Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Picks as EQ

After years of using Wegen Bluegrass picks, I went back and A/B’d a bunch of picks last week, and I was struck by how much more highs I got out of the Wegen pick than the other picks. That works great on my old Takamine where I’m always looking for more volume and brightness, but with the D18, it seemed like a little too much. I finally settled on a Golden Gate Mandolin pick. The darker tone seems to balance the sound of the guitar a lot better.

I never really thought of picks as guitar specific EQ devices, but they do seem to function that way. Guess I’ll keep some Wegens around for the Tak and stock up on Golden Gates ($1.20/pick) for the Martin.

That is a good thought. I haven’t tried the GoldenGate. I might record a sound test of the picks I have around to see what it sounds like out in front of the intrument. BradM did that some time ago and it was interesting to listen to it. Admittedly, much of my choice now is not based on tone but how they play, but still, it would be good to know what sounds best for a given instrument.

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much of my choice now is not based on tone but how they play

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I wasn’t much liking the grip on the Golden Gate so I drilled a few holes in it and now it seems pretty good now. Took a while to get used to the rounded tip, but on the upside it’s easier to tremolo, now.

In my massive two weeks of experience towards playing mando, I have gravitated to the rounded tip as well. I go back and forth on what I like on guitar, but for the mando, I think the blue chip with the three rounded corners is a great fit all around.

I like the rounded tips on mandolin both for ease of tremolo, and because it seems to give my mando a little more bark. I guess it’s because I’m getting a larger pick surface area on the strings.

I ordered up a big 'ol glass of the kool-aid and purchased my 1st blue chip pick a week and a half ago.

I like the tone I get from the more pointed edges. But, I like the muted tone I get (and MY ability to play a faster rhythm cadence) with a more rounded edge. SO, I ordered the TAD-1R (two more pointed edges and one rounded edge …the 1R reference in the pick model #).

Is it the be-all-end-all? Nope. But, it’s good. I don’t have much of a background to compare it, though. I’ve played guitar for several years…just always been a finger-style player (JT-----ISH).

I’m probably going to order another BC in a more classical style (TD) and see how that feels.

Good topic.

So far I’ve been too cheap to test drive a Blue Chip, but I haven’t heard a single person say they were disappointed with their purchase.

Hey Larry I’ve got a Bluechip that I’ve had for several years and don’t use much anymore. Its a TAD1R 60. Not really looking to sell it but if you just want to try one out for a few days I’d be happy to let you borrow it. Wouldn’t cost anything but a stamp. Just let me know.

Hey, that’s mighty generous, Bulldog. I do appreciate the offer, but I fear that I’ll like it too much and have to invest in one myself.

Why did you swich from the BC, and what are you using now?

When I bought the Bulldog mandolin last year the seller threw in a Red Bear pick and I started using it. It’s a tri-point like the Blue Chip only a little bigger. (in size not thickness) The tone I get out of it is as good as the Blue Chip and I found I like the larger size better. I still use Wegen Bluegass picks for guitars. Should probably do like you and experiment with different picks but dang I’m use to those holes!

I’ve got one of those tri-cornered Red Bear picks. On my guitar, I found it to be a little darker in tone than the Golden Gate. Of the picks I tested, the Golden Gate was closest in tone to the Wegen Bluegrass pick. It just knocked a little of the brightness and seemed to be about right.

I know what you mean about those Wegen holes. After an hour or so of using the Golden Gate, I grabbed my drill and created some custom holes.

Yep, I understand what you’re saying about knocking a little brightness off of the D-18. I actually need more brightness on the HD-28 to even out the bass. Perfect example of why we should try different picks!