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  #1  
Old 06-14-2013, 07:20 AM
BumSkillet BumSkillet is offline
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Default Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

I'm sort of in that stage of deciding which brand and stick I like better. So I recently bought a Promark maple stick and a Vater version. I seem to like Vater more but I have never had a Promark stick before. This brought up the topic that you're looking at now. What brand is better? Promark, Vater, or Vic Firth? Please share your thoughts and opinions of each. I mainly play rock, metal, and a variety of others.

Last edited by BumSkillet; 06-14-2013 at 08:06 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2013, 07:28 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

Not knowing your style of drumming, this is a difficult question to answer. I have and used all of the above, including Zildjian and Hornet sticks. I usually go for something in the range of a 7A to a 5A and all the manufacturers you mentioned make these in one form or another. I probably use more Vic Firth and Zildjian sticks than any others, with Vater being the less used sticks that I have.

Dennis
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:47 AM
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Winston_Wolf Winston_Wolf is offline
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

I think you are already on the right track in figuring this one out for yourself. Just pick up a pair of whatever model you like from every manufacturer and play them all until a winner arises.

Like Dennis, I've tried all those brands, Zildjian, Hornets, and Regal Tip too. I really like Vater but I've been using Vic Firth and Pro Mark a little more than usual in the last few months.

They all make great sticks, but they all feel slightly different. How that difference feels in your hands is tough for anyone else to answer.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

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Originally Posted by Winston_Wolf View Post
How that difference feels in your hands is tough for anyone else to answer.
That's the point right there :)

If it's of any use to you, I switched to Silver Fox sticks about a year ago after a recommendation from Kenny Howard, & I've never looked back. Outlasts all the other sticks I've ever tried by 2:1. I also like the fact that they're not too heavy/dense for their size. Additionally, I like the extra length of their 1A model.
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:16 PM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

Yep, use what feels good to you ... and stands up to what you play. I once knew a guy who loved 7A sticks, but he played very hard, so he broke many sticks. I told him that he should go to a heavier stick, but he did not want to hear it. Peace and goodwill.
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  #6  
Old 06-14-2013, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

What, no Zildjian, Ahead, Regal Tip. I use them all but if I had to use just one it would be Regal Tip
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  #7  
Old 06-14-2013, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I also like the fact that they're not too heavy/dense for their size
Funny, I like my Vaters because they're a bit more dense than most other sticks!

OP, you can see how this conversation would devolve quickly into a myriad group of opinions :) (but hey, if you're taking recommendations, the Fatback 3A is a really great stick...)
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:22 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

I wouldn't wanna do a "stick vs stick vs stick vs stick" comparison. It's all very personal and I don't wanna point out one stick brand that will work the best for everybody. I for one like Vater sticks best. I like the feel and the durability. Currently play the SD9's in both hickory and sugar maple. Cheers
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

May I suggest going into a music store, borrowing a practice pad, and trying every single stick model they have? It'll take an hour or so, but eventually you will find a clear winner. I did this and now I buy nothing but the JJ signature Pro-Mark sticks, because they are perfect for my hands
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

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Originally Posted by porter View Post
Funny, I like my Vaters because they're a bit more dense than most other sticks!
Agreed! That's what I like about the Vaters, too. They're quite dense, but they don't transfer shock quite as badly as an oak stick.
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  #11  
Old 06-14-2013, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

I'd venture to say that "older" drummers..........that have played for a long time, have played several different sizes / brands, I know I have.

It is all a personal choice and you are going to have to try them yourself. That being said, some sticks just don't "fit". You probably wouldn't want to use 7A's for death metal or DC-10's for Jazz.........although some drummers may..........All of the major stick companies make great sticks and the good thing is, they are relatively cheap.........most are under $15.

Good luck
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Old 06-14-2013, 08:21 PM
Benfordrum Benfordrum is offline
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

Lol there is no better stick! Whatever feels right in your hands. I know guys who use one brand stick in one hand and a different in the other. It's all preference.
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  #13  
Old 06-14-2013, 10:46 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

I picked up some no name off brand stick from Boneyard Drums just because it said Boneyard on it. I asked him for 5A size. The sticks he gave seem a little thicker and a little heavier than the 5A Extreme from Vf, which I switched to after using Promark 747's for many years. I noticed how much better they felt and how much better I played with the no-name sticks, so I think I'm going to try some 55A's now or just get a bunch of those no-name sticks. But I want a stick I can get at any store so I'm gonna get some 55's. I'm pretty sure 5B's are a little bit too thick. Funny how a hundreth or two of an inch can make such a big difference.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Funny how a hundreth or two of an inch can make such a big difference.
Or a quarter inch in length or angle of the taper too.

I went through a massive stick buying phase a few years back looking for the right stick for me and I tried several brands and a lot of different models before really dialing in what I'm wanting in a stick. But even after sticking to the SD9 I've found that each company's version feels a lot different.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Funny how a hundreth or two of an inch can make such a big difference.
It's funny, too, how quickly I get used to a new stick, though! Have you noticed that?

I can try a new stick, and it might feel quite different for a while, and I really notice those hundredths or change in bead shape or taper. Before too long, though, everything just feels like a stick, lol! That's not to say I don't have preferences, and it's fun to change things up once in a while, but in the long run, a stick is a stick.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

Eh, I use Vic Firth 5A - ProMark mII 7A.
I like ProMark more in terms of feel but for rocky stuff I tend to break them too quickly.

Haven't really had much experience with Vater.
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Old 06-15-2013, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

While I would never say one stick company is better than another, I do have some general opinions on these 3 companies. These are opinions I've made due to my experiences buying and using these 3 brands over the course of the last several years, not trying to argue with or discredit anyone who's had different experiences than mine.

Pro-Mark- I'm a big fan of the Pro Mark hickory 5B, which was my main gigging stick for years. A little slimmer than other companies 5B's at the handle, but beefier up top for good throw. I also really liked Pro-Marks lacquer finish, very natural and woody feel. The last few years, I feel the quality has really dropped. I found it difficult to find pairs that weren't warped and that were close in weight. I noticed several pairs at local shops that looked like second grade wood. I've been meaning to give them a try again now that D'Addario has bought the company, but haven't gotten around to it quite yet.

Vater- These days, I use Vater sticks the majority of the time. What I've noticed about Vater is that, no matter how tempting the price is, I should avoid the 4 pair packs at GC. Every time I've bought one of those packs, the weights were all over the map, some very light and some extremely heavy. I find some warped sticks occassionally, but fairly straight for the most part. I feel I need to buy them a pair at a time so I can inspect them and purchase pairs in the weight range I prefer. I also like Vater's lacquer finish a lot, I find them comfortable and easy to hold on to. Great sticks, but need to work on the consistency IMO.

Vic Firth- Well thought out and sensible model range. Their sticks have a common design: 7A, 8D, 85A, 5A, 55A, 5B, 2B all look alike, just different sizes. Very even size increments between models (Vater and Pro-Marks size increments are uneven by comparison). I find Vic's to be the most consistent sticks for weight and straightness, my first choice if I had to buy without trying. Their consistency is even more remarkable when you consider that wood, by nature, is an inconsistent material, and also that VF manufactures and sells so many more sticks than the other companies (I saw an interview with Vic himself where he stated VF has 62% of the drumstick market). However, and I may be in the minority here, I can't stand the lacquer finish they use. The sticks are too smooth and slippery for me, and often to me they don't even feel like wood. Every time I take a chance on a pair of Vics, I end up sanding the butt end. Not that sanding them is difficult, but why go to the trouble when I can buy from another company whose sticks feel good to me right out of the box. I love the quality and consistency of VF, now if they'd just fix the darn lacquer (Vic, are you reading this? lol).

I'm curious to see if others have had similar, or totally different experiences with these brands. I think I'll go play my kit for a bit, most likely with a pair of Vater 5A's. Peace out.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:44 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston_Wolf View Post
Or a quarter inch in length or angle of the taper too.

I went through a massive stick buying phase a few years back looking for the right stick for me and I tried several brands and a lot of different models before really dialing in what I'm wanting in a stick. But even after sticking to the SD9 I've found that each company's version feels a lot different.
I think this is what I am experiencing in the 5A's. I got a pair that seems just a little thicker and just a little heavier, and it felt better in my hand, And we're only talking 0.015 hundreths, I've tried some Vaters recently too. Maybe I just bought the wrong size or something. I just didn't take to them as much as I'd hoped for. First world problems...gotta love 'em.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
It's funny, too, how quickly I get used to a new stick, though! Have you noticed that?

I can try a new stick, and it might feel quite different for a while, and I really notice those hundredths or change in bead shape or taper. Before too long, though, everything just feels like a stick, lol! That's not to say I don't have preferences, and it's fun to change things up once in a while, but in the long run, a stick is a stick.
Yes, but now when I go back to the VF 5A, it just doesn't feel as comfortable and it's distracting at first, but like you say, eventually I get used to it and I don't notice it. I don't like to think too much about stuff like that when I'm playing.

When I first started playing I used tree trunk DC-10's (ha ha), then went to 5B for a long time. I turned to the 5A when I needed a faster stick at the time playing punk music. But now, I'm a little better and I have my drumming muscles built up, I'm liking the added weight and slight amount of change in thickness. Maybe I'll even try the 3A, the Peter Erskine sig, the Charlie Watts sig, or even, dare I say, the Aaron Spears sig models. They all seem to be right up my alley. Of course my preferences can change from day to day, so there's always That too.
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Last edited by Midnite Zephyr; 06-15-2013 at 08:00 PM. Reason: added paragraph
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  #19  
Old 06-17-2013, 05:25 AM
simmsdn simmsdn is offline
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

I'm moody with sticks. I really like Vater Sugar Maple 5As, but picked up a few pair of the ProMark Peart 747 oak models which are really nice and durable. I'm back with my Ahead 7As right now. Less impact on my hands and they feel good right now.

For some reason, I break Vic Firth and Zildjian sticks within literally minutes. Nothing else breaks on me until it is well worn down and throwing splinters all over the place. Weird.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:34 PM
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Default Re: Promark vs Vater vs Vic Firth

For those who like the Promark 747 but would like a stick a little lighter like a 5A, then try a Promark 727. I've been trying them for a few months now with varied feelings. They're available in both wooden and nylon tips.

Dennis
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