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  1. #1

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    Hi all,

    I was fortunate to come across a Blue Chip TAD50 a little while ago. I've been playing with it lately and really enjoy it, but I wanted to do some sound comparisons with the pick that I normally use (Dunlop 205) and a regular old plastic tortilla chip. The comparison is for myself as much as it is anyone else who may be interested in trying a Blue Chip.

    Keep in mind as you're listening that the difference in tone is very subtle and I recommend that you use headphones. It'll be more obvious in some playing samples than others. Also keep in mind that a lot of the benefit that comes with playing with a Blue Chip or other handmade pick is the feel you're getting from it. In general, it seems like the Blue Chip slides off the strings nicely and doesn't move around in my hand as much as other picks do.



    My final thoughts? It's nice. I'm not sure I have the money to be going through these as often as I lose other picks, but I've enjoyed keeping it on my desk and playing with it from time to time in my studio. It feels nice on the strings and I think if it brings you joy to play with, it's worth the money... just don't lose it

    Hope someone finds my experience helpful.

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  3. #2

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    A friend of mine gave me a Blue Chip Pick.

    I love the thing.

    I misplaced it, became alarmed, but recovered it.

    Called my friend and told him I was going to buy a spare (I lose stuff) and did he want me to get any new Blue Chips for him?
    He told me "no" 'cause he's found something he likes better for mandolin, which he plays almost exclusively now.
    He sent me his 'other' Blue Chip instead. We're old men now, and we necessarily spend $ more carefully these days.

  4. #3

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    I like the Blue Chip a tiny bit more on the archtop, the Dunlop on the others.

  5. #4

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    I keep telling you guys, the way to accumulate Blue Chip picks economically is to put them on your Hanukkah or XMas wish list every year. For some reason, people seem to love giving these things as gifts! I've got 10 Blue chip picks - a lifetime supply, really - but I only bought 3 of them myself!
    That  Guitar Pick (Blue Chip) - A Comparison-bc-picks-jpg

  6. #5

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    I'm glad I tried a Blue Chip and thought it was nothing special. I lose picks waaay to easily.

  7. #6

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    I’ve tried many guitar picks over the years and settled on two - ProPlec teardrop for archtops and Blue Chip Jazz 60 for solids and semi hollows. For me the BC cost is worth it...

    From my personal perspective, I would have a much more difficult time justifying the purchase of a $10,000 archtop.

    But to each his/her own

  8. #7

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    Just because something is expensive -- or not, for that matter -- does not equate to it being good or bad, nor does it mean the buyer is an idiot. There are people here who play and enjoy $300 Squire guitars, and some who have $12K Marchione's. If you think one person is better or worse based on such a purchase, then maybe your label should be directed inward.

    If you've tried and not liked the Blue Chip pick, then fine.

  9. #8

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    The cost of a Blue Chip pick isn't much more than the cost of a set of TI strings, and people think nothing of buying those monthly, or at least fairly often. Like Tom, I have some Blue Chips that I received as gifts, and a couple that I bought. I haven't lost one yet. I keep them in a chip pouch in my pocket, and I keep track of them. I like them. Others are free to buy whatever picks, strings, guitars, pedals, amps, or whatever else, that they like. I could call someone a schmuck for overpaying for a Gibson, but I won't. It's their money.

  10. #9

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    I have a BC Jazz 80. I got the thick one because, I figured I can sand it thinner if I want to (way easier than going the other way ).
    I didn't like it's bevel, it was too bright. I put a rounder bevel and re-polished it. It's OK. To me it's like pro-plecks but a little brighter. I prefer pro-plecs more for the most part. If I could try a bunch BC picks in different shapes and thicknesses, I'm sure I could find one I like just as much as pro-plecs or more. But for 35 a piece, that's not gonna happen.

  11. #10

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    The smoothness of BC can be achieved with any pick with some elbow grease. In the past I polished Dunlop jazztone picks with extra fine wet sandpaper and car polish compound to the level of smoothness of BC picks (even smoother). I don't like to tone the rough surface of jazztones impart on the guitar.

  12. #11

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    I didn't really detect much of a difference sound wise... Perhaps a slightly smoother onset.

  13. #12

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    I haven't tried a BC pick. May someday, who knows? But the guy making this video seems like a really nice guy and a good player. I appreciate him taking the time to give this demonstration.

  14. #13

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    Oh here's a comparison!

    $35 dollars... more than
    my first acoustic guitar,
    my first electric guitar,
    my first guitar amplifier.

  15. #14

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    I mean, my BC was $50--so kill me

    You can play with cheaper picks, and get a great sound--definitely. Then again, you can play with cheaper guitars and get a great sound--yet we don't criticize the countless posts about L5's on JGF. A good player can get a better sound out of--dare I say, an Asian guitar--than a not great player with a top of the line Bennedetto (ugh, I still want to play a Bennedetto)

    I love playing with my BC Jazz 80. It feels great on the strings, it sound terrific acoustically, and it articulates better than what I tried before (including stone, don't get fooled into buying a stone pick--no dynamic articulation)

    So I totally get wanting to buy cheap to get a great sound. But let's not say that and turn around and ogle at a Gibson, or a Guild, or a Benne, or whatever. I would own those guitars as well (especially an Artist Award), but I'd play them with my BC Jazz 80.

    So kill me.

    And for the record, I hate the sound of TI's--even the Bebops. Tried them all, they all sounded really dead to my ears. Why would I shell out that much money for strings that sound dead? See how that sounds? So I'm fine with shelling out $50 for a pick I've had for two years and it still sounds just as good as the day it arrived in the mail.

  16. #15

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    I haven't purchased these picks for the primary reason that I lose picks to frequently. My favorite is the 3.0 MM Dunlop Primetone. I can afford to misplace those within reason. That replaced my pick of choice which for years was the Dunlop dark purple small stubby which in turn replaced my small Fender Heavy pick. I took lessons from Bob Conti in the 70's and he used a ridiculously thin blue nylon pick. So Horses For Courses. Now that I don't use the Stubby I find them all over the house. IMO front loading washers are superior to top loaders in recovering picks.

    Also, I don't now why some members on this forum resort to denigrating a fellow forum member who posted about his gear observations but then I remembered I had the individual previously on ignore. So back to the dust bin.

  17. #16

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    You might be surprised at how the possibility of losing $35 can focus the mind. I've lost a lot of picks over the years, but the closest I've come to losing one of my Blue Chips is when I put one in the wrong pocket. If the pick only cost a dime, I didn't give it much thought. Up the ante, and the thought increases.

  18. #17

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    McJazzer is a great player, I enjoy his videos, and he sounds like a cool guy from the few correspondences I've had with him.

    Notice how he just made observations about the pick. He didn't say anything about people spending $35 on a pick. He just said it wouldn't make sense to buy it again himself, as he loses picks often. No problem.

    But the amount of times I've seen people say negative things about BlueChips on the internet because they are more expensive--it's getting old. Then calling out people who actually like the BC's, why? It's asinine. My mother is legit Israeli by the way. I have something to say in Hebrew, but I don't want to offend anyone who speaks Hebrew.

    Sorry if I, in any way, sullied your thread McJazzer.

  19. #18

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    There's no such thing as "the best pick" or "best strings" or even the "best guitar" that are true in general.

    That said, I'm stuck with Blue Chip picks because they really sound better (perhaps nominally to others, but noticeably to me ), and feel massively better, at least on the guitars I play most often.

    I don't want to like it better, I really don't.

    But it's meant that I've had to fundamentally change my relationship to picks as objects - i.e. don't loose them.
    Now instead of being quite as cavalier as I had been, I have a little clear, plastic hinged box (it's approximately 2"x3"x1/2"), that keeps 3-4 blue chip TD40's, a couple Dunlop primetone 1mm sculpted as emergency backups, a set of ear plugs, and a Tile - so that I can find that damn thing if I misplace it.

    I used to use little plastic baggies, but those would break after a couple weeks. I tried opaque boxes, but I could never tell if I'd remembered to put the picks back without opening it.

    But I also used to loose the damn pouch, and have to run around looking for it, so putting a tile in there really helped with that. And then I also used to have my earplugs on my keychain, which meant the valet guy had my earplugs when I needed them most, half the time!

    Would it be easier to use some fungible Fender heavies or a Dunlop tortex, sure. Do I notice a difference? Yes. Do end up performing better because I feel comfortable? Definitely.

    Does it work for everybody? No. Are you a schmuck for using one? No, assuming you actually play, and don't just merely horde gear.
    I'd like to think I'd fall into that non-schmuck category of someone who actually plays, since I've racked up 60k air miles playing guitar just last year, but I'll let you all judge that.

  20. #19

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    Yup i really dig my blue chips, I use a Jazz 40 and 50..I dont loose my pics like some (knock on wood).

    also, i know its tough, but i have never bought a Blue Chip pick new, always USED! save a couple bucks..

    Ive gotten a couple from the Facebook Blue chip page, posting on there. Now i want one for Mandolin.

  21. #20

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    Although I love my BC Jazz 80, those wooden pick boxes... not worth it. Problem is, the lid for the small box is a pain in the neck to open--not the best design.

    I think I would have done the leather pouch, but I would probably lose that faster than a box.

  22. #21

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    I find the Wegen Gypsy 3.5 is a great pick for a lot less than a BC.

  23. #22

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    From what I remember, Howard Alden uses a Wegen--at least he did when he was living in NYC.

  24. #23

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    Thanks everyone for the defense and the great discussion.

    I do enjoy the pick! But for that kind of money I think it'll stay on my desk for home use and hopefully my cat doesn't eat it

    After hearing about the Dunlop Primetones I'm really interested in trying one. I went on their site and found the model I thought would work best (smooth, mini triangle) but the shipping is more than the picks are! Maybe I can find it from another dealer with reasonable shipping costs.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by McJazzer

    After hearing about the Dunlop Primetones I'm really interested in trying one. I went on their site and found the model I thought would work best (smooth, mini triangle) but the shipping is more than the picks are! Maybe I can find it from another dealer with reasonable shipping costs.
    Super clicky. Hated 'em.

    The only picks I've found that are quiet and smooth like the blue chips are the Pro Plecs, and to a lesser extent but still good, the Golden Gates.

    I've also tried the "Dawg" mandolin pick, which sounds great but was too big for me to be comfortable with.

    But the Pro Plec is the reason I wasn't impressed with the Blue Chip I tried--to me it was the same sound at 35 times the price.

  26. #25

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    I like the Prime Tones, with respect to free delivery - Amazon carries them.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by McJazzer
    Thanks everyone for the defense and the great discussion. I've come to expect responses like that on this forum but it's still annoying.

    I do enjoy the pick! But for that kind of money I think it'll stay on my desk for home use and hopefully my cat doesn't eat it

    After hearing about the Dunlop Primetones I'm really interested in trying one. I went on their site and found the model I thought would work best (smooth, mini triangle) but the shipping is more than the picks are! Maybe I can find it from another dealer with reasonable shipping costs.
    I dig the Primetones! I get the Jazz III XL and they are phenomenal. Here's a Reverb shop that has three-packs with cheap shipping.

    Dunlop 520P1.4 Primetone Jazz III XL Guitar Picks - 3pk Grip | Reverb

    Though those might not be the ones you were looking at, I've found that you can grab Primetones on Reverb from shops with pretty reasonable shipping.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    The smoothness of BC can be achieved with any pick with some elbow grease. In the past I polished Dunlop jazztone picks with extra fine wet sandpaper and car polish compound to the level of smoothness of BC picks (even smoother). I don't like to tone the rough surface of jazztones impart on the guitar.
    The best material I've found to polish picks is carpet, the shorter the nap the better. I just make firm strokes against the carpet several times, fairly fast, and that polishes most picks very quickly. It's quicker and easier for me than any type of sandpaper, or anything else. Just don't overdo it, because it's possible to partially melt some picks if you're very vigorous, and get some melted line on the edge of the pick. I just scrape it off and repolish with less vigor. I haven't needed to use anything on my Blue Chip picks, they still look like new after a couple of years of playing.

  29. #28

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    I'm still yet to try a Blue Chip, I have a couple friends who use them and really like them.
    My pick of choice is the 3.5mm Wegen, I like the way it glides off the strings making playing very fast passages effortless.

    The other pick I really like is the D'Andrea Pro Plec. Sometimes the Wegen can be a bit too dark sounding, using the Pro Plec I can get a slightly brighter sound.

  30. #29

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    a friend came over today and had one.
    I liked the feel of the material but it was huge, way too big for me to handle and I have big hands [though that may not have anything to do w/ anything]
    I think it was a model 60.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dedalus
    I thought carefully about adding my 2c to this thread, but here goes...

    I'm also Jewish. I've written an honours thesis and PhD thesis that both explored aspects of racialism, partly in response to some of my own experiences growing up. I think the notion of anyone on this forum being a schmuck for spending money on gear that appeals to them is a little silly to say the least. Glass houses.
    I doubt one could argue that a $10,000, $5,000, or even $1,000 guitar should be regarded as a necessity. A $35 pick is hardly perverse relative to the other equipment discussed everyday on these boards.

    And as for schmuck. It has more than one meaning. We're all schmucks sometimes...

    I wanted to elaborate on my post lest anyone was offended. I wasn't for a moment suggesting that anyone in this thread was being racially offensive. Rather, I was attempting to illustrate how terms such as schmuck are loaded with a complex of associations, and depending on context, can be construed in myriad ways--such as, in this case, the notion of Jews and their aversion to spending money (though I realise it wasn't meant in this way). Stereotypes of this nature can literally be traced back several centuries. And when we encounter these stereotypes today, it's worth noting that they've been thrust upon people by others.

    I'm guessing we'd be hard-pressed to find a single member here who hasn't experienced something of the like. Anyway, I apologise for the hijack, I simply wanted to explain myself better. For the record, I've got my eye on a couple of BlueChip picks, and I'd have to pay shipping to NZ...

  32. #31

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    I have a blue chip. More like $50 because I like large/thick triangles. It's a very good pick. Material makes for a great grip, it has the smoothest attack of anything I've tried, and I like the tone. Smooth and articulate. To my less than perfect ears, sort of sounds like a Dunlop Jazztone though the feel, attack, and configuration options for Blue Chips are better. I've had mine for years and it shows no wear at all. I'll get more at some point. Putting them on the Christmas list is a great idea.
    Last edited by Spook410; 08-30-2019 at 01:51 PM.

  33. #32

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    Are blue chip picks a reasonable value? Well, they are made from vespel though I'm not sure what grade or blend BC uses (believe SP-1 is the softest). A 1" X 9.5" rod costs $1272. If you can find it in small quantities. That, and the fact that it's a tough material to work probably accounts for why we don't see much in the way of competition. I've seen DIY threads on vespel picks and you can make your own of course. But in the quantity I need, I'll just buy vespel picks from Blue Chip and not worry about it.

  34. #33

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    I have never tried this particular "boutique" pick, but I have tried others (Wegan, Dugain) and found them to not be as satisfactory to me, as the 75 cent Dunlop 1.5 mm picks I use (Delrin). Finally some beer taste as opposed to champagne taste (it would certainly be handy to like $500 guitars more than $5000 guitars). I'll stick with the Dunlops. If it ain't broke, don't fix it applies here.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    The smoothness of BC can be achieved with any pick with some elbow grease. In the past I polished Dunlop jazztone picks with extra fine wet sandpaper and car polish compound to the level of smoothness of BC picks (even smoother). I don't like to tone the rough surface of jazztones impart on the guitar.
    Yes, that is precisely the thing about those pics I don't care for either. The size, the shape, the heft, the bevel are all good but the surface treatment just seems odd to me that it would be that rough where it contacts the string. I still have a few of those around here; I should try polishing one up and see if I like it any better. Otherwise my favorite pic remains the small ProPlec teardrop. I've also made some picks that I like from cutting down a slightly larger ProPlec to the size and shape of the Dunlop Jazz III. I like the shape of the latter but not the material, whereas the ProPlec material is my clear favorite.

    I think that the reason I like small picks is that I can feel the edge of them between my fingers and that improves my sense of control over the pick. By comparison the standard Fender pick feels vague and difficult to manage.

  36. #35

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    I really like the Blue Chip Jazz 50's. For some reason, to me anyways, they feel smoother on the strings, which make it a little easier to glide around. Perhaps it's placebo, but that's how it works for me anyhow. Their price is extremely high, but I haven't ran through one yet, so they seem to last a long time.

  37. #36

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    Tom Karol has the right idea. My kids and others always want a list of what I want for Christmas. I put the picks I want to try in my wish list on the BC site, send a link, and now I have almost all the picks, in the thicknesses I want to try. Still a couple or three to go, though, so I'll send links to those when the time comes.

  38. #37

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    I put those little circular reinforcement labels on my Golden Gate mandolin picks, and they stay in one place on my fingers. Easier to find them on the floor, too.

    I carry a sheet of sandpaper (very fine, but I don't recall the number/rating) and keep them smooth.

    I used to get products sold for fingernails, but eventually switched to emery board for my nails and sandpaper for my picks.

    I like the way the GG's sound, but I've never tried a BC pick.

    I lose picks way too easily to feel comfortable with a pricey pick.

    That said, I'd like to try one.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzbill
    I really like the Blue Chip Jazz 50's. For some reason, to me anyways, they feel smoother on the strings, which make it a little easier to glide around. Perhaps it's placebo, but that's how it works for me anyhow. Their price is extremely high, but I haven't ran through one yet, so they seem to last a long time.
    I like the 40s. I have two, and on one i wore the tip down a little!!. i asked BC about it and they said..ya we don't guarantee that they wont wear down over time. Thats alot of playing to wear it down..guess i should rotate them!!

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Super clicky. Hated 'em.

    The only picks I've found that are quiet and smooth like the blue chips are the Pro Plecs...
    But the Pro Plec is the reason I wasn't impressed with the Blue Chip I tried--to me it was the same sound at 35 times the price.
    That is interesting. I ordered some Pro Plecs based on your recommendation, and I found them to be clicky. I actually found the V-pick Small-Lite and the Euro II to be quieter.

  41. #40

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    I got a blue chip jazz pick, I liked it for a while then I realized I like Dunlop jazz III's more and never looked back.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I got a blue chip jazz pick, I liked it for a while then I realized I like Dunlop jazz III's more and never looked back.
    which one is it? want to sell it?

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzgtrl4
    which one is it? want to sell it?
    Sorry. It's not really worth for me to sell it overseas. My tastes change, who knows may be 10 years from now I like it on a particular guitar.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by ESCC
    I like the Prime Tones, with respect to free delivery - Amazon carries them.

    oh i just ordered a three pack of these to try..the jazz III copies...i like them!

  45. #44

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    If you really want to become obsessive about picks take up the mandolin. I’m quite entertained by the discussions over here regarding Blue Chip picks, because they exactly mirror similar threads at mandolincafe.com (for example this one). All the greatest hits are there - “if you’re willing to spend $10,000 on your mandolin, what’s $35 on a pick;” and “I’ve been using the same Fender 351 medium for 74 years and it cost me 11 cents back in 1843,” etc. Please don’t get me wrong. I LOVE PICK THREADS ON THE FORUM. I love every post! I am a poster child for P.A.S. (pick acquisition syndrome). Until I started playing mando, my lifetime outlay for picks would probably fund a set of strings. (Ernie Balls, not TIs.) But now, over a decade since my fateful collision with a mandolin, I would be embarrassed to admit how much I’ve spent on all the little teardrop and triangular shaped pieces of plastic, wood, graphite and bone in my possession.

    Carry on....