Originally Posted by Scorpio
I had exactly the same experience with the Silver Grand Prix. My friend bought a set at the same time I did, and she felt the same. At first I thought I might be hard on brushes, but my friend had had some thirty year old brushes that still looked great. My history did not go back that far, but none of my brushes disintegrated the way the Grand Prix's did.
I called Silver, and the woman that answered (obviously the owners wife) said "I've never had such a call!" As if there were never any complaints about their brushes. I was quite polite, by the way. She told me she thought "my technique was not suitable for Grand Prix."
Needless to say, no more Grand Prix for me. There was quite a discussion about a similar issue on a Portrait forum on another site. The consensus was that some manufacturers are using lesser quality bristles in their brushes than in years past.
Silver Brush is one of the finest brushes made. the women you refer to that answered the phone is the owner, Dee Silver. How many companies can you call where the owner answers the phone about 50% of the time. The Grand Prix needs to be conditioned a bit before using it. Silver also makes several fine brushes that have few equals, one is the Ruby Satin (synthetic), another is the Black Velvet for watercolor (squirrel and synthetic combination), another is Bristlon (a remarkable synthetic that is stiff like hog and you just can't kill this brush), and they have another great white hog called Silverstone that is priced a bit less than Grand Prix but performs as well in my opinion.
When alot of brush companies are farming out their production to China and India, Silver is still manufacturing in Japan and Germany where some of the finest brush factories in the world are located (Escoda in Spain, notwithstanding).
Give them another look.