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Simpsons "Platinum Grade" synthetic questions

I keep being amazed when people find any synthetic not to be soft enough... My biggest gripe with them is that they're *too* soft on the face.

Maybe some day a filament producer will eventually make a manufactured fiber that has more tip texture, I can only hope!
I wonder if I somehow have a defective Trafalgar 2, since no one else seems to find it prickly. I have used at least 8 or 10 different synthetic brushes, and it is the only one that I found to have that particular problem. Some have been too floppy, some didn't want to splay and some were so springy that they tended to fling lather around. So far the Yaqi Rainbow Brown is the only one that avoided all of those shortcomings (for me).
 
I wonder if I somehow have a defective Trafalgar 2, since no one else seems to find it prickly. I have used at least 8 or 10 different synthetic brushes, and it is the only one that I found to have that particular problem. Some have been too floppy, some didn't want to splay and some were so springy that they tended to fling lather around. So far the Yaqi Rainbow Brown is the only one that avoided all of those shortcomings (for me).

Yeah, my T1 is silky and slick like all the other Synths I've tried.
 
I keep being amazed when people find any synthetic not to be soft enough... My biggest gripe with them is that they're *too* soft on the face.

Maybe some day a filament producer will eventually make a manufactured fiber that has more tip texture, I can only hope!
Agreed! It bugs me how soft most synths are. Especially the Tuxedo. For this reason the Timberwolf is among my favorite synths as it's not quite as absurdly soft.
 
Agreed! It bugs me how soft most synths are. Especially the Tuxedo. For this reason the Timberwolf is among my favorite synths as it's not quite as absurdly soft.
I got a Chubby 2 synth from Maggard's on Black Friday, and my one complaint about it is that it's really soft. It's honestly surprised me how much I like it otherwise (based on one shave since I got it, so take with a grain of salt), but I just wish it were scrubby. I think nothing's ever going to replace real badgers and boars for me.
 
One shave in and I think I like the way the Platinum fiber reacts under pressure against my face better than other fibers... the very different loft height makes direct comparison hard though. It's also the densest packing of any synth I've handled yet.

I can't help but wonder though, if a hybrid knot profile might not have worked better than the straight-up bulb that Simpson chose.

Also interesting, is that I feel like the tips are *soft* but have more texture than most others, without the absolute slickness I've come to associate with synthetics.
 
Looking closer (and squashing the knot out flatter) it appears that the little Classic 1 synth is actually more of a hybrid, you just can't tell, since the knot doesn't bloom with use like a natural bristle knot would. I think that if this knot *did* bloom, it would have a place in my regular rotation. But in its current state it does what so many other synthetic brushes have in the past: gets within striking distance of excellence, only to fall short because of some inherent property of the bristle or a design choice that isn't in line with my brush preferences.

sigh... at least I have my Emperor 1 and assorted 2-band collection to keep me happy ;)
 
harumph!

my attempt to explore the synthetic bliss of the Chubby 2 was thwarted by the "sell to zero" mentality of modern e-tailers... the wicked deal ($74.95) Amazon was giving on this brush vaporized today when they finally admitted that the "only 1 left" brush I purchased, indeed *did not* exist.

After a few more shaves with the Classic 1 synth, I think I'll eventually jump on a Duke 3 or Chubby 2 in this fiber once one pops up at a good enough price, as the feel of the fiber is very promising... I think it needs a bigger spreadier knot to really shine though.
 
Well, I have a Chubby 2 synth now and have used it enough to form opinions.

First off, let's dispel the myth that the Chubby 2 synth "isn't a big brush"... maybe it's small compared to a CH2 in badger, but it's still a rather large brush on the face and the handle is more than a little "chubby"!

Strike two, is that it's the first synthetic I've used that doesn't rinse out quick-n-easy, in fact it requires a more thorough rinse than any other brush in my (rather expansive) stable. The center of the knot is so dense and deeply buried that it needs a substantial amount of flow-through to get all the soap out... I can only imagine what a chore rinsing out a CH2 in super is! (the very concept of a Chubby 3 blows my mind now that I've had one of these in hand o_O )

I will admit however that the coverage on face is acceptably compact and that the firmness and splay characteristics are the best I've used to date (synthetic), but it still has those overly silky tips, though it lacks the luxurious feeling of a gel tip 2-band or it's non-gel tactile equivalent (Simpson's Super).

If I had to use a synthetic brush only, this would be near the top of the list, despite being larger than I prefer by a wide margin, the dense packing and lack of whipiness in combination with the slightly coarser tip texture all add up to a good step in the right direction IMO. I can see why those who aren't dedicated face latherers like this brush and those who are don't hate it.

For now I think I'm off my synthetic tryout kick, but I'll be keeping an eye out for new developments in the field and maybe even a Duke 3 synth if the price is right ;)
 

IMightBeWrong

Loves a smelly brush
Contributor
I have a Chubby 2 and Duke 3 Synthetic and both are very soft, yet dense. I can see the density perhaps making them feel a bit rough compared to some other synthetics.
 
Well, I have a Chubby 2 synth now and have used it enough to form opinions.

First off, let's dispel the myth that the Chubby 2 synth "isn't a big brush"... maybe it's small compared to a CH2 in badger, but it's still a rather large brush on the face and the handle is more than a little "chubby"!

Strike two, is that it's the first synthetic I've used that doesn't rinse out quick-n-easy, in fact it requires a more thorough rinse than any other brush in my (rather expansive) stable. The center of the knot is so dense and deeply buried that it needs a substantial amount of flow-through to get all the soap out... I can only imagine what a chore rinsing out a CH2 in super is! (the very concept of a Chubby 3 blows my mind now that I've had one of these in hand o_O )

I will admit however that the coverage on face is acceptably compact and that the firmness and splay characteristics are the best I've used to date (synthetic), but it still has those overly silky tips, though it lacks the luxurious feeling of a gel tip 2-band or it's non-gel tactile equivalent (Simpson's Super).

If I had to use a synthetic brush only, this would be near the top of the list, despite being larger than I prefer by a wide margin, the dense packing and lack of whipiness in combination with the slightly coarser tip texture all add up to a good step in the right direction IMO. I can see why those who aren't dedicated face latherers like this brush and those who are don't hate it.

For now I think I'm off my synthetic tryout kick, but I'll be keeping an eye out for new developments in the field and maybe even a Duke 3 synth if the price is right ;)
awa54,

Welcome to the world of synthetic brushes. Having tried several different synthetics from various brands I settled on Simpson brushes with the the higher grade bristle as used in the Classic 1, Chubby 2, and Duke 3. I have owned all of these brushes and I currently have two Chubby 2s and one Duke 3. The Classic 1 was OK, and maybe I sold it too soon, but was my least favorite of the three.

I really like the Chubby 2 and that is why I have two of them. However, I also really like the Duke 3 and it is certainly smaller than the Chubby 2 while still being a full-sized brush.

Probably the most important thing I learned about Simpson synthetic brushes is to follow the directions that comes with the brush, and that is to mostly use a painting brush type stroke rather than circular splay. I learned to shave splaying a good badger brush, but now that I've learned to "paint" with the synthetic I find it to be just as effective as splaying. I really don't miss the circular splay motion at all.

Besides size, the main difference for me between the Chubby 2 and the Duke 3 is that the Chubby 2 holds a bit more shaving soap/cream. Nevertheless, I easily get three passes with either brush.

Nothing against badger and boar brushes, but I will never go back to them. The synthetics dry better, there isn't ever any kind of skunky smell to them, and they are less expensive than the same brush in badger.

By the way I do face lather: my technique is to rub a soap puck directly on my face (this is a very efficient way to get soap on your beard) and I then take a few swirls on the puck with the brush and start painting away.

Good luck to you!
 

JCarr

Contributor
Not sure if you've looked at or tried a Semogue Pharos synthetic. The Pharos and my Simpson Trafalgar are the two synthetics I have that have some decent backbone.
 
Not sure if you've looked at or tried a Semogue Pharos synthetic. The Pharos and my Simpson Trafalgar are the two synthetics I have that have some decent backbone.
Agreed. I have the Trafalgar 1 and 2 as well as the Semogue Pharos Synth and all 3 are great brushes with good backbone. The Semogue really surprised me for a $20 brush.

I have a Simpson Classic synthetic coming tomorrow and I’m looking forward to trying the more expensive Platinum bristles vs the Trafalgar Sovereign.
 
awa54,

...

Probably the most important thing I learned about Simpson synthetic brushes is to follow the directions that comes with the brush, and that is to mostly use a painting brush type stroke rather than circular splay. I learned to shave splaying a good badger brush, but now that I've learned to "paint" with the synthetic I find it to be just as effective as splaying. I really don't miss the circular splay motion at all.

...

By the way I do face lather: my technique is to rub a soap puck directly on my face (this is a very efficient way to get soap on your beard) and I then take a few swirls on the puck with the brush and start painting away.

Good luck to you!

For me the swirling motion that Simpson's would have me stop using is not an item of utility... I can get lather spread on my face with painting motions (and usually use strokes to evenly spread lather on my face before a pass), but the right size, firmness and texture of knot, when swirled across my face *just feels great* and greatly enhances my enjoyment of a shave, no matter if it has any benefit for my skin or not.

From an objective, function-or-no standpoint, it's impossible to find much fault with quality synthetic brushes, however, if that's the goal, then I don't need a "luxury" brush, like a Simpson, Shavemac, or the ones I build with hand turned wood handles... a $10 RR Bruce covers that nicely!

So, I'm not trying to tear down synthetic brushes here, just reporting on how "luxury" synthetics stack against comparable badger brushes, all opinions expressed are *opinions*, yours, as well as your taste in brushes, are of course different from mine :)

I think I may change tack and buy a few of the Plissoft type 24mm synth knots, then experiment with setting depth... that line of inquiry is certainly cheaper than buying another Simpson!
 
Awa54,

Enjoy the journey in finding what works for you! You’ll know it when you find it.

Cheers and Happy New Year!
 

rockviper

Moderator Emeritus
I splay my Chubby 2 synth like there's no tomorrow when initially building lather (I face lather) before i settle in paint brushing.
 
I splay my Chubby 2 synth like there's no tomorrow when initially building lather (I face lather) before i settle in paint brushing.
Great info. Thanks. I plan to buy a CH2 synth soon and your post is helping make up my mind.

Greetings from Brooklin and Happy New Year!

p.s. What the hell was Rod Phillips thinking? 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Chan Eil Whiskers

Fumbling about.
I have two Trafalgar brushes that are made, of course, in the budget Sovereign fibers. They are great, especially for the price-point.
That said, I really do not think I'll ever be willing to try the Platinum fibers. The reason is the cost, with that money I'd rather buy a Simpson in Best. And to me no Synthetic, although nice, is equal to a true badger. IMHO.

My Omega Evo seems to me to be very much like a decent three band silvertip. It has adequate backbone and scrub. It splays easily and nicely. It is quite soft. It even holds water nicely and is pretty warm. I'm kind of amazed at how good the knot is, and how close to a silvertip it seems like it is.


Omego.EVO.brand-new.3-4-20.640.JPG


Synthetics are not my thing. I've not tried a lot of them and I've not much liked most of the ones I've tried, but I do like the Evo. I can't compare it with any of the Simpson synthetics because I've not used them.

The Evo seems smaller to me than its nominal size. I consider it a medium sized rather than a large knot.

All that said, I am not in love with the Evo. I much prefer two bands and Manchurians to three band silvertips and synthetics which are like silvertips. Still, I wanted one good synthetic. The Omega Evo hits the spot for me; I use it mostly as a travel brush, but I wouldn't be too unhappy if it were my only brush. It's that good.


And to me no synthetic, although nice, is equal to a true badger.

I agree, but the Omega Evo challenges my belief. I've also read that there will be, down the road in the 5 th generation of synthetics, knots better than badgers (I won't believe it until I see it).

Happy New Year,

Jim
 
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Marco

B&B's Man in Italy
Ambassador
My Omega Evo seems to me to be very much like a decent three band silvertip. It has adequate backbone and scrub. It splays easily and nicely. It is quite soft. It even holds water nicely and is pretty warm. I'm kind of amazed at how good the knot is, and how close to a silvertip it seems like it is.


View attachment 1202717


Synthetics are not my thing. I've not tried a lot of them and I've not much liked most of the ones I've tried, but I do like the Evo. I can't compare it with any of the Simpson synthetics because I've not used them.

The Evo seems smaller to me than its nominal size. I consider it a medium sized rather than a large knot.

All that said, I am not in love with the Evo. I much prefer two bands and Manchurians to three band silvertips and synthetics which are like silvertips. Still, I wanted one good synthetic. The Omega Evo hits the spot for me; I use it mostly as a travel brush, but I wouldn't be too unhappy if it were my only brush. It's that good.





I agree, but the Omega Evo challenges my belief. I've also read that there will be, down the road in the 5 th generation of synthetics, knots better than badgers (I won't believe it until I see it).

Happy New Year,

Jim
I'm glad to hear you've got a brush that works beautifully for you, Sir.

Happy New Year, Jim. :001_smile
 
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