OK, so after mistakenly recieving a 23mm brush instead of the 21mm, I finally have the correct brush (Bernd was fantastic in customer response!).
So, I can heartily recommend both the 23mm and the 21mm Shavemacs! Really, they are very nice brushes. Extremely soft on your face, and they whip lather quite nicely.
See my other thread for action pics of the 23mm brush. The 21mm performs exactly the same, but fits my face better, as it is about 15% smaller brush area. The 23mm was great as well, but I like them a touch smaller than that lately.
A couple of pics of the brush in the morning sunlight...The olivewood is subtle and nice, the bristles springy and soft.
And a couple of shots alongside my Rooney Alibaba....nothing is denser than a Rooney Heritage!
That being said--I am extremely happy with the new Shavemac. It was exactly what I was looking for--a brush to compare and contrast the Alibaba.
While the Alibaba is super dense, and awesome in its' own right, that also has it's own characteristics (super dense sucks all of the lather into the brush, and you have to slather it all over to get it onto your face---which I like, mind you!)
The Shavemac is plenty dense in it's own way, and the added loft adds to the softness on your face. It also helps to whip lather, and it more willingly deposits the whipped lather onto your skin.
Perfect combo. Depending on my mood, I can reach for one or the other. One is not better than the other, they are both excellent brushes, that suit different moods.