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Thread: Take Your Pick

  1. #26
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Jim - yes, I think it is fun stuff - and so completely subjective and personal! For instance: I did not like the D'addario casein pick at all, yet am enamored with EML. And yet the other pick I keep trying to get better with is a BC LG Jazz 60! Go figure! What I really enjoy from Mr. Leenen's video is the opportunity to see so clearly how a preeminent musician thinks about and experiences a variety of picks. What a great video.

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  2. #27
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    I don't know what pick Ralf has been using lately but in the years I have known him I have only seen him playing with a Roman style plectrum. I haven't had much time to watch the new pick video. I will try and watch sometime soon.
    Jim

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  3. #28

    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    It now looks like I have had direct experience with casein. Looking over the Red Bear web site, I can no longer find any reference to "Tortis." It now says "Our picks are made from Galalith also referred to as Milk Stone or Avoriolina (Ivory imitation). This natural product is made from the hardening of casein, the protein of milk which is a 'polymerized animal protein'." However, they very much used to use the Tortis branding, e.g.:

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    I first corresponded with Red Bear discussing "Tortis" a dozen years ago. Continued using it in correspondence as recently as late May and wasn't corrected, although I now note that the two folks from Red Bear with whom I was corresponding never mentioned "Tortis" in reply. The plot thickens . . . or thins. Whatever.

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  5. #29

    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Real sea turtle remains my favorite plectrum material, but locating antiques is increasingly difficult. Celluloid and Ultem plastics are tied as runner ups for function and sound in my personal taste, celluloid maybe wearing out a little quicker.

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  7. #30
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Eugene, you have probably said, but please remind me - now that you have the Gali's in your collection as well, what is your current most satisfying pick of choice?

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

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
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  8. #31
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    It now looks like I have had direct experience with casein. Looking over the Red Bear web site, I can no longer find any reference to "Tortis." It now says "Our picks are made from Galalith also referred to as Milk Stone or Avoriolina (Ivory imitation). This natural product is made from the hardening of casein, the protein of milk which is a 'polymerized animal protein'." However, they very much used to use the Tortis branding, e.g.:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Tortis.jpg 
Views:	17 
Size:	35.8 KB 
ID:	186692


    I first corresponded with Red Bear discussing "Tortis" a dozen years ago. Continued using it in correspondence as recently as late May and wasn't corrected, although I now note that the two folks from Red Bear with whom I was corresponding never mentioned "Tortis" in reply. The plot thickens . . . or thins. Whatever.
    I believe that us because it is a trademarked name. LMII does mention it, for instance, here.
    Jim

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  9. #32

    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I believe that us because it is a trademarked name. LMII does mention it, for instance, here.
    I was thinking similarly.

  10. #33

    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    Eugene, you have probably said, but please remind me - now that you have the Gali's in your collection as well, what is your current most satisfying pick of choice?
    Brand isn't really of much importance to me. I prefer the Neapolitan shape for mandolin playing. Preferred material is antique sea turtle, but acquisition isn't practical. Ultem and celluloid materials tie in function for my taste. I don't know of anybody making the traditional Neapolitan profile in Ultem, so I have to take the time to shape it by hand and buff to function. Galli is celluloid; thus, their heavy gauge ranks highly among those currently and easily available, perhaps highest among those I've personally tried. However, know that my tastes don't/shouldn't apply to everybody. Some legitimately like Wolle-, Roman-, etc. style plectra.

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  12. #34
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    In the video Ralf seemed to like the Jim Dunlop celluloid plectrum as well, I tried stopping the video but couldn't see a model number, on Dunlop's site they have lots of celluloid plectrums. Did anyone catch a model number?
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  13. #35
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Oh my gosh! The Gali "heavy" picks arrived today. The size and shape is perfect, but wow the thin celluloid is WAY foreign to a guy who is using EML and BC 1.5mm picks!!! I need to give these a good long open minded try out. I'll be back LOL!!!!

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

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
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  14. #36

    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    A week out, how do you like you mandolins' response to Galli heavy plectra, Tim?

  15. #37
    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    While I was recording a Bach minuet this weekend, I remembered that one of my Ebay bowlback purchases came with a small tin of old picks -- see attached photos.

    One of them is clearly a Ranieri pick. It's very thin (about 0.5mm or less), which I think is rather thinner than those used by Ralf or Alex. Can't tell whether it's celluloid of tortoise.

    As I've never used a Ranieri pick before, I thought it might be interesting to try what it does to the tone and how the difference between picks compares to the difference between instruments. As I have an Embergher in the house, that was the obvious choice for this experiment. So, here are three short clips with three different combinations of the same Bach minuet played in much the same way:

    1) Embergher with Jim Dunlop 0.88mm nylon pick (my normal pick for bowlbacks):



    2) Embergher with Ranieri pick



    3) Giuseppe Vinaccia with nylon pick



    The last clip was the one used for my "proper" recording of the minuet for my channel -- I'm about to upload it separately with the other parts overdubbed.

    I found the Ranieri pick a bit hard to get used to. It's OK for a single stroke melody like this, except that with my normal grip the pick pivoted more freely on the downstrokes than the upstrokes, so it may need some adjustment in grip. Tremolo seems rather tricky, although that may be the very pointy tip more than the elongated overall shape.

    Martin
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  17. #38
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    I played with a Ranieri pick a bunch of years ago for a few months and could get by with everything except the tremolo. That is the most difficult. This pick us in a very small minority of players.
    Jim

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  19. #39
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    A week out, how do you like you mandolins' response to Galli heavy plectra, Tim?
    Hi Eugene -
    It has been most interesting so far. The Gali pick, when used with the Dogal strings on my bowl back, results in a substantial, wonderful change in tone. Overall the bowl back becomes more beautifully brilliant. As I have never used a thin pic I find the pic a bit awkward particularly with tremolo. However, I will persist in learning how to use the pick as it really complements the mandolin and the strings. I like it!

    The other three mandolins which I own all have Thomastik strings. Being, as I have often said, likely the lowest of neophytes on the classical forum, I don't really have the ability to explain this well so I'll just be blunt: for me the Gali pick simply does not belong with these flat wound strings. I just don't like the resulting sound. Thomastik strings create a certain tone quality which I happen to cherish though many others may not. The Gali pick simply seems contrary to the tonal quality of these strings. Thus I will continue to rely on the EML pic I enjoy so much.
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Jun-29-2020 at 3:13pm.

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

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

  20. #40

    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Cool. Thanks for the assessment, Tim.

  21. #41

    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    0.5 mm is way thinner than I've heard stated by any proponents of Roman plectra, Martin. That's thinner than I'd find practical in most materials. Although, true tortoiseshell is harder and stiffer than plastics and might be somewhat workable at that thickness. Celluloid has a pretty distinctive smell if you file off a bit of dust. I've read it described as menthol-like (meh, maybe) or as camphor. I am familiar enough with celluloid to simply identify its smell as—of all things—celluloid; unfortunately, I have no idea what camphor actually smells like.

  22. #42
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    for me the Gali pick simply does not belong with these flat wound strings.
    Yes, I imagine it would be like marinara sauce over sauerbraten.

    BTW proper spelling is Galli. Also, August Watters liked their strings on his bowlbacks so i bought a set which I just recently found. I may try them on one of my mandolins though they will have to be better than Dogal Calace for me to switch.
    Last edited by Jim Garber; Jun-30-2020 at 4:46pm.
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  24. #43
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    Yes, I imagine it would be like marinara sauce over sauerbraten.
    Exactly - I knew a pro could find the exact technical terms!!

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

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
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  25. #44
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Just ordered a package each of medium and heavies.

    Was anyone able to actually set up an account with them? They never sent me the authorization code to register an account, but wouldn't let me start over either. Probably just means less spam in my inbox.

  26. #45
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Was anyone able to actually set up an account with them? They never sent me the authorization code to register an account, but wouldn't let me start over either. Probably just means less spam in my inbox.
    I was able to set up an account after several attempts. The website has some pretty awkward flaws and inconsistent behaviors. On the other hand, once you get an order submitted, they are very fast at shipping out.

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

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

  27. #46

    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    I had no problem setting up an account. I agree that the site isn't the best functioning, but the service was remarkably fast once the order was placed.

  28. #47
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Today I received Caterina Lichtenberg's new solo album. It is extraordinary. Played back to back with Sebastiaan de Grebber's La Voce de Mandolino album and you have incredible examples of the German and the Roman preferences in mandolin, pick and string choices. Both albums are superb (my favorites) - and demonstrate so well the differences between these tonal choices. Absolutely fascinating (and norm defying) is Caterina's use of a quill with a Gibson H-4 mandola!
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Jul-06-2020 at 10:51pm.

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

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

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  30. #48
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Logan View Post
    Hi Eugene -
    It has been most interesting so far. The Gali pick, when used with the Dogal strings on my bowl back, results in a substantial, wonderful change in tone. Overall the bowl back becomes more beautifully brilliant. As I have never used a thin pic I find the pic a bit awkward particularly with tremolo. However, I will persist in learning how to use the pick as it really complements the mandolin and the strings. I like it!

    The other three mandolins which I own all have Thomastik strings. Being, as I have often said, likely the lowest of neophytes on the classical forum, I don't really have the ability to explain this well so I'll just be blunt: for me the Gali pick simply does not belong with these flat wound strings. I just don't like the resulting sound. Thomastik strings create a certain tone quality which I happen to cherish though many others may not. The Gali pick simply seems contrary to the tonal quality of these strings. Thus I will continue to rely on the EML pic I enjoy so much.
    Eugene -
    I am updating my response re the Galli pick. I have continued to experiment with it on both the TI and Dogal stringed instruments. In fact I have come to enjoy using it on the TI’s (surprising myself). It provides a sense of precision, crispness, and no pick noise that is very refreshing. At the same time I also enjoy the soft mellow sound of my EML and BC picks. I now go back and forth between my three favorite picks (including the Galli). Each pick creates a unique sound and has a unique feel. I like them all!

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

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

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  32. #49
    Registered User Louise NM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    Mine arrived today, having left Italy Monday. They are speedy. I think I will like them, although they do have a different feel and will take a bit of getting used to.

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  34. #50
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Take Your Pick

    I'm liking this "thin celluloid" pick idea more and more as I get familiar with it. They are so dang "precise"! It goes to show me: I must always keep an open mind and be willing to experiment! I am keeping an eye out for the 1.20mm "x-heavy" to come back in stock out of additional curiosity.
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Jul-15-2020 at 8:48pm.

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

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

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