Dunlop Jazz III Picks (Black, Red and Ultex)

I recently decided to give Dunlop Jazz III guitar picks a try and thought I’d share my thoughts on the differences between the red, black and Ultex versions. That’s right, Red Jazz III picks vs. Black Jazz III Picks vs. Ultex Jazz III Picks… Let’s get it on!

Dunlop Jazz III Picks

Now, that’s a pickture! Rimshot

Needless to say, all of this is just my opinion based on personal preference. You really can’t go wrong with any of these picks, but there are a few noticeable differences between the three.

If you found this page because you were looking to purchase Dunlop Jazz III picks, I’ll save you the rambling that follows and give you the links to where I bought mine.

Ultex Jazz III Picks – This guy on ebay sells them cheap & doesn’t rob you on shipping.
Black Jazz III Picks – These guys sell them through Amazon and offer free shipping, plus if you buy 3 packs, you get one free.
Red Jazz III Picks – Same as the black ones.

Okay, onto the Dunlop Jazz III pick comparisons…

Grip: The Ultex wins by far when it comes to grip. It pretty much eliminates the need for you to ever wash your oily hands again, unless you’re worried about hygiene issues.

The black and red picks are pretty close to each other, but the red one has a slightly stickier feel to me. I’d say the black one would be the most likely to fly out of your hand and take someone’s eye out during a 1,200 beat per second shred solo, but it’s not too bad.

I’m pretty sure they all measure 1.38mm, but something about the Ultex texture makes it feel thicker to me.

Sound: Not a big difference here, but to my ears, black seems to have the brighter tone, with the red close behind. The Ultex pick seems a little thicker sounding, especially on the low strings, but I’m not sure if it’s because of the material, or because the edge seems a little more rounded off than the others. I don’t notice a big enough difference for it to matter, though.

Playing: So far, the black is my favorite as far as string contact goes, with the Ultex taking second place. I might prefer the Ultex over black if it had the same sharp edge, but the Ultex seems a little more rounded. I’ll have to try filing one down to see if that helps.

I don’t think the red one glides over the strings like the black one. Maybe it has something to do with whatever it is that makes it feel sticky to me?

The differences aren’t huge, but just for kicks, I mixed up the red & black picks and played with my eyes closed. Four out of the five times, I knew which one I was playing with… so there must be something different. I didn’t bother with the Ultex, since you instantly know which one it is as soon as you touch it.

The nylon picks are thick enough (1.38mm) that I don’t really feel a difference in stiffness between the red and black, but the black ones are listed as “black stiffo” for some reason.


My favorite? I seem to grab the black one the most because that’s the one that feels the best on the strings to me, even though the Ultex grip is better and it feels better in my hand. I guess I’d rather compromise the Ultex grip for the black tip, but I didn’t want to compromise both and go with red.

If Jim Dunlop wanted to put out the perfect Jazz III pick, he’d cut the tip off of the Ultex & replace it with a black one. I’d buy those!

Jazz III and Tortex Jazz Picks

Hey, who invited the 1.14mm Dunlop Tortex Jazz pick to the party? I just wanted to mention these because a lot of people really love the sound & feel of the regular Tortex picks. Personally, I like the Jazz III pick much better, but they’re still nice. The Tortex Jazz pick is slightly larger than the Jazz III.

I’ve read varying opinions on Dunlop Jazz III picks that usually mention things like, “they’re all the same,” “red produces a duller tone,” “one’s stiffer,” “one’s more porous,” “use red because Eric Johnson does,” “use black because Michael Angelo Batio does,” “don’t use either because Yngwie doesn’t,” etc…

Well, all of those conflicting opinions made my head hurt, so I threw yet another Jazz III writeup out there to help others feel my pain. Take that!

Happy Picking!

P.S. – If you like the Jazz III, but want something a little bigger, you might want to check out the Jazz III XL picks.

3 Responses to “Dunlop Jazz III Picks (Black, Red and Ultex)”

  1. dunlop nylon Says:

    […] Head … The strings are nylon or gut. Nylon is the most common string material, although a few … Dunlop Jazz III Picks (Black, Red and Ultex)If you found this page because you were looking to purchase Dunlop Jazz III picks, I'll save you the […]

  2. Denis Says:

    I also think that the red one is a bid softer than black is. Ultex haven’t seen.

  3. Denis Says:

    I also think that the red one is a bid softer than black is. Ultex haven\’t seen.

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