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Thread: Oh No Another pick question

  1. #1
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Oh No Another pick question

    My current pick of choice is the Dunlop Primetone TriPoint 1.4.
    Which BC would most closely resemble the Dunlop? My previous attempts to embrace the BC have been in vain. Perhaps I am purchasing the wrong ones.

    And yes, I do want to play like Chris Thilie or for that matter like almost any other player out there!
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Pittsburgh Bill View Post
    My current pick of choice is the Dunlop Primetone TriPoint 1.4.
    Which BC would most closely resemble the Dunlop? My previous attempts to embrace the BC have been in vain. Perhaps I am purchasing the wrong ones.

    And yes, I do want to play like Chris Thilie or for that matter like almost any other player out there!
    I think thickness and size would be the Chris Thile pick. Frankly, I don't know if there is that much difference between the Dunlop one you have already and the CT55. Thickness and size would be the same. I have a few Primetones and I like them as much as the BC. Maybe a slight difference in tone but littel in the way of playability. I do use BCs though as my main picks though.
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    Be Wild Zach Wilson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    I agree that CT55 is most like the Primetones you already own. But, my experience with the two has been different then Jim's.

    To my ears the BC sounds creamier and feels smoother where the PT sounds crisp and bright and a tad clicky.

    Both are good picks. I like the PT in a BG setting but it is too punchy for other genres.

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    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    I agree that CT55 is most like the Primetones you already own. But, my experience with the two has been different then Jim's.

    To my ears the BC sounds creamier and feels smoother where the PT sounds crisp and bright and a tad clicky.

    Both are good picks. I like the PT in a BG setting but it is too punchy for other genres.

    Zach's description matches my own experiences with the BC and the PT, nail on the head!
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Wilson View Post
    I agree that CT55 is most like the Primetones you already own. But, my experience with the two has been different then Jim's.

    To my ears the BC sounds creamier and feels smoother where the PT sounds crisp and bright and a tad clicky.

    Both are good picks. I like the PT in a BG setting but it is too punchy for other genres.
    The PT with raised letters is a different material than the smooth ones...I too think the grippy ones are clicky, but to me the smooths sound very similar to BC. They do wear faster than BC.
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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    The Dunlop Primetone tri-point 1.4 mm -- the one without the 'grip' of raised letters -- has almost exactly the same shape, bevel, and thickness as the BlueChip CT55 (1.4 mm = 0.055 in = 55 thou). However, Primetone picks are made from a very different plastic material (polyetherimide) than Blue Chips (polyimide). The polyimide material is over 100 times more expensive, which mainly accounts for why BlueChip picks costs so much more. The Primetones and BlueChips have only slightly different stiffness, which you might or might not be able to sense. But they have very different surface slipperiness, and they release off the string VERY differently, in my opinion. The BlueChip picks slide off much faster and more easily.

    Which one you prefer is entirely a matter of personal taste! Some folks can't tell much of a difference between these. Others can, and vastly prefer the BlueChip picks. Still others can, and prefer the Primetones. You just have to try and make up your own mind. Furthermore, your preferences may well change over time, on top of all that!

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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    The Primetones and BlueChips have only slightly different stiffness, which you might or might not be able to sense. But they have very different surface slipperiness, and they release off the string VERY differently, in my opinion. The BlueChip picks slide off much faster and more easily.

    Which one you prefer is entirely a matter of personal taste! Some folks can't tell much of a difference between these. Others can, and vastly prefer the BlueChip picks. Still others can, and prefer the Primetones.
    I'm one that would rather have a small bag of Primetones than a BC. With my picking technique and choice of pick shape, the "surface slipperiness" of the BC picks was not significant. As mentioned, others may appreciate the expensive difference in materials.

    "they release off the string VERY differently"

    Does this have anything at all to do with pointed vs. rounded pick shapes? I wonder if the BC fans prefer rounded tips? Am I assuming too much?

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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidKOS View Post
    I'm one that would rather have a small bag of Primetones than a BC. With my picking technique and choice of pick shape, the "surface slipperiness" of the BC picks was not significant. As mentioned, others may appreciate the expensive difference in materials.

    "they release off the string VERY differently"


    Does this have anything at all to do with pointed vs. rounded pick shapes? I wonder if the BC fans prefer rounded tips? Am I assuming too much?
    Well David, the tip and bevel shape certainly affect the way the pick comes off the string, no doubt about that. But an additional factor in release is the 'slipperiness' of the pick material. In the case of a Primetone triangle (no grip) 1.4 mm being compared to a BC CT55, it would be hard to find any two picks with closer specs for shape, thickness, and bevel! These are almost spot-on identical, in fact. And yet, they release the string very differently, in my experience. The BC material is much smoother; the Primetone is more rough: you can tell this just by running your fingertips across them, in fact. The BC chip surface is so smooth, in fact, that it produces a natural 'tackiness' to it that improves the grip, according to many users (you can even get the pick to stick to a single finger that's ever-so-slightly moist -- try it). Also, the polyimide plastic material of the BC chip (Meldin) contains a certain percentage of graphite, and it is therefore self-lubricating. That's why this space-age, ridiculously expensive plastic is used for exotic things like thrust bearings in jet engines!

    BC fans like all sorts of tips, I'd say. Some BC models, like the TPR and Kenny Smith, are quite rounded. Some are very pointy, like the Jazz variants. Some are moderately pointed, like the TAD, TD, and CT55. Also, you can get BC picks with a rounded edge (no bevel) or beveled (left- or right-handed), and this also makes a big difference. Lots to choose from!

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  14. #9
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    This BC fan prefers pointy tips - TD 35 and TD 40.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    The absolute most impressive aspect of the BC picks is that the material barely wears. I play some really heavy old time backup on guitar and loved the sound of Ultem picks but they would wear to a razor edge after a few tunes. I have a couple of the TADs that I have had for at east 4 years and even with my heavy right hand they just don't wear out at all. And they sound as good or better than the Ultems.

    For mandolin I do like the tone I get from the BCs and own a few different ones. I started with a large jazz and moved around to other shapes. I like to switch around between various shapes and thicknesses as well as other brands like Wegen and Primetones. To clarify my comment above: not that there is no difference in tone between a similar thickness BC vs. Primetone just that the difference really is pretty subtle. Performance-wise on stage it might not be at all discernable but as a player a mandolinist might have a preference for one over the other. But as someone else noted above, that could easily change. BC on a Wednesday and Primetone by Friday.
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  17. #11
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    I have tried the primetone, BC and Wegen. I used the BC for years and especially liked the way it slid off the strings and didn't wear. The sound of the Wegen is what changed me. I have gone back and forth between BC and Wegen, but the sound of the Wegen wins. It also glides off the strings and doesn't wear fast, but for me sounds better. Of course as has been mentioned numerous times here this is purely personal and everyone has a different perspective and a sound they like. Primetone picks sound OK, but I will stick with the Wegen for now.
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    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    From MontanaMatt - " The PT with raised letters is a different material than the smooth ones.."

    Hi Matt - The materials are the same, 'Ultex',but of different types. The 'smooth printed' ones are the sheet version.The'grippy' ones are the same material,but of the type that can be moulded in order to emboss the 'grippy' feel on them.
    I have 3 thicknesses of PT picks, 2 in the smooth & grippy teardrop shaped versions,& 1 in the smooth triangular shape. I find that the smoothies sound a tad softer than the grippy ones,which do sound a tiny bit brighter. However,both sound good (to me),
    Ivan

    PS - From Harmony Central - "The Primetone Sculpted pick series is based around their Ultex material, Dunlop’s proprietary formula based on UTLEM resin that Jim Dunlop states is the closest material he has found to the feel and sound of tortoise shell."
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  21. #13
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    Default Re: Oh No Another pick question

    I have owned and tried many brands and thicknesses of picks including Wegens, PT and BC ! To my EARS, BC produces the clarity of notes and volume that I like ! I emphasize, MY EARS ! Only way for your ears to find out is try them all !
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