Buffalo Horn Guitar Pick

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by tommyg, Nov 21, 2007.

  1. tommyg

    tommyg Member

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    I was curiously looking into trying one of those John Pearse Buffalo Horn guitar picks. Has anyone tried one and have an opinion on buffalo horn as a pick?

    I will be using the pick on my Gibson J-185 EC (flamed maple back/sides, spruce top/ebony fingerboard).

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!

    TommyG
     
  2. dharmafool

    dharmafool Supporting Member

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    I have one and love it! The Pearse is thick, in the tradition of gypsy jazz picks, and it has a smooth (but not slippery) texture. The dimple is large, beautifully shaped. It's very comfortable and easy to hold. I use it to play electric blues, jazz, rock. Never have tried it on acoustic. I bought it on a lark, along with his sarod picks in ebony and rosewood. Compared with the buffalo horn the wood ones sound dull and feel awkward (I don't like the cut of the dimple).

    I really like the buffalo horn pick because it feels and sounds "organic." It's got a great vibe to it. Fat picks are not for everyone, but a lot of players swear by 'em, or at least get some gorgeous tones with them. Some folks will probably tell you this material is reminiscent of real tortoise shell picks. I had a couple of those back in the day. They were about 1.5 mm thick. My buffalo horn pick is 2mm at the tip, 3.15mm at the top (above the dimple). For tone, buffalo horn certainly compares favorably with real tortoise. I don't know what other material sounds more tortoise-like, except perhaps the very thick synthetic-material picks by Michael Wegen, some of which are 3.5mm at the tip. www.wegenpicks.com/

    The Wegen picks cost about 70% more than JP's. I like Wegens also, I can see what the buzz is about. Picks so expensive force one to care for and keep closer track of them. A unique guitar pick is a special thing.
     
  3. dorfmeister

    dorfmeister Member

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    I have a Dugain Buffalo Horn Pick that I use on electric. Really great feel but it also wears very quickly.

    I've moved on to the V-Picks and am looking at trying one of the really thick Wegens.
     
  4. JSeth

    JSeth Member

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    I guess I've got to try one of those buffalo horn picks... when I was a kid, I remember that my flatpicks lasted a long time; in the past 30 or 40 years, seems like the quality has gone to hell ina handbasket... I currently (the past 20 years) have favored the heavy gibson picks; kinda small, but not the mandolin picks, more oval than triangular...

    As an aside - dharmafool! We live in the same place! Love to meet ya sometime - ever go catch Joe at Cibo on sunday nights? Drop me a line if you'd like to meet sometime...

    John Seth Sherman
     
  5. royd

    royd Member

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    for a long time I was using ivory picks made from the tops of old piano keys. I was always on the lookout for something to take their place knowing they'd run out eventually.

    A local music store had picks in a variety of materials that look just like the Pearses. I picked up a couple of bones ones and one buffalo horn. I'm not crazy about the shape. As for sound, the buffalo horn felt a little deader to m than a harder pick and as was said, it wears fast.

    I've ben using the v-picks pretty much exclusively recently.
     
  6. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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  7. guitarjunky

    guitarjunky Member

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    I have a lot of clients using the Dugain Buffalo horn ones and they are very satisfied. The bone is a big seller as well.

    Also Dugain makes metal and stone ones too.
     
  8. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    I was actually searching to see who else had discovered these, and here we are.

    I've been messing a lot with different picks since taking my first plunge on a V Pick. I've tried lots of Vinni's work, picksandstones, and a surfpick (wooden -- lignum vitae.) Surprise surprise, I like some picks on some guitars, and others on others.

    However, since I got the Pearse buffalo horn sarod pick, I've been strongly favoring it for any purpose where a very sharp pick is helpful. I don't find the pick to be very thick, although the contouring makes it as comfortable as a thick pick.

    It has a super fast attack, almost no pick chirp, and doesn't seem to significantly hype or mask frequencies, resulting in a full, generally warm tone. FWIW, the bone is much brighter, with a marked chirp, and the ebony is somewhat darker, with little chirp, but more muted highs.

    I've used the sarod pick on both electric and acoustic; it's my favored choice for my National M2 especially. Since the National (mahogany bodied reso-phonic guitar) has a Hot Plate, it's strung with Newtone/National nickel strings and does both electric & acoustic duties. The buffalo excels at both. My second favorite pick for this guitar is a small rounded glow-in-the-dark V-pick

    My only concern is how fast it seems to wear.

    My favorite picks, up until this point (as it were) are the glow in the dark V picks, especially the Acoustic/Screamer and small rounded sizes. The buffalo sarod pick has a similar sound to the Screamer, but is more controllable (probably the dimple, but also the shape/bevel) and no hyped highs/chirp.

    The buffalo pick also sounds the closest to, and responds the most like, fingernails.
     
  9. dharmafool

    dharmafool Supporting Member

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    :agree

    I've had mine for about 18 months. I recently buffed out the edges I strike on for the first time, and this led to a clearer tone. I haven't yet bought a second pick to compare the new/old edges visually.

    Compositionally, I imagine buffalo horn is close to fingernails -- a lot closer than plastic is -- and this must account somewhat for its tonal appeal. There's a depth to it I just love.
     
  10. guitarjunky

    guitarjunky Member

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  11. HHB

    HHB Member

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    I dig the horn picks myself
     
  12. shally

    shally Member

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    +1... have a couple of picks made out of ivory from reclaimed keys.. like them a lot. i am primarily electric/archtop but tend to like very heavy solid picks..

    have used almost every material available, from metal and stone to horn and fossilized and un-fossilized woods.. you name it...
    i have never used pearse's horn, but i have used at least 1 horn pick and was not crazy about i.. just didnt like the sound or the feel

    right now i use a variety of V picks and like them a lot and i am still using the heavy dunlop triangles some as well.. have also read about the blue chip, but there are limits to how much i will spend and that is beyond it..
     
  13. skydog

    skydog Member

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    I love it when these old posts get dug up!
     
  14. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    This is nothing... I've seen them resurrected after two, three years or more!

    I have no problem with Dunlop nylon picks, me own self... they last a very long time compared to the old celluloid picks, but lasting "forever" is not a trait I require. Assuming I never lose it or lend it to someone, the worst that happens is that the point eventually becomes more rounded. So what if it lasts a month? Changing strings is a bit of a pain, but changing picks is nothing. Throw it away, pick up a new one, done. A bag of 72 picks costs what, $25? Lasts me for years.
     
  15. skydog

    skydog Member

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    +1. I've yet to round one off. I always try to maintain possession of it long enough, but never do.
     
  16. John Thigpen

    John Thigpen Supporting Member

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    I picked up a few Dugain Minis recently, including a buffalo horn and a bone. I must admit that I prefer the bone...it seems a little brighter to me, and I expect it to last longer since it definitely seems harder. I used some sandpaper to sharpen the tip and add a bit of a bezel to it, and now it's my favorite pick.

    John
     
  17. tommyg

    tommyg Member

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    WOW! What a bunch of great updates to this thread!

    I've been using these John Pearse Buffalo Horn pics now for about a year and LOVE them. Yes - they do need some filing: I bought both 2000 grit and 4000 grit sand paper at a local autobody supply store and use them to file to a nice, smooth surface. Love the tone on them!
     

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