Hey, ho! I think I am on a roll lately blogging about fountain pens and reviewing them at top speed. Today’s review is going to be about a really cool music pen – the Platinum Music Nib Pen.
What is a music pen used for, you may ask? Is it only for writing music? Clearly not, even though the nib is supposed to be optimized for writing on sheet music when placed upright on a music stand. You can use the music pen for everyday writing, that is, if you like the line variation that it offers.
There are 3 brands that I know of which are carrying the music pen.
- Platinum music nib on a Platinum 3776 pen (which is the one I have)
- Pilot/Namiki has a music nib that you can install on the Custom 74 or Custom 742 pens
- Sailor also places their music nib by default on the Sailor 1911 fountain pen.
The Platinum and Pilot music nibs have double slits and triple tines, a feature which is supposed to improve the ink flow via the feed to the tip of the nib. This enables a consistent ink delivery to the sheet music even when you write vertically.
Actually, the Sailor pen is supposed to be able to deliver the ink really well, despite having only 1 slit like a normal fountain pen. But if you ask me, a music nib is special because of the special, triple-tined look, so it was a choice between the Pilot and the Platinum for me!
I chose the Platinum because of the smooth feel of the nib with some papery feedback which is pleasant to me, yet does not get into the way of writing on paper.
Taking a closer look at the nib, you can see where the 3 tines meet at the nib tip of the pen. The nib itself has a pretty design engraved with an embellished “3776” (which is the model number of the pen), the Platinum logo, and “14K Music” to indicate that it is a 14K gold music nib. Gold nibs are always a pleasure to write with, and this one is no exception!
You can also see 2 tiny breather holes at the ends of the 2 slits. For those of you who don’t know what breather holes are for, here’s a bit of trivia:
The nib usually has a slit cut down its centre, to convey the ink down the nib by capillary action, as well as a “breather hole” of varying shape to promote the exchange of air for ink in the pen’s reservoir. The breather hole also acts as a stress relieving point, preventing the nib from cracking longitudinally from the end of the slit as a result of repeated flexing during use. – Wikipedia
The only thing is, I don’t understand why some fountain pens do not have breather holes, since they sound like they are pretty important for the ink flow!
Anyway, I will worry about that later.
- Length of pen when capped: 13.7cm
- Length of pen uncapped: 11.9cm
- Length of pen posted: 15.0cm
The pretty Platinum 3776 pen is a cigar-shaped pen with a black body and golden trims. This is a very classic look of typical fountain pens and I really like this look – it isn’t very much unlike the classic Mont Blanc cigar pens.
The cap has a golden clip which is flat and glossy, and the opening end of the cap has another engraving with the words “Platinum #3776 Japan”, to remind us that it’s a 3776 pen. Another piece of trivia for you fountain pen enthusiasts: the number 3776 represents the height of Mount Fuji, the tallest peak in Japan! I just love all these symbols and meanings, don’t you too?
The cap is a screw-cap that comes off after 1.5 revolutions. I would have preferred fewer revolutions, but 1.5 is not a whole lot of distance to go through just to get the cap off, so it’s reasonably acceptable for me.
Enough said about the exterior body of the pen – now let’s look at the filling mechanism:
The Platinum 3776 fountain pen has a converter as the filling mechanism, and even though it’s hidden inside the pen, the converter looks really sleek and pretty as well, complete with clear plastic and golden-coloured trims again. It’s a twist-to-fill converter type, and I definitely prefer this to a squeeze-to-fill converter. For the writing test, I filled it up with Caran d’Ache Sunset from its Colours of the Earth range of inks. Why not? Mount Fuji… beautiful sunset… red rays of the sun… it’s all pretty fitting, eh?
In the first picture above, you can see my ugly handwriting which says “The Platinum music pen is a beautiful pen! Nib has some nice feedback but not unpleasant :)” together with some musical notation. Notice what a brilliant red the Caran d’Ache Sunset is! For a lefty like me, it’s not always easy to get fountain pens that allow me to scribble quickly without interference of the nib, but while this Platinum music nib has some feedback (which I enjoy), it does not get caught on paper, and presents a really smooth writing experience overall. Note that I did not do a single adjustment to the nib at all – it performs this well out of the box!
In the second picture, I tested the line variations that this music nib can provide. For those of you who love line variations, this is a real treat because it is able to go from thin lines to approximately 1mm thick stubby lines. Also, it writes really well when I decided to be adventurous and turn the nib upside down to write (in which the feed is facing upwards) – the ink flow was still very good (look at the “turn it over” part).
Soooooooo… have you decided to get your own music nib? If you ask me, I really think that everyone should own a pretty music pen. They are made by 3 very good fountain pen makers from Japan, so you can be sure of high product quality and a great writing experience. Don’t fancy the Platinum music nib? Check out reviews by Gourmet Pens on the Sailor music pen. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a decent review of the Pilot/Namiki music pen. Do share a link if you manage to find one!
Get your own music pen on Amazon today:
Pilot Custom 74 music nib: US | CA
Pilot Custom 742 music nib: US | CA
Platinum 3776 music nib: US | CA
Sailor 1911 music nib: US | CA
For those living in Singapore, Fook Hing Trading Co. at Bras Basah carries music pens too! I’m not affiliated to them, but that’s where I got my Platinum music nib from, and they are really nice people over there!
I am the founder of this website.
Chemist by day, slacker by night, fanatic of stationery all the time.
I write with my left hand, but can also do the same with my right hand – it just won’t look very pretty.
Great review! I really like this nib too! I have looked around for the Pilot music nib myself but haven’t had much luck finding it (not all that easily anyway). I wrote a music nib post as well, have you seen that one? I cover the Sailor, Platinum, Noodler’s Neponset, Franklin-Christoph, and a vintage Waterman music nib! http://www.gourmetpens.com/2014/09/two-tines-three-tines-symphony-of-music.html
Wow, I didn’t know there are so many nib types. Thanks for the link! Will include it in my post later.