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  #1  
Old 07-04-2007, 04:22 AM
Gene Smasher Gene Smasher is offline
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Default Vater versus Pro-mark

What's your take? Help me out here.

I realize that Vater sticks are not as comfortable as Pro-mark sticks, and Vater has a very small variety, most of their sticks being damn big. I kinda like small sticks. Vater's specialty is probably durability, at the expense of variety of sticks to choose from and player's comfort.

Pro-mark, on the other hand, though not as durable, are much more comfortable, have a much wider variety. I can't use any stick thicker than 0.570", otherwise I'll die.

Its easy because here in Singapore, I can get Vater and Pro-mark sticks at exactly the same place. I need to take into account durability, comfort, consistency, feel, weight, etc.

So what's your take? Should I stick to Vater sticks, or switch to Pro-mark?
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2007, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Well, to me, Pro-Mark mostly means white oak and Vater means hickory. I know they both offer different choices, but those seem to be the mainstays. The oak is more durable for a given diameter, hickory is a little lighter and springier feeling.

Both are good sticks, as far as I'm concerned. Right now I'm using the Vater John Blackwell model - long taper, small bead, .570 diameter. It has great balance and rebound and reasonable durability for a hickory stick.

You gotta go with what feels good to you. I wouldn't worry about the brand. $.02
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2007, 05:11 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Go for Vater Studio or little bit thicker with Studio-2. Very good sticks. You make me think, I need to order new one's too.
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2007, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I have two questions...what is not comfortable about a whole line of sticks? They are all round and come in different sizes for different feels. Secondly, where did you get the notion that Vader has " a very small variety" Go to their website as I did, and have them mail you their catalog. I will guarantee you they will have any size, length, and feel you need. I also have both brands in a variety of sizes and either they feel right or they dont.

http://www.vater.com/index.cfm

Take a minute to fill out the info below to get the latest Vater Product Guide, Stickers and Artist Poster* mailed to you! ( from their website.)
The survey is on their website, not really below.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2007, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I just tried Vater for the first time with a pair of Super Jazz. These are great sticks but remind me a bit of the Innovative Percussion models I had one time. I tried a pair of Promark Oak sticks and wasn't really a fan as they felt light and stiff (like they are supposed to be I suppose) I still have yet to find a really comfortable pair of sticks out there. The Vic Firth American Jazz series are nice though.
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2007, 07:33 AM
Gene Smasher Gene Smasher is offline
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I have two questions...what is not comfortable about a whole line of sticks? They are all round and come in different sizes for different feels. Secondly, where did you get the notion that Vader has " a very small variety" Go to their website as I did, and have them mail you their catalog. I will guarantee you they will have any size, length, and feel you need. I also have both brands in a variety of sizes and either they feel right or they dont.

http://www.vater.com/index.cfm

Take a minute to fill out the info below to get the latest Vater Product Guide, Stickers and Artist Poster* mailed to you! ( from their website.)
The survey is on their website, not really below.
Actually its because Vater has a rather small variety of thin sticks, as my hands are quite small. Not only that, more than 60% of the models Vater makes are not available in Singapore where I live, which really pisses me off.
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2007, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

i play metal/hard rock and ive used thousands(maybe not thousands..;) ) but i like Vater the most....i like the vinyl tips also... and for example.. i have a crash/ride and i play that thing hard! and i will where the sticks down to where the tips of them are lil bit bigger than the middle...and the pro-marks and Vic-Firth would just break after a while!...so hope this helps...




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  #8  
Old 07-04-2007, 07:53 AM
Gene Smasher Gene Smasher is offline
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

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Originally Posted by Bojangleman View Post
i play metal/hard rock and ive used thousands(maybe not thousands..;) ) but i like Vater the most....i like the vinyl tips also... and for example.. i have a crash/ride and i play that thing hard! and i will where the sticks down to where the tips of them are lil bit bigger than the middle...and the pro-marks and Vic-Firth would just break after a while!...so hope this helps...




Alex
Yeah well when I perform I don't wanna my sticks to break in the middle and I can only trust Vater sticks to do the job... Only thing is that I play a bit of metal as well at that nice Vater hickory 8A is hard to come by in Singapore.

Small-tipped sticks are softer than big-tipped sticks right? Because if not, 7As might do the trick for me.

If Vater sticks are light compared to Vic Firths, I'm so thankful I turned away from Vic Firths. VFs are so fragile, and so heavy. Gosh. I can't use those sticks.
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2007, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Durability isn't about the brand.

Its about knowing how to pick a good pair of sticks from the pile.
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2007, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I play just vic firth but I got a pair of pro-marks recently. I honestly donīt like them especially not because the two sticks sounded very different which I didnīt notice with vic firth sticks.
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  #11  
Old 07-04-2007, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

ProMark sticks are rolled by hand and matched at the factory, but of course transit can result in bending, warping and saturating of the sticks. ProMarks are prone to it the same as Vic Firth, Vater and just about every other stick brand out there.
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  #12  
Old 07-04-2007, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Just play what feels good. If you break one during a performance, just have a "stick depot" on one of your stands or have your bag attached to your floor tom. Sticks break. Learn how to grab a new one while you continue playing.

And you cannot pick sticks that won't break by looking at them at the drum shop. That's ridiculous.
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  #13  
Old 07-04-2007, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by DamoSyzygy View Post
ProMark sticks are rolled by hand and matched at the factory, but of course transit can result in bending, warping and saturating of the sticks. ProMarks are prone to it the same as Vic Firth, Vater and just about every other stick brand out there.


Can honestly say i've never come across a warped Vater stick in my years of using them, to the extent that i'm happy for a non-drummer to go out and pick up a pair from the shop on my behalf. Pro-Mark, and zildjian espcially, it's a different story. To Gene SAmasher, i'd well recommend trying a pair of sugar maple Vaters, easily the most comfortable stick i've ever tried, as they are less heavy in the hand, less dense but still exceptionally durable.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2007, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

no i mean, they last so long with me playing hard that they are thin in the middle cause of it hitting the cymbal alot...and they last me couple months on a good stick. sorry for the confusion :(


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Smasher View Post
Yeah well when I perform I don't wanna my sticks to break in the middle and I can only trust Vater sticks to do the job... Only thing is that I play a bit of metal as well at that nice Vater hickory 8A is hard to come by in Singapore.

Small-tipped sticks are softer than big-tipped sticks right? Because if not, 7As might do the trick for me.

If Vater sticks are light compared to Vic Firths, I'm so thankful I turned away from Vic Firths. VFs are so fragile, and so heavy. Gosh. I can't use those sticks.

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  #15  
Old 07-06-2007, 12:57 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Quote:
And you cannot pick sticks that won't break by looking at them at the drum shop. That's ridiculous.
Youll never get it right 100% of the time, but knowing how to pick sticks DOES reduce your cost long term. All sticks are prone to fluctuations, and you cannot simply assume that because two of them are wrapped together in a piece of cardboard that they are a pair.

Have a read of this:

http://www.drum.com.au/lessons/oct.htm
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2007, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Hey Damo thanks man, that was a good read. I've seen my drum instructor do this when he got me a pair of thick Vater marching sticks(MV-2). Took maybe a tops of a minute to two minutes and I thought it was strange but I assumed it had good purpose, which obviously it did. I'm a Pro Mark guy too, I like the Millenium II New Generation Japanese White Oak :).
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  #17  
Old 06-25-2009, 01:57 PM
davidzx2 davidzx2 is offline
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I think I'm going to try Vaters. I like to use 7a's but, they tend to break easily. I've tried all the other brands none of them seem to last any longer than 3 services. I had a pair of pro mark break during band practice the other night and the piece that broke off hit me right in the head causing it to bleed (THAT HURT.) I just bought that pair the same day too.
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  #18  
Old 06-29-2009, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

i use Pro-mark's, they are the only stick i'm comfortable with, i believe this should be your only thought when looking for sticks, regarless of brand, good luck man...
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  #19  
Old 06-29-2009, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I've never head stories of Pro-marks not being durable?? If anything, their Japan Oak sticks are more durable than any other that I have played...although a little more expensive as well. I have never broken a pair of Pro-marks in the 3 years I've used them but I also don't break many sticks in general. I have luck in that context. I'd be surprised if you didn't find a comfortable stick from Pro-mark, Vater and Vic Firth. They all have a pretty large selection of sticks.
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  #20  
Old 06-30-2009, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

*personally* I do not like Vater. I say personally because drum sticks are all subject to opinion.

However, they are cheap, better than Nova's, and hold their own compared to other sticks. Oftentimes you can get a 4-pack on Musicians Friend for less than $20. That's $5 a pair, which is a great deal, imo.


Some reasons *I* do not like Vater,
  • they are slippery
  • the feel seems chunky and ackward
  • there's a certain "cheapness" about them to me


Some reasons I would recommend Vater,
  • Durability (in most cases)
  • Price point
  • Basic sticks if you're looking to start expiramenting


Now, to me Pro Mark is an entirely different league. Of course, I've had Pro-Marks break on me, but I have never found a better feeling or "sounding" stick. The balance, weight, and playability is virtually unmatched.

Vic Firths are great sticks (I will buy these if I cannot find Pro-Mark's) but lately I've been finding inconsistencies which has drifted me back over to Pro Mark, which feel and perform better anyways, IMO.


Many people say Pro Mark's break easily. Depends on the player, the style, and the stick choice. That being said, I would rather break 2 pairs of Pro-Marks in 3 months' time, and enjoy playing them, than break 1 pair of Vaters or Firths in 3 months' time, and not have as good a time.

Go to a music store, pick up some stick and start banging on a practice pad (or a set if they will let you) and see what you like best.

I would steer you away from Vater but that's only my personal choice.


All the best!
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  #21  
Old 06-30-2009, 10:11 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

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Originally Posted by JesusMySavior View Post
Now, to me Pro Mark is an entirely different league. Of course, I've had Pro-Marks break on me, but I have never found a better feeling or "sounding" stick. The balance, weight, and playability is virtually unmatched.
I knew a guy that played in a band, locally, that hit with such consistent heavy force that he snapped an Ahead stick, the "unbreakable" stick. He also broke cymbals on a very regular basis. Any stick is breakable when under extra stress. A stick should not break under normal stress, although it will eventually chip away enough that one hit will finish it off. Again, I've never found Pro-mark to be any more prone to breaking than Vic Firths..and the one set of Vaters I played didn't seem superior in any way to said brands.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JesusMySavior View Post
Many people say Pro Mark's break easily. Depends on the player, the style, and the stick choice. That being said, I would rather break 2 pairs of Pro-Marks in 3 months' time, and enjoy playing them,
It depends on the player 100%. With proper technique, it takes more to break a stick than people think. There is a life expectancy built into a stick, but it can be a lot longer than people would assume. I lose more sticks than I break, that is one thing for sure. I agree that it is more important how the stick feels to you.
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  #22  
Old 06-30-2009, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Yeah i agree its all depends on how you play with the durability some guys smash the crap out of there drums hence breaking sticks and i play quite alot of rim shots which makes me a frequent breaker i have tried all 3 of Vics vater and Pro mark and i fins them all the same durability wise.

And I also know someone who has snaped Ahead 5Bs in half. and in Australia they retail for about $80 aud dollars a pair.
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  #23  
Old 07-01-2009, 04:44 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I used to play Vater and the only reason I don't now is because I haven't bought a new pair of sticks in years. I'm using a pair of Regal Tip 9As that I've now had for close to three years - great sticks. Vater do make excellent, excellent sticks. I'm particularly fond of their Manhattan 7A model, which were always consistently excellent.
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  #24  
Old 07-12-2009, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I personally like Pro-Mark. I think they are actually easier to hold and handle. Vater always seemed really slippery, especially after you've been playing a while and you're hands are sweating. I use Pro-Mark 727. Nice light stick with a decent reach.

Actually, it seems (to me) that Pro-Mark usually have straighter drum sticks than most other companies. My drum teacher likes Vic Firth and always seems perturbed when I use a different brand... :-)
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2009, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

i like the feel of Vaters, but I stopped useing them. I use wood tip and after 3 hours of play the tip would splinter off. Not break off but half of it is gone. Does that make sense?

the best sticks I have found, that keep the tip intact the longest are the bulk package sticks that GTR center has on sale every so often, 10 pairs for $10. They are vic firth 'B" stock. they seem to have less lacquer on them so they won't sell them at regular price. buy 4 bags when they get 'em.

I do use pro marks when i want an oak stick
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  #26  
Old 07-27-2009, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I believe I've tried nearly every popular stick from every major manufacturer at this point...no joke...and I like Vater and I don't like Vater. I like them better than Pro Mark, whose hickory sticks feel very cheaply made to me. I don't care for the oak but did use them for a while. I used the Fusion model for a while, recently and thought they felt great. However, the tips changed shape on me after just a few playing sessions....el cheapo.

Above all I still prefer Vic Firth. The quality is tops unless you use painted sticks, which seem to have wider variations in weight from pair-to-pair.

I've been using a few different maple sticks from VF and the tips no longer "shrink" or chip away for me at all. I could see these sticks lasting for a year or more. Just a note for you guys out there having this problem.
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  #27  
Old 07-27-2009, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I mostly use Vater or Vic Firth hickory sticks. I used to use oak Pro-Marks but i didn't like the high-density wood. They gave me blisters; too much weight and not enough surface area to grip it with. I like 7As played backwards, or 5Bs played normally. I do have an issue with the tips disintegrating, so I may try those maple sticks next time.

If you're technique is to play hard rimshots on a die cast hoop (for example), then your sticks will not last as long. There isn't a good/bad technique aspect to this - it's just physics.
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  #28  
Old 08-16-2009, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I personally prefer Pro-Mark. My very first pair of sticks was a Vater 5A nylon-tip. It was ok back then because I was a total newbie and didn't know how to judge how good the stick felt as it was my very first pair. Now, I realise that when I use the Vater sticks again it felt heavy, off-balance (to me), and slippery.

I tried the Vic Firth 5B nylon-tip model I bought yesterday, it was great. The nylon tip sounds great and all, and it feels really balanced and gives me more 'control'. However it's a little too heavy for me to feel comfortable.

So... I went back to my Pro-Mark 5B wood-tip :D

It should all come down to personal choices imo. Testing out different pairs of sticks from different models and brands will let you know which feels better for you.
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  #29  
Old 08-16-2011, 09:59 PM
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Default Vaters fo sho

I hear you when it comes to comfort. I've had pairs of Vaters that had small splintering sections on them like they didn't get sanded thoroughly but, then again, I've played Vaters that were flawless. I hate buying bundles for that exact reason. I feel like if you don't inspect each pair you buy you're bound to wind up with one or two that have "rough spots".

Pro-marks Oaks are really nice and honestly the only thing I don't like about them is the logo and those dumb lines. But that's enough for me stay away.

Vater's sticks however are durable as can be and even though they don't make Oak or Birch (I'm assuming that's the variety you're talking about) they make a Hickory or Maple stick for every type of music and drummer.

I don't play hard. Typically pop, rock, alternative, and christian contemporary music.

Vater Eternal Black - Finish was inconsistent in a bundle. Nylon tips broke off. Broke 3 5A pairs in two weeks all after a few hours of playing 1/10

Vater Mike Johnston sig - Great balance and cymbal response with small tip but they feel too light to play live. I really have to play hard to get the projection I need. They get an 8/10

Vater Power 5A - 16 1/2" length 0.580 thickness feels great. Shorter taper and length give it a heavier feel but not a thick stick. They're durable too. After 5 hours of live playing they're still solid. The GIANT wood tip is a little annoying though 9/10

Vater Gospel Fusion - Good balance and a little longer than Mikes sig sticks but still too light for live drumming for me 8/10
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  #30  
Old 08-17-2011, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I got my first drum set in 1969. I have played just about everything out there. Yes, a Vater 5A is thicker than a Pro Mark 5A, which is why I prefer Vater. Now I use Vater "seconds" called Pulse, which I get at Musician's Friend. The second pair I chose, out of six pairs in a block, has lasted a long time. I got six pairs for $20, and when they run out, I will get some more. Peace and goodwill.
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  #31  
Old 08-17-2011, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

switched from vic firth 7a's, 5a's and 3a's to vater fusions and i love them
might try pro marks but give the vater fusions ago :P
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  #32  
Old 08-24-2011, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I gave pro marks a go a while back and just didnt like how they felt. Went to Vater and liked the wood tips, but picked up some nylons and I now love them!!! They are very durable, sound good(to me), and are only 8 bucks a pair at Guitar Center
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  #33  
Old 03-20-2012, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

i used vf forever, then los cabos which are awesome but they are genrally thicker sticks. then tried promark, 3 sticks chipped/cracked in an hour of light playing (hickory not oak, i hate oak sticks) then I looked through a whole section of promark sticks and noticed they have a horrible idea of which part of the hickory wood to use, I noticed all the sticks I looked at had visible wide grain, where you can see two tones of the wood, those lines are where the sticks will split and separate. I then tried vater, which if you look at the sticks the grain is always incredibly tight and even, one pair has lasted very well and I believe I will stick with vater for now.

promark hickory = trash.
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  #34  
Old 03-20-2012, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

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i used vf forever, then los cabos which are awesome but they are genrally thicker sticks. then tried promark, 3 sticks chipped/cracked in an hour of light playing (hickory not oak, i hate oak sticks) then I looked through a whole section of promark sticks and noticed they have a horrible idea of which part of the hickory wood to use, I noticed all the sticks I looked at had visible wide grain, where you can see two tones of the wood, those lines are where the sticks will split and separate. I then tried vater, which if you look at the sticks the grain is always incredibly tight and even, one pair has lasted very well and I believe I will stick with vater for now.

promark hickory = trash.
fine straight grain are the strongest sticks doesn't. matter what company.
it's basic physics.

Bonzolead
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  #35  
Old 03-24-2012, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

wow so after my post a rep from promark messaged me and explained with the d'addario takeover they are really trying to improve the product and he sent me a free pair of 5a's!! this was really awesome to me and the new sticks are much nicer then the previous ones, I will get pics to compare later, they are much better all around and should hold up nicely. I still find the taper is a bit thick on this model but thats not the issue with the quality just which type of stick I prefer.
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  #36  
Old 05-31-2012, 03:55 PM
rtmax rtmax is offline
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

I've used both sticks actually, and have found both are solid sticks. I use a 5b Pro Mark stick and a Los Angeles 5a Vater stick. I think they are both great sticks, none have broke on me while performing or practicing. They do dent after each use and eventually they'll start chipping away. I also have some Vic Firth 5b sticks, which I think they are also great sticks and feel the less heavy in my hands than Pro Mark and Vater. I can play with all these with out any problems and with out my hand tiring due to the weight of the stick. So I agree about choosing a stick that feels comfortable in your hands and not to heavy. At least that's what I base myself on. At the moment I am using the Pro Mark 5B stick. :)

Last edited by rtmax; 05-31-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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  #37  
Old 06-06-2012, 06:06 PM
HMNY HMNY is offline
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Slightly off topic, but stick related, I read recently that Vater used to make sticks for Vic Firth, then went their separate ways, in a similar style to Zildjian/Sabian, is this correct?
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  #38  
Old 06-06-2012, 06:50 PM
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tard tard is offline
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMNY View Post
Slightly off topic, but stick related, I read recently that Vater used to make sticks for Vic Firth, then went their separate ways, in a similar style to Zildjian/Sabian, is this correct?
Joan Adams Vater made drumsticks at Jack's Drumshop in Boston which made sticks for Vic Firth and Zildjian in the early 80's but I dont think it actually became Vater untill the early 90's and by then were only making their own brand.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:41 PM
HMNY HMNY is offline
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

Thanks tard, interesting to know.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:45 PM
HMNY HMNY is offline
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Default Re: Vater versus Pro-mark

mls, for those who don't know, myself included. What is the difference in packaging, pre and post the new manufacturing process?

Thanks

Last edited by HMNY; 06-07-2012 at 03:45 PM. Reason: add more text
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