Acrylic. It’s the main reason that I got into plectrums, and it remains the material with which I have the most profound bond. I would be lying to each and every one of you if I said that any other compound is as good for me as the clear and sticky saint, but I’d also be a charlatan if I said it, like anything, doesn’t have its drawbacks.
Prone to chirping on the higher strings and maddening beyond measure if you drop a see-through one on the carpet, acrylic isn’t infallible, but Vinni in his ingenuity has crafted this, the V-Picks Medium Pointed Pearly Gates. As this was my favourite V-Picks shape (just edging out the Dimension in case you’re wondering) and I had a Ruby Red one already, I thought I’d give this one a go, and was simultaneously surprised and not disappointed.
The acrylic used for this mottled, gleaming item is blended by V-Picks themselves, and behaves quite differently to its conventional counterpart. While both the Ruby and the Clear have rounded, robust tones with a soft bloom on the bass, the Pearly Gates is much sharper with less oomph in the bottom end, and while this initially raised my favourite eyebrow, I understand that these are two different materials, and despite being cut to the same 2.75″ thickness, this example definitely has a more pointed tip.
From an all-round perspective then, this is better suited to lead work in contrast to its less-fancy cousin, or for hybrid picking where maximum clarity is required. If I wanted the extra hoof I would likely stick with the conventional MP, but there is something else that I haven’t considered.
The biggest difference with this pearly situation is the string noise. Yes, there’s less bass to this plectrum, but the string noise inherent in the normal version is significantly reduced. I’d liken it to the difference between the Fender American Standard pickups and the Deluxe – the Deluxe is less explosive, but it’s more refined, and the question of its application is one of personal preference. If you’re the only guitar player in the band and you take a lot of leads, this pick will be the heavy ticket. If you’re a Malcom rather than an Angus, the non-pearly plectrum is the beefy one!
No joke, this thing is excellent, and the trade-offs are worth it in every respect. A clear, sharp, wildly comfortable version of a tremendously popular plectrum, it’s worth having both for tracking your acoustic parts alone, where the nature of the material really shines through. Check it!
- 2.75mm thick, 1 1/8th of an Inch (symmetrical)
- Acrylic special brew
- Made by hand in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Polished with flame. Yeah, flame
- A pronounced 8/10
- Cost per unit: $4.50 plus shipping to wherever you are
- Bright as a button and without the squeaky bits
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