01-10-2018, 11:46 AM
#21
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(01-10-2018, 11:17 AM)SamTwist Wrote:
(01-10-2018, 10:56 AM)bijou Wrote: I received the Starling Gem the other day and now have 2 shaves from it. I like to feel the blade and hearing the have feedback. For me the Blue plate was to mild so I switched to the Gold plate. I liked the Gold plate tho for me I would't say it was terribly aggressive when comparing it to my British Streamline which has a lot of blade feel and where the mowing down of my beard (thick) sounds like a tank coming down the street. The Gold plate gave me a smooth blade feel and nice feedback to where as my stubble was being leveled down the feedback became lower and smoother. 

For me I liked this razor better then the 2 newer Gems that have come out on the market, they were to mild for me, I wasn't getting the gem blade experience. Now what I did not like about the razor, The razor was to light so I switched out the handle to a stork 90 x 13 Ti aristocrat (45g) which gave me a little more heft to control the large but light head. The second thing is the head is large, I understand why it is so in its design, but I would have liked it to be a little smaller in its depth. As far as setting in the blade you have to pay attention to what your doing also when the blade is set in properly there is no worry about the blade corners, there are small corner guards. 
[Image: 4t55YWS.jpg]

From what i read here and on other forums, is that most of the people who already have theirs, have reported quality control issues with the blue baseplate, it seems that the blade is not properly secured, which causes blade chatter. Does your razor have the same problem? I hope mine will be flawless, i was really looking forward to shaving with it, but now i'm concerned, i wasted my money on an overpriced aluminum handle. Very nice picture by the way.
The beta plate was worse for me in my shave. I tried to finish with the blue plate.

Sent from my Samsung S8+

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 01-10-2018, 11:47 AM
#22
  • bijou
  • Senior Member
  • Chicago Illinois
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My experience with this razor is quite different then what I've been reading. I did not like the Blue plate, I'm just commenting on the Gold. The blade holding system is slightly off not precise, the pins could be a fraction re-positioned but not to bad I've had a lot worse in razors costing a lot more money (putting a blade into the RX or Cobra an be a little tricky at times). As I stated the pins could have been a drop longer so as to make it easier to hold the blade in place when you put the top on and tighten, it's about paying attention the blade insertion process. When the blade is put in properly and the handle tightens down the head I had no issues, I got an excellent shave. 

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 01-10-2018, 12:08 PM
#23
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These are my results from what I have experienced with this particular razor. The "A" blue plate is the one that I have the most concern with. As you can see by the photos, there is some serious tolerance issues with fitment of top cap, blade and base plate. I still shaved with it, although it was not the most comfortable shave and left me with quite a bit of irritation.
 The "B" gold plate,  Beta was a bit more precise, yet if you look closely at my pics, you will still see that both the top cap and bottom plate do not secure the blade evenly across the length of the GEM blade. 
Most users have complained of this alignment issue and there is the possibility that other buyers and users received a razor with better tolerances than others. I'm just stating what is my own particular situation with this razor....
I will let you Gents decide based upon the photos here...

[Image: pyj84MG.jpg]

[Image: RBelbO3.jpg]

[Image: G0VrOJL.jpg]

[Image: CxemJal.jpg]

[Image: tbOihQG.jpg]
In the last photo, if you look closely you will see that the blade cut outs on each side do not fit into the blade notch posts precisely. There is a bit of movement left to right and vice-versa. I will post a few photos of the top cap shortly...

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 01-10-2018, 12:24 PM
#24
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Very instructive photos.  Thanks for passing those on SteelyEdge.

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 01-10-2018, 12:27 PM
#25
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Here are a few more photos of the top cap and the space in the cut out for the GEM spine setting...
Look at the spacing right under the stud. Spine is flush against the cut out backing. But in the third photo, if you look closely the spine is not flush and there is play and movement for the blade. Once you tighten the assembly, it won't move, but now there is an angle that is created and the blade edge semi pivots upward, as you can see in the previous post and photos.

[Image: bjQiwci.jpg]

[Image: IZxw4sO.jpg]

[Image: QlpQC6v.jpg]

[Image: Z0JU9ta.jpg]

As you can see in all the photos, there are serious tolerance and quality control issues here. I know that it's an economical/value priced razor, but the fit and finish are lacking either way you slice it. That's just my opinion and observations. Maybe others received a better finished razor? That I can't answer. I sure hope they did. As it stands, this is not acceptable in my book. I will try the "B" gold Beta plate on my next shave and see where that takes me...

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 01-10-2018, 02:49 PM
#26
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Received mine today and will do the first shave in the morning. I already loaded a Gem blade using the more aggressive plate which is a prototype given along with a blue plate which is their regular setup. I have found no issues with blade alignment or finish.

[Image: RQhws3W.jpg]

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 01-10-2018, 03:56 PM
#27
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Mine arrived today, and although I haven't shaved with it, I don't see any alignment problems.  I put a blade it it, and everything looks right.  If the handle is not screwed on, I can slide the blade side to side a tiny bit, but not with the thing screwed together.  Seems to be within reasonable tolerances.  With either base plate, everything looks right.  And I'm not seeing an issue with exposed blade corners.  But the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I'll cross my fingers and lather up later.

I was looking at the side-on photos posted by @SteelyEdge in post #23 above, and mine doesn't look like that.  It may be an optical illusion, but in those photos, it kind of looks like the blade is bent slightly, curving slightly from spine to edge.  SteelyEdge, is that a possibility?  Have you tried a different blade or tried flipping that one over?

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 01-10-2018, 06:47 PM
#28
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(01-10-2018, 12:27 PM)SteelyEdge Wrote: Here are a few more photos of the top cap and the space in the cut out for the GEM spine setting...
Look at the spacing right under the stud. Spine is flush against the cut out backing. But in the third photo, if you look closely the spine is not flush and there is play and movement for the blade. Once you tighten the assembly, it won't move, but now there is an angle that is created and the blade edge semi pivots upward, as you can see in the previous post and photos.

[Image: bjQiwci.jpg]

[Image: IZxw4sO.jpg]

[Image: QlpQC6v.jpg]

[Image: Z0JU9ta.jpg]

As you can see in all the photos, there are serious tolerance and quality control issues here. I know that it's an economical/value priced razor, but the fit and finish are lacking either way you slice it. That's just my opinion and observations. Maybe others received a better finished razor? That I can't answer. I sure hope they did. As it stands, this is not acceptable in my book. I will try the "B" gold Beta plate on my next shave and see where that takes me...

You are a brave man. 
It looks defective. I would contact PAA and give them a fair chance to solve the issue.

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 01-10-2018, 07:07 PM
#29
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Or better yet, invest in a quality SE razor to begin with ie Blackland Sabre. In my opinion, you get what you pay for. PAA slash whatever his name is these days equals trash. To each their own.

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 01-10-2018, 07:11 PM
#30
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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(01-10-2018, 07:07 PM)Agravic Wrote: Or better yet, invest in a quality SE razor to begin with ie Blackland Sabre. In my opinion, you get what you pay for. PAA slash whatever his name is these days equals trash. To each their own.

http://shavenook.com/showthread.php?tid=...#pid849615

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 01-11-2018, 02:28 AM
#31
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Second shave (first last night one pass) A great close irritation free shave. Using the yellow prototype base plate. The razor is first quality and in particular for $39.95 is a bargain. I had no alignment issues. There are other razors that have logos plastered on the top plate. Feather,Detroit Shaving,etc. In several days will use the original blue plate which is suppose to be milder. We will see.

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 01-11-2018, 08:55 AM
#32
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(01-11-2018, 02:28 AM)slantman Wrote: Second shave (first last night one pass) A great close irritation free shave. Using the yellow prototype base plate. The razor is first quality and in particular for $39.95 is a bargain. I had no alignment issues. There are other razors that have logos plastered on the top plate. Feather,Detroit Shaving,etc. In several days will use the original blue plate which is suppose to be milder. We will see.

NICE!  your one of the first i've heard not complain about the Starling SE

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 01-11-2018, 04:21 PM
#33
  • Harvey
  • Senior Member
  • North Hills CA
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Got mine today and used the standard blue plate...great shave...no issues of any kind....in fact I rather like it a lot !!!!!!

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 01-11-2018, 04:37 PM
#34
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(01-11-2018, 04:21 PM)Harvey Wrote: Got mine today and used the standard blue plate...great shave...no issues of any kind....in fact I rather like it a lot !!!!!!


Glad to hear! Mine is waiting on the front door step.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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 01-11-2018, 04:41 PM
#35
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If you enjoy the razor make sure you give the guys some good feedback as well.

Sent from my Samsung S8+

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 01-11-2018, 04:52 PM
#36
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Update. I explained my dilemma with PAA via email and included a couple of pics about the razor. Another razor is on it’s way, no questions asked at their expense. Not to shabby at all. I give credit where credit is due, plain and simple. Now, shave time with the Beta plate.......

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 01-11-2018, 06:49 PM
#37
  • Agravic
  • Emeritus
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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I’d rather buy one quality razor from a reputable and respectable vendor than deal with this kind of sh*t. Seriously, in my opinion, why do people bother pandering with BS products made who knows where, with questionable quality? Is it price? Well, in my opinion, you get what you pay for.

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 01-11-2018, 08:15 PM
#38
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I used mine with the Blue plate this morning for the first time and it worked fine.  It felt smoother them my MMOC.  It was a bit mild and I was just shy of a BBS, with 3 passes.  My face did not feel irritated and I liked the shave.  Because I was running late this morning, I did not play around or push anything further.  My razor looks like those in the photos, but the shave was not bad or uncomfortable.  I noticed tonight when I changed to plate "B" from "A", that there was quite a bit of moisture and residue on the blade suggesting that the head is not clamping as tight as it probably should around the blade, again supporting the gaps one sees in the photos.

Nevertheless, I could talk all day about things that could improve different razor designs - that is what engineers like to do, but the truth is, the razor seemed to work fine.  I will see tomorrow if the more aggressive plate provides a closer shave.  I will give this razor some more face time to better formulate an opinion.  I really do not like to judge based only only one shave - especially when the blade was not brand new.

In conclusion, I think the razor could probably be improved, but is fine as is, although the "A" plate is mild.  Continued use with both plates and new blades will help me fabricate a more firm opinion. 
Steve

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 01-11-2018, 08:38 PM
#39
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When I bought a Weber, 6 years ago, the bottom plate was defective.
I emailed the guy and he sent me a new one.
I think the price back then was 70 bucks.
Did I get what I paid for? Maybe. I got a fair deal, good service on a product that I thought was ok and was sold in BST after a couple of months. 

The price tag is fine. I have a few RazoRock razors and a Colonial General.  I got plenty for what I paid.

If PAA replaces a defective unit (too early to determine if the issue is endemic), and does so quickly and efficiently - what else can one ask? 

Is Merkur any better? They think their misaligned Futur heads are  perfectly acceptable.

The razor looks like the way the designer wanted it to look. Some think it looks good enough to own. If i owned one and were going to keep it, I'd probably look into buffing the logo off...

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 01-11-2018, 11:10 PM
#40
  • Barrylu
  • Senior Member
  • Portland OR
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First, shave completed with the blue plate. The razor seems to be well made but very light. I immediately changed the aluminum handle for a stainless handle. The razor had a bit more heft to it now and felt better in my hand. I initially had a bit of a difficult time getting a blade onto the lower plate. The nubs that catch the edges of the plate are small and difficult to see and to position to catch the blade edge spaces. After tightening down the handle there was no rattle the edge of the blade was straight. I saw none of the imperfections others have reported on. Perhaps quality control before shipment might be improved. My unit was without any noticeable flaws.
 The shave went well. I have been using a Saber with both an L1 and L2 plate. Therefore, I needed no break-in period learning to use a Gem style razor. The shaving angle is the same for this razor as the angle for the Saber. There is considerable blade feel for this razor as compared to the Saber. However, the blade feel is not unpleasant. The razor fitted with the stainless steel handle was well balanced and comfortable. Auditory feedback from the shave was relatively loud and helped me obtain a nice close shave.
I did a three pass shave with some minor buffing in my problem areas. The result a nice smooth irritation free shave.  I cleaned up the razor after my shave and completely took the razor apart so that I could install the gold (more aggressive) plate for my next shave in two days. I was surprised to find considerable soap and water trapped within the razor. I thought I had rinsed and dried the razor well after my shave. However, this razor seems to trap water and soap between the plates and on the blade. This phenomenon might prove to be a difficulty with this razor in the future. For the time being, anyway, I will be completely taking apart the razor rinsing and drying each component after completing my shave. 
 I will finish my review in a few days. After I shave with the gold base plate.

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