Review – V Picks Black Hole
Looming above the desolate wastes of the former earth it hung, perpetual in its darkness. Mans’ upward gaze drew infinitely more to the hovering shape and the brash, strident sounds emanating from it’s surface. How many there were or might have been was impossible to say – even this single obelisk had manifested panic the populace below.
I’ve always loved old sci-fi, in particular the ideas that stemmed from the ’40s and ’50s about what the distant future might be like. Though I’m sure the level of detail afforded by modern technology where politics is concerned might genuinely terrify people and the scope of global communications could result in a folded brain, I like to think that the writers back then who didn’t get to see these things come to fruition would have been chuffed, on the whole, with how it all went.
One thing that was very common during this time period was the fast-and-loose approach to real physics, especially concerning matters like radiation, speed, and the great destroyer , the black hole. The sharpened teardrop rendered here by the aces at V Picks from their own special acrylic doesn’t suck in all light – it’s got a hole in the middle – but it does make for a speedy blitz through those pesky strings that are standing in the way of your next toasty run.
Hand-ground and flame polished – as is the V Picks way – the Black Hole is a 1.5mm thick, fully opaque version of the Switchblade, and was originally designed for guitarist Tom Aragon, and released to the public after he’d been using the pick for a couple of years. He wanted a hole in the middle to give better grip, and as that’s the first thing that I noticed about this, I’ll concur. It stays exactly where it’s meant to, but the odd thing is that after a few minutes of playing, I didn’t particularly notice the missing bit.
Ace grip aside, the Black Hole does stick out a bit in the V Picks canon. Despite the polished finish and sharp tip, there’s very little of the string noise common with acrylic. Even more surprising is the fact that it sounds bouncy, potent and eager on the acoustic, which is something I wasn’t expecting, or how well it strums. This was the most baffling part – this is a long pick at 31.75mm (or 1.25″), and as sharp and riff-orientated as it looks it was a blast to play bronze with. While not the loudest pick I’ve ever come across, the top end is very clear without being shrill, and it works fantastically well for hybrid picking and fast chord work.
There’s a really subtle extra bit of bevel slope before you get to the tip of the Black Hole, which stops it being acidic and harsh. It might seem like there’s no real difference if you play near the neck, but moving closer to the bridge or switching to whatever you were using before reveals that present upper content immediately. It’s got hefty bass too – not as much as some of its thicker contemporaries, but adding more mass would have been to the detriment of that high clarity, and this isn’t a pick that seems to have been designed with chugging power chords in mind.
It’s an odd creature, the Black Hole. On one hand it’s great for practising your physical correctness with that long tip, but it really comes alive on the acoustic. The shape might terrify the 351 or even the Jazz III-focused, but it’s a really fun ride. A bit wayward until you get used to it because of the extra length, it’s nonetheless a grippy, fast, exciting pick, and I thought it was a blast.
- 1.5mm thick
- Special blend acrylic, flame polished
- Made in Nashville, Tennessee
- A spacious 8.5/10
- Cost Per Unit: $5 plus shipping
- Racy and a bit mad but hard to put down, like one of those tiny dogs
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