A review of Regal Tip "E" series sticks
OK so recently I got a brick of Regal Tip 5B sticks in the "E" series. For those who don't know what these are, these sticks sport a ribbed nylon tip.
First I tried them in my studio, all alone. I gathered together various 5B sticks, wood tip, conventional nylon tip, both in acorn shape, and a round tip wood stick, for comparison purposes.
Here's my impressions.
I like them. Enough to switch to them.
I find they are about halfway between a wood tip sound and a nylon sound. The conventional nylon tips...they are just too harsh for me. The (brand new) acorn wood tips...didn't sound too different from the nylon tip, pretty harsh. I don't like the acorn shape tone on my cymbals I'm a big fan of the tone of a round wood tip on my bronze, that's my favorite tip tone. The "E" series stick sounded closer to wood, meaning it had a more clicky sound, I could also hear more of the stick sound, if that makes any sense, but it still retained a bit of the nylon sound, but with most of the harshness removed. I've only played one gig with them. I almost forgot I was playing with nylon tips, a good thing.
Pros: The tips are consistent sounding. I imagine they will retain that consistency until the stick breaks. They offer a different tone than conventional nylon acorn tips and a different tone than round wood tips. Really, about halfway in between. So there is a bit more presence in them. Which did not bother me in the least, in fact, I kind of liked the different tones I was getting. They pull out a different set of frequencies from the cymbal. Still clicky but more present, without pulling wacky freqs from the cymbal like the acorn tipped sticks do.
Cons: I don't really have any. I like how Regal Tips are weighted. They feel similarly weighted to VF's. Just for the record, Pro Marks and Vater seem too forward weighted for my likes. I really like the way VF's are weighted so there wasn't any adjustment, for me, to speak of.
So I like these sticks and for now, am switching to them. What I did like about them is I could lighten up on my touch (on the ride) and they would still...I don't want to say cut through...but they were a bit more present than my wood tips. The thing I like about them the best is I know the tips will sound consistent for the life of the stick, something that a wood tip stick cannot boast, especially the round tips I use. This is the main reason I went for these, I was sick of round wood tips going dead on me. I tried very quickly roughing up the ribs with an abrasive, (a sharpening stone) and it seemed to get an even closer sound to wood, but it could have been wishful thinking. I think I could rough them up a bit more to soften the surface. I will be trying that soon, as I liked the result.
A lot of people like Regal Tips finish, they say it gets tacky as they warm up. I don't keep my stick that close to my palm for them to warm up, so I can't comment there. The acorn tip is flattened where the ribs are, so no rib juts out further than any other rib. That's a good thing.
So I give them a big DrummerWorld thumbs up.