I recently picked up the three AP synth shaving brushes as pictured and thought I would make some comments as to the transaction and their use. First off, dealing with Andrew was a pleasure. He was very prompt in answering my questions and knowledgeable as to his products. The shipping to the States from Canada also went very quickly via Niagara Falls.
The brushes, from left to right are as follows: a 22mm SynBad knot set to a 48.5mm loft with an Ivory Red shaving brush handle, a 24mm G5A SHD premium synthetic knot set to a 53.5mm loft with a "scratch and dent" Black shaving brush handle, and a 26mm Faux Boar knot set to a 54mm loft with a Black Green shaving brush handle.
As for the lofts, Andrew followed my requests very closely, with the exception of the G5A SHD loft, which I had requested something in the range of 50mm-52mm, with the condition that if he thought another dimension would be preferable, he should follow his experienced intuition there.
The SynBad knot I ordered with the intention of using as a palm latherer, sizing up a bit from a Simpson Berkeley 46 pure badger that works very well in this regard. Suffice it to say that the SynBad knot, with a short loft like this, worked very well with light pressure. Given the short loft, it stays upright without much bloom or splay. Haven't tried it for face-lathering yet, but I'm pretty sure that it will work here too used more on the side. The fibers are similar to those of the so-called Plisson knot, as well as some of the varied-colored synth knots that everyone else seems to be selling. Difference here is that one can customize the loft length a little. From a distance it sort of looks like a red-headed two-band.
The G5A SHD knot I ordered to face-lather with, and possibly palm-lather with. But given the large knot, it seems better for face-lathering, probably bowl-lathering as well. Palm-lathering is out. Lathers very quickly with a soft soap, and the knot carries a bit of water with it given a soak and then a light shake prior to loading. This was a nice surprise. Also holds a lot of lather in the knot. Bloom is like a silvertip with the softest feel that one can imagine. Reminiscent of the later-generation Muehle synth knots, the alleged "high density" contributing to a convincing spring or bloom of the knot from the handle.
The Faux Boar knot I ordered to bowl-lather creams with, sort of like a small barber's traditional boar knot. More specifically, I was seeking to improve upon a large barber-style Omega S-Brush synthetic that I've never liked and consequently rarely used. Here, the Faux Boar was a big improvement over the S-Brush, with no "give" under slight pressure which is the case with the S-Brush. Worked quite well in the bowl, and surprisingly seemed reminiscent of the denser and shorter lofted, upscale boar brushes that have been coming out over the past few years. Loft really seems like a boar, with little or no bloom, to the point where I might be tempted to palm-lather with it as the tips stay well within the palm.
A note about the handles. I find all of the handles to be quite nice, visually and ergonomically, even nicer than they appear on the AP website. The black handle, listed as "scratch-and-dent" really looks without blemish to me. Maybe a few hairline scratches underneath from sitting on a shelf, but that's about it.
My initial thoughts, having received these a few days ago and put them through a trial run. I would recommend any of these to someone wanting to try synthetic brushes for the first time.