03-05-2016, 06:13 AM
#1
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I am quite grateful to Ken and the Dark Holler crew to have been given the opportunity to trial the new Select grade of badger which will be available in their upcoming batch. As stated by Ken in other threads, these post-Lee Sabini knots are sourced from China, and my understanding is that it took a lot of work to find hair that met their high standards. 

I'm now at the point where I feel like I can confidently speak about the brush, after having shaved with it several times. This includes test lathers, consecutive shaves and then alternating it with other brushes in my collection.

So let's get on with it! The brush that I received is a butterscotch Falstaff 2-band bulb with dimensions 28x54mm. As I understand it, Ken has sourced two varieties of 2-band hair, each of different overall lengths. One type having a longer total length, labelled "L-Type". The other with the shorter length hair being labelled S-Type. The brush that I have has an L-type, so my comments are strictly pertaining to this knot type only.

[Image: rDq8fHq.jpg]

I happen to be the proud owner of a Jade Falstaff with a Lee Sabini Finest knot, so am able to make comparisons that could be helpful to existing owners.

Let's start with the shape of the knot. I'm more of a fan guy, with Rooney "London style domes" being my favorite. I do however keep a few bulbs in my collection, such as my Thaters. In Thater's case, the softer, flexible, medium density type knot really benefits from the bulb shape, as it adds extra support, thus enhancing backbone. In regard to knot shape, the new knot differs from the old, as we are going from a hybrid/fan shape to more of a true bulb.

[Image: 1QNwP2F.jpg]

I believe the bulb shape is quite appropriate for this new hair, as I find it to be a bit softer and more flexible than the old. When running my hand through both knots dry, the older knot feels almost stiff, while the new hair is supple and more flexible. As can be seen in the picture, the loft is also quite a bit higher at 54mm, vs 51mm in my older Jade Falstaff. It feels to me like Ken has spent a lot of time tuning all of these variables. I am finding that the knot at this height feels full and large, but is still quite effective at holding it's shape during both painting and circular strokes.

The tips on this new hair are very silky soft. I looked through my modest collection, and find that the hair compares most closely to the Thater 2-band bulb.

[Image: To9oj7h.jpg]

We are talking zero scritch, mild scrub, cloud type softness. Additionaly, they are also comparable in terms of density. The knot feels very well packed, but tuned to a higher loft so that there is room at the surface of the knot for the tips to flex. At this density, the knot really excells at releasing lather. That said, understand that I am not someone that ever complains about a brush being a 'lather hog', since I use a LOT of soap.

[Image: l4uaMqj.jpg]

I have been enjoying the brush now for about two weeks. When I first received the brush, the knot was still tight and I felt caused it too look a little bit too tall and thin. However, after a few uses it loosened up and settled into a nice curvy and full shape. The density also loosened up through usage into the Thater 2-band bulb range. Softness was actually impressive right from the first use and did not require any break in time. 
All in all, I am quite impressed by this new hair. I am a badger guy through and through, and these new knots deliver that high end feel and performance. I look forward to reading the reviews from others when these brushes become available! Soon I hope, but I have no knowledge of the time frame on that. 

[Image: ylpzkVb.jpg]

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 03-05-2016, 06:18 AM
#2
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Wow, the brush looks great! I can't wait for his next batch.

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 03-05-2016, 06:23 AM
#3
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Wow! This is an amazing brush! Lovely!


Enviado desde mi iPhone 6s utilizando Tapatalk

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 03-05-2016, 06:26 AM
#4
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Nice preview; thank you for your insights here.

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 03-05-2016, 06:30 AM
#5
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[Image: p4PqNeW.gif] Two Band "S" Type [Image: Zi3Znzl.gif]

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 03-05-2016, 06:41 AM
#6
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Thanks for a detailed review.  I prefer bulbs, and these knots seem very nicely shaped.  I'm sure Ken put a lot of thought into these brushes and tweaked all the variables.  I'm looking forward to the next release of Paladin brushes

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 03-05-2016, 06:59 AM
#7
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Cant wait to the web!


Enviado desde mi iPhone 6s utilizando Tapatalk

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 03-05-2016, 07:26 AM
#8
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Do you know the price of the brush with the new badger knots?

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 03-05-2016, 07:33 AM
#9
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My understanding is that they will be comparable with previous prices. I'm not 100% certain though. I should probably leave it to Ken to talk about that.

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 03-05-2016, 07:37 AM
#10
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Thanks for your efforts and for the detailed write up, if the new knots are comparable to the Thater 2-Bands then I'm sure I would love them

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 03-05-2016, 08:13 AM
#11
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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A little bit of news goes a long way.  This great review (thanks) of one of the new Paladin knots in one of their excellent handles has been a long time coming.  Now my immediate question is when can I purchase one.

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 03-05-2016, 08:19 AM
#12
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Awesome! Let's get that web store up and running!   Biggrin

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 03-05-2016, 08:55 AM
#13
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That knot (and handle) looks incredibly stunning. Can't wait until they're available!

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 03-05-2016, 09:21 AM
#14
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Beautiful looking  handle and perfectly shaped knot! Looking forward to get one.

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 03-05-2016, 09:40 AM
#15
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Ok, let's do itSmile

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 03-05-2016, 09:59 AM
#16
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Yes Sir!  Great write up.  My summary - I will sign up for one of Ken's new brushes with the following caveat- any brush he makes, at any price, at any time, any style!  I think that sums it up.

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 03-05-2016, 10:01 AM
#17
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Thanks for the comprehensive review.  Well done.

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 03-05-2016, 10:26 AM
#18
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
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Fantastic review.  Answered most of my questions.
Ken...cash is waiting... Wink

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 03-05-2016, 11:20 AM
#19
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Thank you guys. I really enjoyed the experience of trialling this brush. It was a first for me  Biggrin

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 03-05-2016, 12:00 PM
#20
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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So I'm going to take the leap and assume the "L" type you just reviewed has no glue bump?

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