Wegen picks testing report: AMAZING !

From: peillon.patrick.
Hi folks,
For those interested in very good picks, I just received a pick today from Michel Wegen, Netherlands. And I must say it is the best pick I have ever been using up to now (right after my home-made tortoise shell picks...). This Stochelo Rosenberg model pick is the closest thing to real tortoise shell that I've ever been given the chance to play ! In some aspects it is better (like the fact that it conveys even less pick noise than tortoise shell does). And of course, in some aspects it is slightly worse (but SO slightly !) For instance, it is not as warm, and does not convey as much harmonics and overtones as tortoise shell really does. But the difference is slight, believe me. For a full and more detailed report, here is what I wrote to Michel Wegen as a feedback (for those who are interested). Let me add that Michel is extremely easy to do business with as he proposed to send me the pick on a free trial as I was not convinced at first (being a firm believer in tortoise shell). His picks are great, and even though expensive, they are worth the price I think.
Take care, Patrick.

So here is the report I wrote to Michel:

Hello Michel, I just wanted to let you know that I just received your pick today. It looks great and feels really great in the hand. I am extremely surprized by the light weight of the material, given the shape and thickness the pick has. Actually, to be completely honest, your pick is almost identical in shape and thickness to the one I've been using recently (the one I make myself out of tortoise shell), except your pick seems a little bit more refined (more polished than mine on the surface). The edge angle of both your pick and mine are very very similar too... So I guess all these similarities are appropriate to compare both picks and material objectively. I played them back an dforth for about an hour tonight and it seems there are some differences.
1) My strongest perception is that tortoise shell conveys more harmonics than your material. So I would say the tone is somewhat richer with tortoise shell. You hear a kind of "granularity" or "grain" in the tone that is very enjoyable whereas your pick conveys a somewhat more straight tone. Both tones are very precise and clear though.
2) Another obvious perception that I have is that tortoise shell conveys a warmer tone than your material does. It is more rounded and fat, so to say.
But I do appreciate the fact that your pick


From: Archtop Eddy (Ed Parsons)

I receieved a pick from Michel Wegen this week. Now that I've had a chance to use it a while, I want to give you all my assessment. I was using Dunlop 208s, which under normal conditions are fairly thick picks, measuring in at 2.08 mm. The Wegen pick I received (which is based on the pick used by Stochelo R.) measures a whooping 3.5 mm. This adds a bit of weight which required renewed attention to my right hand techinique (in my case left-hand technique since I'm a lefty...). After playing with the Wegen pick for a few days now, I've adjusted comfortably to the new pick. The advantages I'm getting from the Wegen pick are increased volume, tone and clarity when playing faster runs. The factor of tone is the most subjective of these attributes. The Dunlop gave a warmer (sometimes duller) sound than the Wegen. In quieter situations or when played with amplification, the Dunlop tone is fine and lends itself to a wide range of tonal effects (i.e., tension and release during single line playing). However, the Wegen with the increased volume and clarity is ideal for playing acoustically with other players. Especially if you're playing lead lines, it allows you the volume dynamics that clearly cuts through the thumping rhythm section of two or more other guitars. This means you can spend more time focused on your solo's direction rather than playing in a manner that's volumecentric in nature. The picks are well made and Michel was very quick with his service. He also has a great sense of humor. I have no commerical interest with Michel, I just want to pass on the word as a satisfied customer to other players who may be looking for a new pick. He can be reached at michelwegen@v... In a style of music where finding the right pick can be so important, it is good to know fine pick-crafters as Wegen or Dugain are making plectrums to suit our unique needs. Of course now, once you have the right pick, the right strings, the right Selmer-style guitar, the right videos, and play-along CDs, there's little else you can do but look in the mirror to assess the final piece of equipment that needs improvement. At this point, perhaps, all you can do is point at your image in the mirror and say, "Bring me the hands of Stochelo Rosenberg!" A.E.


has a pretty warm tone for a plastic-based material, although not exactly as warm as tortoise. all these differences are subtle though.
3) Now regarding the stiffness of the material, I don't know why but your material feels a bit better than tortoise. Your pick is very stiff (which exactly what's good for guitar playing in my opinion) but not exactly as stiff as my tortoise shell pick feels. And that gives your pick a better feel I think. This is very personal though.
4) Your pick design is just fantastic ! I couldn't say anything else (especially as my pick has an identical shape and thickness). But your design goes way farther than I do in terms of craftmanship, attention to details, etc. I love the place where you put the thumb so that the pick is not too slippery. It's not disturbing at all and feels great. The thickness is exactly right, given the stiff material that you're using. The "teardrop" shape gives you just the right amount of cutting edge when attacking the strings. The edges of the pick and marvelously rounded but not too much. Edges are very smooth, which allows for an easy string/pick friction, and allows the player to play fast. You don't have the feeling that your pick is dragging behind when you play fast because it glides on the strings,a nd doesn't have much friction on them. So really, I am not exagerating: your pick design is fanstastic !
5) Last point: your material conveys a little bit less pick noise than tortoise shell does. It has some kind of shock absorption capability that is very enjoyable. It still is stiff enough to give you a powerful and even crispy attack if needed, but is not conveying much pick noise when the pick touches the strings. So here it is I am convinced that you make wonderful picks for sure. I guess I need to play with your pick for few more days to see if my first impressions are still right after a couple days playing. Also one thing I couldn't test for now (which will require more time to do so) is how fast or slow the picks is wearing out with the use. The most terrible test for that is to play sock rythm like crazy for a full afternoon. A previous horn pick that I used to have just got killed in one day this way ! And that's certainly one aspect where tortoise is really good at also as it wears down so slowly... P.P

John Friedrichs.

I'm using Michel's plectrum's since 1994 and was always looking for the right pick. Not in a way of shape or size, but the right material as a substitute for turtleshell (wich still is the nicest sounding material, but so hard to get...). At that time I was playing and busking a lot in Amsterdam with Robin N. I had to make new pick's very often. Some only lasted a week, two weeks, but never longer then a month. And my sources were getting dry. Then I was introduced to Michel by a friend. Like I said I always used to make my own pick's and asked Michel to make a copy of my own. He made one. I played with it for about one(!) year and still can use it. Have you ever heard of a pick that's been used very intensivly for at least 20 houres a week, month after month?! Over four years of busking etc. I've used about only 4 of Michels plectrums. And that's not to bad. But did more than just copying, he aded some af his ideas to get a better grip. After 6 years of playing with Michels pick I only can say: Get one and you won't be disappointed! J.F.