12-06-2016, 06:33 PM
#1
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recently received the Above The Tie 'Calypso M'.  This is ATT's foray into the world of aluminum safety razors and the razor has surpassed my expectations.  Initially, I found the razor very appealing.  The color of the top cap and handle are darker than their stainless steel counterparts and in tandem with the blue base plate, the overall appearance is outstanding.  The barber pole handle was made .5" larger than the stainless steel version and is 3.5".  I wondered how the the aluminum handle would fare up against it's stainless counterpart and as I said, given the color, I was very pleased.  I expected that the stainless version would be visually more appealing, but the aluminum looks great.  And for me, the lighter weight (40 grams with the handle and head) also resulted in a very well balanced razor.

I did a 3-pass shave today and it was BBS.  While doing the WTG pass, I actually looked at the razor to make sure that the blade was loaded as the razor was more mild than my ATT M1 stainless razor.  I had a 3-day growth and my facial hair was sheared off with no issues.  While the ATT M1 stainless version is also mild, the aluminum counterpart was even more mild and more efficient.  And this was also my experience during the 2nd and 3rd passes.  More mild than the stainless M1, but closer.

All in all, a great addition to the ATT lineup.

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 12-07-2016, 02:30 AM
#2
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Great review, looking forward to seeing some more reviews as these become available.

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 12-07-2016, 12:49 PM
#3
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I may be caught between sizes when it comes to this razor. So far the M plate is too mild and R specs out as too aggressive. My reference is the Rockwell 6S R3 plate, and straying too far from its parameters always leads to trouble. The razor itself is beautifully made and feels great in hand, and I'm experimenting with blades to see if I can wring out the last bit of efficiency.

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 12-07-2016, 12:53 PM
#4
  • Shanman
  • Reserve Collection Squirrel Hair
  • NE Florida
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(12-07-2016, 12:49 PM)rsp1202 Wrote: I may be caught between sizes when it comes to this razor. So far the M plate is too mild and R specs out as too aggressive. My reference is the Rockwell 6S R3 plate, and straying too far from its parameters always leads to trouble. The razor itself is beautifully made and feels great in hand, and I'm experimenting with blades to see if I can wring out the last bit of efficiency.

I found the S1 to be the perfect go between.

In regards to the Calypso handle, can't wait to see that Kronos length/ Atlas knurling in SS or Ti!!

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 12-09-2016, 10:05 AM
#5
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The Calypso by Above the Tie is an exciting new razor. It is CNC machined 7075 aluminum with a new  handle based on the Atlas. 7075 aluminum is one of the hardest alloys of this material and comparable in strength to steel. The head is based on the popular M and R versions of the ATT razor fabricated in stainless steel.

[Image: vNXmCik.jpg]



[img=1331x727]http://i.imgur.com/nwrQ2vM.jpg[/img]
[Image: QCsxooJ.jpg]
[Image: drzxmOp.jpg]

Above shows the new razor and handle and the first two pictures compared to the stainless steel version.

I will admit up front that I am a fan of lightweight razors and prefer them in many instances to the heavier stainless steel, brass or Zamac versions. I also am partial to razors made with titanium though not as many of those are produced. Mainly it is a handle material and is more costly to produce a full razor making the finished product very expensive relative to other competitors. One example of an all titanium razor is made by Wolfman and sells for a premium.
 
Historically, aluminum has been used by manufacturers since the 1930s. Early examples would be Gillette using the material to produce lightweight versions of the Rocket HD, 66 (36gr.), 58 and various models of the Tech. Usually the aluminum was used in the handle and not the head which was the typical plated brass. It still made for a lightweight razor and are some of the most sought after by razor collectors. Others that come to mind were a very lightweight 2 piece Apollo that was entirely produced in aluminum and a 2 piece model 15 Rotbart (45gr.).
 
Today various aluminum razors are produced by Ikon, Standard, Italian Barber, and Colonial. They run the gamut in design....from SB and Dual to SE. The majority of the latest designs seem to be single edge and based on the Japanese Artist Club blade. Most of them are CNC machined with Ikon favoring sintering. I think the reason that so many new razors are based on aluminum is that it is easier to work with and costs less money in a finished product. The happy result is that they are wonderful to shave with and forces an alternative technique.

[Image: QJjftWi.jpg]
 
First row: Left to right is the Gillette 66 (36gr.) and the 15 Rotbart (45gr.) The Gillette is TTO and the Rotbart 2 piece.

Second row: Left to right is the Shavecraft 101 (60gr.) and the Standard (42gr.)

Third Row: Left to right is the Colonial General (45gr.), the Italian Barber Hawk (40gr.) and the Ikon El Jefe (58gr.) The row two and three razor heads were weighed with the Calypso handle for comparative weights. The Calypso handle fits all of them by the way, even the Ikon with the long center screw.

The ATT  Calypso is a beautiful gun metal gray and blue base plate combination. It is very efficient yet mild. I prefer mild razors and in my own experience find they are capable of reducing stubble efficiently while being totally safe to use. You would have a hard time nicking yourself with the Calypso while ending up with a 3 pass BBS shave. Aluminum razors require just a touch of pressure because of their light weight and I find I can shave every day with the Calypso without irritation or razor burn....which is not the case with many other tools.
 
I have about 6 shaves with the new razor and have used the supplied Astra Premium stainless blade and a stainless Treet. Both deliver a smooth and comfortable result in the Calypso head. I really like the M plate in stainless and even more  so in aluminum, My beard grows enough to usually shave every day but is not the wiry type best addressed with the Muhle R-41 or some such torture device with huge blade gaps and used with a abundance of caution. I am 73 and I guess beards get a little less problematic as we age and the texture of hair changes. However, I would suspect the Calypso has enough range to give a good shave to all beard types though ATT as is their custom makes an R plate version for the more adventuresome. The upfront policy of this company making multiple blade gap versions of their razors throughout the range is very unusual but smart. It gives customers a lot of choice to match their shaving technique and preferences and is a competitive advantage.
 
The new profusion of razors in aluminum also allows manufacturers to offer their product at a lower price, not a small issue. The retail cost of CNC machined tools have risen to an average it seems of around $175.00 and are thus expensive on a relative basis to say a Dorco TTO or any number of cheaper alternatives. Aluminum allows for prices to vary from $20 at the lower end to $96 for the Calypso....about half the price of the  stainless steel M. It should allow for more people to invest in the new designs and in ATT's case to manufacture more of their models in aluminum and offer them at a reduced retail price. I would think the very popular slant S1 and the recently introduced single edge SE1 would be obvious choices.
 
So in summary, in my opinion the Calypso is a tremendous introduction of a superior shaving tool at a decent price that should pave the way for  Above the Tie to offer their innovative designs in other materials. In this case aluminum.  

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 12-22-2016, 06:08 AM
#6
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I am enjoying my ATT AL R plate (Calypso) razor.  I find the light weight nice for a break from my heavier razors and yet it shaves just as well.  Nice BBS in my typical 3 passes plus touchups.  No weepers.   I used my go to blade, the Gillette 7 O'clock Black.  Smooth but efficient shaver.  Great job, Stan!  I hope ATT introduces additional aluminum models as well.

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 12-22-2016, 03:28 PM
#7
  • Chaddy
  • Senior Member
  • North Carolina
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Why is the base plate blue?

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 12-22-2016, 04:13 PM
#8
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7075 aluminum comparable in strength to steel? Can you please provide chart comparison between them

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 12-24-2016, 07:35 AM
#9
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(12-22-2016, 04:13 PM)bazemk Wrote: 7075 aluminum comparable in strength to steel? Can you please provide chart comparison between them

316 stainless steel (annealed condition)

Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 89,900
Yield Strength, psi 60,200
Rockwell Hardness B91

7075-T6 Aluminum:
Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 83,000
Yield Strength, psi 73,000
Rockwell Hardness B87

304 Stainless Steel (annealed condition)
Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 73,200
Yield Strength, psi 31,200
Rockwell Hardness B70

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 12-24-2016, 07:39 AM
#10
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(12-22-2016, 04:13 PM)bazemk Wrote: 7075 aluminum comparable in strength to steel? Can you please provide chart comparison between them

Here is another......https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS4x9t0eMfY

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 12-24-2016, 02:14 PM
#11
  • Chaddy
  • Senior Member
  • North Carolina
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Anybody know why the base plate is blue?

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 12-24-2016, 05:19 PM
#12
  • clint64
  • Senior Member
  • Atlanta, GA
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(12-24-2016, 02:14 PM)Chaddy Wrote: Anybody know why the base plate is blue?

Stan indicated it was just a design choice.

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 12-26-2016, 04:47 AM
#13
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I have the Calypso R. I find it milder than the stainless version. It's very effective though. I think it's really sharp looking too.

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 12-26-2016, 06:40 AM
#14
  • clint64
  • Senior Member
  • Atlanta, GA
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(12-26-2016, 04:47 AM)UngerWoo Wrote: I have the Calypso R. I find it milder than the stainless version. It's very effective though. I think it's really sharp looking too.


I have the Calypso R as well and echo your thoughts.  It is very efficient given its light weight.  To my eyes it is a very sharp looking razor.

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 12-27-2016, 12:20 PM
#15
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(12-24-2016, 07:35 AM)zeppelinkarte Wrote:
(12-22-2016, 04:13 PM)bazemk Wrote: 7075 aluminum comparable in strength to steel? Can you please provide chart comparison between them

316 stainless steel (annealed condition)

Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 89,900
Yield Strength, psi 60,200
Rockwell Hardness B91

7075-T6 Aluminum:
Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 83,000
Yield Strength, psi 73,000
Rockwell Hardness B87

304 Stainless Steel (annealed condition)
Ultimate Tensile Strength, psi 73,200
Yield Strength, psi 31,200
Rockwell Hardness B70

thanks but that don't make too much sense to me. If the strength of the metals is almost the same then why the machining takes much longer which brings the razor cost much higher AKA almost double? Something do not compute here well, also I'm yet to see a SS razor with broken  off thread nut or threads wearing off, but the aluminum is very famous for crapping out. If they are so close in strength then why  machining process is much longer on the SS and why even the strongest Aluminum craps out at the threads?

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 12-27-2016, 12:28 PM
#16
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Almost every post can break if you drop the razor on the floor and/or over tighten the handle....sometimes when new the post and handle NEED to be lubricated.....and most important...."if it don,t fit..you must quit"

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 12-27-2016, 12:44 PM
#17
  • DayMan
  • Senior Member
  • Tennessee
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(12-27-2016, 12:28 PM)Harvey Wrote: Almost every post can break if you drop the razor on the floor and/or over tighten the handle....sometimes when new the post and handle NEED to be lubricated.....and most important...."if it don,t fit..you must quit"

I've always heard the opposite.  If it's stuck, force it.  If it breaks, it needed fixing anyway.

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 12-28-2016, 10:33 AM
#18
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I used to do framing, and we always said, "Don't force it; get a bigger hammer."  

Not sure it would be good to apply the same concept to DE razors.  LOL.

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