It’s easy to take things in life for granted. There’s a lot we accept in the musical world as being things that always were, or simply being so commonplace that their origins no longer matter. The 351 is such a thing. Named after the D’Andrea hammer die that was used to cut the shape, it’s passed into lore as being something that just is, and the musical world in general doesn’t really pay it much thought.
This is understandable, if a bit of a shame. It’s the most dependable and widely circulated shape for a reason, being that it works so well in so many applications and genres. Every pick company that has ever existed has drawn on it in some fashion, and the Gravity Classic Standard takes this to its logical extreme. Clocking in a pretty robust 6mm of gleaming Acrylic, its horizontal and vertical proportions are the same as that of the D’Andrea eternal presence, albeit with many, many gym hours under its belt. Having come by this pick by way of First Line Distribution (thank you Jay), I thought I’d give it a stiff whack, and I wasn’t disappointed.
The Classic Standard is one of the most heavily bevelled picks I’ve ever played. More gradually tapered than the V-Picks Freakishly Large Round, more curved than the Superbite Iced Ruby, this thing is so smooth it actually bordered on the unnerving. Luckily HR! is tougher than week-old steak, so I wasn’t phased by this, and kept on playing. The grip, in the great Gravity tradition, is hilariously excellent, with the recessed lettering serving the purpose of adding yet more adhesion to this stickiest of materials. Granted, not everyone will have the physical bonding experience that the majority of players seem to have with acrylic, but this is easily corrected with the merest hint of moisture. In all my time playing Gravity, it’s the one thing with which I have never had a concern.
Tonally speaking, it’s oddly pronounced. In a canny move, though the bevel seems to slope forever, Gravity have kept a distinct ridge on the very edge,meaning that as you glide through each string, the top end prevails. If the bevel continued in the manner it began, this plectrum would be virtually circular, but that defined line allows the lozenge-like Classic to push out firm notes with a more open bass than you’d get from a pick with a sharper tip. If you’re a player who isn’t blessed with tremendous grip strength but enjoys playing at high velocity, this is a great plectrum, as it breezes across your strings with little effort.
Predictably for such a shiny, polished piece of Acrylic, there’s a fair old chirp once you hit the plain strings, though if you’re even remotely interested in Acrylic picks you’ll have made your peace with this. Strumming chords results in minute amounts of resistance, as the Classic seems to have been made with this in mind. If you’ve watched any recent footage of the guys from Vitriol (who favour Gravitys of this thickness), you’ll see that while their guitarist has a fearsome right hand technique, a pick like this can keep up without breaking a sweat, and when you’re trem-picking whole chords that’s no easy feat.
On acoustic, the single-note chirping is pretty severe, but the strumming is a different story. If I had to do a gig where it was wall-to-wall chord work in a band context, I’d reach for this thing immediately. The lack of physical exertion required to deliver utterly consistent strikes justifies the Classic’s existence alone, especially at 6mm. Pitted against the equally thick Winspear Shuriken (U-Glass) and BHL Megalodon (UHMWPE), it doesn’t possess the sheer force of the Shuriken or the monstrous depth of the BHL, but it’s more subtle and easier to grip than these two respectively. It’s a plectrum you can grab and start using even if you’ve only ever played sub-1mm efforts, with great note separation and instant likeability.
I’m into this. The Classic knows what it is, and that’s a totally usable, utterly reliable, perfectly finished 6mm take on the most established plectrum shape in history. It’s a genuinely engaging item, and even taken in the pantheon of fatties that I’ve got at my disposal, the Classic is a great bit of kit. If you’re looking for a pick to let you strum infinitely better with great tonal balance and not too much bottom end, this is the one to get. Great stuff.
- 6mm Thick
- Made Outside San Francisco, USA
- A glossy 8/10
- Price Per Unit: $9.99
- Strum for eternity with this shimmering globule.