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Filarmonica #14 "Especial Para Barbas Duras"

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A brief intro
I have to admit that I don't understand the Filarmonica Frenesia that seems to have caught everyone and his dog in the last six months. I own several Fillies (#10 Doble Temple, #13 and #14 Sello de Oro, #14 Especial and this #14 EPBD); they're wonderful razors (and the gold wash on the old Especial really is a work of art) but come on, they can't be as good as a custom made one and surely can't be three times better than a Dovo, Puma or TI. Then why their price has spiralled so high? :thumbdown
Enough whining, let's get to the votes.

Price
I paid 30 € (about 40 $) for mine, because of a chip in the edge and a not-so-good condition. I won't speak about the actual prices on the Bay (250 $?! Puh-lease!).

Craftsmanship
Big, meaty blade with a not-so-deep acid etching. The neck has a rubber protection (mine hasn't). The scales are Filarmonica standard: thin, flimsy plastic. Overall is quite unbalanced.

Easy to Sharpen
I removed the chip myself, using a diamond plate #300 grit. Then, since I had to visit Mastro Livi, I let him do the honing. He said that it was "easy and funny" to hone and defined the steel "very good".

Lasting Edge
It maintains a very good edge, needing only a good passing on the strop (a wonderful Tony Miller Red Latigo Artisan). After two months, no touchup needed.

Shaving Smoothness
In our italian forum we are still discussing what makes this razor "Special [made] For Hard Beards". Two engineers are still working, with no results on the horizon. Nevertheless, this razor is a blessing for people with tough beard and silky skin :thumbup: Glides like a penguin on ice, despite being quite singing.

Easy to Maintain
Easier than his gilded cousins. But be careful, the rubber insert is prone to water infiltrations; the neck of the razor can develop quite a lot of rust.

All in all, a very very good razor, even for today standards.

Latest reviews

Okay, maybe a 10 in the price category is a stretch, but I am finding that any decent quality vintage blade is going to cost you good money. I have paid anywhere from $150 to over $600 for an EPBD...I would spend more for a NOS with clear blue scales (maybe my favorite razor of all time)

The craftsmanship of the blade is unrivaled IMHO as compared to any other production razor. I have owned a few customs that fell short of this shaving marvel and I sold a Wonderedge to purchase an EPBD. The scales are a matter of taste and certainly not the greatest ever made. I find I like the funky retro colors but I have a couple that have been rescaled for better balance.

This is in my opinion the easiest blade to sharpen you will find...period!

I find that all of my Filly's hold an incredible sharp edge for a good long while with only proper stropping needed between uses. I may touch up every 6 months (but I generally only use once a week)

In terms of smoothness, this is where I find this razor excels and this is what makes it my favorite straight razor by far. I can only describe the feel from this razor as velvety. I know every time I pick this one up a total BBS shave is sure to follow.

There is certainly a ton of high quality new and vintage straight razors available. For me, this one is my Holy Grail and the blade I would use if I had but one last shave remaining!! YMMV...
Price
5.00 star(s)
Lasting Edge
5.00 star(s)
Craftsmanship
5.00 star(s)
Easy to Sharpen
5.00 star(s)
Easy to Maintain
5.00 star(s)
Shaving Smoothness
5.00 star(s)
I have a #14 in the Barbas Duras and the DT. This razor is very, very nice. Slightly more hollow ground than the DT, it is a wicked shaver. That said, prices are insane. $600 at the moment.

Price (6): $600, this is a crack-head price for this razor.
Craftsmanship (9): Frankly, I love the etching, the only knock is the cheap scales.
Easy to Sharpen (10): No problems here.
Lasting Edge (10): Lasts about a month between minor touch-ups.
Shaving Smoothness (10): Just like butter.
Easy to Maintain (9): Only stainless is easier.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Lasting Edge
5.00 star(s)
Craftsmanship
4.00 star(s)
Easy to Sharpen
5.00 star(s)
Easy to Maintain
4.00 star(s)
Shaving Smoothness
5.00 star(s)
ozzy_scl;1844595 said:
I have to agree, Filarmonicas are good razor, but the prices are something else.
I have a few Filarmonicas, and in particular this model and the sub cero are very similar, matter of fact, the one pictured shares the same flimsy scales of the sub cero (8/8) so needles to say you end up having a very unbalansed razor.

I'm considering having it re-scaled because of its poor scales.

The blade is nice and big, you really feel like you're holding something reliable. If only they had put rigid scales like in some other models!

Would I buy any other filies, taking into cosideration its price?? probably not, unless I would later traded for other razor.

I think the barbas duras shave a bit better than the sub cero, and also the subcero does not have the rubber on the tang, which really helps in handling, IMO. Also, I rather like the plastic fili scales. I think they are perfectly balanced. Sure they are a little fragile, but I love the cool colors they come in, it reminds me of the sixties. I found that using Mothers plastic polish really keeps the scales looking nice, avoiding the gold painted areas of course.

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Zino Davidoff
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