Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Typewriter review: Royal Scrittore II

Note: This is one of the most popular pages on my blog. Evidently, people are curious about the Scrittore II. Read on ... but I don't think you'll be impressed with it.

For a rundown of typewriters I recommend in various categories, see Chapter 3, "Choose Your Weapon," in my book The Typewriter Revolution.

You can download the user's manual for the Scrittore II here.

—Richard Polt
























The Generation 3000

Robert Messenger identifies the designer as Reiner Kieling. Here is the 1990 patent; the shape on the sides is similar to the Scrittore II, but the patent is for a larger typewriter body.

The Phoenix Typewriter


31 comments:

  1. That's almost too painful to read.

    So, how long before you jam a better typer into that body a la the Twolympia?

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    1. I'd be tempted to give it a try if the plastic of the body weren't so chintzy looking. The body would be stunning if it were brushed aluminum or something like that, but as it is, it's a pretty form in ugly matter.

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  2. Yes, the mask is the same as used for the Olympia Traveller C. Well done on a new "new" typewriter.

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  3. Great review! It is funny how the carriage spacing kicks in on the last lines, as if it wanted to emphasize them.

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  4. I've always been curious about the Royal Scrittore, sorry to hear it's a dud.

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  5. well, at least it's fairly small (:

    Seriously, though - I wonder if a Brother JP-1 would fit in that shell :D

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  6. One thing: if you were to enter that in the typewriterdatabase.com, would you file it under "Royal" or do we need to make a new category for whatever Chinese company is pumping these things out?

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    1. That's up to you!

      I expect it's made by Shanghai Weilv, but I don't know. (See their "2012 new modle 9.5" english manual Typewriter," illustrating an Olympia Traveller C.)

      There are other such cases from earlier in typewriter history: the Remington 333 is a Brother, for instance.

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    2. Correction: they show a ROVER Traveller C. Evidently they are willing to put whatever name on their typewriters you want. Maybe we should commission a TYPOSPHERE 2013 typer.

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    3. ergh. would we want such a thing associated with such a fine group of scholars and gentlemen (and ladies)?

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    4. might as well file it under "Royal". We put Litton machines there anyway. :D

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  7. This is the only typewriter I sent back. I bought one a year ago and keys bent on first use... the ribbon that came on the typewriter ran through after less than a page and I never got a line that was not part red and black.

    GEE

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  8. Blech. I tried one of those Rover machines I believe are made by the same company a couple months ago. It was equally terrible.

    Did yours have some kind of a chemical plastic smell when you opened the case? That's the first thing I noticed on the Rover.

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    1. No aroma. Too bad, I was hoping to experience That New Typewriter Smell!

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  9. Thanks for the insight. I've also been amused by the ad copy you mention, which seems to follow the "it's not a bug, it's a feature" tactic. Thanks for confirming my suspicion that this machine's quality is low.

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  10. I was tempted to try this and "another" "new" typewriter still being sold in Mexico's Office Max stores... but ever since I read Robert's description of it as a reincarnated Traveller C... and still having to fix the kinks out of MY Traveller C... something that it's not really high on my priorities list right now.

    But at least it's "new" and it already has "a lot of character".

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    1. Ha, right.

      The other typewriter I've been using a lot recently is my Olympia SG1. Made in 1961, it produces crisp, clean typing with great alignment. Less of the typewriter's "personality" shows up on the typed document.

      Of course, the SG1 cost a LOT when new -- thousands of today's dollars. The Scrittore II sells for about $120 retail, which is astoundingly cheap when you consider the specialized factory equipment needed, the fine manual labor, shipping halfway around the world, and the middleman.

      I wonder whether I could "fix the kinks" if I took the time to do what should have been done at the factory.

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  11. How does it smell? The Super Deluxe I got rid of was outgassing something awful.

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    1. Not this one (see my reply to Vikram).

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  12. I agree with every word. I'm on my own venture to create a blogging community that caters to typewriter generated screenplay scenes. Something happened when the computer was invented which the Internet just made worse. Porn, videos and downright distraction from reading. Forget about how useful the Internet has become for the information age. I think it cultivates OCD.

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  13. My fingers actually hurt while I was reading this post! The Last of the Mohicans, indeed.

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  14. I recently found this website. http://nblmenterprises.com/typewritters.html Could it be true, that they still sell brand new typewriters? I really want to have a brand new typewriter. So, is this company real?

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  15. typewriter in China: http://www.gov.cn/jrzg/2013-12/15/content_2548132.htm

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  16. Growing interest in typewriter business in China

    http://blog.1688.com/article/i34702101.html

    Translate with Google Translate for reading

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    1. Thanks for your comments and the links. NBLM is a distributor of typewriters, not a producer, located in the Philippines. They sell Chinese-made manual portables and the Olympia SG3 -- which is not made anymore, so they must have some unused old stock. All the new manual typewriters I've seen recently are made by Shanghai Weilv. The latest model is known as the Rover Carina 2 or Royal Epoch (information here). In the US we can buy the Royal Epoch on Amazon or eBay, and it is also carried, I think, by some office machine manufacturers.

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    2. Thanks for the information. I have contacted all the suppliers you have mentioned, waiting for their responses and prices. Having an Olympia SG3 brand-new would be awesome. Just came across this website. They are or were also available in Mexico. http://modernidadyobsolescencia.blogspot.nl/2011/11/desempacando-una-olympia-sg-3.html?showComment=1387734315198#c9124112122258193797

      Maybe this helps out some of the people, who are also looking for a brand new typer.

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    3. The unused SG3 that Miguel found in Mexico was manufactured in the '90s, probably.

      I think the sad fact is that although you can get a brand-new typewriter, none of them is very good. Your better choice is to look for a machine made in the 1950s or 1960s which is well preserved.

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  17. That's a good advice of yours, thank you. I am aware that typewriters from that era are excellent typers.


    However, I just really want to own a new and good typer in my collection for everyday use. From what I have found so far from the info on the internet, is that the Royal Epoch/Rover Carina 2 is essentially a Nakajima Olympia Carina 2 typewriter, but not made in Japan? The Royal Epoch is made or assembled in Shanghai, China right. I really like to know what the quality is of the Royal Epoch compared to the older Olympia Carina 2 made in Japan. Carina 2's seem to be good typers, not excellent ofcourse, but good enough.

    Then, another option will be to buy a brand-new Kofa typewriter. What I've read from Davis's site, is that the Kofa 100 is a sort of hybrid machine with parts from the Tippa and SF machines. Then, this Kofa 100 certainly also has to be a very good typewriter, maybe even better than the Royal Epoch right? Also, when the kofa 100 needs spare parts, there are plenty of parts readily available. As with the Carina 2, there may be far less spare parts available.

    I have got a response from Weilv. She is willing to sell individual typerwriters. See:

    "We can supply a new typewriter ,we have three size (11",13" 18"), the 11" price is USD90(EXW) ,13" price is USD 110(EXW) ,18" price is USD150(EXW) ,all price for one pcs ."

    So, which machine would you buy? The Royal Epoch or a Kofa typewriter? Thanks

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    1. I'm glad to hear the factory can provide single machines at a reasonable price. I don't have any recommendation, though. You might try asking the author of this blog:

      http://machopolitan.blogspot.com/

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  18. Catching up on old posts... Terrible alignment out of the box? Concern for quality, or lack thereof, becomes paramount. strange bc my Olympia Traveller C performs decent. Maybe that's the point: no consistency.

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  19. EEYUCK!! Last time I'd seen print that bad was on a Remington Electri-Conomy I put together from thirteen other typewriters. It was bad, but at least it was electric. Oh well, I'd keep it. Lately I have considered that it's not really bad print--it's character.

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