Spectra AD marker from Chartpak

  • Twintip: One brush nib and one chisel nib
  • 96 colors (including a blender)
  • American marker 
  • New for 2016

New alcohol based marker from Chartpak

I haven’t bought any new markers for a long time even though I have seen several markers that I do not own.  I am tired of poor quality markers and the disappointment that follows. However a new marker from Chartpak made me immediately interested. Chartpak is one of the companies that manufactured markers back when all markers where xylene based instead of todays standard alcohol based. They are the only company left that still produces a xylene-based marker, the so-called AD marker. AD marker is not a pleasure to use since the smell is very harsh, but it is a quality product. However the hope this being a quality marker started to fade when I opened the package and first saw the top of the markers. I thought they looked a bit like the cheap Finecolor marker but with a black barrel.

Different nib of Spectra
Good and bad
The nibs are good. On one side you have a brush nib that is flexible and on the other you have a bit different larger nib. It looks like an ordinary chisel nib (but a smaller one) and it is cut a little different. The ink however is quite bad. The blending ability is very poor; if you try to blend two colors together they never really blend, instead they look like it is one color on top of the other. Most of the colors look about the same when they are wet as when they have dried. Stone is one of the colors that I experience to change the most, more in hue then in value. 

Spectra, Promarker and Copic chisel nib
Plagiarism or loan
All color names correspond exactly to Blick Studio marker. And they also have 96 colors in their collection, just as Blick does. Even many of the colors them self look almost identically to Blick Studio markers. The warm gray have a lilac tone, just like Blick (I was so hoping that Spectra should have the same warm and in my opinion beautiful gray that AD marker, the xylene based one, has). The other grays also look identical to Blick’s grays. They also use procent instead of numbers for their gray, just like Blick (and Prismacolors). The similarity goes on. You have Taupe, Stone and Latte, three colors that you will find in both ranges. The problem is that they also look almost the same, which is a waste when they offer so few colors. Even if most colors look exactly the same as Blick´s colors there are exceptions. Beach, shell and light peach have a different hue then Blick. Unfortunately the ink quality seems to be the same as well. All colors are quite dull and flat looking. Even the barrel looks like the barrel of Blick Brush marker, (I do not own one of the Blick brush so I can not say for sure) but instead of white (like Blick brush marker is) it is black. 

Poor quality
Some of the caps don´t feel like they are firmly fit. They wobble a lot on the barrel. One of the markers had dried out when I received the markers. After a couple of months five more marker had dried and I didn´t even use them enough for that to happen.

Some of Spectras colors