November 13, 2020

Review – Pointless Picks 1mm

It’s a cold day in Reppington Village as I gaze forlornly out of the window at the horizontal rain, and wonder why some things are fated to exist. I love how out-there the Plectroverse can be, and even now plectrums still arise that surprise me. That doesn’t mean that they’re successful – remarkable might be a better term. With that in mind, let’s look at the no-longer-available Pointless Pick.

All Around
The Pointless was originally developed by Michigan-dwelling Douglas Larsen in 2007, and has a diameter of 32mm. This is approximately 1mm longer than a standard 351, and the magic begins as soon as I measure the striking section. The rim is less than 1mm – closer to 0.7mm by my measure. That raised section in the middle is 2.5mm, which then recesses into a crater the size of a 5 pence piece (or a dime for our American chums). It’s injection molded from Acetal, which is pretty stiff for the thickness, and the marking on it from this process is abundant.

Power Jazz
It’s worth noting at this juncture that circular picks are, in themselves, nothing new. Django Reinhardt and his contemporaries famously used rounded if not circular picks quite regularly, owing chiefly to the lack of drums and chord-based nature of gypsy jazz. There are currently models available from Ibanez and V Picks that are completely round, and though I haven’t had the chance to test these, the Pointless does not instill a great deal of hope.

Centred
In this warm room with warm hands the material doesn’t grip particularly well. I’ve played a number of Acetal picks, and while I don’t get on with it that well, I’ve certainly experienced better than this. The gradient of the centre section is such that it lends itself either to the insertion of thumb tip/fingertip – which is like holding a dirty cloth – or the last knuckle on the finger and the joint of the thumb, which is effortlessly unnatural. Irrespective of my bond or lack thereof with Acetal, the ergonomics of the pointless are the big bad.

Hard Going
Maybe it sounds amazing? Maybe, but no. Imagine retrieving some unreachable item from beneath your couch with a parking ticket and you’ll get some idea of how the Pointless hits the strings. An infinite edge means there’s an awful lot of pick to get through, making single-note work an agonising, floppy chore. Compared to even a sub-1mm Delrin 351, this circumferential crime has thoughtless bass, forgettable mids and the most papery top end I have ever beheld. Even the Katori Silent has better tonal balance than this, and it’s a leaf.

Not Great
Even for its intended purpose, the Pointless is a fist-clenching trial of sheer luck. An expert combination of slippery material, wayward tones and real step one/step 3 thinking perfectly explains why this is only available as an eBay/Reverb purchase. I’m glad it’s in my collection from a curiosity point of view, but never has an implement been more succinctly named. Gruesome.