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

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.

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.

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.

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.)


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
Review: Noodler's Neponset Fountain Pen - Music "Vishnu" Nib
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

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.


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