I'm surprised by the RR comparisons as I had a suspicion Yaqi were the OEM manufacturers for RR's brushes, as they seem to make some of their razors (the SLOC seems most likely to be Yaqi made) but maybe it's Maggards who they make some of their brushes?Aesthetics aside, the handle is well made with a good heft... There are no machining marks or imperfections unlike every Maseto I've had! The knot has a small glue bump, is dense for a synthetic (coming from Muhle & Plisson) with medium backbone and good water retention, possibly the first synthetic I've used that doesnt dribble. There were 9 fibres upside down in the knot which I had to pluck out, nothing compared to RazoRock synthetics but still more than I'd like to see ideally.
After two uses I think its safe to say they are a bit of a bargain... They blow RR brushes out of the water, still not quite up to Muhle & Plisson handle quality wise but the Yaqi knots are in another league, the old European companies really need to catch up as they're still advertising 4 year old fibres as some kind of breakthrough... In reality they're barely fit for purpose compared to the latest generation.
I found my Yaqi Fan Tuxedo Mysterious Blue handle has the lowest glue bump of any brush I have, I measured mine to have a glue bump of 3.6mm and even though the brush is advertised to have a 26mm knot, I measured mine to be 28mm and both things combined I found it to feel quite large on the face, as those factors work it's favour as with creams in particular if I'm looking for a relatively quicker shave.