Friday, December 14, 2012

TWSBI Vac-700 Nib Swap



TWSBI is changing the nibs in their Vac-700 from Bock to Jowo, and in the interim there will be one of each shipped with the pen. If you want to swap the Bock (on the pen) with the Jowo (which comes in a separate nib unit), then you'll want to see this video. It's a little different than when you purchase a TWSBI nib unit by itself (not yet available for the Vac-700), which comes with the grip section of the pen. This nib unit only comes with the nib, feed, and housing, and you'll need to pull the nib out of the housing in order to swap it. It's not hard to do, but there are a couple of little things I needed to point out.

All TWSBI Vac-700's should be coming with the additional Jowo nib now, but you'll want to check with your retailer of choice to make sure they have the Jowo nibs if you're buying a smoke, amber, or blue one. Clear pens already come with the Jowo nib on it, so you will not need to do this swap if you're buying a Clear Vac-700. If you have already purchased a Vac-700 and are having trouble with your nib, send an email to TWSBI at twsbiinc@gmail.com and they will help you out with that and get you a new Jowo nib unit if needed.

TWSBI Vac-700's

Write On,
Brian Goulet

21 comments:

  1. Any updates on the differences in flow between the Jowo nibs and the Bock's?

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  2. So, does it write better than the Bock nibs?

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  3. Heraclitus of DarlingtonDecember 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    I've found that generally, the Jowo has a smoother, more consistent flow than the Bock. I've used the following inks with them both: Noodler's Bulletproof Black, Antietam, Socrates, Empire Red, Apache Sunset, Bad Belted Kingfisher, El Lawrence, X-Feather, #41 Brown, Diamine Ancient Copper, Kelly Green, Damson and Pumpkin. The Bock seems to struggle with Empire Red, in particular. I use EF nibs.

    For example, using the Bock, if I am writing the the letter "J", the horizontal top line displays at a different line density to the vertical line, and I often have to go over the lettering again. With "wet" inks like Noodler's Antietam, the cursive upward stroke of the "J" writes at a higher density than the top horizontal line.

    Bear in mind that I'm an ultra perfectionist when it comes to inks, so you might be happy with the writing experience of the Bock, but the Jowo is a better performer for my money.

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  4. Thank you for your comments Heraclitus. I have a Mini with a Medium nib which may be the best nib I've ever used out of the box (that includes MB's, Pels, Pilots and Sailors) and a 540 Broad that is a close second. From what I've heard of the earlier iteration of the 700's, the nib/feeds were pretty dry relative to the 540's and Mini's. The Nib Nook examples seem to support that opinion. I am curious how the new Jowo's compare to the nibs on the Mini's and 540's. From what you said Heraclitus, they are similar in quality.

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  5. Brian The e mail address is not working. I used twsbiink@gmail.com ??

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  6. "...you'll want to check with your retailer of choice to make sure they have
    the Jowo nibs if you're buying a smoke, amber, or blue one."


    So Brian, I'm contacting you now - if I buy a smoke, amber or blue VAC700 from you today, will I be getting a Jowo nib?

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  7. Their email address is twsbiinc@gmail.com - easy mistake to make!

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  8. Heraclitus of DarlingtonDecember 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    I contacted Philip Wang at TWSBI and he said the following:

    "It was only the Bock nibs on the Vac700 that had minor issues on a certain batch of them, therefore, we replaced it with Jowo nibs. As for the 540s, Bock nibs were perfectly fine, therefore, no switch was being made."

    I wanted to post this in case anyone thought it was all the Vacs that had the problem.

    I'm very impressed with TWSBI's customer service. They even offered to send me a new Jowo nib. I declined because I didn't want to take advantage of their generosity.

    Henry, for me, the Jowo has a 'crisper' and sturdier feel to it. I like to write with the nib heavily angled and rotated, perpendicular to the paper and the Jowo produces a better, more consistent flow for this writing method. If I use a heavily saturated ink, like Noodler's Black (my favourite black ink), and then write "Bock" in cursive, the Jowo will show a crisp, round "o" with little shading, whereas the Bock will shade part of the "o" - showing a slight crescent moon effect on the left hand side. Both nice, but subtly different.

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  9. I guess the TWSBI's I have now are the Bock nibs, so I'm curious to see the difference with the Jowo. I like a smooth nib rather than a "characteristically toothy" one, which is how the Jowo's were described on a thread on FPN. That made me a bit anxious about them. I also want to avoid the dry tendency of some of the 700's I've seen demo'd online. I like the idea of a "crisper" feel better than a "toothy" feel, so perhaps that will be a good thing. Sounds like the Jowo's will end up being a different writing experience at least.

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  10. The Jowo's should be better...I haven't had a lot of time to try all of the different nibs, but TWSBI wouldn't have made a change unless it was worth it.

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  11. I do notice that the new nibs flow a little wetter, but I haven't had time to test them extensively yet.

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  12. Thanks for sharing your insight here!

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  13. The 540's were actually mixed, they used to be Schmidt (which is only a nib unit seller, I believe they actually use Jowo nibs in their units) and changed to Bock, but I've never had an issue with flow on the 540's. The Vac-700's haven't all been bad either, but enough of them have been complaints that TWSBI felt a change was worthwhile. They're a pretty proactive company, and the change is probably making the old nibs seem worse than they are.

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  14. Thanks for pointing out the correction, it is an easy mistake to make!

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  15. Yes, we made sure to get replacement Jowo nibs for all of the Vac-700's we have, so all of them will have both the new and old nibs (the old will be the one installed on the pen, just like in the video. The only ones that won't come with two nibs are the clear ones, because they already have Jowo nibs installed.

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  16. Yes, TWSBI does have great CS, and is very responsive to things like this...that's where this whole thing stems from, they want to have the best writing pens they can. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  17. I personally don't feel much of a difference between the two nibs, it's very subtle if anything. The biggest difference I noticed was with the ink flow, not so much the feel of the nib. Some people will likely interpret that as having a different feel, just because the ink will come out differently.

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  18. Philip is sending me a JoWo in the mail, and I'm looking forward to it.

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  19. Great! TWSBI has great customer service, and they're really going above and beyond to take care of these Vac nibs.

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  20. Would anyone happen to know TWSBI's policy on nib exchanges for a pen that was not bought directly from them? I got a Vac700 back when they first came out, but it was not from TWSBI irectly. I think it was eBay actually (but it may not have been). In any event, I no longer have any of the info from the transaction. Would they also provide a new nib in that case or do I just have to buy one?

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  21. I would go ahead and contact TWSBI at twsbiinc@gmail.com. They actually sell on Amazon and ebay, so you may have bought it directly from them without realizing it ;)

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