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Gypsy Picks

I am using a Tortis Gypsy Pick. These sound incredible and they do not slip in the hand. You can see them on this website http://www.redbeartrading.com/picks.html

The gypsy pick is the style C in 2.5mm. I also have a style B in a heavy (1.3mm) it is also great. These are the best picks I have used, they are hand finished and bevelled and are the nearest thing to tortoiseshell you can get.
I have Wegens which are very good but prefer the sound from the Tortis picks. Has anyone else tried them?
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Comments

  • aa New York City✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 800
    they look great, but i've had trouble getting a hold of that material (to be able to make my own picks).
    Www.alexsimonmusic.com
    Learn how to play Gypsy guitar:
    http://alexsimonmusic.com/learn-gypsy-jazz-guitar/
  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    I believe that the material is proprietary.

    Dave Skowran -- who runs the business and the bluegrass flatpicking forum as well http://www.flatpickin.com/index.shtml -- has worked really hard on designing and perfecting his line of picks, and he's a great guy to boot.

    If you're interested in this kind of pick, I strongly urge you to support Dave's work. (We're not affliated, by the way.)

    -Paul
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • MarkMark AustraliaNew
    Posts: 22
    I've had great success in making my own gypsy picks from a material called Acetal. This is the material that Wegen uses to make his picks. It is engineering quality plastic - very rigid and durable however it machines well. Engineers use it to make cogs, gears and other parts where light weight and high strength are the requisites. It is available through engineering plastics suppliers however it is quite expensive. Your best bet is to ask the supplier if they have any off-cuts you can purchase for 'cash'. :wink: You won't need much and chances are they can find a piece in their bin that would suit your needs. As far as I know it is only available in black or white.

    Be aware however Acetal is not readily available in thin sheets (2.5, 3, 3.5mm etc) so you'll need some quality machines or jigs to thickness it to your desired measurement. I ended up getting a piece that was 50x50x110 which I thicknessed into eight 4mm slabs. From there on you'll need a fretsaws, files, sanders etc to carefully shape your pick. I'd suggest using self adhesive printer paper to attach the drawing of the pick profile to the plastic. (I can email you my CAD drawing in jpg format if you need one)

    All in all this is a very time consuming process however satisfying. Unless you have the tools already you won't save much money, but if you already have the tools and the skills you'll save a bucket-load and you'll be able to modify the picks to suit your personal needs.

    Good luck,

    Mark
  • MarkMark AustraliaNew
    Posts: 22
    Here is the profile page I print out onto self-adhesive paper.[/img]
  • MarkMark AustraliaNew
    Posts: 22
    I did a little research in the Tor-tis material and found this report. From the information here you'll get a better idea about the material and it's compound.

    It also states that the thickest they can manufacturer it is 1/8 inch, which is not really thick enough for most players. Maybe they've refined their manufacturing techniques since the article was written - it would be nice to buy the sheets in 4 or 5 mm thicknesses!

    Cheers

    Mark
  • trumbologytrumbology San FranciscoNew
    Posts: 124
    Mark wrote:
    I did a little research in the Tor-tis material and found this report. From the information here you'll get a better idea about the material and it's compound.

    It also states that the thickest they can manufacturer it is 1/8 inch, which is not really thick enough for most players. Maybe they've refined their manufacturing techniques since the article was written - it would be nice to buy the sheets in 4 or 5 mm thicknesses!

    Mark,

    Thanks for posting all of that great information. I found it interesting, even if I expect I'll never get a chance to give pick-making a shot.

    Just to clarify a confusing naming issue, the report seems to be an investigation of the material sold under the trademark Tor-Tis by Luthier's Mercantile International.

    Of the Tortis Gypsy Pick stan2044 discusses above, Redbeartrading.com says:

    "Since John [Greven] is so very busy building his fine guitars, we have taken over his pick-making business. Neither he nor the company "Turtle-Works" are making these picks. They make pickguards. Red Bear Trading Company is the sole manufacturer of these picks. We call this material "New Tortis" to distinguish it from the Tor-Tis that is used for pick guards."

    I don't know anything about how similiar Tor-Tis is to New Tortis, or anything about any of this to be honest. Enjoying the discussion, however.

    Neil
  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    They're not very similar at all. I have picks made from both materials and the new Tor-Tis picks from Redbear are far superior, and can be made in a variety of thicknesses.

    -Paul
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • drollingdrolling New
    Posts: 153
    I've been trying to get the GJ Tortis pick from the Canadian distributor for about 6 months now. This guy seems to stock every variety of Tortis except the GJ, and last time I spoke to him, he told me that Tortis wants a minimum order of each style - I only want one for starters.

    Who would ship one of these picks to Canada?

    Thanks,
    David
  • pallopennapallopenna Rhode IslandNew
    Posts: 245
    http://www.redbeartrading.com/

    Go directly to Dave. He can do it via PayPal. I've done it before, even though PayPal always makes me a bit nervous. I've never had any problems with his site though.

    -Paul
    Reject the null hypothesis.
  • SoulShadeSoulShade NW Ohio, USANew
    Posts: 56
    PayPal makes me nervous too, but I guess everybody's doin' it! :?
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