Several months ago, I purchased a new Simpsons Emperor 3 two-band brush. I bowl lather and really like silver tip brushes, the softer the better. When the Emperor arrived, I tried it and hated it. It was like sandpaper on my face in comparison to my three-band brushes. I tried my best to break it in, using it 20 or 30 times, bowl lathering, face lathering, soap, cream, you name it. It was just scratchy and unpleasant. I wound up selling it on the B/S/T to someone who wanted it more than i did. On a whim, I recently purchased another Simpsons two-band, this time a Tulip 2. I similar sized brush with the same two-band hair. This brush couldn't be more different. While the knot presents tremendous backbone, much more than the typical three-band silver tip, the brush is soft and luxurious. I've only used it once so far, but I'm blown away by the contrast between the two brushes. I'm glad I persevered.