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Classic 1 love and hate

I have Simpson Classic 1 brushes in both best badger and synthetic. I love the badger brush but the synthetic version leaves me scratching my head. I have the synthetic Duke 3 and think it is wonderful but the Classic 1 in synthetic is much, much too stiff for me. I suppose it is a function of brush size and bristles used but I just don’t like it. I have the similarly sized Duke 1 in synthetic but it uses the “lesser” sovereign bristles and is too floppy for my tastes.

Just musing on brushes. Take care.


I smell like a Christmas pudding
I have a Classic 1 in Best and it is excellent. I had a Classic 1 synthetic and it was the worst brush I have ever used by some margin - a travesty, not fit to bear the Simpson name; I was embarrassed to sell it, and so should Simpson.


Remember to forget me!
I have a Simpson Special in Sovereign which is overlofted by about 5mm. It's really quite a floppy brush. Especially for a synthetic. Before I used it, I got in touch with the factory, and asked if it was correct. They said that while all advised dimensions are approximate on their brushes, that was indeed too much, and they sent me another at the correct loft.

HUGE difference. The replacement is easily the stiffest of all my brushes, of any type. It feels like it's set at half the loft height of the original, and not just 5mm lower.

If you expect a synthetic brush to be an "artificial badger" or "artificial boar", it's a big fail. However, if you just accept it for what it is, and use it how it needs to be used, it's excellent. Soft tipped, totally off the charts scrubby, and a wonderfully precise painter. Many would write it off as "too much", but I can get fantastic lathers with it.

As such, I would say don't try to confine its use to what you would normally expect a brush to be, or do. Try just using painting motions, or just sweeping motions, or not scrubbing till the face is already well lathered. Play around with it. Use it in ways that you wouldn't use other brushes. You might just discover something uniquely wonderful about it, that other brushes can't deliver. Mine felt wrong on first use, but it's definitely a keeper, because it's so different.

Oh, and as to the original Special Sovereign (the overlofted one), while it doesn't work great with everything. It does actually play quite nicely with creams and shave sticks. Again, I just need to use it according to its own needs.
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