#1

Posting Freak
Peachtree City, GA
(This post was last modified: 06-10-2024, 12:18 PM by DanLaw. Edited 4 times in total.)
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Apologies for the delay in starting the passaround thread - Enzo, the first participant, received the brush in early May but had a sudden family death requiring a return to Italy.  My perspective was to hold off on posting until the passaround could recommence smoothly from participant to participant , thus the delay.  Having been inundated the last week has only made matters worse.

Have been a fan of Tatara since first encountering the company during the release of their first razor, remaining so throughout testing and hosting passarounds for every product they have released:

* Masamune Razor: https://damnfineshave.com/thread-tatara-...ght=tatara

* Nodachi Razor: https://damnfineshave.com/thread-tatara-...hi%2Brazor

* Masamune Brush: https://damnfineshave.com/thread-tatara-...ra%2Bbrush

* Muramasa Adjustable Razor: https://damnfineshave.com/thread-tatara-...a+muramasa

* Nodachi Ti Razor: https://damnfineshave.com/thread-tatara-...ght=tatara

* Tatara Blades: https://damnfineshave.com/thread-tatara-...a%2BBlades

* Tatara Honour Shaving Soap: https://damnfineshave.com/thread-tatara-...ne%2BBrush

Intimate familiarity with Tatara has resulted in admiration of the company on multiple fronts:

Engineering Supremacy: Tatara has actual engineers in its founding management team and it is readily apparent to anybody having studied engineering.  No shaving hardware company encountered adheres to the best engineering standards as does Tatara whether it be reducing stress risers, ensuring a precise interface between handle and head or thorough clamping of the blade to militate chatter

Unique Design Ethos: Tatara does not build run of the mill razors, instead they consistently focus on elegant lithe designs that can access even the most angular recess easily.  Their Adjustable Muramasa razor is a unique revolutionary design, being the first continuously adjustable on the fly DE razor not relying on increasing the head stack height to accomplish different levels of efficiency thus permitting access to every hair on my very angular face requiring no other razor to touch up areas.  The focus of the firm is offering unique design perspectives to deliver ingenious solutions without compromising ergonomics and thus maximizing shaving pleasure

Branding Consistency: Despite being highly engineered and ingeniously designed, Tatara is perhaps the best branded razor on the market, uniquely blending function with form.  A quick can glance at any Tatara product results in immediate recognition, they are THAT differentiated from other manufacturers'.  The Tatara team is laser focused on the Samurai design ethos, applying it to all their products - even their soap is visually uniquely packaged where it immediately stands out vis-a-vis the other artisans.  The Samurai design ethos could become a trap for most artisans but Tatara utterly grasps the concept and executes it better than most well funded and modern Japanese firms with entire dedicated design departments.  The packaging melds the Samurai design ethos with a nod to their Portuguese heritage reminding all that the Portuguese were the first Westerners to meaningfully interact with the Japanese culture as it transitioned from a feudal to modern society in fits and starts.

Tatara recently released the world's first continuously adjustable shaving brush; being the branding masters they are, it is obviously named the Muramasa.  Given its unique ability to adjust loft on the fly, the handle is the heart of the Muramasa brush

Visual and Tactile impressions: visually, the brush maintains the Nie finish and hemispherical dishing used on all their products; which perfectly captures the look of a Samurai sword's grip end down to the integrated blade guard.  In hand, the brush has heft, something am coming to appreciate the merits of more these days.  Heft is quite helpful in imparting an impression of security and thus results in relaxing of the wrist during lathering.  As always, despite the relatively smooth finish, the dishing and nie finish conspire to give perfect purchase.

Adjusting and Changing Brush Inserts: Adjusting loft is the unique feature of the Muramasa.  Loft can be set from 48-60mm continuously via twisting the bottom of the brush handle.  A window numbered from 1-3 visually confirms the setting but it is pretty obvious at a glance where the loft is set with any setting from minimum to maximum possible.  My perspective remains as it was suggested when reviewing the razor: rather than numbers, far better would be a colour progression more easily seen and interpreted.  Irrespective, unlike the razor, the differences in the loft are readily apparent, so much so that in the course of the first shave one could determine where the brush was set with a quick glance at the knot without any confirmation.  The knots are currently available in a good grade of badger, boar and an outstanding synthetic with rumours of a possible 2 band badger option.  Changing knots requires about 30 seconds total out and in: simply rotate the knot to maximum loft until one can feel the threaded mechanism disconnected then gently pull the knot out of the handle; replace with the chosen knot and press in on the knot whilst twisting the handle mechanism.  That simple!  Besides quick adjustability and change of knot, removing the knot permits cleaning the brush easily and thoroughly between uses.  There is no longer any excuse to skip thoroughly rinsing out soap post shave.

Knots: Tatara logically partnered with Semogue in supplying knots and manufacturing.  We received only the badger and synthetic inserts - which makes sense as the boar does take some time to properly break in.  The badger has a nice but not super premium grade feeling akin to a soft, nonscritchy Manchurian.  Using the badger was pleasant and it is a quite good knot, considering adjustability, for the price.  However, the surprise star of the knot show for me was the synthetic.  For years have tried to find a solution to badger - not because it lacking anything as a knot when done to perfection such as DG, Sabini&c but rather because it is inherently cruel to be culling badgers for shave knots (and meat).  To date had yet to encounter a synthetic knot that worked for me, primarily due to their mop like character lacking the exfoliating characteristics so valued in badger.  Hitherto, I could emphatically state am NOT a synthetic user - BUT this hair is pretty damned good and came to favour it, truth told.  Whether this is a function of being able to load and bowl lather at maximum floppy loft and then apply to the face at minimum loft solely or the combination of a great knot with loft adjustability is uncertain.  Definitely, strongly prefer the synthetic hairs and knot to any other synthetic trialed to date and have tried most excepting the Wald.

Usage Impressions: There has been a lot of discussion lately on the merits of different brush loft on DFS - would like to think that my posts have had something to do with that.  Hitherto, high lofted low backbone knots have received a lot of negative press with the industry trending to denser, higher backboned and lower loft treated badger to impart a softer face feel whilst maintaining the exfoliation so many prefer.  With the trend to the consensus face feel, many of these knots have also become more difficult to lather soap properly as witnessed in many SOTDs being far less than optimally whipped.  Sure, the best latherers still managed beautiful lather and the easiest to lather soaps in the homes with the best water got away with bad technique BUT the issue was that the consensus knots' features conspire to render lathering difficult.  My efforts have mostly been focused on educating shavers that high lofted low backbone knots make prodigious lather easily even under the worst conditions.  For those wanting shave porn lathers, the sure path was to have a lathering brush and a facial application brush to guarantee perfect lathers every time.  The Muramasa brush solves this issue completely.  Start off lathering on the highest setting - which is quick and very rewarding, then dial it down to your optimum loft and resultant density/backbone to apply; even better, the knot is saturated in the soap from loading/lathering and releases perfectly.  My experimentation resulted in loading and bowl lathering on the absolute highest setting 3 and applying to the face at about setting 1,5 with perfect results every time.  But here is the beauty, because all variables are eliminated except loft/backbone with a simple twist, one can experiment at will even throughout the shave. Some may find that slightly increasing the loft throughout passes would be beneficial.  Strongly urge participants to try loading lathering on the highest loft setting then applying on the lowest loft setting or do an entire shave at the lowest or highest setting.  This is a fabulous educational tool that will help shavers determine what loft backbone they personally prefer as opposed to following the consensus.  Frankly, would think every member of DFS would want to participate in this passaround for the educational benefits, even if to simply confirm what they may already know.

Conclusion: Flat out, up front - the Muramasa is my new favourite brush in a sizable collection of premiere elite brushes from the top artisans.  Sure, the Muramasa has a unique look and feel with heft I strongly favour and knots that are quite good BUT the adjustable loft on the fly is a game changer with being able to thoroughly clean after each use just icing on the cake.  I only wish Tatara had a worldclass 2 band option or sold raw ferrules so that users could select badger knots from artisans of their choice.  I do get that Tatara wants to control the brand experience so that poorly knotted ferrules do not result in bad publicity being misdirected to their design.  Finally, the synthetic knot supplied by Semogue is world class in this adjustable application and has won me over to being a synthetic convert.  All in, congratulations to Tatara on revolutionizing brushes!

Everybody would be well advised to participate in this passaround - even if your conclusions are less enthusiastic than mine, the experience of adjustability on the fly is an invaluable tool to understanding brushes and selecting empirically what works best for your shaving needs.  I cannot encourage participation strongly enough.

Please PM to participate in the passaround.

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#2

Member
Chester County, PA
(This post was last modified: 06-13-2024, 01:51 AM by dtownvino. Edited 1 time in total.)
First I want to thank Dan and Tatara for putting this together.  This was one of the few pass arounds that has truly changed my opinion on something in shaving… 

I had a solid week with the Muramasa brush.  

Left is the badger, right is the synth:

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I test lathered 3 different soaps with the badger knot.  I have to admit, adjusting the lot to its maximum height made lathering easy and enjoyable.  The face feel for me was very good, I realize that knot isn’t full broken in but it is soft and the loft adjustment allows for more than enough backbone.  My standard knot size is 24mm and this didn’t feel too big or too small, just about right. 

Here is a lather that sat for 12-15 min and was left after my shave.  The little brush really whips it up quickly when you adjust the loft height to “3”.   However I found setting “2” about right for when I applied the lather.  





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The next part of the week, I focused on the synthetic brush. The reason ai chose to focus here is that I have really only used the Wald A1 fan for any length of time.  I have tried Mühle and Simpson T2, but never spent any quality time with either.  I recall not enjoying the Simpson T2 and I was indifferent to the Mühle.  

The Tatara synthetic knot was amazing, and I don’t say this without careful consideration.  I lathered a few  soap brands (Ethos, Macduffs, Chiseled Face, Wholly Kaw, Elysian, and HOM) just to test the knot.  It always produced a beautiful, yogurt-like lather with no issues. 

Probably the best stand out was the face feel.  At a setting of “2” the loft on the brush magically felt softer than a badger but had the backbone I have not felt in other synthetics before.  During my 3 shaves with it, no lather was flung or dropped.  It just performed and at a very high level and was a pure pleasure to use. 

Here is a lather shot with the synthetic:


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In summary, the adjustable loft combined with the synthetic knot make this one is the best shaving experiences I have had.  I really will miss this brush and will consider getting a synthetic knot version in the future.  

This is one brush you need to experience to appreciate its performance. I highly recommend it!

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#3

Posting Freak
Peachtree City, GA
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