The Parker Guitars Forum

Parker Lounge => EQUIPMENT, SET-UP, AND SETTINGS => Topic started by: sybersitizen on October 17, 2016, 07:29:55 PM

Title: Let's Talk Titanium (picks)
Post by: sybersitizen on October 17, 2016, 07:29:55 PM
I've been happily using Fender medium picks for about 50 years, but after noticing this thread ...

http://forums.parkerguitars.com/index.php/topic,2066.msg143032.html

... I got a sudden urge to go a little wild and try a titanium pick. (Only a little wild - I spent 8 bucks on one from eBay.)

The pick arrived today. It's basically the same size, shape, and thickness as my Fenders, so that's good. I did what I could to confirm that it's really titanium. It's lightweight, non-magnetic, and can easily scratch aluminum. Not conclusive evidence, but so far so good. However, it's very rigid. This is confusing because I also own some 'titanium' eyeglass frames, and they are incredibly flexible. I can almost tie them in a knot and they'll spring right back into shape. I was expecting at least some flexibility with this pick, but it's super stiff.

The next surprise was the 'tone'. I was expecting a snappy attack and crisp tone, but I'm getting the exact opposite. Compared to my Fenders, this pick makes the strings sound like they're being brushed rather than plucked. The attack is noticeably softer - it's a bit like applying compression to the sound envelope.

So first ... do I really have a titanium pick, or is it more likely some alloy (and my eyeglass frames are some other alloy)?

Second ... what about the sound? Fenders have a distinct bevel in their profile along all edges, meaning the edges are tapered into something between a C and < shape. This pick has a more blunt profile, closer to a simple [ shape. Does that account for the unexpected tone ... or is it the rigidity? Or both?
Title: Re: Let's Talk Titanium (picks)
Post by: Big Swifty on October 19, 2016, 01:24:54 AM
i reckon your glasses have a whole different profile, making them bendable. .

Probably thinner too.

Never tried a titanium pick, but I reckon watch it! They're a lot harder than wood or whatever paint is on the guitar, and a lot harder than any standard pick, so an afternoon of thrashing may leave your guitar scarred..

Saw a PRS in a shop once that looked like it had been played with a rasp. Apparently the guy was using a stone pick that chipped during a gig , and he didn't realise...
Title: Re: Let's Talk Titanium (picks)
Post by: JamieCrain on October 19, 2016, 03:04:08 AM
My glasses are supposedly titanium and very bendy.  8)

But I suspect the marketing team from the glasses brand just waved a titanium rod in the general direction of the factory and that was enough to include it in the key product features.
Title: Re: Let's Talk Titanium (picks)
Post by: ParkerPlayer on March 07, 2017, 04:57:33 PM

...It's lightweight, non-magnetic, and can easily scratch aluminum. Not conclusive evidence, but so far so good. However, it's very rigid. This is confusing because I also own some 'titanium' eyeglass frames, and they are incredibly flexible. I can almost tie them in a knot and they'll spring right back into shape. I was expecting at least some flexibility with this pick, but it's super stiff.
...
So first ... do I really have a titanium pick, or is it more likely some alloy (and my eyeglass frames are some other alloy)?

Titanium is very lightweight metal, and like aluminum, it can be made in many different alloys. 
Some alloys are very stiff, like your pick.

Your glasses are almost certainly made of the Nickel Titanium alloy (Ni-Ti), which is a superelastic alloy.
Here's an article: https://phys.org/news/2011-07-japanese-material-scientists-superelastic-alloy.html
It's amazing stuff, usually comes in wire form, but you can buy it in sheet too.  It's stretches way more than a regular metal which is why you can bend your glasses into a prezel and they magically spring back to shape.