Review: Dunlop Prime Tone Picks

I'm a huge fan of Blue Chip picks, but I've found that I have a tendency to lose them in pockets (or worse) for a while at shows and jam sessions and get frustrated when I can't find them for recording time. So -- rather than potentially lose $35+ picks from distraction, I stashed them in my drawer for "home and recording use only."

Since then, I've been looking around to find something that can come close enough to the CT-55s (big, heavy, triangular style) I've been using most of the time these days. I'll tell you what -- the above Dunlop "Prime Tone" picks come really close. They're a tiny tad brighter but have much of the same thick, rich, powerful response one gets with Blue Chips. It's not surprising, though, since they're made out of my #2 favorite pick material: Dunlop's "Ultex" stuff... which I use in various gauges for everything aside from guitar and mandolin.

The caveat is that these Prime Tones come in 2 flavors: "low profile" and semi-transparent and a smoother, brown, opaque format. The "low profile" format is not inspiring. Skip it! Bright, icy, thin. I use it only to liven up a really dull mandolin from time to time... but even that is questionable as you lose bottom-end response. The "standard" or opaque, Blue Chip-looking-pick, is excellent. At $2 a pop it's a lot easier on the wallet, too, if it goes missing. I can tell right away these will be my standard "gig" pick because of that.