28 November 2013

Accessories: Testing V-Picks plectrums with traditional shapes


Moved by the mood and own curiosity, some years ago I was testing some V-Picks plectrums.
In that time, I had the sensation that the material which they were made and their finishing were outstanding but, the size and shapes were uncomfortable for my playing.

Just by casuality, I've seen that V-Picks was delivering some picks with very accepted traditional shapes.
The shape I like more is the one that corresponds to Dunlop Jazz III pickups. This size is just perfect for me but, I can live with traditional Fender Shell pickups shape, as well.

So, I was very curious to test V-Picks take of those two highly accepted shapes and, I am really happy with results.

V-picks Small Pointed Pearly Gates and Tradition plectrums

See this picture (click for full size):

As you can see, they are close in shape to "originals" but, not exactly the same.

The Pearly Gates (first pick, on left hand) is close to the Dunlop Jazz III (second) but, while the upper angles of the Dunlop are smooth, the V-Picks has three clear angles.
That makes it a bit less comfortable on hand, to be honest but, in other side, you have 3 exactly-the same points you can use to play so, if one worns you still have two more to use, which gives a longer life to such a pickup.
One of the issues with those Dunlop Jazz III (even the Ultex model) is that they worn really fast, which affects to the accuracy of your picking technics.

The third pick is the V-Picks Tradition, compared to a typical Fender-alike Shell pick (forth).
See that, in this case, the upper angles aren't so smooth as in the original one, which makes that pickup slightly less comfortable. But, once again, they are sharped in a way that you could use any of the three points for your picking but, being the natural point more appropiated for that.

Even that shapes are, overall, very close to original ones, they aren't exactly the same. More than this, the materials are totally different and, the thicness is the most relevant difference.
V-picks seem to be twice thicker than the original models.

But, don't leave that thickness to fool you. Borders of those picks are so awesomelly beveled and filed that it's a pleasure to play with them. Also, that extra thinkness increases the grip of the pick so, it's really comfortable on hand.

It took me about 1 hour to be used to those V-Picks but, as soon as I was comfortable with them, I've noticed a better precision in my picking, playing smoothly.
Surprisingly, that extra thickness (and, at the end, mass) wasn't increasing the attack and making strings to bump out of the nut. I would say that they've worked smoother than the original ones.

After a couple of days, I went to test back the original ones and I had weird sensations. They seemed to me so slim that were tasteless to the touch and handling!!!.

It's really curious how picks impact to me.

Well, from those two models, I am feeling more comfortable playing those Pearly Gates, both because of its shape and because of its sound. I think it has a smoother attack than the Traditional, is more comfortable on hand and, better to get pinch harmonics.

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