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  #1  
Old 05-22-2015, 07:11 AM
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Default Vater 5b broken x3

So I haven't broken a stick in ages... Usually I retire my sticks because they get so chewed up after a few months of heavy use... I honestly don't remember the last time I broke a stick... Until last Tuesday.

I had bought two sets of Vater Sugar Maple 5b sticks two weeks ago (never used them before, so they were new to me), and had used the first set for one rehearsal with my band. 3 hours later, everything was great. I really liked the sticks, they felt good, nice and light but still thick and played well.

The next week, I pulled out the same set of sticks, and I think it was the third song of the practice and SNAP! The first stick breaks mid song... I was pretty shocked, because I never break sticks during practice. Anyway, I reached into my bag and pulled out another one (brand new), and continued playing. Two songs later, SNAP! The second stick breaks (the older one)! I was flabbergasted. REALLY? Wow. So I reach into my bag and grab the second new stick. About five songs later, SNAP! The third stick breaks! I'm absolutely floored by this. Within the space of about 45 minutes, I've broken three sticks, one of them brand new, only used for a few songs.

I'm not a particularly hard hitter, even tho we are a hard rock band. I wasn't doing anything different, but I guess these sugar maple sticks just aren't for my style of music?!?

I've included a pic, so you can see what happened... As you can see, the sticks all broke the exact same way, which leads me to believe this might be a flaw of the wood?

Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 05-22-2015, 07:17 AM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

You manage to get a lot of marks on those sticks in only a few songs. Could it be your hi hat technique that chops them up? Have you changed anything on the hi hat or the throne position lately?
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:17 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Dumb question: You didn't by chance have your stick bag under all your gear in the car with something heavy resting on top of them?

I cannot even imagine what would cause all three to break in exactly the same manner in such a short duration. I'd ping Vater directly and see what they have to say. Maybe a bum run.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Unfortunately, I have had durability issues with maple sticks, too. (This was before Vater was even in business, and I don't remember the brand.) I was using BIG maple sticks, like 2Bs, and I loved the way they felt but I broke them like crazy. Finally went back to hickory.
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:14 AM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

I support the notion that this is a maple problem. They really just aren't as durable as hickory sticks are if you're slammin' down rimshots.

I know Vater doesn't make any, but you might like to try oak sticks. I was playing with Vater Power 3As (loved em) but I offhandedly picked up some Vic oak 5Bs the other week and love them. They're harder than hickory (though not as hard as my Titan 5Bs [carbon fiber], which weren't as hard-sounding as nylon-tip sticks) and my pair shows no signs of splitting/fraying like a hickory stick would normally at this point. Much cheaper than the Titans as well.
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:18 AM
asperine asperine is offline
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

+1 on the hihat. If the angle at which you hit the hat is too far from parallel to the hat your continuously chewing into the stick neck. It also takes a lot of energy if you hit the hats at a more vertical angle, but if you like the sound, what can you do....
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Old 05-22-2015, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Everyone that plays maple sticks says they break like crazy, it's a wonder they bother making them.

I use vater hickory and they're always very durable.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Thanks so much for the replies!

As I said, I haven't done anything different at all from my usual style of playing, and these were the first Sugar Maple sticks I've ever tried using... At $12 a set, that was a quick $24 blown...

I did send Vater an email on Wednesday, but haven't got any response yet... I'm not really expecting anything, but......

Porter, I'll give those Oak 5bs a try... I've tried oak sticks in the past, but always found them super heavy... I'm a big fan of light but thick sticks. Maybe I'll give the hickory 5bs a try too...
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Quote:
Originally Posted by keepitgreen View Post
Porter, I'll give those Oak 5bs a try... I've tried oak sticks in the past, but always found them super heavy... I'm a big fan of light but thick sticks. Maybe I'll give the hickory 5bs a try too...
Ah, they might not be for you then, they are definitely heavier than Hickory. However, I was used to the tree-stump Power 3As so the Oak 5Bs weren't too much heavier, though much thinner.
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:54 PM
bonerpizza bonerpizza is offline
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Sugar Maple is a much softer wood than Hickory and also about 25% lighter, that's why you're breaking them so easily. I play Vater Hickory Pro Rock wood tips and haven't broken a stick in years.
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  #11  
Old 05-22-2015, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Quote:
Originally Posted by keepitgreen View Post
Thanks so much for the replies!

As I said, I haven't done anything different at all from my usual style of playing, and these were the first Sugar Maple sticks I've ever tried using... At $12 a set, that was a quick $24 blown...

I did send Vater an email on Wednesday, but haven't got any response yet... I'm not really expecting anything, but......

Porter, I'll give those Oak 5bs a try... I've tried oak sticks in the past, but always found them super heavy... I'm a big fan of light but thick sticks. Maybe I'll give the hickory 5bs a try too...
If you like light but thick, could a shorter same diameter hickory stick work for you? Not sure what such type would be called.
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  #12  
Old Yesterday, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

But the mike johnston sticks from vater in hickory and maple. Play both the same amount and you'll see that the maple ones will break.

Bottom line , drum sticks= hickory
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  #13  
Old Yesterday, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Well, drum sticks != maple for backbeat applications, anyway... I use a set of Ney Rosauro maple sticks (technically an orchestral model) for jazz. As long as you're not slamming them, they work.
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  #14  
Old Yesterday, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

Looking at the three sticks pictured, those were not broken in 3 songs. Those sticks are beat to death. Fewer rim shots, hit changes, different wood may help, but those are not faulty sticks by any means.
It looks to me like faulty drumming or technique.
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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Vater 5b broken x3

I feel your pain. The Sugar Maple 5Bs are my all time favorite stick and if I were a rich man I would exclusively play them. So I switched to the Hickory 5B. I still love the sound of maple on cymbals, having a lighter stick with the same diameter and the feel and finish of the Sugar Maples, but the exploding drumstick thing is definitely a drag.
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