When I first got into boutique plectrums, the very first company that I ordered from was Gravity. The whole handmade/higher price bracket thing was new to me, and I’d heard about them in an article in Guitar Buyer or something. I loved the way they looked, and once I saw I could order one in smoked acrylic, I was in.
What a slippery slope this would be. Use that fancy time machine and I’ve got a fair few Gravity’s (in the Tripp/Standard/Big Mini area), but the jewel in the crown is this fabby big lad. Crafted by a bloke called Chris about 60 miles outside San Francisco, the Sunrise XL is a plectrum with a big sound and its own character.
It’s strange how all the acrylics I have manage to enjoy their own unique tonal characteristics. While V-Picks have a bit of a laugh and Savage Customs try and spear you in the face Gravity have a more understanding quality to them. Even the point of this master-polished, 2mm charmer is less aggressive than its contemporaries, and while the Big Mini version of the same is beyond urgent, neither it nor its significantly larger cousin are cold-blooded killers.
This isn’t a negative trait in any way – the ‘Heavy Repping’ as I called it (I even named one of my radio shows in its honour) remains firmly in my top 5 plectrums to date, and with good reason. I like a lot of surface area, and this thing is plenty big, measuring 31.75mm across. The rounded upper section is the absolute plums for rhythm work, with that blunted advancing edge and straight receding edge matching my playing style brilliantly. There’s a warm, comforting quality to the sound, and holes grouped in the centre make the already grippy acrylic even more adhesive.
Gradual changes in my playing style and the sort of music I make have made me chase a sharper, more determined sound, making the Sunrise more appropriate for acoustic work. When I want that sticky grip and a good bloom with a positive centre, this is the pick I reach for, and it never lets me down. I do play a lot, and my number 1 of these is looking progressively less sharp than it did originally, but I’ve had them for a good 2 and a half years.
If you’re looking for a pick that you can rely on to be consistent across orders, with a warm, honest tone and little chirping (on this master-polished version), you need to get in about the Gravity Sunrise. It’s available in 4 sizes too, so unless you are a flea or Poseidon* you’ll be able to get exactly what you need.
- 2mm thick
- Acrylic, hand-shaped
- Crafted outside San Francisco, USA
- A very firm 8.5/10
- Cost per unit starts at $4.99, this specific model is closer to $8.00 – you get two lines of lettering and it’s free. Custom orders take you up to 6mm!
- Glorious, dependable, every-day soldier
*I’m assuming Poseidon has big hands because he held back the clashing rocks in Jason And The Argonauts and they were pretty big. Uma Thurman also has quite large hands but it seems hurtful to draw attention to this as she’s a living actress and not the Greek god of the ocean, who can shoulder such observations as correct.