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Visconti - fooled again for the last time


katerchen

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I should have known better. Burnt by Visconti's crappy QC several times, yet I keep hoping the next one surely will be "it"

 

Well, the new LE Medici came out and the red one is absolutely stunning, so I took a chance, hoping this time the nib wouldn't be utter junk. Well, now I know better. For $800 I got a badly misaligned, scratchy nib.

 

Yes, I can fix it. No I shouldn't have to. I expect to do some nib work on cheap Chinese pens, but the funny thing is : more often than not, they come decently aligned.

 

Visconti-Medici-Astral-Nova-Blue-Stellar-Red-Fountain-Pen_1800x1800.jpg?v=1638387259

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They look very beautiful but many users seem to complain about their nibs. That's such a shame. Not sure I like their clips very much personally either. I've never tried a Visconti so don't know the problem. Perhaps that is something for which I should be thankful?

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9 hours ago, katerchen said:

I should have known better. Burnt by Visconti's crappy QC several times, yet I keep hoping the next one surely will be "it"

 

Well, the new LE Medici came out and the red one is absolutely stunning, so I took a chance, hoping this time the nib wouldn't be utter junk. Well, now I know better. For $800 I got a badly misaligned, scratchy nib.

 

Yes, I can fix it. No I shouldn't have to. I expect to do some nib work on cheap Chinese pens, but the funny thing is : more often than not, they come decently aligned.Visconti-Medici-Astral-Nova-Blue-Stellar-Red-Fountain-Pen_1800x1800.jpg?v=1638387259

 

 

Uh oh.  My blue arrives today and I have really been looking forward to it.  I moved away from Italian pens and into Nakaya several years ago, but this one really caught my eye.  I'll hope for better results than you received.  At least I have trust in the dealer I bought it from to make things right in case of issues, although the sort of issues you describe should never happen.

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I've come to the understanding that Visconti pens are like buying one of those old "Muscle Cars".
They cost you a fortune to get one...look pretty...but will cost you another fortune to get running right...and a small fortune to keep running right.
That is not my idea of a good time...

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2 hours ago, whichwatch said:

 

 

Uh oh.  My blue arrives today and I have really been looking forward to it.  I moved away from Italian pens and into Nakaya several years ago, but this one really caught my eye.  I'll hope for better results than you received.  At least I have trust in the dealer I bought it from to make things right in case of issues, although the sort of issues you describe should never happen.

 

Here's hoping that yours will be better. I bought mine from Truphae and I have no doubt that he will step in and help if Coles of London gives me any trouble (I ended up sending it in. In the words of Sergeant Murtaugh : I'm too old for this s*** )

 

-k

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11 hours ago, Dione said:

Not sure I like their clips very much personally either.

 

Really don't like the clip. I'm happy about that, eliminates an entire brand from my "ooh, pretty!" list.

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To balance the discussion, I report on my three Visconti pens of which none had any problems with scratchiness or mis-alignment. They are a Divina Elegance with a Pd EF nib, a Medici with an 18K EF nib, and a HS Crystal Dream with an 18K M nib (which I had re-ground down to an F, only because it wrote a bit wet and I wanted a finer line). 

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such a pity @katerchen, the pen material looks amazing.  the threads about visconti qc abound in fpn - opinions are quite polarising from buyers who have had no issues to some that will never buy another one.  this variability does put me off a bit, i hate sending pens back for fixes.

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So I had always wanted to add a Visconti to my collection, saw a recent review of them, but before jumping decided to search "Visconti Nibs" and , wow, got this thread. Reading all the comments I have decided to pause that purchase; I would think Visconti would do something to correct this apprehension with their nibs. While some of you have had good experience , others have not; strongly suggests their QC is not where it should be. Thanks for all the posts, will wait until I hear more consistent positive comments.

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Visconti's Opera and Homo sapiens lines are beautiful, both material and design. The QC problems are real deal killers. Though I've followed Visconti for quite a few years, obsessing over their releases, I've pulled trigger on so few. Here is my Visconti strategy: I have one Opera (Gold Point No. 1), my one and only rollerball of all my pens, which tells you how much I love Visconti's Opera design but how afraid I am with their QC :-)))), one Homo Sapiens FP (the Lava/red demo combo with bronze trim from Pen Venture), and one Van Gogh FP (Sunflowers, this was a gift). Whenever I think of buying another Visconti, I must sell a current one. The pain of taking a big loss of selling a pen that I bought new, and the fear of a Visconti QC problem and all the inconvenience that comes with it, keeps my Visconti risks at a tolerable level 😀. Unfortunately I don't have this level of discipline with my other pens. They are either more beautiful, or less troublesome, or cheap enough to forgive.

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12 hours ago, awarrenj said:

So I had always wanted to add a Visconti to my collection, saw a recent review of them, but before jumping decided to search "Visconti Nibs" and , wow, got this thread. Reading all the comments I have decided to pause that purchase; I would think Visconti would do something to correct this apprehension with their nibs. While some of you have had good experience , others have not; strongly suggests their QC is not where it should be. Thanks for all the posts, will wait until I hear more consistent positive comments.

Perhaps buy one from a seller who will tune the nib before sending it out to you. It may cost a bit more, if you compare prices, but possibly worth it for the peace of mind. 

 

I was going to suggest Nibsmith.com as such a seller, but when I tried it just now I got a 404 error on several different pages of theirs. I wonder if they are out of business or if this is a temporary glitch? Anyway, there are other such sellers who do this, such as Appelboom in The Netherlands. 

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27 minutes ago, Paul-in-SF said:

Perhaps buy one from a seller who will tune the nib before sending it out to you. It may cost a bit more, if you compare prices, but possibly worth it for the peace of mind. 

 

I was going to suggest Nibsmith.com as such a seller, but when I tried it just now I got a 404 error on several different pages of theirs. I wonder if they are out of business or if this is a temporary glitch? Anyway, there are other such sellers who do this, such as Appelboom in The Netherlands. 

 

Probably temporary, AWS had a nasty outage in us-east-1 today that brought down a ton of services and web sites. I bought a TWSBI Draco from him not long ago.

 

But on the original topic : this is why I have a love-hate relationship with Visconti : I love their designs. The iconic hook-safe locking mechanism, the huge ink capacity and their exotic materials.

 

And then there's the nib. Always the nib. I hoped that when they finally got rid of the PD nibs (and switched manufacturers I assume) the situation would improve, but at least in my limited experience it's not the case.

 

Oh well. The material is every bit as beautiful in person as the pictures suggest. I can wait some more until they get it right in their repair warehouse, it's not like I have a shortage of pens to write with 😸 

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It has been said before but most of the issues are associated with the gold and palladium nibs.

Ss nibs are okay.

I have probably had 15 or so Viscontis and most have been great and are keepers.

I do know they have problems though but I'm willing to deal with it.

the Danitrio Fellowship

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The Visconti nib issue seems to be totally polarising, the nibs ate either superb or terrible and no where in between.  You take as you find I guess but my Homo Dapiens Bronze Age has a magnificently smooth and consistent palladium nib, just very lucky I guess. 

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I swore off Visconti when my EUR 1500 Watermark came with a nib where the tines weren't the same size, and were misaligned. It took 2 trips to the Australian AD, plus a trip back to Italy to get it in decent writing form. It still had a baby's bottom overpolish on the new nib which I had to polish away myself.

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which goes back to @katerchen's last comment - sure, i can fix most nibs but having to do so on a $$$ pen makes me sad 😭.  especially if i get a bit too aggressive and turn the thing into an untipped stub. 

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Sad to hear about the many misfortunes with this brand. I consider myself lucky. The van Gogh has one of my favorite steel F nibs. The 23k Pd on my HS Midi has been awesome from day 1, though on the wide side for an F. The 18k gold on the fullsize HS is solid but not spectacular. Not going to push my luck any further, no other Viscontis on my radar.

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Sadly, this problem seems to be quite common now a days. I agree, misalignment can be easily fixed but you should not have to with high-end pens. It seems to me that most attention goes out to the look of the pen and not enough attention is given to the actual writing of the pen. And let’s be honest, for me personally 80% of the pen is the writing experience and only 20% the looks.

"Crafting a novel on cotton rag paper with an antique fountain pen is a sensuously rebellious act against modernity." – Khang Kijarro Nguyen

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I have several Viscontis, all with Palladium nibs except the most recent one which is gold. All have needed tuning for baby bottom, misaligned tines or other problems. Since I prefer narrower stubs/italics than Visconti's 1.3mm stubs, I was going to have the nibs customized anyway. 

 

I certainly agree that, for what these pens cost, one should be able to have a nib that writes well out of the box. The thing is that, when they are good out of the box or after tuning, they are delightful writers. I just figure the cost of tuning/custom grinding into my purchase decision, and I buy many fewer Visconti pens because of the hassle and added cost.

 

David

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I haven't been buying Viscontis since a while although I do own a number, and most have been very nice writers.

My strategy with Visconti is, forget trying to find bargains and offers, go to a well know, well trusted shop (even online - possibly local) and ask them to TEST the nib and report back.

The buying condition is, if the nib is not in perfect working order, no deal!

(they generally do not object, but as mentioned, if they do, then it's no deal, as simple as that).

 

btw, very nice looking pen the red one...

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