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Julian Horwitz




Location: California
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2016 5:32 pm    Post subject: Albion Regent or Earl?         Reply with quote

I am on the brink of purchasing a new Albion, and have narrowed it down to two: the Regent and the Earl. Both have the same blade, with the only major differences being in the hilt.

My main question is- is there any benefit to the s-guard over a standard straight one. The Regent's guard seems a bit more functional (I.E. I don't think that a strike from a curved S-guard would be as effective as that of a straight one because it would be more likely to glance off, at least that is how it seems to me)

I have also heard complaints about the pommels on both swords, but mostly about the Regent's.

Additionally, is there any significant difference in handling characteristics? I have read a few reviews stating that the Earl handles differently, and others saying that it does not.

Thank you for your help Happy

In hoc signo vinces
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Lloyd Winter




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PostPosted: Thu 13 Oct, 2016 7:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've never handled an Earl but I do have a a Regent. I don't have any problems with the pommel on the Regent although but I do not like that hexagonal grip. I had mine modified by Josh Davis and now I'm much happier with it.

I don't think either guard style is more effective than the other, I think that just comes down to personal esthetics, although as you say the straight guard might be better for striking.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Oct, 2016 11:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own a Regent and have handled an Earl briefly. Both are fine swords. Aesthetically, I prefer the Regent.
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T.L. Johnson





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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2017 3:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The S-curved guard could have some utility with some binds, where the curve may work to interfere with your opponent's attempts to slip off the bind. I see it most likely in the event of transmuting a strike to a farther opening while in the bind-- where you're effectively twisting the blade and guard around your opponent's at the crux.

And mind you-- not all Regents have an identical blade to the Earl. The earliest examples have the spiky tip profile.
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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Mar, 2017 5:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One noticeable difference between both swords is the pommel. Both aren't what I'd call comfortable but I like the Regent's pommel more, the Earl's is spikey in all directions (like that thing on the Brescia, harmful to user and the unfortunate person being pommeled by it).

The other difference is the handling. The Earl has a bit more blade presence, not hugely more, but it's noticeable. I found the Regent to be a bit more agile and with slightly better point control. I handled a first-gen Regent and a second-gen Earl though with the latter having a thicker tip.

I don't consider the guard to make a real difference.

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William Swiger




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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2017 3:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have both and like the Earl more which is based on aesthetics more than function. Something about an "S" guard that looks good on this blade type. To be honest, the hilt on the Regent is more user friendly as I am not a practitioner and the Earl will sometimes hit my wrists/lower arms when handling. I am sure it is me and not the sword.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2017 10:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William Swiger wrote:
I have both and like the Earl more which is based on aesthetics more than function.


I disagree with this statement entirely. The Earl is based on historical precedent. S-guards are functionally sound and don't lend their design to aesthetics. They are an example of function over form; aiding in the bind and offering further protection to the hands.

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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2017 2:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I believe Bill meant that his preference of the Earl was based on aesthetics, not function. He simply prefers the Earl's looks over the Regent's.

As a side note, I think one would be hard pressed to prove that an S-curved guard is a functional improvement over a straight guard. I personally believe it's mainly a fashion thing (with which I quite agree, it is a truly elegant shape).

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 08 Mar, 2017 2:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lukas MG wrote:
I believe Bill meant that his preference of the Earl was based on aesthetics, not function. He simply prefers the Earl's looks over the Regent's.


I believe you're 100% right! I read it wrong.

Quote:
As a side note, I think one would be hard pressed to prove that an S-curved guard is a functional improvement over a straight guard. I personally believe it's mainly a fashion thing (with which I quite agree, it is a truly elegant shape).


I disagree that it's a fashion thing.

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Paul Watson




Location: Upper Hutt, New Zealand
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar, 2017 2:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Lukas MG wrote:
I believe Bill meant that his preference of the Earl was based on aesthetics, not function. He simply prefers the Earl's looks over the Regent's.


I believe you're 100% right! I read it wrong.

Quote:
As a side note, I think one would be hard pressed to prove that an S-curved guard is a functional improvement over a straight guard. I personally believe it's mainly a fashion thing (with which I quite agree, it is a truly elegant shape).


I disagree that it's a fashion thing.

Although swords were clearly affected by fashion/prestige/vanity to some degree, I've always found it interesting that anyone would let the functionality of something that they depended on their life for, in very extreme circumstances, to be affected at all by anything other than characteristics that would optimise it's performance.

Never seen an Earl but a Regent was my first sword almost 12 years ago and I still remember the delight I first felt in its handling. I never found the pommel or shape of the grip uncomfortable. It is the most nimble sword I've ever owned.

I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, but that which it protects. (Faramir, The Two Towers)
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar, 2017 7:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Watson wrote:
Although swords were clearly affected by fashion/prestige/vanity to some degree, I've always found it interesting that anyone would let the functionality of something that they depended on their life for, in very extreme circumstances, to be affected at all by anything other than characteristics that would optimise it's performance.


I agree with you. Well said.

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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar, 2017 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Watson wrote:
Nathan Robinson wrote:
Lukas MG wrote:
I believe Bill meant that his preference of the Earl was based on aesthetics, not function. He simply prefers the Earl's looks over the Regent's.


I believe you're 100% right! I read it wrong.

Quote:
As a side note, I think one would be hard pressed to prove that an S-curved guard is a functional improvement over a straight guard. I personally believe it's mainly a fashion thing (with which I quite agree, it is a truly elegant shape).


I disagree that it's a fashion thing.

Although swords were clearly affected by fashion/prestige/vanity to some degree, I've always found it interesting that anyone would let the functionality of something that they depended on their life for, in very extreme circumstances, to be affected at all by anything other than characteristics that would optimise it's performance.



Oh, I don't think a curved guard is "worse" functionally than a straight one. I think it doesn't make much of a difference either way. But it's obvious that fashion and aesthetics played a very noticeable role so I can very well imagine someone back in time preferring a certain aspect (like the guard) to have a certain shape (S-shaped for instance) if there was no functional draw-back from having it. That's all I'm saying Wink

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar, 2017 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In a time long, long ago I found that the Regent's pommel beat the hell out of my hand during test cutting. I tend to grip the pommel and without gloves, the fish tail just was not fun. I was not alone in this assessment.

I gave that feedback to Albion, and I know other people around parts of what was the WMA community at that time (10 perhaps 15 years ago) told them the same thing. The response from Albion was something to effect of "we'll have to see about that". Then came the Earl.

Before you write off the S-shaped guard as fashion, I'd suggest you try cutting with the Earl. Occasionally with the Regent, I'd snag my forearm with the guard. Not a big deal and certainly an issue of user error. Still, annoying. The guard on the Regent is long. On the Earl, the facets of the pommel still help with edge alignment but the S-guard neatly puts itself out of the way when you move the sword. It not a big thing or a big deal. Never the less, I did find I could do certain things more comfortably with the Earl. The pommel of the Earl was still a bit more spiky than I would have preferred, but it was sooo much easier for me to use the sword. The big trade-off to me is that the Earl is not as visually imposing.

That said, if you can't decide, just flip a coin. Seriously. Both swords are great and you're going to find things to love either way.

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Leelund K





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PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Earl with a half-wire grip looks nicer than the Regent, in my opinion. I'm not sure if you're looking for a vote, but those are my two cents.

Intuitively I would say that the s-guard would assist in some bind actions, but I haven't had the chance to train with a guard like that, so can't confirm experimentally. At a minimum, I don't see that guard being a detriment.

Just curious? Do you plan on doing much cutting practice with the sword?

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Lukas MG
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:


Before you write off the S-shaped guard as fashion, I'd suggest you try cutting with the Earl. Occasionally with the Regent, I'd snag my forearm with the guard. Not a big deal and certainly an issue of user error. Still, annoying. The guard on the Regent is long. On the Earl, the facets of the pommel still help with edge alignment but the S-guard neatly puts itself out of the way when you move the sword. It not a big thing or a big deal. Never the less, I did find I could do certain things more comfortably with the Earl. The pommel of the Earl was still a bit more spiky than I would have preferred, but it was sooo much easier for me to use the sword. The big trade-off to me is that the Earl is not as visually imposing.


Interesting that you found the S-guard less likely to snag on the forearm. I had the exact opposite experience, having to adjust a bit to avoid snagging with the S-guard. It was no big issue though. I think this is definitively one of those personal preferance things...
Funnily also, I found the Regent's pommel more comfortable than the Earl's. Without gloves anyway, didn't try them with gloves on.

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Joe Fults




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PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread may be a great example of why we see so many different sword variations. Fashion plays into it. So does personal preference. Both can and do change!
"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
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Tomas B




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PostPosted: Sat 11 Mar, 2017 7:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The major difference between the Regent and Earl is that the Earl is dead sexy. Of course your opinion may differ Cool
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T.L. Johnson





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PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar, 2017 5:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an early-design Regent from 2005 with the spiky tip, and knowing that Albion immediately changed the Regents over to the Earl's blade design soon as they introduced them makes me concerned about how much better the tapered tip is compared to the spiky one.
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