I had the Jail Bird off for a bit last night so I could take pictures of it (alone and compared to the Steelheart) when I noticed something I hadn’t before. The cage is not aligned with the ring.
Most of the irritation I’ve been feeling has been on the right side, but that wasn’t unusual for me. Because my right testicle hangs higher than my left, that’s usually the side where I’ll feel that kind of thing (it was especially evident in the CB6K). But now I see that my normal tendency has been exacerbated by there being less room on the right side. The alignment of the holes both on the A-ring post and the device give it a bias to the right side when the screw’s in place. I will definitely be sending it back to Mature Metal to try to have that addressed.
The problem is, other issues aside, I really like the smaller cage. A lot. So much so, that I will definitely be ordering a new tube for the Steelheart. Honestly, I don’t want to go back to wearing the larger device. I’m stuck between a tube that’s bigger than it needs to be (but that I’ve been wearing conformably for a year) and a device that feels much better sized but that’s way more uncomfortable in other ways.
In general, I’ve found the Jail Bird to be much more obviously a hand-crafted object. That’s not a bad thing, but you can really see its maker reflected in the device. The Steelheart, while also obviously being hand-made, seems more precise somehow. It’d be easy to say this is due to it being German, but it’s more than that. The look of the Jail Bird is more “crafty” while the Steelheart comes off as more machined. Neither condition is necessarily better than the other, but it seems that issues like the unfinished nature of the A-ring and the misalignment of the tube are what you might expect in a device like the Jail Bird. Were these issues not present, I’d say the Jail Bird has a certain warmth and charm that many might appreciate.
All that being as it may, I’m left deciding between putting the big tube back on and sending the JB back or leaving the JB on and sending the SH back (and spending about $300 on a new tube and PA fixing).