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donjgiles

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2018
879
67
How can a new, $60.00 Stanwell smoke better than a broken-in $160.00 Castello? I don't know, but it does. Lesson learned.

Don

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,027
159
Not every $60 Stanwell is average. Not every Castello is a champ. Most of the Castellos I have owned smoked superbly. But there have been some dogs. There's only so much the carver can do in terms of examining the briar for quality and smoking qualities. The better question would be, if you had 25 $60 Stanwells and 25 Castellos and rated the top 25 out of the 50 of them combined, what would it look like? I'd be willing to bet 20 or more would be named Castello.

 

donjgiles

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2018
879
67
I recently purchased 2 pipes, a new Stanwell made in Italy and an estate Castello Trademark. First bowl in the Stanwell, Lane Ltd. RR, boring old burly. First bowl in Castello, quartered chunks of PS Luxury Bullseye Flake. The smoke in the Castello was empty, hollow, thin. The smoke in the Stanwell is delightful, cool, flavorful. Could it be that the virgin bowl is untainted and I just need to run a few more bowls through the presmoked C?

 

donjgiles

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2018
879
67
I'd love to have 25 Castellos, I am not on that level. I think I am expecting too much too quickly. I will work with the pipe a bit. Most likely,it is me.

 

pianopuffer

Senior Member
Jul 3, 2017
464
25
NYC
What are the specs on said pipes?
I know from experience that some wider chambered bowls do poorly with certain blends compared to their smaller counterparts. To me, they can taste airy and sort of blah. Lots of factors here, give us the details!

 

donjgiles

Preferred Member
Apr 14, 2018
879
67
Castello smooth finish, clarinet stem
Pipe length x bowl height 5.32" x 2.08"

Chamber depth x diameter 1.55" x 0.75" Weight 1.8 oz (51 g)
Stanwell Vario 113 blast finish with patch of smooth briar
Weight: 1.40 oz. - 39.82 g.

Length: 5.61 in - 142.45 mm

Bowl Height: 1.86 in - 47.25 mm

Chamber Diameter: .69 in - 17.59 mm

Chamber Depth: 1.62 in - 41.18 mm

 

sablebrush52

Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
9,714
367
It would be a comparison if the same tobacco had been smoked in both pipes. PS LBF is a favorite of mine, but only after it's had 4 or more years of aging. Fresh it tastes like cardboard. Also there's the matter of prep. PS LBF does better when it's smoked quite dry.
Occasionally you find an inexpensive pipe that smokes really well, but don't make a generalization out of it. Some of the best makers produce duds, rarely, but it happens. Some of the more modestly priced makers produce a really exceptional pipe, above their average. Also, there are a variety of factors that go into the pricing of a pipe.
Try smoking the same blend, repeatedly, in both pipes. That will at least give you a baseline for a comparison.
All of my pipes perform well, and they come from a variety of makers and at a variety of prices. In the end, it's more about technique than pipe.

 

jpmcwjr

Preferred Member
May 12, 2015
13,883
811
Monterey Peninsula
Sorry to say, but there is no lesson there as to quality of Stanwell v Costello, nor old v new. Way too many variables, and no scientific basis for comparison; way too small a sample.
The lesson might be: Mileage varies! It might be the estate pipe is ghosted. It might be....

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,277
55
As much as I love Stanwell pipes, especially the real ones, what you have here, sir, is a cast iron lawn dog. It doesn't bark jump or take a dump. It's an apples and pomello fruit comparison. nail down the controllable variables a bit more and take another run at it.

 

sasquatch

Preferred Member
Jul 16, 2012
979
23
I mean, of course the answer could just be that you got a great stanwell and the Castello is mediocre for some reason. Or that you find it so where someone else might find it transcendental.
One thing strikes me - if the Castello was retort cleaned... the pipes I have had that were retorted were indeed hollow or thin, just kind of devoid of goodness. Get some cake in there and report back.

 

hoosierpipeguy

Preferred Member
Jan 28, 2018
2,027
159
I didn't realize you made that judgment after one bowl in each. That's kind of like flipping a coin and if it comes up heads deciding heads will always be the result when flipping a coin. If it wasn't done already, ream the cake out of the Castello real good, clean it up and smoke 10 to 20 bowls of the same blend in each. Then you at least have a reasonable comparison.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
14,562
751
Chicago, IL
It could be that the reason the Castello was on the estate market was because it is a dud.
I think sasquatch is onto something with the suggestion that a retort (or an aggressive alcohol cleaning) could leach out any seasoning that a used pipe may have acquired.

 

eggrollpiper

Senior Member
Jul 27, 2018
369
3
I'm off estates for the time being. I enjoy working on stuff but tired of inheriting other people's problems. It's always a gamble with estates, sometimes you win big and sometimes you go home with an empty wallet. More often the latter I think..

 

chasingembers

Preferred Member
Nov 12, 2014
15,954
805
You develop an eye for estates. After a while you can spot a lemon. Also avoid sellers with blurry pics and no return policies

 

seldom

Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2018
777
162
Germany
I picked up a Stanwell Relief 234 shape of ebay as an estate for cheap. It arrived in the sock and inspection revealed that it had clearly never been smoked. Score! I've been very happy with the quality of this pipe. In fact it is the one in use on my avatar photo. Not a big sample size but I can say that this Italian made (designed in Denmark) Stanwell is a favorite and smoked very well from the first bowl.