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Hongdian N7 Peacock and Rabbit


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37 minutes ago, J120 said:

The tool withholding still makes no sense

 

Like I said, I think it's a ploy to help create some semblance of value-add in the brand's loyalty/membership programme, by siphoning off value-add inclusions that used to be part and parcel to the retail products that goes out to every customer (and including through authorised or even unauthorised resellers), to making it so that if you want to do anything to the pen that is more ‘advanced’ than just casual or everyday use, e.g. servicing the piston mechanism, then someone will need to either be a direct ‘loyal’ retail customer of the brand, or draw on resources not already provided in the purchase price.

 

42 minutes ago, J120 said:

but in time like most things it should be resolved by individual parts or some other random model coming with one that works on these just the same.

 

Oh, I have a homemade tool that does the job; and that is proven, because I just worked on the piston mechanisms in my N1-S pens yesterday in spite of having bought the pens from the (type of) seller that doesn't even include a converter and eyedropper when you buy a Majohn A1 (in spite of having mentioned the inclusion of such in the product listing), and so never got the official disassembly tool with those pens, and the official HongDian store didn't send me one with the N6 as it had expressly promised me, and failed again to do so after I complained. I can make do without it, but it just makes me look upon the brand more dimly with each passing day.

 

It would be wise, in so many ways, for HongDian to supply that tool with every piston-filler pen, because it apparently has a QC issue with the way the piston stems are seated (in the mechanism) in the factory, so much so that it made an instructional video to show users how to reseat a piston stem. (Ridiculously, they sent the video to me in an attempt to ‘prove’ to me that the tool isn't necessary, and hoping that I wouldn't push hard for them to physically send me the tool in a separate shipment. Of course, in the video the tool is used and integral to the process.) I've seen many complaints in customer feedback (on AliExpress, etc.) about the tiny ink capacity of the N1-S, and in fact I have returned one as defective for refund on account of that, even though I know how to fix the issue, since a tool wasn't supplied in the package from this independent seller, and he/she has declined to give me a partial refund for the apparent defect (due poor QC in the factory), so I just let him/her wear the cost of return postage.

 

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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All our mileage will vary but the information from Smug does give one pause. At some point you wonder when someone might recognize the aesthetics alone will do nothing when you undermine your own products with QC indifference.  No brand is above a defect,(I'm looking at Italian pens that cost 5x and hard start if start at all), but the cost of addressing the issue is more valuable in the longterm than the run around. The wechat posts amd the Bilibili comments about Lanbitou from the Asian home base are brutal. It is full of "kids toy and instant landfill jokes." 

 

I am looking forward to inspecting my pens when they arrive because sometimes our disagreements are tolerance levels. I do share the belief that some of the issues are lazy efforts that could be resolved by just putting the extra costs into quality checks. At this scale, probably never going to happen. 

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Bobby is the St. PenBBS store on Aliexpress. (No idea why he/she/ they are using that odd name but it is Bobby)

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10 hours ago, Jamerelbe said:

He now sells primarily through

 

Thank you very much. OK, I knew the store names but not the relationship.

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No relationship, just have not has an issue with that seller providing the items as advertised. 

Industrial Mechanical (another what in the name) is also consistent.

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Sometimes I wonder why companies don't understand the importance of having a good relationship with their customers.

And if you disrespect your customer, it never can be helpful to your sales. Mouth-to-ear recommendations are the most influential sales pitches.

I understand that there are some never-be-content and bitching customers but I think most of them are just normal.

 

And then something to wonder about: how much do the Chinese companies really sell.

Have a look here: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005003665900625.html

Available 9999 per color, which probably means 10000. Only the grey stands at 9998 which probably means that the two sold were of grey color.

If you look at the other products in the Hongdian store, about the same picture. If you look at other sellers at Aliexpress, it is a bit better, but still, I never saw a product where it said sold thousands.

 

Hongdian brings out so many new pens that I stopped looking for them. Every two weeks a new pen takes away the fun of having Hongdian pens. Santini from Italy also brings out too many LEs. The situation is very similar to Hongdian, just they call it LE and charge much more. Having a limited edition pen and there are 200 other limited pen series takes away the fun. Limited fun editions. If I pay a lot for a limited edition then it should be something special. I lost the fun, so I will sell them. See my signature.

 

Just a few thoughts which came up while reading the comments.

 

Michael

--

Latest end of March, I will start selling 90-95% of my pens: Jinghao, Hero, Baoer, Yiren, Wingsung, Dikawen, Kaiduoli, Parker, Sailor, Pilot, Platinum, Pelikan, CdA, Waterman, Lamy, Porsche Design - announcement will be here:  LINK. I will keep my Hongdian, Waldmann, Scriptorium, Manupropria, Lotus, and a few others: LINK.

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We always have to take into consideration we are not the intended or primary concern for these sellers. We find deficiencies that may be the result of simple indifference to the independent selker buying the product in bulk and selling to overseas markets. It doesn't make things any less frustrating but at times I think we forget this is not a US wholesaler and a familiar retail storefront selling  these pens. Even the official stores on Taobao do not eliminate the cultural gap that exists with expectations and services. I just naturally assume there are services like there are pens we will not enjoy due to not being in the primary market. At the same time, if the pen comes with a tool out of the factory,  do not remove it from the packaging.

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6 hours ago, mke said:

Having a limited edition pen and there are 200 other limited pen series takes away the fun. Limited fun editions.

 

I actually appreciate the very real and practical idea that the pen model is the ‘cookie cutter’ pattern not about to be discontinued any time soon, but every particular chatoyant acrylic or swirly ebonite is limited in supply, with a de facto policy of not restocking. If you see a pen model you like in a material and colourway that tugs at your heartstrings, then to acquire it brand new you need to jump onto it, no waiting around for discount offers, or seeing whether something even better will come along shortly, to make the (from the consumer's perspective) optimal purchasing decision with one's hobby budget. I remember seeing quite a few people complaining when certain colourways of the Moonman M600S sold out, because they waited too long with the unwarranted expectation that the manufacturer will keep restocking and producing more of the same if it proves popular. I think the manufacturer has probable reason — supported by analysis of historical sales, perhaps — to believe that it yields better return on investment to push out a ‘limited’ N units each in 12 different colourways, in releases of three at a time over the course of one year, instead of waiting to see which of the first release colourways prove most popular and keep producing more of that; few people would give their repeat custom for the same pen model in the same colourway (although I do, from time to time, e.g. for the HongDian N1-S that only comes in a single colourway and not a plain colour at that). Why hope to please those in the market who want to play wait-and-see, when there are enough others who are prepared to buy more toys of the same model as long as they look pretty yet different from the previous one? Better still, let's train those pen ‘collectors’ or accumulators to jump onto every new release; and it takes deliberately pre-setting a fixed number of how many to produce of each. Now, if that is the tactic, then isn't it nicer (as well as more compelling) to give prospective customers plenty of warning that a colourway can sell out, and won't be coming back in that event?

 

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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Whether you collect, accumulate, or just dip your toe in when you see something that speaks to your preferences, the buyer has to purchase when the iron is hot. The scale at which the Chinese manufacturers produce their pens can condition consumers into a false sense of security regarding availability. The Wing Sung 698, 601, 618, etc were produced at a scale that the Majohn 600s or m100 were not. It became very evident that supply was not going to meet demand and the price hikes and current market show that if you want certain popular pens and colorways, patience is not the buying standard. 

With the Chinese pens, if you want a particular colorway you have to strike while the iron is hot if you can. The White clip Majohn A1 is such a pen. That particular color and variation has not been as readily available as the other variations and colors. The Q1 colors initially were like that for a period. Majohn either caught up with the demand or it was just coincidence. 

I doubt we will ever get a clear idea what the production cycle motivations are because for westerners,  the universal truth that they are not producing the pens for this market. 

The US consumer is at the mercy of what the individual sellers or flagship store make available. Not so different than the western market but we currently have no mouthpiece explaining the supply and the "why."

If you like a pen and it's in the budget, you roll the dice waiting.  The price may double, the variation or color might become nonexistent. I can get as many PenBBS 268s my heart desires but the 456 is a supply and demand pen if you like a certain colorway 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

N7 Rabbit and Peacock arrived along with the N1s and N6. 


Rabbit is my favorite.  All are well made. The pistons work smoothly. People are right about the need longterm for the tool to service these pens but I am sure it will eventually Pena.

 

Well balanced pens.

 

No QC issues found.  

 

The sub $50 market belongs to the East. If you add the wrench like Wing Sung adds the tools and grease for the 601s there is no competition. 

 

N6 is the only model witb an ebonite feed. It feels like a mistake not having them on the N7.

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Those are good looking pens.

Fountain pens are my preferred COLOR DELIVERY SYSTEM (in part because crayons melt in Las Vegas).

Create a Ghostly Avatar and I'll send you a letter. Check out some Ink comparisons: The Great PPS Comparison 

Don't know where to start?  Look at the Inky Topics O'day.  Then, see inks sorted by color: Blue Purple Brown Red Green Dark Green Orange Black Pinks Yellows Blue-Blacks Grey/Gray UVInks Turquoise/Teal MURKY

 

 

 

 

 

 

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They're very pretty. In the original photos, the Peacock seemed to be in the teal family, but in your pictures the pen looks more blue-ish. I like it, it looks great. I will probably get one of those too, perhaps a matte black N6 as I like the stealth look. Thanks for sharing!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/26/2022 at 8:20 AM, J120 said:

Well balanced pens.

 

large.643549841_Monthrabbitreally.jpg.8acd8e3329c0af313d074cb53c64d6ae.jpg

 

(N.B. the inset in the annotated image above was cropped from a photo I took of the pen I received yesterday)

 

I like the look of the N7 ‘Month Rabbit’ (LOL), but the metal piston knob makes it rather more back-weighted than I like. The N1-S is better in that regard.

 

On 3/26/2022 at 8:20 AM, J120 said:

N6 is the only model witb an ebonite feed. It feels like a mistake not having them on the N7.

 

I'd say that an ebonite feed is unnecessary for any of the models, even if it's considered by many (predominantly hobbyists in the Western market) to be a value-add. There really is no need to make the N7 as good as possible, or even better than it is, to sell enough units of it to HongDian's target customer base; and if not having an ebonite feed on the N7 does not unduly retard sales volume, then it isn't a mistake.

 

In any case, I think HongDian is really only testing the waters with the ebonite feed thing — which, to me, is indication that the company's management acknowledges that it's seen as a value-add — and it makes sense to either only put it in the most ‘premium’ pen models (and HongDian has a few with gold nibs, and priced well above what I would gladly pay for a Chinese pen), or at least withhold it from the more attractive-looking commonplace models, and pick just one that may not sell as well in its own right. The Chinese hanzi radicals in sunk relief decorating the caps of the N6 models probably don't appeal to hobbyists in the West all that much, so it makes sense to put an ebonite feed in that, and see whether Westerners want the ebonite feed enough (that is, see it as enough of a value-add) to buy sufficient volumes of the N6, as a means of gauging interest from paying customers.

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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  • 2 weeks later...

It's getting a bit tiresome that every HongDian piston-filler as supplied (to me) has to be checked, and more often than not needs to be have its piston mechanism disassembled to reseat the piston stem, in order to achieve maximum ink reservoir capacity allowed by the pens' designs.

large.660290173_HongDianpiston-fillersasdeliveredoftenbenefitfromhavingtheirpistonsreseated.jpg.d328565f782475c4ded4529715143b92.jpg

 

Spoiler

Just to pre-empt, please don't ask me what the expected/ maximum ink capacity for the HongDian N7 is; that isn't the point of the above. I'm not reviewing the pen, its design specifications, construction quality, or performance characteristics here. I'm only trying to help and prompt fellow owners of the N7 to check their pens, if they're of a mind to get the most ink capacity possible from the design, and suggest an easy way for them to see how far off the maximum achievable ink capacity their pens are, as delivered, by measuring the distance from the piston plug's front-end to the end of the piston knob when the piston is fully retracted.

 

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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A manufacturing and QC issue. Annoying problem but once you have the tool, it is easily solved. 

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On 3/26/2022 at 8:20 AM, J120 said:

N6 is the only model witb an ebonite feed. It feels like a mistake not having them on the N7.

 

In case you're thinking about plucking the ebonite feed from an N6 and jamming into an N1-S (as I was) or N7, you can banish that thought now.   The housing for nibs with plastic feeds is keyed, and the root of the plastic feed has one flat side; the housing for nibs with ebonite feeds is not. The nib housing is held in place with glue on the N6 and N7, as far as I can tell, so simply screwing the entire nib unit out of an N6, to swap and fit into an N1-S or N7, is not a ready option, although perhaps someone has a method for breaking the glue's bond without damaging the collar, feed, and nib on the N6.

 

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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On 4/19/2022 at 4:45 PM, A Smug Dill said:

 

… The nib housing is held in place with glue on the N6 and N7, as far as I can tell ..

 

I was able to quite easily unscrew the nib housing on my Month Rabbit N7 (to check that it was the same as on my N1-S), although others like Doug Rathbone on YT have reported it stuck fast. So that may be another of the QC variations.

 

I was also perhaps lucky that the piston travel on my N7 was a good 25mm, although it was pretty poor on the N1-S. Perhaps I should have ordered the tool with my N6 - assuming the same tool fits all these models.

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