Gravity Guitar Picks – review
Gravity Guitar Picks are a new player in the guitar pick market. Made from sheets of cast acrylic, they are engraved using a laser, cut into individual picks, and then they are grind and polished one by one into the finished product. They are a bit more pricey than most commercial mass produced picks. This is due to acrylic being harder to work with than a lot of the other plastic types used for guitar picks.
Chris at Gravity Guitar Picks was nice enough to send me out a sample bag of various picks to test out and review. In this review I’ll be testing out the 1.5mm Classic Standard and Razer Standard, 3mm Classic Standard and Razor Standard, and the 3mm Razer XL.
1.5mm Classic Standard
The first Gravity Guitar Pick I’m reviewing is the Classic Standard 1.5mm. The one I received from Chris at Gravity is a striking red colour, and about the same size height-wise as a Jazz III pick, with a bit more width-ways.
The Classic shape is a traditional tipped pick, although it is on the sharper side of the traditional tip. Probably half way between the tip on a Tortex pick, and a Jazz III. The Gravity markings a nicely laser etched, and you can just feel the etching with your fingers. It makes for a great grip too.
Acrylic is very stiff so there is no pick flex here, which some people may not like. I personally love a pick that has no flex as it doesn’t flap around when I’m picking, which I find very useful for my style of playing.
Tonally I found the 1.5mm Classic Standard to be similar to the 1.14mm Dunlop Hetfield Black Fangs. The Classic Standard 1.5mm is nice and bright, with a fairly sharp, twangy attack. Although the Ultex material that the Black Fangs are made from flex very little, it was noticeable when playing back to back with the Classic Standard, which doesn’t flex at all. I found that I preferred the lack of pick flex that the acrylic Classic Standard provided.
I found that the thickness of the 1.5mm Classic Standard to be quite nice too. Not too thin, but not too thick, it sits nicely in the hand, and is easy to control.
1.5mm Razer Standard
The 1.5mm Razer Standard is very similar to the Classic Standard. They are about the same size, but the Razer features a far sharper tip. The one I am reviewing is in the same red as the Classic Standard I reviewed previously.
The tip is quite a bit sharper than the standard Jazz III tip, and is quite noticeable when playing single note runs. Many noted players have mentioned that they found the Jazz III to be a great tool for improving their picking. There’s no room for sloppy picking with a sharp tipped pick, and the Razer is no exception. In fact, it’s probably more punishing than the Jazz III, and it really makes you work on getting your picking accurate to avoid mushy, muddy notes. Get it right and you are rewarded with a great sounding tone that is similar to the Classic Standard 1.5mm, but with more definition.
The 1.5mm Razer Standard feels just like the Classic Standard, and is similarly comfortable in the hand, and easy to control. The laser-etched labeling makes for a nice grip-able surface too.
3mm Classic Standard
The 3mm Classic Standard is the same shape and has the same dimensions as the 1.5mm Classic Standard, which the obvious exception of being twice as thick. The one I received was a nice blue colour.
As one would expect, the 3mm Classic has a different tone to the 1.5mm model. The 3mm Classic Standard sounds quite a bit thicker, with much more low end presence than the thinner model. The attack is a little less sharp than the 1.5mm Classic Standard. What it lacks in definition it makes up for with punch. Chord strikes and single notes sound a bit heavier.
The extra thickness over the 1.5mm model is quite noticeable in the hand. The extra thickness makes the pick a little bit more slippery. I think it would be nice if the 3mm models had perhaps deeper laser etching to help with grip.
3mm Razer Standard
Like the Classic Standard, the 3mm Razer Standard is the same shape, and has the same dimensions as the 1.5mm Razer Standard. The model I received is a deep grey colour.
With double the thickness over the 1.5mm model it has a similar change to the tone as the 3mm Classic Standard did over the equivalent 1.5mm model. Like the 1.5mm Razer Standard, the 3mm model is more articulate, and has greater definition over its Classic Standard sibling.
Like the 3mm Classic Standard, the 3mm Razer Standard is a little more slippery than the 1.5mm model, and could benefit from a deeper etching of the logo.
3mm Razer XL
The 3mm Razer XL is about 3-4mm bigger than the Razer Standard. The model I received is yellow.
With the same thickness as the 3mm Razer Standard the tone of the Razer XL is pretty much identical. It’s nice and articulate, with great definition. It retains the punch that the 3mm standard models have too.
Thanks to it’s larger size the 3mm Razer XL easier to grip than the 3mm Razer Standard.
This is all well and good, but there is a downfall when it comes to my playing style. I do a lot of pick scrapes and slides when playing the rhythm parts in my band’s music. I also have a very heavy attack, and really dig in when playing rhythm. I have yet to find a pick that feels perfect for my picking style, yet is robust enough to cop the abuse I hand out to my pick.
Whilst acrylic is incredibly hard, it is also fairly brittle. Pick scrapes and slides are fairly hard on a pick at the best of times, and after several hours of playing most picks will show signs of this, with small chunks of the pick material missing, and the edges and tip suitably worn.
So for playing live in rehearsals and on stage with my band I definitely would not use an acrylic pick. For the extra money it costs over the usual mass-produced commercial picks it’s just not a viable option for me, economically speaking. However, in the studio it is a fantastic pick for playing and recording lead guitar parts. I’m happy to keep a few of these lying around for these occasions, as they are more than durable for regular picking duties.
Gravity Guitar Picks provide a great feel and tone, with many different shapes, sizes and thicknesses to suit all players. If you have a light to medium pick attack, and aren’t too rough with your playing style (perform very little pick slides and scrapes, etc) they will last many, many hours of use.
Chris at Gravity Picks has just informed me that the engraving is now deeper on the picks, so they will be far easier to grip now. That just makes these great sounding picks even better!
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