Martin Luxe Contour Pick
We live in a golden era for flat picks, with custom and boutique pick makers producing beautifully fashioned plectrums in a truly bewildering range of space age materials, shapes, and bevels. Into that market comes C.F. Martin with its newly introduced Luxe Contour Pick.
Using a shape similar to the Blue Chip TP-1R, it features an asymmetrical design with one rounded point, along with “precision-machined” contour bevels. Although the company isn’t disclosing the exact material, it’s a PEEK polymer that Martin says gives the pick “mechanical properties (that) translate to an exciting balance of rigidity and flexibility.” For enhanced playability, the Luxe Contour, available only in a 1.0 mm thickness, has a satin surface with the legendary CF Martin & Co logo laser etched into the plastic. A separate “Grip Enhancement Disc,” nothing more than a dot of sandpaper with adhesive backing, can be added the backside of the pick, if desired. I tried it and immediately peeled it off, but it may work for some flatpickers needing extreme grip control.
In action, this pick did exactly what Martin claimed. The PEEK material is very slick, although not so much as a Blue Chip, and the 1.0 mm material had a great stiffness with just enough flex for my right-hand attack. If you prefer a rigid flatpick, look elsewhere. Tonally, it was clearly deeper and more mid-rangey than the brown BC pick super-polymer. Compared to the PEEK offerings from makers such as Apollo Picks, the bevels here were not as well-polished, leaving a noticeable trace of pick noise when crossing the string. But that’s why the custom picks are around 50 percent more expensive. The pick, which retails for $19.95, comes with a small tin and a drawstring velveteen bag with the Martin logo.
For more information, visit martinguitars.com.