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Snark picks

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Snark picks

Postby MrMattDiehl on Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:58 pm

So... I was a a horrible music chain store getting a guitar stand or something when I saw the distinctive packaging for Snark picks. I hadn't seen these before, & they looked odd in an appealing way, & if I didn't like them I could foist them on my 6-year-old, who is currently very vintage Pussy Galore in his playing:


But I digresss... There were two kinds available - celluloid & "neo-tortoise." I went for celluloid - one pack of medium (.7) & one "Med Heavy" (.88). I didn't really pay attention to the hyperbolic copy on the packaging about how Snark has revolutionized the pick, blahblahblah. All guitar gear packaging basically does the same thing & basically those boasts disappear into the ether like bass having a phase problem... Anway, here are the claims when I got around to reading it:


Tone enhancing substrate.
Laser cut for precision size and shape.
Edges polished for 30+ hours so pick edges do not drag on string and corrupt tone.
Non-slip coating to improve grip.
Free pick file included in every pack. Customize point and edge of your pick.

Your tone begins when your pick strikes the string. Hence, your pick is an extremely important part of your tone. No signal processing or amplification can “put back” the tone that you lose from a “dead” pick. Test Snark® side by side with your favorite pick. We think you will agree that the tone of the Snark® pick is superior!

Nothing sounds better than a Snark® pick!


Well, okay! So I'd been using the Snark picks sort of absentmindedly since then, leaving them around as kind of the picks to grab when I don't want to think. I often use metal Ice Pix made by buddy/musical hero Tim Aaron, but I don't want to destroy my strings/pickguard if I'm just noodling in the living room wearing women's underwear... So I started playing these a lot.

I'd used to primarily play with only orange Tortex picks, as I would pretty much chip/break plastic picks pretty damn often. This was not a profound decision beyond "Those will not get fucked up as easily." However, I didn't think about how they affected the sound the way, say, a metal pick would; they served as just the basic pick o' choice.

The other day, however, I grabbed a Tortex pick because from where I was standing in the living room, it was maybe a foot & a half closer to my lazy son-of-a-bitch ass on the couch. I started playing & it sounded, oddly, a little dull to me. I tried playing amped/non-amped, but suddenly either way it was like the proverbial blanket was thrown over the sound/resonance. Admittedly, it was not that large of a blanket - maybe more of a linen-napkin dinner table variety - but I did notice it.

I was like, hmmm. (Ah, the things that make you go hmmm...) So I got up from the couch & walked over to the amp, pedals, etc. Of course, I'd left that Tortex pick on the coffee table, so without thinking I grabbed a Snark pick off the top of the amp. (The idiosyncratic design makes it stick out easily from the top of an amp, the floor - another plus...) I started playing & the tonal/presence dimension I'd been missing came back.

As I couldn't think of anything I would've done differently, I guessed it was the change in pick choice. So I A-B'd the Snark with the Tortex, & found a distinct difference, with one caveat. The Snark has a grippy side (the one with the outlandish graphic/logo) & then the hyper-polished/smooth other side; If I accidentally flipped the Snark around as I moved between A-B & played with the logo side, a variation of the dullness came back. But if I played with the smooth side, everything was completely better again - attack, resonance, a little more mid/high maybe.

Snark also brags about how the edges/tip are designed/manufactured to reduce string drag. I don't recall ever having string drag (or even really know what that means), but the Snark edge does feel a little different compared to the Tortex pick - a little more coming to a points/progressively sharper in gradation.deliberate? Whether that made a scientifically significant audio difference or a largely cosmetic one, I have no idea. Playing with the Snark does feel a smidge more, er, "picky-er," however, but I have no clue if that is real or me y'know hypnotized by the marketing... In both sound and "picky-er," the Snark was definitely closer to a metal pick than its non-metal brethren, although not as resonant/cutting, etc. of course.

So price is damn good, sounds better than what I used before. I say "Not Crap." But I don't know if I am actually just full of tone snake oil hooey or if I'm onto somethin'... So, C/NC?
bernard purdie
bernard purdie
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Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 7:14 pm

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