Fit & Finish - I absolutely love barber's end strops and Ambrose's are no exception. You can tell that Jose has put his time and effort into each of these and the signature Ambrose stamp is sweet. I'm really digging the linen component as well once it breaks in after thousands of laps. Owning an espresso/black strop in the shave den also looks pretty cool
Draw - I'm giving this an 8. My TM latigo has the most draw of any strop I own and the Ambrose Spanish leather is second to that. The Ebano fits in right after and actually is in a very 'sweet' spot for my preference of draw. I feel I don't even need to go the my TM or Ambrose horsehide after the Ebano, whereas with the latigo I do.
Thickness - This is quite thick leather, but I docked it a point as I think the spanish leather is a tad thicker. Definitely thick enough that it doesn't feel flimsy at all or cup during stropping. A quality piece of leather all around.
Efficacy - I've been using the Ebano for about 7-10 days now. I do 60 laps on linen and 60 laps on leather. I've been shaving each night for awhile with 2 razors (one for each side of the face), so the leather is breaking in quite nicely from getting stropped essentially double time. I've only been using the Ebano and nothing else and all my shaves have been excellent. The ebano is quickly turning into one of my favorite strops.
Value - I love nothing more than supporting out local artisan vendors here at B&B. I've owned a number of Ambrose's strops and he continually puts out a quality product and is always offering a new leather choice. His strops are well made and offered at a very reasonable price point.
Quality/Workmanship/Design/F&F: The workmanship and quality of leather and hardware on the Ambrose Ebano strop are top notch. I find it to be a 'no frills' strop, but that belies its simple, clean elegance which I find appealing. The dark color of the leather (think Espresso roast) has a striking appearance. There is a tasteful, but discrete stamp with the maker's logo at the barber's end. This is a good-looking strop.
Feedback/Draw/Speed/Efficacy: The strop has a smooth and uniform draw along its entire length and width. It has considerably more draw than a relatively light English bridle that I have, but less than the Ambrose Spanish horsehide (Corto) strop that I have. This complements the Corto well and it has already quite noticably pushed several freshly-honed edges over the top. Tactile and audio feedback are direct and crisp with a firm, but not heavy 'grip' on the razor. With a fluid motion, this strop is good for high speed stropping if that's your thing. The leather felt a little stiff coming out of the package owing partly to its substantial thickness and will need sometime to break in.
Size (it matters): At 4 mm thick, it is sufficiently thick to feel substantial in my grip and also to minimize cupping. Total length is 64 cm (~24 in) which provides a very ample stropping length of ~50-55 cm (~20-22 in), even with the barber's end. This is a full 13 cm (5 in) longer than some earlier Ambrose strops and is a very welcome improvement. Strop width is 64 mm (~2.5 in) with a cotton canvas back that is only ~2mm less wide than the leather (1 mm each side). The canvas has a clean appearance, and although I find it to be quite stiff, it serves its purpose before going to the leather.
Overall value and Summary: The Ambrose Ebano is a no-frills high quality strop with an understated elegance that will soon become my daily strop. It looks great and feels great under a razor. I think it's quite reasonably priced compared to other strops on the market, especially considering its quality and performance. I expect this strop to last indefinately. Aside from the fact that I always seem to subconsciously call it the ‘Ebola’ strop, my only complaint is that it is not as supple as I would like and might take some time to break in. This is probably just my own personal aesthetic as the performance right out of the box and later has been very good. +1 for Jose.