Jazz Pick Roundup

Jazz picks are, in my opinion, the best kept secret of (non-jazz) guitar players. Even before knowing that you can buy a small pointed pick in the store (my local store didn’t have anything but standard picks), I’d get a regular tortex or gator pick and sand down sides to get a pointed tip. Realizing that you can buy them was great news for me 🙂 I’ve used various Jazz III variations over the years, but recently I started getting more into acoustic guitars which are much less forgiving when it comes to pick choice. Any noise generated on contact between the string and the pick will be clearly heard. Tonal characteristics of the pick will come through much clearer on acoustic guitar. So I set on a quest to find the pointed pick that will work well with my new fleet of acoustic guitars and, hopefully, equally as well with my electrics.

Method

In order to separate my personal opinion from “scientific” facts, I came up with about a dozen atomic criterion, or aspects if you will, that are observed for each pick. Each criteria is small and simple enough that makes it possible to tell between the two picks how they compare. For example, it’s relatively easy to tell which pick is stiffer, or louder. By comparing each criteria individually, I can sort all picks and assign them numerical grades between 1 and 10.

In my experience, the good old red Jazz III is a very nice pick that is not extreme in anything – not too pointy, not too bright, not too fast, not too warm. So I used it as a reference when doing the first round of comparisons. It’s not practical to compare every pick against every other pick, so doing the preliminary comparison against Jazz III gives me a ballpark idea where the pick will be on the scale. After that, I take all other picks that are in the same range, compare against them and find it’s place. I would do that for every individual criterion separately.

Now comes the fun part – in order to determine the total grade of the pick, each criteria is assigned with an importance factor, determined by position of sliders below. That means that criteria that are more important to you will have bigger impact on the final grade. Some of the criteria behave slightly differently than others. For example, giving lower importance to “Grip” means just that you don’t care if it grips good or not. However, if you set the “Warm/Bright” slider closer to “Warm”, the system will interpret that as “you prefer warmer pick”, not as “you don’t care if the pick is bright”. These two are very different and will affect the final grade differently.

By default, sliders are set to my personal preference, but you are welcome to play with them and set them to yours. Grades will be recalculated and picks will be sorted accordingly.

Please note though, that these grades are only rough guidelines as precision scientific equipment was not used to determine individual grades. Grades do not guarantee that pick A will be a better or worse choice for you than pick B. I try hard to give unbiased grades, but they are still my personal opinion. Your ears and hands and perception may be different. Even I will choose a pick differently based on what I’m playing at that time.

I always try to give each pick as much play time as possible to make the comparison fair, and I suggest everyone to do the same. When you’re used to something, good or bad, whatever you try that is very different than that will feel odd at first. Give it some time before making the final verdict.

Finally, many of the models reviewed come in different thicknesses. I would usually choose one thickness I like and review that. Thinner picks will typically be a bit brighter, more flexible and sometimes if they are flexible enough, they could add the clapping/flapping noise. Thicker will be the opposite.

Mods

As I’m a fairly light picker, I prefer nimble and bright sounding picks that do not require me to dig in hard to get a nice clear sound of my guitar. Whenever I test a pick and feel that there’s a room for improvement in either of the two areas, I would try to modify the pick to have slightly more pointed tip and sharper edges. My reference is Gravity Sunrise that I like very much, so I would usually try to make the other pick have the same tip and bevel like the Sunrise. That assumes a fairly pointed tip and V-shaped bevels that are pretty sharp. For most materials, it’s pretty straight forward to do using nothing but some sand-paper – #220 for getting the shape and bevel right and super-fine (don’t know the grade) sandpaper or nail files for final polishing. It takes not more than 5 minutes to Sunrise-ize an ordinary Jazz-style pick. Whenever you see “(Modded)” attached to a pick’s name, that is what the mod is. In all those cases I would deduce one point from the “Price” grade because it takes some time to do, so it affects the total “cost” of the pick. And of course, I’ll always try to review the unmodified pick as well.

  Importance
Warm

Bright

?
Fundamental

Complex

?
Flexible

Stiff

?
Gritty

Smooth

?
Volume

?
Precision

?
Speed

?
Comfort

?
Durability

?
Grip

?
Price

?
Quality

?
1) Gravity Sunrise Gold Big Mini

Thickness 1.5mm Length 28mm Width 27mm Material n/a Bevel Sharp V
This is a fancy version of the original acrylic Sunrise that grew into being my favorite…more
Total Grade

8.0

Warm/Bright  6.5
Fundamental/Complex  6.5
Flexible/Stiff  8.5
Gritty/Smooth  8
Volume  8.5
Precision  9
Speed  5
Comfort  8.5
Durability  9
Grip  7
Price  2
Quality  9
2) Bancika Pointy Dream

Thickness 1.5 Length 25mm Width 25mm Material Vespel Bevel Sharp V
Inspired by Gravity Sunrise model, but hand made from the fancy vespel plastic. Pointy tip…more
Total Grade

7.8

Warm/Bright  6
Fundamental/Complex  6
Flexible/Stiff  9.5
Gritty/Smooth  10
Volume  6
Precision  8
Speed  8
Comfort  9
Durability  9
Grip  4
Price  4
Quality  9
3) Gravity Sunrise Mini

Thickness 1.5mm Length 23mm Width 23mm Material Acrylic Bevel Sharp V
Similar in shape to Jazz III but even smaller and slightly more pointed. That makes it very…more
Total Grade

7.6

Warm/Bright  7
Fundamental/Complex  6
Flexible/Stiff  7
Gritty/Smooth  6
Volume  8
Precision  9
Speed  5
Comfort  8
Durability  7
Grip  6
Price  4
Quality  7
4) Wegen TonePick

Thickness 2mm Length 25mm Width 22mm Material n/a Bevel Speed
These Wegens have the same size and shape like Jazz III, but are 2.0mm thick and feature…more
Total Grade

7.5

Warm/Bright  4
Fundamental/Complex  6
Flexible/Stiff  10
Gritty/Smooth  10
Volume  7
Precision  6
Speed  8
Comfort  9
Durability  9
Grip  10
Price  3
Quality  9
5) Dunlop Jazz III Ultex

Thickness 1.36mm Length 25mm Width 22mm Material Ultem Bevel U
Has the same shape and thickness as the regular Jazz III but made from ultex which makes…more
Total Grade

7.4

Warm/Bright  7
Fundamental/Complex  8
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  8
Volume  7
Precision  7
Speed  6
Comfort  6
Durability  9
Grip  7
Price  10
Quality  5
6) Dava Jazz Grip

Thickness 1.5mm Length 26.5mm Width 23mm Material Delrin/Rubber Bevel U
These are very interesting picks, tips made of harder delrin and gripping surface made of…more
Total Grade

7.4

Warm/Bright  6.5
Fundamental/Complex  8
Flexible/Stiff  2
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  9
Precision  6
Speed  5.5
Comfort  8
Durability  7
Grip  10
Price  9
Quality  5
7) Winspear Sandstorm Shiv IV (modded)

Thickness 3mm Length 26.5mm Width 23mm Material PEEK 1000 Bevel V
By modding the pick I wanted to reduce grittiness and add some smoothness to the tone, so…more
Total Grade

7.3

Warm/Bright  6.5
Fundamental/Complex  7
Flexible/Stiff  9.5
Gritty/Smooth  7
Volume  8
Precision  9
Speed  6
Comfort  6
Durability  9.5
Grip  6
Price  2.5
Quality  6
8) Dunlop Jazz III Ultex 2.0mm (Modded)

Thickness 2mm Length 25mm Width 23mm Material Ultem Bevel V
In this particular case, I did the mod hoping to tame the harsh highs I was getting on the…more
Total Grade

7.3

Warm/Bright  6
Fundamental/Complex  5
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  7
Precision  8
Speed  6
Comfort  6
Durability  8
Grip  7
Price  9
Quality  3
9) Zenfire Custom Alu

Thickness 2.0mm Length 25mm Width 25mm Material Aluminum Bevel U
Very unique pick, shaped similar to Jazz III but with wider “shoulders”. Sits in the hand…more
Total Grade

7.3

Warm/Bright  7
Fundamental/Complex  7
Flexible/Stiff  10
Gritty/Smooth  5
Volume  8
Precision  6
Speed  6
Comfort  9
Durability  9
Grip  9
Price  3
Quality  8
10) Dunlop Jazz III Prime Tone

Thickness 1.4mm Length 25mm Width 25mm Material Ultem Bevel Speed
“Boutique” version of one of my favorite picks of all time – Jazz III Ultex. Made of the…more
Total Grade

7.3

Warm/Bright  7.5
Fundamental/Complex  7.5
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  8.5
Volume  7
Precision  6
Speed  6.5
Comfort  6
Durability  9
Grip  6
Price  10
Quality  7
11) Surfpick Lignum Vitae Jazz

Thickness 1.5mm Length 26mm Width 22.5mm Material Lignum Vitae Bevel Soft V
I was initially skeptical about wooden picks, but this pick surprised me. It’s a very balanced,…more
Total Grade

7.2

Warm/Bright  7
Fundamental/Complex  7
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  10
Volume  7
Precision  5
Speed  6
Comfort  8
Durability  5
Grip  8
Price  3
Quality  7
12) ChickenPicks Badazz III

Thickness 2.0mm Length 26mm Width 26mm Material Termoplastic Bevel Sharp V
Badazz III features slightly more aggressive tip and bevel than the regular Jazz III. They…more
Total Grade

7.1

Warm/Bright  8
Fundamental/Complex  5
Flexible/Stiff  10
Gritty/Smooth  4
Volume  9
Precision  9
Speed  7
Comfort  5
Durability  9.5
Grip  7
Price  4
Quality  8
13) D’Andrea Pro-330 Plec (Modded)

Thickness 1.5mm Length 23mm Width 21mm Material Celluloid Bevel V
I modded the pick to have a more pointed tip, as stock version was way too dull and imprecise…more
Total Grade

7.1

Warm/Bright  4.5
Fundamental/Complex  8
Flexible/Stiff  5
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  4
Precision  7
Speed  6
Comfort  9
Durability  3
Grip  5
Price  6
Quality  6
14) Gravity Striker Mini Pointed

Thickness 1.5mm Length 23mm Width 24mm Material Acrylic Bevel Sharp V
These have similar tip shape like Jazz III, but unlike the original, there are three tips,…more
Total Grade

7.1

Warm/Bright  6.5
Fundamental/Complex  7
Flexible/Stiff  6
Gritty/Smooth  6
Volume  8
Precision  7
Speed  5
Comfort  8
Durability  7
Grip  6
Price  4
Quality  7
15) Pickboy Jazz (Modded)

Thickness 1.5mm Length Width Material Cellulon Bevel Soft V
I modded the tip to be more precise and make the tone clear. Everything said for the stock…more
Total Grade

7.0

Warm/Bright  5
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  5
Gritty/Smooth  10
Volume  6
Precision  7
Speed  7
Comfort  8
Durability  3
Grip  7
Price  7
Quality  6
16) Dunlop Jazz III Ultex 2.0mm

Thickness 2mm Length 25mm Width 23mm Material Ultem Bevel
2.0mm ultex features the same Jazz III contours but are slightly thicker, made of ultex (obviously)…more
Total Grade

7.0

Warm/Bright  9
Fundamental/Complex  6
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  4
Volume  9
Precision  7
Speed  5
Comfort  6
Durability  9
Grip  8
Price  10
Quality  3
17) Dunlop Jazz III Max Grip Carbon Fiber (Modded)

Thickness 1.4mm Length 25mm Width 22mm Material Nylon/Carbon Bevel V
Making the tip more pointed and edges more sharp results in even brighter sound and makes…more
Total Grade

7.0

Warm/Bright  6
Fundamental/Complex  4
Flexible/Stiff  6
Gritty/Smooth  7
Volume  8
Precision  9
Speed  4
Comfort  4
Durability  6
Grip  10
Price  10
Quality  3
18) Planet Waves Jazz Nylpro Plus

Thickness 1.4mm Length 27mm Width 24mm Material Nylon/Fiberglass Bevel Soft V
I didn’t expect much from these as they are dirt cheap and look like a knockoff of Jazz III…more
Total Grade

6.9

Warm/Bright  5.5
Fundamental/Complex  6
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  6.5
Precision  7
Speed  5
Comfort  4
Durability  7
Grip  10
Price  10
Quality  3
19) Dunlop Jazz III John Petrucci

Thickness 1.5mm Length 27mm Width 24mm Material Ultem Bevel U
Petrucci signature picks have the same shape but are noticeably larger than Jazz III. They…more
Total Grade

6.9

Warm/Bright  3.5
Fundamental/Complex  5
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  5.5
Precision  6
Speed  6
Comfort  7
Durability  9
Grip  8
Price  9
Quality  5
20) Graphtech Small Teardrop Bright (Modded)

Thickness 1.4mm Length 24mm Width 21mm Material Tusq Bevel V
I modded the pick to have tip and bevel shape similar to Gravity Sunshine hoping to add some…more
Total Grade

6.8

Warm/Bright  4
Fundamental/Complex  6
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  4
Precision  8
Speed  8
Comfort  5
Durability  7
Grip  6
Price  6
Quality  4
21) Winspear Sandstorm Shiv IV

Thickness 3mm Length 28mm Width 23mm Material PEEK 1000 Bevel Sharp V
Very different than anything else. Similar outline like Jazz III but slightly longer and…more
Total Grade

6.8

Warm/Bright  7
Fundamental/Complex  5
Flexible/Stiff  9.5
Gritty/Smooth  1
Volume  8.5
Precision  10
Speed  3
Comfort  6
Durability  9.5
Grip  6
Price  3.5
Quality  6
22) Cool Picks Ultra Cool Jazz

Thickness 1.2mm Length 29mm Width 27mm Material Cellulon Bevel U
Rather large Jazz style pick, about 4mm longer than Jazz III, but similar tip shape and bevel….more
Total Grade

6.8

Warm/Bright  6
Fundamental/Complex  5.5
Flexible/Stiff  8
Gritty/Smooth  8
Volume  6.5
Precision  6
Speed  6
Comfort  5
Durability  8
Grip  8
Price  8
Quality  4
23) Guitar Moose StickyGrip Classic Mini

Thickness 1.5mm Length 24mm Width 21mm Material n/a Bevel U
Slightly smaller than Jazz III, and roughly the size of Gravity Sunrise, these look and feel…more
Total Grade

6.7

Warm/Bright  6.5
Fundamental/Complex  6.5
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  3
Volume  6.5
Precision  7.5
Speed  7
Comfort  4
Durability  8
Grip  10
Price  6
Quality  6
24) Dunlop Stubby

Thickness 2mm Length 24mm Width 20mm Material Lexan Bevel Sharp V
This is probably the most pointed jazz pick Dunlop makes. Tip is very sharp but also very…more
Total Grade

6.6

Warm/Bright  6.5
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  8
Gritty/Smooth  7
Volume  3
Precision  9
Speed  8
Comfort  4
Durability  3
Grip  4
Price  10
Quality  3
25) Gravity Sunrise Mini Master Finish w/ Grip Hole

Thickness 2mm Length 23mm Width 23mm Material Acrylic Bevel Sharp V
Similar in shape to Jazz III but even smaller and slightly more pointed. That makes it super…more
Total Grade

6.6

Warm/Bright  8
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  10
Gritty/Smooth  4
Volume  7
Precision  10
Speed  2
Comfort  4
Durability  9
Grip  8
Price  4
Quality  8
26) Dunlop Jazz III Eric Johnson

Thickness 1.4mm Length 25mm Width 22mm Material Nylon Bevel Soft V
Almost identical to the original Jazz III with two subtle differences. First, it’s slightly…more
Total Grade

6.6

Warm/Bright  3.5
Fundamental/Complex  6
Flexible/Stiff  6
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  5
Precision  5.5
Speed  5
Comfort  7
Durability  5
Grip  8
Price  10
Quality  3
27) Dunlop Jazztone 205

Thickness 2mm Length 25mm Width 20mm Material n/a Bevel Smooth V
These come from the JD Jazztones line that targets primarily jazz players. They resemble…more
Total Grade

6.6

Warm/Bright  5.5
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  3
Precision  6
Speed  8
Comfort  6
Durability  7
Grip  7
Price  10
Quality  4
28) Cool Picks Juratex Jazz

Thickness 1.5mm Length 27.5mm Width 25mm Material Delrin Bevel U
Slightly larger than Jazz III with similar tip and bevel. Grip pads really help, so there’s…more
Total Grade

6.5

Warm/Bright  5.5
Fundamental/Complex  5
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  8
Volume  6.5
Precision  6
Speed  6
Comfort  5
Durability  8
Grip  7
Price  8
Quality  4
29) Graphtech Small Teardrop Bright

Thickness 1.4mm Length 24mm Width 21mm Material Tusq Bevel U
Similar shape and tip like Dunlop Jazz III, but made out of Tusq (synthetic ivory). They…more
Total Grade

6.5

Warm/Bright  6
Fundamental/Complex  7
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  7
Volume  6
Precision  6
Speed  7
Comfort  5
Durability  7
Grip  5
Price  7
Quality  4
30) Winspear Icegrip Shiv IV

Thickness 4mm Length 28mm Width 23mm Material UHMWPE Bevel Sharp V
Very different than anything else. Similar outline like Jazz III but slightly longer and…more
Total Grade

6.4

Warm/Bright  3.5
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  7
Gritty/Smooth  8
Volume  5
Precision  8
Speed  5
Comfort  6
Durability  8
Grip  5.5
Price  3.5
Quality  7
31) V-Picks Pearly Gates Small Pointed

Thickness 2.75mm Length 23mm Width 24mm Material Acrylic Bevel Soft V
These have similar tip shape like Jazz III, but unlike the original, there are three tips,…more
Total Grade

6.4

Warm/Bright  3
Fundamental/Complex  6
Flexible/Stiff  10
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  6
Precision  5
Speed  7
Comfort  7
Durability  9
Grip  6
Price  4
Quality  7
32) Dunlop Jazz III Max Grip Carbon Fiber

Thickness 1.4mm Length 25mm Width 22mm Material Nylon/Carbon Bevel Soft V
Carbon Fiber version looks identical to the red “Max Grip” pick, but supposedly is made out…more
Total Grade

6.4

Warm/Bright  5.5
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  6
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  7
Precision  6
Speed  5
Comfort  4
Durability  6
Grip  10
Price  10
Quality  3
33) Pickboy Jazz

Thickness 1.5mm Length Width Material Cellulon Bevel U
A bit larger than Jazz III but similarly shaped and a hair thicker. They are made of Celluloid…more
Total Grade

6.4

Warm/Bright  3
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  5
Gritty/Smooth  10
Volume  5
Precision  5
Speed  7
Comfort  8
Durability  3
Grip  7
Price  7
Quality  6
34) Dunlop Jazz III Black Stiffo

Thickness 1.4mm Length 25mm Width 22mm Material Nylon Bevel Soft V
Identical in every way to the red Jazz III, but slightly stiffer and harder than red nylon….more
Total Grade

6.3

Warm/Bright  5.5
Fundamental/Complex  2
Flexible/Stiff  6
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  5.5
Precision  6.5
Speed  5
Comfort  5
Durability  6
Grip  7
Price  10
Quality  3
35) Graphtech Small Teardrop Deep

Thickness 1.4mm Length 24mm Width 21mm Material Tusq Bevel U
Deep version of the small teardrop is made out of completely different material that doesn’t…more
Total Grade

6.3

Warm/Bright  4.5
Fundamental/Complex  5
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  7
Volume  6
Precision  7
Speed  6
Comfort  4
Durability  7
Grip  6
Price  7
Quality  4
36) Dunlop Jazz III Red Max Grip

Thickness 1.4mm Length 25mm Width 22mm Material Nylon Bevel Soft V
The red Jazz III is a classic. It’s one of the first picks people try when they start playing…more
Total Grade

6.2

Warm/Bright  4
Fundamental/Complex  5
Flexible/Stiff  5
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  5
Precision  6
Speed  5
Comfort  4
Durability  5
Grip  10
Price  10
Quality  3
37) ChickenPicks Shredder

Thickness 3.5mm Length 27mm Width 24mm Material Termoplastic Bevel Sharp V
Shredder resembles Jazz III shape, but is much thicker and features different bevel. They…more
Total Grade

6.2

Warm/Bright  7
Fundamental/Complex  5
Flexible/Stiff  10
Gritty/Smooth  5
Volume  9
Precision  5
Speed  8
Comfort  4
Durability  9.5
Grip  7
Price  4
Quality  8
38) Planet Waves Jazz Nylpro

Thickness 1.4mm Length 27mm Width 24mm Material Nylon Bevel Soft V
These are similar to Jazz III but a tad larger. Not as large as Jazz III XL, though, so they…more
Total Grade

6.1

Warm/Bright  4
Fundamental/Complex  4
Flexible/Stiff  5
Gritty/Smooth  9
Volume  5
Precision  6
Speed  5
Comfort  4
Durability  5
Grip  10
Price  10
Quality  3
39) Gravity Razer Mini

Thickness 2mm Length n/a Width n/a Material Acrylic Bevel Sharp V
Resembles Jazz III shape, but is slightly narrower, so it doesn’t sit that well between the…more
Total Grade

6.1

Warm/Bright  6
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  9
Gritty/Smooth  6
Volume  8
Precision  9
Speed  3
Comfort  2
Durability  7
Grip  6
Price  4
Quality  7
40) D’Andrea Pro-330 Plec

Thickness 1.5mm Length 23mm Width 21mm Material Celluloid Bevel U
This pick resembles the shape of Richie Blackmore’s tortoise pointed square pick I’ve always…more
Total Grade

4.9

Warm/Bright  2
Fundamental/Complex  3
Flexible/Stiff  5
Gritty/Smooth  8
Volume  2
Precision  1
Speed  5
Comfort  9
Durability  2
Grip  5
Price  7
Quality  6
41) Planet Waves Jazz Black Ice

Thickness 1.0mm Length 27mm Width 24mm Material Delrin Bevel
Almost identical in every way to Jazz III Tortex, except a bit larger, they are very scratchy…more
Total Grade

4.7

Warm/Bright  6
Fundamental/Complex  1
Flexible/Stiff  7
Gritty/Smooth  2
Volume  4
Precision  5
Speed  4
Comfort  3.5
Durability  8
Grip  2.5
Price  10
Quality  2
42) Dunlop Jazz III Pitch Black

Thickness 1.0mm Length 25mm Width 22mm Material Delrin Bevel
I got these in thicknesses 0.8mm and 1mm as an experiment and to me they are just dreadful….more
Total Grade

4.6

Warm/Bright  6
Fundamental/Complex  1
Flexible/Stiff  7
Gritty/Smooth  2
Volume  4
Precision  5
Speed  4
Comfort  3
Durability  8
Grip  2
Price  10
Quality  2
Comments
12 Responses to “Jazz Pick Roundup”
  1. Antoine Beconcini says:

    Hi… Very good site.
    I’m a huge Black Stiffo Jazz III addict. but since several years, Jim Dunlop has changed their Black Stiffo material, before this change, they were a lot stiffer, and had a “mate” finish, they have changed for a shiny finish and are a lot less stiff… so the sound and feel has changed, I’ve always got about 60 old Jazz III, and trust me, they were a much more fantastic pick, tone wise and feel wise.
    Too bad Dunlop has done this, hope one day they will reissue the old Jazz III Black Stiffo, hope this will be before my 60 ones are used 😉

    • bancika says:

      I suggest trying Dunlop Jazz III Ultex 2.0mm or Chickenpicks Badazz III. They are both super stiff.
      Cheers

  2. Bo says:

    Hey,

    Great page (and website)! I’m also a fan of gravity’s 1.5mm sunrise mini (and their 1.5mm tripp mini), so it looks like we’re coming from a similar place. Having your reviews in mind I went out and tried more J3 type picks, with the thought of modding them to get results closer to what I want.

    One particular pick that stood out to me was the Dunlop Petrucci. Have you tried modding it for a shorter length? From my limited experiments so far that might be enough to make it a contender for the standard (yellow) ultex J3.

    More generally, I’d be curious to hear your take on the importance of pick length. (Besides the tip, I’m starting to wonder how much of what I like about the Gravity mini Snr comes from its shorter length.)

    • bancika says:

      I agree that matching pick length to your style and hands is important. Regular Petrucci pick is a bit too long for me, but I haven’t tried modding it yet. Ultex 2mm is similar but smaller.

      Cheers

  3. David Lesak says:

    Hi, I wonder whether you wouldn’t mind telling me where you obtained the materials for your DIY plectrum designs? I live in Spain and am trying out different materials. It is not easy finding them here, so I have had to import materials, which is a PITA. Thanks

    • bancika says:

      I bought it from ebay. You can find some online stores in US or UK that sell vespel but it’s incredibly expensive. You can find cheaper vespel scraps that are sufficient for few picks but it takes time and effort. They do pop out every now and then.

  4. Oogemyster says:

    Hi,

    Thanks a lot for the article, I am kind of always in the search for a new pick and really love the jazz-style ones.
    Have you encountered the phenomenon that new picks have some excess material around the edges, which really affects the sound and the way the pick glides off the strings? Do you have a tip on how to get rid of it?

    Cheers and thanks for the great site 🙂

    • Bancika says:

      Yes, that often happens with picks that are molded, rather than carved out of a solid block of material. I hate it too, it makes the sound brittle, especially on acoustics and impedes your ability to pick effortlessly. The way I usually deal with it is to polish the bevel carefully using a fine nail file or very fine sandpaper. If you give it a week or so, it will probably break in by itself, but it is annoying.

      Thanks for your comment and kind words.

  5. Jean Gagne says:

    For me, Black ice 1.5mm are well finish. Tumble process make them more round edge and very smooth and stiff. Not scratchy at all and no click\flap soud. Oversized jazz type make them more stable to hold without ”tractor grip”. Nothing to compared with Pich black Dunlop (I have 0.5 to 1.14mm). They are more unfinished, scratchy and difficult to hold (flying, flappy, cheap sensation).

    Thanks.

  6. Afolfo says:

    Very interesting article! Ive tries almost al those pics and i think your comments are very accurate. Cheers!

  7. Ralph Werlen says:

    Hi, are you making the Bancika pointy dream for sale ? How can I buy one ? Thanks a lot, Ralph

    • Bancika says:

      Hi, unfortunately, no. It’s more of a passion project for me. Takes a lot of time and effort to make each of them. They’d have to cost a fortune to make it worth doing 🙂 We built 5 of them and I hope they’d last a decade.
      I’d recommend trying gravity gold pick. It’s pretty similar, only maybe a tad brighter.

      Cheers

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  • About

    The idea behind this site is to share my experience with Do It Yourself approach to guitars, amplifiers and pedals. Whether you want to save a couple of bucks by performing a mod or upgrade yourself instead of paying a tech, or want to build your own piece of gear from scratch, I'm sure you will find something interesting here. Also, this is the home of DIY Layout Creator, a free piece of software for drawing circuit layouts and schematics, written with DIY enthusiasts in mind.