I thought I would voice an opinion on an underrated product - the "finest" grade of badger hair in Bernd Blos' lovely brushes. You can see a custom brush in todays SOTD pic:
I have three Shavemac brushes - SMF I, the "Scotto Special" in finest shown above, and a Savile Row 3124 silvertip. Yeah, I know Charles doesn't admit to those being made by Bernd, but if it looks like a duck....
Anyway, the SMF brush is very soft at the tips with medium stiffness to the bristles. The SR3124 is even softer at the tips, but with less rigidity to the shafts. It is my understanding that in the last year Bernd changed his hair bundles to reflect the call from his customers to go softer/floppier. I can see this difference between the SMF and the SR. For those of us who are looking for a stiffer bundle, look no further than Shavemac's "Finest" hair. This stuff is marginally less white than the silvertip, quite a bit stiffer, and has the fringe benefit of being cheaper than silvertip. When I first got the "Scotto Special", I thought it was slightly stiffer than the silvertip SMF brush. Over time, I have come to realize it is quite a bit stiffer. It really puts Simpsons to shame in this category. It is, I believe, a perfect combination of soft tips and stiff shafts.
So what is the catch, you ask? There are two minor points. First, as mentioned above, the color of the tips is more beige than the silvertip. This doesn't bother me in the least. The other is that the bristles have a tendency to "hook", or bend over at the ends more than any other brush I have. This doesn't seem to affect the performance (or softness) at all, it just affects the looks of the brush.
So, if you are of the school that you want a stiff brush for soaps, and you like nice soft tips, I challenge you to find a better match, even against brushes twice the price.
Give it a try - you won't be disappointed.