Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

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TRBeck
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Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by TRBeck » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:35 pm

I don't know how many of you guys have seen this, but Shavemac is going to be offering synthetic brushes. In fact, some guys say they've already successfully ordered. For now, I don't see anything on the main Shavemac site, but a quick Googling of Shavemac and synthetic turns up the configurator to build out a custom brush: Shavemac Synthetic Configurator.

It looks like you can get any of the standard Shavemac handles and materials plus a choice of fan and bulb knots in various sizes. I know Bernd is very accommodating to guys who specifically want a very fan-shaped (or very rounded) loft, but even the stock image on the configurator looks to be a pretty pronounced fan (Murray, I know you like a true fan shape). I built out a 26mm option with a faux jade handle, and the price was similar to a Muhle synthetic at about $60. Well worth taking a look at for those who enjoy a synthetic.

I know they're late to the game in a sense, but my guess is that Bernd wanted something he could be proud of. I will probably order sooner rather than later.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by Brutus » Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:30 pm

Yes, mine was shipped on the March 8th and should be here pretty soon if it is not held up in Customs.
I am curious to find out whether it is an improvement over Mühle Silvertip Fibres that have been my benchmark in synthtic brushes so far.

When I asked whether Shavemac might be using the same fibres, Herr Blos’ reply sounded almost offended.


B.

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by TRBeck » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:56 am

Excellent! I can't wait to hear your report. What size knot did you get? Bulb or fan?
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by CMur12 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:26 am

You've got my attention, Tim. A true fan or flat-top in synthetic could be really good, depending upon the quality of the fiber.

I'll be watching for more about these brushes.

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by brothers » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:13 pm

I'm always interested in new synthetics, especially when coming from Shavemac. Looking forward to reviews.
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by Brutus » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:21 am

TRBeck wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:56 am
Excellent! I can't wait to hear your report. What size knot did you get? Bulb or fan?
There’s a 26 mm bulb on the way, and a 28 mm fan on order, but not dispatched yet.

I travel regularly and need a sturdy brush to take along. And they are not overly expensive.
(At least that’s my excuse. 8) - What’s yours? :P )

B

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by TRBeck » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:31 am

:D :D

I'm hopeful that the brush will be comparable to the Muehle synthetic, Bernd's response to your question notwithstanding. I've used the same XL EJ with a Muehle v2 knot for most of the last six years, and it is simply outstanding. While I do enjoy badger and boar, a synthetic makes lather so quickly and easily, and I've enjoyed the feel of the EJ quite a bit. I would like a bit more density to the feel on the face, plus I like the options for handles Bernd offers, so here we are. And they are truly pretty affordable. None of which is an excuse. I don't need another brush. I just want one. :)
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by brothers » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:34 pm

Brutus wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:21 am
TRBeck wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:56 am
Excellent! I can't wait to hear your report. What size knot did you get? Bulb or fan?
There’s a 26 mm bulb on the way, and a 28 mm fan on order, but not dispatched yet.

I travel regularly and need a sturdy brush to take along. And they are not overly expensive.
(At least that’s my excuse. 8) - What’s yours? :P )

B
So, is this order in addition to the one that was shipped on March 8? Looks like you're stocking up!
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by brothers » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:13 am

I located this very informative (long video) YouTube review of Shavemac synthetic brushes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsVkkZY ... e=youtu.be
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by Brutus » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:03 pm

brothers wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:34 pm
Brutus wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:21 am
TRBeck wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:56 am
Excellent! I can't wait to hear your report. What size knot did you get? Bulb or fan?
There’s a 26 mm bulb on the way, and a 28 mm fan on order, but not dispatched yet.

I travel regularly and need a sturdy brush to take along. And they are not overly expensive.
(At least that’s my excuse. 8) - What’s yours? :P )

B
So, is this order in addition to the one that was shipped on March 8? Looks like you're stocking up!
Yes, it certainly seems so, doesn’t it?
It seems to take a bit longer than I like for the brush to get here and I am still waiting.

Interesting review that Gary posted a link to.

Unfortunately, it did not include a comparison with the Mühle Silvertip Fibre, which has become my benchmark for synthetics and which I consider superior to the Simpsons Chubby synthetic that the reviewer mentioned in the video as his favourite synthetic up until the Shavemac.


B.

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by brothers » Sun Mar 31, 2019 9:32 am

Good point. Once you've received yours and had some experience with it, you'll be the go-to guy for a hands-on comparison with the Muhle. I'll be looking forward to it!
Gary

SOTD 99%: 12 soaps & creams, SilkSmoke synthetic, General by Colonial razors, Kai & Schick, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444 asb

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by TRBeck » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:59 pm

Brutus, like you I consider the Muehle synthetics the pinnacle for synths. I used my EJ (same fibers/knot) for 5 years almost exclusively and have another of the same in a custom handle. I would love your feedback on these Shavemac fibers whenever you get a chance.
Regards,
Tim

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by Brutus » Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:05 am

TRBeck wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:59 pm
Brutus, like you I consider the Muehle synthetics the pinnacle for synths. I used my EJ (same fibers/knot) for 5 years almost exclusively and have another of the same in a custom handle. I would love your feedback on these Shavemac fibers whenever you get a chance.

Hello Tim, sorry for the delay, but I do not believe in “first impression” reviews, as a reviewer can still be unduly impressed by the novelty of the item, and I rather wait a while till that effect has started to wear off.
It was also an extremely busy week at work for me.

I only started taking synthetic brushes serious when Mühle brought out their Silvertip Fibres. For the first time a synthetic brush had came close to badger, and the performance and robustness, especially when travelling and having to cope with problems getting badger brushes to dry properly, quickly won converts.
The Mühle became the benchmark that I compared all other synthetics against and the Mühle Silvertip Fibres had not been overtaken until now.
I had high hopes for the Simpsons Chubby 2 “Synthetic Bristle”, but could never really warm up to it.
I have also tried synthetics from Plisson, the Mühle Black Fibre, and Omega S- and Hi-Brushes, but none of these ever made it close to my regular rotation.

I have now used my two Shavemac synthetics for about ten days, and yesterday and today I whipped up the lather for the first pass with the Simpsons “Synthetic Bristle”, for the second pass with the Mühle “Silvertip Fibre” XL (25mm knot), and for the (uncommon for me) third full pass with the Shavemac 26mm synthetic fan.
My two Shavemacs are a 28mm bulb with standard 56mm loft and a 26mm fan with standard 54mm loft, but I thought the 26mm Shavemac was closer to the Simpsons and Mühle for the comparison.


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From left to right, Simpsons “Synthetic Bristle” Chubby 2, Mühle “Silvertip Fibre” XL (25mm knot), Shavemac 28mm bulb-shaped synthetic, Shavemac 26mm fan-shaped synthetic, and a Shavemac silvertip two-band and silvertip fan for comparison.

Out of the box, one could never confuse a Shavemac synthetic with a badger brush. Despite the badger-style dark ring that seems to have become a requirement for better synthetics, the nylon-white of the Shavemac fibres remind me more of the fake pearly-white teeth of TV personalities than of badger brushes. :P But to me the performance matters more than the looks.

After ten or so shaves, the Shavemacs have shown sightly more backbone, springiness, and a little less softness than the Mühle Silvertip Fibres, but don’t forget that this Mühle has been my faithful companion on regular overnight trips for several years and may have lost some of its original backbone.
The Shavemacs just love hard soaps, the brush is easy to charge and it is a pleasure to whip up a dense lather on my cheeks.
If I use a cream, I usually put some small dabs on my cheeks for face-lathering and the Shavemacs handle that with ease too and whip up a nice, dense, not overly thick lather. If you should be interested, the soaps that I used in the ten days were D.R. Harris, Martin de Candre, Haslinger, Mitchell’s Wool Fat, Pre de Provence, Meissner Tremonina, Valobra and Taylors (the latter two were the hard soaps), and once used Lavanda shaving cream. (I used Valobra twice, once Fougére and once Colonia.)

- Will the Shavemac replace my silvertip brushes?
I don’t think so, I still love my genuine silvertips and these brushes have a combination of backbone and pampering luxury that no synthetic has been able to duplicate so far, but they do give pure badgers, boar, and horse brushes a good run for the money and I would rather use my Shavemac synthetic than one of the last three.

- Is the Shavemac a game-changer?
No; if anything it is an incremental step in the evolution of synthetic brushes, but to my way of thinking the game-changer came a few years ago when Mühle introduced their Silvertip Fibres.

- Is the Shavemac better than the Mühle then?
That depends; as mentioned above, my Shavemacs have a pleasantly higher amount of backbone and scritchiness than my well broken-in Mühle Silvertip Fibres. So if you like some backbone and use mainly hard soaps, like me, the Shavemac might be the better choice.
Contrary to what I had expected (I bought both my Mühle and Shavemac synthetics directly from Germany), the highly configurable Shavemacs tend to be cheaper than the fairly standardized Mühle brushes.
There is no direct comparison however, with standard handles and lofts the Shavemacs come with 24, 26, and 28mm knot for €42.0, €51.80, and €61.60 respectively.
The Mühle Silvertips with 21, 23, and 25 mm knots are €43.-, €49.50, and €68.- respectively.

- Knowing what I know now and if I could take only one synthetic, which one would it be?
For home probably the Shavemac 28mm bulb, for travelling the Shavemac 26mm fan, simply because the 28mm refuses to fit in a (Mühle) standard travelling tube. 8)


I do hope you found this discussion useful....



B.
Last edited by Brutus on Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by TRBeck » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:00 am

Now *that* is one heckuva review. Thanks for that in-depth analysis, Brutus.

I like my Edwin Jagger XL a lot. I wound up buying a custom handle with a Muhle knot a little over a year ago since I enjoy the feel and performance of the Jagger so much. Just right backbone, good splay, etc. The Muhle is (k)not the same. It's got more spring and less splay. That may be due to the breaking in over time of my Jagger: I used it almost exclusively for over 5 years. Or it could be an individual knot variation since these are handmade: the fibres are all the same, but not necessarily the knots. At any rate, I am probably going to sell the Muhle/Rudy Vey, because I don't have the patience or inclination to wait around and see if it becomes like the Jagger. The past several weeks, I have been using natural hair brushes - mostly my Semogue Mistura and boar - and am just not looking to mess with synthetic variances. It sounds like these Shavemac fibres may not be my bag if they are springier than the v2 Muhle/Jagger synthetics. I think those are as close to perfect as any synthetic I've used.

That said, customization is appealing, as are the wonderful handles Bernd offers, and these prices are more than fair IMO, given what Muhle and Simpson synthetics go for.

Thank you again for that detailed write-up.
Regards,
Tim

Why should we not meet, not always as dyspeptics, to tell our bad dreams, but sometimes as eupeptics, to congratulate each other on the ever-glorious morning? - Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by brothers » Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:33 pm

Yes, thanks for this very informative review Brutus. I ended up selling my Muhle and Jagger synthetics recently as it seems I've taken a different path with success regarding the SilkSmoke and Tuxedo synthetics, and the relatively recent Manchurian badger.
Gary

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by Brutus » Fri May 10, 2019 8:55 am

Just an update.

After the initial period, when I used these two Shavemac synthetics almost exclusively in preparation for my review, I had expected to go back fairly soon to my usual rotation that heavily favours silvertips, but somehow I just kept going with these two Shavemacs and have hardly used any other brush for the last month.

I am still fairly certain that before long my silvertips will claim their old positions back, but there is something about the Shavemac synthetics that the Mühle synthetics could never give me: noticeable backbone.

Years back I preferred soft, pampering silvertips and Mühle or Vulfix silvertips fitted that bill perfectly.
When the Mühle Silvertip Fibres first appeared, I was already looking for a bit more backbone, but nothing could match the Mühle Silvertip Fibre’s overall performance and ease of use, and it became my brush of choice when travelling.
With these new Shavemacs, you could now think that a synthetic alternative to two band silvertips has arrived.

As far as synthetics go, these two Shavemacs come closer to what I am looking for in a shaving brush than any other synthetic I have tried so far, and I really enjoy using them - even when I am at home.


B

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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by CMur12 » Fri May 10, 2019 11:29 am

Many thanks for the review, Brutus. Very useful information.

- Murray
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Re: Shavemac in synthetic game...better late than never?

Post by LouisIII » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:48 pm

Brutus,
Another thanks for the review, very informative =D>

A question about the new shavemacs; when you talk about their backbone, should I be thinking about the sort of backbone you get from a dense badger brush, that comes from I guess the total number of hairs divided by the area of the knot? Or are we talking about that sort of backbone associated with synths, whereif you push down firmly on the soap the whole knot sort of refuses to 'splay', but will eventually sort of move laterally as a whole 'thing' itself? I hope this is clear enough.

Cheers
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