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Thread: Charmed life picks

  1. #1
    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Charmed life picks

    Russ Jordan

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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    I have two. I like them for guitar but haven't found one I like for mandolin. The owner is a good guy.

  3. #3
    Registered User Jill McAuley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Haven't tried any of their casein picks but did get one of their vespel (same material Blue Chips are made of) picks and the tip broke off after 5 minutes of playing. They replaced it, but I prefer Blue Chips meself.
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    I like their casein when I want a softer tone with my Collings mandolin. I also have some of their vespel picks, I find them essentially the same as Blue Chips, although I like the bevels better on the Blue Chips.

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    Registered User mandobassman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    I was just looking at their online store. Very difficult to navigate website. You have to scroll through images of picks and click on each one for a description and find out what it is made of. Several of the picks reference the “best selling brown series”, but I sure can’t find a brown series pick. People here have referenced the Vespal picks, it I have not found any with that description.

  6. #6
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Quote Originally Posted by mandobassman View Post
    I was just looking at their online store. Very difficult to navigate website. You have to scroll through images of picks and click on each one for a description and find out what it is made of. Several of the picks reference the “best selling brown series”, but I sure can’t find a brown series pick. People here have referenced the Vespal picks, it I have not found any with that description.
    Blue Chip's patent on polyimide (such as Vespel or Meldin) picks was granted last year. So, at least in the US, anyone else selling picks made of those materials had to stop. That explains older references to "brown" picks by CL, but no reference to them on their site currently.
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  8. #7

    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    I haven't tried their casein picks, but I have a Chris Thile D'Addario casein pick that I like more than I thought I would. It gets as much use as my CT55 Blue Chip.
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    formerly Philphool Phil Goodson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    I've used the Charmed LIfe casein pick and liked it a little better than the Red Bear caseins.
    I always end up going back to my BC TP48.
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  10. #9

    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    I have a couple very old Red Bear casein Mando picks. They have a more well-defined bevel than the more current Red Bears I have gotten in the last year or so. Might just need to use them more.

    Really liking the Dunlop Primetone 512P1.4 and 512P1.5.

    My preferences in picks is an ongoing thing(maybe just aging). After playing mandolin for a number of years I changed my grip significantly within the past 2 or 3 years. Gone to a tad thinner and a bit pointier plectrum. (and making myself practice a lot tremolo, like playing "Naima" for 15 minutes; or,Flatbush Waltz(not the intro.)

    If I can tremolo decently with a pick then it's going to get used.

  11. #10
    Registered User Tenzin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    It's a toss up for me between Charmed Life (I have a blue and a flame) and BlueChips. I've been tending to choose the Charmed Life more frequent for both the guitar and mandolin.

    The guy that makes them couldn't be nicer. He's always been a real pleasure to deal with and always very informative. I don't think he's ever written a bad thing about another pick or manufacturer-- a real gentlemen.

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  12. #11
    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    I had never heard of Charmed Life picks before yesterday. I was looking for a John Prine video with Fats Kaplan on mandolin, and came across this: https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=525071

  13. #12
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    I've got a couple of the triangles when they first started out. Felt at the time the quality was just about equal to Red Bear. Will still occasionally use it. Have gone towards thinner more pointed picks for band practice/performance. However, still will grab a casein pick for practice alone at home. And yes, the owner is one of the nicest guys out there. Very helpful.
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  14. #13

    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    The CL mando"chip" shape is 1.5mm,yes?

    Is there much of a bevel on them or can they be ordered with/without?

  15. #14
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    the tip broke off after 5 minutes of playing.
    Aha. Not what I'd call a charmed life for a pick, then.
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  17. #15
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    They look good, but seem to be too heavy for my purposes. I'm on Clayton Ultem triangles 0.56 and happy with them - I have found how long I can play each corner before the pick breaks in the middle, so there's many a session (there has been many a session, I should say) where I left my pick on the table at the end of the session and the end of its life.
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  18. #16
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    They are OK but they tend to live in the case more than get used.

  19. #17
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill McAuley View Post
    Haven't tried any of their casein picks but did get one of their vespel (same material Blue Chips are made of) picks and the tip broke off after 5 minutes of playing. They replaced it, but I prefer Blue Chips meself.
    I have a feeling that there are different formulae of these plastics. I also wonder about the difference between Vespel and Meldin. This page on a plastics supplier mentions that Meldin as a new option of similar Vespel but at a lower (!) cost than Vespel. Last time I checked a 12" X 12" sheet was about $1300. I am not sure exactly what formula BC uses but I have at least a half dozen of their picks and never have broken a point on any playing mandolin or heavy (pounding) rhythm guitar.
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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    Blue Chip's patent on polyimide (such as Vespel or Meldin) picks was granted last year. So, at least in the US, anyone else selling picks made of those materials had to stop. That explains older references to "brown" picks by CL, but no reference to them on their site currently.
    Do you have a link to their patent? So they are the only ones who can make and sell any picks made of polyimide?
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  21. #19
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Do you have a link to their patent? So they are the only ones who can make and sell any picks made of polyimide?
    https://patents.google.com/patent/US20090249938A1/en

    Yes, this means that BC has exclusive rights to use that material for picks. The adjusted expiration date of the Blue Chip patent is 10/25/2037, so they'll enjoy that exclusivity for about 17 years.

    (I'm an engineer, not a patent attorney. I have no connection with BC other than being a happy customer.)
    Todd Yates

  22. #20
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I have a feeling that there are different formulae of these plastics. I also wonder about the difference between Vespel and Meldin. This page on a plastics supplier mentions that Meldin as a new option of similar Vespel but at a lower (!) cost than Vespel. Last time I checked a 12" X 12" sheet was about $1300. I am not sure exactly what formula BC uses but I have at least a half dozen of their picks and never have broken a point on any playing mandolin or heavy (pounding) rhythm guitar.
    Charmed Life offered their "brown" picks much thinner than Blue Chip, which I think explains the fragility some experienced. They were not as nicely finished either, so possibly the CL manufacturing process left them more prone to breaking. I suspect the thickness was the primary culprit.
    Todd Yates

  23. #21
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Given all the uses of Polyimide, it seems odd to me that you can obtain a patent for a specific use. But that’s our patent system...
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    Default Re: Charmed life picks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Given all the uses of Polyimide, it seems odd to me that you can obtain a patent for a specific use. But that’s our patent system...
    I would guess the material can be used for other things, just not picks.
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