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06-5-2016 11:47:14  #1


Groma Kolibri

I've been eyeing these for awhile but the market prices have been too high for me to justify in pulling the trigger. In my opinion they are beautiful.

Question, are they great typers or are they overhyped?

For comparison sake, I have two ultra portables that I'm quite pleased with their typing actions: The early skyriters (4 stripes on the top) and an Antares Parva (Alma Jolson).

 

06-5-2016 15:09:27  #2


Re: Groma Kolibri

I repair typewriters for a full time living, and as a result get to try out more machines than most whilst I am testing them.  I have always found the touch of the Kolibri rather disappointing.  There are much better machines around to actually use.  Also, for a small machine it is surprisingly heavy.  This is just my personal opinion - I have to say that I am not a touch typist - so I would be interested to hear if others on here agree with me or not.  I think people like these machines because they are rare, East German and mysterious !

 

06-5-2016 16:59:25  #3


Re: Groma Kolibri

Is the touch of a Kolibri stiff and/or mushy?  I don't like either one.  I've found that, for me, Olivetti typewriters are both.  I like to feel the type bars hit the paper; quick and snappy.  Again, it's all in what you get used to.  And, like you, I've serviced quite a few typewriters, but mostly American makes since that is what is most available here in Central Texas.  But we do manage to sneak in a few exotic foreign makes, mostly Olympia (a little on the mushy side, but a nice kind of mushy, but I can still feel the type bars hit the paper).


Underwood--Speeds the World's Bidness
 

06-5-2016 20:38:23  #4


Re: Groma Kolibri

igotztowrite wrote:

Question, are they great typers or are they overhyped?

Typewriter collectors are a strange breed, and you should never underestimate their eagerness to grossly overpay for a typewriter, and for no other reason than its aesthetics (be it colour or design), or blog-generated hype. And when it comes to the Kolibri, it's both of those things combined. 

I have a few Kolibri models, but most recently picked up the N variant. It only works well when you can establish a good typing rhythm, and for that the words need to be flowing, either from your brain or the copy that you are typing from. The rest of the time its a bit cantankerous. I'm happy to own them because I find them to be visually pleasing, but I would never pay a lot for one, and certainly nothing near the average asking prices I see for them of late. If you want a great performing ultra-portable, there's far better out there (for example, I'd rather use a Skyriter for cranking out copy), but if you just want to drink in the Kolibri form, I'd suggest waiting until a decently priced one comes along.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

07-5-2016 06:18:03  #5


Re: Groma Kolibri

Many people on this forum may be familiar by sight with the glorious maroon Kolibri that was a prized possession of Robert Messenger, who writes OzTypewriter. He gave it as a gift to Piotr Trumpiel, who lives in London, and blogged it.

Last year I got hold of a little sort of tan Kolibri with dark brown keys, which although it is the wonderful Kolibri shape is just a little bit unprepossessing to my eyes. I think I might have paid about £36 for it including postage. Which is pretty damn good going. 

It was very stiff when I got it, the comb was bent so the shift didn't work, it was filthy dirty and the backspace keytop is missing. Oh and maybe the 1 doesn't work, but that's no loss to me as most typewriters don't even have one. But now it's going properly, it has a beautiful touch. It's a bit noisy, I don't even know how to describe the touch or the sound of it, but I love it. Very tactile. The feel IS heavy, but not in a BAD way. It feels solid, and sounds sort of like heavy bracelets slipping through your hands... 

The week after I got it when it wasn't even totally cleaned out yet I took it with me (love!) to visit friends for a long weekend. Their 6-year-old son fell in love with it and was not to be parted from it! He typed all weekend and (has now been given an Olivetti 35 that used to belong to his grandmother). My point being that the touch was not enough to deter a small child.

I then got greedy and bought a Kolibri Luxus, a much prettier metallic green one. It has an even lighter touch, and was looking set to be a massive success except that it became sluggish halfway along each line - it just lost momentum. And then the drawband snapped, and I have no idea how it was attached or how long it was supposed to be... So THAT'S a bore. 

And then I had a chance to type on Piotr's gorgeous shiny maroon one, and guess what. My ugly one has by far the better touch. 

So I think they're variable. And as with any other make, you either like it or you don't.  And yes they are heavy! I tok mine to Wales because we were driving. On the train, just NO.

 

08-5-2016 09:52:55  #6


Re: Groma Kolibri

Thanks ALL for your "honest" opinions I'll be more patient and hope one comes my way with a reasonable price tag.

FYI, on the other end of the size spectrum, I finally got my hands on the Olympia SG1 that I purchased about 6 weeks ago. Spending Mother's Day cleaning it. Excited to test it out!

     Thread Starter
 

05-4-2017 11:50:02  #7


Re: Groma Kolibri

Patience paid off. Recently got one for $49 including shipping. It's the Lexus model. Question: how do i adjust upper case alignment? I can adjust lower case with two tiny screws on the bottom but for the life of me can't adjust the uppercase. FYI, the lower case has been adjusted to line up with the upper case letters but it's too low because the carriage drags on the base of the typewriter hence needing to adjust upper case.

http://i.imgur.com/2NR51NK.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/onlx2gs.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

06-4-2017 13:01:01  #8


Re: Groma Kolibri

found it - under the spools

     Thread Starter
 

07-4-2017 06:00:11  #9


Re: Groma Kolibri

Great to know!

And congratulations. Patience pays off... ;)

 

08-4-2017 11:43:30  #10


Re: Groma Kolibri

Thanks Kat! the seller said it was non-working, a parts machine. According to him, he had his typewriter repair guy take a look at it. He couldn't fix it, added that it could have been dropped. I didn't see any obvious signs of it being dropped. I bought it for more learning than anything and maybe just maybe get it working. It's a little quirky but it types!

     Thread Starter
 

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