High End Guitar Picks

Ajs91

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 12, 2021
Posts
85
Age
30
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The Mitten State
They are worth it if I need to give a holiday gift idea to my family or friends that don't understand guitars - because they won't judge me for the cost since they have no clue as to how expensive picks shouldn't be. ;)
 

naneek

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Posts
641
Location
PNW
I like these ones with a little alien face on them, that's pretty fancy in my opinion.
0002-1.jpg

https://www.alienpick.com/
 

loopfinding

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Posts
4,648
Location
europe endless
1. The picks people are paying a lot for are made of casein, made from dairy protein. They are not plastic, and not really high tech. You can make it in your kitchen.

2.Tortex is definitely not delrin.

3. The people who created this fancy pick market did so for the sound, not any concept of period correctness. Many serious acoustic guitar and mandolin players used/use actual tortoise shell picks, and many others have heard them. I don't know all the CITES rules, but I know they're still around, (though not for commercial sale), and they've been around.
I personally don't care what real tortoise shell sounds like, but I do like the sound of the casein pick I have, when I want it that smooth. Sometimes I prefer celluloid because I want a little click on the attack, and sometimes I don't.

4. If I'm paying $20 for a pick, I definitely don't want to specify the material, thickness, and provide a cad file. That sounds like it should be someone else's job (and it sounds too much like my actual job). But if you want that, you can probably find someone to do it, at some quantity.

well casein is a newer one on the market, but i meant moreso before that, where everything expensive was either acrylic or in the bluechip case vespel, etc. but yeah, tortex is some kind of delrin, probably a slightly different formulation, but delrin (polyoxymethylene) all the same. clayton uses the generic "acetal" name.

i think those harder plastics can definitely work well in the case of acoustic instruments, the sound of the instrument acoustically overpowers the pick noise, and everything's kind of mushed together. but on electric you get the weird thing where the string is divided and the pickup is at a fixed point, so it picks up one of two distinct tones (like a slide basically) depending on whether your hand is in front or behind. i guess some people like that. it's not really a problem with softer materials or picking exactly parallel to the string, so there's probably also a lot of people out there using the same pick, not hearing the same thing just as a factor of the way they play individually.

but yeah CAD may be an exaggeration (you can probably just pick a d'andrea number, haha) but tbh i think 20 dollars is too much for a dice roll, i'd rather specify exactly what i'm getting at that price. unfortunately a lot of people probably don't know if they think something like ultex are too harsh, they're not going to like a chickn pick or gravity pick or whatever. i think people put too much stock in price = good and leaving it up to chance rather than having a general sense of how the material is going to behave in their hands. there's cheaper alternatives one can figure out ballparks/eliminate contenders before dropping any money on something that is either made from some crazy expensive material or more of a chore to manufacture.
 

PCollen

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 7, 2010
Posts
4,122
Location
Florida
Are high end guitar picks really worth it? Daddario $23.99, Blue Chip $35, Martin Luxe $19.99 Is this the new Crypto for guitar? I thought Dunlop Jazz III were a little over priced! Wow, I must be out of the loop. I love my Jazz IIIs but that is about the most i would pay. Its not just the price though, do they actually make you play better? I doubt it, but there must be a market. Am I missing something? What say you.

Give me Fender or D'Andrea 351's...I need nothing more.
 

Recce

Poster Extraordinaire
Gold Supporter
Joined
May 3, 2016
Posts
5,169
Location
Northern Alabama
That's 3 for the V picks. Have to try em.
I will make it four. I was using the V-picks Medium Round, smaller red pick, but have switched to their Tree of Life Mandolin, lower left, or Tree of Life Guitar Pick, not pictured. I like the less round point better. I really don’t know why they are called Tree of Life Picks besides it has a tree printed on it.
I sometimes use the Blue Chip with my Martin. Blue Chip has a small wooden case I keep my Blue Chips in. I have three.
Yes, they cost more than some picks but work better. Compared to the cost of my guitars they aren’t expensive. I don’t lose them very often. I have misplaced a Blue Chip but not lost them. With V-Picks I bought them when on sale and have quite a few so I could not tell you if I have lost any.
C1C29E4F-B4DA-40F8-AC10-20F280E52519.jpeg
 

KC

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
4,873
Location
Missoula, Montana
Damn, wish I'd never read this thread, I feel like it'll cost me some money down the road. I solved my pick problem a few years ago by buying a gross (144) of black 1mm Dunlop Nylon picks after they discontinued my beloved red nylon 1mm. I think I still have 132 of them, lost and found at various spots around the house, in guitar cases, in unworn pairs of pants, in the creases of the sofa, etc. I can always find a pick and it will always be the same pick. They don't seem to wear out and they can withstand a trip through the washer and even the dryer. I honestly don't know if I have the mental wherewithal to keep track of a single pick, though I've held onto my ridiculously expensive titanium slide for several years now.
 

green_henry

Tele-Meister
Gold Supporter
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Posts
429
Location
Pleasant Hill, CA
I bought a BlueChip TD 45 and love it. It really makes a difference, which surprised me. However, I'm not sure I'd replace it if I lost it; as great as it is, the cost is prohibitive -- Dunlop PrimeTones are much better bang for the buck, in my opinion.
 




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