DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Gear > Heads and Sticks

Heads and Sticks Discuss Heads and Sticks

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 04-15-2015, 05:06 PM
drumhammerer drumhammerer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 475
Default Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Have any of y'all noticed how much heavier the new logo versions of Pro Mark's sticks have gotten? I just picked up a new logo pair of 5a nylons the other day, and they are ridiculously heavier than the previous version. Plus, they changed the tip shape, so the stick is completely different. WTF Pro Mark? I mean, these things hardly have a taper on them; like 2", which makes them very front heavy, completely changing the playability of the stick. These things are heavier than the older (5+ years ago version) 5b's, and 747's, which is ridiculous. Picked up some newer 5b's, and they're as heavy as the old 2b version. And, of course the new 2b's feel like cudgels, and seriously pit up drum heads due to the forward weight. I like the heavier weights for louder styles, but when I wanna play lighter styles I don't want a stick that is loud that I have to seriously hold back on to reduce the volume, hence the 5a's. So, is the 7a the new 5a or what? Pro Mark has really messed up all my favorite models with this change over, so it looks like I'll have to move to Vic Firth for the lighter sticks. I'm still trying to find a good 2b replacement, which has been much more difficult.

Here's why I think they did this- when they changed the manufacturing process over to the grinding process (from the prior lathing process), the sticks became much more brittle/prone to splitting, a lot like old Vic Firths and Zildjians. I can attest to this, because all of the versions I had right before the switch to the new logo broke a lot faster than the older versions of 5 years ago,(except for the 5a's, which I'm a lot easier on, but I've been using the same pair for 3 years, which is their problem with it probably,lol). So to counteract that they made ALL the tapers much shorter to avoid the quicker breakage. The new 2b's DID hold up better, but one of them still managed to split right on the end, although it didn't outright break, it's now a dead sounding stick, so I can't use it. Don't get me wrong- these new sticks are some of the best looking/finished sticks I've seen, but these changes I just can't deal with.

This is always what I fear will happen when a company gets taken over by another- that acquiring company will drastically change everything just to put their "mark" on the product, or for the sake of change, because the old way is just "out dated". Will the same thing happen to Vic Firth? We'll see I guess.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-15-2015, 09:00 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 606
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhammerer View Post
Have any of y'all noticed how much heavier the new logo versions of Pro Mark's sticks have gotten? I just picked up a new logo pair of 5a nylons the other day, and they are ridiculously heavier than the previous version. Plus, they changed the tip shape, so the stick is completely different. WTF Pro Mark? I mean, these things hardly have a taper on them; like 2", which makes them very front heavy, completely changing the playability of the stick. These things are heavier than the older (5+ years ago version) 5b's, and 747's, which is ridiculous. Picked up some newer 5b's, and they're as heavy as the old 2b version. And, of course the new 2b's feel like cudgels, and seriously pit up drum heads due to the forward weight. I like the heavier weights for louder styles, but when I wanna play lighter styles I don't want a stick that is loud that I have to seriously hold back on to reduce the volume, hence the 5a's. So, is the 7a the new 5a or what? Pro Mark has really messed up all my favorite models with this change over, so it looks like I'll have to move to Vic Firth for the lighter sticks. I'm still trying to find a good 2b replacement, which has been much more difficult.
The average weight of our sticks hasn't actually changed, but it's always possible to get a heavy pair (or a light pair). Being a natural resource, wood comes in all different densities/weights within the same species. Bricks (6-pair packs that all of our sticks are shipped in) are mixed with a range of weights but each stick within a pair is weight and pitch matched. There are still lighter and heavier sticks and most stores are fine with you checking through their inventory to find the right pair for your needs.

When we upgraded to an injection molding system for nylon tips, we made the decision to set the nylon tips to the same shape as their wooden tip counterpart. This had been an inconsistency with Promark for years and we wanted to set things straight. The taper is also shorter with our classic models (7A, 5A, 5B, 2B) than what tends to be found elsewhere. That's one of the reasons we launched the Select Balance line, which features the 5 most popular diameters of sticks in two different (and longer than our classic model) tapers. This way you can maintain the same tip shape, stick length, and diameter, while changing the taper (and thus the balance of the stick) independently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhammerer View Post
Here's why I think they did this- when they changed the manufacturing process over to the grinding process (from the prior lathing process), the sticks became much more brittle/prone to splitting, a lot like old Vic Firths and Zildjians. I can attest to this, because all of the versions I had right before the switch to the new logo broke a lot faster than the older versions of 5 years ago,(except for the 5a's, which I'm a lot easier on, but I've been using the same pair for 3 years, which is their problem with it probably,lol). So to counteract that they made ALL the tapers much shorter to avoid the quicker breakage. The new 2b's DID hold up better, but one of them still managed to split right on the end, although it didn't outright break, it's now a dead sounding stick, so I can't use it. Don't get me wrong- these new sticks are some of the best looking/finished sticks I've seen, but these changes I just can't deal with.
We didn't actually change the taper lengths from what was being done on the lathes immediately prior to the change over to the grinding process, though we do know that the taper length drifted in the many years prior to this change.
__________________
Carlock did. Anton Fig did. Kenny Aronoff did. Join the revolution! Evans Level 360.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-15-2015, 09:10 PM
FritzDrummer's Avatar
FritzDrummer FritzDrummer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 90
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

I actually just switched to playing Pro Mark after playing Vic Firth for the past 8 years. I love their Japanese Oak sticks, the PW5AW and I love them. Last summer my band played 54 shows from May to end of September and I was breaking at least one pair of Vic's for every 3 hours we played. I picked up a pair of Pro Mark Japanese Oaks in December and have had them through six 3 hour shows so far and they are still holding up great! Definitely sticking with these sticks for a long time!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-16-2015, 03:16 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 606
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by FritzDrummer View Post
I actually just switched to playing Pro Mark after playing Vic Firth for the past 8 years. I love their Japanese Oak sticks, the PW5AW and I love them. Last summer my band played 54 shows from May to end of September and I was breaking at least one pair of Vic's for every 3 hours we played. I picked up a pair of Pro Mark Japanese Oaks in December and have had them through six 3 hour shows so far and they are still holding up great! Definitely sticking with these sticks for a long time!
Glad to hear it! Cheers.
__________________
Carlock did. Anton Fig did. Kenny Aronoff did. Join the revolution! Evans Level 360.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-16-2015, 03:27 PM
Yoshinya Yoshinya is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Grand Rapids, MI USA
Posts: 146
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvansSpecialist View Post
When we upgraded to an injection molding system for nylon tips, we made the decision to set the nylon tips to the same shape as their wooden tip counterpart. This had been an inconsistency with Promark for years and we wanted to set things straight.
Unfortunately, when companies make changes like this, it inevitably ends up leaving some customers out in the cold. As a longtime user of the Hickory 747 Nylon Tip stick, I noticed that not only the size of the tip changed, but also the material went from being a harder, glossy, slightly translucent (if you looked closely) nylon to a softer, matte, completely opaque tip. It produced a rather dull sound on the ride (duller than the Wood Tip model!) and felt weirdly mushy. There was no sweet spot on the tip for best articulation anymore, because of the shape of the tip being made to match the Wood Tip model. This did not make me happy.

In addition to that, the new way that the tips are applied/anchored to the end of the stick, using a nub for the new injection-molded tips to hang onto (without any sort of glue or epoxy?), it actually caused more tip shattering. The design of the nub also weakens the stick further around the tip area, causing it to crack along the grain.

I mentioned this here on the Drummerworld forums, and Customer Service reached out to me to replace the 6-pair brick of sticks I burned through in about 1/4 of the normal time it takes me to do so. I could've requested them with Wood Tip. I should've requested them with Wood Tip. Those broke on me just as quickly.

While I preferred the old pre-D'Addario buyout 747 Nylon Tip - I couldn't deal with the changes made to the stick after the buyout. I still love the 747. As a matter of fact, it precipitated my change to the wood tip model, which I always thought was dull-sounding on the ride years prior. I don't feel that way anymore. Now, it feels like the wood tip pulls more body from the ride and also just has a more pleasant sound hitting the drumheads.

Other than that, I have no problems with the new D'Addario-era Promark. I've gotten just as many bananas and weight inconsistencies between a supposedly matched pair as with the old Promarks. By that, I mean, not many. Though annoying, I realize that some of this is just out of a stick manufacturer's control to an extent, given the materials (hickory, oak, etc).
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-16-2015, 04:32 PM
mike d mike d is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 145
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by FritzDrummer View Post
I actually just switched to playing Pro Mark after playing Vic Firth for the past 8 years. I love their Japanese Oak sticks, the PW5AW and I love them. Last summer my band played 54 shows from May to end of September and I was breaking at least one pair of Vic's for every 3 hours we played. I picked up a pair of Pro Mark Japanese Oaks in December and have had them through six 3 hour shows so far and they are still holding up great! Definitely sticking with these sticks for a long time!
The Shira Kashi Oak 5As are my favorite too, but I did notice the nylon tip change on the last batch I bought. I wasn't fond of the way they looked, but I haven't noticed any difference in performance (I still break them the same way - by wearing down the wood a few inches from the tip).
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-17-2015, 03:44 PM
drumhammerer drumhammerer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 475
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

are you serious, Evansspecialist? The tapers haven't changed? I've got 2 pairs for direct comparison, and there's no doubt a difference in taper (particularly on the 5a), thus making the stick play heavier. The old 5a has a very gradual taper, and the new one has a very short taper. Now, whether or not the weight has increased, I dunno, but the only thing that matters is the stick PLAYS heavier. I know about the varying densities in wood, and have experienced SUBTLE differences in weights in the past, but this is much more consistent from pair to pair, and model to model. It's like they're all the forward balance models that have been mentioned with the 2" taper. Is it possible some of those forward balance models got mixed in with the normal versions? This 5a is so different, I would almost be inclined to think so.

BTW, I never buy sticks in bricks- only individual pairs. And, I have never had any problems with Promark's old nylon tips, and I've been playing them for many years.

And, I should specify- I'm talking about the HICKORY models, not the oak. I haven't used or tried any of the new oak models, so I wouldn't know about those.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-17-2015, 03:59 PM
BertTheDrummer's Avatar
BertTheDrummer BertTheDrummer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 480
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhammerer View Post
are you serious, Evansspecialist? The tapers haven't changed? I've got 2 pairs for direct comparison, and there's no doubt a difference in taper (particularly on the 5a), thus making the stick play heavier.
Speaking to what Evans Specialist said, I think that ProMark was doing some changes prior to D'Addario taking them over as well. It is a little difficult to really figure out when changes are made because of store stocks. I've seen some stores that still have things in stock that were discontinued 5+ years back.

Also, I wonder if what drumhammerer is experiencing maybe is the the tighter quality control making stick weights more even. Where in the past there might have been a number of sticks that were really light compared to the norm, now they are more consistent... though the average weight might have been heavier than you were used to seeking out. I don't know, just a possible theory. I know sometimes in the past I would intentionally seek out the lightest pair of sticks in a bunch.

I'd suggest maybe checking out the Select Balance RB550's, they have a longer taper than the 5As with the same diameter. I understand where you are coming from, I like longer tapered sticks in general.

One thing I do miss though is the old logo and the shape of Texas stamp. It just isn't the same turning the stick over and not seeing the Texas there.
__________________
"My music is the spiritual expression of what I am, My Faith, My Knowledge, My Being." - Coltrane

Last edited by BertTheDrummer; 04-17-2015 at 04:04 PM. Reason: Added reply to OP.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-17-2015, 06:02 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 606
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhammerer View Post
are you serious, Evansspecialist? The tapers haven't changed? I've got 2 pairs for direct comparison, and there's no doubt a difference in taper (particularly on the 5a), thus making the stick play heavier. The old 5a has a very gradual taper, and the new one has a very short taper.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BertTheDrummer View Post
Speaking to what Evans Specialist said, I think that ProMark was doing some changes prior to D'Addario taking them over as well. It is a little difficult to really figure out when changes are made because of store stocks. I've seen some stores that still have things in stock that were discontinued 5+ years back.
@BertTheDrummer- Exactly! There was spec drift for years prior to D'Addario acquiring Promark. Many people became accustom to the more forward-balance versions. When we converted over to the new manufacturing methods and cut the grind stones for each model, we adopted the most recent versions of the sticks to remain consistent with what was being made prior to the acquisition.

In addition, we began work on the Select Balance series to provide two additional taper lengths that were both longer than the 2" found on our classic models (7A, 5A, 5B).
__________________
Carlock did. Anton Fig did. Kenny Aronoff did. Join the revolution! Evans Level 360.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-01-2015, 05:08 PM
drumhammerer drumhammerer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 475
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

I just want the older versions back. Simple as that. If I want everything on the heavier side I'll just use Vater. The specs were very consistent for many years, because I've been using them for over 20 years. The weight increase did happen before the new logo, but since y'all acquired them over 3 years ago, y'all are no doubt responsible for that change, as it's too coincidental on the timing to be otherwise. That change happened very abruptly, and that's also when I started having the premature breakage issues, obviously due to the new grinding process. All you gotta do is look at that pic Megadeth just posted of all the sticks that Adler broke while recording to realize the virtues of the grinding process.

Change for the sake of change. Gotta love it. That's just the attitude of the internet era with super short attention spans, and the corporate behemoths taking everything over.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-03-2015, 04:13 AM
Librarian Drummer Librarian Drummer is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 24
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoshinya View Post
Unfortunately, when companies make changes like this, it inevitably ends up leaving some customers out in the cold. As a longtime user of the Hickory 747 Nylon Tip stick, I noticed that not only the size of the tip changed, but also the material went from being a harder, glossy, slightly translucent (if you looked closely) nylon to a softer, matte, completely opaque tip. It produced a rather dull sound on the ride (duller than the Wood Tip model!) and felt weirdly mushy. There was no sweet spot on the tip for best articulation anymore, because of the shape of the tip being made to match the Wood Tip model. This did not make me happy.
The previous translucent and smaller nylon tips on 747 also miss me... D'Addario, it's maybe the time to bring them back for the Select Balance models? A cool and small teardrop nylon tip (same shape as the wood counterpart) for good articulation on ride cymbal, I will surely buy those new sticks.
__________________
Yamaha Tour Custom, Roland V-Drums
Sabian hats/crashes, Zildjian splash/ride/china
ProMark, Vater
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-04-2015, 08:21 AM
Beam Me Up Scotty's Avatar
Beam Me Up Scotty Beam Me Up Scotty is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 857
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

I have noticed a slight change in weight on my japanese oak 747s, but honestly I don't care. I agree that it is probably attributable to previous less-than-stellar QC issues with Pro Mark.

But you can sure as heck believe that I prefer the tear drop style tips, with the different plastic. I agree with the OP, insofar that the newer ones tend to not produce as much attack, nor are they capable of the same variances in articulation that the previous models were. I of course understand the desire for consistency between models, but I would love to see the older tips come back at some point.
__________________
"God is dead." - Nietzsche, 1882

"Nietzsche is dead." - God, 1900
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-06-2015, 08:19 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 606
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhammerer View Post
I just want the older versions back. Simple as that. If I want everything on the heavier side I'll just use Vater. The specs were very consistent for many years, because I've been using them for over 20 years. The weight increase did happen before the new logo, but since y'all acquired them over 3 years ago, y'all are no doubt responsible for that change, as it's too coincidental on the timing to be otherwise. That change happened very abruptly, and that's also when I started having the premature breakage issues, obviously due to the new grinding process.
I'm sorry to hear about your experience with premature breakage and would be happy to address the problem and provide you with replacements.

I can assure you that we've tightened our tolerances across the board in manufacturing. Still, variation in weight within one model is due to the variations in wood and is a normal aspect of wooden drumsticks. It's entirely possible (and sounds likely) that you've just gotten heavier pairs of sticks from the brick than you've been used to in the past. I would strongly recommend hand selecting your sticks to find those that are of the weight that you desire, keeping in mind that the sticks are available at your local music shop may have been picked through prior to you testing sticks.

While I understand that you experienced issues of premature breakage around the same period of time that D'Addario purchased Promark, the changeover in process implementation and a wide variety of other modifications were anything but abrupt. It's likely that you experienced sticks that had defects in the wood that are now sorted out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhammerer View Post
Change for the sake of change. Gotta love it. That's just the attitude of the internet era with super short attention spans, and the corporate behemoths taking everything over.
The changes that we made in manufacturing were for the sake of improving the quality and consistency of the sticks. Promark is grown leaps and bounds in the past few years and is poised to continue along such a trajectory for years to come. As we do with all D'Addario products, we stand by our drumsticks 100% and will gladly address any and all issues that are brought forward.
__________________
Carlock did. Anton Fig did. Kenny Aronoff did. Join the revolution! Evans Level 360.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-09-2015, 05:07 PM
drumhammerer drumhammerer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 475
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

again, I NEVER buy sticks in bricks. It's not a weight consistency issue, but a design issue- i.e. the tips are bigger, thus the necks are bigger, which is what is adding the weight to the sticks, simple as that. I have old, unused pairs to make direct comparisons, so I'm not imagining this. I saw a newer version of the 5b's the other day, and it was hilarious how much larger the necks were. It looks more like a 2b model now. The new 5a= old 747, which makes since, as all the 747 was was a 5a with a bigger tip/neck.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-10-2015, 01:10 AM
T.Underhill's Avatar
T.Underhill T.Underhill is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: MD
Posts: 1,703
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumhammerer View Post
again, I NEVER buy sticks in bricks. It's not a weight consistency issue, but a design issue- i.e. the tips are bigger, thus the necks are bigger, which is what is adding the weight to the sticks, simple as that. I have old, unused pairs to make direct comparisons, so I'm not imagining this. I saw a newer version of the 5b's the other day, and it was hilarious how much larger the necks were. It looks more like a 2b model now. The new 5a= old 747, which makes since, as all the 747 was was a 5a with a bigger tip/neck.
Post some pictures of the sticks, I'm interested in seeing the comparison.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-11-2015, 11:49 PM
jginalbany jginalbany is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 5
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

I'm not sure if this helps, but I have an old and new version of the 707s and noticed a difference in them, with the newer version feeling heavier as well. The new version is definitely beefier just below the tip.

Taper comparison -

Old version -

New version -
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-12-2015, 06:44 AM
T.Underhill's Avatar
T.Underhill T.Underhill is offline
Pioneer Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: MD
Posts: 1,703
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

Yep, that's a significant difference, especially in the tip.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-19-2015, 04:06 PM
drumhammerer drumhammerer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 475
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

I can't even convey how different the 5A is. That's the one that has the most noticeable difference. Even when compared with an older version of the nylon 747 (which is 1/4" longer, and the same neck size) this new 5A is still heavier. Very forward heavy, which makes me think one of those new forward balance versions got thrown in there, even though those are not available in nylon tip. It's like they put weights on the end of them. I haven't gotten another pair to compare, (as I haven't used the one I've got), so it's possible this is just an anomaly, but if their consistency is what they claim now, I doubt that's the case. After all, this is not the OLD Promark.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-19-2015, 04:24 PM
BertTheDrummer's Avatar
BertTheDrummer BertTheDrummer is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 480
Default Re: Increasing weights with Pro Mark

I found some older Premark 5As, I might have to go grab some new ones and compare them like jginalbany did.
__________________
"My music is the spiritual expression of what I am, My Faith, My Knowledge, My Being." - Coltrane
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com