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Old 08-29-2010, 10:23 AM
Cue Zephyr Cue Zephyr is offline
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Talking Taylor vs... Dunlop?!

Howdy folks,

So yesterday my dad took a Taylor pick that he saw lying on an amplifier while I was banging away on a GA4.
Back at home I compared it to my Tortex picks and I seem to like it better than the Tortexes for some reason.
Now I'm wondering what the Taylor picks are made of as opposed to the delrin Tortex picks.
It's a H (heavy?) gauge pick, compared to a medium gauge .88 Tortex (which actually feels a hair thicker than the Taylor pick).

So does anybody know, tried or have experience with these picks?

CZ
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Last edited by rlouie; 08-29-2010 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:41 AM
rlouie rlouie is offline
 
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Taylor picks are celluloid....................
Quote:
Celluloid is the name of a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents. Generally regarded to be the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1862 and as Xylonite in 1869 before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is easily molded and shaped, and it was first widely used as an ivory replacement. Celluloid is highly flammable and also easily decomposes, and is no longer widely used. Its most common uses today are in table tennis balls and guitar picks.
Tortex..............
Quote:
is a brand created by Jim Dunlop, but tortex picks are made out of a plastic called delrin that was created by DuPont. Dunlop's Tortex and Delrex picks are both made of delrin, but have different surface coatings. It has been influential in replacing tortoiseshell guitar picks after an international ban was placed on the trade of tortoiseshell in the late 1970s. Tortex is registered trademark of Dunlop Manufacturing, Inc.

Tortex picks are used by many guitar players. Tortex is one of the most popular materials for guitar picks. It imitates the texture of a tortoise shell. It has a grippy feel, so players don't drop the pick while playing.
they're both plastic.........although I think the tortex picks feel softer therefore less appealing to me..........and also the quote above (Wikipedia) says that Tortex imitates the texture of a tortoise shell......I say not even close.......

Last edited by rlouie; 08-29-2010 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:18 PM
Cue Zephyr Cue Zephyr is offline
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Hey Louie, thanks for the heads-up on the materials.
That's one side of the story. Now comes the sound comparison...
Tortex are indeed softer and thits is probably why the Taylor pick gives some more click and a sharper bass as opposed to that round click of the Tortex.
I'd have to do an A/B recording sometime!
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Taylor 110ce
Taylor SolidBody Classic
Tanglewood TBF (travel guitar)
Kentucky KM-550 (mandolin)
Recording King RK-R36-BR (banjo)
Taylor GS Mini-e koa FLTD
PRS SE Torero
Gretsch G5620T-CB Electromatic
Inspirations: Bill Monroe, Brad Paisley, Eric Church, John Mayer, Taylor Swift
YouTube Twitter Instagram
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:44 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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CZ, I personally prefer celluloid picks over picks made from any other material, including genuine tortoiseshell. The first and foremost reason I like celluloid is the sound it gets out of the instrument. Tortex picks just don't sound as musical to me, though I concede it may just be that I know how to use celluloid picks more effectively.

When I first started playing music celluloid picks were by far and away the most readily available. That's no longer the case, though celluloid picks are still found easily enough.

Another reason I prefer celluloid picks, after the tonal reason, is that it has a better "shape memory" than most of the synthetic materials I've tried. Which is to say that it won't start to curve and get bent the way Tortex can, but returns to its flat shape. When I've used Tortex picks for a while, they can sort of warp a little bit, which affects how they strike the strings.

So I'd suggest you search out and buy celluloid picks in several shapes and gauges - you don't have to limit yourself to picks that say "Taylor" on them. You can get Fender celluloid picks in 12 packs for a reasonable price, though I'd wait until I discovered which gauge I prefer before buying that many.

Something else you should know about celluloid is that different colors of it can have different flex characteristics. The white Fender picks are a bit stiffer than the ones in tortoiseshell color or the multi-colored celluloid that Fender calls "Confetti" but which hipster musicians like David Lindley call "Clown Vomit."



This picture shows those three colors. These are mediums, but I'd suggest you look for heavies. Of these three, the white will be the stiffest, the tortoiseshell the least stiff, and the clown vomit pick will be in between the two.

As a rule. There is still stiffness variation even within the same color and gauge of pick, and so I'll often flex three or four picks before choosing one for a song. We're talking very, very minute differences, mind you, so it's a very subtle difference but it does exist.

Anyway, welcome to the wonderful world of celluloid picks. Have fun determining which gauges and colors suit you best.


Wade Hampton Miller
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