601 to be somewhat inferior to the Parker "51" but it is IMO vastly superior to that used the Parker 21.

 

 

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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21 minutes ago, A Smug Dill said:

As for Opus 88, my favourite model is the Picnic, and again I got most of mine when they were offered at the €40–€44 mark.

 

Thank you for that recommendation, despite it looking like the pen has been discontinued I was able to find one for $60, close enough in my price range to be a good option :)

 

@IThinkIHaveAProblem

 

Thank you! Nice to see that all of yours nibs have been good writers, it certainly takes some of the worry away. -_- Decisions, decisions...

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3 minutes ago, PartyWithHavarti said:

 

@IThinkIHaveAProblem

 

Thank you! Nice to see that all of yours nibs have been good writers, it certainly takes some of the worry away. -_- Decisions, decisions...

You're welcome.

The nice thing is they are cheap enough that you can have more than one.

For taking notes with multiple colours of ink, or just to have two that are full for days when you think you might end up writing a novel's worth of notes while being away from a bottle of ink.

 

Yes, all 6 of my hooded nibs have been just fine to write with from the get go. But like I said, I did replace the one in my daily driver with an aftermarket one. It's ok. They are not expensive, but it's also not something I would consider essential.

If you are very worried the stock nib will not work right, then throwing a 4$ pack of aftermarket nibs into your cart at check out would offer the extra insurance to guard against that.

All the stock nibs are quite fine. Probably equivalent to a "western fine/extra fine"

 

I expect a Flighter version of the pen will likely hold up better to the abuse of being carried around, being covered in stainless steel and all (still having a plastic inner liner)

Just give me the Parker 51s and nobody needs to get hurt.

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well a bit late to the discussion, but had the 601 since its initial batches , and all versions. I'll had to say the variation of Quality is there as @A Smug Dill had puts it, but its also not of real great pain. Personally I always clean, and if needed tune my pen before first inking it up and likely further tuning to suite my own after the first inking and testing .. I've found the 601 , all variant , pretty adaptive and consistent with this routine am doing .. that is to say , yes some write just right the first instance, some would require a bit of tinkering here and there. But none of them require major surgery AFAIC.

 

The steel flighter sure is interesting and great fun to play around with , and as a workhorse heavy usage pen I think the 601 Flighter ( open or hooded nib ) could do the job well

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The steel 601s are certainly durable, and certainly hold plenty of ink.

 

I do not like the "Triomphe" style nibs for the 601A. I have 5 of them; each one is unique from the others, and just about every nib problem that can exist can be found across those 5 nibs. The kind of uneven quality control that @A Smug Dillis talking about *in spades.* 

 

The #5-ish nibs for the "Open Nib" 601A are different. I believe they're new-produced nibs (not NOS like the Triomphe nibs). I have 3 - 5 of them (not sure exactly) and they're all pretty similar. I haven't used them much, because I don't really like them either. They're not terrible, but they feel sort of cheap and flimsy. I'd much rather use, e.g., a Kaco Edge if I'm going to use an open-nibbed pen. 

 

The regular 601s with the hooded nibs are the ones I like. I converted all my 601As into 601s. :) I have 2 demonstrators, 2 all-steel flighters, and 2 regular ones inked up just now. One of them has a Jinhao nib that I really like; the others are all stock Wing Sung nibs, except for one that I upgraded to a 12k Wing Sung nib. The steel flighters are pretty tankly. I've used one of them as a marking / note-taking pen in my workshop, where I've dropped it off my work bench (about 4 feet), and exposed it to glue, wood dust / shavings, and sharp objects, without phasing it. The plastic ones are a little more fragile so I try not to abuse them.

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Thank you Paganini, I feel confident that I will one day get a 601; seems like you've had great success with them! 

 

In the end I decided to get an Osprey Milano from Peytonstreetpens, I am very excited to try out my first ebonite-bodied pen and their semi-ish flex nibs. Plus I have the option of using it as an eyedropper or with refilled cartridges, making long days of notes at school easy no matter what. 

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Great, another Wing Sung I have to get... XD  I have genuinely not had a Wing Sung I didn't like.  For "cheap" pens, they're great writers, reliable as all get-out.

"Well, believe me, I calculated the odds of this succeeding versus the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid... and I went ahead anyway."

--Crow T. Robot, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie

My Flickr, if you're interested

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I have almost all the versions and variants produced with the name Wing Sung 601, from the very beginning , "'i have the initial 601 MK 1 vacumatic with rubber sac , the 601 MK 2 with the barrel and blind cap rounded without jewel and the white jewel on the cap with and without ink window , the 601  MK 3 with blue  jewels on the cap and the  blind cap,  with and without ink window , the 601 A conical nib  with and without ink window , the 601 A conical nib with a golden cap with and without ink window , the 601 A normal nib with and without ink window and of course the  flighter variants of Wing Sung 601/601A '' and i  must say that all behaved generally well, without too many problems, relatively easy to maintain, easy to repair when needed, an ok pen in general not to forget the ink lasts quite a long time without drying up in the pen and in the end, the good ink capacity of the pen  .

I love Fountain Pens, with hooded nib in the classic style, Parker 51/61 type .



Ionut - Marius

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/9/2021 at 1:01 PM, A Smug Dill said:

 

Firstly, I said Chinese products, meaning more generally than just fountain pens and paraphernalia. Secondly, yes, there are some Chinese fountain pen brands I think are more reliable than others in terms of manufacturing quality; HongDian, for one. So far I'm pretty happy with the quality of most of the PenBBS pens I have, including the PenBBS 309 piston-filler which is relatively cheap; I'm not fond of its default ‘sabre’ F nib, but that's because I don't think they write fine enough for my tastes, and not because there is some manufacturing quality issue.

 

 

Fine Writing Instruments Planets series are not that expensive. Even recently, they were offered at €39 (~US$46 today) after discounts, at which time I ordered my second and third; my first one from a year or so ago was much cheaper at clearance pricing. As for Opus 88, my favourite model is the Picnic, and again I got most of mine when they were offered at the €40–€44 mark.

 

But, if you're specifically after a Wing Sung 601A or Parker 21 lookalike, then I wish you the best of luck! :)

 If they do not care the price, most of people won't think of Chinese pen.

 I get this WS601 pen under $60.

  14knib,sterling silver cap with  rhodium plated.

 Maybe there's some problem, but the price is so good.

IMG_20210727_160602.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a Wing Sung 601 which I purchased at least 3-4 years ago, and it has been inked since.

 

To be honest initially the nib is very dry, and also there's some baby bottoming. So I kind of dislike it at first.

After some brass shims and grinding away the baby bottom its one of my favourite writers. Smooth wet writer.

 

Now the caveat is that the plastics used for the 601 doesn't seem to be strongest, I hope its not the same as the cracking TWISBIs, but mine has shown a crack line at the blind cap since last year.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I currently have four Wing Sung 601s (hooded nib). To this point none of them has given me any deal-breaker quality problems. No cracks in the plastics that I noticed. Scratches - yes, definitely, but no cracks.

 

These four do differ in quality in some regards, though.

 

One of them has a little ink dropping problem - the cap is very tight and uncapping sometimes causes a drop of ink to be sucked out of the pen. This problem however is common with this type of pens; I experienced the same thing witn Hero 616, 565 and once even with a Parker 51.

 

The flighter 601 after several months of use has a very schratched hood at the top, just around the nib. I suspect the plastic insert inside the cap is too tight in this one. Mind you, all of my 601 this insert leaves a mark on the hood, but in the rest of them it's not that noticeable - in the flighter it really shows.  

 

 

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