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Michael F.




Location: Vermont
Joined: 27 Mar 2005
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2005 4:24 pm    Post subject: Generation 2 swords reviewed         Reply with quote

Armsofvalor.com is a site that sells many lower-end quality swords like Windlass, Valiant Armoury, and Generation 2 swords. I noticed they had posted these reviews of some Generation 2 swords. I thought some people might be interested in reading them....

http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/excalibur-swords.html The "Excalibur" review

http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/medieval-swords.html A few other swords including a wide-bladed Black Prince

http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/ancient-swords.html A "Gladius" with a fuller that is 3 Lbs ?

...I would really love to see this Reviewer's face if he would to handle an Albion or something from A&A.

"Tis but a scratch.....A scratch? your arm's off!"-- Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
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Kenneth Enroth




Location: Finland
Joined: 04 Dec 2003

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The site focuses on the cheaper "beater" swords. I saw a link to a retailer of Albion there somewhere.
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
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Reading list: 28 books

Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 7:03 am    Post subject: Re: Generation 2 swords reviewed         Reply with quote

Michael F. wrote:
Armsofvalor.com is a site that sells many lower-end quality swords like Windlass, Valiant Armoury, and Generation 2 swords. I noticed they had posted these reviews of some Generation 2 swords. I thought some people might be interested in reading them....
Very entertaining, but I think I will pass on the 5lb. hand-and-a-half Brass Excalibur. Since I live in Florida, I really don't need to chop much firewood.

Michael F. wrote:
...I would really love to see this Reviewer's face if he would to handle an Albion or something from A&A.
Maybe he has, but business is business.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Generation 2 swords reviewed         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
Maybe he has, but business is business.

That about sums it up to me, too.

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Jonathan Blair




Location: Hanover, PA
Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 480

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2005 11:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

After reading through his site, I think I'll stick to myArmoury for sword reviews. As I read through his work, all that went through my head was Steve Urwin's voice declaring his affection for Generation 2 swords. Laughing Out Loud
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 1:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've communicated with Paul, the owner of that site, via email many times, and I've even written a couple of reviews (Shrewsbury and Dadao) for the site. Paul is very up front about the purpose of his site: to provide some basic guidelines and reviews in order to help folks who can't afford or don't want to spend the cash for higher end swords, but want something they can actually use for backyard cutting, etc. In talking with Paul, he said simply that he found reviews of lower priced but still functional swords sorely lacking on the internet, and he wanted to change that. What's wrong with that? Happy
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 3:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
In talking with Paul, he said simply that he found reviews of lower priced but still functional swords sorely lacking on the internet, and he wanted to change that. What's wrong with that? Happy


I agree 100% completely.

I had a hard time figuring out where he was coming from in terms of who he's targeting. he's not really placing any of the things in their associate context. In other words, for swords that are historically-inspired, I didn't get the feeling that enough of that was discussed or contrasted with the sword. There's some of it, but it's not really complete. I didn't get a lot of discussion about the historical pieces that these things are supposed to replicate, which would make it difficult to determine if it was the right product for me or not. Everything is about context and price point: a $500 sword isn't the same as a $200 sword. But I'd still like to know how well each compares to the thing they're trying to replicate and then I'd like all that summed up at the end based on price point. Did it do a good job at the price point or not? I didn't get those answers. I got the answers of, "It didn't break when I hit stuff" and "It looks nice".

For pieces that are not historically-inspired, I was left with a "this is cool" kind of thing. I didn't find that too compelling and wanted more.

But I am not the target audience. And, with that understood, I can say it's a nicely done site. Maybe I should add him to our list of links and refer people there when I get asked about low-priced replicas? I'd have to read the site more to really make that choice, i guess.

Is he affiliated with any vendor or maker?

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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,838

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 11:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Other than the reviews and link exchanges, I don't think Paul is attached to a specific maker or vendor. He was recently fielding a question about popular vendors, presumably to put on his site.

I think the largest stumbling block for many Asian and Pacific forges is that they are simply not that familiar with European swords. They can approximate a given profile but the dynamics aren't there.

The Generation 2 Black Prince is an example of that. Near a pound heavier than the A&A example, I'm hard pressed to find where all that extra weight is.

I posted a pic for Paul, elsewhere, of the A&A BP and GBS side by side; mentioning that the Gen2 BP weight was closer to that of a much larger sword. Paul's reply was that "Gee, that GBS looks like a monster" and that the price difference was the biggest factor.

The Gen2 fittings are chunkier, the profile looks a bit wider but their ad copy calls it historic. Unfortunately, that is a term that draws sales at the lower price point.

Windlass is a company that seems flexible enough to at least nod to the reality of what these swords were like and probably still offers the largest variety at what could be considered the bottom step of bang for the buck. There are even the occasional hidden gems.

Gen2 sprouted new patterns from their history of "steel on steel"
swords as seen early on at www.imperialweapons.com They may bear watching but right now they still seem to be off the mark.

For an entertaining take on sword testing take a look at a thread often posted at Netsword by Bill Tsafa. He is quite fond of lower cost durable swords.

Cheers

GC
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Other than the reviews and link exchanges, I don't think Paul is attached to a specific maker or vendor. He was recently fielding a question about popular vendors, presumably to put on his site.


Well, he's got a deal going now with Arms of Valor where you get 5% off your purchase if you mention his site. This wasn't the case back when I wrote my reviews, and, not having talked with him recently, I'm not sure how this came about or whether other such affiliations are in the works. That aside, Nathan hit the nail on the head when he mentioned context. The context of Paul's site is, "Can I get a fairly attractive and durable sword at a low price point?" rather than "How well does this sword compare to an historical example of the same type?" Within that context, I think his site will be a real boon to folks who are casually interested in swords, but who aren't as concerned with historical accuracy or handling characteristics. That's all I was trying to point out in my previous post.
Happy
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Steve Grisetti




Location: Orlando metro area, Florida, USA
Joined: 01 Mar 2004
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Posts: 1,809

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Other than the reviews and link exchanges, I don't think Paul is attached to a specific maker or vendor. He was recently fielding a question about popular vendors, presumably to put on his site.

Well, he's got a deal going now with Arms of Valor where you get 5% off your purchase if you mention his site....
That arrangement is why I made my "...business is business" remark, earlier in this thread. The references to Arms of Valor gave me the impression (rightly or wrongly) that the reviews might be somewhat less than objective.
"...dismount thy tuck, be yare in thy preparation, for thy assailant is quick, skilful, and deadly."
- Sir Toby Belch
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,838

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2005 4:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While he may advocate Arms of Valour as his vendor of choice, they are a reseller not a manufacturer. I really don't see the discount any different than what several makers have offered participants at several fora or a 15% loss leader discount e-mail from Museum Replicas. If he manages to get freebies out of it, or a deeper discount, more power to him.

The reviews could be a little less subjective and more informative but I really feel he does it out of benevolence.

The whole budget katana craze movement is a lot more exasperating. "Well, here's a real katana for $45.00. What do you all think?" "Here's a kit for $35, it looks pretty good" "you know, I bought one oif those $100 swords and it's barely worth that" "Gee, the swords I'm selling for $170 really might not be any good for serious buyers"

;)

Cheers

GC
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Paul Southren




Location: Adelaide
Joined: 20 Nov 2005

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 1:34 am    Post subject: The only thing worse than being talked about...         Reply with quote

Since my site is being discussed here I thought it appropriate that I pop in and give my $0.02

I think Scotts post pretty much hit the nail on the head as to where I am coming from.

Quote:
The context of Paul's site is, "Can I get a fairly attractive and durable sword at a low price point?" rather than "How well does this sword compare to an historical example of the same type?"

While I agree that my reviews may be too enthusiastic and subjective, to a large degree that's just who I am, crocodile hunter of Gen 2 swords or not. Wink

I'll also be the first to admit that in many ways I consider myself to be truly quite ignorant about swords, especially when compared to the likes of the folk who frequent this and other forums. But I believe that I at least know enough to steer people away from wall hangers and towards at least a basically functional sword that is great for a beginner to at least get some idea of what a REAL sword looks and handles like without having to spend too much money. And as I learn more myself, I incorporate it into my site.

I like to believe that there is room for everyone in this great hobby of ours - from collecting wall hangers to beaters, from beaters to performance swords, from performance swords to custom jobs, and from custom jobs to antiques.

In my case, its clear that my site focuses on the beater spectrum (which is otherwise more or less a vacuum) and (hopefully) points also towards sources of information on the higher level performance blades accordingly (of which there is quite a bit of info, ie - this site)

As to my affiliation with vendors, yes - I do receive a discount for promoting the website where I have bought my beaters from (AoV). But I bought quite a few swords from these guys before they even knew I was building a website and can confidently say that my visitors are getting a good deal with the discount.

This is something I will continue to do in the future, as I have already spent what is to me is a very large sum of money buying swords, shipping them to Australia from the USA, giving away Gift Vouchers for visitors reviews (whether good or bad, I just want their honest evaluation), website hosting, etc and without such deals - it is simply impossible for me to continue to do what I am trying to achieve...

(If what I am doing is a business, I can assure you that it is most definitely a "No Profit" business!!)

The only caveat is that I will simply not promote any vendor or product that I do not personally believe in. Fullstop.

I'd also like to honestly thank you guys for your evaluation of my site and made it clear to me in which areas I am lacking. I think that I should strive to be more subjective and provide more info - for a while now I've been meaning to add to the bottom of each of my reviews the "Vital Statistics" of the swords in my collection, including weight measurements, length, POB, COP, construction materials, etc.

But, hey, at the end of the day - I'll still be me. And I can't help getting excited by an affordable sword that I can have a little fun with... Big Grin

Anyway, I am glad I dropped by and thank you all for your understanding. Happy

Paul Southren
www.sword-buyers-guide.com
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Anton de Vries





Joined: 19 Nov 2004
Likes: 3 pages

Posts: 265

PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 2:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like the 'unofficial halfling sword' which is unfortunately no longer in production if my info is correct. Booh.
The 'gladius' is very appealing too and I may buy one as my faux katana broke down.
I'd replace the 'roman' furniture with something more modern looking (i.e. medieval) though.
I use 'weapons' like that as gardening tools and boy do I have fun with them. Trees, bushes and vines are thouroughly evil and the only thing between them and world domination is ME! Laughing Out Loud

Someone told me that Generation 2 also makes cheap not very good looking katana's that actually perform very well, and have right(ish) weight, balance and differential temper.
I look forward to a review as I might be persuaded to buy one. (Are you reading this Mr. Southren?)
I don't like the PPK. I'm not sure why except that they feel wrong. So that one's not an option.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 2:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Grisetti wrote:
G. Scott H. wrote:
Glen A Cleeton wrote:
Other than the reviews and link exchanges, I don't think Paul is attached to a specific maker or vendor. He was recently fielding a question about popular vendors, presumably to put on his site.

Well, he's got a deal going now with Arms of Valor where you get 5% off your purchase if you mention his site....
That arrangement is why I made my "...business is business" remark, earlier in this thread. The references to Arms of Valor gave me the impression (rightly or wrongly) that the reviews might be somewhat less than objective.


I don't see this as an indication of association at all. I think it's pretty sweet that he lined up a discount referral rate. Such things aren't necessarily indicators of any alliance. They generally benefit both parties as well as the end-user. So it's a win-win-win situation.

The reason I wasn't sure of an affiliation was the ads and "where to buy" links that are so visible on the site. Again, while this isn't really an indication of affiliation, it left me wondering. This is the same problem we at myArmoury.com face. It's the same problem Sword Forum International faces. (In the case of SFI, they are affiliated with makers/vendors, but that's another issue). Affiliation or not, it's not necessarily an indication of bias, either. It's complicated, I guess.

Trust me when I say that presenting information and formatting a site is a difficult thing when you're trying to let everyone know where you're coming from. It's a big challenge to make that message clear.

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 2:36 am    Post subject: Re: The only thing worse than being talked about...         Reply with quote

Paul Southren wrote:
I like to believe that there is room for everyone in this great hobby of ours - from collecting wall hangers to beaters, from beaters to performance swords, from performance swords to custom jobs, and from custom jobs to antiques.


Hey Paul-

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it. I'd like emphasize the above quote that you posted. This is an excellent point and one that I truly have tried to encourage here. For ourselves, we try very hard to put everything in context. Our own reviews tend to examine pieces based on historical parameters when they're historically-based items, but they must always, always, grade this stuff on a curve based on price point. Everything relates to price point. If I buy a $200 sword and it's worth more than I paid, it's a good sword. If I buy a $1,000 sword and it's no better than my $200 sword, I ceratinly got ripped off. Happy

Feel welcome to stick around. Maybe you can help bring some of the audience you're catering to over here. We haven't been all that sucessful at focusing on it. I have a couple low-priced item reviews coming up, more that have already been published, and some others that we're discussing. But all this ia drop in the bucket compared to what you've already got going on.

Cheers.

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Paul Southren




Location: Adelaide
Joined: 20 Nov 2005

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 3:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Nathan, you are a gentleman.

I truly appreciate your invitation and am glad that this thread prompted me to sign up. Happy

Like I said, I am not ashamed at all to admit that my knowledge of swords is far from complete, and would be honored to bring as many of my visitors here as will come (I will certainly be pointing them in this direction!)

Thanks again and well met!

Paul

P.S. Anton - I am glad that I have an ally in the never ending war against shrubbery... Evil
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G. Scott H.




Location: Arizona, USA
Joined: 22 Feb 2005

Posts: 410

PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, Paul, good to see you here. Happy I was going to contact you today from work to see if you wanted to chime in on this issue, but you beat me to it. In any case, I'm glad you concurred with my description of your site's general purpose and goals, as I could only give my second hand impressions based upon our communications.

Nathan, I wasn't implying any bias on Paul's part by mentioning his deal with Arms of Valor, but simply answering your question as to whether he had any connection to any maker or vendor, and I hope I didn't give the impression of such an implication. Eek! Happy
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Patrick Kelly




Location: Wichita, Kansas
Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Spotlight topics: 2
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Paul and welcome to myArmoury.

We've tried very hard not to alienate any segment of our community. Many people can only afford swords of the type you've reviewed, while others don't have the need or desire to purchase anything else. Both of these viewpoints are perfectly valid. We need more information like this on-line so I applaud your efforts. Any criticisms to be made only concern ways in which you can better convey the information to your audience.

Welcome.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Paul Southren




Location: Adelaide
Joined: 20 Nov 2005

Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Patrick. I have definetly taken the constructive criticism comments posted here on board and my site can only improve as a result. I hope that if I do not know something and cannot find it in my continuing research that I can come here and ask my question because yeah - my historical knowledge of swords is limited to general information only and there are times that it is very hard to get specific information.

So thanks again for the warm welcome everyone. I'll see you all around the forums Happy

P.S. Hey there Scott! Happy Nice to see you around mate! Been meaning to say G'day, I'll drop you a line sometime soon. Cheers, Paul.
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Bob Burns




Location: South Indianapolis IN
Joined: 09 Sep 2005
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 112 books

Posts: 1,019

PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

G. Scott H. wrote:
I've communicated with Paul, the owner of that site, via email many times, and I've even written a couple of reviews (Shrewsbury and Dadao) for the site. Paul is very up front about the purpose of his site: to provide some basic guidelines and reviews in order to help folks who can't afford or don't want to spend the cash for higher end swords, but want something they can actually use for backyard cutting, etc. In talking with Paul, he said simply that he found reviews of lower priced but still functional swords sorely lacking on the internet, and he wanted to change that. What's wrong with that? Happy



I totally agree with you and he has done a very fine job of it too, there are many people who just cannot affor an Albion or an Arms & Armor, and we who can, should be grateful. He is also helping the beginner to avoid being ripped off, which I admire him for doing this. These are fine moderate level swords, they are Chevys, Fords etc. Arms & Armor and Albion are Mercedes and BMWs. Personally, I am very grateful to be able to afford my Mercedes Swords!

Happy Collecting

Bob
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