Ink Notes: Diamine Strauss

Diamine Strauss and the Music Collection

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.

Pens Used

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)

Writing Samples

Additional Reading

Review on FPN

Ink Notes: Edison Herald with Diamine Golden Brown Ink

Photo of the Edison Herald

I spent a lot of time using the Edison Herald with a fine nib and Diamine Golden Brown ink during the past week. I filled four Edison Pens with brown ink and alternated their use until I eventually gravitated to this one. I was easily the most used pen this week. Not so much because I liked it the best. Rather, it was for almost the opposite reason – I was undecided whether or not I liked the combo.

When it first hit the paper I thought the ink was too light. Golden Brown is a good name for it, with an emphasis on “Gold”. But I found it easy enough to read on the various papers I used, all of which tended to be a variation of white. While it doesn’t rise to the level of favorite, the color grew on me over time and I kind of like it. Well, at least I don’t dislike it.

As for the ink/pen combo? Hmmm. I didn’t have any actual performance issues. It wrote without hesitation or skipping from first time the nib hit the paper to the last word. The ink is a very dry ink, at least compared to other inks I’ve used, without much saturation. This does mean it dries fast. It was under 5 seconds on the paper I used, except for Rhodia where it was 5 or 6 seconds.

The ink wasn’t flowing very freely in the converter but that didn’t seem to be the cause of the dry lines. But after writing a couple pages the pen did begin to feel like it was straining to put ink on the paper and the line was even drier and lighter.

I still have some of the sample left so for its next pen I’ll pick a thicker and wetter nib and see how it handles that.

Bottom Line: The ink is nice but a little light for my personal taste. I’d also prefer a little more saturation. Maybe I’ll like it more in a thicker nib. But in any event, I don’t expect I’ll like the ink enough to invest in a bottle.

As for the pen: Like all my Edisons it writes without any problems and I like the color a lot. That iPhone picture makes it look much darker than it really is. The pen is about as small as I feel comfortable writing with. I don’t post my pens and while this is post-able I’d always be concerned the cap would eventually mar the finish if it’s posted tight enough not to fall off.

This is one pen/ink combo I won’t repeat even though the ink color complements the pen color nicely.

Additional Reading: FPN Reviews here and here

Ink Notes: Diamine Ancient Copper

Overall I really like this brown ink and copper is a good name for this ink. It flows well, doesn’t feather or bleed through on all the papers I used, from cheap copy paper to Rhodia  pads. The color really depends on the nib used and I tend to use thinner nibs so I don’t get a lot of shading.

I’ve used it in the following pens:

The Pilot Vanishing Point (Matte Black) with the .6mm stub nib performed well. I tend to have a light touch when writing and even lighter when using the Vanishing Point. This did cause some skipping but was probably due more to my pen not making good contact in a notebook that doesn’t lie flat or when I write too fast and barely touch the paper. Even so, there was good ink flow. There was a little shading apparent when using this nib. Drying time was about 15 seconds on a Rhodia Dotpad with this nib.

When concentrating and making sure I apply a little more pressure than I normally would the ink and pen wrote well without hesitation or false starts.

Additional Reading/Viewing

FPGeeks Inkcyclopedia for Ancient Copper

Compared with like colors

Reviewed on FPN