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Thomas G





Joined: 20 Oct 2008

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject: Higher Quality Rapier?         Reply with quote

Is there any higher quality rapiers? I would like similar to the quality and price of Albion's Maestro line. I would also like to be able to spar with it.(No sharp tips and edges) Any good ones?
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Chris Artman




Location: USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 2:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

www.arms-n-armor.com

A&A seems to be the best place I can think of ...
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

www.darkwoodarmory.com - especially if you want a rapier to spar with.
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Greg Coffman




Location: Lubbock, TX
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 4:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I highly recommend waiting for the Maestro if you want it primarily for sparring. A rapier's blade should be rigid and there aren't any good rigid blades out there.
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
-Hebrews 4:12
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 28 Oct 2003

Posts: 237

PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 4:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greg Coffman wrote:
I highly recommend waiting for the Maestro if you want it primarily for sparring. A rapier's blade should be rigid and there aren't any good rigid blades out there.

I disagree; there are good rapier blades out there. First, any of the A&A rapier blades will work fine, if you get them stock and want to spar with them, they are more likely to be too rigid than not rigid enough; second, Darkwood Armory bated rapier blades are plenty rigid; they definitely fall within the range of historical rapier blades as far is "whippiness". That is two I can think of offhand--but there are others. If you find a good manufacturer, they'll make them to your specification--just understand that you pay extra for custom work.

Additionally, rapier blades don't really need to be all that rigid to be accurate in their behavior. While you don't want them to be too "whippy" this is easily managed by a competent manufacturer and is more a matter of how the mass is distributed on the blade (i.e. how it is tapered) than by the absolute mass or thickness of the blade.

It is worth noting that even our ancestors didn't always use full-weight blades for practice and free-play. There are examples of "rapier foils" in museums--that is, rapiers with lighter quadrilateral practices blades which could seem rather light by our standards.

Steve

Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance
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Thomas G





Joined: 20 Oct 2008

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys. I will defeintely look into A&A and Darkwood. They look to be excellent blades! Do you guys have any?
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 28 Oct 2003

Posts: 237

PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas G wrote:
Thanks guys. I will definitely look into A&A and Darkwood. They look to be excellent blades! Do you guys have any?

We (i.e. the Of the Seven Hearts) have several. Here is a photo with several (but by no means all) that we own. Additionally, in this photo you can see a few A&A swords: the Gustav Vasa in the bottom row, and a Milanese Rapier with a full-length rapier blade mounted on it in the top row. Additionally, there are two originals, one is from around 1580 and the other from the early 1600s. Also, in the bottom row you can see part of a smallsword hilt, and Tom's custom A&A rapier, and a Del Tin rapier. All the rest in the photo are Darkwood (there are seven in this photo).


Additionally, these are all Darkwood rapiers, excepting only the center rapier in the bottom photo (which is the Del Tin):





Steve

Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance
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Thomas G





Joined: 20 Oct 2008

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Steve! Is the jump of price from Darkwood Armoury to Arms & Armor worth it?
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 28 Oct 2003

Posts: 237

PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas G wrote:
Thank you Steve! Is the jump of price from Darkwood Armoury to Arms & Armor worth it?

Yes, I think it is. However, I don't think you have to buy an A&A to get a rapier you can be happy with. Additionally, you can easily customize a Darkwood so that it costs as much (or more) than the standard A&A (although you can also customize an A&A, with appropriate price adjustments). There are differences between the two, but which make you would prefer is a matter of experience and personal preference. If possible, handle weapons from both makers (the more recently made, the better--these guys are both getting better every year).

Note that I don't want anyone to believe that I have a problem with the upcoming Albion model. Based on everything I've seen by Albion, I would expect that it will be quite good. However, until I actually handle one, I won't be able to say one way or the other.

There are also other makers, but I just don't have much experience with them beyond handling weapons that belong to other people.

Steve

Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance
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Thomas G





Joined: 20 Oct 2008

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue 21 Oct, 2008 7:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Where would one be able to handle these weapons?
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 28 Oct 2003

Posts: 237

PostPosted: Wed 22 Oct, 2008 5:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas G wrote:
Where would one be able to handle these weapons?

Darkwood rapiers are all over the WMA community--you pretty much can't go to an event without seeing them. Additionally, they are used by many in the SCA for rapier fighting. A&A swords are not as common, although you'll usually see a few at a historic fencing seminar.

Steve

Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance
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Thomas G





Joined: 20 Oct 2008

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Wed 22 Oct, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Steve. I think when I have the money I am going to go with a Darkwood Armoury rapier. That is one of the rapiers the instructor of a class (Italian Rapier) I am going to take recommends.

And they are cheaper too. Eventually I will most likely get an A&A but not yet.
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Steven Reich




Location: Arlington, VA
Joined: 28 Oct 2003

Posts: 237

PostPosted: Wed 22 Oct, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas G wrote:
Thank you Steve. I think when I have the money I am going to go with a Darkwood Armoury rapier. That is one of the rapiers the instructor of a class (Italian Rapier) I am going to take recommends.

And they are cheaper too. Eventually I will most likely get an A&A but not yet.

Where are you (i.e. your location)?

Steve

Founder of NoVA-Assalto, an affiliate of the HEMA Alliance
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Thomas G





Joined: 20 Oct 2008

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Fri 24 Oct, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am located near St. Louis MO
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