Oasis Time Flies 1994-2009 Vinyl LP Set Review

Posted by the dood on Sunday, April 13th, 2014

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The most recent addition to my Vinyl collection is the Oasis Time Flies box set. Seeing as the majority of Oasis Vinyl LP Releases are costing in the hundreds for a single album, this album seemed like a steal for $250. Not only does it have almost all my favorite Oasis songs on it, but its also a limited edition box set that might actually increase in value, even if I listen to it!

I rarely spend big money on box sets, but Oasis is a band that I grew up listening to in High School and University and helped define me and shape the person I am today. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I sure as hell listened to a lot of Oasis when I was younger.

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The beautifully boxed 5 disk set features beautiful artwork and photography on all the sleeves and box covers. It includes just about all their major songs, including the fantastic yet elusive single “Whatever”. Oddly missing from this set is “Champagne Supernova”.

A1. Supersonic 4:44
A2. Roll With It 3:59
A3. Live Forever 4:36
B1. Wonderwall 4:19
B2. Stop Crying Your Heart Out 5:02
B3. Cigarettes & Alcohol 4:51
C1. Songbird 2:08
C2. Don’t Look Back In Anger 4:50
C3. The Hindu Times 3:52
D1. Stand By Me 5:59
D2. Lord Don’t Slow Me Down 3:19
D3. Shakermaker 5:10
E1. All Around The World 9:41
E2. Some Might Say 5:29
F1. The Importance Of Being Idle 3:42
F2. D’You Know What I Mean? 7:44
G1. Lyla 5:12
G2. Let There Be Love 5:26
H1. Go Let It Out 4:38
H2. Who Feels Love? 5:44
H3. Little By Little 4:53
J1. The Shock Of The Lightning 5:04
J2. She Is Love 3:13
K1. Whatever 6:20
K2. I’m Outta Time 4:09
K3. Falling Down

Sound Quality
I’m an audiophile, so sound quality is very important to me, and often the most disappointing thing when it comes to buying newly pressed Vinyl LPs. It seems like ever other record I buy is a junk pressing, so I’m always scouring for information on whether certain albums are good pressings. I read a couple small reviews that said this was a good one, but I didn’t know if these were guys that were playing then on a Sony USB Turntable or true vinyl aficionados. I can tell you without hesitation that this is a FANTASTIC album sound quality-wise. They are superb pressings and sound better than any of the other Oasis Vinyl I have ever heard… which isn’t saying much since I’ve only heard two of their later albums which I own.

Having said that, these are fantastic, and I couldn’t be happier with the quality. Having spent about $280US to have these shipped here from the UK, I was taking quite the gamble. And seeing as this is a limited edition of 1500 copies, I don’t expect a lot of people to be reading this review anyway, but hey.. its here anyway.

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Each disk comes in a paper sleeve with color-coded artwork on it. I always re-sleeve my records in archival quality poly sleeves to reduce the amount of scratching, as pulling them in and out of paper can cause damage in the long run. If you’re an Oasis fan and a Vinyl fan, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t pick up this box set… absolutely outstanding.

Weber DLC Head DE Safety Razor with Classic Handle Review

Posted by the dood on Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Weber DLC Head DE Safety Razor Review
Price (At Time of Review): $70
Handle: 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel
Head and Base Plate: 17-4PH Stainless Steel DLC Coated
Weight: 3.4oz
Length: 98mm (Handle), 106mm (Total)
Made in USA

The Weber Razor was the first of the Stainless Razors to hit the market, and entered at a very affordable pricepoint at the time, around $55. Since then its increased in price to $70. Interestingly, at the time the Weber was released, many gawked at the price, saying $55 for Stainless Steel with little to no performance increase was not worth the money. Now a couple years later, many people happily pay well over $100 or even $150 for many of the other boutique stainless razor brands – including myself.

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I tried to capture the spirit of the razor, but realized that DE Safety razors are inherently difficult to photograph. This configuration is with the classic handle, which is slimmer and longer and also slightly heavier by 2 oz. As you may be able to see I had it loaded with an Astra SP blade at the time of the photograph. I have a lot of bulldog handles that I am able to switch onto the Weber if I want a shorter, stouter feel.

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Here is the razor from the front, showing the proportion of the handle to the razor head. Definately a slimmer look compared to the more popular Bulldog style that has been all the rage the last year or two. The handle has the typical curved neck, and then cross-hatched middle section, along with the knobby textured end which aids in retention and grips very well in most conditions.

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As you can see below, the texture of the 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel handle under higher magnification, is not finished particularly well. Its certainly acceptable, especially when all of the other better finished handles cost more money. Weber currently sells the handles for $38, whereas most others come in around $50+. The handle measures 98mm long.

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I was able to get a decent photo of the blade gap here, and you can see that it is similar to most non-stainless razors and in particular very close to the Merkur 34c and Edwin Jagger 89l that I have used. The head shape in general seems to have been loosely modeled after the Merkur in particular. I found the aggression level of the razor to be on par with the Edwin Jagger and Merkur razors mentioned, and in general is a mild-to-medium level shaver, but you can adjust that level by changing your angle.

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Here’s a shot from the front, showing the amount of blade exposure. It has more blade exposure than most of the newer style Stainless Razors which minimize blade exposure and blade gap. I find that the smaller blade gap and exposure reduces the change of cuts and razors burn from incorrect angle… essentially making the razors more “fool-proof”. While I rarely cut myself shaving anymore, I still like there is less leeway with the Weber than with the other stainless razors on the market. The Weber gives good audible feedback, which aids in making sure I have the right angle when I am shaving.

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There is a disassembled shot, showing the inside of the razor. The head comes in several version, this being the black DLC one, and also one of the more sought after versions of the Weber head. Its also available in a special ARC finish as well as standard polished. All versions of the razor head are made from 17-4PH Stainless Steel.

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The back of the Razor head is engraved with the words WEBER and USA. The Black DLC coated version of this razor always has black rubbing off at the base where the handle contacts the head. Being OCD, this bugs me a bit but I understand that it is the nature of the beast. Overall this is a very nice razor, and a very good value for $70. However, there is a substantial improvement in finishing level and overall production quality when moving to other stainless steel razors like the Feather, iKon and ATT razors.

Weber DLC Head DE Safety Razor Ratings:

Handle Comfort: 5
Uncomfortable Comfortable
Aggressiveness: 4
Mild Aggressive
Weight: 6
Light Heavy
Balance: 6
Unbalanced Balanced
Finish Quality: 6
Poor Excellent
Value: 9
Rip-Off Steal
Overall: 8
Mediocre Excellent
 
 

Edwin Jagger Briarwood Handle Best Badger Shaving Brush

Posted by the dood on Monday, February 17th, 2014

Edwin Jagger Briarwood Best Badger Brush
Specs:
Hair Type: Best Badger
Knot Size: 19mm
Loft: 55mm
Handle Height: 41mm
Glue Bump: 5mm
MSRP: ~$110USD

This brush was a Christmas gift from my wife, so I hesitate to say anything bad about it, but a review must be done! I love reviewing everything I own, and love to share my opinions with the denizens of the interweb. It was part of a beautiful Mach3 razor set that my wife spend a lot of money on, and I really think it is a beautiful set. For those days when I use my Mach3 razor, I do love it – it looks and feels like pure luxury paired with this brush.

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When my wife chose this set, she was told that it was not the best hair for the brush, but that you were paying for the wood and finish on the brush and razor. Edwin Jagger has higher end brush hair sets for less money, but she was sold on the Briarwood handle and polished nickel end caps. I’ll admit, the finish on the wood is spectacular, and has held up very well. It is also very heavy, in a good way.. it just feels very solid and well built.

The knot is a floppy fan shape, which is not the current trend for brushes. However, this shape whips lather far quicker than denser short-lofted brushes like the Simpson Chubby. This brush follows in the footsteps for great brushes like the Kent BK8 in all their high lofted floppy glory. While I think short lofts look very cool, they are more difficult to lather with, and they have poor flow-through. This brush excels at both. While it is a bit scritchy, it is still very effective.

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A shot from the top, it doesn’t look very dense but I think that’s misleading. Its got a high loft, and is only 19mm so it splays out quite a bit at the top, giving the impression that its not very dense. Its actually decently packed, and aside from the slight scritchiness, I think its a fantastic brush. The look and the feel of the brush is very luxurious and I haven’t used anything that feel quite like it.. the closest is probably the Joris Stainless Steel brush that I have.

Overall, if you dig a brush that looks and feels luxurious in the hand, this is a good choice. If you’re a silvertip snob, look elsewhere, this is best badger grade hair through and through. Its got lots of spring to it and it lathers like a beast, but its not going to feel that luxurious on your face. Good for days with some extra beard because you missed a few days of shaving since it exfoliates a little bit extra.

Edwin Jagger Briarwood Best Badger Brush Specs and Rating:

Handle Comfort: 6
Uncomfortable Comfortable
Soap Performance: 8
Poor Excellent
Cream Performance: 8
Poor Excellent
Bowl Lathering: 5
Poor Excellent
Face Lathering: 6
Poor Excellent
Softness: 4
Scratchy Soft
Backbone: 2
Floppy Strong
Scrub: 8
Gentle Scrubby
Density: 5
Sparse Dense
Hair Thickness: 8
Thin Thick
Flow-Through: 10
Lather Hog Lather Giver
Value: 5
Rip-Off Steal
Overall: 5
Mediocre Excellent
 
 

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet After Shave Splash

Posted by the dood on Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet After Shave Splash
Product: After Shave Splash
Size: 200ml
Origin: Made in UK
Price: $150.00
Price per ml: $0.75

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet might just be my favourite scent in the world, so please bear that bias in mind when reading my review. Obviously all reviews are based on opinion, but I want to first say upfront that I love this scent, and it’s my favourite aftershave product I own. Having said that, lets see what makes this high-end after shave so good.

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100% British to its core, Penhaligon’s makes no apologies for its British heritage and refers often to its beginnings in 1870. Additionally, Penhaligon’s also features its two Royal warrants very prominently, proclaiming its validation by British Royalty. All this of course is just marketing, and has little to do with how good the performance and the scents are. For that, we’ll just have to try this stuff out!

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquest comes in a very thick cardboard box that slides open in two parts (not pictured here), and is probably one of the nicer packages that I’ve ever seen, especially for after shave. Note that Penhaligon’s is a perfumer first and foremost, so their tendency is to feature scent first, and the scent here truly is the real reason one would pay anywhere near this price tag for after shave.

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The main working ingredients here for the Aftershave are the Alcohol, Glyerin and Menthol, common with most alcohol-based after shaves. As such, this performs just as good as most standard alcohol-based aftershaves with Glycerine and Menthol. The amount of menthol in Blenheim Bouquet is not overwhelming like it is with some stronger after shaves, but just enough to give a bit of tingle.

This is the scent profile of Blenheim Bouquet:
Head Notes: Lemon, Lime And Lavender
Heart Notes: Blenheim Bouquet has no heart notes
Base Notes: Pine, Musk and Black Pepper

I personally love the smell of this stuff.. it hits hard with citrus, almost like a lemon drop, then slowly dries down to a peppery pine smell, with a hint of citrus still remaining. A fanastic scent that is unique and while over 100 years old, still smells current and relevant.

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Overall, this is my favourite alcohol after shave splash on the market. I’ll freely admit that it is mostly because of the scent, but the performance is on par, neither worse nor better than most I’ve tried such as DR Harris or Proraso. It doesn’t have the menthol kick that Proraso or Alt Innsbruck have, however. A solid performer that you will thoroughly enough if you like the scent.

Scent: 10/10

Moisturizing: 7/10

Performance: 8/10

Packaging: 10/10

Value: 3/10

Overall: 10/10

Ingredients:
Alcohol denat., Aqua, Glycerin, Parfum, Limonene, Cetrimonium chloride, Linalool, Menthol, Geraniol, Citronellol, Citral, Farnesol

Vulfix Travel Super Badger Brush and Tube Review

Posted by the dood on Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Vulfix Travel Super Badger Brush
Specs:
Hair Type: Vulfix Super Badger
Knot Size: 20mm
Loft: 45mm
Handle Height: 37mm
Glue Bump: None
MSRP: $60USD

This Vulfix Old Original Travel brush was my first ever travel shaving brush. Its seen a handful of trips, and probably a few dozen shaves. After a while, I decided that any trip longer than 2 days needed at least two shaving brushes, so now I have 3 dedicated travel brushes and I also have the large Vulfix travel tubes that fit full size shaving brushes. I still do appreciate the compact size of the smaller travel brushes, however.

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There is the Vulfix Travel brush, in Super Badger, which is the same grade of hair as Simpsons “best”. Vulfix brushes tend to be packed looser, and thus have less backbone but generally better flow through and are easier to lather with in my opinion. While I love the rich, luxurious feel of a denser brush, they are generally harder to lather with.

The 20mm knot on this Vulfix does feel a bit on the small size for me, but its never really an issue for holding lather or getting the job done. The handle on the other hand could be an issue if you have larger hands. I found it very difficult to bowl lather with, and I don’t have large hands. Its best used for face lathering when on the go – which is what I believe this brush was designed for anyway.

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The travel tube has a solid screw-on lid that only needs a quarter-turn to snap into place, much nicer than lots of threads I think. It also has a drain hole at the top. It is an ivory color that is close to matching the color of the brush handle.

The tips on the Vulfix are quite soft, and while they are supposed to be the exact same grade of hair used in Simpson’s Best brushes, it seems somehow softer and less scritchy to me. It’s not silvertip, but it feels softer than best. It might be partly a product of the looser density as well as a particularly soft batch of hair. Overall a very comfortable brush to use that I enjoy when I’m travelling. I never use this brush when I’m at home (except when I first got it) – I don’t like it THAT much.

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The brush has a fairly round bulb-shaped profile, and generally works well. Out of all my dedicated travel brushes, this is probably the most convenient and easy to use. I have others such as a Simpsons Case, Custom TGN Finest 2-Band and a Crabtree and Evelyn Screw-together type brush in best, but if I had to grab only one travel brush, I would take the Vulfix. While that doesn’t mean its the most interesting brush to use, it is the most well-rounded I think. Not particularly good for soaps, but serviceable. Its probably better suited to creams because it doesn’t have that much backbone.

Overall I think its a nice travel brush and I generally prefer this to the screw-together affairs that I have handled and used in the past. It has better knot dispersion and feel than the screw-together types, and I prefer the handle feel of a regular shaving brush handle over the super-long ones that the screw-together kinds have overall, though this tube winds up being just a touch larger if you’re really cramped for space. Good brush, I would recommend.

Vulfix Travel Super Badger Brush Specs and Rating:

Handle Comfort: 7
Uncomfortable Comfortable
Soap Performance: 6
Poor Excellent
Cream Performance: 7
Poor Excellent
Bowl Lathering: 6
Poor Excellent
Face Lathering: 7
Poor Excellent
Softness: 7
Scratchy Soft
Backbone: 4
Floppy Strong
Scrub: 5
Gentle Scrubby
Density: 5
Sparse Dense
Hair Thickness: 6
Thin Thick
Flow-Through: 8
Lather Hog Lather Giver
Value: 8
Rip-Off Steal
Overall: 7
Mediocre Excellent