picked up my first brush in many many years at West Coast yesterday (yes, Christine came into the shop to allow me to look and buy when I was driving through on my way to the BCS game in AZ) I selected a Simpson Duke 3, used proraso soap, dropped a Crystal DE blade into a vintage Gillette Slim adjustable and went to work. two passes just to see how it went. I could have done three because there was enough lather left on the brush but thought I'd stop at two. no bleeding. thanks to this group for posting enough so that I could read about everything. Thanks to Gary Young for his history on Simpsons brushes and a very big thanks to West Coast Shaving. If you have found them nice to deal with over the internet, wait until you meet them in person. I will use the Crystals for a while and will then try other blades. I'm also going to try the Coates shaving cream that I picked up and I also picked up a Mitchell's Wool Fat Shaving soap bar. Whew. now I have to wait for my beard to grow back some so that I can do this again. oh yes. GO DUCKS.