Over the years ive been quite impressed with the quality of D'addario strings and am also a fan of their planet waves cables. Seen as though i have found their products to be of the highest quality, it occurred to me that they may be the perfect company to make a replacement for my beloved jazz iii pick. D'addario make a couple of jazz style picks, but on review here we have the Nylpro plus. To me this pick seemed to be the most likely pick in the D'addario range that would suit my own playing preference and be a real competitor for the jazz iii XL. I ordered ten that came in a nice little packet with a description of the pick on, very similar to a players pack of jazz iii. the picks are a very stand out lime green colour, which will really help if you drop them, or as i do, put them on top of amps! First impressions were that this looks and feels like another quality D'addario product, so lets see whats what!
Thickness, Size and Shape
The thickness i went for was the extra heavy gauge (1.4 mm), which although felt ok, was still not quite thick enough for me. Personally i would like it to be slightly thicker, edging toward 2 mm, but this is just a personal taste thing. the pick is still thick enough to be very stiff, so its not a huge problem. In terms of size, its somewhere in between a standard jazz iii and an XL jazz iii, which is actually pretty nice to play with. As far as shape is concerned, its pretty standard jazz territory, a kind of teardrop idea with a nice sharp playing tip.Overall the Nylpro plus does pretty well here.
Comfort and Grip
The Nylpro plus has a raised grip area which feels super solid in your fingers. The pick doesn't slip at all when your playing due to this and i felt that the grip from this pick was absolutely superb. Due to its size being between standard jazz iii and XL its also very comfortable to play with for single note passages. You can really lock in that nice 45 degree picking angle and know you wont loose it. This only falls down slightly by not allowing you to change grip too much on the fly if you want to easily revert to a funk grip.
Much like the jazz iii, the Nylpro plus is a very easy pick to achieve speed with. I had no problems with this pick blazing through alternate picked runs, sweeping arpeggios and combining pick with fingers.
The Nylpro plus is an extremely accurate pick. Because it grips so well and has a really nice sharp tip, you can play single not passages with precision. Its also a fine pick for strumming chordal passages too.
Material and Durability
The Nylpro plus is made from nylon and is also injected with fiberglass. the combination of these two materials make the pick very stiff indeed, so although it feels a bit thin, the pick doesn't give at all which makes faster, more precise runs accessible. The fiberglass tip is extremely smooth too so you get a quick release off of the string. For a Nylon pick too these are very durable. You will eventually blunt them like any plastic type pick, but it lasts pretty well even with intense shredding.
The nylpro plus has a very similar dynamic range to a jazz iii, easily going from soft quiet notes to loud and harsh attack.
The Nylpro plus has a distinctive Nylon tone with a brighter top end due to the injected fiberglass. Its still warm like a jazz iii, yet has slighlty more attack. This is nice for adding a bit of snap to your funk rythm and also a bit of bite to your leads.
The Nylpro plus is a very versatile pick, going from hard rock riffing, to pop rhythm and jazz lead with relative ease. I find that single note playing is easier than chordal strumming, especially funk strumming with this pick. If the pick had slightly more playing area then it would be easier to have a strumming style grip than a single note one, but on the whole a very well rounded pick.
D'addario products are widely available in most stores, but it is harder to find their picks than it is their strings for example. The picks are readily available from a number of online sources, but i feel they will need to be more available in high street music stores to compete with the likes of Jim Dunlop.
I bought a pack of ten from strings direct online retailer in the UK, it was £2.99 for the pack plus £1.50 postage. £4.49 for ten durable, great playing picks is quite frankly outstanding. I was very impressed with this. US customers are looking at between $3 and $4 for the same pack judging by a quick internet search. This is in my mind pretty ludicrous value for money.
Overall the Nylpro plus is a very comfortable, fast, great sounding, durable and cost effective alternative to the jazz iii. Any jazz iii player out there looking to try something new really ought to give these a go. They really are good, and might save you a bit of cash in the long run!
Final Score 87/100