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PICKS OF MADNESS !


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PICKS OF MADNESS !


 

Version française ici

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Many guitarists have the same questions:

Which pick to choose ?
In what subject ?
How thick ?

Here are some picks handmade by RIKI LE PLECTRIER, French craftsman based in Alsace (Northeast of France)

As many,
I also asked myself these questions, I tried a multitude of picks, some models slide, turn, wear out too quickly etc.
Of course we find quality plectrums, at Dugain, Dunlop etc … but visually, I never found a thing that really packed me, an ugly visual, often dull or in flash color but hey, nothing exhilarating.
In spite of this, I limited myself to basic models, not expensive, not exceeding 1 mm thick, going as far as replacing them several times a week because of the premature wear inexorably rounding the tip.
I recently stumbled on the French manufacturing brand « Riki Plectrier », and I must say that this time, visually I finally took a slap !
Some of these picks are beautiful objects like the series « Steampunk » for example in which tiny gears are hand encrusted one by one, for my part I have never seen a pick that looks like that ..and there, big blow of heart.

 

 

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So yes,
it’s more expensive than a plastic Dunlop, it’s a craft work, with products that are expensive and are often hard and long to work.
Prices range from 3 or 4 euros and can go up to a hundred euros for a model in precious metal such as titanium, with gear insert cast under translucent resin.
These models are almost indestructible and are just like a ring or a medallion, considered « Jewelry », with a small hole to hang them as a pendant, it’s a gift for guitarist, but these are real picks with real playing comfort and a lifetime ….. for life maybe for the all Titanium model !

For the sonic differences of each material, I used only my ear to deliver my impressions, no measuring instruments or super computer ultrasonic frequencies, no no, just my 2 ears and my feeling of musician.
All the nuances of sound so I speak here are either blatant for some and more subtle for others.
Before starting here is a little lexicon on some names of materials used:

POM DELRIN: POM is a polymer, it is used in the automotive industry, sports etc.
Thanks to its structure and a high crystallinity, the POM offers very good physical characteristics, high tensile strength, shock, wear, very low coefficient of friction and very good resistance to abrasion etc.

POLYCARBONATE: This is another polymer, the excellent resistance to impact and wear of polycarbonate makes it a hard material, very suitable for the manufacture of motorcycle helmets or police shields, but also furniture.

PMMA: This polymer is better known under its first commercial name of « Plexiglas », PMMA has many advantages, two main, it is transparent, it is resistant.

 

Okay, it’s gone, let’s start with …

 

THE « RIKI WOOD »

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APPEARANCE
A blank wood side and an inlay side representing an instrument (incrustations made marquetry to prevent them from fading over time)
It is in Cocobolo, a wood that visually looks a bit like the rosewood of my guitar but a little more « glowing ».
Thick but well in hand, a very nice touch …. the warmth of the wood.

SOUND
Bois oblige, the sound is more « felted », warm, not flashy, the attacks are precise also, the point is very pointed, an exotic wood that gives all its soul in its sound, one feels something special playing, a feeling of something precious, almost spiritual. (I may be too sensitive)

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Length: 3 cm
• Width: 2.5 cm
• Thickness: can vary between 2.5 and 3 mm

 

CARBON MODEL WITH A PMMA TIP

 

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APPEARANCE
A black carbon body, with the nice braided appearance, on top of a glittery logo (see photo) and an orange and transparent PMMA tip, a transparency that goes up on one side on 3 quarters of the plectrum.

SOUND
This model sounds more « soft », the all-PMMA model, the carbon body brings a little more roundness in the rendering while being punched too.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Length: 3 cm
• Width: 2.6 cm

 

CARBON MODEL WITH A POM DELRIN TIP

 

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APPEARANCE
Again a visual that I find very successful, a carbon body and a white Delrin tip. When you play with light, the carbon body is adorned with a nice effect « braided » which is the most beautiful effect and a mini hole adorns the top of the plectrum for whoever would wear it as a pendant or key ring, great idea.
It is a featherweight, extremely lightweight and very hard, again, robustness foolproof.
For holding, no worries, it remains well in hand and is very nice, a real discovery that this model.

SOUND
The Delrin tip is not as tip as those of the Riki Slide, the attack here is a little more « subtle » (especially in rhythm) it must also be due to the carbon body lighter than the body all brass.
The sound remains open, sweet, rich and full.

I really like this model.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Length: 3 cm
• Width: 2.6 cm
• Thickness: 2.5 mm

 

THE « RIKI GLOW »

 

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APPEARANCE
A PMMA guitar pick completely transparent with a flashy color and the mark of his master engraved in its center.
Another mini hole in the top of the plectrum for ..you know why now.
He is light and hard.
A grip in nickel, nothing to say, the thickness of 3 mm scared me a little at first but I did not even need time to adapt, it rolls alone.

SOUND
With its flash color we could say that it is a pick that we have just for fun …. well we would be wrong, he sends loud the cushy, the attack is frank and the rendering is rich, powerful, clear, brilliant and full, as comfortable for solos as in rhythms, nothing scares the king of artificial harmonics.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Length: 3 cm
• Width: 2.6 cm
• Thickness: 3 mm

 

 POLYCARBONATE MODEL

 

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APPEARANCE
A plectrum also completely transparent with a location for the thumb, dug in « amphitheater », ie by landing (which are visible), as the steps of an amphitheater, hence the name.
This guitar pick is a little smaller than normal.
As for this « hollow » it fulfills very well its office but for my part, I never played with the thumb so held, and although I like to play from time to time with this plectrum for these sounds I always come back to the plectra without thumb location, it’s a matter of taste and it is not to discussed, you must try.

SOUND
Its size allows a fast game, with a bright and clear sound.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Length: 2.6 cm
• Width: 2.4 cm
• Thickness: Can vary between 2.5 to 3 mm

 

POLYCARBONATE « IRON MAN MODEL »

 

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APPEARANCE
Well you recognized him, Iron Man, super cool no? I love it.
We see through the eyes and mouth, and this small plectrum makes its effect.
Very good holding and small hole to hang it, it is top !

SOUND
Larger than the polycarbonate model above, (with the hollow for the thumb) our Iron Man keeps the same sonority clear and bright but with a little more roundness and less marked attacks.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Length: 2.6 cm
• Width: 3 cm

THE « RIKI SLIDE » WITH 3 TIPS

 

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APPEARANCE
I find the aesthetics of this model very successful, a triangular pick with 3 points, a small side « jewelry » that suits him well.
This plectrum is so hard, you can tear off on it a long time without making him the least scrape.
It has a so a solid brass body, (Riki le Plectrier also offers a body made of aluminum, carbon and titanium) so it has 3 different tips.
On my model we have 1 tip POM Delrin + 1 Polycarbonate and 1 Brass, the latter is actually the extension of the body.

A plectrum that feels really « professional » once in hand, which could almost intimidate beginner guitarists to own such an object I think, but I tell them that beginner or not, it would be a great wrong to s’ to deprive.
A little heavier than a plectrum « normal » but it’s quite surprising because we expect something even heavier according to its visual, more massive while all in all it remains relatively lighter than expected.
For my part I find this ideal weight, I like this « light weight » between my fingers when I play.
Slices of the brass body allow to do slides on the strings, creativity level can be fun.

Very good hold, do not slip and stay in place between the fingers. The central circle on my model is not there just for aesthetics, it is also used for good handling.
To go from one tip to another just a quarter turn (what I say, 3 points = a third of a turn) this is done in a flash of a small stroke.

SOUND
– « POM DELRIN »
The attack is frank, the sound is rich, sweet, warm and open, very nice, excellent!

– « BRASS »
I will locate this point between the other 2, I thought that the brass tip would give a high-pitched, metallic, a little weak and « nasal » but it is not at all the case, the sound is softer and open than this what I expected at first and even if the treble is present they do not predominate in the final rendering.

– « POLYCARBONATE »
It is for me the most warrior of 3 points, the sound is open, full and punchy, rhythmic attacks are felt, top.

Because of their very sharp forms, « the attack of the 3 points » (that would make a nice title of film not ?) It’s of a formidable precision, almost surgical, moreover their « slide » on the strings due to the size in bevel makes you play faster, I’m not telling you that you will turn into Steve Vai overnight but the difference is there

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Length: 2.9 cm
• Width: 2.9 cm
• Thickness: can vary between 2.5 to 3 mm

THE « STEAMPUNK » BRASS MODEL

 

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APPEARANCE
What to say..
It’s a real beauty, what a visual !
The pictures already impressed me a lot when I chose it on the site, but then after receiving it, to see it in real … it is still « worse », finally …. still « better » what !
These tiny gilded gears, with tiny red beads in their centers and their reflections with light, are all wrapped in a sort of resin ….. what a job, I do not leave it.
They are made by hand, each model STEAMPUNK is a unique model, there are no two similar.
The outfit is very good, the thickness is a real rediscovery for me who was stuck on 1 mm for ages, the grip is immediate and comfortable, apprehension of departure flies in the first minutes of play .
Longevity looks huge to me considering other com that I read on the net, I would see the use.
The back (I say the « back » although it does not really make sense to use it) has a more polished brass, more « brushed », and is therefore more dull than the side where there is the gears (which only appear on one side).
The price may seem high but in view of the thing, it’s high-end, high fashion « plectrum », a real Guitar Picks / Jewel (or a Jewel / Picks), a beautiful object that has a soul and a strong visual power, that sounds on its guitar, that we are happy to own, to show (I speak for myself) … otherwise, have it offered to you.

SOUND
A brass body with a tip (very sharp) polycarbonate, a sound « clear » and a precise game rendering.
An open sound that surely comes from the brass body and a big peach with this very hard point.
Rhythmic, solos, harmonics … no problem it ensures !

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Standard pick size
• Length: 3 cm
• Width: 2.5 cm
• Thickness: 3 mm

 

THE « TITANIUM SERIES » SAN SLIDE STEAMPUNK

 

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It is a model of the form « San Slide » Titanium, Steampunk series (it is the series with the gears), titanium body and tip in Peek.
This new series of plectra, the « Titanium Series », is to me breathtaking beauty, quality and finish.
This model goes beyond the guitar pick, and beyond the simple test of sound which despite its qualities does not have too much sense here, for this model at least.
It is a goldsmith’s jewel, a hand-crafted object, cut in titanium which is a precious metal (and expensive), each gear of the Steampunk series is manually placed one by one and makes each single copy because all different (like the Steampunk Brass series for that matter).
Of course it’s a real « guitar pick » and sound level on our favorite instrument we hear immediately that it is not just a hypnotic beauty, no, it’s a real pick but thought of as a jewel !
It is super light, it’s pretty amazing, it seems to have a carbon version in hand, it is lighter than its appearance does not suggest it and I would say it is lighter than the model Brass .
Titanium and tip in Peek assures a robustness and a long life, titanium not fearing oxidation.
Mine has undergone anodization to color blue, other colors are available but I do not know exactly which ones …. You have to contact Riki for those who want the list of colors.

The price is high but it is well worth it considering the price of the materials used and the hours of work spent on it.
This is not the everyday pick and as I said, it was thought of as a jewel.
It is an object pierced with a small hole to carry on oneself, at the end of a chain or other necklace, always with the system of carabiner which makes it possible to place it or to take it again in the blink of an eye.

Do not make the mistake of considering it as a simple pick to tell you that you would not put this price in a small object found in plastic less than 1 euro (and I do not see the relationship with what is proposed here)

No, no and no !
All those who pass the course, guitarists or not elsewhere, do not buy a simple pick at Riki Plectrier, there are tons of music stores for that, we buy a work from Riki Plectrier.
Since I discovered his Picks / Objects / Jewelry, they have changed my perception on disposable consumables picks, these creations have become a reference for me, Riki is an artist, just like a painter or a sculptor .
It is a gift.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS
• Pick size: Smaller and narrower than Standard
• Length: 2.75 cm
• Width: 2.45 cm
• Thickness: 3 mm

THE « TITANIUM SERIES » CHARLY SLIDE STEAMPUNK

 

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So here, I let you enjoy the work, as it was, the sound test has nothing to do here is the great class !!!!!
Purity in the work ..
Purity in the sound ..
It is a wonder !!

Of surprising lightness when it was in hand the first time, it is of a robustness « Titanesque » (hehe)
A very sharp tip of a formidable precision.
The solos are a happiness and the rythmiques are chained smoothly (it’s beautiful hin ??)
It’s an addictive slaughter because it’s hard to let go once you have it in hand, you keep it, even when you’re not playing anymore (and no, I do not lend it to you!)
There are small strilles of the most beautiful effect on one of the slices of the pick to slide and tear like a whew.
There is also always the small hole to wear it as a pendant …. what an honor !!

For the rest you can read what I put just above for the San Slide because it applies even more for this model that hits hard …. very strong!

Here are the size matches of the models available on https://riki-le-plectrier.eu/fr/.

SIZES AND SHAPES AVAILABLE

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ANOTHER CREATIONS BY RIKI LE PLECTRIER


 
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