My favourite record of all time – Venom, by Breach – was purchased exclusively because of the cover. There’s no shame in that of course, and I still pick a lot of records online that way. This extremely handsome, extremely black plectrum from DAW MAN is an example of what happens when one buys a pick more for how it looks than for its tonal properties, only to be more than pleased when it arrives.
Made by an extremely small team in Belarus, I’d had DAW MAN on my radar for a while before I took the plunge. Too guilty of ordering a million things before knowing if those things are what I need, I thought I’d go canny this time and order a single pick. After an appropriate amount of time (although the ‘your order will arrive in 7-50 days’ was a bit scary) this wee gem turned up, and it’s quite the tool.
Crafted from ‘special thermoplastics’ – what looks like very highly polished thermsoset – this Pointed is a bigger version of DAW’s Jazz III, buffed so hard that it polished my other picks while in storage. It’s grippy like acrylic but with greater depth, a fact which both astonished and irritated me when I tested it against other picks for which I have a thing. It’s a bit like when you go out for dinner and your pals’ food turns up, making your food look like decanted bins.
This tremendous/unfortunate by-product aside, this pick is superb. Deep, worthy attack emanates from its blackness with an abscence of chirping, with single notes having real body and chords being healthy and full. The edge is master-polished (or to V-Picks fans, ghost-buffed), and really gets hold of the strings, producing a marvelous throb acoustically. Oddly, I found my excursions on my Sigma OMR-21 to be more satisfying than any electric endeavours, which genuinely surprised me. I put this down to being confronted with the natural tone more evidently, though when I compared the Pointed to other Thermoset picks I have it was genuinely brighter in both contexts.
If I were to poke at this a bit my only complaint would be ironic indeed, in the sense that my acrylic-loving fingertips longed for the exquisitely-cut skull not to be there, as it meant me adjusting my grip quite often. This was a right ball-ache, because if I hadn’t indulged my vanity (and been so used to smooth, uninterrupted acrylic) this would be the find of the year. In light of this, I must give this individual plectrum, for my individual needs, a rating of 9, though my imminent orders with DAW MAN will not include such pervasive engraving.
I must stress that the tone, shape, beveling, finishing and presentation of this pick gets multiple thumbs up from me, and if you’re digging the incredible endurance of thermoset but wish it had the top end of acrylic, that is exactly what this is. Excellent.
- 3mm thick
- ‘Special Thermoset’ (I’m going to take a punt and guess it’s a part acrylic or glass blend from the tone)
- Made by hand in Belarus
- An extra-stiff 9/10
- Cost per unit: $4.50 for the Skull but it varies depending on the model. Check the Jazz King!
- Powerful, defiant and surprisingly deep, like Clueless.