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  #1  
Old 03-04-2014, 01:01 PM
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sacco sacco is offline
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Default Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

I found in a bag an old pair of Vic Firth SD2 Bolero: I guess I bought these sticks around 1992 / 93, when I stopped playing for a very long time. Well, when I started playing again a few years ago, I bought some new sticks, and I bought some new SD2's: the model had changed, but I still found they were the right sticks for me. More recently, I bought a 50th anniversary pair of SD2's. As all VF sticks, this pair has no lacquering and only a very discrete model stamp on it.
But, as I said, I found an old pair of SD2's: well used, lacquered, with the original tip, which is not as round as the new one, and I found them fantastic! Not only because of their perfect balance, but also for the lacquering, which makes the sticks much easier to hold, and because of the tip, which I like more than the new one on cymbals. You can see the differences between old and new sticks in the pictures.

Now I have a couple of questions:
  • the first one is for members who have deeper market knowledge than me: is there a contemporary stick that is close to the old SD2 at least in terms of shape (I made some research but did not find anything)?
  • the second one is for anyone: what do you think of lacquered / non lacquered sticks? I understand that for stick producers lacquer is an additional cost and that they have to promote the advantages of non-laquered sticks, but do you really find that avoiding the lacquering makes sticks better? Personally, I have quite dry skin and I do not sweat very much: for me, lacquered sticks reveal to be much easier to hold.
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  #2  
Old 03-04-2014, 03:11 PM
Bart Hodge Bart Hodge is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

Odd. Every pair of SD2s I've owned (since 1984) has had round tips. Other than the finish and marketing, the 2014 version is identical to the 1984 version. I didn't buy another pair of SD2s until recently so maybe Vic Firth changed the tip for a brief period of time? Or perhaps through use you've worn the tips down into points (I've done this). One tip does look smaller than the other and of a different shape. Then again, they look like the wood tips on a pair of 5As that I own. Really odd.

What is a "contemporary" stick? The SD2 is still made so that'd be contemporary. Maybe the AS5B which is a regular 5B with a round wooden tip? Why not stick with the SD2 if you like it that much?

I prefer an unfinished stick. I used to sand the finish off my sticks.
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  #3  
Old 03-04-2014, 03:31 PM
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sacco sacco is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Hodge View Post
Odd. Every pair of SD2s I've owned (since 1984) has had round tips. Other than the finish and marketing, the 2014 version is identical to the 1984 version. I didn't buy another pair of SD2s until recently so maybe Vic Firth changed the tip for a brief period of time? Or perhaps through use you've worn the tips down into points (I've done this). One tip does look smaller than the other and of a different shape. Then again, they look like the wood tips on a pair of 5As that I own. Really odd.
First of all, thanks for your useful answer Bart. You're right, the two sticks do not look identical, but they could actually come from two different pair of sticks bought around the same period of time. I can assure you that the shape of the tip does not come (only) from use, and it is difficult to imagine that a round tip could become a kind of barrel tip just thanks to intensive use (and I never was a hard hitter). Furthermore, I can remember the "old" tips were not as round as the "new" ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Hodge View Post
What is a "contemporary" stick? The SD2 is still made so that'd be contemporary. Maybe the AS5B which is a regular 5B with a round wooden tip? Why not stick with the SD2 if you like it that much?
I possibly made a linguistic mistake (English is not my mother tongue): what I wanted to say with "contemporary" is "new". Concerning sticking with the "new" SD2: sure, I will continue using them but I find the "old" ones were better (smaller and different tip, lacquer). If I could find a similar stick I would use it instead of the "new" SD2.
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2014, 03:55 AM
Bart Hodge Bart Hodge is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

So it sounds like you're looking for a fat stick with a "barrel" tip. I'm not sure barrel describes that tip though. Maybe a 5B wood tip might (if VF makes one) be what you're looking for, but I think it'll be a lot heavier than the SD2.

Going back to the old version of the SD2. I think it's *possible* that a person could have worn a round tip into that pointed tip, especially if you're not a hard hitter. Wood wears down and over time a person could have worn the round tips down without doing damage to the body of the stick. I say that because I had graphite sticks 30 years ago and they wore like that. I think it's strange that VF would have altered the tips on such a classic, orchestral stick.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:32 PM
mandrew mandrew is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

I had a pair of SD2s when they just had the wood burned Vic Firth on the butts. Origional design. They always had the round bead. Never seen anything like those in your picture. My newest pair looks like my originals, round bead.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2014, 11:01 PM
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sacco sacco is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Hodge View Post
Going back to the old version of the SD2. I think it's *possible* that a person could have worn a round tip into that pointed tip, especially if you're not a hard hitter. Wood wears down and over time a person could have worn the round tips down without doing damage to the body of the stick. I say that because I had graphite sticks 30 years ago and they wore like that. I think it's strange that VF would have altered the tips on such a classic, orchestral stick.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandrew View Post
I had a pair of SD2s when they just had the wood burned Vic Firth on the butts. Origional design. They always had the round bead. Never seen anything like those in your picture. My newest pair looks like my originals, round bead.
Oh my God, you make me realize that I'm getting old and that my memory is not anymore what it used to be! Well, if two members who have obviously known SD2 sticks for many years confirm that they always had a round tip, then I have to say that I was wrong, or at least that my memory is getting really bad! Nevermind, that's life! Thanks for your replies guys!

Anyway, you know what? I would be more than pleased if I could find a stick similar to these "old" SD2's ...
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2014, 08:38 PM
Bart Hodge Bart Hodge is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

Might be tough to find an exact match of that stick. VF makes a 2B with that style of tip but it's a little smaller diameter and is a little longer. It'll be heavier too. Anyway, take the dimensions of the SD2 (15.75" x .635") and compare it to other sticks.

Me, I'd just buy more SD2s if you like them. Great stick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacco View Post
Anyway, you know what? I would be more than pleased if I could find a stick similar to these "old" SD2's ...
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2014, 02:27 AM
mjtug mjtug is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

I used those sticks in college for light snare work. How do you pound on drums with them and not have them crack up?
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2014, 07:10 PM
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sacco sacco is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart Hodge View Post
Might be tough to find an exact match of that stick. VF makes a 2B with that style of tip but it's a little smaller diameter and is a little longer. It'll be heavier too. Anyway, take the dimensions of the SD2 (15.75" x .635") and compare it to other sticks.

Me, I'd just buy more SD2s if you like them. Great stick.
Thanks for the tip Bart, for sure I will check the VF 2B! For the time being I will continue using the "new" SD2, which I like vey much (well, maybe they could be a little longer ). But you know, to be honest I am quite lazy: I hoped somebody could give me some suggestion so that I could find a stick similar to the "old" SD2 without having to search too long for it (hey, have you already gone through the catalogues of the main stick producers? They are HUGE! How can you easily find the stick you are looking for? It is certainly not the Vic Firth Comparison Chart that will help you there should at least be a selection tool with the various parameters - tip, diameter, length, weight, etc. - so that one could come closer and closer to the stick he/she is looking for.).

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjtug View Post
I used those sticks in college for light snare work. How do you pound on drums with them and not have them crack up?
Personally, I am not a heavy-hitter, so SD2's are OK for me. Furthermore, I think that the way you hit drums and cymbals can be as important as the power of your hits in determining how long a stick will last.
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2014, 12:01 PM
Stix Stix is offline
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Default Re: Old and new Vic Firth SD2 Bolero

You could try VF Swinger
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