Mini-review: James Hetfield signature picks

A while ago we told you that in order to play like James Hetfield, all you had to do was buy his signature picks. Not true, it seems, cause I just bought some and I couldn’t write “Master of Puppets 2” like I had originally anticipated. Bummer.

But, are they any good? Well, make the jump and find out.

Well, my first problem is the name. Black fang? Seriously? One small typo and you could seriously offend two minorities in a single sentence. Couldn’t they think of anything else? And it’s also pretty corny, are they trying to jump on the vampire craze or what?

My second problem is the design. Look at that box, it looks like it’s counterfeit. What’s with that Hetfield logo? Couldn’t they just settle for a normal one? The whole thing looks like it was picked up at a carnival, or one of those kiosks set up inside festivals with cheap stuff. It definitely doesn’t ooze “Dunlop professionalism,” you know?

I bought the 6-pack, which comes in a tin can, and with that green design it looks like it’s a box for marijuana:

And that’s another thing. The price. $5.99 for 6 picks, that’s $1 per pick basically. That’s pretty steep considering you can buy a dozen Dunlop Tortex picks for $4, and I’m not a math genius but that is $0.33 per pick, and it’s similar quality and the same thickness (1.14 mm).

Of course, I’m not that cheap so it’s not like a few bucks makes any difference to me, but it’s just being overpriced for the sake of being overpriced, like most signature stuff. I don’t see why a pro musician who needs, let’s say, 100 picks, would spend $100 when he could just spend $30.

So it’s not the end of the world for the casual Metallica fan who wants to buy a couple just for the sake of it, but it’s definitely not something someone who seriously needs good picks would consider. At least, that’s my opinion.

And on to the pick themselves…

Well on the back of the box, it says the design is made by James himself. I, for one, am not impressed. The two fang creature thing looks okay, but what’s with the spider web? I usually prefer picks to be rather simple in design, this looks a bit, well… Pretentious.

And I don’t like the thickness. I’m not shallow (like most girls) and thickness is not that important to me, it’s how you use the pick that’s important. So personally I’d go for something thinner, but I bought these just cause “James uses them” and I’m getting the feeling it’s exactly why they were made… So Metallica fans can buy them regardless of their price.

Now don’t get me wrong, I really like playing with them. They’re alright… I use all kinds of picks and these really do have a nice “build” to them, so to speak, but that’s the thing… They’re okay, not great, so are they worth the money?

Disclaimer: Before you read my verdict, keep in mind that I only bought this 6-pack, there are other packages available, so the whole review is based around what I bought and the price I paid for them. If they’re cheaper anywhere else, let me know, as I make a big deal out of being more expensive than the average Dunlop pick. Also, I don’t use thick picks in general, so that might make me semi-biased against them.

The verdict: So, okay. Good picks, definitely good for playing, but unjustifiably expensive with pretty corny and ‘try hard’ designs. I would have preferred something simple. Also, the whole package screams “flea market” to me, the graphics and logo just look amateurish and cheap.

Are they worth the buy? Maybe if you buy 6, like me, just for the sake of having the JAYMZ PICKS. They’re not worth buying in bulk, in my opinion, go with the standard Tortex, where you can also get the size that satisfies you, cause not everyone is a whore like my ex-girlfriend and need thick stuff. Some prefer the smaller stuff just the same.

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