Color of Herdim Picks

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Color of Herdim Picks

Postby bret » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:12 pm

I was given one of the 3-pointed Herdim picks at the Dulcimer workshop I attended and quickly see why everyone was using them. I bought a couple "sampler" packs that come with blue, yellow and red picks.

I know the different points (I, II, III) are different thicknesses, but I've naively assumed that the color was just an aesthetic choice. In a video I was watching, someone mentioned that he used "the red Herdim picks, which is what a lot of players use" and that got me thinking. Are the different colors different in any way in terms of thickness or stiffness? Is it just appearance? I know with some picks, like the Dunlops, color indicates thickness in certain series.

I can't find a whole lot of information about the Herdim picks online. Just curious if anyone has more information about them as the pick itself doesn't say anything about thickness on it other than the point numbers (I, II, III).
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby John Scott » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:11 am

Color does matter, as per the manufacturer's website: https://www.dictum.com/en/musical-instr ... tars/picks . The company, which re-branded itself from Herdim to Dictum in 2011, has been producing picks since the 1920's and producing the triple gauge pick since the 1960's.

Regardless of which shape the Herdim pick is: Yellow is thin, Red is medium, Blue is heavy. For each of the 3 in 1 triangle or triple gauge picks, each point denotes the gauge (I - soft, II - medium, III - hard).
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby Stephen Seifert » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:01 pm

I can consistently pick out the three colors in a blind test. I've been doing it for years. I know what you're saying but I think there might be more to the story. I once had a friend run a chemical analysis and he determined each was made of different stuff. I really don't know. I'm just saying, I can always find the red one with my eyes closed. Maybe I need to run more tests.
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby danc9 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:23 pm

I can feel a difference! I still like all three......

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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby Stephen Seifert » Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:44 pm

I forgot to say, I believe red is the most flexible now that white is gone.
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby bret » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:41 pm

John Scott wrote:Color does matter, as per the manufacturer's website: https://www.dictum.com/en/musical-instr ... tars/picks . The company, which re-branded itself from Herdim to Dictum in 2011, has been producing picks since the 1920's and producing the triple gauge pick since the 1960's.

Regardless of which shape the Herdim pick is: Yellow is thin, Red is medium, Blue is heavy. For each of the 3 in 1 triangle or triple gauge picks, each point denotes the gauge (I - soft, II - medium, III - hard).


Thanks for that! I've been using red because... it's the first one I pulled out of the bag :lol: I've sat here for a few minutes and sometimes I think I can feel a difference between the colors and sometimes I'm sure it's my imagination. I have some other guitar picks and just for example, my Dunlop nylon picks. I can easily feel the difference between say .60mm and .73mm. There's no ambiguity, they're definitely different. Same with my Fender thin, medium, and heavy. They have a completely different feel.

If I remember, I'll pull out a set of calipers and measure the thickness on the Herdim picks. They're described as "thin (yellow), medium (red), and heavy (blue)", so I expect there should be some measurable difference. Though I wonder if these colors are how they distinguish their single point picks and they just carry the terms over, but the 3 point picks are actually all the same with just the points being different :shock: :?:

edit:

I've sat here for a few more minutes playing with a yellow (thin) and blue (heavy) pick. I can definitely feel a difference between the I, II, and III points. But comparing the I and I, II and II, and III and III across yellow and blue...any difference is beyond my ability to reliably detect by sight or feel.
Last edited by bret on Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby kwl » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:57 pm

I use the blue pick. It feels better between my fingers. I use the I point 98% of the time. I have customers who will only buy red and others who will only buy yellow. We all have our own particular tastes. I'm not sure my hands are are sensitive as Steve's. Maybe I'll have to set up a blind test and see how I do.

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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby John Scott » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:18 am

Stephen Seifert wrote:I once had a friend run a chemical analysis and he determined each was made of different stuff. I really don't know.


I suspect that Stephen's friend is correct here. With some very basic personal knowledge of polymers, rubber and plastics, different polymer materials will achieve different measurable hardness readings. So a softer polymer material will generally be more flexible than a harder polymer material.

bret wrote:If I remember, I'll pull out a set of calipers and measure the thickness on the Herdim picks. They're described as "thin (yellow), medium (red), and heavy (blue)", so I expect there should be some measurable difference.


Due to the differences between the 3 points on the pick, I believe that each of the triple picks would be made through an injection molding process. If that is the case, the same mold could technically be used for all 3 colors, meaning that your calipers should read roughly the same thickness for each color. It would take a different measurement tool, a durometer, to determine if the hardness is different between Yellow, Red, and Blue, which should identify if 3 different polymers are used.

I wonder if the manufacture's description and/or possible issues in translation from German to English of thickness by color and hardness by point might be backwards, in that color may denote hardness of the pick's material and points may denote thickness of the point on the pick?
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby Pwhite » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:43 am

Are the 3 different POINTS consistent thicknesses regardless of the color/thickness of the pick itself, or does the overall thickness of the point set change with the color of the pick? In other words, is a I the same on each color pick?
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby bret » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:30 pm

Pwhite wrote:Are the 3 different POINTS consistent thicknesses regardless of the color/thickness of the pick itself, or does the overall thickness of the point set change with the color of the pick? In other words, is a I the same on each color pick?


Apparently so. I just measured the 11 new/unused picks that I have. 4 Yellow, 3 Red, and 4 Blue. I measured the thickness of each point approx half way between the numeral (I, II, III) and the point. I repeated that 3 times for each point to help mitigate error. So 99 measurements in total.

They're off by 1/1000 of an inch here or there, but I would chalk that up to manufacturing variance and human variability I'm introducing in measuring them. There's no real variance across colors. From what I can tell they are (regardless of color):

I: .023"
II: .026"
III: .032"

I'll upload my spreadsheet with measures this evening.
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby Pwhite » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:06 pm

Interesting! Thank you for doing all that measuring!
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Re: Color of Herdim Picks

Postby bret » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:28 am

Finally figured out an easy way to share a spreadsheet :D Here's all the measurements:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19pz_7Q ... sp=sharing
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