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The Great Pick Off

About Alan Bond and his mandolins | Introduction to Shaping Picks

Wegen versus Mandolinbridge.com Mandolin Pick

Wegen Pick | Mandolin.com Pick |
Conclusion

The Wegen M150 has turned the mandolin world on it's ear! Truly one of the best picks I've ever heard or played with. Straight out of the bag they are close to perfect. With the beautiful bevel and wonderful grade of plastic, they have a great sound! Plus they have a fine texture for added grip.

Wegen says:
The M100 & M150 picks in the shape and dimensions popular with mandolin players. These picks greatly improve a mandolin's tone and volume. All tips are beveled for left or right-handed players.
Dimensions: 28.5mm long, thickness for the M150 is 1.5 mm, the M100 is 1.0 mm. Comes with 3 in a bag. (White or Black) USD/EUR $15

Each pick is made by hand in the Netherlands, Wegen


Now the contender. Made in the USA, the Mandolinbridge.com Mandolin Pick is similar in shape and material to the Wegen. But there are a few big differences. The number one difference is that there is no bevel on the Mandolinbridge.com pick. Number two is no textured surface. The good news is that the shape of the pick and the material used are both very good. This is a good sounding pick once you've done your bevel work.

Mandolin.com says:
These picks are hard, lightweight and produce less pick noise than tortoise shell, ivory or fossil walrus. Each pick is hand buffed to a slick smooth surface. The highly polished pick actually grips better. It’s almost like a non-slip surface. The thickness is 1.5mm and is available in Mandolin or Bluegrass Style (White or Black).
4-pack, $14.95

Made in the USA, Mandolinbridge.com

Conclusion

If you don't plan on doing any sanding or shaping to the pick then I would recommend the Wegen. But if you are like me and you intend further alterations, then start with the Mandolin.com Mandolin Pick.

The Mandolin.com Mandolin Pick is a perfect blank to begin your shaping. With the Wegen I still need to do some work to make it just right for me. I soften the bevel a bit further and do some magic shaping to the flat surface for better ergonomics. With the Mandolin.com Mandolin Pick I do the same shaping and end up with a great pick for a little less money. Once I've done my shaping I actually prefer the Mandolin.com Mandolin Pick. They might have a little nicer sound then the Wegen. But remember right out of the bag the Wegen pick sounds much better. So you have to decide.

The Wegen has the fine detailed bevel, the texture and a basic shape that makes them seem like they're worth $5 each, plus tax. You'll have to find one of the 50 dealers world wide that sell Wegens (check the Wegen website for dealers). Or buy them from the Netherlands through their website.

The Mandolin.com Mandolin Pick has very little detail. They are smooth. The basic shape is more similar to a Dawg pick, more rounded then the Wegen. Are they worth $3.73 each, plus $2 shipping for a bag of four. I'd say yes. Once you put a nice bevel on the edge you've got one of the two best picks in the world. Get them at Mandolinbridge.com.

Alan M. Bond 4/10/06