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Thread: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

  1. #1
    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    I recently got in one of the new Chris Thile signature mandolin picks from D'Addario (Model 2CA7-01CT), which are currently retailing for $25 apiece. That's fairly expensive for a single pick, but it's about 30% less than the Chris Thile model CT55 pick from BlueChip, which retails for $35. Here's a side-by-side comparison photo of the two (click on the photo to zoom in):

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    These two picks are very nearly identical in every respect, except for the material and the color. The D'Addario pick is made from casein (the main protein found in milk), whereas the BlueChip pick is made from polyimide (Meldin), an expensive 'space age' plastic. These two picks are the same thickness (0.055" for the BC = 1.4 mm for the D'Addario). They are also the same shape and size. The have the same right-hand "speed bevel" on the edge.

    It appears that Chris Thile is donating his share of the royalties from pick sales to the D'Addario Foundation, which gives out grants to sponsor greater access to music education in communities and schools. A most worthy cause. This is what the package for the D'Addario CT signature pick says (click on photo to zoom):

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    I would expect the D'Addario pick to wear out faster than the BC pick, simply because polyimide is nearly unmatched in its ability to resist abrasion from strings -- but I haven't had the D'Addario pick long enough to detect any wear at all, so this is early days. Experience of other picks made from casein, e.g., from Red Bear, also suggests that the edge of a casein pick does not last as long as one made from polyimide, although it can usually be polished, as necessary. Casein might also be somewhat more breakable than polyimide, but then, I've never had a pick break on me.

    Other than that, are there any salient differences? In my hands, the D'Addario pick comes off the strings extremely well, with very little friction -- just like the BC, in fact. It also shows a similar tendency to stay put in my grip, presumably due to the smooth, polished surface.

    Just about the only real differences that I could detect, in about an hour of playing, were in the tone and in the pick stiffness. I would describe the D'Addario pick as being ever-so-slightly more "bendy" (flexible) in the hand when striking the strings. Also, the tone of the D'Addario pick is somewhat brighter, with the BC pick being a tad bit darker. As for pick click, neither of these picks is very "clicky," in my opinion, and I could scarcely tell a difference.

    One other pick that's quite similar to both of these is the Dunlop Primetone triangle pick at 1.4 mm (model 513R1.4), which is made of polyetherimide (Ultex), and costs less than $2. It has just about the the same size, shape, thickness, and bevel. However, in my hands, the Primetone exhibits significantly more friction on the strings, is less durable, and sounds comparatively "dead" against either the BC or D'Addario pick.

    Of course, picks are very personal items, and I would be curious about the reactions of other Mandolin Cafe members who've tried out the new D'Addario CT pick and would be willing to share their experience, with comparisons to competing alternatives.

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    Registered User bradeinhorn's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    I think there's a couple threads. Maybe just this one:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...D-Addrio-picks
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    Registered User sblock's Avatar
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Quote Originally Posted by bradeinhorn View Post
    I think there's a couple threads. Maybe just this one:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...D-Addrio-picks

    Well, that thread title didn't even manage to spell "D'Addario" correctly (makes searching hard)!

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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    Well, that thread title didn't even manage to spell "D'Addario" correctly (makes searching hard)!
    yup! not at all on you...
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    I appreciate the post! I didn't know about this fun option. I do have the BC version (the CT55) but it would be something to think about with the signature printed on it and the contribution to charity. Thanks for pointing this out!

    My present favorite is the Blue Chip SR60. I like the rounded corners. And there is an under $2 version from Dunlop Primetone -- the smooth version. Works almost identically. I tried it first to make sure I would like the more durable and slightly better sounding BC SR60. Honestly, I bought the second BC for the enjoyment and had my name put on it. The Primetone would have sufficed. Listen to Barron Collins-Hill of Mandolin Lessons. He uses the large triangle 1.5 version of Primetone (the size and thickness of the BC CT55) that he makes great music with!
    Last edited by lflngpicker; Mar-07-2020 at 6:14pm. Reason: more info
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    I might have to try the D'Addario - I have tried other casein picks and like them almost as well as BC, although the Chris Thile is thicker than I prefer. I like the donation to charity, even though my preferred pick thickness is less than 1mm. But it is worth a try.

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  9. #7

    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    I like the new pick a lot, but after playing awhile with a couple guitar players, I'm back to the BC Ct55. Sounds great playing solo at home though.
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Like a lot of others I have tried a running cornucopia of picks,changed my mind about some of them over time,gone back
    and forth on what I prefer.

    I like Wegens,BC,Red Bear casein etc. The amount and shape of the bevel is important to me.

    Right now I really like the Dunlop Primetone 1.3mm semi-round enough to want to try the same material in another shape.
    They really do give the more expensive designer picks some stiff competition.

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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post

    Right now I really like the Dunlop Primetone 1.3mm semi-round enough to want to try the same material in another shape.
    They really do give the more expensive designer picks some stiff competition.
    I think the 1.4mm version gives the designer picks even stiffer competition than the 1.3mm.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist that.

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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    I like the black Wegen picks in general, because they have a darker tone than the white ones.

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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Quote Originally Posted by John Soper View Post
    I like the black Wegen picks in general, because they have a darker tone than the white ones.
    Going a bit more off topic - we actually debated that over on Flatpick-L back in the day. As in when the now bluegrass picks were first made. I prefer white as they are easier to find when dropped.

    Tried the DA CT pick a bit more over the weekend at the local festival. It's a good pick, but don't feel my mandolin has as much cut when using it. Mainly noticed in bigger jams. Ended up going to a Dunlop or Wegen for most things. Am still not giving up on it.
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    Well, that thread title didn't even manage to spell "D'Addario" correctly (makes searching hard)!
    I fixed the spelling of D'Addario in that thread so it would be found via search easier.
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Just got one of these, and I really like it.
    I usually use a BlueChip CT55, and love it, but this D'addario casein pick is great too.

    The D'addario is a bit brighter in tone, which works wonders on my Northfield engelmann topped Artist model, which tends to be quite dark.
    I have tried other casein picks and found them to have a glassy clicky tone, but this one does not.
    It's attack on the string is very similar to the BlueChip.

    Personally, I think the pick that is right depends on the mandolin it is used on.
    I prefer the BlueChip on my other mandolins, as it tones down the brightness a bit on the upper courses.
    For my Northfield, I think I will stick with the D'addario for a while.
    It is really enjoyable to get new tones out of it.
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  23. #14

    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Ordered the D'Addario Thile pick from Sweetwater a couple weeks back. Still waiting.

    Anybody know the availability status of these.

    Waiting to hear back from Sweetwater.

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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Sweetwater emailed me that they are "waiting on an ETA from the manufacturer..." They said they are on order but not sure if the order has been filled yet.

    I filter that out as saying they really don't know what the availability status of these picks might be right now.

    At least they got back with me.

    I just know a pick made from some kinda cow-cheese, from my favorite string maker with a mandolin genius' signature on it is going to make me a better picker.

    No-brainer.

  26. #16
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    !!!
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    A bit too thick for my thing.

  30. #19

    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Quote Originally Posted by pheffernan View Post
    Link did't twerk for me.

  31. #20
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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Quote Originally Posted by V70416 View Post
    Link did't twerk for me.
    The link refers to an ad I put up for two CT casein picks. They sold very quickly and I deleted the ad.

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    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    Sweetwater had a shipment in. I ordered two . They are a casein pick. No more no less. Good tone with very little pick noise and slightly more difficult to hang on to than a B.C. One of my many bad habits is to put a pick in my mouth when turning pages or operating a mouse. That is a no go for sure. But yeah very close to natural shell and a good stand in for it. Kudos to C.T. for donating his cut. What next for D'Addario…. a B.C. type pick? Time will tell...…. R/
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  34. #22

    Default Re: D'Addario's new Chris Thile signature mandolin pick

    I know it's just another casein pick. Probably not any better than a Primetone.

    Still want one.

    Looking forward to not liking it.

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