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Thread: Looking at BlueChip picks.

  1. #1

    Default Looking at BlueChip picks.

    So I am looking to buy a CT 55 and I was wondering what players think of the speed bevel. I primarily play classical music. Thanks for your insight!

  2. #2
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    I, for one, love the bevel. Calling it a "speed bevel" is a bit of a misnomer, however, because I don't think it actually leads to any higher playing speed. Instead, the shape of the bevel affects the way the string gets released from the pick as it's plucked. A bevel tends to "hold" the string for a very tiny fraction of a second longer, leading to a more sudden, cleaner release, and it also introduces more in the way of high harmonic content into the vibrating string. Many would say that this makes the string sounder "brighter," as opposed to "darker", but this vocabulary is not universal, and it, too, can be misleading. Regardless, the presence of a bevel changes the tactile feel of the pick, and also affects the quality of the note sounded by the string. So, too, does the roundedness of the shape of the pick (sharp corners or rounded corners), and these also interact with the bevel. You just have to try it and see if you like it! I certainly do. That said, there simply is no substitute for your trying out a whole bunch of pick shapes, sizes, bevels, and materials for yourself, and on your mandolin.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Eldon Dennis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    When I purchased my first BC I was surprised by how much I liked the speed bevel. I am currently using CT 55 with the speed bevel and find it a very versatile pick. However, I read that some folks still prefer the normal bevel. Like so many things "mandolin" it's up to personal preference. If you haven't tried a pick with speed bevel I would suggest giving it a try. I believe that BC allows one to exchange within a reasonable amount of time if you change your mind.
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    I'm a fan of the right handed bevel, to the point that I really don't like playing with unbeveled picks anymore. Even my "keychain" picks are beveled now...

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  8. #5
    Registered User Chris Bowsman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    BC picks, the CT55, and bevels are all aces in my book.

    I've added bevels to many picks and liked them better for it.
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  10. #6
    Registered User CWRoyds's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    Yup, the CT55 with the bevel is the business.
    I love the pick.
    I sometimes use a Wegen, but I am pretty much CT55 all the way these days.
    I even started using it on the guitar.

    The bevel just means that the pick glides through the string more easily.
    The tone is bright and clean.
    Gotta love it.
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  12. #7

    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    Pretty unanimous XD

  13. #8
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Pacific Northwest, USA

    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macabre View Post
    Pretty unanimous XD
    On the right hand bevel, but not necessarily on the thickness of that CT55.

    Bluegrass players often favor the thicker picks like this. I play mostly Irish and Scottish traditional music, where I find the 1.0 mm thickness in Blue Chip picks like the TAD40-1R gives me a quicker response for ornaments.

    Since you mentioned that you play Classical music on mandolin, I just thought I'd mention that. If you're already using a fairly thick pick like the CT55 (1.4mm) for Classical music on the mandolin, then feel free to ignore this. And yeah, I know Chris Thile plays Bach with thick picks like this.

  14. #9
    Registered User Mike Snyder's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Neosho, Mo

    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    I have had the luxury of access to the Blue Chip team in person for several years at the big festival in Winfield. Anyone can test drive the entire line of picks. He even provides instruments, nice ones, if you don't want to drag yours around. Really nice guys, they have given me a fair shake as a repeat customer and fan of the REALLY thick ones. Maybe they will set up a booth at a fest near to you. Or you could just come to Winfield and pick a tune or two.
    Mike Snyder

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  16. #10
    Registered User Roger Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    I use the CT55 and really enjoy it. As for the speed bevel, I put it onto a DAWG pick (that was a real dog, IMHO!), and it transformed it into a very nice pick indeed.
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  18. #11

    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    I find normal bevel makes a pick feel thicker, grabbier on the strings that is (BC's are notoriously ungrabby), and agree that a darker sound is probably the best way to characterize it - the ungrabbiness of a BC is really great to combine with the normal bevel if a darker tone is what you seek.

    I had a thin sounding mando I wanted to fatten up so I went with the normal bevel, worked great. TP-60 normal bevel hit the sweet spot for me. It was the thickest normal-bevel I could stand (TAD-80 was too grabby), and the shape, well I like triangles, and the smaller triangle of the TP really worked for me.

    I know BC's are expensive, but if you can afford it, it's worth trying a few different ones, I mostly knew what I wanted and I was able to try all the variables I cared about with just a few of them. They do have a return policy if you return them in pristine condition - and since they are nearly indestructible this isn't hard to do.

    I prefer 'speed' bevels for live acoustic work, where you need the extra punch to cut through a mix, and the normal bevel darker sound is for when I am plugged in, or practicing alone, love that sound. But yes, I have both.

    It's almost like oval vs F, but less pronounced, just a subtle difference.
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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    The CT55 is a good place to start a BC pick search. I use a slightly heavier pick for guitar but on mandolins I have struck with the 55'. To me it has a good feel, good tremolo, not a lot of pick noise easy to hang on to and doesn't show wear after several years of use ....... R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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  22. #13
    Registered User KGreene's Avatar
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    Dec 2014

    Default Re: Looking at BlueChip picks.

    I was a bit skeptical about the BC's, but after owning several now (primarily using the TAD50 and the CT55), I can't find anything that I don't like about them.... Playing hard several nights weekly for over a year without any signs of use.... and if they start to slip in your fingers... just wash 'em off and their like new again. Worth every penny IMHO.
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