We all know that Ernie Ball makes high-quality and long-lasting guitar picks (and some of the nicest guitar strings too). It also appears that someone in their management team really likes Delrin. And with the release of their Prodigy picks range, I had very high expectations. The material and texture used in these Delrin picks is not something new as we’ve all seen them before, but what makes this range different is the profile and shapes. These are radically different from what guitarists are used to.
With the size of this range, there’s a lot of options to choose from. A total of 6 shapes have been released, And I think there is something for everyone. However, even though these are not an essential purchase, I think that there is a big difference between the Prodigy picks and your other go-to Delrin ones. So if you’ve got some extra budget, these are a pretty cool purchase.
How do they sound?
When they first came out, I was blown away by how good they sounded. However, now that there are more shapes to choose from, it has dramatically enhanced my experience. These have a very different tone compared to any other mass-produced guitar pick I’ve tried before or since. It’s tough to describe what makes them sound so different, but there is just something extraordinary about them. If you want a very bright sound or a crisper tone, then this is your pick.
Like I mentioned above, these have a much sharper edge compared to your average pick. And this, in turn, gives you a much better grip while playing. However, some guitarists don’t like the way they feel or are too sharp for their taste. But all I can say is stick with it and try them out from different angles when playing.
My personal preferences
My go-to shape has always been the Jazz III, so it was natural for me to test the Mini shape first. However, I must say that it has inspired me to be more creative when playing and trying out different styles – which is always what you want as an artist! The other shapes are great, but I’m not sure if they’re worth the price tag for me. Ernie Ball does sell packs of them, so it might be cheaper to get 5 or 10 instead of just one if you don’t use them all that much.
Pricing and packs
The pricing for these is very similar to the other picks in the prodigy range, but they are also much more (very) expensive than any other pick on the market (Delrin or otherwise). Unfortunately, I don’t know why this is. It’s not like they’re made of diamonds or something… So it does feel like Ernie Ball is putting the price up because they can! This is a shame, as it’s putting off potential buyers. I suppose this isn’t the worst thing in the world, but you want people to FEEL like they need to own these. If they feel that way, then demand will always outstrip supply, which means Ernie Ball makes more money for their risk.
Shapes and gauges
The prodigy picks line consist of 6 shapes: Standard, Sharp, Mini, Teardrop, Shield, and Large shield. And in two different gauges: 1.5mm (black) and 2.0mm (white). Even though I usually prefer thicker picks, the whites felt unnecessarily thick, while the black ones were just right for me.
Where to buy them from?
You can get these from pretty much all music stores. There’s a high chance you’ll find them in your local music store (which is always a good idea to support!). If insist on buying them online, you can do it though their Amazon store.
How is this review different than others on the site?
Most of my efforts on Guitar Pick Reviews go to reviewing picks that most players are not familiar with. On some occasions, I will probably review some of the standard picks (such as Prodigy Picks) in the market, as I have tried a lot of them. However, my standard for mass-produced picks is very different from the quality I expect from a boutique maker, Even though I am using the same 1-10 scale. It is not realistic to expect a pick you can buy from any store with lost coins you found on your back pocket to rank as high as a pick hand-made out of premium quality materials by a boutique maker.
If you’re looking for something different from other standard guitar picks, these are definitely worth a shot. And while a pack of 6 of the Prodigy picks cost less than the average hand-made picks I usually cover here, they are much more cost-effective. However, they are still a bit pricy compared to other picks in the market, such as the Jazz III, or even the heavy celluloid fenders. On the other hand, there are more options than the original shape to consider. If you don’t have them, you should give them a try.
Thanks for reading!
Prodigy Picks - Final Score
The score may seen a little low, but in my opinion it's almost as high as a mass-produced pick can get from me. It replaced Jazz III for me, and that's huge.