Diamine Strauss is one of the ten inks in the Diamine Music Collection of inks. The ink is sold only in complete sets of all ten inks, each in a 30 ml bottle. Each set is numbered and I’ve read that owner’s can get replacements bottles. Although I haven’t seen any details on the Diamine or their retailers website on how to get them. I bought my set from the UK before it was released in the US. Even with the exchange rate and shipping it was slightly less than the current US proces, it just took longer for delivery.
The ink is pricey, about 33 cents/ml. That’s still cheaper than Pilot Iroshizuku ink at 56 cents/ml. Of course, regular Diamine is just over 6 cents/ml.
It’s a nice brownish red color that I enjoy. There’s not much line variation or shading with my thin extra fine nibs. There’s definitely more saturation and a little line variation with thicker nibs. It’s got some nice shading with a stub nib.
I didn’t experience any bleed through, show through or noticeable feathering on my typical Rhodia or Doane paper. There’s no bleed or show through with cheap copy paper although there was some noticeable feathering with thicker or wetter nibs. But my typical thin nibs are fine with this ink on any paper I’ve used.
The ink flows well in each of the pens I’ve used, although only two have been used more than one night of testing.I didn’t have any problems with the inks sitting in a pen for a few days without being used. The pens wrote immediately and there wasn’t any staining.
I haven’t had any problems cleaning this ink out of pens. Considering the reddish look of the ink I expected it to be a bit tougher to clean. But is flushed easily.
The dry time of the ink is a little slower than I’d like in a daily writer. It’s slow enough that I have to worry about smudges and turning the page too soon.
As the samples show, the ink has no water resistance, which may help explain the unexpected ease of cleaning.
TWSI Vac 700 (extra fine) – This was the first ink I ever used in this pen, so I don’t have anything to compare it with. The flow was good, no skipping, even with fast writing. It’s a thin line which doesn’t show off this ink to it’s best effect. It looked fine, until I did the samples and it was right next to a thicker fine nib, where the color popped. The pen was easy to flush from the pen, I didn’t have to take it apart.
Franklin-Christoph Model 29 Bellus (fine nib) – The ink is darker with this pen than with the Vac 700. the ink looks much better with the thicker, wetter line. I used this as my note taking pen for a couple of days. There were a couple accidental smudges during that time and one premature page turn. This pen was also easy to clean.
The remaining pens were all just used for testing the ink then immediately cleaned. None experienced any problems writing and were easy to clean. They were: Pilot Metropolitan (medium nib), TWSBI Diamond 540 (broad nib), TWSBI Diamond 540 (1.5 mm stub)