Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music Nib

Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
This stunning pen is not yet commercially released. This was actually sent to SBRE Brown (who reviewed it already) by Alex, who won it in an art contest that Noodler's ran. He sent it to Stephen to review, who will then send it on to FPGeeks who will then give it away to the FPGeeks community. This is Alex's choice, as an incredible and generous thank you to the community who supported him. I'm not sure I'd have been able to part with this were I in his shoes! I tell ya: the pen community is an amazing one. While Alex has no idea I would end up reviewing this, I send him my gratitude anyway because it was a pleasure to be able to give this pen a test run and I really look forward to the day Nathan gets this one out to the market, because I'm sure as heck going to get one!
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
ABOUT

This pen is the largest pen by Noodler's and is called the Neponset, which was one of the first dirigible airships from The New England Airship Corp., a Massachusetts company that Nathan's grandfather was the CEO of.

Body Material: Acrylic
Trim: Chrome
Length (capped): 6.05"
Length (uncapped nib-end): 5.31"
Length (posted): 7.13"
Barrel Diameter: 0.55"
Section Diameter: 0.43" - 0.48"
Nib material: Steel
Weight: 24 g
Fill type: Plunge-filler (like in an Ahab)/Eyedropper
Price: No idea yet!
Where to buy: Nowhere yet... LE SIGH.

PACKAGING
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
This pen is packaged in the standard Noodler's way - wrapped in a bunch of papers that give you information about the pen and its history, which is actually quite fascinating to read, and then stuffed into a box with catfish drawn onto it. So far, I've never had a Noodler's pen damaged this way, and then after I've read everything, it all gets recycled. It also keeps the cost of the pen down. Not that you can buy this pen, but otherwise, it's perfect. So I'm not going to complain because I actually really hate having to deal with packaging.

APPEARANCE
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
The pen is a very large pen, similar to the Ahab in appearance, but longer, a little thicker, and it has more of a blimp shape. There is no finial, it just has rounded ends. The center band is chrome and says Noodler's ink on it. The pen is well-designed in that everything is proportional, but the pen is very large. Unscrewed, there is a plunge-filler inside just like the one you find in the Ahab. It's almost comical to see it inside this pen because it almost looks small.
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
The section is black, with a flared ring near the nib and expands into the threads at the barrel. The threads are a little sharp. The nib fits the pen well; it's not too small, which is a relief because that would have been disappointing. The ebonite feed is hand cut and is a three fissure music feed to be able to keep up with the massive ink demands of the nib itself.
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
The material is gorgeous! It is a little bit pearlescent, has stunning depth, and it has green, white, and reddish bits in it. It's really beautiful and I have tried my best to capture it in the photographs (failed.). It is not unlike the beautiful acrylic pens that I love.

NIB & PERFORMANCE
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
The steel nib is indeed a classic music nib, with three tines (unlike the two-tined music nib found on the Sailor). It has been named the Vishnu Victory nib in honor of the 2.5 million WWII allied soldiers of India, as well as in reference to the source of the rubber used in both the ebonite pen and the original Neponset blimp (from Charles Goodyear's company) It's a little bit scratchy, but then it is a steel nib. On the right paper, such as Rhodia/Clairefontaine, I found it much  more pleasant to use than on cheaper paper. Of course, the smoothness of the paper influenced that and made it more enjoyable to write with.
The line variation is quite great, but it does require a fair amount of pressure from my weenie self to make it flex. As Stephen says in his review - don't expect a vintage wet noodle music nib. For me, I had to exert a fair bit of pressure to get the full amount of flex that Stephen was able to get in his review, which is the opposite of what I experience with my vintage Waterman music nib. Nevertheless, the line variation is most certainly there, and the feed keeps up quite well when the nib is fully flexed. I'm not complaining. I know fully well this is a steel nib and not a oodly noodly soft gold nib, so this is to be expected. It's just a little harder to write faster (and it also means I have to press harder on the page).
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
I think, traditionally, a music nib is supposed to be a little more stubby (for example, for writing music notes), and this one is quite fine when writing without pressure, but I really don't care. What Nathan has done here is produced a modern steel flex music nib, and I'm thrilled about that! (Please don't freak out if I'm wrong. I'm not an expert. I'm just guessing based on things I've read. They may or may not have been reliable sources.)

IN HAND

The threads are sharp, but I grip my pens quite low so they don't affect me (they also smell funny). Posted, the pen is just huge and not feasible for me to write with. It's not overly heavy, but it's too long. Unposted, it's quite comfortable for me, and again, the weight is fine. It's not very heavy in general.
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
It is significantly larger than the Noodler's Creaper fountain pen, and definitely larger than the Ahab as well.
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
PROS & CONS
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
QUICK COMPARISONS
The nib is pretty big. Have a look at the Neponset's nib as compared to the Ahab and Creaper nibs!
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
I'm sure you're all curious about how the Neponset's nib compares to other music nibs! Well, fortunately I have a few I can compare with. From top to bottom, there is the Neponset music nib, a Waterman 94 vintage music nib, Platinum 3776 music nib, and a Sailor 1911 Standard music nib. Only the Waterman is a vintage nib. The Platinum, Sailor, and Neponset are all modern nibs.
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
The Sailor is the only music nib with two tines. The others have three tines. The Waterman nib is 14kt gold, Platinum, and Sailor nibs are 14kt gold. The Neponset is steel. Keep that in mind when looking at the line variation samples below. Honestly? I'd say the Neponset is the best, right after the Waterman (out of the ones I own, that is).
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
OVERALL

This pen is gorgeous in terms of its aesthetics. Although it is a large pen, it doesn't appear to be oversized because it's very nicely designed and it feels very light and comfortable. When I uncapped it, I was awestruck by the sight of a modern three-tined music nib (Sailor has two-tined music nib but it's not the same as a "real" music nib). Overall: there is no doubt I will purchase this as soon as it becomes available, despite my experiences with the Noodler's Nib Creaper and the Ahab (neither of which ever worked). I'll buy this in a heartbeat. It's a gorgeous pen and, obviously, a unique nib. MUST HAVE.

19 comments:

Pen Paper Ink Letter said...

Great review. Now I just need to win one... Where can I win one?

Peninkcillin said...

Oh man great review! It's really cool that someone got their hands on these before they're released. I just love fat pens. Not sure I'll get one because I have both the Ahab and creaper. The nib is intriguing and so is the shape. Not very thrilled with the clip.

Let's see what colors Nathan comes up with. I'm still hoping he'll make a true wet noodle nib at some point.

Love your penmanship, as usual :)

A minor correction. Shouldn't
"The center bend is chrome and says Noodler's ink on it."
be
"The center BAND is chrome and says Noodler's ink on it."
instead?

Jade said...

That pen looks amazing, I can't wait to get one.

Adam said...

Thanks for the comparison shots. I was surprised at how much larger it is than the Ahab. Can't wait to get my hands on one!

Lee Munro said...

Wow. I really like this pen. Even if I never wrote with it, the ogle factor is off the scale.

I always love what you do with that Waterman, you make music with it.

Steve W said...

Great pen! You mention problems you had with other Noodler's pens. My Konrad is writes perfectly--never skips, flexes well and is hard to railroad. After it initially didn't write too well, I gave it a few minutes to carefully re-position the nib and feed together. Ever since then, it's in my top couple of pens. Looking forward to obtaining this new pen when it comes out!

Peter Buergin-Witt said...

Thanks for a great review of a much anticipated pen! Sorry to hear about your bad experience with the other Noodler's pens - I have "started up" a total of 8 Noodlers so far (5 Ahabs, 3 Ebonite Konrads) and all worked flawlessly after a good initial flush - so don't give up! Yours must have been flukes of some sort (though I still anticipate a minor catastrophe every time I get a new one, mostly as gifts, but it never seems to happen!). Anyways - thanks for your blog, always so much fun to read - I love your style!

Azizah Asgarali said...

It'll be on FPGeeks in the near future ;) Although I *hear* it should be on the market really, really soon...

Azizah Asgarali said...

Thanks! Ah yes, my poor Noodler's pens. Le sigh. NOTHING made them work. I eventually lucked out on a Konrad though, which I am very pleased with, as well as a Creaper that was gifted by a friend. Must look at an Ahab again. I do understand that it's a bit of a game of luck with them. Hopefully I'll have a better run with an Ahab this time hehe. Although maybe I should get one through you since you seem to have excellent luck ;)
Thank you for your kind comment, I'm very happy you enjoy my blog :)

Azizah Asgarali said...

My Konrad was my third Noodler's I bought and it was the one that finally worked for me. My Ahab/Creaper are lost causes. I have tried EVERYTHING to get them to write, cleaning, sonicating, scrubbing, resetting feed, etc. They were probably just duds. At least my Konrad works! I really like it, too.

Azizah Asgarali said...

Thank you :) It is a very, very cool pen. I can't wait for it to come out, although I have no doubt it'll sell out in minutes and I won't even get one lol

Azizah Asgarali said...

Oh no, you must get one, even if you have the Ahab/Creaper. The nib is too nifty to pass up hehe.


Thank you for pointing that out. Totally missed that. Brain dead, obviously.

Peter Buergin-Witt said...

How about me sending you my "Crow" Ahab? It's a bit sinister, but gorgeous for copying E.A.Poe's scribblings!

Kelley said...

Purchased an Ahab recently, and had a Goulet Nib put on it, and it worked wonderfully right out of the box. Since none of my pen use requires a flex nib, I found the Goulet nib to be very nice and overall smooth. Like other pen lovers, looking forward to it being commercially sold.

Jay Pulli said...

I just received mine from the Goulets. Interesting pen. Mine is the Chestnut version, your green on does not yet seem to be available. Took a bit of time for the ink to fill the feed channels, so a hard start at first. But once it "soaked in", it wrote surprisingly well, given my experience with other Noodler pens. It does require a bit of downforce to get it to flex. Will give it more of a try this weekend.

CaptainGroovy said...

I am grabbed up a Neponset from Anderson Pen's on the first day of release and love it despite what I figure is slightly higher price than I expected. Neverless for 75 dollars I still think it is a good deal. My Neponset is the first Noodler's pen that all I did was Flush, Fill with Ink, and Write. I have been spurting out Noodler's General of the Armies ink from its music nib like Jonah the whale. Speaking of General of the Armies ink I find the ink to be well behaved and I like the color changing trick as well. Seriously I have run almost about half a bottle of General of the Armies ink thought the pen and it just keeps writing better. I have found the more you use a Noodler's pen the better they perform and the Neponset is no different. I also find that only cleaning the feeds the barest amount possible is important for Noodler's pens to write their best. I personal believe this has to do with the quality of ebonite available today. If you look at a Noodler's ebonite feed or most any modern ebonite feed under magnification they are rather rough and porous looking. Now some of this especially with Noodler's pens and pens made in India is because of how they are machined as well as the quality of the ebonite but I have looked at other boutique and high end pens made of ebonite and for the most part it is not near the quality of ebonite that was made before WWII or even until the 1970's but even the ebonite made in the 50 and 60's was in my opinion the same quality as the pre-war stuff. That being said the more ink that is allowed to soak into the ebonite feeds to the point that they can no longer take in anymore ink they better they write because the feed is no longer trying to absorb ink and just allows it to flow. Think of ebonite as a sponge and try and slide a dry to damp sponge across a countertop it is going to drag but saturate the sponge and it will glide across the countertop the same principle also works with ebonite feeds in pens.


As far as the flexibility of the nib on the neponset it is on par at this point with a Ahab or Konrad but it writes a much finer line when not flexed and returns back to its non-flex line width almost instantly which a Ahab\Konrad nib does not do.


The verdict do I think the Neponset is a 75 dollar pen maybe but I think at 75 dollars it should include a the Broad standard nib that Noodler's is now selling but I still think even with the extra nib the price should be lowered to 65 dollars

THRobinson said...

Old post I know but... was that a one time only finish for those pens? if not, what's the name of the colour of the pen?

Azizah Asgarali said...

I think this particular finish was a one time thing :( I haven't seen it with the new batches of acrylics, but perhaps it'll come up at some point.

Mikey Mazur said...

I might have to get one of these off ebay

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