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Blue Chip Picks

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by DraggAmps, May 16, 2011.

  1. DraggAmps

    DraggAmps Member

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    Who uses these/has used them, and what do you think? Anyone switch to them after using much thicker V Picks? I currently use V Picks and really like the shapes and feel, but the chrip/click/squeak is just hard to get over. I'm fairly used to it and I certainly won't go back to using cheap plastic picks again, but I decided I should try some Red Bear and Blue Chips and see how they work for me. I use V Picks that range from 2.75-4.0+ mm and they are very comfortable. I just ordered some Red Beard in Heavy and a 2mm Blue Chip (which sucked, because 1.5mm is $35 but I wanted at least 2mm, which made my Blue Chip $50), and I'm just a little worried that they might not be thick enough. The Red Bears and Blue Chips are also less sharp (even though I picked the sharpest looking ones) than most of the V Picks I like, an they have those "speed bevels", which is another thing I'm a little worried about. On the other hand, maybe the different feel and tone of these pics will be preferable. I'm just looking for experiences with Red Beard and especially Blue Chips (I ordered some Red Bears, then realized they take more than a month to be made, and then broke down and ordered Blue Chips since they are immediately available, even though I went with RV to save some money to begin with), and it would be especially helpful if you have used the thick and/or sharp V Picks to compare to the feel of the Blue Chips and they're thinner, semi-sharp speed beveled tips. Thanks!
     
  2. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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  3. thesjkexperienc

    thesjkexperienc ^^^ I made this guitar^^^ Supporting Member

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    I love the blue chip for acoustic guitar due to the speed off of the strings and the ease of grip on the pick.
     
  4. Agreed

    Agreed Member

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    I am neck deep in great picks right now. I've recently acquired a great Blue Chip. It's clearly got some significant material qualities to it that aren't especially similar to other plastics out there. I've got some Dugain picks - a water buffalo horn pick, and an acetate (as opposed to acrylic) plastic pick, with the ergonomic indent. Very comfortable to play. And I've got a Surfpicks in the works that should be pretty cool, too, after trying a Surfpicks Jazz Stubby and finding that, wonder of wonders, ironwood makes a damned fine pick.

    V-Picks are great picks, a great value considering the quality of the product and nothing else out there is quite like them. I own tons of V-Picks and Vinni is a killer guy, gets top marks for quality and consistency and his combination of low price and variety (relative to the specialty pick market) can't be beat!

    There are other things out there, I'm finding, and as silly as it may seem to folks who just want to spend a $.25 on a pick and be done with it, if you can be trusted not to lose your pick, the materials used in the construction of specialty picks and/or their shapes can offer some really cool advantages to specific play styles, tonal desires, etc.

    I think it's been largely an acoustic and jazz guitarist thing, and it's just now really making it to electric guitarists proper. As such there's an unusually high level of disdain/suspicion. After all, what could justify such high prices? Well, it's pretty fancy stuff. Justify if however you like. If it accomplishes a goal for you that isn't accomplished by something else, then it could definitely be a worthwhile investment. I do wish these discussions could be had without it being an issue almost immediately that they do cost a lot for a pick. Okay, yeah, they do. Let's not bicker about that :)
     
  5. WoodyStrat

    WoodyStrat Member

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    Blue chips are great! However, they are really designed to be a tortois substitute so acoustic guys generally like them. I use a thinner one for electric and its my favorite. It never wears out. I use thick ones on my mandolin.

    I guess it is hard for me to say how you will like them. They deliver the goods though. Some will think that $35-$50 for a pick is rediculous and of course they are right! But I like them so I pay the big bucks...yeah I'm a sap. Not like those thrifty "real" men!
     
  6. wundergussy

    wundergussy Member

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    If you like the Vpicks but hate the chirp, try the Wegen Gypsy Jazz (or, if you like smaller, jazz III sizes, like the Vpick Diamond, try the Wegen Twin). Great feel, great thickness, and very little pick noise. Also, only $10 or so each.
     
  7. DraggAmps

    DraggAmps Member

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    I'm excited to try it, that's for sure. I have searched quite a bit and it seems like more than half the responses are about the cost of the picks. As Agreed said, if you can be trusted to take care of them and not lose them, they could last a very long time. The Blue Chips, especially. The responses I've read seem to indicate that even years later, people see no signs of wear at all. That's pretty amazing. I'm a believer in these types of picks, not just for the longevity, but they sound and feel so much better. I've got a pile of V Picks and I can't imagine playing cheap picks again. The sound and feel just isn't there, in comparison. Sure, most people use those cheap picks and are fine with it, but once you try these "boutique" picks, you understand. Sometimes I pull out an old Dunlop just to remind myself that they just don't feel right, they don't sound as clear, and they just aren't as easy to play. The pick is the direct link between the player and the guitar and a pick that will last forever, make playing easier, and give you big difference in tone is perfectly worth it to me. When I bought 12 packs of Dunlops, they were worth nothing so I didn't keep track of them. But when you've got an expensive pick, you take care of it. I still haven't lost one of mine yet. Theyre really an investment but they save me from going to the guitar store all the time and buying new packs of picks and again, the sound and feel alone is something that you can't understand until you try them.
     
  8. DraggAmps

    DraggAmps Member

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    That's another brand I was looking at and almost tried, and still will, but they're in Europe and I wanted picks fast (for no real reason). I decided to try the Red Bears first, only to find that they take over a month to arrive, so Europe would have been faster anyway. Of course, maybe the Wegens have a lead time too. Aside from the nice bevels of these types of picks, I like a sharp or semi-sharp pick and the Wegens all look pretty round but with speed bevels. The list of picks at the bottom, that haven't been added to the site yet in detail, probably contain some picks that would work for me. I have seen a picture of the Seven, and it looks really nice. I think I'll try them next time, unless the thinner, differently beveled style of the Blue Chips and Red Beard really grabs me. Hopefully Wegen will get the details on the other picks up by then. I do like the smaller Jazz style, as I'm a Jazz III convert, and most of my V picks are smaller, but I recently tried a Screamer and I really like the bigger ones now. The Blue Chip I got should be similar to a Screamer bit with speed bevels and slightly thinner. I'm thinking that might be a good combination and I am sure I can get used to the somewhat different feel, as long as the tone is there and the chirp is gone.
     
  9. crawz

    crawz Member

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    BlueChips and V-Picks are really different entities IME. I find a BC to be the more quiet pick of the two. But as you go thicker with the BC material (above 2.0 mm) it will start to exhibit something closer to pick click. I've gone to the limit with thickness (above the 100 material which is 2.5 mm.) My experience is that you don't need to go that thick to get the best of what the BC material offers. The only real sacrifice is that you forfeit the wonderful feel of a thicker pick.

    BCs won't create the chirp that a V-Pick 4.1 mm Dimension, Diamond, Snake or B# will. But it seems to me that any pick material will tend to make more of it's natural pick attack sound as you go thicker. You get a richer more complex tone from the pick by going with a thicker material (most all agreeing that this is the central benefit along with enhanced feel.) But it seems that this comes at the expense of also getting more click or chirp along with it. It's something I hear most when hitting an already vibrating string... especially the unwound B and E strings.

    Dragg, clearly a sharper tip on a pick is a bigger deal to you. I find that the BC material is naturally if anything on the brighter side. At the 2.0 mm thickness and above that brighter tendency will diminish some. Noted: as I went thick, a BC didn't get as dark as I'd expected it would. It still had that slightly brighter character about it.

    No matter what thickness of BC one gets into playing, the great glide and slickness off and through the strings is sensed. This is something no other pick I know of displays like the BC material will. So, any chops-oriented player is going to appreciate that. lt will be interesting to see where you come out with things with your first experiment here.

    I want to believe anyone would really like the overall qualities of a BC up to the 2.0 thickness. My sense is that many would discover diminishing returns above that (plus they get spendy.) Even Matthew doesn't encourage players to go toward the thick ones. He only offered them because they were requested enough by those like myself that wanted to experiment.

    It's individually so subjective about personal preferences with pick sizes for comfort, pick tip shapes that you feel work best for you and also pick beveling. (The BCs have a first class speed bevel. That CNC they use for this flat out nails this.) Lastly, it seems to me that speed bevels are more quiet than a universal bevel (where each side is coming to a point/ edge.) I'm not sure what else to offer. Some of this seems to be strongly rooted in the moving target realm. Mostly it's like anything else here. You gotta take yourself there to know what works best for you. If this happens to be any help, gright.
     
  10. DJ_61

    DJ_61 Member

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    I have three because I tend to loose them. They are great.
     
  11. 78deluxe

    78deluxe Member

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    :agree

    I've extensively tried V-Picks and Blue Chips. I like the feel of really thick picks, but with Blue Chip, I find going beyond 2mm isn't necessary, and in fact for most players I don't think the sound would be as desirable.

    As for the OP's question: What do you think?

    Blue Chip makes incredible picks, I love them.
     
  12. Humancapo

    Humancapo Member

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    The Blue Chip picks are excellent, but if you're looking for a cost-effective alternative check out the Dunlop Jazztone 208's.
     
  13. 78deluxe

    78deluxe Member

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    Quite possibly the best Tone to $ ratio out there, but I will say they are quite a bit different than Blue Chips on all fronts; Tone, Feel, Durability.

    I think I have a bag of around 30 of the 208s.
     
  14. 66Park

    66Park Member

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    Interesting...I found the Wegens to have more chirp than the V-Picks. It's really too bad, as I like them quite a bit otherwise.
     
  15. throbert

    throbert Member

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    I really like mine. I had a couple made up in .89mm thickness in the small teardrop size. He can be very flexible as far as making you something to order. Just have to be careful not to lose it! $35.00 is a lot but mine have aged gracefully and are still fine.
     
  16. sick1982

    sick1982 Member

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    Indeed!! In one of the last V-pick threads someone said the Wegen's have absolutely no "chirp". So I bought one for 20 f# euro to come to the conclusion they are too bulky for me and make even more noise than a V-pick. They actually sound squeaky imho.

    But the pick noise is for a big part in the head. It's there all the time. I tried all my other picks and realized they all make about the same amount of noise as the V-picks do. Some have a different pitch though. The most silent picks are the V-pick night-glows.

    I thought the bevel would kinda give me the same attack as a regular pick not being kept at an angle, but it doesn't work for me like that. I'd buy a pointed pick.
     
  17. 66Park

    66Park Member

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    Yeah, I think it was the same thread that talked me into them. I like playing with them. I got a Wegen 7, a Trimus 425 and a Trimus 500. I like playing with the 7 a lot, but the chirp is killing me, especially on a Tele. It's even worse with distortion. I like the other two as well, and the chirp is less than the 7. They might actually be usable to gig with, but comparing the 425 Wegen to my V-Pick Dimension, which is about the same thickness, I definitely get more chirp with the Wegen. The V-Pick chirp really doesn't bother me at all.
     
  18. DraggAmps

    DraggAmps Member

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    Thanks for all the info and thoughts, everyone! I do appreciate it. I'm really excited to try mine and, assuming they use Priority, they should arrive tomorrow. I have a good feeling about these picks. They maybe the most overpriced but they are still probably better than any other material. You usually get what you pay for to some extent, at least. Red Bear picks are probably the most comparable to BC in terms of style and shape and while BC's are almost twice as much, they last a LOT longer, have a better feel/material, and they're readily available. Plus, they have a return policy and I assume they're happy to do exchanges if I decide I want a different size. I'm glad I got the 2 mm and no bigger, based on what you guys are saying. Thanks again and I will report back when I have tried it. Tomorrow I will be getting my Lumpy's Liquid Lead and a new Blue Chip! Exciting NGD.
     
  19. 66Park

    66Park Member

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    I should have a Blue Chip coming in the mail tomorrow as well. I'm looking forward to checking it out.
     
  20. DraggAmps

    DraggAmps Member

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    Your first BC? We shall compare notes tomorrow.
     

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