I recently received my Hufschmid picks and wanted to play them for a few weeks so that I could get some good hands on experience before writting a review.
These are by far the very best I've ever played in the past 30 years of guitar playing in terms of playability and durability! I can't believe the attention to details, I mean I've been playing 'custom picks' for a long time but I can honnestly say that the other brands I've been playing do not even compare to Patrick's work.
My favourite picks would be the red huftron and orange fluo anvil xl, not only do they offer incredible attack but you get used to playing them in seconds, it actually becomes second nature which is something I was far from expecting when ordering them and I have to agree that playing seams effortless, now I can really concentrate on those fast riffs and my hand feels much more relaxed! Thank you for your incredible work and customers service Patrick! My experience was fantastic and I can't recommend them enough! Rob
I bought an Hufschmid Drop pick just to try out. I have one of his guitars and I was very pleased with that, so I made the descision.
The first thing that struck me was the quality of the product. No flaws that I could see, feels great in the hand - although a little unusual in the beginning for me.
For me personally it took some time getting used to, and I use it as much as I use my other picks. It glides effortlesly over the strings and I've not run into any problems with my grips as of yet. I know that he makes these with a griphole now.
Picks are very personal things to review, so this is all very subjective. I loved my first pic, so I ordered a few more.
In regards to the price, they are a freaking bargain. Yes, they are expensive, but you get top quality, fast service and a VERY long lastning pick. I've used mine for over a year and it's barely starting to show signs of wear. One must remember that this is a handmade product, it takes time to make, made from expensive materials. They are made to last and I enjoy every second of my playing with it.
I look at it like a tool in my toolbox, I have one more thing to play with a create the music that I love.
There are already a fair few very good and in depth reviews for these amazing plectrums so I will try to keep this one short and sweet!
Plectrums are one of those things until this year I had not thought much about or questioned in anyway. I had used Jim Dunlop stubby's for all my 16 years of playing and had never thought to upgrade them as I had already tried everything else (mainstream at least) and just did not know there was anything that different available on the market. Earlier on this year I happened to be watching a few video's of the amazing Fred Brum and noticed he was using these MASSIVE plectrums, I could not help but think "what the hell are they!" Anyhow I sent him a Facebook email and thus I was introduced to the world of one Mr Patrick Hufschmid.
SHAPES: As far as I am aware there are 4 different sizes or shapes Patrick makes, as I have only tried and own 2 of these shapes I will concentrate on these.
REGULAR DROP: I'm guessing these are the godfathers of his series of plectrums and are also the shape I have had most of my orders with him made to. You could say they are possibly the most regular of his shapes in its outline (but of course there is the thickness of these picks which I will try to cover later) Think of a basic Jim Dunlop stubby and your kinda there!
ATTACK DROP: These are much wider and angled in shape. When I first looked at them on his site I thought they would be too pointy around the sides and so sadly avoided them util now. Recently he started a new version of his well known UHMWPE' picks called "regenerated green". These awesome looking picks have a much different surface grip than the regular version and are currently only available in attack drop shape, so I just though "lets try this" It arrived as usual in very good time ready for a gig that day in London. WOW is all I can say the shape of the attack drop pick almost forces you to completely change your technique in a very good way indeed. It kind of curls your fingers around it to create a very snug and effective picking posture indeed. Despite having played electric guitar for over 16 years now my technique has always been very poor sadly but the attack drop shape is really kicking my playing into shape!
THICKNESS: This is what really attracted me to Patricks work. I loved Jim Dunlop stubbys for their far higher than usual thickness (about 2mm to 3 mm depending on the model.) "Huf" plectrums are a good few times this thickness! Now while that may sound cumbersome to some, to me I just knew instantly it was going to be an awesome feel and I was right. They are so much easier to hold and use they are the very reverse of clumsy. They are easier to hold and articulate and because of the fantastic gradient of the plectrums thickness from end to end they just roll off the strings when needed and allow you to really dig in when that sort of a thing is required too!
MATERIALS: Now here is where it starts getting a little more complex. Patrick uses some pretty incredible materials to build his plectrums. The principals seemingly being extremely hard wearing, very low friction, all in aid of creating an awesome playing experience! Now these are just the basics of why he uses these materials but for me its the different tones these picks produce that have got me as hooked as the ergonomics of the picks themselves.
"PHD" was the first material I tried and was instantly blown away by how full sounding and focused the attack is. It just takes every frequency and enlarges them to the point of making your guitar sound like something you have not heard before, but without loosing any definition almost like subtle compression. legato and arpeggio runs sound very precise indeed now.
"UHMWPE" This was the second material I tried as it was the most expensive I wanted to be sure I liked the PHD before paying out any more money. This is to my ears at least a much fatter sounding material with a much warmer bottom end and a smoother roll off at the top end yet at the same time hold the clarity and definition characteristics of the PHD material.
SHELF LIFE: Now Jim Dunlop stubbys last me about 3 songs at the very most whether its live or in practice at home. Having used Patricks picks live and in band practice for about 3 months roughly, I can say that one of my PHD drops has just started to wear out (but only just started) But the UHMWPE material picks have barely started to show any signs that I have even taken them out of their packaging!... I'm not even slightly exaggerating! They are that good!
VERDICT: Now as you might have guessed by comparison to normal picks these are not cheap. But lets take things into account and perspective. Most plectrums are made by the thousand an hour (I'm guessing anyway) and are made of fairly basic plastic churned out by a machine. Patrick makes each one of his plectrums totally by hand, they are 100% hand crafted and take around an hour EACH! Now also take into account the vastly superior and rare materials he uses and you start to understand why. I personally think his prices are very fair indeed, I would happily pay more for these works of art. Its not everyday you discover something like this and it wont be everyone's cup of tea but if you have a taste for something a little different and are in the mindset to broaden your horizons and playing style Patricks plectrums Really might be worth a look, I know for one I will never be able to use any other brand of plectrums ever again.
A Quick Review of Patrick Hufschmid's Tivar Drops.
i'll start off as normal with a blatant plug for my good friend Patrick http://hufschmidguitars.bigcartel.com/ follow that link
spend a few Euro's and obtain what i consider to be some
of the nicest and wear frienldy picks i've ever used.
Awhile ago Patrick started using a new hi-tech material called Tivar, it is an amazing type of material, so ready on
The Drops are pointed with a fat body, tapering to the point, a stubby rear that quickly curves to make the rear of the pick, much like the standard Drops, however it has a little more width at the body whilst depth and length stay the same and give a nice point.
Ease of Use.
Now, i wasn't really sure what to expect with this material, it's grippy and very waxy feeling, super comfortable and ideal for anyone with RSI or Carpel Tunnel where you don't need to grip so tightly with these the pain and length of use is greatly increased, Comfortable, undroppable and great for anyone whom suffers muscle fatigue with plectrums, it's a winning situation.
Now, this is where my biggest suprise happened, they have an almost muted softened attack, beautiful cleans and a bluesy almost woody tone, utterly tremendous, however attack a bit harder and the pick responds by giving that clarity of attack only a super stiff pick can, the material is self lubricating and as such glides across the strings with barely any effort, attack the strings with the pick slightly tilted and you get a much mellower almost laid back sound, they really are very very tonally useable.
This was a shock, after 2 hours of playing hard, and really quite honestly trying to find fault and destroy the pick, really hitting the strings with all the aggression of Slayer fighting Slipknot and it's not even showing a single mark, i'm both stunned and speechless, Patrick might have found the most awesome material in Tivar, i love it already.
i will summarize quickly and without fancifulness, its a great material, almost perfectly suited to guitar picks, there is little in the way of comparison with other boutique plectrum makers, this is quite literally a product for the person that wants the very best and useable products.
Patrick Hufschmid is pushing the boundaries of guitar picks, making a product i think we will all be seeing a lot more off, i'm extremely interested in seeing what the Ketron material is like once there is more available.