01-09-2016, 07:24 AM
#1
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I ordered a Vie-Long butterscotch Epsilon 2-band with a 27/50mm knot.  The bulb shaped knot, and the diameter/loft of 27/50mm, are right within my preferences in 2-band brushes.

Before I discuss the brush I want to mention the great customer service I received from Gifts and Care.  I placed my order at 4:45 pm (10:45 pm Spain time) on Wednesday, December 30.  With the upcoming New Year weekend, I expected my brush would be shipped Monday, January 4.    My brush was actually shipped at 7:00 am (1:00 pm Spain time) on Thursday, December 31.  The people at Gifts and Care did not take New Year's Eve Day off, or leave early, and were shipping orders at least through that afternoon.  Then, to my amazement, the brush arrived via Fed Ex on Monday, January 4.

Here is the new brush immediately after it came out of the box:

[Image: 0XssMA4.jpg]

[Image: GxjfQeO.jpg]

When I ordered the brush I had some concerns about the quality of the handle.  This is the same handle used on the less expensive Epsilon horse hair brushes, and I thought it may be a light, low quality plastic handle. Those concerns proved unfounded.  I don't know what the handle is made of or how it's produced.  However, the handle is well crafted and very nice, particularly for a brush at this price.   I understand that the original run of black Epsilon brushes had engraved handles, and the handles on this run are printed.  Engraving would certainly be more desireable, but given the price of these brushes I can accept the printing. 

While the handle is nice, it is the knot where this brush excels.  I measured my knot right out of the box and got a diameter of 28mm+ and a loft right at 49-50mm.  Vie-Long got the loft precisely where it is supposed to be on my brush.  The bulb knot on my brush is symmetrical and well formed, with no stray hairs.  There is no glue bump.  The brush has not shed a single hair after three shaves.  Here is a picture of the dry brush after three shaves, so you can see how the knot has bloomed.

[Image: aYaV4KB.jpg] 

This is a dense knot, yet it releases lather well.  The density, combined with the low loft, results in a lot of backbone and scrub but no scritch.  I would rate the backbone and scrub as more than my 26mm Shavemac silvertip 2-band set to a 50mm loft, but less than my 26mm Shavemac D01 2-band set to a 52mm loft.  As configured, this brush is great for those who place a premium on backbone and scrub.  For those who place a premium on softness, the available version with a 55mm loft may be the better choice.

The final price for this brush, after the TSN discount and including Fed Ex expedited shipping, was $123.31.  This brush could justifiably carry a higher price, making this Epsilon a high quality brush at a reasonable price.

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 01-09-2016, 07:56 AM
#2
  • Coyote
  • Senior Member
  • Hondo, TX USA
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Excellent review on what seems to be a great brush! Enjoy!

Bob

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 01-09-2016, 08:03 AM
#3
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Very nice brush. I have been seeing a lot of these and they look great

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 01-09-2016, 08:04 AM
#4
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I have the exact same brush and I love it too,  as for the price you cant go wrong.......

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 01-09-2016, 08:44 AM
#5
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Congratulations on the brush, it's a beauty.


~Jesse~

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 01-09-2016, 08:49 AM
#6
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How do you find the quality of the hair? I've had two badger brushes from VL and they were both super scritchy.

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 01-09-2016, 08:50 AM
#7
  • evnpar
  • Emeritus
  • Portland, Oregon
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Thanks for your review. Terrific looking brush.

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 01-09-2016, 08:56 AM
#8
  • Aleksey
  • Enabler
  • Istanbul, Turkiye
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Very handsome brush and I heard nothing but great things about this particular knot. 
If only handles were engraved and more sturdy. One of my friends' black handle got a crack very easily.

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 01-09-2016, 09:22 AM
#9
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Great brush, I have been eyeing one of these in the Garnet color. Maybe in a couple months. Spent way too much this month  Badger

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 01-09-2016, 09:47 AM
#10
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Thanks for the great review! This looks to be a nice brush and the price is right in my wheelhouse. I wish there was a universally accepted Scritch-n-Scrub Meter. So hard to know, one persons scrub is anothers scritch.

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 01-09-2016, 12:20 PM
#11
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I agree with you that the Epsilons represent a fantastic value for TSN members thanks to that discount! There probably will be one in my future Smile

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 01-09-2016, 12:21 PM
#12
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
I have the 27/50mm Silvertip in faux horn handle and was pleasantly surprised. Chubbyesque in density, but with super soft tips. The knot construction is first class. Did not shed a hair so far. Might be even better with a 55mm loft as it will open up a bit more. But - very impressed, indeed.

[Image: t2L2e5I.jpg]

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 01-09-2016, 03:31 PM
#13
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Very nice looking knot, and a fine brush you got yourself there.

I own the exact same as Georg (German) has shown a beautiful photo of in the post above mine here, have yet to use it, but I almost know it's going to impress me quite a bit.

I have said it before, and I will gladly repeat myself: Vie Long/Epsilon is a sleeper in the brush market. They make top quality badger brushes, and for very affordable prices, indeed  Badger

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 01-09-2016, 03:49 PM
#14
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Epsilon simply is hight quality to better price  , them no make marketing and sell to fair price .

Enjoy Gentlemen  Biggrin

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 01-09-2016, 06:53 PM
#15
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(01-09-2016, 08:49 AM)Starkicker Wrote: How do you find the quality of the hair? I've had two badger brushes from VL and they were both super scritchy.

This is my first VL badger brush.  For me, the quality of this 2-band hair is excellent, with no scritch.   However, there is a definitional issue here, as some use scritch to describe what others call scrub.

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 01-09-2016, 07:17 PM
#16
  • Devilanche
  • Active Member
  • Singapore (CONUS post address)
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(01-09-2016, 03:31 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: I have said it before, and I will gladly repeat myself: Vie Long/Epsilon is a sleeper in the brush market. They make top quality badger brushes, and for very affordable prices, indeed  Badger

Are the hair different between vie long and epsilon? I note that epsilon tend to carry their bigger knots.

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 01-09-2016, 08:32 PM
#17
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(01-09-2016, 07:17 PM)Devilanche Wrote:
(01-09-2016, 03:31 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: I have said it before, and I will gladly repeat myself: Vie Long/Epsilon is a sleeper in the brush market. They make top quality badger brushes, and for very affordable prices, indeed  Badger

Are the hair different between vie long and epsilon? I note that epsilon tend to carry their bigger knots.

The Epsilon is just a brand of Vie Long brushes made possible by the shaving online shop, Gifts and care.

The Epsilon badger brushes are all 27-28 mm in knot size, where the regular Vie Long badger knots usually range from 21-24 mm in size.

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 01-09-2016, 08:53 PM
#18
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So the three words I see thrown around are backbone, scrub and scritch. I think backbone and scrub are essentially the same thing; backbone is the stiffness of the knot and scrub is the force exerted by the knot/brush on ones face. Backbone/scrub is primarily determined by the density of the fibres, stiffness of the fibres, length of the fibres, etc.

Scritch, in my mind, is the pain to pleasure threshold that the knot has on your face.

That said, I have a Plisson brush that has just enough backbone to provide enough scrub but it has quite a lot of scritch - my face stings after using it to face lather.

Synthetic brushes of the Plisson fibre type have less backbone but lots of scrub and nearly no scritch.

TGN 2 Band are my knot of choice; lots of backbone, scrub and nearly no scritch (in my experience).

and finally my Vie-Long badger. I have the 61950 or some such denomination; it's their super silvertip with a shortened loft. I had the other one with the longer loft but it was too floppy to use to face lather comfortably and was a lather hog. The one I have currently is great, but it has scritch which I would describe as being like a hidden needle poking you every so often as you're lathering your face.

Contrast this to a Thater or Shavemac which are ridiculously soft (in a good way). I'd really like to love my Vie-Long brushes, but each one (badger or horse hair) has had this scritch. I've gone through 4 now.

Which brushes are you all buying that don't have scritch?

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 01-09-2016, 09:05 PM
#19
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(01-09-2016, 08:56 AM)Aleksey Wrote: Very handsome brush and I heard nothing but great things about this particular knot. 
If only handles were engraved and more sturdy. One of my friends' black handle got a crack very easily.

The knot is the definite star in these brushes.  The handles are not the quality of Simpson or Shavemac, but they are not flimsy either.   Upgrading the quality of the handle would presumably raise the price of the brush.   Given the superb knot and what the brush cost, I'm happy with the handle.  Hopefully the handle will last.  I already dropped the brush once on to a tile floor, and it did not suffer any damage.

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 01-09-2016, 09:40 PM
#20
  • Devilanche
  • Active Member
  • Singapore (CONUS post address)
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(01-09-2016, 08:32 PM)CHSeifert Wrote:
(01-09-2016, 07:17 PM)Devilanche Wrote:
(01-09-2016, 03:31 PM)CHSeifert Wrote: I have said it before, and I will gladly repeat myself: Vie Long/Epsilon is a sleeper in the brush market. They make top quality badger brushes, and for very affordable prices, indeed  Badger

Are the hair different between vie long and epsilon? I note that epsilon tend to carry their bigger knots.

The Epsilon is just a brand of Vie Long brushes made possible by the shaving online shop, Gifts and care.

The Epsilon badger brushes are all 27-28 mm in knot size, where the regular Vie Long badger knots usually range from 21-24 mm in size.
Thanks was wondering cause from the stock photo the epsilon two band are whiter than their vie Long counterpart.

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