November 13, 2018

Top 5 – The First 30

Today marks 30 days since Heavy Repping! began, so to mark this occasion here are my top picks from the last month. I’ve only reviewed one of these picks previously, but it had a silly high rating and had to be here. In no particular order then, here are the Top 5 of The First 30.

1. Howling Monkey Primate

The pointiest of the Monkeys was purchased after the Antonios blew my mind and I felt I had to know what it felt like without the holes. Sharper than anything else from the Rochester nut-shapers the Primate has depth and detail in abundance, with a positive vibe about it that truly makes it the King Louie of the acoustic experience. Nothing can get quite that close, so buy one or suffer insufficient tone forever. Bonus!

2. T1 Jazz

Made from 304 steel and recieving a belting 9.5/10 the scariest plectrum I’ve owned in years roars into this lineup like a very thin thing. That’s because it is thin – carting around its monstrous 0.3mm bulk like the deadliest napkin ever, the T1 has poke and definition that you don’t get from non-metals, and despite being a bit of a string-frightener it’s deserving of its place on this list. (Read the review here)

3. ChickenPicks Bermuda III 2.7mm

Not the 2.1mm I reviewed earlier this month but its beefy brother, the 2.7mm version of my top Dutch chicken is a solid, serious contender in the right-hand department. Blessed with a firm, even tone and virtually no string noise, it’s sharp enough to throw down and blunt enough to strum lazily. For reasons I can’t quite work out the extra mass improves the grip, pushing it up the card.

4. Howling Monkey Fat Jazz

The second entry on this list for Brian Staebell’s monkey machine, the Fat Jazz made it up here not because it’s a game-changing plectrum (although the fact that more companies don’t make this size amazes me), but because of what it did to my playing. With this blue nut in my hands I started to go down paths I’d never considered, and while it needed me to get physically hot for the grip to come true it was worth it for the things I discovered. More compass than pick, if I’m honest.

5. Stone Age Customs Jazz XL

A very recent addition, this thing is amazing on electric, with more push than an assertive bouncer. Utterly rigid because, yes, it’s made of stone, the Greeny (as I’m terming it) brings a breath and delicate sharpness to my cleans and a swaggering, roided-out raunch to my driven tones, in addition to pushing me into even more of an atonal jazz path once I got my fuzz on. Curiously graceful for such a hard piece, it’s an absolutely beautiful bit of work and deserves its place on this list.


Every passing day brings more and more builders into my field of vision, so next month expect reviews on plectrums from Dragon’s Heart, VPicks, Winspear, Sesh, Fender and more, as well as interviews with ChickenPicks, Iron Age, T1, Rombo and more.

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