Pykmax (pronounced Pick-max) is a rebooted guitar pick, which claims to “fit perfectly in the player’s hand” with a contoured handle that holds the pick in an attempt to reduce fatigue. The company goes on to state: “by minimizing the gripping aspect of picking, Pykmax can significantly increase the player’s maneuverability and control.” Unfortunately, this hyperbole, comes up quite short (literally) in our long term test. We employed five different guitarists from home enthusiasts to pro players, to evaluate the Pykmax, their impressions in quotes below.
Pykmax’s chest pounding blathers on to state that this “high-performance” redesign is “the world’s best guitar pick.” While, none of our reviewers subscribed to this viewpoint, the redesign does have some merits. First off, the “Dali-esque shape” positions the pick “very comfortably” in the hand with a “pistol grip design” that rests the unit between the index and middle fingers, while cradling it in the nook of the thumb webbing. If you have a hand-size that happens to be the perfect shape of the Pykmax, then it “feels very natural and comfortable.” However, if you have large or small hands, then the Pykmax feels “awkward” and “cumbersome” to hold.
At 8 Bucks a pop, Pykmax replacement picks add up fast
The other caveat is that the pivot point between the Pykmax’s handle and the pick is extremely thin and ended up breaking in short order on our samples. Pykmax sells replacements in packs of five for about $8.00, which is not cheap considering the cost of traditional picks. Thus, if you find this concept compelling, you should factor a few sets of replacements into the cost. As far as the “high-performance” aspect of Pykmax’s claims, none of our evaluators found any improvements in speed or control after using the Pykmax for extended periods.
Only one of our five reviewers “would consider continuing to use the Pykmax” in the future, and even then he would “not abandon the traditional pick.” Our other testers found the three deficits, one-size-does-not-fit-all, cost, and anorexic pivot point to be serious “deal-breakers” resulting in an overall poor score. Not Recommended.
We certainly salute Pykmax for developing and patenting this provocative new guitar pick concept. Even with crowdsourcing and other funding avenues, bringing a new product to market is never an easy task. That said, the Pykmax has two major flaws that the inventors should address, if they want to achieve greater acceptance in the marketplace.
First, they should make the Pykmax’s width adjustable (see picture below). By allowing the user to truly customize the fit of the unit, it would certainly be a much more versatile and flexible solution. Using three telescoping rods, which can lock into different width, the Pykmax would certainly fit the majority of hand sizes.
The flimsy hinge, should also be addressed (unless Pykmax is going for the “razor blade” revenue model). Making the pivot point thicker and more robust will make the unit much more reliable, especially during live performances.
FutureMusic Rating: 60%
+ Innovative Design
+ Compelling Concept
– Only One “Adult” Size
– Right-Handed Players Only
– Flimsy hinge design
– Expensive Replacement Picks
– No Real Performance Benefit
The Pykmax retails for $15 and is available now.