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Thread: Red Bear picks

  1. #1

    Default Red Bear picks

    NFI.

    I see Red Bear has a new batch of picks going on sale 11/24. Folks have mentioned that they can be a bit challenging to get, so ...........
    Play it like you mean it.

  2. #2
    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    No thank you. A bit challenging is a bit of a understatement. Their way of selling a product is ridiculous.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    how does red bear compare to blue chip.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    No thank you. A bit challenging is a bit of a understatement. Their way of selling a product is ridiculous.
    Well, they make them in batches and sellout quickly, so it seems to work for them. Sort of like the bakery that sells out of the donuts you want. Got to get there early.

    As far as blue chip comparison, the same thickness in red bear is stiffer and a bit clickier than a blue chip (blue chip 60 v red bear medium). Similar thickness primetone not quite as slippery as a blue chip. Your technique may vary.

    Again nfi for either product.
    Play it like you mean it.

  5. #5
    Registered User wildpikr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    how does red bear compare to blue chip.
    The Red Bear gets soft and bends/deforms if your hands sweat or it gets a little warm. I never had that happen with the Blue Chip. YMMV
    Mike

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  6. #6
    Registered User Kalasinar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    I agree that it is difficult to order precisely what you want from Red Bear. If you really want one then it's a case of checking in on their site every now and then until one of their stock announcements includes what you want. The best to go for are the Picker's Choice sales. Whatever they put up for sale they give a time and date for, so I treat it a bit like an eBay listing and make a reminder on my phone.

    That said, I've only acquired two Red Bears. One I've had a year now and it's still going strong apart from the logo starting to fade. I recently decided to get another the same but bigger due to liking it so much. I was only on the hunt for another one for a few weeks before the Picker's Choice in heavy gauge was announced. Lucky there I guess - could've been waiting longer, though I wasn't in any rush.

    They are good picks, I find they give a warm solid tone with less pick noise than my Blue Chip. YMMV. Doesn't beat my Gravity Gold Tripp for volume and tone though (I rotate between picks depending on the sound I'm after). One thing I will say is that Hawk picks are very very similar, so could be worth some consideration if Red Bear availability drives you bonkers.

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  7. #7
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Quote Originally Posted by wildpikr View Post
    The Red Bear gets soft and bends/deforms if your hands sweat or it gets a little warm. I never had that happen with the Blue Chip. YMMV
    Yep, the one Red Bear I tried a few years ago did that. It developed just the slightest curve, enough to feel under my fingers and it was annoying. You don't want to set a flatpick down on a table and see it rocking, ever so slightly.

    I believe the term is "hydrophilic," they absorb moisture and may deform like this. I gave it to a friend to experiment with. I've been using Blue Chips every since.

  8. #8
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Yes, Red Bear can deform. Also can just snap. Had that happen to one of mine. And they do seem to change after a number of years. My oldest has become slightly rough on the surface.

    In comparison to BC, I find the Red Bear has a bit more click and some more pick noise. For me, it also has a slightly warmer sound on the mandolin.

    FWIW, I've purchased some Charmed Life picks and they are the same formula. Maybe not the nth degree of polishing the Red Bear has, but very close. Good enough for my use anyway.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    how does red bear compare to blue chip.
    I own BC and RB. The red bear is about my 10th favorite option for picks. My top two are BC and Wegen. After that, I'd prefer a $0.25 plastic pick over RB. I have a TAD 50 BC, my RB is similar shape and thickness, but I feel like it's difficult to get good tone with the RB.

  10. #10
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Quote Originally Posted by mandolin tony View Post
    how does red bear compare to blue chip.
    As posters have stated, and I've also found, RBs: have more pick-click/noise, their shapes can change over time, and they will break if you're not careful. If you leave it in a pocket and it goes through the wash, forget it. I've broken with my bare fingers before.

    The BCs suffer from none of those defects.
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    There has been a recent thread where we're discussing Fender Tru-shell picks. They are made from casein, the same stuff used to make Red Bear picks as far as I can tell.

    Has anyone compared Red Bear picks with Tru-shell? The Tru-shell picks are much cheaper, about $6. I recently received a medium (1mm) and an extra heavy (1.5 mm) Fender Tru-shell. The medium is a little too bright and clicky and I don't like the way it feels (I prefer a thicker pick than 1 mm - personal preference). I needed to put a speed bevel on the extra heavy Tru-shell, and after I did that it sounds very similar to a Blue Chip CT-55 and a Wegen TF 140. I'd say the Tru-shell is a bit brighter and a littler clickier than the BC and the Wegen, but I may like the tone a bit better, especially for jams as the Tru-shell seems a bit louder.

    The thing I don't like about Tru-shell, and I don't know how the Red Bear picks would be in comparison, is that they felt more slippery in my hand. I love the way Blue Chip picks stay in place. They really stick to my fingers. Not so much with the Tru-shell. I'm not sure if the same could be said about the Red Bear.

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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Red Bear (and Bluechip) was a $5 experiment for me. I bought one, used it for a few minutes, shrugged, and sold it a couple hours later at a $5 loss via the Classifieds. Can’t beat a deal like that. Try one. It’ll only cost you $5.
    ...

  14. #13
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    I use the Red Bear Heavy SB and I have loved them for a bunch of years. For tone they slightly beat out the Blue Chip, in my opinion, but you know it could go either way I think depending on what I am looking for. When playing alone at home, or solo in an intimate venue, the Red Bear are my go to pick.

    I have never had a Red Bear wear out, deform, absorb water, snap in half, or even get lost. I did lend one out years ago that never came back.

    I have heard that if you soak one in water you can then snap it in half. So, don't soak it in water and don't snap it in half. I hear that soaking in water is not good for the mandolin either.
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  15. #14
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    The one Red Bear pick that broke was in a keychain pick holder. Probably was pressed against a key too long. It was also old. As in before they put logos on the picks, and this was 3 or 4 years ago. Really, have only picked up one Red Bear since they went to the limited release system on their website.
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  16. #15
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    I had two Red Bears, and recently traded one for another BlueChip. I can't say I dislike them, but I haven't found one yet that grabbed me like when I first tried a TAD60.

  17. #16
    Registered User Doug Freeman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    I've had one or two used Red Bears, and bought two new ones and sold them. I like them a lot, but you cannot get any precision in thickness. Their light, medium, and heavy thicknesses all vary enough within each category that there's just no way to know what you're getting. I did also notice on one of them that it started delaminating on the border of where one color changed into another—as if the changes in color represent seams in the material. Weird.

    My new favorite is the ivoroid/celluloid Folkway Music triangular "XXH" pick! Possibly a smidgin less sonic heft than the equivalent Blue Chip (55/1.4mm), but very sweet, forgiving, and musical! They're much more substantial sounding than the Gilchrist ivoroid pick—not the same deal at all. They don't have speed bevels, but rather a slight bevel around the entire perimeter. I've turned three mando buddies onto them and they'll all like them too, maybe not as a replacement for their Blue Chips but a nice alternative. Best thing is...they're THREE FOR FIVE BUCKS!

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  19. #17
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    i guess i've been playing thermoplastics recently:

    - Gravity Gold (cheaper from Sweetwater than from Gravity's site but i always get a few extra cheap picks from Gravity vs a bag of candy from Sweetwater)

    - and these which i can't find for sale anywhere anymore: http://www.happyturtlepick.de/?p=96
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  20. #18
    Registered User MontanaMatt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Freeman View Post
    I've had one or two used Red Bears, and bought two new ones and sold them. I like them a lot, but you cannot get any precision in thickness. Their light, medium, and heavy thicknesses all vary enough within each category that there's just no way to know what you're getting. I did also notice on one of them that it started delaminating on the border of where one color changed into another—as if the changes in color represent seams in the material. Weird.

    My new favorite is the ivoroid/celluloid Folkway Music triangular "XXH" pick! Possibly a smidgin less sonic heft than the equivalent Blue Chip (55/1.4mm), but very sweet, forgiving, and musical! They're much more substantial sounding than the Gilchrist ivoroid pick—not the same deal at all. They don't have speed bevels, but rather a slight bevel around the entire perimeter. I've turned three mando buddies onto them and they'll all like them too, maybe not as a replacement for their Blue Chips but a nice alternative. Best thing is...they're THREE FOR FIVE BUCKS!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I tried to order, they said $20 min to ship to the us....anyone in the us want to order some with me to hit the minimum order amount? Even shipping split...p.m. Me
    Last edited by MontanaMatt; Nov-25-2017 at 12:52am.
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  21. #19
    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Red Bear makes great picks. I’ve had an E HVY for a LONG time, and a C XHVY and a TT HVY for several years. They get used on a “once in a while” basis. Sometimes my ears just want to hear something different. They sound great, but they don’t have that perfect Blue Chip bevel.

    I have TAD picks in 80 and 100. The thickness of them makes for a really wide bevel. I think that’s what gives me the dark, thick, loud, resonant sound I like. The RB E HVY is real similar but too round and the C and TT a bit too sharp, but close.

    Postscript; Thick does not necessarily interfere with rapid, clean picking.
    Last edited by Mike Snyder; Nov-25-2017 at 2:15am.
    Mike Snyder

  22. #20
    Registered User Kevin K's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Which Gravity Gold model do you like?



    Quote Originally Posted by gtani7 View Post
    i guess i've been playing thermoplastics recently:

    - Gravity Gold (cheaper from Sweetwater than from Gravity's site but i always get a few extra cheap picks from Gravity vs a bag of candy from Sweetwater)

    - and these which i can't find for sale anywhere anymore: http://www.happyturtlepick.de/?p=96
    "Can I have a little more talent in the monitors please?"

  23. #21
    Registered User MsRutaRutabaga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Just an fyi (and no affiliation)...Red Bear has made medium gauge picks available this afternoon in pearly grape and turtle shell. I bought a Red Bear pick 10? years ago and it is still my favorite, even after Blue Chips (which are mighty fine too), etc. Lost track of my Red Bear for a few years and then one happy day, whaddyaknow!

  24. #22
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Quote Originally Posted by gtani7 View Post
    ....
    - and these which i can't find for sale anywhere anymore: http://www.happyturtlepick.de/?p=96
    Artisan Guitar has them, apparently.
    Phil

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  25. #23
    Registered User Gan Ainm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Red Bear picks

    Red Bear First Aid:
    Have a few that I am fond of for Irish music on an F Mandolin, seems to get a nice sound and triplets. Mine also snapped in half in key chain holder. We Trained Medical Professionals know about "super glue" for organic material repairs- you know like your scalp.
    So I laid the 2 halves on a piece of paper and poured runny super glue between and pushed together with best alignment I could. Held for a few minutes an peeled paper away. THEN I put a few small drops on the crack like we do with scalps. 3-4 months later still holding up well and the surface glue gives it a little texture to hold onto. But I don't put it in the key chain holder- keep the BC in there.) I KNEW there was a reason I did all that derned training that mostly didn't help my mando playing....

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