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The flatpicked guitar reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

161 reviews in the archive.

Oasis Guitar Humidifier: Oasis

Submitted by Paul Ryan (see all reviews from this person) on 12/10/2020

Where Purchased: Amazon

Overall Comments

For anyone who has struggled with guitar humidifiers, try Oasis brand. For years I had tried the snake kind, the sponges, the products that humidify the case. And every dry season, regardless of the product, I'd be refilling the humidifier after a few days. The sponges only lasted a day or two. Te snakes were messy and I really didn't know when they were dry.
This year I purchased Oasis, now have 3-1 for all my high end guitars. I don't know the complete science behind it but the product is a cloth-like cylinder containing small beads that hold the water, and humidify the guitar via time-release. The result is twofold-it lasts longer - double or triple what I was used to; plus you can visually see when to add water (the container shrinks when thirsty). For those of you like me wonder when to refill the snake style products, this is a great relief. With Oasis, there is no mystery re when you need to add water...
I'll be honest that my first impression wasn't all that great since the product comes with a syringe and I was forcing too much water into the container. However I now don't use the syringe, I just fill it up by trickling or pouring water in, screw the cap on and place it in the guitar. Done. Like other products it humidifies inside the guitar and you can position it one of two ways-in between strings 3/4; or wedged beside string 1 or 6 and the sound hole edge. I use the latter-its so easy and while this approach does touch the wood, it uses as soft stabilizing plastic flange... totally passive.

So if any of you pickers out there are as frustrated as I was with conventional guitar humidification products-, check Oasis out. You won't be sorry

Paul Ryan

Overall Rating: 9

Blue Chip: TP48

Submitted by jameypittman (see all reviews from this person) on 12/21/2017

Where Purchased: BlueChip online store (http://shop.bluechippick.net/tp48/)

Overall Comments

Without a doubt the best commercially available pick I've ever owned for flatpicking/bluegrass guitar.  The TP48 (tri-corner 1.22mm) comes closer to the highly desirable responsiveness and tonal qualities of a pick made from the carapace of a Hawksbill sea turtle (commonly referred to as a "tortoise shell" pick) than anything else I've tried.  Like a "tortoise shell" pick, the BlueChip pick material is extremely durable with no signs whatsoever of wear after 40+ hours of hard use.  The "speed bevels" on the edges of the pick are identical to how I've modified my own picks for decades now, and so it's nice to have that done beforehand.

Furthermore, I have to give Matthew extra credit for his prompt and excellent customer service: I initially ordered two different BlueChip picks to see which shape/style felt and sounded the best to me.  The TP48 was the winner in this regard (obviously), and so I called and asked if I might exchange the other pick for a second TP48 instead.  No problem!  I mailed it back the next day, and he shipped me a second TP48 pick two days later at no additional shipping cost.

I've acquired and experimented with other expensive, boutique picks over the years, but this is the first one where I truly feel it was worth the money.  All this being said, pick preference is a highly subjective topic and, understandably, opinions vary quite a bit.  But if you're seeking the sound and feel of tortoise shell from a synthetic pick, you'd be hard pressed to do better than spending $35 for a BlueChip TP48.

My two cents, your mileage may vary, yada yada yada...

Overall Rating: 10

MARTIN RETRO STINGS: MARTIN

Submitted by kimmattis123 (see all reviews from this person) on 8/27/2017

Where Purchased: Guitar Gallery, Canonsburg, PA

Overall Comments

MARTIN'S NEW MONTEL RETRO STRINGS.  I BOUGHT A CHEAPER ALVAREZ GUITAR [ARD-70 12 FRET] AND SINCE IT WAS A RETRO GUITAR- I TRIED THE NEW VERSION OF MARTIN'S RETRO STRINGS.  WHAT A DIFFERENCE THEY MADE-  BIG.BASSEY, BOOMEY- THEY MADE THE GUITAR SOUND LIKE ONE AT A MUCH HIGHER PRICE.  I CHOSE THE LIGHTS [12-54- THEY MAKE THREE OTHER SIZES FOR 6 STRING GUITAR] I  DIDN'T WANT TO OVERSTRESS THE GUITAR.THEY WERE SO GOOD I GOT ANOTHER SET [ SAME LIGHTS] FOR MY HAND MADE DREADNAUGHT.  THEY ALSO SOUNDED GREAT- BIGGER- BOOMEY;.I HAD PHOSPHER BRONZE LIGHTS ON BEFORE [ MARTINS] BUT THESE MONTEL WERE SO MUCH BIGGER.  IF YOUR GUITAR SOUNDS A LITTLE WEAK- I RECOMMEND THESE STRINGS HIGHLY.

Overall Rating: 9

Blue Chip: TD-40

Submitted by kimmattis123 (see all reviews from this person) on 3/26/2016

Where Purchased: Janet Davis Music

Overall Comments

I was taking a guitar class at Davis & Elkins {Augusta] and a woman sitting next to me had a Blue Chip Guitar Pick.  I said "they cant be as good at $35 each".  She said her husband bought her two picks, " would I like to try one for the afternoon"  I said sure, but I still couldn't justify the price.  So I used the borrowed pick that afternoon.  WAS I  WRONG!  Best guitar pick I've ever used and I've been playing for about 50 years.  When I got home I called JDM and ordered one.  IF i lost it- i would order more.  $35/40 is cheap for this product.

Overall Rating: 10

Guitar Moose Sticky Picks: Sticky Grip Pick

Submitted by kdn (see all reviews from this person) on 4/7/2015

Where Purchased: via mail

Overall Comments

this is a real eye opener for me as ive looked at Guitar Moose' website in the past & thought their picks just too ungainly, maybe the foam would be too thick to be comfortable or would break down quickly...etc, 

wekk, lately ive been using their Stickygrip .65 & have been very impressed (this from a guy that has 'a few' other hi-end picks that promise no more slippage.

i have m.s. & on my not so good days either im gripping the pick too tightly & my hand/arm cramps & playing suffers or not tightly enough & it sails away.

the foam isnt as thick as i thought it looked, its really quite comfortable, easy to grip & doesnt rotate & has yet to sail away.

im even liking the way my old Guild sounds with this pick.

very impressed

Overall Rating: 10

Saddle Thumb Picks: Custom

Submitted by Richard McVicker (see all reviews from this person) on 5/12/2014

Where Purchased: www.saddlethumb picks.com

Overall Comments

Ergonomic thumb picker review from Italy By, Tanausu Lus Diaz of Guimar Tenerife. Check out his website at,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEmtd0jGei4  He is not using the SADDLE thumb pick in this video on his web site. . REVIEW ERGONOMIC THUMB PICK. I recently received a gift from my friend at SADDLE Thumb picks. The inventor of this thumb pick, Richard McVicker, worked for almost 50 years drafting patents for inventors and engineers. He found over time that the key of any design is the simplicity. At 46 he began playing the banjo and wondered why he had to feel pain on his thumb from the pick to play properly. Tired of trying to use the common selections he decided to invent a pick that would suit any thumb. The pick is one of the most indispensable guitarist tools, because it is the connection between the musician and the strings, and our sound depends largely on it. Many guitarists pay special attention to their guitars models, amps, effects, and even for some purists, the type of electrical cable used. However we cannot ignore that the secret of any great musician is the proper use of the body. Everything begins with breathing, and immediately the sound is materialized in the mind and translates physically through our lips, hands, or fingers. In the case of the guitar though of course an interpretation involving your whole body. The SADDLE thumb pick helps achieve muscle relaxation because it allows a natural approach to suit the particular physiognomy of the thumb. This translates into comfort or ergonomics when producing music and in turn affects positively the sound COMFORT = RELAXATION = BEST SOUND The thickness and hardness of the plastic used can project a warm and perfect personality to differentiate sound levels.It is a great invention. You have to try it, in a few minutes you will get used to the SADDLE Thumb pick.:

Overall Rating: 10

Brossard Picks: Wood, Bone, and Horn Guitar Picks

Submitted by oppenheimm (see all reviews from this person) on 12/16/2012

Where Purchased: www.brossardpicks.com

Overall Comments

Although they are expensive, Brossard Picks are certainly worth a try and make for an ideal gift for guitar or mandolin players. There are many options for package sets in the 20-30 dollar range.

I received a set of four Brossard picks as a gift last holiday season. The set included picks made from ebony, rosewood, bone, and horn. Each pick is truly a work of art. They are visually appealing and are designed so that they may be attached to a chain and worn as a necklace or bracelet. The true appeal, however, lies in the sound. The use of exotic materials results in an extraordinary range of timbres and tonal varieties. Each pick is approximately 2.5 to 3 mm thick, so they are well suited to jazz or flatpicking styles. My personal favorites are the bone and ebony picks.

The bone pick has a very clear and pronounced articulation. The tone is loud and clean, and basically jumps out of your instrument. The ebony pick has a similar effect, but is slightly warmer than the bone, with a less punchy sound. The horn pick is more mellow than either the bone or ebony, producing a softer sound perhaps better suited for strumming. The rosewood pick, while beautiful, is too soft for my liking. It is fine for strumming, but does not produce the "pop" of the others.

The only downside to Brossard Picks is that they wear down relatively quickly. This is obviously due to the nature of the materials. I have always been rough on picks, as well, so my personal playing style certainly is partially responsible for the accelerated wear and tear.

Overall Rating: 8

Blue Chip: TD-50 / TD-40

Submitted by kmangelos (see all reviews from this person) on 6/24/2012

Where Purchased: Blue Chip

Overall Comments

I've been playing with a TD-50 and TD-40 pick for three months now and really like the sound and feel of the flat picks. For years I've only played with Dunlop nylon flat picks (0.6mm) which I still use occaisonally on electric but these Blue Chip picks sound incredible and I'll be using them on acoustic from now on.

Overall Rating: 9

Red Bear: Classic M and Classic L

Submitted by kmangelos (see all reviews from this person) on 6/24/2012

Where Purchased: Red Bear Trading

Overall Comments

I've been using the Red Bear classic simulated tortoise shell picks for some time and I often alternate between the Red Bear and the Blue Chip. The Red Bear requires more regular maintenance (fine sanding and buffing) but is a great sounding pick and feels good in the hands.

Overall Rating: 9

Elliott: PushButton capo

Submitted by elevate155 (see all reviews from this person) on 6/2/2012

Where Purchased: Phil Elliott

Overall Comments

Fantastic material quality and workmanship. I've had mine for 4-5 years and it still works awesome! I would have likely worn the springs on 10 Keysers by now! I had a problem within the first week with the push button not properly working but Phil was very quick to get it repaired and I haven't had a problem since. His wife was very nice throughout the process and even called to confirm exactly how I wanted the engraving done.

Overall Rating: 9

Guitar Moose Sticky Picks: Sticky Grip Pick

Submitted by rossfox (see all reviews from this person) on 6/1/2012

Where Purchased: Online @ Guitar Moose

Overall Comments

I have had problems with my pick rotating for years, and I have tried everything known to humankind. I had found that I could superglue coarse sandpaper to a pick, which did the best job of all at anchoring the pick. Well, I don't have to do that anymore, as I have finally found the answer. The GuitarMoose Sticky Grip pick has done the job. I can now hold a pick lightly and the pick doesn't rotate any at all. This has given me the ability to relax my picking hand and my playing has definitely improved. The pick sounds very good also, and I have no reason not to like it, but I haven't tried all of the thicknesses available yet.. The one that I got from GuitarMoose seems to be as good as I could want. Pick slipping - problem solved!!

Overall Rating: 10

Dynarette Guitar Cushion: Dynarette Guitar Cushion

Submitted by kmangelos (see all reviews from this person) on 3/9/2012

Where Purchased: online

Overall Comments

This is a great accessory to help you with posture and playing position. It really helps me now since I've put on a little more weight and makes it much easier to play by keeping both feet on the floor and not having to use a foot rest anymore.

Overall Rating: 9

Saddle Thumb Picks: Custom

Submitted by Richard McVicker (see all reviews from this person) on 2/29/2012

Where Purchased:

Overall Comments

Picks Saddle thumb picks
submitted 2/28/2012


Submitter
Richard McVicker (see all reviews from this person)

Where Purchased
www.saddlethumbpicks.com

Overall Comments

This new custom thumb pick by Saddle provides several unique benefits. First it is infinitely adjustable and will fit any size thumb. You adjust the size when you purchase it and later it can be re-adjusted within a range of 1/8 inch after initial sizing. The flexibility of the pick point can be altered to make it more flexible. The pick allows greater control because the pick point is not operating off the soft pad of the thumb. The design eliminates the conventional opening on the side that permits the strings to catch on the pick and allows you to play on the up stroke without it coming off. The high visibility of the pick point, for those who play Dobro, 1/3rd less weight, soft strap and cushion under the strap against the cuticle, makes this the most comfortable pick I have ever used. Truth in advertising, I am the inventor of the Saddle thumb pick!

Overall Rating: 10

Seagull: S6 Cedar

Submitted by Ira Green (see all reviews from this person) on 10/26/2010

Where Purchased: Music Solutions, Bolingbrook IL

Overall Comments

I love this guitar. This is only my 3rd acoustic. But for the price you can get these it is perfect in every way. Plus the Tric case is unbeleivable.

Overall Rating: 10

Casein Picks: Style 4

Submitted by jazzrambler (see all reviews from this person) on 8/18/2010

Where Purchased: eBay

Overall Comments

I ordered 2 casein picks from 'hermanmonker' on eBay. They arrived yesterday. I requested 2.5mm, style 4 (triangular.) I asked Steve, the proprietor's name, not to worry about bevelling. I prefer to do it myself. I spent 1/2 an hour tweeking them and-

I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER WITH A PICK IN MY LIFE!. My history with searching for the grail took me from making my own out of everything from old piano ivory, coconut shell, bone buttons, Wegens, Red Bear, every common and uncommon retail brand. Eventually I got real tortoise while in Europe. These are every bit as good as the real thing. From what I can tell so far, they don't seem to wear as quickly as tortoise. Best part, the price was under $20 for both, including shipping from England and Paypal fees.
Here's a link to the completed auction-
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130413899634#ht_500wt_923

Overall Rating: 10

Graphtech: Tusq bridge pins

Submitted by kenw3579 (see all reviews from this person) on 7/28/2010

Where Purchased: Musiciansfriend.com

Overall Comments

I have tried bridge pins made of plastic, ebony, brass, Tusq, and genuine bone. Of all these, the Tusq is the clear winner. It gives improved sustain and tone, superior to all others I have tried. The bone pins gave good sustain, but were somewhat darker in tone. I recommend Tusq bridge pins to anyone wanting to improve the tone of their acoustic guitar.
Note: Pins vary in size just a bit. I have to leave my pins slightly above the fully seated position; otherwise, they would be hard to remove when I restring the instrument.

Overall Rating: 10

Bob Colosi's Custom Guitar Saddles: Elephant Ivory saddle

Submitted by kenw3579 (see all reviews from this person) on 7/28/2010

Where Purchased: www.guitarsaddles.com

Overall Comments

As Bob Colossi stated in his web site, the elephant ivory saddle is good for instruments where you want to tone down the brightness. I have a Washburn jumbo 12 string guitar with maple back and sides. It was indeed too bright, and this saddle improved the tone somewhat, and has good sustain. I previously was using a Tusq saddle; Tusq gives a bright sound.
A luthier is not required for the installation. The buyer specifies what instrument he has, and Bob makes the saddle just a bit oversize. The buyer then sands it to give desired height and thickness. This was not a problem for me, and was indeed an advantage.
My lower-cost Washburn Chinese-made instrument now sounds like what I would expect a Gibson 12-string maple instrument to sound like.
Note: This is a specialty-application saddle. For most acoustic guitars, (where one wants to keep a fair amount of brightness) my choice is Bob Colosi's West African Ivory. The latter is harder than bone, and thus bright.

Overall Rating: 8

Graphtech: Tusq Guitar Saddles

Submitted by kenw3579 (see all reviews from this person) on 7/28/2010

Where Purchased: www.musiciansfriend.com

Overall Comments

Tusq saddles are superior to the plastic saddles commonly used on lower-priced instruments. They have the advantage of low price, and gives one the ability to change the saddle himself (no luthier involvement). To my ear, Tusq is brighter than bone. My current favorite saddle is the West African Ivory, sold by Bob Colosi through www.guitarsaddles.com. However, my guitars are high quality instruments that deserve the best, and I don't mind spending some extra money to make improvements.

Overall Rating: 8

Bob Colosi's Custom Guitar Saddles: Walrus Ivory guitar picks

Submitted by kenw3579 (see all reviews from this person) on 7/28/2010

Where Purchased: www.guitarsaddles.com

Overall Comments

I asked Bob Colosi concerning his walrus ivory picks. I wanted a bright-sounding pick, which he claimed I would get with this choice. I was disappointed in the darkness in the tone I was getting. I hate to write this in a review, but since these are expensive, I wanted to save some other buyers possible disappointment.
Note: To get brighter tone from an existing plastic pick, try filing the point so that it is a bit more pointed, and file the flat surface of the tip so it is thinner at the tip. This will give brighter tone. You can start with a medium gauge pick, and file it to make it perform like a very thin pick. This gives the player a pick that is not flimsy, but bright. My favorite brands are the "Cool" picks (white version) and the Clayton fake tortoise-shell picks.

Overall Rating: 2

Bob Colosi's Custom Guitar Saddles: Bone bridge pins

Submitted by kenw3579 (see all reviews from this person) on 7/28/2010

Where Purchased: www.guitarsaddles.com

Overall Comments

I was disappointed in the bone bridge pins. They give good sustain, but are somewhat darker in tone than the Tusq bridge pins. As I stated in my Tusq bridge pin review, I would go with the Tusq product for pins in most guitars. The one place I might still use these bone pins to advantage is on my bright-sounding 12-string guitar. If I want to further darken the tone (which I accomplished some already with Bob's elephant ivory saddle) I may use these pins on some of the strings.

Overall Rating: 3

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