03-26-2017, 06:27 AM
#1
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
I have obtained a Maseto brush in faux ivory via ebay for $50 shipped from China. I did so, given various good reviews on this brush. I have used the brush for face lathering today and did several palm lather before. In the following, I will describe my initial impressions and compare it to a recently acquired Simpson Chubby 2 in Manchurian ($340 shipped). Of course, impressions may change with extended use, and I will update this post as appropriate.

[Image: c6O6EJF.jpg]
 
Others feel free to chime in with their respective experiences.
 
I will say upfront that my typical shaving brush has a knot size of around 25/26mm. Lately, I have learnt to enjoy 28mm knot sizes (mostly Chubby 2s). 30+mm knots are new territory for me, though I used to own a Chubby 3 in Two Band that I (regrettably) sold due to its size.
 
Also, please note other brushes of the same label may feel different as hair batches will come with different characteristics. Hence, what is laid out below is true for those two brushes compared, and, of course, is totally subjective, i.e. my opinion.
 
Maseto Shaving (former LS, ebay vendor/distributor/maker/who knows):
Knot: 30/52mm (small, immaterial glue bump reducing free loft to about 48mm)
2 band hair (“Finest”)
Hybrid knot, i.e. not a bulb, not a fan (very comparable to Simpson Manchurian knot shape)
Handle: Chubby shaped faux ivory resin, solid with good heft (not as flimsy as e.g. Vie Long Epsilon); size is close to a Chubby 3 handle.
Cost: $50 incl. shipping to the U.S.

[Image: ANd3M52.jpg]
 
Simpson Chubby 2 Manchurian in faux ivory (iconic luxury brush from the Isle of Man)
Knot: 28/52mm (no glue bump)
2 band hair (“Manchurian”)
Hybrid knot
Handle: iconic Chubby 2 handle; high quality resin, lathe turned, perfect size for me.
Cost: $340 incl. shipping to the U.S.

[Image: IeuVvXs.jpg]
 
So, roughly, I can buy SEVEN MS brushes for the cost of ONE Simpson! Let that sink in for a bit.
 
Appearance:
Handle: Both brushes leave a quality impression as looks are concerned. Of course, the Simpson handle is more refined with engraved lettering. However, the Maseto handle has a good heft to it in line with the size of that knot.
 
Knot: Both brushes have a symmetric knot with the Simpson knot slightly more bulbous. Both are more of a hybrid shape.
 
Maseto: A minor glue bump can be felt in the Maseto knot. Its hair is very soft tipped when wet, more coarse when dry. Wet, the hair has a silky feel to it (I am avoiding the term “gel” here, as it is overused). The tips have not curled after a few uses. I view this as a good sign, because curled tips typically mean the hair has been “over treated” (e.g. while bleaching) or damaged through physical impact or overly hot water. The Maseto knot shows bundles of hair with a reddish/brownish color on their shafts (see pic below), which end in white tips. It is unclear how much of this is natural color vs. bleaching of tips or other treatments. Tips are evenly white in coloration (bleached probably). The knot is medium dense and has only shed a hair or two through cleaning, palm and face lathering.

[Image: sUBKbjW.jpg]

 
Simpson: This Simpson Manchurian hair (2017) is very soft tipped both wet and dry. It reminds me a bit of the famed 2 band hair of 2011-13 in appearance, though the individual hair is not as fine and has more backbone. No glue bump can be detected. The hair looks more natural in appearance (less treated?). You will find the occasional black hair (upside down?), but with no impact on the overall face feel. The knot is, well, Chubby dense, i.e. detectable denser than the Maseto.
 
Use: I only face lather with soaps, load the brush on the puck and then move to the face. I start out with circular motions to massage the lather into the stubble and then move to paint strokes to distribute the lather evenly.
 
Both brushes develop lather with ease. The Maseto has better flow through from the start (less dense compared to the Chubby). The Chubby, though used about 10x so far, is still not broken in fully: The density of the knot combined with the resilience of the Manchurian hair makes the Chubby a stiff wall of badger. I know the knot will open up more over time, but right out of the box the Maseto is the more shave friendly tool.
 
The tips of both brushes are equally soft. There is zero scritch. The Maseto hair feels silky soft with medium backbone. The Chubby knot also features very soft tips, but due to its density and backbone it has much more scrub than the Maseto. Again, the Chubby will open up more with use, but right from the start, the Maseto offers a softer face feel.
 
Ergonomics (very subjective):
I prefer the Chubby 2 over the Chubby 3 handle, and hence over the Maseto handle. The latter is just a tad too big for my liking. But I know, for many, it will be the other way around.
 
Summary Stats:
 
[Image: CMA2jOe.png]
 
 
Conclusion:
The Maseto brush is a steal at $50 shipped. Whoever wants to try a large, soft tipped 2 Band badger, that does not break the bank, should go for it. There is no less expensive option!
There are a few downsides though to be considered: brushes may be inconsistent in feel and manufacturing quality; lack of customer service (you are communicating with a vendor in China) in case something is wrong. But in most cases, you will be just fine, and, if not, you can probably tolerate the loss. Durability? Don’t know, but you can ruin every brush in a few years when abusing it. Certainly, less costly, when abusing a Maseto brush.
 
I have about 25 Simpson badgers (mostly 2011-13 Two Band, but also Manchurian and 3 Band Super). Will I sell them all and hoard Maseto brushes? Of course not.
 
Simpson brushes are hand tied, well made and backed up by superior customer service. You can choose from a variety of handle, knot and hair choices that can be customized to some degree. They also come with a lot of heritage. For some, me included, that is worth something.
 
Is it worth 7x the cost (when comparing the $50 Maseto to the $340 Chubby 2)?
 
You have to decide for yourself.

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 03-26-2017, 06:56 AM
#2
User Info
What an excellent, well thought out review! Fantastich! 

I have a couple of these with the LS label, and have only used them once or twice. As I recall, they performed very well. They did feel a bit softer on the face than the Chubby 3s.

You've inspired me to take them out and put them through their paces. I feel like you: they won't ever replace my Chubby 2s and 3s, but for the price? Can't beat it.

I've heard that their quality can be hit and miss, but that's the only negative I've heard.

Thanks for a great review!

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 03-26-2017, 07:29 AM
#3
User Info
Great review.  I really appreciate this comparison.  I've been pondering a larger knot brush...this might be my point of entry...

Thanks!

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 03-26-2017, 07:49 AM
#4
User Info
Good review !!
I am a fan of LS brand . I think that it is a steal for that price and better than some imports from Germany. However , Simpson knot for chubby 3 is so well done and it's worth the price .

I think that LS compliment my Simpson line up. If I want a different feel and change I can spin up LS :-)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 03-26-2017, 08:07 AM
#5
User Info
Thanks for a great review, will have to try this brush.

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 03-26-2017, 11:28 AM
#6
User Info
Very good job, I agree in all, I have two LS  30mm bought last year and they are excellent, I am waiting for my first FAN and another with 24 Knot.

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 03-26-2017, 12:14 PM
#7
  • Mr_Smartepants
  • Senior Member
  • Cambridgeshire, UK (CONUS post address)
User Info
Great review.  I totally agree with the points given.
I now own 3 MS 30mm brushes (two 2-band and one 3-band) and sold all my Simpson brushes except one (TSN-P8 with Envy White knot).
[Image: gJLOAgk.jpg]

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 03-26-2017, 01:31 PM
#8
User Info
Great review, Georg

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 03-27-2017, 03:36 AM
#9
User Info
Great review! I haven't used any of these LS brushes but have used and own many Simpsons.
For the price, and if quality is as you say, then it can't be beat! I will look give them a shot eventually. Maybe. Smaller knot.
Thanks again

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 03-27-2017, 05:50 AM
#10
User Info
These sound tempting...  Could you post a shot from the top of the knots with the CH2 Manchurian next to it to get an idea of the difference in density?

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 03-27-2017, 06:19 AM
#11
User Info
(03-26-2017, 06:27 AM)German Wrote: I have obtained a Maseto brush in faux ivory via ebay for $50 shipped from China. I did so, given various good reviews on this brush. I have used the brush for face lathering today and did several palm lather before. In the following, I will describe my initial impressions and compare it to a recently acquired Simpson Chubby 2 in Manchurian ($340 shipped). Of course, impressions may change with extended use, and I will update this post as appropriate.

[Image: c6O6EJF.jpg]
 
Others feel free to chime in with their respective experiences.
 
I will say upfront that my typical shaving brush has a knot size of around 25/26mm. Lately, I have learnt to enjoy 28mm knot sizes (mostly Chubby 2s). 30+mm knots are new territory for me, though I used to own a Chubby 3 in Two Band that I (regrettably) sold due to its size.
 
Also, please note other brushes of the same label may feel different as hair batches will come with different characteristics. Hence, what is laid out below is true for those two brushes compared, and, of course, is totally subjective, i.e. my opinion.
 
Maseto Shaving (former LS, ebay vendor/distributor/maker/who knows):
Knot: 30/52mm (small, immaterial glue bump reducing free loft to about 48mm)
2 band hair (“Finest”)
Hybrid knot, i.e. not a bulb, not a fan (very comparable to Simpson Manchurian knot shape)
Handle: Chubby shaped faux ivory resin, solid with good heft (not as flimsy as e.g. Vie Long Epsilon); size is close to a Chubby 3 handle.
Cost: $50 incl. shipping to the U.S.

[Image: ANd3M52.jpg]
 
Simpson Chubby 2 Manchurian in faux ivory (iconic luxury brush from the Isle of Man)
Knot: 28/52mm (no glue bump)
2 band hair (“Manchurian”)
Hybrid knot
Handle: iconic Chubby 2 handle; high quality resin, lathe turned, perfect size for me.
Cost: $340 incl. shipping to the U.S.

[Image: IeuVvXs.jpg]
 
So, roughly, I can buy SEVEN MS brushes for the cost of ONE Simpson! Let that sink in for a bit.
 
Appearance:
Handle: Both brushes leave a quality impression as looks are concerned. Of course, the Simpson handle is more refined with engraved lettering. However, the Maseto handle has a good heft to it in line with the size of that knot.
 
Knot: Both brushes have a symmetric knot with the Simpson knot slightly more bulbous. Both are more of a hybrid shape.
 
Maseto: A minor glue bump can be felt in the Maseto knot. Its hair is very soft tipped when wet, more coarse when dry. Wet, the hair has a silky feel to it (I am avoiding the term “gel” here, as it is overused). The tips have not curled after a few uses. I view this as a good sign, because curled tips typically mean the hair has been “over treated” (e.g. while bleaching) or damaged through physical impact or overly hot water. The Maseto knot shows bundles of hair with a reddish/brownish color on their shafts (see pic below), which end in white tips. It is unclear how much of this is natural color vs. bleaching of tips or other treatments. Tips are evenly white in coloration (bleached probably). The knot is medium dense and has only shed a hair or two through cleaning, palm and face lathering.

[Image: sUBKbjW.jpg]

 
Simpson: This Simpson Manchurian hair (2017) is very soft tipped both wet and dry. It reminds me a bit of the famed 2 band hair of 2011-13 in appearance, though the individual hair is not as fine and has more backbone. No glue bump can be detected. The hair looks more natural in appearance (less treated?). You will find the occasional black hair (upside down?), but with no impact on the overall face feel. The knot is, well, Chubby dense, i.e. detectable denser than the Maseto.
 
Use: I only face lather with soaps, load the brush on the puck and then move to the face. I start out with circular motions to massage the lather into the stubble and then move to paint strokes to distribute the lather evenly.
 
Both brushes develop lather with ease. The Maseto has better flow through from the start (less dense compared to the Chubby). The Chubby, though used about 10x so far, is still not broken in fully: The density of the knot combined with the resilience of the Manchurian hair makes the Chubby a stiff wall of badger. I know the knot will open up more over time, but right out of the box the Maseto is the more shave friendly tool.
 
The tips of both brushes are equally soft. There is zero scritch. The Maseto hair feels silky soft with medium backbone. The Chubby knot also features very soft tips, but due to its density and backbone it has much more scrub than the Maseto. Again, the Chubby will open up more with use, but right from the start, the Maseto offers a softer face feel.
 
Ergonomics (very subjective):
I prefer the Chubby 2 over the Chubby 3 handle, and hence over the Maseto handle. The latter is just a tad too big for my liking. But I know, for many, it will be the other way around.
 
Summary Stats:
 
[Image: CMA2jOe.png]
 
 
Conclusion:
The Maseto brush is a steal at $50 shipped. Whoever wants to try a large, soft tipped 2 Band badger, that does not break the bank, should go for it. There is no less expensive option!
There are a few downsides though to be considered: brushes may be inconsistent in feel and manufacturing quality; lack of customer service (you are communicating with a vendor in China) in case something is wrong. But in most cases, you will be just fine, and, if not, you can probably tolerate the loss. Durability? Don’t know, but you can ruin every brush in a few years when abusing it. Certainly, less costly, when abusing a Maseto brush.
 
I have about 25 Simpson badgers (mostly 2011-13 Two Band, but also Manchurian and 3 Band Super). Will I sell them all and hoard Maseto brushes? Of course not.
 
Simpson brushes are hand tied, well made and backed up by superior customer service. You can choose from a variety of handle, knot and hair choices that can be customized to some degree. They also come with a lot of heritage. For some, me included, that is worth something.
 
Is it worth 7x the cost (when comparing the $50 Maseto to the $340 Chubby 2)?
 
You have to decide for yourself.
I have had at least 4 new Simpson's chubby 2/3 and have found all of them had scritch to them, the older Simpson's had softer tips. The Maseto is an incredible value and a wonderful brush especially for the price.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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 03-27-2017, 06:39 AM
#12
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
@rawfox1 "I have had at least 4 new Simpson's chubby 2/3 and have found all of them had scritch to them, the older Simpson's had softer tips"


Your experience may very well be as every brush is different.



However, current Manchurian hair is WAY softer tipped than earlier batches (2012-15). There is also a difference between softness of the individual hair and the face feel of the knot. I tried to separate these out above. Due to the density of the Chubby knot and the resilience of the hair the knot - especially in the beginning when not broken in - feels very stiff on the skin, i.e. won't splay much, causing the knot to be felt scritchy by some when used in [font=\Source Sans Pro\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif]circular[/font] motion.


However, once [font=\Source Sans Pro\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif]broken in, at least in my experience, the current [/font][font=\\Source Sans Pro\\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif]Manchurian[/font][font=\Source Sans Pro\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif] hair batch is truly excellent. If that is a good value vs. an offering like the Maseto brush, is obviously very subjective.[/font]


[font=\Source Sans Pro\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif]As softness and Simpson is concerned nothing [/font][font=\\Source Sans Pro\\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif]comes[/font][font=\Source Sans Pro\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif] close to the 2 Bands of the 2011-13 batches. However, I have to admit, that the recent 3 Band Super I have tried, is truly spectacular as well (but that is comparing apples with peaches). Of course, individual brushes can always [/font][font=\\Source Sans Pro\\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif]vary between hair [/font][font=\\\\Source Sans Pro\\\\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif]batch[/font][font=\\Source Sans Pro\\, Tahoma, Verdana, sans-serif] and knot construction.[/font]

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 03-27-2017, 06:42 AM
#13
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
Not sure what screwed up the post up there Sad

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 03-27-2017, 08:30 AM
#14
User Info
German, I used the LS 30mm this morning, and it performed very well. I'm not sure it's the same brush you have, looks to be more of a hybrid, Simpson Chubby style. I ordered the 'Maseto' branded brush today which is advertised as more of a fan shape which I prefer. Your bloomed Maseto looks very fan like.

[Image: rcJAnJq.jpg]

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 03-27-2017, 08:54 AM
#15
  • blzrfn
  • Butterscotch Bandit
  • Vancouver USA
User Info
Excellent write-up Georg!  Aaaaa 

I have owned several of the Frank Shaving and a couple of the LS brushes both when they were Liu Jung and LioJunny (going off memory).  That last company is now the MS brand you reviewed.  Their quality is also a bit hit or miss (either really good or just so-so), but offer unparalleled value.  If they figure out the last 10% of the equation, higher density and lower lofts, the wet shaving world would have a real conundrum.  The last two FS and LS brushes in my rotation have both had knot transplants but even their handle production seems to be improving.

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 03-27-2017, 09:11 AM
#16
User Info
(03-27-2017, 08:30 AM)Michael P Wrote: German, I used the LS 30mm this morning, and it performed very well. I'm not sure it's the same brush you have, looks to be more of a hybrid, Simpson Chubby style. I ordered the 'Maseto' branded brush today which is advertised as more of a fan shape which I prefer. Your bloomed Maseto looks very fan like.

[Image: rcJAnJq.jpg]
I'm curious about this as well.  I ordered the Maseto brand 30mm finest.  I ordered the one that does not specify knot shape.  The other listing specifies "FAN".  I assume you ordered the former, and not the FAN?  My preference is for a hybrid.

Thanks in advance!

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 03-27-2017, 09:12 AM
#17
User Info
My 30mm is out for delivery today. I'm looking forward to kicking its tires soon.

I used the 24mm model this morning. It's excellent. A little less density than I would like. Maybe a lower loft would improve it in this regard? Regardless it is an excellent value. The faux horn handle is really nice too.

Thanks again for the detailed write up and information.

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 03-27-2017, 09:14 AM
#18
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
(03-27-2017, 08:54 AM)blzrfn Wrote: Excellent write-up Georg!  Aaaaa 

I have owned several of the Frank Shaving and a couple of the LS brushes both when they were Liu Jung and LioJunny (going off memory).  That last company is now the MS brand you reviewed.  Their quality is also a bit hit or miss (either really good or just so-so), but offer unparalleled value.  If they figure out the last 10% of the equation, higher density and lower lofts, the wet shaving world would have a real conundrum.  The last two FS and LS brushes in my rotation have both had knot transplants but even their handle production seems to be improving.

Thanks, Dave.
I fully agree with your remarks.

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 03-27-2017, 09:16 AM
#19
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
(03-27-2017, 09:11 AM)wreck | fish Wrote:
(03-27-2017, 08:30 AM)Michael P Wrote: German, I used the LS 30mm this morning, and it performed very well. I'm not sure it's the same brush you have, looks to be more of a hybrid, Simpson Chubby style. I ordered the 'Maseto' branded brush today which is advertised as more of a fan shape which I prefer. Your bloomed Maseto looks very fan like.

[Image: rcJAnJq.jpg]
I'm curious about this as well.  I ordered the Maseto brand 30mm finest.  I ordered the one that does not specify knot shape.  The other listing specifies "FAN".  I assume you ordered the former, and not the FAN?  My preference is for a hybrid.

Thanks in advance!

I ordered the non specified one shown here. I call that a hybrid. The Chubby is clearly more bulbous though.

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 03-27-2017, 09:19 AM
#20
  • German
  • Simpson 2 Band Aficionado
  • USA
User Info
(03-27-2017, 09:12 AM)bakerbarber Wrote: My 30mm is out for delivery today. I'm looking forward to kicking its tires soon.

I used the 24mm model this morning. It's excellent. A little less density than I would like. Maybe a lower loft would improve it in this regard? Regardless it is an excellent value. The faux horn handle is really nice too.

Thanks again for the detailed write up and information.

Thank you, Todd.
Please share your impressions once received/used.

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