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Fender Mediums vs. Dunlop Mediums....


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Okay, I've been using Fender Medium picks for over 20 years. I've tried others, but always seem to gravitate back to the Fenders. I actually really like the "confetti" color, as it's easy to see if you drop it on stage, etc. Plus, they just look cool.

 

A few months ago, I grabbed a pack quickly at a shop and didn't look at the label. Turns out that Dunlop makes the very same style/color of picks. Not a big deal, so I started using them. Oddly enough, I found that the Dunlops seem to last longer and hold their edge better than the Fenders. I know they're just picks, but I'm not crazy about how quickly the Fenders break down. Anybody else noticed this difference?

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Well, for what it's worth, I quit using such large plectra a long time ago and now only use so-called "jazz picks." The main reason was that I found that a plectrum larger than a jazz pick simply gets in the way.

 

Dunlop has a nice lineup of jazz flat picks, including the Eric Johnson Classic Jazz III.

 

 

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http://www.jimdunlop.com/product/eric-johnson-classic-jazz-iii

 

http://www.jimdunlop.com/products/guitar-picks#jazz-picks

 

 

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I actually went the opposite way last time. I saw that old Woodstock video awhile back and saw Alvin Lee using the larger triangle picks while ripping it up on his ES 335 playing Going Home. I was actually quite surprised but it made sense after buying some.

 

I bought a batch of the larger Dunlop Ultex triangle picks. I hadn't used triangles in a long time. I used to use them playing acoustic all the time. I just happened to find one in a box of assorted picks I had lying around. I used it recording one day. It felt clunky at first bit with a little practice I noticed I was able to do some excellent arpeggios effortlessly when playing chords.

 

My main guitar has been a semi hollow body tele with a Tom Bridge, Tail piece and Mini Humbuckers. The string height above the body is very high, similar to an ES335 without a pickguard. I anchor my pinky on the body when playing it and the extra length and wider tip angle made for very some interesting chording possibilities with much less fatigue. Rakes are reall easy to do without getting your finger tips chewed up.

 

I figured what the heck and bought a batch. I'm glad I did, the picks work well playing chords. The gauge I bought is a little heavier and stiffer then I needed. I often use 1.0 on the Tortex, but these .88 gels don't flex at all. I need to find some Tortex or celluloid of a lighter gauge that flexes a bit. This way they will flex a bit and don't get caught up in the strings playing really fast rhythmic strums.

 

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I still have plenty of other normal picks, Tortex and celluloid which I use just as much, especially playing leads.

 

These gel type picks do give a different string attack then those do, Less click and slap and more string tone. They are very similar to the softer White Fender picks I use for bass but they last about 10X longer.

 

Next batch of strings I'll try the medium celluloid triangles. They are very forgiving playing high speed strums on Latin type music beats, and since I chew picks up quickly, having three tips gives me three times the lifespan. larger size makes them easier to hang on to as well.

 

 

Edited by WRGKMC
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I have both those picks in my box too. I've start using a fingernail filing emery board to put a point on my picks. Increases the mileage a lot. I've also found that medium picks new or nor are flexing to much and slow me down on electric guitar. Still love them on acoustic.

 

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I use these for electric:

 

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Haven't used celluloid picks in years. Tried horn picks and immediately got rid of them. I just prefer the tone and feel of nylon.

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My buddy uses them. I find them too soft a material for my playing. They get chewed up and get this stringy shed along the edge which hang up on strings so I wind up dropping them accidentally more. Harder materials tend to wear smoothly on the edges.

 

They also tended to be more flexible for their thickness and have flex memory as they age. It may be string friction or squeezing the pick that makes them curve to the fingers and if you flip them it feels weird. Celluloid will do that too but I wear those out to quickly to be an issue.

 

They do have many chemical blends now so maybe there are better ones out there now. I just didn't like them.

The material is soft so they produce more more string tone and less click, like picking with your fingers. Harder materials are like picking with your fingernails so its a brighter tone.

Edited by WRGKMC
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It's a free country. I've never noticed ''stringy shed along the edge'' or ''flex memory'' but I've only been using the Dunlop nylon picks for about 40 years so what do I know? I've been using the DAVAs for maybe a year and a half and so far so good. I do like the ''more string tone and less click,'' which is one reason I use them, that and the way they feel.

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I don't know what brand they were. All I remember was they were white and gray. I still got them in a pick holder in the studio someplace so I'll take a look.

 

I'm sure someone has come up with a better formula since then. Nylon is essentially a soft material so they must mix it with something to make it harder. Maybe they use Teflon in there too. Allot of the electronic gear I wok on uses Teflon based plastics which are very hard and durable.

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"Try a Big Stubby nylon WKRP, they're great. You can learn from me, if you want to, this isn't just Cincinnati".

 

I'll give it a shot next time. So long as they don't get grooves or cuts I'm ok.

 

I do like the hard gel Dunlop Big Stubbys with the curved grip for the thumb. The 2.0 are best. The 3's are too clunky and thick. Its like playing with a quarter.

Edited by WRGKMC
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The white Dunlop nylons are .46mm or thinner. Pretty flimsy. The gray ones are at least .60mm, all the way up to 1mm. I can see why you didn't like the white ones and probably not the gray ones if they were at the thinner end of the spectrum. The heavier ones might be up your alley. Or the DAVAs might work for you.

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