Now I Am 6 – Top 5 Of The New Year
In October last year, Heavy Repping! began. From then until now, I’ve played and accumulated over 400 picks from all over the world, talked to some amazing people and felt both pangs of true excitement and utter disappointment. I don’t like to dwell on the negative stuff, so I’m not going to, and as this site is about bringing the community together, I’m not into demolishing people.
Instead what I thought I’d do is give you, my tall, immaculately-dressed reader, my top 5 picks of 2019 so far. These are in no particular order, and are a mix of plectrums I’ve reviewed and some I haven’t. This page isn’t sponsored by anyone, as that would encourage unwelcome bias, so these opinions are truly my own, and I am overjoyed to share them with you. Dive in!
Starting with the pick that I was most looking forward to trying following its discovery – thanks to Mr. Scott Conner’s big list – the Xufoy Go is an odd-looking plectrum made by Malte Sadler in Germany. An architect and guitar player, he got into building picks to make them better, and in doing so abandoned many of the traditional aspects we normally associate with plectra. The GO comes in a graphite/glass composite that sounds like porcelain when you drop it, and a black Ultem which doesn’t. It’s a weird shape, costs 3 Euros and comes in an envelope, and I love it. Proving categorically that picks are utterly individual, this bat-shit mad company has made what I consider to be a hidden masterpiece. Brilliant.
Rock Hard Stealth
Stupidly in-depth for a plectrum and with a ludicrous backstory, the Stealth is born out of incredible circumstances. Made from 0.73mm Steel and covered in a nano-coating used for protecting night-vision equipment by an aerospace company CEO with a PHD in physics, the brainchild of Jerry Mearini was one of the years’ early hits, and having played a few versions of this plectrum, getting to experience its progress was as exciting as the fade-free friction afforded to it by its sci-fi construction and the forceful, balanced tone it conjures up. Like Ultem but more powerful, brighter, warmer, and with an optimised right-hand slanted tip, it’s more than worth the $20 asking price, especially as you only need the one, but it also comes in ’80s hot pink, so I’ll leave that choice up to you.
Stone Age Pink Gin
Another showing for Matthew Halliday‘s crystal ship as the first Agate plectrum to make it to the HR! YouTube channel blasts into this Top 5. Of little surprise to anyone given the way I’ve talked about it in the past, the Pink Gin is 3mm of bevelled stone splendour you’d want to play even if you were a flautist. Staggeringly fabulous to hold and great looking, I had an absolute riot with this thing. The weekend it arrived I took it out for a 4 hour jam gig in a crowded pub where I had to play everything from funk to jazz and subtle acoustic stuff, and it didn’t put a foot wrong. I also hit my pickups more than I’d like to admit and it came through without chipping. Bonus!
Bounding across to Italy now, this Delrin dynamo is holier than thou. Thanks to Pedro Scassa, who makes picks from wood, Tagua, coconut shell and Phenolic Laminate, I was given the enviable task of playing this plectrum that looks like a golf-ball cross section, and what a plectrum it is. One of the most intriguing designs I’ve yet encountered, it’s here because it’s so much more than it looks. The three edges are subtly different, with each one being slanted for right handed use. There’s no string noise – nice one Pedro – and no drag, almost to a weird degree. Because of the Delrin it’s not the brightest pick in the world, but I played with it for hours, so I can’t give you a better recommendation than that. Turning it around yielded a number of great options, from blunt jazz to dramatically subdued strumming, and it’s got a oddly forlorn quality to it that I couldn’t get enough of.
Worf Shop Triforce
Hurtling to Lithuania now, the first place that lunges into your mind when you think of 3mm thick plectrums cut from raw Carbon Fibre. Though I shall confess to knowing very little about Andrius R other than the fact that he loves Carbon Fibre to the point he’s now blending it with bronze, I can tell you that his tri-cornered Triforce put a big smile on my face. A proper wedge of pick and no mistake, it’s got it’s own thing going on, and is easily the best-feeling CF plectrum I’ve played to date. Bright, straight-faced and righteous-sounding, the Triforce is a right old girl despite its meaty price tag. Girth!