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Pics of the Polo 12 super in action....

Gents,
After a 10 minute borax soak, a shampoo and conditioning, the Polo softened up quite a bit and was ready for action. Here are some pics....

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Soaking the polo 12 super in boiling h20 from the hot pot.

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Loading up with CF Lavender

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Loaded with a couple of honkin' globs of CF

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30 stirs and it isn't to my liking

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Opened the "breech" and stuck some more cream in there. There was plenty of h20 in the brush - not enough cream.

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15-20 more stirs and I was where I wanted to be

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I added a splash of hot pot water and about 10-15 more stirs

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Fits perfectly on the wonderful shavemac stand!!

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Insane amounts of lather left after FIVE passes

First impressions..... (please do not prepare for war with the following comments. They are just my initial impressions. They very well could change, and again - this is just MY opinion/experience unless otherwise noted)

First of all I must say, this brush is an insane cream/soap hog. I played around with it, with some Taylors and some em's shave soap - and it REALLY takes a lot to get this hog agoin'. If you are the kinda chap who just has a tub or two of cream handy - STEER clear of this monster. While I think this is a HORRIBLE trait to have in a brush, at least for now I do not mind in the slightest as I probably have upwards of 30+ tubs of cream. I gotta say... the cream/soap requirements of this thing are totally unreasonable.

Second - I do not like the handle. Many guys have said the polo is their favorite handled shaving brush... to each their own. I found it to be heavy, akward, and a genuine pain in the *** to work with. I have very large hands, and the way the brush handle is designed, you are kinda stuck holding it at the top - at the thin point - which gives you more "reach" with the brush, however it is a lot more trouble to lather, and my large hands felt odd using it. With a large - but un "contoured" handle like a vulfix #41 or a Shavemac horn handle, or a Rooney, Vulfix #377 etc, you are able to stir up lather with much greater ease, and have a much firmer grip.

Third - The knot is 30mm, but the way it is packed, and the shape of the head of the brush make this thing WAY too unweildly. The kent BK12 I had was easier to control than this monster. I had lather all over the place, and since you control the brush from a greater distance (because of the handle length) it is more sifficult to be precise with. This brush reminds me of a vulfix #40, however I like the "looser" knot and the easier to use handle of the #40 more.

With those three grips outta the way - here are some things I liked about it.

1.) I like the "floppier" feel of this brush compared to a plisson or shavemac to change things up a bit. I think the plisson/shavemac head style is most effective and practical, but the "floppier" feel of the polo was a nice change. Reminded me of the Vulfix #41 days of yore.

2.) This brush hands down holds more cream that ANYTHING else I have ever used. Hell - I wouldn't want to bet against this thing being able to hold more lather than what a whole cup in the lather machine could produce. For the RMWS guys who make 50 passes - this thing is unparralleled. While the shavemac can hold an absurd amount of lather - easily 7-8 passes worth, this brush makes the shavemac XXL horn seem like a toy in the capacity dept. Seriously... I think you could get enough lather outta this thing to shave a medium sized dog - it is insane.

3.) I like the look of the brush quite a bit. It has a very sleek, old school look to it. I find the plain, drab faux ivory handle simplistically elegant. With that said - the horn handle on the shavemac is way better looking - but of all the brushes I have had and seen in person - this certainly is my second favorite.

Overall - Don't buy a Polo 12. They simply are not worth the absurd price they are selling at. If I could have only one brush - and it would be $100 for either the polo or the shavemac - I would go with the shavemac hands down. Without hesitation I will say the quality of badger hair is SUPERIOR in the shavemac. No if, ands or buts. Seriously, when you hold them side by side, feel each one, use each one, etc - the shavemac feels, looks, and performs better (badger hair quality wise). The actual hair is stiffer in the shavemac - however the tips are much softer, which is a more admirable combo. Without question the polo 12 did a better job at raising the hair on my face than a kent or vulfix, and I was able to get a noticibly superior shave to a vulfix and kent with the Polo 12. With that said - I still get smoother with the shavemac. I'll keep the polo, and I am glad I have it, as it is much different than the other brushes I have, and wetshaving to me is all about choices, and mixing things up.

Between a kent, Savile Row or vulfix VS polo 12, i'd choose the Simpson polo 12 - strictly in terms of effectivness. When price is taken into consideration no WAY i'd go with the Polo 12 over the aformentioned brands, it just plain isn't that much superior.

Bottom line - I feel the Shavemac looks better, feels better, is built better, is more practical, comfortable, economical, efficacious and most importantly is more fun to use!

I also disagree with another poster in that the Polo's are "true" silvertip VS the shavemac. I have heard from numerous VERY reliable sources that the Rooney I received was "true" silvertip. The Rooneys are incredibly soft and delicate at the tip. While the shavemac IS in face stiff - it is soft and delicate at the tip (not as much as the Rooney though). Also upon close inspection - I have half a mind to think the simpson is bleached. When vieweing it under a microscope, it looks just like it had been bleached. When looking at the shavemac under a microscope, I found it looked just fine - and I trust Bernds direct answer of "Our brushes are not bleached or dyed in ANY way" I for one have not heard so much as a peep from Simpson when I inquired.

What I am about to say will probably get a victoria's secret store full of panties in a bunch - but **** silvertip. As far as I am concerned the term "silvertip" should be burned at the stake. No company has had the balls to step up and tell us what silvertip is exactly, where it comes from exactly, WHY it is better, what the qualities (or lack there of) are, and why we all should be peeing ourselves over it. We are a bunch of intelligent, grown *** men, who cares if it is hair from puff the magic dragons, unicorn girlfriend? All that matteres is how effective the hair is, how it feels and how enjoyable it is to use. If you have more money than you know what to do with - by all means, go hog wild with simpsons, rooneys, plissons, if it feels good - do it. For you guys out there who THINK you are missing out on something - hear this... you aren't. I have now used a high end brush from every top end manufacture, and there really is not that much of a difference. Many have said "When it gets to a certain level - it is more about personal preference." Personal preference is one thing - cherry slurpee VS cola slurpee, but if your cola slurpee you prefer is $10, and the cherry you like almost as much is $2, what are you going to go with?

I will NEVER spend more than $150 on a brush from this point on. Just no point - it is just shaving. If I ever get the urge, I'll donate $150 to a local charity, and get a damn nice $150 or less brush. Sorry guys - after $150, it is just madness.

Whew - sorry for the rant.
 
Like the last poster, I too have a Polo 10 in Best that I love.

I agree with many of your comments. The density and shape of this knot make it feel enormous. Heck, it is enormous. I can't imagine what the P12 is like. I have way, way more soaps and creams than I need and don't mine using a lot of product. I'd actually like to use up some of what I've got ... so I can try other things of course. So how much product it uses is not an issue for me (and the P10 I'm sure uses less than the P12). Once it gets lathered up there appears to be no end to the lather it holds. And it gives it up very nicely and easily to my face. Despite its size and density it does not act like a lather "eraser" like some really dense brushes do. The one area where my preference differs from yours is the handle. I love the feel of this handle and how it fits in my hand. It is right up there competing with anything else I have for most comfortable handle. Because it is ginormous, it is a bit heavy though. Not sure what else to say.

As for how it compares to Shavemacs, that comparison can't be easily made as there is no "standard" Shavemac Shavemac handles come in lots of shapes and sizes, and Shavemac has 3-band, 2-band, D01, as well as Finest. I had a 3-band that I liked a lot, but was a wee bit too "soft" for me, and a 2-band that felt like a wire brush. I currently have two D01's. One is about 25mm or so, and the other is Chubby 2 sized. I love both of those brushes. The smaller one feels great on my face, but does not hold anywhere near as much lather as the Polo. The Chubby 2 sized one rivals that Polo. Completely different handle style, and feels smaller even though I don't think it really is. I'd have to use nothing but those two for several weeks before I could make a call on which one I prefer.
 
I have now used a high end brush from every top end manufacture, and there really is not that much of a difference. Many have said "When it gets to a certain level - it is more about personal preference." Personal preference is one thing - cherry slurpee VS cola slurpee, but if your cola slurpee you prefer is $10, and the cherry you like almost as much is $2, what are you going to go with?

I will NEVER spend more than $150 on a brush from this point on. Just no point - it is just shaving. If I ever get the urge, I'll donate $150 to a local charity, and get a damn nice $150 or less brush. Sorry guys - after $150, it is just madness.

Whew - sorry for the rant.

Words of wisdom-that I paid no attention to!


marty
 
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