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Thread: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

  1. #1
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    I need to at least try one for a while. Any idea where I could source one in Europe? If not, the rest of the world? As long as they are not made from a tortoise...

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    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Clifford Essex and Red Bear Trading have them :

    http://cliffordessex.net/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=803




    https://www.redbeartrading.com/ccp8/index.php?app=ecom&ns=prodshow&ref=RMNTS

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    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Ha, Clifford Essex, I know them well. Thanks for that. Made from buffalo horn...

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    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Hmm...quite a difference between the two companies, the buffalo horn one being cheap, the plastic one being expensive.

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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    FWIW I have had a couple of the Clifford Essex Roman plectra and found them a bit uncomfortable, they are about 4.5 cm long rather than the 6.6 suggested on http://embergher.com/http-www-emberg...index-phpid56/ and I find the top edge digs into my knuckle when I try and use them.
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    Unfamous String Buster Beanzy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    I get my buffalo horn blanks from Richard Head archery supplies they're very good value and give years worth of plectrum stock.
    https://www.longbowandarrow.co.uk/10...rips-122-p.asp
    Eoin



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  11. #8

    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    My limited experience with buffalo horn plectra hasn't been very good. I'm keen to read the comments of those with better experience.

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    I had a sheet of Ultem plastic and I cut and polished a few Roman plectra for me and friends. Technique is very different from Neapolitan ones. Almost like a bow. You have to loosen and tighten the grip. And tremolo is very different.
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    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Loosen and tighten at the same time? Or loosen for tremolo, tighten for single notes or dynamics?

  16. #11

    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    No need to kill off those poor tortoises. The synthetic materials that Jim and others have experimented with are just fine IMHO— always with some variance for taste, needless to say. All my Ranieri picks but one— a Ranieri era object-d'art, RIP ye fin-de-siecle tortoises— were made of various plastics and by various, dear friends of mine. I'd say experiment, try things out, use some readily available plastic that you won't be heartbroken if you somehow go amiss. See what works best for you. I find this type of pick to be so intimate, so personal, that few general prescriptions can stand the test of sound and feel. To thine own ear be true.

    Cheers,

    Victor
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    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Thank you, Victor. Sage advice!

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Victor is one of the sagest and talented people I have had the pleasure to know. Victor, I think you need to write a work called Sage Advice. I will write a poem to go with it.
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Forgive me for going bananas here but HOLY CRAP!!!! I just realized that the post above is THE Victor Kioulaphide - composer of some unbelievably wonderful compositions that just - well they just reach out and grab your insides! I’m just gonna’ sit here for a moment and try to absorb the fact that this forum includes such amazing people. And, as “ga-ga star struck” as it may sound, I just want to say thank you to Mr. Kioulaphides for his compositions. Suite for Ali sits on my desk as inspiration to practice, practice, practice. I have listened to it countless enjoyable times... ok, I’ll stop. But wow. This forum is amazing.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    Forgive me for going bananas here but HOLY CRAP!!!! I just realized that the post above is THE Victor Kioulaphide - composer of some unbelievably wonderful compositions that just - well they just reach out and grab your insides! I’m just gonna’ sit here for a moment and try to absorb the fact that this forum includes such amazing people. And, as “ga-ga star struck” as it may sound, I just want to say thank you to Mr. Kioulaphides for his compositions. Suite for Ali sits on my desk as inspiration to practice, practice, practice. I have listened to it countless enjoyable times... ok, I’ll stop. But wow. This forum is amazing.
    "Tim, you should have been here back in the day..." He says taking a puff of his corncob pipe.

    There were many amazing musicians and classical players who checked in here regularly. Foremost among the Embergher/Ranieri/Roman plectrum players was Ralf Leenen who is still a friend of mine. He is a virtuoso player and an expert on Embergher mandolins. I learned quite a bit from him and he visited here in the US a number of times but, alas, never did play a concert anywhere.

    He is Embergher screen name on this thread from 2006.

    Here is his video on Ranieri plectra:



    And a recently posted video on the Ranieri method.



    ----------
    Bear in mind though that among classical players those who play with these plectra are in the minority. It does take a bit of adjustment to work with them and you have to treat them almost like a bow. I referred to that above. It's been awhile since I played with one but the nuance and dynamics are achieved similar to a bow, adding or releasing pressure.

    Here's a recent video of Ralf playing Bach using a Ranieri plectrum:

    Jim

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  25. #16
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Big fan of Ralf here! His recent videos have been well recorded and varied. Looks like he'll be making some more soon, which is great news. He's the real deal.

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    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Jm - those are great videos, especially the one where he discusses his background. Thank you. I note in the 2006 thread that you and Mr. Kioulaphide have played together and appear to be friends. What a treat it must be for people of this caliber to meet and share with one another. I unconsciously assumed that no one in the digital world has actually met. It is a little off topic, but do Alex Timmerman and Ralf Leenen collaborate on any research, performance etc do you know?

    For me, it is quite a privilege to have access to this forum and to the kind, amazing people that contribute and share. Thank you.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674 (Thomastik 154-M strings)
    1995 Flatiron A5 Artist (B. Weber) #95072333 (Thomastik 154-S strings)
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623 (Thomastik 154-M strings)
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia (Dogal R92-M strings)

  27. #18

    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    No personal interest, have never used one of their Roman-type plectra, but I have used other plectra of synthetic Tor-tis and liked to tone and feel: https://www.redbeartrading.com/ccp8/...show&ref=RMNTS

    The downside is that I've found it more brittle than some other material (i.e., don't drop it).

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    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Thanks, Eugene. That was linked to in post #2 above. There is a notice on their website saying all international shipping has stopped for the duration of the virus. But I've bookmarked it. But for the price of one, I could get myself the tools and celluloid, and have a go myself. The drawback there, as any member of my family will tell you, I'm useless with practical things!

  29. #20

    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Oops. Sorry I missed the link. Part of the expense of Red Bear's plectra is that they use Tortis, a synthetic that's claimed to be at least chemically (if not structurally) very similar to the actual scutes of sea turtle carapaces. It wears much more slowly than celluloid or other plastics.

    I tend to prefer Neapolitan-style plectra. Like Jim mentioned above, my standard raw material for shaping such things is Clayton's Ultem Gold plastic.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ah, I see: I glossed over the Red Bear link low in that reply thinking it was part of a forum-user signature line.

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    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post

    I tend to prefer Neapolitan-style plectra.
    I made a few of the Roman plectra, tried them quite a bit, and did not find them to be better than a Neapolitan pick, at least for my playing style - in fact I think the traditional pick is a better tool. I'm sure Roman players would have another opinion.

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  33. #22
    Registered User Rob MacKillop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    I'm sure they would :-) My fav pick is a Gibson XH (extra heavy). I've tried expensive picks, but each one has seems a waste of money in comparison to the Gibson. They are 1.17mm thick I'm told. They come in a nice tin of 50! I'm not sure if they will suffice for the advanced classical mandolin repertoire, but for now they sound and feel good. However, I'm always on the lookout for something I like better.

  34. #23

    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    FYI, if you're really burning with curiosity and willing to drop too much hard-earned scratch into a single plectrum, I'm about to order several Neapolitan-type plectra in Tortis from Red Bear (whenever pick-cutter Dave gets around to it). While Red Bear won't ship a Roman pick overseas at this moment, they would to me . . . and I'm willing to drop a package in the mail to Scotland. Entirely your choice, Rob. Just let me know.

  35. #24
    Registered User Brian560's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Eugene, I am curious: which Red Bear pick is most like a Neopolitan pick?

  36. #25

    Default Re: Where to find a Roman/Ranieri Plectrum?

    Red Bear makes Neapolitan-type picks on request, started doing so after some consultation with Carlo Aonzo in 2004. They don't advertise the Neapolitans among their standard "models."

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