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Thread: help me build a pick set

  1. #1

    Default help me build a pick set

    Hey all,

    long time lurker, first time poster.

    I'm a guitarist who's recently become re-inspired to play the mando. Made some good progress during quarantine.

    I'm playing on a Breedlove quartz ff sunburst; right now I'm using one of those 'cool' brand picks (1.2mm) with the sandpaper-y grip. The pick has been beveled over time from guitar play.

    Want to try a bunch of picks; ideally all purchased at once to save on shipping etc.

    This is what I've put together as a shopping cart during lunch break:

    Blue chip CT55
    Blue chip TP40-1R
    Wegen bluegrass no holes
    Dunlop primetone triangle and small triangle
    JT's picks triangular black noryl

    Anything I'm missing? Likely to re-sell all but my favorite few, but it'll be a fun experiment. I come from a music production background, where the devil is often in the details.

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    Alfons 

  3. #2

    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    you might get hold of one of the newer D'Addario Chris Thiele picks.... I have tried them along with the Bluechip and they have a really good feel, same thickness as Bluechip, a bit less expensive.... with still lots of glide....
    John D

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  5. #3
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    I'm partial to the JT's style #2 blue poly and red poly.
    Also, the 1.2 & 1.4 Wegens (large triangles, with holes, both white and black)

    There are many different picks not on your list that I own and are worth trying, I'm sure you'll get plenty of suggestions. Check out this thread: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...=1#post1716891

    There are two "pick samplers" that have been freely passed around cafe members for a few years. I have received sampler #1 twice over the years (and contributed to it).

    As for personal pick collections, I've given away plenty over the years, never re-sold any, but prefer to keep most of them unless I just can't stand something about one.
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  7. #4
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    If you can get in on one of those traveling pick samplers that would be fun and educational.

    Picks I would add to your list..

    V-picks
    Golden Gate "Dawg" pick
    Pro Plec picks
    Any one of the various caseine picks available, John Pearse, Red Bear, etc.
    Last edited by Charles E.; Apr-14-2020 at 4:17pm.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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  9. #5
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    So many choices:

    Radex
    Red Bear
    Fender casein
    Gibson 346 HD

    The casein picks vary by maker, you'll need a few
    Play it like you mean it

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  11. #6
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    When I first started playing mando, I thought one was supposed to use those fat, round cornered Dawg/Saga style picks (who can argue with the Dawg, right?), so I made myself use them til I was somewhat competent with them. Since then I've steadily gravitated back to thinner, pointier picks and am much happier for it. I do still like the big triangles for mando, but am usually just as happy to play it with a guitar style pick. Sometimes even a small jazz style. It's interesting to switch them up sometimes.

    In addition to your starting list, and in no particular order, except that the TD40 (or TAD40) is the one I tend to use most:
    Blue Chip TD40 - The 40 thickness can give a beautiful breathy sound; I love what Don Stiernberg does with these.
    John Pearse Fast Turtle
    Dunlop Big Stubby - various sizes/shapes/thicknesses - These are very bright sounding - they're hard and sharp - don't hit your finish with them. Love the grip.
    VPicks JazzMando & Saga
    Wegen M100 - Like the way the edge on these feels.
    Pickboy Rainbow Classic 1.0 & 1.2 mm

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  13. #7
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    I use Golden Gate MP 12.
    2019 The Loar Supreme LM700 VS

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  15. #8
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Hey, thanks Daniel and Mark! I hadn't heard of JT's Pix before. Now I have a couple of sample packs to look forward to!

  16. #9
    My Florida is scooped pheffernan's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Infield View Post
    Anything I'm missing? Likely to re-sell all but my favorite few, but it'll be a fun experiment. I come from a music production background, where the devil is often in the details.
    I think the key is finding a shape that you like (such as the 346) and then settling on a size (perhaps 1.4 mm) before isolating variables in terms of materials (including casein) and finally bevel.
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  17. #10
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Blue chips are chump change, you will need one of these...

    https://www.luxuo.com/the-lux-list/c...itar-pick.html


    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  18. #11

    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Thanks all!

    The list has doubled, but that was the point, right?

    Although I didn't have one on my original list, I do want something from the casein family. The Chris Thile ddaddario would be an obvious choice but I've not been able to find it in stock, may have to hold off.

    Thanks again, and keep them coming.

  19. #12
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    Question Re: pick basket

    Fender 346 is what I use .. Heavy you can buy by the dozen.
    X-Heavy You order 6 dozen..
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  20. #13
    Registered User Rick Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Don't want to miss the Dunlop Jazztone 208 (or 207, if you prefer less point).
    "I don't want to get technical or anything, but according to chemistry, alcohol actually IS a solution."

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  22. #14
    I really look like that soliver's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    A couple of my preferred picks are:

    BlueChip TAD 60 (nice darker tone IMO)
    Wegen TF 140 (with the holes)
    And I also like Dunlop 208's which I think are Jazz guitar picks and in comparison to the 2 above, are cheap!

    Also got a freebie from Banjo Ben Clark's store when I ordered something form him and I really like that one too,
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  23. #15

    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Infield View Post
    Hey all,

    long time lurker, first time poster.

    I'm a guitarist who's recently become re-inspired to play the mando. Made some good progress during quarantine.

    I'm in a similar position - as a guitarist, I tried everything I could find and settled on a readbear c-hvy and a bluechip TAD50 as my favorites depending on the guitar. I still haven't found my way on mandolin yet, although I tend to play the dunlop 207 jazztone and wegen 1.2 teardrop (with holes) most often. I've tried the dunlop americana, both TAD and round shapes, and other styles but they just don't jive much with me. The round styles ('dawg' shaped) don't give me the note separation I'm looking for, so I tend toward more pointy shapes. The jazztone 207 is about as 'round' as I want to go these days, but perhaps that will change as I develop more of a style. Curious to see what you land on!

  24. #16
    Registered User Buck's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Jeff Rose (Detour) turned me on to Dunlop 207's many years ago. Even though I mostly play TS and BC picks now, I always have a 207 in my pocket. For my ear and style of play, it's a $0.50 pick that's nearly as good as a $50 pick, and better than most anything in between.
    Todd Yates

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  26. #17
    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    You might have trouble finding one source for every pick you want to try. Recently one member was having trouble finding Wegan bluegrass picks sans holes, they are available on ebay however.

    I have tried most of the picks mentioned here at one time or another and my go to pick these days is a Dunlop primetone 1.5 small triangle.

    Good luck with your search.
    Charley

    A bunch of stuff with four strings

  27. #18
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Quote Originally Posted by Buck View Post
    Jeff Rose (Detour) turned me on to Dunlop 207's many years ago. Even though I mostly play TS and BC picks now, I always have a 207 in my pocket. For my ear and style of play, it's a $0.50 pick that's nearly as good as a $50 pick, and better than most anything in between.
    Ditto the 207s. Not my first, go-to choice pick (that would be BC and Wegen BG with the holes), but if those didn't exist the 207 would be fine. Well worth the price.
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  28. #19

    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Update time:

    I got in several varieties (see pic) and I've got some first impressions. Just my opinion and experience, of course!

    For what it's worth, I sourced the wegens, the bc, and the primetones from banjo bens (was able to save on shipping that way), and I got the true shell fender from an individual seller on amazon (prime). Already existing were the mcpherson pick (my favorite for acoustic guitar) and the "cool" 1.2 mM with my own bevel.

    Mission accomplished already in a sense that at least 3 picks were better out of the box than the "cool" pick. The McPherson, which I love to death for recording acoustic, was too much a guitar strummer's pick- sluggish on the mandolin, cheap sounding.

    CT55- best feel in hand, pulls great tone from arpeggios but a bit bright/strident with strums (with my breedlove quartz FF)
    Large Primetone- echo the above, close but not as great a feel or sound.
    Fender true tone- pleasantly surprised. Love the strumming sound, mellow/lush/full on single notes. All this without a bevel yet worked up. Unfortunately the texture of the pick isn't as immediately comfortable as the above (more apparent, particularly after playing for a while)

    The ones I didn't bond with are:
    small primetone- not sure why it sounds so different to the large primetone but just a bit on the dull side.
    wegen- not sure what to make of this. The bevel may need to work in, so I'll keep one of the pack of 4. I think it may just be a miss match with my pluck style/ mandolin- just too bright.

    What I really want to do is compare the CT55 to a thinner BC or different shape to hone in that great feel with something I'm more comfortable with strumming. Didn't end up ordering the TP40 and now regret it.

    Since the casein fender was a pleasant surprise I'm thinking of branching out in that category as well. Among recommendations from you all, there is the john pearse, among others.

    Will report back the next iteration, thanks again.













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  30. #20

    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    nice writeup - for casein picks I'm partial to the read bear extra heavy speed bevel, both for guitar and mandolin.

  31. #21
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    All these pics are great. My favorite lately are EML casein pics with rounded and beveled edges.

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  32. #22
    Newbie Seeking Clues tangleweeds's Avatar
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    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Don't forget to try the Dunlop Big Stubby someday, they're cheap! I really like the thickest teardrops--they're my alternative to thick triangle Primetones. Also nice on the budget end (have one in your pocket) are the big Fender triangles.

    The pick thing is fun, isn't it?
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  34. #23

    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Indeed, this is fun!

    Auditioning these different picks reminds me of swapping out types of recording gear, hunting for small changes in a vocal or guitar sound- but this is MUCH cheaper.

    The john pearse fast turtles and a thinner/smaller blue chip are next to arrive. The Fender casein and the bc ct55 gave me different but equally excellent sounds, so I'm hoping the next ones are also keepers.

    Kept the primetone as an in-pocket alternative to the BC ct55. Interestingly, I'm warming to the bluegrass wegen; I think the bevel was a little rough when I got it so a bit of 800 grit sandpaper and play has helped darken tone to my ears. I can't imagine it ever being my favorite sound for the breedlove, but glad I kept one from the 4 pack.

    When the economy opens back up, I'm going to head to my local music shop in order to try and get as many more of the ones suggested above from the bigger brands (fender, dunlop, v, etc).

    I'm guessing the mando-specific collection will end around 6 or so picks, even if one is overall preferred, because having the different sounds has become an asset I won't now do without.

    Thanks also those who've suggested the Red bear picks in the casein category. Looks like a great product but I've found the process of getting a pick somewhat complicated by the fact that not all pick shapes are available in all thickness ranges (at one time?). Just as one example, the tri tip shape looks great (reminds me in concept of my favorite acoustic guitar pickup style from mcpherson), but they are only being currently offered in heavy or extra heavy.

    I'm sure I'll circle back to them at some point!

  35. #24

    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Infield View Post

    Thanks also those who've suggested the Red bear picks in the casein category. Looks like a great product but I've found the process of getting a pick somewhat complicated by the fact that not all pick shapes are available in all thickness ranges (at one time?). Just as one example, the tri tip shape looks great (reminds me in concept of my favorite acoustic guitar pickup style from mcpherson), but they are only being currently offered in heavy or extra heavy.

    I'm sure I'll circle back to them at some point!
    Their website is terrible - they seem to have almost everything in stock, but you might need to call or dig into their catalog to find it. I do like my redbears.
    anyway, good luck on the pick journey - it's super fun!

  36. #25

    Default Re: help me build a pick set

    Hey all- I've now added/tried the john pearse fast turtles casein pick (thin- 1.2) and the TP40-1R bluechip. Both sounded great, but I think I'd gotten partial to the 346 tri-pick shape.

    So, last round will be the gilchrist tri-corner and the TAD-48 bluechip, hopefully to arrive last week. At this point the certain keepers are the CT55 and the fender casein. With any luck, I get a hair more attack with the TAD48 (and keep it along with the CT55) and the gilchrist ends up to be something interesting, too.

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