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Synthetic Shaving Brush - Feedback Thread

Discussion in 'Connaught Shaving' started by Paul, Monday August 24, 2015.

Are you still using your SS15062?

Poll closed Tuesday January 19, 2016.
  1. Yes I use it regularly

    50.0%
  2. Yes I use it in rotation with my other brushes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Yes occasionally

    50.0%
  4. No it did not work for me

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. No & I sold it/PIF to another shaver

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb

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    Another couple of shaves under my belt using the brush.

    I completely stopped feeling that the handle was uncomfortable - maybe that slight change in grip really helped.
    The biggest concern of mine is still the knot - it doesn't feel as soft/luxurious as my other synthetic (Plisson) that I really love for its softness.
    I also still don't like how it splays. I think it might be the stronger backbone that is causing it.

    It's a good brush but, to me, not a great brush. I'll keep using it to see how/if these impressions changes :)
     
  2. After two weeks of daily use I have noticed a slight change in it. The backbone in my opinion isn't as strong as it first was, so I'm experience less of the flicking soap everywhere.

    I do like the soft tips still, and it does whip up a great lather.
     
  3. pjgh

    pjgh

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    Perhaps a little late to the party, but I asked Paul to delay sending me a brush 'til I was back from holiday ...

    Back, refreshed and ready, here's my First Impressions.

    I have previously owned two brushes from Vie-Long, neither of which I liked not least because of quality issues. I had a horse hair and I had a mixed horse/boar hair. Both exhibited issues with the knot, which was irregular in shape showing poor collecting and crimping, and both had rock hard protrusions at the base due to sloppy glueing.

    Could the synthetic be different?

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    No nasty protrusions but there is an irregular shape. I wonder if they're making the knots themselves or buying them in.

    Now, we get onto the look and the feel of the brush ...

    The handle is good and solid, like a stout Rook on a chessboard. It stands well, announces its presence, holds well in the hand with what is perhaps too precise an edge on the base giving a little discomfort in use. It does have some good ergonomics for face lathering. But, it has a funny little knot sticking out of the top of it! Too short for the proportions of the handle, in my opinion. I absolutely understand why the knot is short, making this a good face latherer. I would like to know just how deep it is set. Slightly wider would have gone a long way to setting the proportions right for a "stubby" but it would still look too short for the handle.

    Before Vie-Long made a synthetic brush, I did :D

    [​IMG]

    Permit me a slight digression ... Vie-Long's Amphora handles really are attractive to my eye, and I do like synthetic brushes. I love how this handle feels in the hand and it really makes for a cracking face latherer, and so I decided to set the knot in deeper than I normally would to give a shorter loft and designated the brush purely as a face scrubber! Just that slightly wider knot makes all the difference, no?

    How about the fibre?

    The short loft gives a strong spring and so the tips do not feel as soft as a higher loft. That in itself may be a positive, certainly for folks who enjoy face lathering with a short boar, may be a negative for folks looking to modern synthetic for the softest of brushes. The fibre is slightly shiny and has a close crimp.

    Some comparisons to other fibre:

    [​IMG]
    vs Silvertip Fibre (on the right)

    [​IMG]
    vs Purtech (right)

    [​IMG]
    vs Kent (right)

    [​IMG]
    vs older generation (right)

    In terms of look and feel, the fibre is between that older generation fibre and the Kent, given its shininess. The crimp is tighter than all those I've compared with and it's only when we get to Purtech and Silvertip Fibre that the fibres lose that shiny nylon look.

    In summary: Poor! Not a brush you'd say "that's an attractive brush". I think the knot is too small for the handle. Too narrow and too short. The fibres do have a nylon look to them and the springiness marks it very much as a cropped synthetic brush. It doesn't scream quality and on looks alone, it is not a brush I would buy.

    ... onto my First Shave with it:

    Lathered up with Vie-Long's new shaving stick (made by LEA) applied to a wet face, dipping the brush in water gave a good amount to build that lather. I did not get a lot of sling. I was expecting to given the shortness and springiness of the fibres, but it didn't happen. Yes, three or four splats on the mirror, but not at all what I had expected to happen.

    Out of curiosity I made a couple of bowl lathers and they came up well. I even got a pretty decent lather out of Eucris, which is an absolute sod if you over-water it from the start.

    In summary: Good! In purely functional terms, this brush does what it should: holds the right amount of water, not too much, not too little, and effectively builds lather. It holds well in the hand, ergonomical, safe and lets you get on with a good face scrubbing, which it does well.

    In a blind test, I would say this is a good brush, but boy do its looks let it down.

    I will continue to use this brush over the next couple of weeks to see how it plays with different soaps, see if it breaks in a little and perhaps give it the boiling water soap to try to even out that kink in the knot.
     
    Burgundy likes this.
  4. Paul

    Paul

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    These are hand tied knots made in Spain by Vie-Long. I think the fibre shape makes for an unsual shaped knot.
    I actually think this is quite a pretty brush.
    Vie-Long do make 4 standard brushes with synthetic knots. Two have injection molded handles with the bump & two have lathe turned handles.
    The fibre for me has changed quite a lot, much less spring now.
     
  5. Paul

    Paul

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    [​IMG]
    The 15310 & 15201 have lathe turned handles & are £26-£30.
    The 15321 & 15212 have molded handles & are around £14-£16.
     
    Burgundy likes this.
  6. Paul

    Paul

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    I have received most initial & test lather reports so far. I have also received a good amount of longer term reviews, all feedback has been helpful, interesting & confusing at the same time.
    From the posts here, pm's & emails I have almost every possible view so far. I have negative & positive feedback on almost every aspect of the brush which brings to mind the acronym YMMV.

    Thanks everyone, all feedback is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Saturday September 5, 2015
  7. I'm certainly interested in getting my hands on one. I've had mixed experience with Vie Long and with synthetics for that matter. However, I've been exclusively using the Plisson fiber for quite a few months now but the 'Extra Soft' moniker is interesting.
     
  8. riverrun

    riverrun

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    If you ask 2 wet shavers you get at least 3 different opinions...
     
    PLANofMAN likes this.
  9. Paul

    Paul

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    I do have stock available of the four above & the SS15062 being reviewed. I can take measurements if you are interested in any of the four standard models.
     
  10. pjgh

    pjgh

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    Haha! Ain't that the truth? :D
    I almost hit the "like" button ...
     
    Paul likes this.
  11. Paul

    Paul

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    Indeed, but I was surprised by how positive some reviews are. My initial thoughts were that the loft was too low & the fibre too springy.
    However I have come to enjoy using this brush & it does make very good lather, very quickly.
    Also if every fibre was same as Mühle's it wouldn't be very interesting or useful for those who find this fibre too soft. I haven't used a V2.0 brush many times but my old V1.0 Kosmo has gone very floppy & I was looking to offer a brush with a bit more backbone.
     
    Last edited: Saturday September 5, 2015
  12. pjgh

    pjgh

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    Yeah, take all aesthetics out of the equation, purely on performance, it gives a good scrubbing action and builds up lather in a snap. The tips do not feel as soft as my other synthetic brushes, but if I pinch one of them up to have the same tightness and height of loft it will feel very much the same.

    Out of curiosity, has anyone else found tangles in the fibres? I've had to comb mine through after use.
     
  13. Paul

    Paul

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    I noticed an unusual pattern in my brush after one use, but I do not use super hot water, so I am unsure of the reason for this.
    I just soaked it in hot water for a few seconds & towel dried to reset the knot. I normally towel dry my brushes which seems to aid breaking in, especially new boars.
     
  14. From the looks of the knot, the fibres look like those used in the Omega Hi-Brush indeed.
     
  15. Darkbulb

    Darkbulb

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    Yet another few shaves in w/ the brush.

    The good:
    As opposed to initial reaction the shape and comfort of the handle is no longer an issue. I rather enjoy it.
    It holds a lot of water compared to my Plisson.
    I've used it both for face and bowl lathering and as far as building lather it performs well in both.

    The 'bad':
    I do still feel that it is too 'springy' for my taste. It just doesn't feel as comfortable on my face when face lathering.

    All in all, if I were to give this brush an 'overall rating' between 1-5 I'd give it a 3 (I know, middle of the road cop-out but I think it's a fair rating).
    I think it's 'Good' but nothing about it's performance or appearance makes it stand out, to me, to such a point where I'd feel compelled to buy one in a real life situation.

    If you're wrapping up this testing I'd just also would like to say thanks for inviting me - it was very interesting to participate and see how my thoughts/reactions compared to others. :)
     
  16. pjgh

    pjgh

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    Thank you for inviting us to try out this new brush.
    Do you want these back, or are you happy for us to PIF them along?
     
  17. Paul

    Paul

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    Please pass the brush along if you don't want to keep it.
     
    Darkbulb likes this.
  18. Quick question. I have the vie long beehive (from bullgoose) is it the same fibres? I much prefer the vie long to the muhle v2 knot.
     
  19. Paul

    Paul

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    Yes Vie-Long only use one fibre at present.
     
  20. I have tried a small number of synthetics. Here are my personal observations:

    Omega Syntex - horrible
    Omega Hi-Brush - bit springy, lots of scritch, not bad but no winner
    Whipped Dog synthetic 24mm 2013 model (gen. 3 fibers) - passable, too springy, no lather king
    Whipped Dog 24mm synthetic 2015 model - excellent, softness, lather monster, maybe even too soft
    Plisson l'Occitane synthetic - wet rag, too soft, not enough backbone, great lather though
    The Grooming Company synthetic - Plisson fibers but denser, more backbone, good brush but a bit small package
    Whipped Dog 30mm - too much of a good thing! Great for face lathering when you are a giant. May be an excellent choice for head shavers.
    Edwin Jagger Silvertip Fibre Large - my best synthetic so far, great backbone, not springy, just the right amount of scritch, lather explosion.

    As you can read, my favourite of these is the Edwin Jagger L brush. It is about perfect for me. I'm still on the fence about the XL, afraid that it is too large for me.
     

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