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  #1  
Old 08-02-2017, 04:10 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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Default Fender Tru-Shell Picks

Had seen these a while ago and always meant to try them so when I placed an order this week, I remembered to get a couple to try them out.

Fender doesn't say what the material is but their directions for care (don't flex, avoid heat, avoid moisture) combined with their statement they are made from an animal protein, make me think they are some variety of casein/galalith.

They make them in a few shapes and they come in as medium, heavy, or extra heavy. I ordered the 346 shape in extra heavy. Here's one beside a celluloid extra heavy in the 346 shape.



The Tru-Shells seem very slightly larger and marginally thicker than their celluloid counterparts.

In playing, first thing I noticed is that they are quite loud for a standard pick this thick. Very good volume. Tone was warmish if maybe a little on the dull side but perfectly acceptable. Control was excellent as you might expect from a pick this thick. The surface is very slightly textured and grip seemed fine.

In keeping with my theory that all picks come with "some assembly required", pulled out the files and buffers and went at it. Never seen the value of three identical points on a pick. Never wore one out or broke a tip in a situation where I needed two redundant back ups, so I figured more utility in having 3 different tips on hand. Here's the original and the modified version.



In addition to reshaping, I put a full edge chisel bevel on all three new points. I did notice while polishing the edge that it buffed out smooth as glass so the texture is superficial only for grip.

The changes resulted in it being even louder, shifted the tone to more neutral/cool, and enhanced the control slightly. One warning, if you decide to get one and modify it at all, do not try to use a power tool to do it. The material shapes very quickly with only light pressure using a fine grit nail shaping file. You have to be careful with this stuff even with the hand file so one tiny slip with a Dremel and its good-bye pick.

Overall, pretty impressed by the performance of these picks. They are not cheap but at $5.99 each they are in the lower cost bracket for specialty picks and a real bargain if they are , in fact, casein. Need to play them more, but, at this point, I'd be happy to use them anytime.
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Old 08-02-2017, 04:48 PM
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Goat Whiskey Picks Goat Whiskey Picks is offline
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They might be casein. I don't think Fender is going to tell us. Here's the description from Fender's website.

"Fender's Tru-Shell picks replicate the highly desired, unique sound of the Hawksbill Sea Turtle shell without harming animals in any way. Crafted from organic natural proteins, the distinctive composition creates full-voiced bass with crystalline treble tone—making Tru-Shell picks ideal for acoustic guitarists. The natural lubrication avoids binding on the string for precision playing. Color selection is random and colors will vary.

Tru-Shell picks are not plastic. Do not attempt to flex; keep away from moisture."
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:19 PM
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At £6.52 each they have to be worth a punt. Think I'll try the 351 Medium.
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Old 08-02-2017, 06:27 PM
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HHP thanks, I'll have to give those tru-shells a try

Last edited by docwatsonfan; 08-03-2017 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:05 PM
EricLopez EricLopez is offline
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Those Fender picks are indeed casein, that they're purchasing from the same supplier as Clayton's NuTone picks. But like you said, "some assembly required." I wouldn't want to play them right out of the packaging without a proper bevel.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:59 PM
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... Just what I need ... another pick to ignore because it costs over 50 cents? Yawn-O-Rama!

... and with a deceptive name "True-anything" let alone "True-Shell" for the masses who have abandoned critical thinking.

What pick name is next, "Mock Turtle Pick"?

Last edited by Tico; 08-02-2017 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 08-02-2017, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricLopez View Post
Those Fender picks are indeed casein, that they're purchasing from the same supplier as Clayton's NuTone picks. But like you said, "some assembly required." I wouldn't want to play them right out of the packaging without a proper bevel.
Eric is exactly right. These are indeed identical to the ones Clayton sells, same vendor. I haven't played them. Unlike the Pearse and other casein picks on the market, they are not polished but left with more of a rough or matte finish.

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Old 08-02-2017, 09:30 PM
Todd Yates Todd Yates is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tico View Post
What pick name is next, "Mock Turtle Pick"?
Don't mock the Mock Turtle!

Saga Music Mock Turtle Picks

Mock Turtle picks—the only picks with the real feel and crisp sound of tortoise shell. Mock Turtle picks not only have an appearance and texture remarkably close to real tortoise shell, they also duplicate the long-wearing qualities of real shell. Available in packs of 12.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:17 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tico View Post
... Just what I need ... another pick to ignore because it costs over 50 cents? Yawn-O-Rama!

... and with a deceptive name "True-anything" let alone "True-Shell" for the masses who have abandoned critical thinking.

What pick name is next, "Mock Turtle Pick"?
Well, Fender have been deceiving us since 1954 by calling their vibrato bridge a 'tremolo' bridge. That makes me so angry; you can imagine my disgust when I waggled that talent lever and no tremolo happened
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:27 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmed Life Picks View Post
Eric is exactly right. These are indeed identical to the ones Clayton sells, same vendor. I haven't played them. Unlike the Pearse and other casein picks on the market, they are not polished but left with more of a rough or matte finish.

scott memmer
They are not as nice looking as the Pearse picks that are polished and have the tortoise pattern and the thumb depression. Lots of people comment to me about the looks of the Pearse picks.

Out of the bag, the Fenders sound a bit better than an unmodified Pearse. Some of that may be I don't have Pearse picks this thin. The shape of the Fender is more useful for re-working as the thumb depression on Pearse picks limit using anything but the point.

After beveling, the Fender holds it own with a beveled Pearse. Same time as I got the Fenders, I also ordered 4 more Fast Turtles as I have to use separate picks if I want a sharp or rounded tip. I'll still primarily stick with the Pearse picks but you could do a lot worse than the Fender at the price.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tico View Post
... Just what I need ... another pick to ignore because it costs over 50 cents? Yawn-O-Rama!

... and with a deceptive name "True-anything" let alone "True-Shell" for the masses who have abandoned critical thinking.

What pick name is next, "Mock Turtle Pick"?
Not sure critical thinking and rejecting something based solely on its name can exist in the same space.
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:11 PM
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Had a little more chance to play these last few days. Have to say I am more and more impressed. The configuration seems to make faster passage play easily, always know where the point is.

They are more loud and more clear than I anticipated.They do seem to bring out some overtones I don't hear with other, albeit thicker, casein picks. I was detecting a bit of noise with them but that could be me getting used to them and the attack they want.

Not quite as good as a re-beveld John Pearse Fast Turtle but the Fenders are pretty good without modification and its almost a "must do" with the JPFT's.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:46 PM
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Last couple of days, had a chance to use them more with mandolin. With the rounded point, they are proving to be pretty exceptional. Getting very loud and very clear sound and they tend to bring out the real character of the build.

They may be a real bargain in a "semi" exotic pick.
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  #14  
Old 08-07-2017, 10:38 PM
Jerry D Jerry D is offline
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Just ordered one of these ($7.99 from Musician's Friend), although it pains me deeply to spend over $.50 on a pick.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry D View Post
Just ordered one of these ($7.99 from Musician's Friend), although it pains me deeply to spend over $.50 on a pick.
Sometimes you just have to kick in a put up the big bucks.
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