01-02-2014, 07:55 PM
#1
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What is everyone's opinion on Plisson's HMW (not the 80's version - my grail) compared to Simpson's Manchurian (not the early extra super - also a strong desire)? I just got a HMW and now have a Manchurian en route to me. I will have to compare them to each other and then to Frank Shaving's Manchurian as well as Fido's New Forest HMW.

Thanks!

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 01-02-2014, 08:39 PM
#2
  • ben74
  • Administrator
  • Perth, Australia
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Tim, both are similar in that they feature hairs that possess great individual strength, however IMO the Plisson HMW deviates from the current trend of knot preferences and on that basis alone is (mistakenly IMO) not generally reviewed as favourably as the shorter lofted, softer tipped and denser Simpson Manchurian. Both in my experience have their merits and both represent the largest holdings in my collection. You are in an enviable position to be able to experience both and report back with your own individual appraisal rather than being influenced by recent fads. If you want mine however, I shall post further comments upon request...

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 01-02-2014, 09:45 PM
#3
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Sorry, I can't help, but I would love to try both those type of brushes! Good luck and report back on how you find them. Smile

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 01-03-2014, 07:33 AM
#4
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Ben, I would definitely appreciate your thoughts on the two brushes.

Celestino,

I will definitely post my observations of the two brushes similarities, differences, and overall impressions.

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 01-04-2014, 05:52 PM
#5
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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I've only tried a (recent) Manchurian, and a HMW has been high on my priority list, but I keep reading they're just not worth it anymore... And so I'd really appreciate some more specific opinions.

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 01-23-2014, 09:01 AM
#6
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Please forgive me as I rarely post reviews so this may be a bit inadequate but I will give it my best.

Both the Simpson Manchurian Jubilee and the Plisson HMW #10 have had several test lathers and then five actual shaves each. I used the same soap (Fitjar's Fern) throughout to eliminate any chance of a soap or cream's properties affecting my opinion. I felt they both needed a bit of time to fully develop their potential, especially the Simpson. It seemed a touch scritchy on the first couple of test lathers.

On knot density, the Plisson is a little less dense but still offering a full feeling on the face, while Simpson's Manchurians (my three specimens anyway) were denser, though not as dense as several of my other Simpson's or M&F brushes, but certainly adequate. Neither brush had an issue with flow through which was a pleasant surprise. Both brushes held plenty of lather for a two pass straight shave with touch-ups, with enough left for a third pass if I was so inclined. I felt that the Simpson's had more backbone (to the point of almost being springy) than the Plisson, with neither being anywhere close to the floppiness associated with Kent and Vulfix brushes. On tip softness though, I felt Plisson was softer, almost cloudlike, though Simpson's was not far behind, particularly after a few lathers. Neither was quite as pillow soft as my Shavemac three bands but that is why we own several brands, for their differences. Smile

Overall, they are two different experiences. The Plisson is the overall softer brush with a fair amount of backbone. The Simpson is a very soft brush with nice backbone and soft tips. I don't know that I prefer one over the other because they are different enough to each earn a spot in the cabinet. I will say though that there are two reasons I own three Simpson Manchurians and only one Plisson HMW. First, I think Plisson's HMW performance to cost to be less than ideal, given the excellent performance and cost of the Simpson's Manchurians. If you want a Plisson's HMW, as long as you are aware the cost to be a bit over the top I think it is a solid choice. You are paying for a bit of Plisson's history and cache, I think. Second, Plisson has a very limited range of knots. If you go up in diameter you generally go up in loft, with little variety in either or in density. Simpson's on the other hand offers a wonderful array of diameters, lofts, and densities that will offer the chance to find the exact right brush for you.

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 01-23-2014, 09:09 AM
#7
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Tim, excellent job of comparing and putting it into words. Thanks for the precise review.

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 01-23-2014, 12:15 PM
#8
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thank you for a fantastic and exceedingly detailed review. more of those please Smile

bravo Exclamation

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 01-23-2014, 05:45 PM
#9
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Here is a comparison photo of a Manchurian Jubilee, Manchurian Duke 3, HMW 10, and Black Badger 12.

[Image: qIds6Sl.jpg]

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 01-23-2014, 05:46 PM
#10
  • Johnny
  • Super Moderator
  • Wausau, Wisconsin, USA
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Thanks Tim, great comparison for size reference. From the looks of that, a size 10 is what I want.

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 01-23-2014, 06:23 PM
#11
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Tim, thanks for the comparison and the photo!
That Duke 3 handle looks fascinating! Smile

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 01-23-2014, 06:23 PM
#12
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I think it's a wonderful size. I like it better than the size 12 I have.

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 01-25-2014, 05:26 PM
#13
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My Plisson HMW #12 is long gone now, and here's why.

This will sound like heresy, but I thought the Plisson was a ridiculously overpriced and thoroughly unenjoyable brush. I will even go so far as to say I think it's a stupid, impractical design.

1. Tips: Very scratchy; similar to the original Rooney Finests.
2. Density: Good, but not exceptional.
3. Loft: Ridiculously high (I seem to recall it was about 63mm).

The result, in my experience, was a brush whose tips irritated my skin and with a loft so tall and hair so springy that it flung shaving cream all over the place. Those springy hairs also made it difficult to apply the lather exactly where I wanted it. The only nice thing I have to say about it is that it was a very nice-looking brush.

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 01-25-2014, 05:51 PM
#14
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(01-25-2014, 05:26 PM)vocalistbob Wrote: My Plisson HMW #12 is long gone now, and here's why.

This will sound like heresy, but I thought the Plisson was a ridiculously overpriced and thoroughly unenjoyable brush. I will even go so far as to say I think it's a stupid, impractical design.

1. Tips: Very scratchy; similar to the original Rooney Finests.
2. Density: Good, but not exceptional.
3. Loft: Ridiculously high (I seem to recall it was about 63mm).

The result, in my experience, was a brush whose tips irritated my skin and with a loft so tall and hair so springy that it flung shaving cream all over the place. Those springy hairs also made it difficult to apply the lather exactly where I wanted it. The only nice thing I have to say about it is that it was a very nice-looking brush.

Witch! Witch!

(Old Monty Python referenceTongue)

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 01-25-2014, 05:55 PM
#15
  • TheMonk
  • Super Moderator
  • Porto, Portugal
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(01-25-2014, 05:26 PM)vocalistbob Wrote: My Plisson HMW #12 is long gone now, and here's why.

This will sound like heresy, but I thought the Plisson was a ridiculously overpriced and thoroughly unenjoyable brush. I will even go so far as to say I think it's a stupid, impractical design.

1. Tips: Very scratchy; similar to the original Rooney Finests.
2. Density: Good, but not exceptional.
3. Loft: Ridiculously high (I seem to recall it was about 63mm).

The result, in my experience, was a brush whose tips irritated my skin and with a loft so tall and hair so springy that it flung shaving cream all over the place. Those springy hairs also made it difficult to apply the lather exactly where I wanted it. The only nice thing I have to say about it is that it was a very nice-looking brush.


Thank you for your very honest opinion, and for making me want a HMW a little bit less... My wife will be grateful!

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 01-25-2014, 06:11 PM
#16
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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(01-23-2014, 05:45 PM)stoutreader Wrote: Here is a comparison photo of a Manchurian Jubilee, Manchurian Duke 3, HMW 10, and Black Badger 12.

[Image: qIds6Sl.jpg]

I noticed your HMW is a 3-band. I agree, the 3-band HMW tips are softer than Manchurian. But the hair is so different, it's like comparing apples and oranges. FWIW, I found 2-band HMW to be prickly, not soft.


Andrew

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 01-25-2014, 11:14 PM
#17
  • refles
  • Senior Member
  • New York
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I have a HMW 2-band in size 12, it may be lucky but mine is a bit on the light scrubby side, there is a very faint scritch to it but the extremely high loft is something harder to really get a handle of. Maybe because I got the brush early into experimenting with shaving brushes that I have some decent control over it, but its still a more delicate exercise rather than just rubbing your face with the brush that have the shorter lofts.
But I do enjoy the feel of it and is in a small rotation that includes a Jubilee. It just creates a variety of feel as the face feel is very different but each distinctive. One aspect I do like about the brush is that vs my Jubilee it generates lather rather quickly. Though if I had to pick only 1 brush to keep, unfortunately it wouldn't be the Plisson.

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 01-26-2014, 10:03 AM
#18
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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(01-25-2014, 11:14 PM)refles Wrote: I have a HMW 2-band in size 12, it may be lucky but mine is a bit on the light scrubby side, there is a very faint scritch to it but the extremely high loft is something harder to really get a handle of. ... its still a more delicate exercise rather than just rubbing your face with the brush that have the shorter lofts.

I share the same thoughts about my 2-band HMW size 12 (which I traded away). Faint scritch, tall loft making it handle quite differently than brushes with shorter lofts, excellent at generating lather.



Andrew

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 01-26-2014, 10:16 AM
#19
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I love my two band HMW Plisson 16 and 12. The longer loft does not bother me at all and in fact to me that's what makes the brush work so well. Mine have a small amount of scritch, just enough to let you know something is there. I am working on acquiring a size 20. The prices on these brushes is high and if you don't like them they are indeed overpriced but I truly enjoy using a Plisson HMW more than any other brush so I guess that makes it worth it to me. I've had a couple Simpson Manchurians but those were too scrubby for me possibly due to the very dense, shorter lofts. HMW hair is not for everyone no matter what the brush costs. If you want an ultra soft brush this is not the hair for you.

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 01-26-2014, 11:17 AM
#20
  • Andrew
  • Senior Member
  • Austin, TX
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You might really like a VP Leonhardy in Premium Silvertip. Closest thing I have found to Plisson HMW, at half the price.


Andrew

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