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Choosing the right shaving brush(es)- Muhle, Acca Kappa, Plisson

This will be my first foray into getting a high end shaving brush/ shaving set.

I initially had my heart set on the Muhle Stylo in spalted beech as the looks really resonated with me. But then I went to the Muhle store in London and I wasn't that keen on the grip of the brush and much preferred the sophist brush that was more comfortable for me to grip and I much preferred the lower lofted and wider knot. However, I really did not get on well with the sophist razor and I would rather have the stylo razor. Based on that and not wanting to mix and match the styles/woods I thought how I got on with the razor should take precedence over the brush so I did purchase the stylo razor but have yet to settle on a brush.

Since then I have considered also the Acca Kappa Apollo which I liked the looks of online but have not seen it in person and just today I found the Plisson Boule which crushed it for me in the looks department. I've read a couple of threads here complaining about Plisson customer service so that has put some reservation in my mind but the Plisson would otherwise be my first choice. I would add that if I did get the Boule I would probably get the matching razor and stand so it does end up costing about 3 times the Muhle set.

Any suggestions from past experience which brush I would be better off going with? Thanks in advance.

Also, I am based in London, not sure if there is a Plisson shop here I can visit, but I will be in Paris in two weeks time for the weekend so any recommendations for stores I can visit in Paris to check out Plisson in person would be appreciated.
 
Photos of the brushes
 

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A few more details would help. For example, do you face or bowl lather?, Soaps or creams? How dense do you like your brushes? Knot size/loft, etc., etc.

With those provisos, I face-lather prefer soaps and denser brushes. My preferences in ‘high-end’ brushes are Simpsons, Shavemac, and especially Rudy Vey! Others would certainly have different preferences.
 

Phoenixkh

I shaved a fortune
My favorite badger brushes continue to be the SVs.... I have 4 of them... one with the silver pewter crown... the other 3 with gold crowns. I would guess the better shops in Paris will stock them so you can see them for yourself.... They aren't stubby, but their two-band knots are perfect for me... Of course, YMMV, as always. They aren't a "soft" brush, but they do have a gentle scrub that I prefer.

The ShaveMac knots Rudy Vey offers are right there, though.... Esp. the 28mm Two-band Silvertip... very close face feel.
 
SV looks nice. Hadn't considered it. I'll be in bologna in June for a couple days so I'm sure I could find a shop to see it in person.
After browsing this forum for couple days seems like the only logical conclusion is to pick up a Plisson in Paris and an SV in bologna
 
Any suggestions from past experience which brush I would be better off going with?
In my opinion, you need to decide what you want and expect from a brush. Not only looks and handle feeling but also knot. Do you face lather? Do you prefer creams and croaps or hard soaps?

For example, I prefer softer, comfortable knots because I face lather and I have sensitive skin. From this point only, Muhle are clearly having an advantage here over Simpsons, Shavemac and others because they have the softest hairs. I am talking only about 3 band silvertip knots. I have high lofts from others (60mm, for example) and even then they are still not as soft as the knots from Muhle. I only have one brush which is softer than Muhle, and that a limited edition Mondial. That thing is that soft that is really floppy. The high mountain white - "very soft" Plisson with a size 28mm diameter and 68 mm loft knot is still not as soft as the Muhle. Anything else is just too scrubby and my skin doesn't like it.

Sure, you may have different expectations than I do, but I just gave you this example to put things into a different perspective. So, think well what you want before you buy something and then realize it was not what you wanted. I hope this helps a bit. Cheers!
 

EclipseRedRing

I smell like a Christmas pudding
If you bowl lather and like a larger knot with a low loft you might consider a longer handled Simpson. A Simpson Polo 10 might be ideal and depending on your definition of a larger knot you might consider an M7. Of course the depth and design of the bowl you use may influence the length of handle you prefer.
 
So I like working up the lather in a bowl and my preference is for hard soap. Then I paint brush it on my face. So I would assume this points me in the direction of a firmer brush ?
 
The nuances are a bit new to me. I've been DE shaving for a couple years now but my setup is a bit spartan. This is my current brush below which is no good. Anything compared to it will be an upgrade
 

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I have the Mühle Purist Silvertip Badger with Ebonite handle. It’s now about a year old and is slowly getting dialed in. It’s incredibly soft, yet still slightly scrubby on the ends. I bowl lather with soaps, creams and croaps. I have no problem with this brush whatsoever.

The knots in both the Sophist and Purist brushes can be screwed out of the handle and replaced. This may come in handy a few years down the road when the knot needs replacement or if you want to try a STF knot. Note that both Purist and Sophist knots are 21mm knots (M). The only larger Mühle brush is the Classic which is available with a 26mm knot (XL), either as badger or STF.
 
Note: only the STF knot is available in the XL size (which is 25mm).
Indeed that is correct. My apologies for that error. The Classic brush Silvertip badger is available in:
S- 19mm
M- 21mm
L- 23mm

The silvertip Fibre is available in:
S: 19mm
M: 21mm
L: 23mm
XL: 25mm

Thanks for pointing this out. I never quite understood why Mühle knot sizes use odd numbers when the rest of the brush world is set on even numbers.
 

brucered

System Generated
Skip the "set".

By the sound of it, you want a razor brush combo with matchy matchy handles. Don't do it Buy the razor you want. Buy the brush you want.

"Sets" are designed to pair things together to make extra profit for the retailer, get rid of products they can't sell on their own or to sell as gifts for family members to give their loved ones something they don't know what to buy them.

You also don't' 'need' to spend $$$ to get the perfect brush for you. I use a $15 synthetic for the majority of my shaves and full access to high end, sought after badgers.
 
Skip the "set".

By the sound of it, you want a razor brush combo with matchy matchy handles. Don't do it Buy the razor you want. Buy the brush you want.

"Sets" are designed to pair things together to make extra profit for the retailer, get rid of products they can't sell on their own or to sell as gifts for family members to give their loved ones something they don't know what to buy them.

You also don't' 'need' to spend $$$ to get the perfect brush for you. I use a $15 synthetic for the majority of my shaves and full access to high end, sought after badgers.
Thank you, that is good to hear. Yes, I was keen on the matchy matchy but then I would've to compromise on either the brush or the razor. Happy to be freer now and get the brush I want rather than being tied in to the one that matches the razor I got.
 
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