07 May 2013

Noodler's Konrad Rattlesnake and Adrenaline

I had been waiting for some time to try and snag one of the ripple ebonite Konrads from Noodler's.  I have always been impressed with Noodler's Ink.  I am not going to tote them as the perfect brand... because I am not sure one exists.  I have been using their ink for a long time, and I trust it.  I liked the original Nib Creeper pens, and really like the Ahabs.  I was a little disappointed in the original Konrad.  I did not think the fit and finish was there.

I really thought the ebonite Konrad would be a big improvement.  Like anything else, however, I am easily distracted when it comes to pens.  Then I saw a video Nathan (Noodler's CEO, Chief Chemist, etc) posted on you tube about the acrylic Konrads ... The John Mung Konrad.  

I am not a big fan of white pens... The picture below show most of the pens I have at the ready.  I have more in boxes and drawers, but these are the ones that are usually in active rotation.  I think I have a white Lamy somewhere... I am really a fan of blue or black... but the acrylic Konrads are really pretty.

I almost bought the John Mung pen.  The one I kept ogling, however, was this one... the Rattlesnake and Adrenaline acrylic Konrad.  

No, it does not come in a pretty sleeve .. it comes in the same box that all the Noodler's pens have.  I do think the white background really accentuates the chatoyance of the material.  It is somewhat transparent.  You can see a few threads about mid-way up the body of the pen.

The fit and finish is excellent.  There are no stray pieces of plastic, or metal fittings that slip.

I have only had this pen a few weeks, but I have used it quite a bit.  It is really a lovely pen.  I took more pictures than I normally do... simply because it is so hard to express in a photo how pretty it really is.

That is not the stock flex nib on the pen.  I have a Jinhao 159 turned into a desk pen that has a wet medium nib.  It has one of the wetter feeds of all my pens.  I use it at school on my desk to write notes on cheap paper, write discipline referral slips on REALLY cheap paper, and the like.  I wanted a finer nib... and after using the stock nib on this Konrad... I knew what I was going to do.  The desk pen now has a flex nib.  This is the 7th or 8th flex nib I have gotten from Noodler's and I will say it is superior.  I don't know what is so different about it, but it is easier to get it to flex and is far more consistent.

I used the opportunity of getting a new nib to try out Jowo nibs.  I usually get Bock nibs as replacements, but the Goulets have started selling branded Jowo nibs.  It is a nice nib, smooth and stiff... I prefer some give... but I have learned what to expect from modern steel nibs.  The jury is still out as to whether Jowo beats out Bock.  It is a nice nib.  I got a Broad... It fits the pen nicely.

The first inking was Waterman Florida Blue... then Noodler's Black... in the above picture it is filled with Pilot Iroshizuku Tsuki-yo.  At first I thought a colored ink would mess with the visual balance of the pen, but I find that I really like the bluish tinge that comes through.

If I were to have a complaint with the looks, it would be this little patch of air bubbles that settled in the acrylic.  You can see them in the picture above... just to the right of the ink window.  On the other hand... it almost looks like a batch of scales... it is called Rattlesnake and Adrenaline after all.

It is a comfortable pen... for me.  I thought the original Konrad was a bit small.  This one is comfortable.  I do not post my pens, but because the piston nob is under a blind cap, you can do so without risking turning the piston.

Compared to the other models of Noodler's I have, it is definitely one of the bigger ones.  From left to right: Neponset, Acrylic Konrad, Ahab, Original Konrad, Nib Creeper.

Compared to some of the better known pens, I think it can still be considered a larger pen.  From left to right: MontBlanc 149, Noodler's Neponset, Noodler's Konrad, TWSBI 540, Sheaffer Legacy II, Lamy 2000.

I will buy another acrylic Konrad when more colors come out.  If nothing else, these are a great price for a beautiful pen.  40$ is nothing compared to the money you could spend on an acrylic pen from one of the bigger companies, or to have one custom made.  I think they are very comparable to a pen from one of the major brands, but I think the fit and finish of a custom pen is still superior.

If you have been holding off from getting a Noodler's pen because you got frustrated with an early model Ahab, or have just been waiting for the Noodler's to put out a true "user grade" "works out of the box" pen...  this is your pen.  This is not just a pen for tinkerers... etc... this is a solid, beautiful, functional fountain pen.

I realized that I mentioned the new Jowo nib... here is how broad the broad is:

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