09-05-2012, 08:07 PM
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As those who follow the acquisitions thread already know, my Tulip 3 Manchurian arrived yesterday. And as those of you who follow the SOTD threads, you'll have read that I wasn't terribly impressed with the brush. So, in the spirit of a complete and thorough review, I invite you all to join me on my journey to break this brush in and give it a thorough review.

In the beginning, the Manchurian started as a picture on a website. Since the Classic 1 was sold out, I chose my second favorite handle, the Tulip. I was thinking about the M7, but the extra $50 and 1.5-2mm smaller knot didn't do it for me. And how much would this journey cost? It came with a price tag of $265. Yup, these Manchurians are extra expensive. But are they extra awesome? Time will tell.

So, the journey continues a few weeks later with a package in my mailbox. Then, there was some unboxing porn. Beautiful brush. Lathe turned, sticker on correctly, new green box. Oh, and that free shaving cream. Not bad Simpsons.

Closer inspection of the brush reveals the hand formed bulb shape that Simpsons is probably famous for. Actually I'm fairly certain no one else does that. Using a form is the way the knot shape is made these days. So, along with the lack of a form, is the presence of a few hairs that are taller than the rest. No big deal though. What is unexpected is the color of the tips. They're a dirty white. Not what I was expecting for the price. But, clean white tips aren't everything.

The individual shafts are thick. They're slightly thicker than Simpson's regular 2 band hair and also Thater's. Comparing it to M&F and Rooney Stubby XL, the hair is about the same. Too close to call. When dry, the tips are pretty soft. Very reminiscent of Thater's 2 band hair. Extremely similar. The color of M&F and Thater tips are the same color. Rooney's are whiter. At this point, the Manchurian hairs were not softer than the Rooney hairs when wet. Test done by blind testing with a volunteer.

Comparisons done, the de-funking began. The brush STANK! It smelled really bad for about 5 test lathers. The sixth one was masked enough by the TOBS Sandalwood that I decided to stop for the night and let it dry out. Throughout the de-funking process, the brush only lost one and a half hairs. Half a hair seems to have broken off. Good job Simpsons. Combed out all the stray hairs.

But that's not why you are all reading this thread. I'm pretty sure you all want to hear about how awesome the Manchurian hair is and how it is unlike every other 2-band hair out there and how it is totally worth the price of admission and is second to none. Or something like that, and at the very least how is the hair.

So, day 1. Today was my first actual shave with the brush. I used the Simpsons cream and face lathered using circular and paintbrush strokes. Not...that...soft. There was a lot of scritch. And, I mean a lot of scritch. So much scritch that I am afraid it was probably closer to scratch. I did two more lathers and my face was feeling so very raw. Normally, my face feels great after a shave. Not today. It felt like I had taken a piece of fine grained sandpaper to it.

Going into detail. The scritch was very much like this D01 hair that had some scritch in a very small area of the knot when new. It eventually broke in, but the hairs still have a little scritch all around. The Manchurian however, had scritch everywhere. The outer edge of the bulb did not feel scritchy, but the entire center had scritch. Paintbrush strokes, circular strokes, it didn't matter. The scritch was there.

To be fair to the brush, it is brand spanking new and the knot is a very dense 24mm x 50mm. It actually reminds me more of a Chubby 1 Super than a Tulip in density. So, it could just be the loft, density, and backbone of the hairs. I don't know at this time.

In order to speed up the break-in process, I will be shaving in the morning and breaking in the brush in the afternoon. In the meantime, the brush will dry via fan. Breaking in the brush tonight, I still felt the scritch in the palm of my hand. This is kind of disturbing as the palm of my hand is pretty darn leathery.

Journey shall continue tomorrow.

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 09-05-2012, 08:41 PM
#2
  • Teiste
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  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Oh boy,Im gonna enjoy this thread.Subscribed!

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 09-05-2012, 09:21 PM
#3
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I have one of these. I think your noticing scritch in the middle as the hairs are quite strong. Don't worry though, the scritch on my brush calmed down and after a good few uses the knot relaxes and that's when I found it to shine.

I agree totally about comparing the hair to shavemac's D01. It's rather similar in looks (short white tips and in hair thickness) and in feel too, my D01 had a touch of scritch, the Manchurian has a little less after a good few uses.

I should really use these back to back but at the moment i can't put down my Simpson 2 band brushes.

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 09-06-2012, 06:10 AM
#4
  • VTMAX
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  • Woodstock, Vermont
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Bloody good hair. Top notch brushes but they DO take time to break in and soften up. I have noticed this with the Rooney Finest as well. They are scratchy at first, almost too much, but get better. AND what a lather they produce. I personally prefer softer brushes for every day but with 2 or 3 days growth the Simpson Manchurians shine.

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 09-06-2012, 08:10 AM
#5
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(09-06-2012, 06:10 AM)VTMAX Wrote: I personally prefer softer brushes for every day but with 2 or 3 days growth the Simpson Manchurians shine.

That may well be exactly true. But, on to today's shave.

I used GFT Almond soap and face lathered using both circular and paintbrush strokes so I could get a good cross section of information. I loaded the brush up a little more than I normally would because it's such a large knot, and I was right. It needed the extra soap.

First pass:
Much better. Maybe my face healed or the tips broke in for one pass, but it was not bad at all. Very scrubby though, but that appears to be the consensus regarding this hair. "Scrubby, but not scritchy" (not sure I agree with this statement at this point in time).

Second & third pass:
Since they performed basically the same, I figured I'd just combine my findings into one section. Not better. The scritch and scratch is back. Not cool brush. Not cool. The brush continues to be scritchy in certain areas, but I can feel it breaking in and softening up. This is good because otherwise I'd have a 170 GBP paperweight.

But, the scritch is still there. It's still there even with paintbrush strokes. The hopeful news is that the scratch seems to have been concentrated in the center. The really good news is that my face did not feel raw immediately afterwards. Right now, half an hour later, it feels a little raw when the A/C hits my cheeks, but not so bad that I'm going to complain too loudly about it.

The break in
I decided to just do the additional break in lathering right after the shave. I'll wake up a little earlier and get it done. That way I don't have to resoak the brush and all that.

So, the break in felt the exact same as before. Paintbrush strokes really brought out the scratch. Circular strokes, not so much. Especially if I mashed the bristles in. If I went light with the circular strokes, the scratch could be felt.

Conclusion for the day:
Needs more break in. A lot more break in. But I'm not going to give up on it quite yet. It's got 6 more days.

Addendum:
I feel the need to make an earlier correction. In my first post I compared the Manchurian to Rooney Finest. I don't have a Finest, I have the Stubby XL hair, and by all accounts that hair is a completely different beast. So, I don't have a Rooney Finest to compare this hair to. But if anyone has one they want to lend me for this review... Just saying.

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 09-06-2012, 08:22 AM
#6
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(09-05-2012, 08:41 PM)Teiste Wrote: Oh boy,Im gonna enjoy this thread.Subscribed!

+1

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 09-06-2012, 08:48 AM
#7
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I won't get a Manchurian brush... This and other experiences make this a no-go brush for me...

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 09-06-2012, 08:55 AM
#8
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Perhaps it is just a result of more years of breaking in, or maybe there's a qualitative difference in the badger hair, but my vintage Somerset Manchurians have none of the "scritch and scratch." Their tips are extremely soft, much like a Plisson HMW.

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 09-06-2012, 09:01 AM
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(09-06-2012, 08:22 AM)celestino Wrote:
(09-05-2012, 08:41 PM)Teiste Wrote: Oh boy,Im gonna enjoy this thread.Subscribed!

+1

+2

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 09-06-2012, 09:45 AM
#10
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(09-06-2012, 08:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Perhaps it is just a result of more years of breaking in, or maybe there's a qualitative difference in the badger hair, but my vintage Somerset Manchurians have none of the "scritch and scratch." Their tips are extremely soft, much like a Plisson HMW.

My understanding is that the Somerset is a completely different beast.

I'd be interested in confirming this if you are also likewise interested.

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 09-06-2012, 09:48 AM
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(09-06-2012, 09:45 AM)asharperrazor Wrote: My understanding is that the Somerset is a completely different beast.

I'd be interested in confirming this if you are also likewise interested.

I'm interested, of course. Perhaps Mark and/or Gary would have something to say about this.

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 09-06-2012, 10:36 AM
#12
  • Teiste
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  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(09-06-2012, 08:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Perhaps it is just a result of more years of breaking in, or maybe there's a qualitative difference in the badger hair, but my vintage Somerset Manchurians have none of the "scritch and scratch." Their tips are extremely soft, much like a Plisson HMW.

Do you have vintage Plisson HMW?The new ones arent that soft either...theyre actually kind of scritchy and the 2 band,scratchy.

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 09-06-2012, 10:48 AM
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(09-06-2012, 10:36 AM)Teiste Wrote:
(09-06-2012, 08:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Perhaps it is just a result of more years of breaking in, or maybe there's a qualitative difference in the badger hair, but my vintage Somerset Manchurians have none of the "scritch and scratch." Their tips are extremely soft, much like a Plisson HMW.

Do you have vintage Plisson HMW?The new ones arent that soft either...theyre actually kind of scritchy and the 2 band,scratchy.

Yes, I was referring to Plissons from the 1970s. They are the only ones with which I have experience.

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 09-06-2012, 12:09 PM
#14
  • Teiste
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(09-06-2012, 10:48 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote:
(09-06-2012, 10:36 AM)Teiste Wrote:
(09-06-2012, 08:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Perhaps it is just a result of more years of breaking in, or maybe there's a qualitative difference in the badger hair, but my vintage Somerset Manchurians have none of the "scritch and scratch." Their tips are extremely soft, much like a Plisson HMW.

Do you have vintage Plisson HMW?The new ones arent that soft either...theyre actually kind of scritchy and the 2 band,scratchy.

Yes, I was referring to Plissons from the 1970s. They are the only ones with which I have experience.

And it makes sense,since the new ones arent that soft.It seems the same with the David Carter Manchurian badger and the new Manchurian Badger.Interesting,at least.

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 09-06-2012, 12:39 PM
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(09-06-2012, 10:48 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote:
(09-06-2012, 10:36 AM)Teiste Wrote:
(09-06-2012, 08:55 AM)churchilllafemme Wrote: Perhaps it is just a result of more years of breaking in, or maybe there's a qualitative difference in the badger hair, but my vintage Somerset Manchurians have none of the "scritch and scratch." Their tips are extremely soft, much like a Plisson HMW.

Do you have vintage Plisson HMW?The new ones arent that soft either...theyre actually kind of scritchy and the 2 band,scratchy.

Yes, I was referring to Plissons from the 1970s. They are the only ones with which I have experience.

...........








Sorry, I had to wipe the drool off the keyboard for a second. Biggrin

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 09-06-2012, 03:11 PM
#16
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Lee, I noticed the same thing regarding the color of the tips on my T3, they were not very white, not what I was expecting either, but the brush I have is nice and soft on the face and I am a face latherer, chalk it up to break in? I am not sure, if I remember my T3 was soft right out of the gate. I think it really depends on the batch of hair you purchase your brush from, there must be so much variation between batches that no two brushes are alike. I hope your brush smoothes out so you can enjoy it. I included a few pictures to show the comparison between my T3 and M7 Manchurian, my photo skills are a bit lacking, forgive the crappy pictures. The M7 top view is on the left.
[Image: IMG_0206.jpg]
[Image: Untitled.jpg?t=1346971590]
The top down picture shows the vast color difference. I agree, for the cash you pay, a bright white tip brush is expected, at least I did.

Testie, here is a picture of the Plisson HMW with the brown band I referred to.
[Image: IMG_0204.jpg?t=1346971401]
By far the softest brush I own.

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 09-06-2012, 04:02 PM
#17
  • Teiste
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Marty :

thanks for the pics.

So,your vintage Plisson is quiet soft?Interesting,the new ones are far away from that.I cant comment on the Manchurian badger,but your pics reminds me of the shavemac D01 two band I have owned and seen in forums.I know that the shavemac D01 two band,as the Manchurian badger,is a kind of long hair (over 70mm of lenght) not quiet easy to find.It seems that the Plisson HMW the same.

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 09-06-2012, 06:31 PM
#18
  • Johnny
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This is a most interesting thread. Makes me wonder if my next Simpsons should just be one of their tried and true best badgers.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

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 09-06-2012, 10:27 PM
#19
  • Teiste
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(09-06-2012, 06:31 PM)Johnny Wrote: This is a most interesting thread. Makes me wonder if my next Simpsons should just be one of their tried and true best badgers.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Best badger : the more I tried super badger two band and 3 band , the more I like the best badger.

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 09-06-2012, 10:31 PM
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(09-06-2012, 10:27 PM)Teiste Wrote:
(09-06-2012, 06:31 PM)Johnny Wrote: This is a most interesting thread. Makes me wonder if my next Simpsons should just be one of their tried and true best badgers.

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Best badger : the more I tried super badger two band and 3 band , the more I like the best badger.

I'm going to have to agree now that I've tried it for a couple of test lathers.

The premium for super just isn't worth it at all.

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