04-13-2016, 07:37 AM
#1
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Hello,

A vendor that had stocked the range of recent Rooney three-band "Heritage" style brushes delisted the range from their site. I inquired about this, and they informed me that these brushes had been discontinued by the manufacturer.

My experience with recent Rooneys: I have a Stubby 2 from this line that is superb, though I have heard disturbing reports of shedding. I've asked vendors about this, and some have reported that they have heard very few shedding reports. I recently purchased a Truefitt & Hill labelled Style 1, Size 2 from a non-US vendor. It is undoubtedly a Rooney-made brush and it is from stock recently received by the vendor.

I'm hoping that if indeed this information on discontinuing the "Heritage" brushes is true, it precedes a relaunch of Rooney with more great things to come.

Any thoughts or other info on this?

-ntr(nwu)

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 04-13-2016, 07:46 AM
#2
  • chamm
  • Expert on nothing
  • Central Ohio
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AFAIK, the Heritage line production was really discontinued sometime around the end of 2013. At least, the two-band Heritage. Some vendors continued to carry three-bands, and may still have some stock, but from what I read, these were essentially the knots from the "standard" 1/2/3 lines, stuffed into more interesting handles. (Emillion, Beehive, Stubby, etc.) I'm not saying poor quality knots, just not really as "special" as we've come to expect from Rooney.

At any rate, I'm thinking that these were pre-made handles, and they were just stuffing them with what they had to get rid of stock. Dwindling stock just suggests to me that they've run out.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but I think the "great" Rooney brand is more or less gone. They still make fine brushes, but I think the truly special brushes that Lee used to make might be gone forever.

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 04-13-2016, 08:03 AM
#3
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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Shredding seems to be something akin to automotive makers covering up sticking gas pedals, disengaging ignition switches, exploding airbags and secret emission computer programs. It is utterly ridiculous for a classic item benefiting from modern adhesives to be dogged by this issue. Customer goodwill and brand reputation can be lost in one production run or overshadowed by tommorow's classics ( Paladin).

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 04-13-2016, 08:22 AM
#4
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(04-13-2016, 07:46 AM)chamm Wrote: AFAIK, the Heritage line production was really discontinued sometime around the end of 2013. At least, the two-band Heritage. Some vendors continued to carry three-bands, and may still have some stock, but from what I read, these were essentially the knots from the "standard" 1/2/3 lines, stuffed into more interesting handles. (Emillion, Beehive, Stubby, etc.) I'm not saying poor quality knots, just not really as "special" as we've come to expect from Rooney.

At any rate, I'm thinking that these were pre-made handles, and they were just stuffing them with what they had to get rid of stock. Dwindling stock just suggests to me that they've run out.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but I think the "great" Rooney brand is more or less gone. They still make fine brushes, but I think the truly special brushes that Lee used to make might be gone forever.

Based on my discussions with him, I don't think he made very many of the knots for Rooney.

I agree with most of Craig's post though. I haven't seen a Rooney 2-band available anywhere since about Christmas 2013. The knots were fantastic and the quality was superb. I only have one standard model Rooney, a 1/3 in Jade, and the knot is also excellent, even for a 3-band. I tried the hair in the newer "Heritage," models and I actually liked it quite a bit, but mine ended up shedding.

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 04-13-2016, 08:22 AM
#5
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The 3-band Heritage brushes were manufactured at the least through 2014. Not sure if new batches were produced in 2015... In terms of the hair quality, I agree that they basically had similar hair as the regular Style 1/2/3 silvertips, but seem to have been better formed knots (symmetry, fewer flat ends). The 3-band hair IMO was equal in quality to Shavemac's D01 3-band, which to me is very good. But certainly, it is not everyone's preference since it has a bit of feedback in the form of hints of scratch & scritch.
There have definitely been reports of shedding in recent Rooney batches. The Rooneys sold in the Vintage Blades clearance sale last year had many complaints about shedding. And I personally experienced three consecutive shedding Rooney Stubby 2s.
But if the Heritage line is discontinued, and no one is carrying the regular Silvertips, then perhaps an old favorite is really gone. Now I will appreciate my Rooneys even more!

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 04-13-2016, 09:33 AM
#6
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Oh how I wish there was some exciting news coming from Rooney.... Like that all of the old two band heritage brushes in all sizes were coming into stock somewhere, or better yet, if true Rooney Finest brushes were available in all styles and sizes... I would literally buy all of them! Oh well, a guy can dream can't he?!?!

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 04-13-2016, 09:52 AM
#7
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My quite modest hope is that Lee Sabini has been fairly quiet in terms of Morris & Forndran output lately because he is becoming more involved with Rooney for a relaunch (with existing lines being discontinued). This is pure speculation...but I can dream, can't I Smile

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 04-13-2016, 09:58 AM
#8
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(04-13-2016, 09:52 AM)ntr(nwu) Wrote: My quite modest hope is that Lee Sabini has been fairly quiet in terms of Morris & Forndran output lately because he is becoming more involved with Rooney for a relaunch (with existing lines being discontinued). This is pure speculation...but I can dream, can't I Smile

I'll join you in hoping this is true!

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 04-13-2016, 10:01 AM
#9
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(04-13-2016, 08:22 AM)NSmalls Wrote:
(04-13-2016, 07:46 AM)chamm Wrote: AFAIK, the Heritage line production was really discontinued sometime around the end of 2013. At least, the two-band Heritage. Some vendors continued to carry three-bands, and may still have some stock, but from what I read, these were essentially the knots from the "standard" 1/2/3 lines, stuffed into more interesting handles. (Emillion, Beehive, Stubby, etc.) I'm not saying poor quality knots, just not really as "special" as we've come to expect from Rooney.

At any rate, I'm thinking that these were pre-made handles, and they were just stuffing them with what they had to get rid of stock. Dwindling stock just suggests to me that they've run out.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but I think the "great" Rooney brand is more or less gone. They still make fine brushes, but I think the truly special brushes that Lee used to make might be gone forever.

Based on my discussions with him, I don't think he made very many of the knots for Rooney.

I agree with most of Craig's post though. I haven't seen a Rooney 2-band available anywhere since about Christmas 2013. The knots were fantastic and the quality was superb. I only have one standard model Rooney, a 1/3 in Jade, and the knot is also excellent, even for a 3-band. I tried the hair in the newer "Heritage," models and I actually liked it quite a bit, but mine ended up shedding.
Interesting Nick.  Perhaps we've built him up to be more than he ever was with Rooney. I freely admit all of the things I know are things I've read on forums... and we all know everything we read on forums is true right!?!? Wink

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 04-13-2016, 11:07 AM
#10
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(04-13-2016, 08:22 AM)shevek Wrote: The 3-band Heritage brushes were manufactured at the least through 2014. Not sure if new batches were produced in 2015... In terms of the hair quality, I agree that they basically had similar hair as the regular Style 1/2/3 silvertips, but seem to have been better formed knots (symmetry, fewer flat ends). The 3-band hair IMO was equal in quality to Shavemac's D01 3-band, which to me is very good. But certainly, it is not everyone's preference since it has a bit of feedback in the form of hints of scratch & scritch.
There have definitely been reports of shedding in recent Rooney batches. The Rooneys sold in the Vintage Blades clearance sale last year had many complaints about shedding. And I personally experienced three consecutive shedding Rooney Stubby 2s.
But if the Heritage line is discontinued, and no one is carrying the regular Silvertips, then perhaps an old favorite is really gone. Now I will appreciate my Rooneys even more!

I bought one of the newer 3 band Rooney Heritage brushes a while back. Always admired the Victorian handle but not the 3 band knot. I went for it anyway and agree about hints of scritch/scratch. It also looses a few hairs every now and then, no biggie though. I may eventually replace the knot with a Shavemc regular 2 band silvertip as I like the handle so much.

Product lines come and go but so long as there is a suitable knot somewhere for replacements all is not lost. That is not even mentioning the many fine custom brush makers out there.

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 04-13-2016, 07:07 PM
#11
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(04-13-2016, 10:01 AM)merkur man Wrote:
(04-13-2016, 08:22 AM)NSmalls Wrote:
(04-13-2016, 07:46 AM)chamm Wrote: AFAIK, the Heritage line production was really discontinued sometime around the end of 2013. At least, the two-band Heritage. Some vendors continued to carry three-bands, and may still have some stock, but from what I read, these were essentially the knots from the "standard" 1/2/3 lines, stuffed into more interesting handles. (Emillion, Beehive, Stubby, etc.) I'm not saying poor quality knots, just not really as "special" as we've come to expect from Rooney.

At any rate, I'm thinking that these were pre-made handles, and they were just stuffing them with what they had to get rid of stock. Dwindling stock just suggests to me that they've run out.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong, but I think the "great" Rooney brand is more or less gone. They still make fine brushes, but I think the truly special brushes that Lee used to make might be gone forever.

Based on my discussions with him, I don't think he made very many of the knots for Rooney.

I agree with most of Craig's post though. I haven't seen a Rooney 2-band available anywhere since about Christmas 2013. The knots were fantastic and the quality was superb. I only have one standard model Rooney, a 1/3 in Jade, and the knot is also excellent, even for a 3-band. I tried the hair in the newer "Heritage," models and I actually liked it quite a bit, but mine ended up shedding.
Interesting Nick.  Perhaps we've built him up to be more than he ever was with Rooney. I freely admit all of the things I know are things I've read on forums... and we all know everything we read on forums is true right!?!? Wink

It is my understanding that he was in more of an equity/management position with Rooney than actually making the brushes there. I think he might still have some equity but not as much as he used to.

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 04-14-2016, 10:35 AM
#12
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That was my understanding as well Nick. I think he managed Rooney but I'm not sure how much of it he owned, if any.

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 04-14-2016, 10:50 AM
#13
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I had one of those shedding Rooney's from Vintage Blades, the 3/1 silvertip in faux ivory.  I ended up tossing it in free with a Thater that I sold awhile back.  

However, I also got a 1/2 silvertip in ebony from the clearance sale which only shed a few hairs at the beginning and has been great since.  Nice and scrubby with soft tips.  It's too bad there were so many quality issues.

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 04-14-2016, 11:22 AM
#14
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(04-14-2016, 10:35 AM)guildx500 Wrote: That was my understanding as well Nick. I think he managed Rooney but I'm not sure how much of it he owned, if any.

I think he owned it all for a while. He was connected to Mrs. Rooney (I believe when she was in her 80's) and acquired the company from her. He did a fantastic job transforming it. I'm sure he's run a lathe and tried his hand at tying knots, but those weren't his important contributions. He was a visionary and a very effective conductor in bringing new life to that venerable line. And what he accomplished with Rooney also brought about positive changes in the broader competitive landscape. There came a time when he concluded that to continue to best support the opportunity he needed to bring in outside investors. Subsequent events took a course that he was no longer in a position to dictate. Whatever Lee does or doesn't do in the  future, he has IMO secured a right to immortalization in the Shaving Brushes Hall of Fame. He doesn't need to be mythologized to be great in my book.

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 04-14-2016, 12:46 PM
#15
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(04-14-2016, 11:22 AM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(04-14-2016, 10:35 AM)guildx500 Wrote: That was my understanding as well Nick. I think he managed Rooney but I'm not sure how much of it he owned, if any.

I think he owned it all for a while. He was connected to Mrs. Rooney (I believe when she was in her 80's) and acquired the company from her. He did a fantastic job transforming it. I'm sure he's run a lathe and tried his hand at tying knots, but those weren't his important contributions. He was a visionary and a very effective conductor in bringing new life to that venerable line. And what he accomplished with Rooney also brought about positive changes in the broader competitive landscape. There came a time when he concluded that to continue to best support the opportunity he needed to bring in outside investors. Subsequent events took a course that he was no longer in a position to dictate. Whatever Lee does or doesn't do in the  future, he has IMO secured a right to immortalization in the Shaving Brushes Hall of Fame. He doesn't need to be mythologized to be great in my book.

Glad to read this Ken.  Without a doubt Lee has made his mark, a VERY big mark, in the wet shaving world.  My all-time favorite brushes came about as a result of his work.

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 04-14-2016, 01:02 PM
#16
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(04-14-2016, 12:46 PM)merkur man Wrote:
(04-14-2016, 11:22 AM)Paladin Shaving Wrote:
(04-14-2016, 10:35 AM)guildx500 Wrote: That was my understanding as well Nick. I think he managed Rooney but I'm not sure how much of it he owned, if any.

I think he owned it all for a while. He was connected to Mrs. Rooney (I believe when she was in her 80's) and acquired the company from her. He did a fantastic job transforming it. I'm sure he's run a lathe and tried his hand at tying knots, but those weren't his important contributions. He was a visionary and a very effective conductor in bringing new life to that venerable line. And what he accomplished with Rooney also brought about positive changes in the broader competitive landscape. There came a time when he concluded that to continue to best support the opportunity he needed to bring in outside investors. Subsequent events took a course that he was no longer in a position to dictate. Whatever Lee does or doesn't do in the  future, he has IMO secured a right to immortalization in the Shaving Brushes Hall of Fame. He doesn't need to be mythologized to be great in my book.

Glad to read this Ken.  Without a doubt Lee has made his mark, a VERY big mark, in the wet shaving world.  My all-time favorite brushes came about as a result of his work.

Couldn't agree more!

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 04-15-2016, 10:08 AM
#17
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The original Rooney Heritage 2-bands, whether they were XL's or regular Stubbys or otherwise were the best knots I'd ever used to that point in time when they were discontinued. The combination of density, backbone and soft tips was perfect for my taste. I still mourn their demise though I've heard great things about Paladin and Varlet, which I have not tried yet.

Shavemac 2-bands are very, very close to those magical Rooneys IMHO, the biggest difference being the Rooneys were a bit denser and of course the superb Rooney handles. I just had a current Rooney Emilion 3-band reknotted with a Shavemac 2-band bulb and it's fantastic.

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 04-15-2016, 01:52 PM
#18
  • bijou
  • Active Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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I agree about the 2 band Heritage they were excellent knots. My personal tastes went with the 2 band Super Badger which I liked better then the 2 Band Finest.

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 04-15-2016, 02:07 PM
#19
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
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 04-15-2016, 07:07 PM
#20
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(04-15-2016, 02:07 PM)German Wrote: RIP

+1

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