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Thread: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

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    Default Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    probably been done before, I ordered a Blue Chip CT 55, but I have been using Prime Tone 1.4 and 1.5 pretty much for the last few years.

    at first I thought maybe the Blue Chip was a little fuller on the bottom end, but I can't tell a difference on the high end.

    I tired it on my Rigel G110 that I just put a set of Curt Mangan Light mandolin strings on.

    So I will try it on a few other mandos, seems like maybe the Dunlop is slightly more "clicky", but not enough to really justify the Blue Chip, so far anyway.

    I do like the feel and tone of the Blue Chip, but seems like the Prime Tone is holding its own so far.
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Just remember, there is no law that you have to decide on one pick. This pick for these reasons, that pick for those reasons - is a perfectly rational way to go.
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Well $35 versus $2 might be a valid reason.
    I will say the Dunlops do "wear" when you can't read the stamp on the one side - they tend to be somewhat diminished (to my ear anyway), if the Blue Chip lasts longer, then that is a valid reason to pay the the extra $.
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    and so I was playing "Farwell to Trion" from the fiddle tune discussion and started with the Blue Chip and I thought, "well this does sound and feel pretty good", I was interrupted by my cell phone, put the pick down, took care of that and continued playing. I thought, "you know I really like this pick, it sounds and feels great", then I realized I had picked up the Prime Tone.

    I will say the Blue Chip is just a littler heavier (weight wise), so that might make a difference for some people.
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    small instrument, big fun Dan in NH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I was regularly using a Primetone 1.5 Big Triangle on my guitars & my mandolin until I got my Blue Chip TAD-60. Now the Blue Chip is all I use.
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    Well $35 versus $2 might be a valid reason.
    I will say the Dunlops do "wear" when you can't read the stamp on the one side - they tend to be somewhat diminished (to my ear anyway), if the Blue Chip lasts longer, then that is a valid reason to pay the the extra $.
    If the Blue chip lasts 17 times longer the price is a wash.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I still use the Primetone (1.5 large triangle "smooth") exclusively on guitar. I use an Apollo (Mike Marshall) pick on the mandolin for the bluegrass stuff - it really just sounds better to my ear. But, recently I started taking classical lessons and have started using the Primetone because it has a bit brighter sound (on my Northfield F), which I feel sounds better, given most of that music is done on an entirely different kind of [bowlback] mandolin which has a lot less bass (to my ear, anyway, and I'm not going to invest in one of those).

    I don't think wear is a reason to choose, unless you are really hard on picks. I have some basic Fender heavy picks that I used a lot before I switched to the Primetone picks. I can't say that they're worn significantly. The Primetones may not last as long as those "space age plastics" they use in the boutique ones, but, boy, I can say that at my age, I'm never going to see the ROI for the Apollo picks I bought. Heck, I might never wear out the few Primetones I have.
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  11. #8
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    Well $35 versus $2 might be a valid reason.
    I will say the Dunlops do "wear" when you can't read the stamp on the one side - they tend to be somewhat diminished (to my ear anyway), if the Blue Chip lasts longer, then that is a valid reason to pay the the extra $.
    The Prime tone pick doesn't wear when the printed label wears off - the printing wears, that's all. I've never had the printed label wear off a Blue chip (or a Gravity, or a Tortex, or a Golden Gate, or a bunch of others).

    I prefer the tone I get from Gravity Gold, Gravity acrylic, Wegen and Primetone to my Bluechips.

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  13. #9
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I've done numerous blind comparisons of PT and BC for myself and found out that tone-wise thay are indistinguishable. They are not shaped exactly the same from the get go but once you reshape the bevels and points to match you would be hard pressed to tell them apart without looking, both by feel and tone.
    The BC should wear a bit longer but I doubt the difference in thematerial properties would warrant even doubled life from BC against PT. The BC material is "higher" end plastic but the main differences are mainly in harsh conditions of extremely high temperatures and I'm sure even Chris Thile can pick so hard and fast that edge of pick heats up to 200+ degrees Celsius which is still comfortable for both materials.
    The wear at room temperatures will be similar depending on playing style and angle of attack to string (the coefficients of friction against metals are similar for both materials). My friend gave me his BC that he worn out within a year or so (plays 120+ gigs a year) from large triangle shape down to almost rounded shape. I reshaped it to the smaler triangle shape and polished to match my PT picks (for testing) but for general playing I use whatever is closer to my hand when I reach for a pick...
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by Mandobart View Post
    The Prime tone pick doesn't wear when the printed label wears off - the printing wears, that's all. I've never had the printed label wear off a Blue chip
    Blue chip is not printed but laser etched, same on Gravity. The non-grippy PT looks like silk screen or similar printing that will wear. GG label does wear off as well, perhaps their printing is a bit more durable or more likely it sticks better to celluloid than to PEI (material of PT)
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Thanks for the share experience guys, and Keith Rodgers I have worn the print off many a Prime Tone.
    If I play a worn Prime Tone and then use a brand new one - to me there is noticeable difference, perhaps it the edge that is worn.

    But I agree with HoGo, for the most part, I can't tell the difference between a Prime Tone 1.4 and Blue Chip CT 55.
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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    If I play a worn Prime Tone and then use a brand new one - to me there is noticeable difference, perhaps it the edge that is worn.
    Yes, the sharp edges of the bevels will wear slightly and the bevel adjusts to your pick angle over time from there the perimeter very slowly wears off. The larger the angle is between the pick and string the faster the pick wears. I tend to strike string with pick almost parallel to string and my picks wear extremely slowly (I used to play one celluloid pick for a decade without much wear back when I was more active as a player).
    Adrian

  19. #13

    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by tmsweeney View Post
    Thanks for the share experience guys, and Keith Rodgers I have worn the print off many a Prime Tone.
    If I play a worn Prime Tone and then use a brand new one - to me there is noticeable difference, perhaps it the edge that is worn.
    ...
    The print on Primetones is just that, not even a mild bit of depression/etching like a Fender pick, and it will wear off really fast. The Fender pick in the attachment is pretty old and probably saw a fair amount of use before I started on the Primetone (of the same shape), but it's still more legible. Even the rounded triangle Primetone, which I can say has seen not much use at all, has the print all gone.

    I keep the pick I'm using in the strings, and use the same one until it gets lost, usually. I just don't see enough wear that affects sound enough, save maybe a solo recording that's close mic'd. I recently took to just hitting all the edges with some Micro-Mesh pads I have that range from 1500 to 12000 (I don't use the lower grits since they will take of a noticeable amount of material - maybe start around 3k). That can really polish up the edges and, to my ear, reduce pick noise a bit, though, again, I think my attack just doesn't create a lot of friction that will cause noise or wear. I can't explain it!
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I think they're both great picks, and I don't really prefer one over the other.

    That being said though, I use the Prime Tones most of the time because they are cheap enough to keep a couple in each mandolin case, and a few on my desk in my office where I keep my instruments. I only have one Bluechip, so unless I consciously grab that pick to take with me when I grab a mandolin, I don't usually have it. Like I said, I have Prime Tones scattered around everywhere (figuratively speaking) so that's what I use most of the time. Just my opinion.

  21. #15
    small instrument, big fun Dan in NH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I also keep a few Primetone 1.5 Large Triangles in each guitar & mandolin case, a few on my desk in my office, and a couple in a pick case attached to my Swiss Army Knife & thumb drive.

    I keep my Blue Chip on my desk in my office next to my guitar & mandolin stands. Unless Iím going to a jam or a lesson, then it goes in a pocket.

  22. #16

    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I like primetones for my guitar but I wish they had a rounded triangle, the large sharp triangle or the rounded asymmetric shape that the Primetones come in are not my preferred shape for mandolin.

  23. #17
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I have tried almost every mandolin pick I could find, but I always come back to my CT-55. I play, most days, at least a couple of hours and have never seen wear on my CT-55s. I tend to think of picks in the same way I considered the bows for my violins. I always want the best affordable bow for my violin, and I rather feel the same way about my picks. Just like I really enjoy my sweet and perfectly balanced carbon fiber bow, I really like the CT-55 and the sound they make on my mandolins. But, almost any pick will do when you just got to play and a different pick is in your hand.
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Craziest thing is....I have prime tones....but my mandos sound the best with these. I always wondered why is so think and stiff better....these don't flex and produce great tone.


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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Quote Originally Posted by milli857 View Post
    I like primetones for my guitar but I wish they had a rounded triangle, the large sharp triangle or the rounded asymmetric shape that the Primetones come in are not my preferred shape for mandolin.
    There is this one, but it's asymmetrical.

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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I'm in the CT-55 camp. I have the CT-55 and the Primetone triangle 1.4's. I can hear a huge difference tonally between the two with the same mandolin, and it is almost always in favor of the CT-55.

    I received a Tone Slab pick with a recent mandolin purchase. Even though there are trade-offs in tone with the CT-55, I wouldn't yet say one is better or worse...just different. The Tone Slab also has noticeably less pick noise.
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I also received a tone slab with a purchase, but I think it must be lighter than a 1.4 so it seems very bright, I will say I like the CT-55 on my mandocello, but for mandolins, I can't really tell much of difference with Prime Tone 1.4.
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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I have tried several shapes of BC’s, V-Picks, Primetones, Red Bear, Tortoise shell, Golden Gate Clown Barf, Dawg, and many others. Blue Chips are excellent and worth the money. As JeffD said above, there is no rule that you have to play with one pick. Lately I have been playing heavy guitar picks in the traditional 351 shape, 1.0 or greater thickness. I keep asking myself, “What did the great mandolin players use before these options existed?” If it was good enough for them… I think this is a good topic because the right hand is so important to quality of play. What did Monroe say when asked what pick he used? Something to the effect of— the one that’s in my pocket at the time. As our pick collections continue to grow, play on!
    Last edited by lflngpicker; Nov-12-2022 at 9:19am.
    I started on the guitar my dad handed me in 1962, and have continued as a guitarist all my life. In 1982 my wifeís family passed down an old teens Gibson A4. It only took me 40 years to learn to play mandolin in 2013. Now I canít stop trying to get better. ó lflngpicker

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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    To my ear those two picks are very close in tone and feel. The big advantage of the PrimeTone is that it's so much more affordable to replace if lost. So maybe the CT55 at home and PrimeTone 1.4 at gigs? I find myself changing picks every couple years so what is my favorite 2 or 3 years ago is not necessarily my favorite today. As my ear improves and my skills change over time, it can affect my pick preference.

    I think many mandolin players just keep a collection of picks and periodically run through them. Works for me.

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    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    Well I don't disagree we can have a variety of various picks in the arsenal, I do believe the pick itself contributes to right hand execution and tone production.
    So having some consistency makes sense to me.

    For example I have been trying a very heavy but small jazz pick for tunes with long tremolo passages.

    Being that the BC 55 and the Prime Tone are so similar, I think it will work out that way.
    I only have two BC 55s and handfuls of Primetones. While I probably won't purchase more BC 55s any time soon, I will be purchasing Prime Tones again soon enough.
    "Mean Old Timer, He's got grey hair, Mean Old Timer he just don't care
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  31. #25

    Default Re: Blue Chip CT 55 versus Dunlop Prime Tone 1.4

    I've proven I can't be trusted with Blue Chips. Over $100 in lost picks so I have some Primetones on order.

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