08-02-2016, 09:20 PM
#1
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I wondering whether I need a new brush.  Undecided If I am to acquire a new one, it would have to give me an experience different from the brushes currently in my den. This is what I currently have:
  • Simpson's Persian Jar 2, Best, 22mm knot, 50mm loft
  • Shavemac 167, Silvertip, 23mm knot, 47mm loft
  • Kent BK4, Silvertip, 23mm knot, 53mm loft
  • Simpson's Commodore X1, Best, 19mm knot, 43mm loft
  • TGN Finest 2 band on a vintage handle, 23mm knot, 47mm loft
  • Shavemac model #unknown, Finest, 22mm knot, 53mm loft
  • German made badger, no name brand, Pure or Gray badger, 23mm knot, 50mm loft
  • Semogue 1250, Best Bristles, 22mm knot, 55mm loft
  • Semogue B&B 2010 Custom Boar, Premium Bristles, 22mm knot, 50mm loft
  • Omega 10065, Boar, 24mm knot, 54mm loft
The knot and loft sizes are all approximates, or what the seller/manufacturer stated at time of purchase. I face lather 95% of the time, use hard or soft soaps 80% of the time, and creams 20%.  

If I could only keep one brush from this lot, it would have to be the Shavemac 167 silvertip because of its soft tips and plush feel giving me a light massage when I face lather. It has no scrub or stritch. The next favorite is the Simpson's Persian Jar 2 in Best. This brush is as soft as the Shavemac 167, but it does not provide the light massage, which is one of two drawbacks the PJ2 possesses. The other being it does not have the flow through of the Shavemac.

My thoughts on the remaining brushes:
  • Kent BK4: Although it is a silvertip, it is not as soft as the Shavemac silvertip or the PJ2 in Best. In fact, I will occasionally get a prickly feeling from this brush. Despite having a larger knot than the Shavemac 167 or PJ2, it does not feel as large; this is probably because it is significantly less dense than the other two brushes. In terms of getting the job done, it works just as well as the Shavemac 167 and PJ2. The occasional prick and smaller  face feel are the drawbacks of this brush. 
  • Simpson's Commodore X1: This is a dense brush, perhaps the most dense I own, but this may be an illusion because the short loft makes it seem more dense. This brush has soft tips; I never get a prickly sensation with it, and I would choose it over the Kent because of the lack of prickliness. Depending on thickness of lather and moisture on the hair during a shave, the X1 can give me a gentle scrubby sensation. This is both a plus and a minus. There are times when I like a scrub, but most of the time I don't. The X1 provides a light massage just like the Shavemac 167 only on a smaller scale. This brush looses points because of its size which prohibits anything more than a two pass shave without reloading. 
  • TGN Finest 2 Band. Rarely use this brush by and large because I am not crazy about the handle--hollow plastic. This brush gives me an interesting, and pleasurable, face feel in that the hair has a spring to it. It feels springy on the face with a light gentle scrub. It produces a lather from a hard puck comparable, if not more easily, than the Shavemac 167. I have not used this brush in two years, so my impressions are foggy on this one. 
  • Shavemac with Finest hair:  Does the job it is suppose to do in that it produces lather easily, but it is more prickly than any of the brushes above. 
  • German Badger brush: This is a prickly brush, but I cannot get rid of it because it is the first badger I ever owned--purchased in 1997. 
  • Semogue 1250: It is only two months or so old, and I am still breaking this one in. It has great flow through, and produces lather comparable to the badgers above. It can be prickly at times, which is a drawback. 
  • Semogue B&B Custom Boar: Soft bristles with a gentle scrub. Does not have the flow through of the 1250 but superior in quickness and ease of lather production.
  • Omega 10065: Soft tips for a boar; it will give me an occasional prickly feeling. 
What I must have and don't want in a brush:
I want the plush and soft face feel of the Shavemac 167 and PJ2. A massaging sensation when face lathering is a plus, but not necessary. I do not want anything prickly or scrubby. I don't want a brush that will feel like a brush I already own.

These are the brushes I'm currently thinking about:
  • Vie Long (Epsilon), Amphora Edition Silvertip, 24mm knot, 50mm loft
  • WSP, Earl in High Mountain White, 24mm knot, 49mm loft
  • Thater, Size 1, 3 band bulb, 24mm knot, 52mm loft
  • Thater, Size 0, 2 band fan, 22mm, 50mm loft
  • Muhle or Edwin Jagger Silvertip
  • Semogue SOC 2 Band
  • Suggestions you all may have

I like the price and looks of the Vie Long, but I am hesitant because of the prickliness of a Vie Long I once owned. My old Vie Long, however, was a two band, so the Amphora silvertip may be a totally different story.  The Thater 3 band and WSP are on the high end of what I would like to pay, so I am interested in how different these are from what I have, and what they will offer me. The Thater 2 band above is on sale, but I am wondering if this may be too scrubby or even prickly. Muhle and Edwin Jaggers do not seem to be that popular in that there is not much discussion on them--why? Is the Semogue SOC 2 band too scritchy for me? Any other thoughts you all may have?

Note that these are all below $120. A Simpson's Tulip 2 three band would probably fit my likes very well, but I am not going to spend the money for a Simpson's Tulip 2.

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 08-02-2016, 09:48 PM
#2
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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I feel like I just read a Hollywood script proposal for Goldilocks and the three Bears except it will involve 8 bears , cameo walk on by Chef Ramsey yelling at a cowering brownie trained by the Seusse family ( of Bart the Bear fame) over undercooked proscutto pudding and Lindsey Lohan as Goldilocks with a sex scene with Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt as Papa and Baby bear and soundtrack by John Williams performed by U2.
Why don't you sell the unused brush, set aside the sentimental brushes, reappraise what you DO Like in handles as much as bulbs and consider one of several custom brushmakers?

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 08-02-2016, 11:47 PM
#3
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Why not try something completely different? I notice that nothing on your list is horse hair... Vie Long has some lovely horse hair brushes, both in 50-50 and 65-35 tail and mane (more mane hair means a softer and slightly floppier brush). If you're not ready for pure horse, they also do some lovely mixed badger-horse brushes which are softer still.

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 08-03-2016, 02:06 AM
#4
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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A shavemac Silvertip 2-band made to your desired specs per shavemac's Configurator Experts Selections.

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 08-03-2016, 02:59 AM
#5
  • BobH
  • Senior Member
  • Thunder Bay Canada
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(08-03-2016, 02:06 AM)Rufus Wrote: A shavemac Silvertip 2-band made to your desired specs per shavemac's Configurator Experts Selections.


Yup, a Shavemac 2 band silvertip, not the DO1 knot, should do the job. If you can't find a handle that suits you in the configurator you could always contact them about making a brush handle to your personal specs. If you contact them you could also ask for their recommendation for a knot based on what you like in a knot. They seem to be very accommodating. I went that route, took their recommendation for type of badger knot and loft and they put together a brush with a handle to my specs. I was very well satisfied with the resulting brush.

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 08-03-2016, 04:22 AM
#6
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If you face lather go shavemac silver tip 2 band fan. Soft tips and strong backbone. Would complement the silver tip shavemac well. If you bowl lather maybe a size two Thater silver tip bulb.

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 08-03-2016, 05:33 AM
#7
  • 55dougie
  • Doug Korn's Workshop - Artisan
  • NY USA
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Maybe try a synthetic....... Simpson's Chubby I would suggest based on what you have said......

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 08-03-2016, 06:56 AM
#8
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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I'm somewhat familiar with some of your choices. My Vie-Long/Epsilon 2 and 3 band badger knots are soft, dense, plush and gently scrubby. Wonderful, simply wonderful! I've asked G&C about the hair in the Amphora brushes. They replied that the Amphora hair is from a different batch than that which is in the 27mm Epsilons, however it is quite pleasurable in it's own right.

The SOC 2 band fur is fascinatingly dichotomous. The hair shafts are firm and stout, yet the tips are soft. It is quite scrubby, but there is no scritch. Love the feel and look of the handle. It is a very nice brush that I tend to overlook too often in rotation.

I own a Thater 4125/3 2 band bulb. The break-in period was unexpected. It's soft now, but the first few uses were surpisingly scritchy considering Thater's reputation for cloud-like softness. My initial reaction was, "Hmmm, reminds me of the Emperor's New Clothes." It was a good half dozen shaves before the scritch disappeared. I've found that this brush's face-feel improves with an extensive pre-shave soak and substantial loading.

Other reasonably priced recommendations would be Semogue 2015HD or 2040HD. Enjoy the journey and have fun Smile

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 08-03-2016, 07:53 AM
#9
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Sell some brushes to fund for a Simpsons CH2 Manchurian. It sounds like the perfect brush for you. You'd be surprise in the difference in knot quality and size.

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 08-03-2016, 10:42 AM
#10
  • beamon
  • Active Member
  • Greenville, SC USA
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(08-02-2016, 09:48 PM)kav Wrote: I feel like I just read a Hollywood script proposal for Goldilocks and the three Bears except it will involve 8 bears , cameo walk on by Chef Ramsey yelling at a cowering brownie trained by the Seusse family ( of Bart the Bear fame) over undercooked proscutto pudding and Lindsey Lohan as Goldilocks with a sex scene with Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt as Papa and Baby bear and soundtrack by John Williams performed by U2.
What a mental image that script conjures up! I don't think I'll be able to function the rest of the day.  W00t 

I agree with the suggestion that you try a synthetic. May seem like a 'come down' for you, but you might be surprised!

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 08-03-2016, 11:55 AM
#11
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(08-02-2016, 09:48 PM)kav Wrote: I feel like I just read a Hollywood script proposal for Goldilocks and the three Bears except it will involve 8 bears , cameo walk on by Chef Ramsey yelling at a cowering brownie trained by the Seusse family ( of Bart the Bear fame) over undercooked proscutto pudding and Lindsey Lohan as Goldilocks with a sex scene with Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt as Papa and Baby bear and soundtrack by John Williams performed by U2.
Why don't you sell the unused brush, set aside the sentimental brushes, reappraise what you DO Like in handles as much as bulbs and consider one of several custom brushmakers?

Hey Kav,

Sounds like an interesting summer movie. 

I never thought of a custom because of price. What is the price range in customs? Could I get one at my price range?

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 08-03-2016, 12:15 PM
#12
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(08-02-2016, 11:47 PM)WegianWarrior Wrote: Why not try something completely different? I notice that nothing on your list is horse hair... Vie Long has some lovely horse hair brushes, both in 50-50 and 65-35 tail and mane (more mane hair means a softer and slightly floppier brush). If you're not ready for pure horse, they also do some lovely mixed badger-horse brushes which are softer still.

When I first got the urge for a brush a couple of weeks ago, horse was what first came to mind. I put them aside after reading about hairs tangling and permanently splaying, but now that you suggest them, I'm going to reconsider. Is tangling and splaying more of the exception than the rule?

Just last week I went into an art store to buy some oil painting brushes, and while browsing, I saw some large horse hair brushes that are used for traditional Asian style painting. Those brushes were soft! I took some pictures, and when I figure out how to upload photos to a post, I'll pass them along. There were was a brush that had a Chubby 2 or 3 size knot.

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 08-03-2016, 12:17 PM
#13
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(08-03-2016, 05:33 AM)55dougie Wrote: Maybe try a synthetic....... Simpson's Chubby I would suggest based on what you have said......

Sounds interesting. This was another one that came to my mind earlier.

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 08-03-2016, 12:28 PM
#14
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(08-03-2016, 06:56 AM)chazt Wrote: I'm somewhat familiar with some of your choices. My Vie-Long/Epsilon 2 and 3 band badger knots are soft, dense, plush and gently scrubby. Wonderful, simply wonderful! I've asked G&C about the hair in the Amphora brushes. They replied that the Amphora hair is from a different batch than that which is in the 27mm Epsilons, however it is quite pleasurable in it's own right.

The SOC 2 band fur is fascinatingly dichotomous. The hair shafts are firm and stout, yet the tips are soft. It is quite scrubby, but there is no scritch. Love the feel and look of the handle. It is a very nice brush that I tend to overlook too often in rotation.

I own a Thater 4125/3 2 band bulb. The break-in period was unexpected. It's soft now, but the first few uses were surpisingly scritchy considering Thater's reputation for cloud-like softness. My initial reaction was, "Hmmm, reminds me of the Emperor's New Clothes." It was a good half dozen shaves before the scritch disappeared. I've found that this brush's face-feel improves with an extensive pre-shave soak and substantial loading.

Other reasonably priced recommendations would be Semogue 2015HD or 2040HD. Enjoy the journey and have fun Smile

How do those Semogue HDs feel? The 22mm knot to 57mm loft ratio seems rather high.

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 08-03-2016, 12:34 PM
#15
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(08-03-2016, 12:15 PM)Mon Wrote: When I first got the urge for a brush a couple of weeks ago, horse was what first came to mind. I put them aside after reading about hairs tangling and permanently splaying, but now that you suggest them, I'm going to reconsider. Is tangling and splaying more of the exception than the rule?

Just last week I went into an art store to buy some oil painting brushes, and while browsing, I saw some large horse hair brushes that are used for traditional Asian style painting. Those brushes were soft! I took some pictures, and when I figure out how to upload photos to a post, I'll pass them along. There were was a brush that had a Chubby 2 or 3 size knot.

I got three Vie Long horsehair brushes - a pure white 12705B (50/50), a tan 13051M (65/35) and a 14033 (horse/badger) - as well as two Turkish brushes that claim to be horsehair. Neither has tangles, but the cheap Turkish No7 (plastic handle, 22mm knot, cost about 2.60USD when I bought it) is splaying.

It's hard for me to say if my experiences is outside the norm or not. I swirl, pump and paint with my brushes and so far they hold up well to between two and four years of use. If they should wear out in a couple more years, I feel that they are inexpensive enough to replace without loosing any sleep over it.

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 08-03-2016, 07:00 PM
#16
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My custom Rudy Vey was pretty comparable to a Shavemac direct although without VAT discount but with free shipping.

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 08-04-2016, 09:07 AM
#17
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Bayside, NY
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(08-03-2016, 12:28 PM)Mon Wrote:
(08-03-2016, 06:56 AM)chazt Wrote: I'm somewhat familiar with some of your choices. My Vie-Long/Epsilon 2 and 3 band badger knots are soft, dense, plush and gently scrubby. Wonderful, simply wonderful! I've asked G&C about the hair in the Amphora brushes. They replied that the Amphora hair is from a different batch than that which is in the 27mm Epsilons, however it is quite pleasurable in it's own right.

The SOC 2 band fur is fascinatingly dichotomous. The hair shafts are firm and stout, yet the tips are soft. It is quite scrubby, but there is no scritch. Love the feel and look of the handle. It is a very nice brush that I tend to overlook too often in rotation.

I own a Thater 4125/3 2 band bulb. The break-in period was unexpected. It's soft now, but the first few uses were surpisingly scritchy considering Thater's reputation for cloud-like softness. My initial reaction was, "Hmmm, reminds me of the Emperor's New Clothes." It was a good half dozen shaves before the scritch disappeared. I've found that this brush's face-feel improves with an extensive pre-shave soak and substantial loading.

Other reasonably priced recommendations would be Semogue 2015HD or 2040HD. Enjoy the journey and have fun Smile

How do those Semogue HDs feel? The 22mm knot to 57mm loft ratio seems rather high.

The hair seems equivalent to Simpson's Best. The extra loft helps the knot in terms of soft-appeal. Also, there is no issue at all in terms of backbone as a result of the increased loft. These knots have it all, except girth. I have grown to appreciate the longer lofted, Best grade knots. If the HD knot was lower lofted I think it'd feel much scrubbier. Both, my 2015HD and 2040HD impress as such (they are smaller than my current preferences, but remain highly regarded). The phenomenon seems to hold true with my Simpson's 59 and CH3, which are also tall-lofted Best knots.

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 08-04-2016, 06:24 PM
#18
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Weggian Warrior, 55Dougie, Beamon, and Chazt have convinced me to scrap my original list for this new list:
  • Vie Long horse--I believe I should give it a try because I always have been interested in one.
  • Synthetic--Practically everything I read about them is positive, so I should give this a try as well. 
  • Semogue 2015HD--Love how it looks, great price, and Chazt has only good things to say about it. 
Since I want to try something that gives me a different experience from what I currently have, or experienced in the past, I'm going for horse and synthetic now, and placing the Semogue 2015HD in my "next to buy" list. Given how affordable the 2015HD is, the wait will probably not be long.  Sisi  I am pretty sure the horse will be the Vie Long 13066 with 50% mane hair while being uncertain about which synthetic. The Chubby 2 has a rather large knot--I'm more partial to the knots in the 20-23mm range--and buying a Chubby 2 or Classic 1 would also mean I would not be able to get the Vie Long, so I'm thinking of getting a Muhle synthetic.

What are your thoughts on Muhle synthetics? How would they compare to the Plisson style and Simpson synthetics?

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 08-05-2016, 01:34 PM
#19
  • kav
  • Banned
  • east of the sun,west of the moon
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People need to read history. Horsehair WAS the predominant brush hair for not only shaving but those paint brushes ( Vincent and Mario the housepainter)simply by numbers. Men either shaved themselves or visited a barber. Horses were THE animal  that powered much of humanity in commerce and war and their numbers matched that demand.
In WW1 outbreak of disease was THOUGHT to be linked to those horsehair brushes ( think aluminium blamed for Alzhiemers at one time) and this, and the fact entire horse populations  were pressed into military service ( the legendary Australian Waler breed wiped out) led to badger and boar.
Horsehair has it's own quirks; none better or worse than the others. It is merely-different.

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 08-09-2016, 06:38 AM
#20
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(08-02-2016, 09:20 PM)Mon Wrote: I wondering whether I need a new brush.  Undecided If I am to acquire a new one, it would have to give me an experience different from the brushes currently in my den. This is what I currently have:


  • Simpson's Persian Jar 2, Best, 22mm knot, 50mm loft
  • Shavemac 167, Silvertip, 23mm knot, 47mm loft
  • Kent BK4, Silvertip, 23mm knot, 53mm loft
  • Simpson's Commodore X1, Best, 19mm knot, 43mm loft
  • TGN Finest 2 band on a vintage handle, 23mm knot, 47mm loft
  • Shavemac model #unknown, Finest, 22mm knot, 53mm loft
  • German made badger, no name brand, Pure or Gray badger, 23mm knot, 50mm loft
  • Semogue 1250, Best Bristles, 22mm knot, 55mm loft
  • Semogue B&B 2010 Custom Boar, Premium Bristles, 22mm knot, 50mm loft
  • Omega 10065, Boar, 24mm knot, 54mm loft
The knot and loft sizes are all approximates, or what the seller/manufacturer stated at time of purchase. I face lather 95% of the time, use hard or soft soaps 80% of the time, and creams 20%.  

If I could only keep one brush from this lot, it would have to be the Shavemac 167 silvertip because of its soft tips and plush feel giving me a light massage when I face lather. It has no scrub or stritch. The next favorite is the Simpson's Persian Jar 2 in Best. This brush is as soft as the Shavemac 167, but it does not provide the light massage, which is one of two drawbacks the PJ2 possesses. The other being it does not have the flow through of the Shavemac.

My thoughts on the remaining brushes:

  • Kent BK4: Although it is a silvertip, it is not as soft as the Shavemac silvertip or the PJ2 in Best. In fact, I will occasionally get a prickly feeling from this brush. Despite having a larger knot than the Shavemac 167 or PJ2, it does not feel as large; this is probably because it is significantly less dense than the other two brushes. In terms of getting the job done, it works just as well as the Shavemac 167 and PJ2. The occasional prick and smaller  face feel are the drawbacks of this brush. 
  • Simpson's Commodore X1: This is a dense brush, perhaps the most dense I own, but this may be an illusion because the short loft makes it seem more dense. This brush has soft tips; I never get a prickly sensation with it, and I would choose it over the Kent because of the lack of prickliness. Depending on thickness of lather and moisture on the hair during a shave, the X1 can give me a gentle scrubby sensation. This is both a plus and a minus. There are times when I like a scrub, but most of the time I don't. The X1 provides a light massage just like the Shavemac 167 only on a smaller scale. This brush looses points because of its size which prohibits anything more than a two pass shave without reloading. 
  • TGN Finest 2 Band. Rarely use this brush by and large because I am not crazy about the handle--hollow plastic. This brush gives me an interesting, and pleasurable, face feel in that the hair has a spring to it. It feels springy on the face with a light gentle scrub. It produces a lather from a hard puck comparable, if not more easily, than the Shavemac 167. I have not used this brush in two years, so my impressions are foggy on this one. 
  • Shavemac with Finest hair:  Does the job it is suppose to do in that it produces lather easily, but it is more prickly than any of the brushes above. 
  • German Badger brush: This is a prickly brush, but I cannot get rid of it because it is the first badger I ever owned--purchased in 1997. 
  • Semogue 1250: It is only two months or so old, and I am still breaking this one in. It has great flow through, and produces lather comparable to the badgers above. It can be prickly at times, which is a drawback. 
  • Semogue B&B Custom Boar: Soft bristles with a gentle scrub. Does not have the flow through of the 1250 but superior in quickness and ease of lather production.
  • Omega 10065: Soft tips for a boar; it will give me an occasional prickly feeling. 
What I must have and don't want in a brush:
I want the plush and soft face feel of the Shavemac 167 and PJ2. A massaging sensation when face lathering is a plus, but not necessary. I do not want anything prickly or scrubby. I don't want a brush that will feel like a brush I already own.

These are the brushes I'm currently thinking about:

  • Vie Long (Epsilon), Amphora Edition Silvertip, 24mm knot, 50mm loft
  • WSP, Earl in High Mountain White, 24mm knot, 49mm loft
  • Thater, Size 1, 3 band bulb, 24mm knot, 52mm loft
  • Thater, Size 0, 2 band fan, 22mm, 50mm loft
  • Muhle or Edwin Jagger Silvertip
  • Semogue SOC 2 Band
  • Suggestions you all may have

I like the price and looks of the Vie Long, but I am hesitant because of the prickliness of a Vie Long I once owned. My old Vie Long, however, was a two band, so the Amphora silvertip may be a totally different story.  The Thater 3 band and WSP are on the high end of what I would like to pay, so I am interested in how different these are from what I have, and what they will offer me. The Thater 2 band above is on sale, but I am wondering if this may be too scrubby or even prickly. Muhle and Edwin Jaggers do not seem to be that popular in that there is not much discussion on them--why? Is the Semogue SOC 2 band too scritchy for me? Any other thoughts you all may have?

Note that these are all below $120. A Simpson's Tulip 2 three band would probably fit my likes very well, but I am not going to spend the money for a Simpson's Tulip 2.

The ShaveMac you have in Silvertip is it a 2 or 3 band and is it D01?  I notice that all of your brushes are small knot diameters.  Are you dead set on that?  I have 5 ShaveMacs 3 of which are D01 2 band and 2 are Silvertip 2 band.  The last brush I had Bernard make for me was a Silvertip 2 band 26mm knot and 54mm loft.  This brush is as soft as cotton, not scratchy and is perfect for face altering.  I find the a larger knot is more comfortable.  But that's just my opinion.  All of my ShaveMacs and Wiborgs are fan shape.

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