Arcanum Plectra is a boutique pick maker, responsible for some of the most beautiful picks I’ve ever seen. His designs are highly recognizable, as all of his picks contain Arcanum Plectra’s signature sweep. Other than being unique and pretty, I found the sweep very comfortable, and it compliments the not-so-grippy surface very well. He recently announced a few new designs that got (and are still getting) me very excited. When you order an Arcanum Plectra pick, you can expect superb quality and extreme attention to detail.
In this review, I’m going to cover these picks:
- Wizard’s Alchemy Series: Cleric #C4. A stardard sized 3.8mm pick, Gemstone finish with rounded tip and sharper bevel.
- Wizard’s Alchemy Series: Rogue #R6. A Jazz III shaped 6.1mm pick, Gemstone finish with sharper tip tip and rounder bevel.
They are sharing a lot of features, such as material and finish, but are different enough to justify going over them one at a time. Each of Arcanum Plectra’s models has a different shape and bevel, and although the finish is similar, the bevel behaves differently on each of them.
What are they made of?
Arcanum Plecta’s material of choice is acetate acrylic. I’ve never tried a pick made from this material before, but knowing it’s a type of acrylic I expected a plastic feel. Although, they have some glassy quality that sets them apart from other acrylic picks you can buy. Acetate acrylic is tougher, less flexible, and more durable than regular acrylic. Being less flexible, I feel like it has a higher chance of breaking if it falls on the floor. Luckily, this assumption was never put to the test.
How do they sound?
As I mentioned before, these picks have a lot of similarities and differences, and the same goes for how they sound. Being made out of acetate acrylic, they both have some characteristics of acrylic and stone, which is quite odd, as I find these are brighter than both of them. The Cleric’s attack is sharper and provides a nice bright spark. Whereas the Rogue’s attack is a lot rounder and mellower. In terms of sustain, they both provide a ridiculously long sustain compared to softer and more flexible picks.
How do Arcanum Plectra picks feel?
The somewhat “glassy” characteristic they have is contributing a lot to the high-end feel you get from them. these picks are very fun to hold, even without even playing the guitar. They are optimally weighted to be the perfect fidget guitar pick. When you do pick up the guitar, they provide a very predictable resistance against the strings with each pluck. Compared to more flexible materials, where every slight change in angle can change the way the strings behave. This characteristic of the material fits very well with the consistent and accurate bevel they have. Resulting in a very accurate picking experience. The sweep on the back of the pick makes sure they are staying in place and not moving anywhere.
The Rogue model is one of, if not the fastest picks I have. Usually, I expect a pick to behave differently on the bottom and top three strings, but not in this case. Its round tip and precise bevel make it glide effortlessly across all strings in the same way.
The Cleric is a whole different beast. Being sharper than the Rogue, you’ll have to be more conscious of the way you hit each string. Even though it is a lot more consistent than most other picks, angling the pick in different ways opens a lot of sonic possibilities.
What else there is in the Arcanum Plectra range?
First of all, I ordered these two picks (Rogue and Cleric) with the gemstone (gloss) finish. But they are available with another, matt finish called Wraith. When I asked about the differences, they told me that the gemstone finish on the grip is better for players with dry hands, while the wraith is better for players who sweat more. For the bevel, they said that the Gemstone sounds a bit more glassy and Wraith offers a very slightly muted attack. Since I haven’t tried the Wraith finish, I am taking their word for it.
Other than the Rogue and Cleric, Arcanum Plectra’s range contains three more models: Barbarian, Paladin, and Ranger.
- Barbarian is a 346-triangle shaped pick with 3 almost identical edges.
- Paladin is Arcanum Plectra’s take on a vintage pick design, offering a longer body with a wider tip.
- Ranger is an interpetation of the sharp shape, with a new back-sweep design. Second in badassness only to the Brabarian.
Pricing of Arcanum Plectra picks
These picks are fairly expensive, costing anywhere between $27.5 for the Rogue to $33.50 for the Barbarian, with the Cleric, Paladin, and Ranger in the middle at $29.5 per pick. It sounds like a lot, but you really get what you pay for, as there are handmade and the attention to detail is astonishing.
Where to buy them from?
Arcanum Plectra’s picks are available exclusively on their page on the Heavy Repping! store.
My take on journalism
Boutique pick makers are usually a part of a very supportive community. They are happy to give each other feedback and good words, and more often than not they are buying other makers’ picks. This is not something too many communities have. So whenever I get to chat with a boutique plectier, I like to ask them which other makers they like. When I asked Arcanum Plectra that question, he replied that some of his favorite plectiers are: Zen, Crows Customs, Northern Ghost, UCT Guitars, and Dragon Picks. One hell of a list.
To my surprise, even though I like smaller picks, I found myself drawn towards the Cleric rather than for the Rogue. Its sharper and bright attack won me over in 2 seconds. These are skillfully hand-crafted picks with a breathtaking design, and they are priced appropriately. If you can afford it, you should definitely give them a go.
Arcanum Plectra Picks
They are fresh and they provide a very consistent sound, it takes a few minutes to get used to their sweep at the back, but once it happened, there's almost no coming back. They are more durable than most of the picks out there, even though they are very stiff and non-flexible, so you better not try to check if they can withstand falling from too high. The back sweep will stabilize the pick in your hand, so no matter which finish you chose, the grip is there. My only setback from these is their price, but I think it's a fair price to pay for what you get.
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