Blue Chip vs Charmed Life vs Red Bear ....

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Outlaw, Dec 22, 2017.


  1. Outlaw

    Outlaw Member

    Messages:
    9,380
    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Location:
    JIMMY KIMMEL RETWEET BOT
    ....picks, etc.

    I’ve been using Wegen BG 1.4’s for quite a long while. I’ve never tried any of the picks listed in the thread title.

    Am I missing something?

    I just thought my Wegen’s were expensive ($3.75/ea) until looked at a Blue Chip ($35.00/ea).

    Is there that big of a difference?

    I, like many of you I’m sure, used anything that was handy when I started playing nearly 41 years ago. At some point I became fixated on Pickboy 1.0 ceramic picks, and played them almost exclusively for two decades. At some point I bought a package of four Wegen BG 1.4’s for $15.00. I really liked them, the feel, the tone, etc.

    As you move up the pick food chain are the differences that noticeable? Say I move from my Wegen to an equivalent Blue Chip (size and thickness), what should I expect? I know that these pick makers are using some expensive ass materials, as I’ve done some research to try to learn about them.

    I’m genuinely interested to hear from anyone who has made the leap. I do believe that there has to be some reason.

    I’m not so interested to hear about your experiences with your Fender or Clayton, etc, etc, picks, I’ve used them. I’d like to keep this on topic of the brands listed.
     
    rambleon and OddJobb like this.
  2. Justin Hitchborn

    Justin Hitchborn Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,329
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Location:
    ze Island
    Semi-breaking the rules, but yes. I have made the leap. Not to the brands you specifically mention, but certainly comparable in terms of price, fancy materials, options, etc etc.

    At first I was quite enamored, but that eventually settled into a more measured attitude. Right now they are among a variety of other picks of varying materials and thicknesses. If I were to get more into recording for release I may choose one strategically. As it stands it's more about what mood I'm in, the kind of feel, loudness and sound I want at the time.
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  3. Blix

    Blix Supporting Member

    Messages:
    18,463
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Stabekk, Norway
    A Blue Chip have a quite muted pick attack compared to most everything else I've tried, including Wegen and Red Bear.
    The BC's have a pretty warm tone, almost like using your fingers at times. For my style they're a bit too soft on the attack, but for for warm clean tones they're fantastic.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    throbert and Outlaw like this.
  4. s2y

    s2y Member

    Messages:
    15,103
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Location:
    Caught somewhere in time
    I'm gonna order some Charmed Life picks in a bit and probably a similar Blue Chip. I have Blue Chip thumb pick, which sounds nice.

    I mainly use a John Pearse dimpled bone pick. It's thick as heck and coaxes a nice tone when I flat pick.

    I also have a bunch of V-Picks, which I suppose I should play with.
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  5. skronker

    skronker 2010/2013/2015 S.C. Champions Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,562
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the hell I have created
    I used to use Pickboy jazz 1.5's still have a bunch and use occasionally
    I tried the Blue Chip LG 60 because it's the closest in size and thickness to the Pickboy jazz
    I really like and prefer the feel and sound of the Blue Chip
    It's a bit darker but works for me
    people look at the price and say "that's crazy, I can buy 1000 picks for 10$" or whatever
    But I have used the same pick exclusively for about 6 months and it is hard to see the wear on the pick
    I would have gone through about 20 Pickboys by now but I'm still using just the one Blue Chip. Amazing material.
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  6. throbert

    throbert Member

    Messages:
    990
    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    I've tried all three and I prefer Blue Chip. They will last for years. Just be careful not to lose them. The other companies are also good but BC has always had the best selections of thicknesses and styles. Even made a couple to order for me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    Outlaw likes this.
  7. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    32,132
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    love my blue chips!

    i hate any kind of bevel on a pick (i order the BCs without one) and like @skronker says, i can use one pick for months or even years with no visible wear while a "regular" pick gets that ragged sharp edge worn into it in like half a set. tried a red bear with high hopes and liked how stiff it was but it wore about as quick as anything else.

    BCs make sense for the real tortoiseshell fanatics out there, besides being legal the BCs might actually be cheaper.

    if you wanna extend your money, get the BC rounded triangle shape, you now have three pick tips for the price of one.
     
    Paleolith54 and Outlaw like this.
  8. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I dunno, I just use Dulop Tortex blue 1mm or Ultem 1mm picks myself. A friend of mine ordered a Blue Chip TAD35 for his mando and it is a slippery bugger on those strings.

    I can remember using a quarter for a pick back in the day :)
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  9. tonegangster

    tonegangster Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,438
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Ellis County, TX
    Just recently bought my first Blue Chip and it is very smooth off the strings. Makes me want to try the others to compare.
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  10. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    So having said I use garden variety mass market picks, I AM interested in learning about Blue Chips because I did like how my friends pick scurried over those mando strings.

    So my question then is this (for anyone who knows); if I currently use a 1mm Dunlop Tortex or Ultem pick, in a teardrop (Fender) shape -- what is the equivalent in Blue Chip pick parlance? I have been to their web site and they have so many choices, but for $35 a pop, I'd like to at least start with a known quantity. I'm thinking the STP-40 or SP-40? Maybe?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
    Outlaw likes this.
  11. throbert

    throbert Member

    Messages:
    990
    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    I would just email or call Blue Chip and ask. If you're not happy, you can always return the merchandise and try something else. Reasonably priced Dunlop Primetones are somewhat similar. However, the material used in the BC is great. Hard to explain why unless you actually try it.
     
    Social Exodus and Outlaw like this.
  12. s2y

    s2y Member

    Messages:
    15,103
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Location:
    Caught somewhere in time
    Finally ordered Charmed Life and Blue Chip. Depending on how I like those, I might also stock up on my choice of John Pearse. I bought a combo pack of different pick shapes and materials. I can see how much I have worn mine compared to the ones I don't use.
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  13. Tuberoast

    Tuberoast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,188
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    I own three BC picks TD 45/40/35. They sound great and I sharpen the bevel on a small pull-through knife sharpener I own (the kind with carbide and ceramic honing), this brightens things up. One thing I notice about BC is the full bodied tone. I also like a real ts pick that I own, the Ultex picks (including the Primetone version). I haven't lost a BC yet in three years of having them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
    Outlaw likes this.
  14. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    32,132
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    the primetones are cool and feel similar for a fraction of the price but they're not remotely as durable as the blue chips. they're also apparently unavailable without that pre-formed bevel (which i hate, to me that's what a worn-out pick has).
    yeah. the blue chip feels smooth but is still somehow "grippy" under the fingers, sounds like a nice normal pick (to me like a brand new "regular fender" pick) and it lasts orders of magnitude longer than anything else.
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  15. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    I'm gonna do just that today, thanks.
     
  16. muku

    muku Supporting Member

    Messages:
    242
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2007
    Blue Chip TAD1R-50 is incredible. I been using the rounded sides beveled, and not, for finger tone. Makes your guitar sound BOLD. Not great for fast tunes. Then you go to the one shapr side of the triangle for leads and that.

    Try the 50 and 60. No click sounds like fingertips like no other pick I have tried in 50 years of playing.
    If you just want strummers most anything will work.
    These picks are mostly for tight rhythms, partial chords, hybrid pick and finger grabs and warm melodic stabs. To go along with medium to slow leads.
     
  17. s2y

    s2y Member

    Messages:
    15,103
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Location:
    Caught somewhere in time
    I'm eagerly awaiting my order from Blue Chip and Charmed Life.
     
  18. s2y

    s2y Member

    Messages:
    15,103
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Location:
    Caught somewhere in time
    Ended up getting the Blue Chip TAD 60 yesterday after I got home from work.

    Sounds good but not as loud or bold as my John Pearse. Still waiting on the Charmed Life picks. I’ll try to get a comparison recorded.
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  19. Bitflogger

    Bitflogger Member

    Messages:
    291
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    Location:
    My mom's basement.
    I have a Blue Chip TD50 and similar Red Bear. I'm glad I got the Blue Chip used but do enjoy it. Spending gets into diminishing returns after buying the Wegen Bluegrass models I love.

    One thing about that TD50 is pick and finger tone matches well for hybrid picking but same for the thicker Wegens.
     
    Outlaw likes this.
  20. Social Exodus

    Social Exodus Lone Wolf Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,267
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    How do you like your Blue Chip and Charmed Life picks so far?
     
    Outlaw likes this.

Share This Page