ChickenPicks are a new range of European-made, hand-finished plectra that marry substantial mass with a number of understated innovations and are fashioned from ‘thermosetting plastic’.
There’s a choice of five different shapes in this range – the triangular Bermuda III and the smaller ‘Jazz’-style Badazz III, the more conventionally-shaped Light and Regular and the aptly-named Shredder. The latter is a somewhat intimidating 3.5mm in thickness, while the rest offer thicknesses between 2mm and 3mm.
All are a bright white in colour and if, like us, you’re wondering where you should start, the company provides a very useful online ‘pick configurator’ that matches your standard plectrum to the equivalent ChickenPick. We used the Regular and Light options for the lion’s share of this review, but the features we describe, as well as the pros and cons, are relevant to each option.
The pick rims are bevelled to an edge significantly narrower than the published gauge and this, in combination with the mass, aids balance. What’s more the bevelling encourages the player to experiment with how the pick is held and it is possible to obtain subtly differing tones from your instrument depending on how much of the pick comes into contact with the strings.
We have to confess that we’d assumed that grappling with a 2.7mm pick would be akin to cracking an egg by dropping a house on it, but let us state here and now that we’re wholly convinced by these picks and the associated claims made.
Compared to our default Dunlop Nylon and Ernie Ball Ever-Last 1mm picks, to our ears the tones that the ChickenPicks help coax from our Gibson Les Paul Junior and Takamine EN-10C are undeniably improved, with the breadth of frequencies noticeably broader. Whether that is a better tone for you, of course, is a personal evaluation. Needless to say, any sonic alteration is subtle at best but, with the Junior plugged into our go-to Blackstar, when stroking a simple G chord we do experience both a fatter bass response and a sharper treble.
The results are similar when switching to the Shredder and whacking up the amp gain and, yes, the pick does glide over the strings very nicely indeed when sweeping. We didn’t realise just how much our beloved Dunlop Nylon stuck…
We do find that with our acoustic, both electrified and au naturale, the tone is a little too toppy for our delicate ears but, again, we can’t deny the influence that the pick has on the overall sound.
Easy to become accustomed to and a doddle to use, we’re pleasantly surprised by these ChickenPicks. Purchasing a new plectrum is one of the cheapest ways to change the way that your guitar sounds, and although the ChickenPicks may seem intimidatingly thick, it’s remarkable how quickly you get to grips with the additional mass. They may not be a tonal silver bullet and nor are they a shortcut to sonic nirvana, but at this price, you have little to lose by trying one out.
- PRICE £6.79 each
- DESCRIPTION High-mass plastic guitar picks. Made in Europe
- OPTIONS Range includes Regular, Light, Badazz III, Bermuda III and Shredder in various thicknesses
- CONTACT High Tech Distribution www.htd-uk.com www.chickenpicks.com