August 10, 2020

Review – Plextrum Polycarbonate 0.75mm

A need or problem encourages creative efforts to meet the need or solve the problem.
– Plato – The Republic

The mechanics of guitar playing are myriad and complex. With every player having their own technique, style and preference, it’s inevitable that players will make in-roads into developing their own tools for the job. Like Bog Street, Monster Grips and the Pick Ninja before him, Trevor from Plextrum has taken matters into his own hands, but where he diverges from his contemporaries is in both construction and approach. With their current range now out in the wild, it’s time to throw hands at the Plextrum Polycarbonate.

Scanning
As I’m always honest with you wonderful cats, let me be clear and state that before this item came into existence, Trevor, who lives an hour or so’s drive from me, came to my house with his prototype for my assessment. He explained the thinking behind his designs, which were born out of a desire to create a pick that was ideal for strummed work, as well as addressing the age old grip problem. The initial prototype was a highly rudimentary concoction, and seeing the final result from its initial stages is quite remarkable. The information is presented less from a standpoint of potential bias, and more from the perspective of understanding the Plextrum’s intended purpose.

The Outer Rim
Measuring 31mm by 23mm, the principle intent of this unusual-looking tool is orientated towards strummed work. With the outer casing of this injection-molded piece clocking in at 5mm, the inner striking section of this example is 0.75mm and made of Polycarbonate. Though the marketing points to this material being slanted towards electric work, I decided to rattle it against everything I had. My ever-reliable testing pool all seemed to find the 5mm grip area fairly comfortable, even if they were used to much thinner tools, which is testament to the design itself.

Swing Away
Speaking of that design, this is one of the few picks I’ve played (Depic Argentina’s contraptions aside) where the pick has multiple pieces. Though this may initially seem a little alarming as we’re not used to seeing that in the Plectroverse, there’s no rule that says a pick has to be a certain way, and I find this attitude to construction quite exciting. The central ‘tongue’ is mounted on a tiny pivot, with the substantial (but not intrusive) raised sections preventing it from swinging too wildly. This is a way of ensuring that the striking portion moves correctly when strumming, and works rather well.

Joe Strummer
As this is a pick designed to fit neatly into a strummer’s life, I decided to pit it against its most natural rival, the Jim Dunlop 0.73mm Tortex 351. Both picks are ideal for this application, though in the acoustic test, the Dunlop sounded a touch hooded at the treble end in comparison to the brighter, more serious Plextrum. Despite the relatively pointed tip of Trevor’s endeavour having more in common with the Flow series, it wasn’t lacking in bass or projection, and with chords especially it felt natural and even slightly aloof.

Quite A Shock
It’s a curious sensation to explain, but the feeling is like playing with a gentle shock absorber. It doesn’t rotate or get lost in the fingers, and the whole construction seems solid. In a roundabout way it reminds me of the Big Muff – excellent with chords, less so with single notes. That being said, it’s still got more top than the Dunlop without sacrificing anything, so if you’re a rhythm player and looking to try something new, give the Plextrum a bash.

Vitals:

  • 5mm thick (outside) 0.75mm (inside), 0.5mm and 1mm available
  • Made in Somerset, UK
  • A chordal 7/10
  • Price Per Unit: £6.99 at time of writing
  • An invigorating construction

www.plextrum.com