04-18-2019, 02:05 PM
#21
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(04-18-2019, 01:37 PM)JimmyH Wrote: This brings to my mind the demise of the Rooney Finest brushes maybe 10 years ago by now. Lee Sabini stated back then that he could no longer access the quality of badger hair to continue the Finest line, and he introduced the Heritage line. I had the opportunity to speak with him via email a couple of years ago and I inquired about the possibility of a M&F brush with Finest quality hair ... no way he could get it he said. 

As to Simpson and Manchurian knots, I've had an older Somerset made Manchurian and I used to say it would take the chrome off of a trailer hitch. I love scritch in a brush, but that Chubby 2 was too much of a good thing, and I sold it. I've got a couple of Somerset Super two bands that are wonderfully scritchy, and a few Isle of Man Manchurians that are great, but not scritchy. A different knot than the Somerset stuff. 

So all I'm saying, and I'm no expert, is that I don't doubt Simpson's word in claiming that they may not be able to access the same quality of hair. Lee Sabini said that years ago, still says it, and it wasn't a ploy to raise prices. My two cents. ;;-)
Completely concur. 

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 04-18-2019, 09:54 PM
#22
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I have a Manchurian badger Simpson M6...they take a long time to break in (either that or I didn't use mine that often).

But when they do they are pretty awesome. 

Mine is now just a delightful mix of soft and scrubby.

I wouldn't be upset if they stopped making them though.
As it would make the existing Manchurian knots somewhat rare.

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 04-19-2019, 03:53 AM
#23
  • ddk13
  • Senior Member
  • USA
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It makes me curious how many brushes are being sold in the world today, versus 20 or 30 years ago.  When I switched back to traditional wet shaving many years ago there weren't a lot of places you could buy an actual shave brush, let alone a high quality one.  There weren't a lot of websites and definitely not any brush artisans at that time.  Now, there are quite a few artisans as well as sources to procure a knot, as well as the many websites available to purchase.  Also, what was available even 10 years ago, versus the quality of what's available today is night and day.  Knowing that demand is where it's at in today's times I'm not surprised when I hear that it's becoming harder and harder to source quality hair.

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 04-19-2019, 05:07 AM
#24
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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I have a QE II Jubilee Manchurian and had an M6 Manchurian. They are distinctly different knots in terms of face-feel and performance although they are both the same size. The QE II has a wonderful feel, a combination of softness and just right backbone, which is quite different to that of my Simpson Super Badgers. On the other hand, I found the M6 stiff and a bit prickly. After giving the M6 a few months of use I concluded that it would never match the feel and performance of the QE II, so I sold it; a very disappointing brush.

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 04-19-2019, 05:58 AM
#25
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(04-19-2019, 05:07 AM)Rufus Wrote: I have a QE II Jubilee Manchurian and had an M6 Manchurian.  They are distinctly different knots in terms of face-feel and performance although they are both the same size.  The QE II has a wonderful feel, a combination of softness and just right backbone, which is quite different to that of my Simpson Super Badgers.  On the other hand, I found the M6 stiff and a bit prickly.  After giving the M6 a few months of use I concluded that it would never match the feel and performance of the QE II, so I sold it; a very disappointing brush.

Just goes to show one man's trash is another man's treasure. I've had a few that I sold because they weren't scritchy, and/or they were too large for me. I replaced them with 3 others in the hope that they would be scritchy, as the Somerset Supers and Manchurians were, but no luck. I currently have a Chubby 2, Tulip 3, and an M-7. They are very nice, and the chubby has a hint of scritch, but I'd describe them as 'scrubby' rather than scritchy. I got all but the Tulip 2nd hand. 

The M-7 was a custom brush that somebody ordered from Simpson with a 25mm knot instead of the standard diameter ... I think standard M7 is 23mm ? Anyway, I had seen it in a forum post when the original buyer had first gotten it. Aparently he wasn't happy with it, sold it, and I ended up with it from the 2nd owner. Very happy I did, it is a great brush even without scritch. A scrubby devil. I heard that Shavemac could furnish scritchy brushes in their D0-1 series so I took a chance and ordered one and it is great. I went with a shorter 20mm loft figuring that it would be more likely to be scritchy and I wasn't disappointed. Almost too much of a good thing, so scritchy that I ordered another with a 23mm loft, and it is even better. A bit more forgiving, though the 20mm has broken in to the point where it is as comfortably scritchy as the 23mm. 

The point of bringing the Shavemac into the conversation is that the brush makers can apparently access badger hair with the characteristics they desire to have. For instance, the Shavemac D0-1 is a dense scritchy 2 band, the Silvertip and the Silver Lace Two Band are soft tips. No scritch whatever from what I hear. The scritch of a D0-1 equals the old Somerset Super/Manchurian, Rooney Finest, and Plisson HMW in my experience. So the scritchy bristles can be had, it is just a matter of the perception of the brush makers as to what the buyers want. It seems soft tips became the standard over the past decade, and that is what they go with.

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 04-19-2019, 06:05 AM
#26
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(04-19-2019, 05:07 AM)Rufus Wrote: I have a QE II Jubilee Manchurian and had an M6 Manchurian.  They are distinctly different knots in terms of face-feel and performance although they are both the same size.  The QE II has a wonderful feel, a combination of softness and just right backbone, which is quite different to that of my Simpson Super Badgers.  On the other hand, I found the M6 stiff and a bit prickly.  After giving the M6 a few months of use I concluded that it would never match the feel and performance of the QE II, so I sold it; a very disappointing brush.


Bryan, similarly sized knots, but the M6 was made with a very prominent glue bump. I had both, too, and let both go. The Jubilee had too much splay for my liking and I prefer my Manchurians to provide their characteristics through natural free loft.

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 04-24-2019, 01:20 PM
#27
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I recently ordered a Simpson CH3 Manchurian after chatting with Mark, and it wasn't even listed on their site as I wanted in Faux Ruby handle and I received it two weeks ago. It's a great brush... not as dense as my CH3 Super but definitely has more backbone.

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 04-24-2019, 01:26 PM
#28
  • Puma
  • Senior Member
  • Central Jersey
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(04-19-2019, 05:58 AM)JimmyH Wrote:
(04-19-2019, 05:07 AM)Rufus Wrote: I have a QE II Jubilee Manchurian and had an M6 Manchurian.  They are distinctly different knots in terms of face-feel and performance although they are both the same size.  The QE II has a wonderful feel, a combination of softness and just right backbone, which is quite different to that of my Simpson Super Badgers.  On the other hand, I found the M6 stiff and a bit prickly.  After giving the M6 a few months of use I concluded that it would never match the feel and performance of the QE II, so I sold it; a very disappointing brush.

I went with a shorter 20mm loft figuring that it would be more likely to be scritchy and I wasn't disappointed. Almost too much of a good thing, so scritchy that I ordered another with a 23mm loft

20mm and 23mm loft? Could they be 40 and 43?

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 04-26-2019, 03:55 AM
#29
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(04-18-2019, 10:35 AM)Crag Wrote:
(04-18-2019, 01:50 AM)primotenore Wrote: I hope this thread does not turn into a "Let's Bash Simpson" extravaganza. 

(04-18-2019, 02:43 AM)Optometrist Wrote:
(04-18-2019, 01:50 AM)primotenore Wrote: I hope this thread does not turn into a "Let's Bash Simpson" extravaganza. 


Absolutely, Joseph. 

Mark informed me of this position, a month ago.
I've bought many of the various brush brands over the years and sold them all, bar two. None has met the Simpson Manchurian characteristics that I look for in my brushes. As someone who needs no persuading in buying this grade (and I own a few), I fail to see what Mark would have had to gain in telling me, unless it was fact.


Exactly.  I have 5 Simpson brushes, and except for one Somerset era brush, have never had any issues with any of them, and none from the current owners has had any issues.  I have an Emperor 2 Somerset that sheds 3 hairs for every shave, but even at that rate, and using it for several years, I have felt no difference in the quality of the knot whatsoever.  My only angst is the hairs getting stuck in the lather on my face, so let's not turn my OP into a Simpson bashing thread please.

The topic is the virtual end of Simpson Manchurian branded hair quality, and thoughts of happiness or remorse at that.

I own 4 Simpsons, and have sold three others on to other shavers (two Best and one Manchurian).
My two Manchurians are lovely, and the Super Badger is great too.
My Wee Scot is a Best, but feels a lot more like a pure, so I guess it was made from a lower grade "best" and it's been shedding a bit more than I'd like, although not in a way that would make me feel it's defective. 
Aside from that, I have had no issues with my Simpsons, and truly enjoy using them.

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 04-26-2019, 07:25 AM
#30
  • u2u
  • Senior Member
  • GTA
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(04-19-2019, 06:05 AM)Optometrist Wrote:
(04-19-2019, 05:07 AM)Rufus Wrote: I have a QE II Jubilee Manchurian and had an M6 Manchurian.  They are distinctly different knots in terms of face-feel and performance although they are both the same size.  The QE II has a wonderful feel, a combination of softness and just right backbone, which is quite different to that of my Simpson Super Badgers.  On the other hand, I found the M6 stiff and a bit prickly.  After giving the M6 a few months of use I concluded that it would never match the feel and performance of the QE II, so I sold it; a very disappointing brush.


Bryan, similarly sized knots, but the M6 was made with a very prominent glue bump. I had both, too, and let both go. The Jubilee had too much splay for my liking and I prefer my Manchurians to provide their characteristics through natural free loft.
 I have #99 of each and the two of you are spot on in your observations. I don't use either frequently but they represent some unusual efforts by Simpson and, with the M6, a former relationship with the forum. They add depth to my modest collection. I could not part with either. My most used brushes are T3 and M7 Manchurians. Never had a quality  issue with any Simpson. Very sad that the end of Manchurian is upon us. Perhaps it will be like two band and they will reappear from time to time?

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 05-02-2019, 10:53 AM
#31
  • Steve56
  • Senior Member
  • Knoxville, TN
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I have a number of Simpsons brushes including the Manchurian, Super, and Best grades. The Manchurian and Super are a bit more consistent between brushes, Best Badger is pretty consistent but there’s some outliers too. These outliers are the interesting part - Best Badger is to me, where the fun is. Simpson knots have for me, always made great lather, and are usually better at that than much of their competition.

In the first image the Chubby 1 on the right is the 2-band, of the famous grade that everyone likes, soft, dense, a cloud on your face. But wait there’s more! The Best Badger on the left is a grade called ‘brunette badger’ by one dealer, and it feels exactly the same. It doesn’t look the same, but it has the same density, same softness, same everything.

In the second image on the left is a white haired 58, almost Chubby dense and very soft, you can tell in the image that the hair is thinner. Second from left is a 57, it’s knot is darker though it’s not that apparent due to the lighting, but it’s a ‘normal’ Best Badger, what you’ll normally get if you order one. Second from right is a Persian Jar 1 with super white tips, not so dense and a great cream brush. Ditto for the Keyhole 4 on the right, a beautiful white-tipped brush with a yellower handle.

I have no complaints with the non-fancy brushes, and though you may have to sort through a few to get exceptional ones, they all seem to perform well. 

[Image: 9VqNhp5.jpg]

[Image: WFlRzFb.jpg]

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 05-02-2019, 12:07 PM
#32
  • chazt
  • Senior Member
  • Queens, NY
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Steve, your brushes are quite pleasing to my eye. I’ll bet you really enjoy using them. Thanks for sharing Smile

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 05-02-2019, 05:59 PM
#33
  • Steve56
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  • Knoxville, TN
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Thank you sir!

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 05-03-2019, 09:24 AM
#34
  • Rufus
  • Senior Member
  • Greater Toronto Area
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(04-19-2019, 06:05 AM)Optometrist Wrote:
(04-19-2019, 05:07 AM)Rufus Wrote: I have a QE II Jubilee Manchurian and had an M6 Manchurian.  They are distinctly different knots in terms of face-feel and performance although they are both the same size.  The QE II has a wonderful feel, a combination of softness and just right backbone, which is quite different to that of my Simpson Super Badgers.  On the other hand, I found the M6 stiff and a bit prickly.  After giving the M6 a few months of use I concluded that it would never match the feel and performance of the QE II, so I sold it; a very disappointing brush.


Bryan, similarly sized knots, but the M6 was made with a very prominent glue bump. I had both, too, and let both go. The Jubilee had too much splay for my liking and I prefer my Manchurians to provide their characteristics through natural free loft.

Thanks for reminding me about the glue bump. Totally unexpected to have such a prominent bump, which destroyed the brush IMO.

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 05-06-2019, 12:11 AM
#35
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For myself, I'm not inclined to believed it is a tactic to up the prices of Manchurian. There are plenty of great types of hair we haven't seen for a number of years now. Rooney Finest, Rooney 2-band and 3-band Heritage, Plisson 2-band HMW, a decrease in Simpson 2-band Silvertip (or Super), the original Shavemac 2-band D01 Hair, and plenty of others that are probably being forgotten. For that matter when things did become rarer I never saw any manufacturer increase the price dramatically just because it became rarer to make some quick extra cash. What is said from the manufacturers and their actions don't match up to make me think they're milking money out of us. 

I'm not particularly concerned about this though, either. I have enough variation to last me multiple lifetimes, and my preference lies in the 3-band category as it is. Still, it is a shame to have any loss as there is just so much wonderful variation even within the same grade of hair. Owners of both the M6 and Jubilee make excellent observations similar to what I've had. I still have the Jubilee, and that brush is loftier and softer than most and displays a touch of gel tips. Not true gel tips mind you, but enough variation that it makes me stand up and take notice when using it. The M6 I can't recall if it had a signficant glue bump, but the hair displayed much like Manchurian usually does, albeit just a touch finer in hair shaft and tip feel. Oddly enough even though the M6 has the larger handle, the Duke 2 (Jubilee) handle agrees with me more. The great thing is even to this day I'm still seeing exceptional brushes come out, and despite where the market goes, I trust there will always be something else out there to entice me into buying. Of that I have no worries or doubts.

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 07-21-2019, 09:39 AM
#36
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Badger is getting tougher to source, in general, with the ever increasing restrictions.

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 07-21-2019, 05:40 PM
#37
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badger hair is one of the ingredients hit by the recent Trump Administration tarrifs.  so if you're seeing a 25% or so raise in the cost of the knot you know that it is a tax to the US treasury.

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 07-21-2019, 07:43 PM
#38
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(07-21-2019, 05:40 PM)asiliski Wrote: badger hair is one of the ingredients hit by the recent Trump Administration tarrifs.  so if you're seeing a 25% or so raise in the cost of the knot you know that it is a tax to the US treasury.

Badger hair was included on a preliminary list picked up by the press, but dropped from the "official" list. I spent three days drafting a formal response, but learned after submitting it that badger hair was removed. Had a hard time convincing the official I spoke to that it was ever on the list. Finally helped her find the version I'd been referring to.

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 07-21-2019, 11:19 PM
#39
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(07-21-2019, 07:43 PM)ChiefBroom Wrote:
(07-21-2019, 05:40 PM)asiliski Wrote: badger hair is one of the ingredients hit by the recent Trump Administration tarrifs.  so if you're seeing a 25% or so raise in the cost of the knot you know that it is a tax to the US treasury.

Badger hair was included on a preliminary list picked up by the press, but dropped from the "official" list. I spent three days drafting a formal response, but learned after submitting it that badger hair was removed. Had a hard time convincing the official I spoke to that it was ever on the list. Finally helped her find the version I'd been referring to.


That's very interesting...Declaration Grooming's brush knots featuring the latest batch of badger hair  (B8) hair is considerably more expensive.
And the reason cited is "tariffs".
I wonder if someone close to him can raise this point and see what he says.

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 07-22-2019, 12:53 AM
#40
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(07-21-2019, 11:19 PM)Tester28 Wrote:
(07-21-2019, 07:43 PM)ChiefBroom Wrote:
(07-21-2019, 05:40 PM)asiliski Wrote: badger hair is one of the ingredients hit by the recent Trump Administration tarrifs.  so if you're seeing a 25% or so raise in the cost of the knot you know that it is a tax to the US treasury.

Badger hair was included on a preliminary list picked up by the press, but dropped from the "official" list. I spent three days drafting a formal response, but learned after submitting it that badger hair was removed. Had a hard time convincing the official I spoke to that it was ever on the list. Finally helped her find the version I'd been referring to.


That's very interesting...Declaration Grooming's brush knots featuring the latest batch of badger hair  (B8) hair is considerably more expensive.
And the reason cited is "tariffs".
I wonder if someone close to him can raise this point and see what he says.

Maybe something changed and I don't know about it yet. The prices we pay have gone up considerably, but that hasn't been based on tariffs.

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