Is "Icarus" a Bad Word These Days?

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fadingdaylight

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Jan 8, 2013
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So, after my long break, my passion for the pipe has returned to full flame. With my birthday coming up in a few days, I decided that some fresh tobacco was in order. I skimmed around for a bit, seeing who had what in stock and decided, after a while, that P&C was my destination for this particular order. I piled my cart with a pound of ODF and some tins. A few old favorites and few off the "must try" list (reviews to come). Suddenly that little pipe smoking devil on my shoulder (PAD) began to whisper in my ear about how an order so fine deserved a fresh pipe to go along with it...
I figured, "what the hell, I haven't bought anything pipe related in over a year." So I went about scouring for a winner. I perused some of my usual brands, and some that I always dreamed about. The latter category still remained beyond my means, so I kept the search going. Eventually I stumbled onto Neptune pipes, which led to Icarus, which led to searching for reviews. Most of my initial search yeilded positive results. Stories of a group of guys trying to make high quality pipes at blue collar prices. Quotes about the artisan market getting out of control. My wallet liked the sound of it. And some of the pipes were aesthetically pleasing to me, so eventually I settled on an Icarus straight apple sandblast. A nice amber swirl stem, beautiful red brown stain (pics coming soon). It had the look of an artisan pipe, and was favorably prices at $170. I added it to the pile in my cart and headed for checkout. As I paid, I was feeling pretty good. I felt like a had found something fantastic for the money, especially after reading a few solid reviews.
And then I discovered this:

http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/i-bring-you-the-two-sides/page/1
Now I am certainly not trying to drag out a six month old argument, debate, whatever. But this kinda made my warm and fuzzy start to shiver. After reading that whole thread I can't say for sure where I stand on the discussion that was at hand, but I do not care much for trash talking competitors one way or the other. I am, however, all for making good quality products at reasonable prices. I love so many pipes I can't afford. But this one stuck me as being just as aesthetically pleasing as some of the artisan pipes I have seen without making me cry at the checkout counter. I will do a full review of it once it arrives, of course.
My question, I suppose, is whether anyone has actually tried one of these pipes, and if so, what did you think about it? And for those that haven't tried one, would you if they are truly great pipes at great prices? Again, not trying to discuss business morality, or argue points about people or marketing. I am personally leaning towards the standpoint of I could care less if the guy talked trash, if he can back it up I will try it. I'm just wondering how many of you would put those opinions to the side if the product checks out.

 

mrenglish

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Dec 25, 2010
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I own six, one Dublin and five apples. Plus one Neptune Stubby Dublin. There are only three pipes that I am adding to the stable these days and one is Icarus. No complaints aside they tend to take a couple bowls before the tobacco really starts to shine. All have been engineered quite well, nice open draw and light weight. Wasn't a fan of the colored stems but they have grown on me. Even the bright yellow tends to darken after a bit.
I didn't get involved in the trash talk but do feel they have accomplished their goal of an affordable, well executed pipe.

 

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jkrug

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Jan 23, 2015
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Buy with confidence and enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling when your new Icarus pipe arrives. :puffy:

 

lordofthepiperings

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May 3, 2010
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Briarworks pipes are the best engineered pipes you can buy for their price point. You won't find any factory pipe that pays as much attention to detail as Briarworks for the price range.
My Icarus Volcano is my best smoking pipe. The draw on it is perfect and it clenches very well because of the thinner bit. It's extremely well balanced and light weight.

 

peckinpahhombre

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Dec 24, 2012
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I have heard they are great. That was an epic thread by the way. We need another one of those.

 

tennsmoker

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Jul 2, 2010
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Fading: I have an Icarus billiard. It is truly engineered well, holes drilled to perfection and it smokes better than some of my so-called high-end pipes. Todd and Pete and Rita (she runs the office) are great to deal with and my pipe just plain smokes.
Give it a bowl or three and then see.

 

frozenchurchwarden

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Mar 1, 2014
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http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/icarus-bent-egg-first-impressions
I have nothing but good to say about Briarworks...

If you like their style.

My main complaint basically still stands today. Briarworks still doesn't make a pipe over 6" long (besides the $200+ Cavalier Churchwardens that have even smaller bowls than anything else they make).

And every single pipe they make has a skinny bowl.

Smokingpipes basically commissioned the production of a really nice Lovat shape pipe in the Neptune line, which as far as I can tell is the only pipe they make with a bowl wider than 20mm. Those look fantastic.

Now we need one around the $100 price point instead of $200 (My Icarus Egg was $110).
I really shouldn't be too hard on them since they are achieving things that people probably would have laughed at the suggestion of with the Briarworks Classic line.

Do check those out. I'm going to have a bunch of those some day.

http://www.smokingpipes.com/pipes/new/Briarworks-Classic/index.cfm

 

frozenchurchwarden

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Mar 1, 2014
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After writing a long winded complaint about personal preferences, I should probably re-iterate that my Icarus Bent Egg is the only pipe I own that I am entirely satisfied with and I have made absolutely zero modifications to.
My second Ashton still had a tiny bit of airflow restriction at the button, and while the Savinelli 320 (Trevi, Acrylic stem) was "technically" good enough out of the box, the drilling of the button on my Icarus was entirely superior.

And you're probably not going to find another pipe for less than $400 that has a Teflon tenon.

 

fadingdaylight

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Jan 8, 2013
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Thanks guys. I am looking forward to it, one way or the other. I plan on giving a full report once it arrives and I get a few bowls through it.
Peck- I wish I hadn't missed it. Reminded me a little of the derailed starcat thread, that one was fun.

 

fadingdaylight

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Jan 8, 2013
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Here is one of the pics from P&C:



 

sablebrush52

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Jun 15, 2013
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Oh, THAT thread. I remember that thread, the one where some ambulance chaser from Florida, with a taste for relentless accusation and high self regard, created quite a sensation before getting banned here when he went ballistic on another thread.
You care what THAT guy thinks? Why?
On the other hand, I'm grateful for the fool, because I felt impelled to read the actual PMF thread that was alluded to at the beginning. Read that one. A lot of top makers agree with Johnson. And I'm also grateful because, after having read Scottie Piersel's contributions to the PMF thread I decided to commission a pipe from her and am damned glad that I did. I now own 3 Piersels and plan on getting more.
But, that ambulance chaser from Florida? You care what he thinks? Really?

 

fadingdaylight

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Jan 8, 2013
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Certainly not Jesse, in the end my standpoint is one of indifference. I like the look and the price. I like the idea that quality can be attained at below four hundred bucks. I even like the idea of a company that set out to prove that there was more to a good pipe than who made it and how. Really and truly, I was trying to guage whether the word "Icarus" was as taboo as the word "Starcat" these days, being that I have been away so long. And get some feedback from people who have them. I think I will be quite pleased with my new pipe, honestly.
Glad to know your still shooting straight though, I appreciate that.

 

cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
25,963
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Helena, Alabama
Ambulance chaser?
Hey, if you don't think they're ugly, fat stemmed, stubby looking things, I am certain that they smoke well. :wink:

I don't care for the looks, but I am one picky cracker.
Yeh, that thread comes up again and again at the Briary. Todd bashing has actually become kind of tiresome. But, I wouldn't let any of that deter you if you like the pipe. Me, I might actually buy one despite the fact that they come from someone who I have no respect for. But, I am just not attracted to them. Everyone else? Well... there's no accounting for taste :puffy:

 

fadingdaylight

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Jan 8, 2013
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Ah, I was wondering when you would chime in Cosmic. The one ordered doesn't seem to be to stubby or fat stemmed to me, but to be fair, I have a Chubby Jacket (Rattray's) that I love. I did see some shapes, more on the Briarworks line, that I wasn'the very fond of, but this one here was calling my name.

 

mso489

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Feb 21, 2013
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I don't know much/anything about Icarus pipes, but this is an interesting thread anyway. It sounds like you'll do okay with the pipe.

 
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