Review – Pleks Koishi

John Tron Davidson
April 2, 2019
February 10, 2021

When people say that it’s the little things that make the difference, I’m not sure that they always grab the weight of it. In the Pickosphere, everything is little, so everything makes a difference. This is especially true when you’re taking the time to make something that’s a bit outside the norm, and today I’ll be describing one such item.

Made in Rome by Brazilian architect Pedro Scassa, Pleks Picks cover a wide variety of shapes, materials and applications, chiefly centred around implementation of the hole. Use of negative space is an important aspect of design, and Pedro has really run with this idea, creating plectrums that almost have more space than mass. Made from Delrin and clocking in at 2.6mm, the Pleks Koishi is a perfect example of having more to it than initially meets the eye, so let’s take a look at it.

What you’re looking at is a plectrum with three subtly different tips. Each one is bevelled in such a way that it aids your striking angle while allowing you to generate – at the very least – three individual tones. My favourite combo is the most pointed, which produces a pronounced, leading edge without dominant treble, and whose other side pushes out a hooded, salacious jazz tone. If you looked at this casually you’d think it might have been melted by someone, but I can promise you that despite all the holes, the Rondo is stiff as a board. There’s ample grip even under quite vigorous strumming, and the bevels mean that you’re met with good contact and little resistance.

I’m reasonably confident that the Koishi wasn’t designed with Michaelangelo Batio in mind, as it offers up a fair bit of chirp under high gain. Put this pick to work on a clean electric however and it’s a different beast altogether, a sophisticated, erudite thinking of a plectrum. Taking it to my acoustic revealed its true nature, a firm kind of softness – the gentle hand on your shoulder guiding you out of the building rather than shoving you in the chest. If you’re looking for gypsy action or brooding, smokey drama, this is a masterpiece, as turning its tip will let you cut for lead work without touching your volume control or a pedal, and if you’re smooth enough to want the really rounded edge, you can pour dim9‘s all night long.

It’s a great pick, this one. Putting in through my ‘let’s play all the styles’ approach showed how suited it is to clean work, and how wrong it feels with anything heavier than pushed compression. We forget that picks, like guitars, aren’t always designed to cover every eventuality – like trying to use an ES175 to play grind. You can, but there’s better tools for the job, and when I want to gather a storm of bass-rich, luxurious velvet notes, the Koishi is at the top of the pile. Given Pleks’ extended range of instruments and the build quality on show here, I’d wager that the shredders among you would dig the likes of the Compleks or heyJoe all day, but for the Joe Pass slithers, you need one of these. Silky.

Instagram: @plekspicks

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