In a previous blog post i've reviewed the Jazzy Tones max pick from Timber Tones, and found it was a really cool pick. In this post i'm going to be looking at the Funk Tones pick, which got my attention as its about the same size as a Jazz 3 XL. Initially i tried out a mixed tin which had four different types of material in. One pick was made from coconut shell, another from Buffalo bone, and two from Buffalo horn, one of which was black horn and one of which was white horn. Of these my favourite was the black horn, and that is the one on review here. I'll follow the same format i've done for previous pick reviews, so we can compare this pick to the coveted Jazz iii. Before we get to the main categories, the first thing i will say about Timber Tones picks, is that i love the packaging when they arrive, you get a real sense of high quality, and every time i've bought their picks i've really looked forward to receiving them. So then, on to the review!
Thickness, Size and Shape
These picks are thick, but have a really unique carve. They have a dimple on the top for your thumb, and then a scoop round the back for your finger. Although this wont be for everyone, i personally really liked it, and it gives you that feeling of quality when you hold it. They make you grip the pick in the perfect hand position for fast picking runs and they're also really sharp when brand new.
Comfort and Grip
Due to the dimple and scoop in the pick, they feel really comfortable for fat playing styles, however your hand feels locked in to that position, which will cause problems for players that ;like to switch grip during solos and rhythm playing.
interestingly i found these picks to get faster the more i wore them in, as nice as the sharpness is in the beginning, they felt super slippy when beveled in, which makes them great for sweeping. I found them not to be super fast on the alternate picking front though, they didn't seem to cope so well with outside the string picking techniques.
I found these picks to be super accurate when real sharp, but the more they beveled in they gained speed and lost a bit of accuracy. overall they're pretty solid in this department though.
Material and Durability
Timber-tones picks are made from natural sources and are Eco sourced to ensure that their picks are made in the most Eco friendly manner possible. my favourtte of the Funk Tones are made from black buffalo horn, which i found to be the most durable of the different materials for this pick. Unfortunately though they still wear down really quick compared to certain plastic picks. I do like the natural feel of the horn though, it reacts nicely with the string and feel very ergonomic. It's a nice pick to hold that is for sure.
The Funk tone is superb for dynamics. The thickness, rigidity and sharpness of the pick allow you to to go from really loud to super quiet notes with ease.
Tonally Timber Tones claim that Horn gives you the closest in tone to the classic torotise shell picks of old. Personally i will never know about this having never played the tortoiseshell, but i can say that the tone of horn is very pleasing to the ear. The only thing i don't like is that you do get a little bit of chirpyness from these picks, which every now and then can be slightly frustrating.
Like the jazzy tones max i used these picks for a week in a pit performance I was doing where I had to play anything from hard rock, to funk, to reggae, bluesy soloing and clean jazz parts. Again this pick covers them all pretty well but is better at rhythm guitar parts than the jazzy tones max..
Timber-tones has a great website where you can purchase any of their picks at any time. They are also stocked in a number of online retailers and are in some high street music stores, so you shouldn't have any trouble getting hold of them.
exactly the same as jazzy tones max, because these picks are a luxury item they are expensive. I bought a tin of four picks which cost me around £20 by the time I had shipped it. Now I would happily spend this if the picks were more durable. Realistically I feel that I would get two months out of £20 worth of these picks. This would make an expense of around £120 a year on picks for the way I blunted them, which i find is pretty steep.
Of the Timber Tones picks I've tried these are my favourite, but the Jazzy Tones Max is worth checking out too. Black Horn is a lovely pick material, with a nice tone and lovely feel. I think for me they make a really nice guitar gift rather than a pick i can commit to as an ongoing part of my rig, but when i do get them i will certainly enjoy playing them!