The X Pick: a revolutionary new invention, or pseudoscience?

Guitarists have branded the X Pick a scam, with one branding it as “the worst guitar product” they’ve ever used.

X Pick

Image: X Pick on YouTube

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Guitarists have been heavily criticising a crowdfunded guitar accessory, the X Pick, which claimed to offer a range of effects using magnetic fields.

The X-Pick was described as less of a pick and more of “a remote control for your pickups”. Using magnetic fields to interact with your guitar’s strings and pickups, it was said to offer a range of effects such as sustain, slide, wah, delay, and tremolo.

The original Kickstarter page for the X Pick was launched in 2022. It is now still being funded on IndieGogo. The site states that £34,507 GBP has been raised by 802 backers, with £19,661 GBP also funded by 366 backers through its previous platform.

Despite the impressive claims, backers have started to receive their picks – and are sharing their disappointment, as many are unable replicate the promised effects.

The actual mechanisms for how the pick achieves some of these are unclear, too – for example, what would actually create the filtering needed for a wah effect when waving a magnet over your guitar’s pickups?

So far, backers on the fundraising page for the X Pick have been leaving disappointed reviews, with YouTubers such as Forlorn Hope and Samurai Guitarist also criticising the pick.

“What you’re getting is a super smooth pick, which hey maybe somebody would like that, that maybe provides some value if it was $3-$5. At $53, this is absolute highway robbery,” said Samurai Guitarist. You can watch more from the 9.25 timestamp:

Not all reviews on site are negative, with one commending the X Pick as “ahead of its time”. This comment came from a user under the name of RonnyRat, who is only following one campaign on the IndieGogo platform – the X Pick.

In response to several of the negative comments and reviews, X Pick has stated it will be putting on live shows to demo that its effects do work. Its comment was left two weeks ago, and reads: “In any case, we’ll start doing live shows soon and you’ll see we haven’t told a single lie! We know you don’t know us, but… trust us! Actually… trust the science bro!”

But some of this alleged “science” we are being told to trust doesn’t quite seem to add up. For example, in its instructions, it says that increasing the presence on your amp will help it work as doing so “widens the range of the magnetic field of the pickup also parallel to the strings.”

X Pick also says the pick has “Axial Magnetisation” – this a real term, meaning the north and south poles of the magnetisation are on opposite ends of the pick. However, X Pick then says: “there are no other magnets in the world with these characteristics” – quite the bold claim, given that most of the rod magnets in guitar pickups are axially magnetised.

Some users also called for more instructions on how to use the pick, criticising the tutorial videos on offer as effectively adverts rather than anything instructional. The brand has left a thread of 14 of these tutorial videos in an update made on the 6 April 2023, these can be found on its YouTube channel.

X Pick has been contacted for comment.


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