11-19-2012, 07:08 PM
#1
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Curiosity got the best of me, so I purchased the Prince and Monarch brushes. Big claims and comparisons were being raised, and I needed to see for myself. In short, I am impressed and think that WSP brushes belong in the conversation of higher end badger brushes: they are more than just challengers to the throne. I ended up keeping two but it was a very difficult (forced) decision. The following are my unsolicited and non-sponsored opinions. Please refer to the previous comprehensive reviews by Teiste, SharpSpine and Cessnabird.

[Image: IMG_7123.JPG]
Picture of all four, post-bloom. Notice how the Monarch blooms are similar.

A few surprises:
-The Prince handle was more intuitive for me but after a use or two, the Monarch handle (with handle base in hand and first through third digits in a sort of pencil-holding form) became quite nice as well.

-The Prince two-band hair, even though it is a slightly lower grade than that found in the comparable Monarch (with slightly longer white tips), felt softer with definitively "gel-like" tips. This experience, combined with the most backbone of all four, made it my favorite brush. Fans of the TSN Semogue LE looking for a badger with similar backbone but drastically softer tips need look no further.

-Bloom was very similar between the Monarch two-band and silvertip, highlighting the extra special hair in the silvertip (it is unusual for same loft silvertip without a glue hump to bloom the same as a comparable two-band). I asked Lee about this hair and he told me he bought what this pelt dealer had and is not sure he can get more, FWIW.

-Absence of a "glue hump" in all four knots seemed to a more natural, diffuse splay of hair. This could be in my imagination. What is for certain is that these brushes act much bigger than their knot sizes (22-23mm) would indicate.

-The quality of hair sorting is evident. Almost no long black hairs. No treating of tips that I can tell. Basically, what you see is what you get with these knots; that is to say, very good.

-I thought the acrylic Monarch handles would feel heavier but this may have more to do with shape. The resin Prince handles feel slightly heavier in my hand.

[Image: IMG_7124.JPG]

I attempted a picture in between the Monarch and Prince silvertips to show the slight difference in density, the Prince with slightly more (left).

[Image: IMG_7125.JPG]

This time Monarch and Prince two-band showing a similar, slightly greater density in the Prince (right).

In my humble opinion, with deference to those with greater experience and collections, I make the following observations. Comparison was made with all brushes lathered up with back-to-back or half-face contests.

Monarch silvertip - like Plisson HMW. The softest tips of all four and least backbone but plenty to load hard soaps. Absolutely luxurious but does not come a cost of functionality. Not quite as soft as Thater 3 band but the quality of its feel, while hard to describe, is preferable to me. No scritch, scratch or scrub. I kept this one because it feels unique and to give variety with the other one I kept, noted below (Prince two-band).

Monarch two-band - like new Simpsons two-band or old Heritage. A very pleasant, diffuse low-level scrub. As one would expect, more backbone than the Monarch silvertip but less than the Prince two-band...and slightly less than the Prince silvertip. The most splay I've encountered in a two-band but easily controllable and very pleasant compared to a more scrubby experience that is status quo in a lot of two-band (lower and upper level brushes).

Prince silvertip - think Duke 3 or Rooney 1/1 but better, IMHO, due to its softer tips and better sorting. The Prince has slightly less heft of handle (my best guess in hand), not to say it feels low-quality at all. Tips soft but not as soft as the Monarch silvertip.

Prince two-band - like Thater 2 band. My personal favorite. The softness of these bristles is different than the softness of the WSP silvertip hair: thick, gel-like with slight scrub (less scrub than the Monarch two-band, IMO). As I said, the most backbone. I suppose my dream brush would be a Prince two-band with either the same handle shape using the faux ivory rod stock used with the Monarchs or just simply the Monarch handle.

I hope this is a helpful and faithful comparison of the WSP brushes. What are your experiences?

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 11-19-2012, 07:34 PM
#2
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Thanks so much for this wonderful comparison Tom. I just received the rest of the WSP line today (2 are mine & 2 borrowed). I had aspirations to compare as well so I'll certainly add to this thread as I have a chance to use all of these fine brushes.

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 11-19-2012, 07:43 PM
#3
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Brian, thank you and looking forward to your thoughts. I thought about acquiring the pure badger but held off because I fear it may be too much for me. Let me know if you think it is scrubbier than the SOC.

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 11-19-2012, 07:51 PM
#4
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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Tom , thank you so much for this excellent comparison of the WSP brushes.You basically have summarized my thoughts regarding those 4 models . I thought I was crazy when I first tried the Monarch in super silvertip and I thought it was like Plisson HMW 3 band ! Im relief that I wasnt crazy at all , and another person can see the similitude between those two badger hair grades , which I think are the same , basically , or very , very close.
The Monarch two band is another great shaving brush , and yes , its two band hair reminds me of the Vie Long two band badger hair , but with even softer tips.
The Prince silvertip , yes , is packed with hair to the extreme , even more than my Duke 3 or my Rooney 1/1.And its price its truly a bargain.
And the Prince 2 band badger is a dream brush for a die hard face latherer.
Those WSP arent "wanabe" brushes anymore , but very serious brushes , which could compete hand by hand with other famous brands.
Once again , thanks a lot for this comparison.

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 11-19-2012, 08:07 PM
#5
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Teiste, I should be thanking you for initially opening my eyes to these brushes.

I can imagine, but have not tried Vie-long two-band, and your comparison with the Monarch two-band is very helpful.

Like you, I can only say the hair is "like" this or that. I have no way of knowing if they are the "same."

I should also add that my experience is based on lathering hard soaps only. If the Prince two-band is for a die hard face latherer, then consider me one of those!

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 11-19-2012, 09:24 PM
#6
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Thanks for the review and comparison of the 4 current WSP brushes.

On a side note, and not to detract from this thread at all... What does everyone seem to like about Plisson HMW hair? Besides spending a large sum of money and knowing I owned a HMW Plisson, I was never really blown away at all by the feel or performance of their hair. I more felt that I had over paid for a brush with a cheap sticker on it. Huh

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 11-19-2012, 09:35 PM
#7
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I suppose the sense of overpaid depends on the buyer. I think the unique thing about the hair is the relative resistance to big bloom despite higher lofts and very white tips. Hopefully, others with more experience will weigh in.

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 11-19-2012, 09:50 PM
#8
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My HMW had the biggest bloom of all my three bands at the time.

I am interested in trying out the WSP three band monarch though. By your description of the super soft tips, it should be right up my alley.

What other well known brush would you compare the backbone to?

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 11-19-2012, 10:10 PM
#9
  • Teiste
  • Moderator Emeritus
  • Salt Lake City,UT
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(11-19-2012, 09:24 PM)cessnabird Wrote: Thanks for the review and comparison of the 4 current WSP brushes.

On a side note, and not to detract from this thread at all... What does everyone seem to like about Plisson HMW hair? Besides spending a large sum of money and knowing I owned a HMW Plisson, I was never really blown away at all by the feel or performance of their hair. I more felt that I had over paid for a brush with a cheap sticker on it. Huh

You feel cheated when you pay a very high price for something you know its not that great , thats very true.I find the old HMW 3 band very unique , but the current ones are ok but not that great.When you pay for a brush like The Monarch super silvertip 75 dollars , and find that kind of hair , you dont feel a sense of being ripped off at all.And actually , the super silvertip hair has softer tips than the current HMW 3 band that I have tried but the same "behaviour".

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 11-19-2012, 10:21 PM
#10
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(11-19-2012, 10:10 PM)Teiste Wrote:
(11-19-2012, 09:24 PM)cessnabird Wrote: Thanks for the review and comparison of the 4 current WSP brushes.

On a side note, and not to detract from this thread at all... What does everyone seem to like about Plisson HMW hair? Besides spending a large sum of money and knowing I owned a HMW Plisson, I was never really blown away at all by the feel or performance of their hair. I more felt that I had over paid for a brush with a cheap sticker on it. Huh

You feel cheated when you pay a very high price for something you know its not that great , thats very true.I find the old HMW 3 band very unique , but the current ones are ok but not that great.When you pay for a brush like The Monarch super silvertip 75 dollars , and find that kind of hair , you dont feel a sense of being ripped off at all.And actually , the super silvertip hair has softer tips than the current HMW 3 band that I have tried but the same "behaviour".

Thanks for chiming in Teiste. I see where you coming from in your comparison to the HMW. The one that I owned (and sold) was the 2010-2011 batch of HMW hair. I liked the brush enough, but saw nothing at all special about that hair.

Maybe I would feel differently if I tried an older HMW.

I feel compelled to try the WSP silvertip. It sounds soft and glorious!

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 11-20-2012, 03:58 AM
#11
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Great comparison, My WSP High Density Silvertip Stubby, has become my favorite brush, it feels great in my hands, and has incredibly soft tips, and great backbone, I will most likely be getting more brushes from them in the future.

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 11-20-2012, 04:51 AM
#12
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Reading this comparison led me to order the Prince 2 Band. I feel similar about the Monarch (my review is posted in the other thread). Very soft hair, handle etc. but not enough backbone due to density or relatively high loft. We'll see if I like the Prince more...

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 11-20-2012, 05:07 AM
#13
  • hon
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I wish they produce the Prince 2 Band with bigger knot size like Chubby 2.

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 11-20-2012, 07:27 AM
#14
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Cessna, I can't think of a spot-on comparison because all but one of the badgers I've tried have been lower loft and had glue humps to reduce the effective loft. Best I can think of is a soaked, broken-in Semogue 1305 for a backbone comparison (Monarch silvertip).

This would be VERY different than your Chubbies!

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 11-20-2012, 09:40 AM
#15
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(11-20-2012, 07:27 AM)kentclark Wrote: Cessna, I can't think of a spot-on comparison because all but one of the badgers I've tried have been lower loft and had glue humps to reduce the effective loft. Best I can think of is a soaked, broken-in Semogue 1305 for a backbone comparison (Monarch silvertip).

This would be VERY different than your Chubbies!

Thanks for the feedback on the comparison. Unfortunately I have no experience with the Semogue 1305 so I can't relate on that one.

I ordered the silvertip last night so we will see when it get's here! You're right, it will be way different than my preferred chubbies but I feel like venturing a bit. Besides, I have to see what all the fuss is about with this three band silvertip. Smile

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