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Black vs. Orange

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Whalehead King

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#1
I'm about to buy some new MM stems, "bits" according to the website. Is there any difference between the orange stems and the black ones? I understand the Danish are differently shaped, but is the material any different? I really chew through the orange stems, which is why I have three Forever Stems, but I've taken to using a filter so I want to stock up when I make my next purchase. Any pros and cons of one color over the other or is it all cosmetic?

I also find that I can taste the plastic when I bite on the orange stems. It isn't bad, per se, just part of the cob experience, I figure. I am a real clencher even when I don't mean to be.

Thanks,
WK
 

Beale

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#2
I have swittched all mine to the Danish. The biggest reason is I only buy Cobs with bent stems. A pipe cleaner passes the Danish very easy. Other than that? I see no difference? Beale.
 

Kiowapipe

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#3
I've never had one of the yellow stems. The only difference I know of is that the yellow ones are semi-transparent so after few smokes you can see the scaggy tarred up airway through the stem. I love a battered and colored cob, but for some reason I don't so much like seeing the grungy internals of the stem.
 

Aureliano

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#4
There are differences. Manufacturing quality varies from style to style and stem to stem. I'll let someone smarter than myself elaborate on the details.

One point I will make, though, is that if you plan on touching them up yourself, the black material is much more agreeable than the orange. To cut off molding seams and chamfer sharp edges on the orange stem, you need a seriously sharp knife, or else you run into cracking and shredding issues. On the black stems, you can get pretty good results with a moderately sharp knife. After cleaning up the stem with my knife, I polish it on my jeans. The result is pretty nice. The same end could probably be met by means of a buffing wheel alone, but I am without one of those.

Anyone else make improvements on their MM stems?
 

Marc

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#5
The amber stems fit certain models, as do the black stems, and the Danish bits, etc. The website tells you which stems go with what cobs.
 

HCraven

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#6
Marc said:
The amber stems fit certain models, as do the black stems, and the Danish bits, etc. The website tells you which stems go with what cobs.
When I got my recent order I bought a few extra stems, so I tried changing the amber stem in my old Legend for a bent Danish stem. The extra one I got didn't want to fit, but the stem that originally came on my General seemed a little loose in the shank so I tried it instead. It is a touch snug (as was the amber stem), but it went in OK. I think I'll sand the tenon a bit just to be safe, but the Legend looks much better without the amber stem, IMO. The other stem fits the General perfectly, so I'll use it until I get a few minutes to mod the freehand stem I got.
 

Marc

Active Member
#7
The Legend is their most popular selling cob ( amber stem) and that's why everyone associates a cob to that amber stem, if you like the Legend cob but what a black stem just get a Washington cob, it comes with the black stem, bent or staright.
 

TheKiltedOne

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#8
I bought two mini's with my order and one came with a black stam and one had an amber stem. I think I prefer the lookmof the black stem but I haven't got a preference colour wise
 

Degenetron

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#9
I only own two cobs so far, a legend and a macarthur. The orange bit in the legend seems to be a bit softer to bite down on.. but that might be because the black macarthur stem is a bit thicker.. After, i would guess, 20ish bowls the orange one is completely riddled with small toothmarks. Almost looks rusticated ;) Haven't had this happen to any other pipestem. The macarthur i haven't smoked as much, so can't really say how that holds up. It has none so far.

But in short i'd guess the black ones are a bit harder in the material.. feels like it to my teeth.
 

Whalehead King

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#11
Actually, I found a black bit in a box today and I put it to use. It does seem sturdier than the orange, but still a bit soft, not quite al dente. It fit the Legend just fine in which I've been using a much-abused orange bit that looks like a dog's chew toy. It's only Day One, but so far there are just a few scratches where on the amber bit there would have been divots. I tend to clench these with my canine teeth that anchor the stem in place. I probably do this with vulcanite and acrylic too, but they can take the wear and tear. Thanks for the input, all.
Cheers,
WK
 
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