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  #1  
Old 07-28-2007, 02:01 AM
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Default I've had it!

I'm so sick of buying sticks! Vic Firth's 5A's have become complete junk in my opinon. I just bought this pair a few hours ago and they have already snapped. They have had to switch quality of wood or thier production standards lately... because they snap so much easier than ever before. Granted, I am a hard hitter, but I have never gone through as many sticks in my lifetime as I have gone through in the last 2 years.

I am actually considering switching to Ahead's. The thought of that really eats me alive! But, I am getting to that point. I am seriously beginning to think it would be better to sacrafice the sound of my Hi-Hat and Cymbals then to buy another pair of sticks. Yes, I use 5B's too.

Pro-mark seems to be a bit more consistent, but not enough for my taste. I really hate to think of actually buying Ahead's, but I'm just so sick of paying 10 bucks every 3 days for a pair of sticks!

I'm sorry if this offends... but I need to rant.
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2007, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Have you tried Vater or Trueline yet? I've played both (I'm playing Trueline PowerGrip's exclusively now) and they're the most durable sticks that I've played.

I've heard of Aheads snapping too, so that may not solve your problem. A drummer on my site used to use them and he said they were horrible in his experience with them.
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Old 07-28-2007, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fourstringdrums View Post
Have you tried Vater or Trueline yet? I've played both (I'm playing Trueline PowerGrip's exclusively now) and they're the most durable sticks that I've played.

I've heard of Aheads snapping too, so that may not solve your problem. A drummer on my site used to use them and he said they were horrible in his experience with them.
No, I haven't tried Vater or Trueline.. I have actually never even heard of them before. Looks like its time to check into them. You have heard of Ahead's snapping? I thought they were pretty much unbreakable since they were made of aluminum etc.

EDIT: I guess aluminum can break after prolonged exposure to a beating like I would give them. This just sucks... am I going to end up paying more for sticks in a year compared buying a nice custom DW?... it sure seems like it.. haha.
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Old 07-28-2007, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Promark oak sticks, they will do the job.
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2007, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendozart View Post
Promark oak sticks, they will do the job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy;
Pro-mark seems to be a bit more consistent, but not enough for my taste.
... I already gave my opinon on Pro-Mark.
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  #6  
Old 07-28-2007, 02:28 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Maybe it isn't the sticks....
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2007, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothJazz View Post
Maybe it isn't the sticks....
Can you please elaborate on your comment my friend? I have already stated the fact that I am a hard hitter, and I have been since about 1984. Anyone who has been playing for my length of time will notice a change in stick consistency whether its for the better or worse. All I can speak from is 23 years of stick experience.

Please elaborate on your comment because its extremely vague concerning my technique and playing style, which you did assume was the cause.
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  #8  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:06 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Heavy hitter or not you should not be shredding sticks that easily.
I'll go ahead and assume that you are indeed a rim shot backbeat guy. No ?
With that I will tell you that you are indeed using a stick far to inferior for your style of play.
I would suggest moving up in diameter with your stick choice. I liek to grip a stick that is about the same diameter as my index finger, and about as long as me elbow to the tip of my pinky. That works for me. I have been using Vater Fatbacks, which I believe are a 3a hickory. These are similar to Promark 707, with less weight to them. The finish is not as thick on the Vater.
Lets think about your technique. The tip of your sticks should be the primary playing surface. Yes, of course you get more volume from the shoulder and shaft. But we are not discussing how to get more volume.
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  #9  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:16 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockitman View Post
Heavy hitter or not you should not be shredding sticks that easily.
I'll go ahead and assume that you are indeed a rim shot backbeat guy. No ?
With that I will tell you that you are indeed using a stick far to inferior for your style of play.
I would suggest moving up in diameter with your stick choice. I liek to grip a stick that is about the same diameter as my index finger, and about as long as me elbow to the tip of my pinky. That works for me. I have been using Vater Fatbacks, which I believe are a 3a hickory. These are similar to Promark 707, with less weight to them. The finish is not as thick on the Vater.
Lets think about your technique. The tip of your sticks should be the primary playing surface. Yes, of course you get more volume from the shoulder and shaft. But we are not discussing how to get more volume.
Nice response rockitman! Your exactly right... I'm a rimshot fool. As I mentioned previously... I do use 5B's pretty frequently. I have used a number of different brands... but I still find the same issue. As Rob mentioned previously, along with your comment... Vater sticks were mentioned. I will definately check into them. The thing is... I don't like fatty sticks.

My technique is not as if I am giving a foot or so stick distance from the snare. I have just always had a quick snap/down stroke. That is probably my stregth/weakness rolled into one. What do you think of the Aheads? Keep in mind... I don't like fat sticks. 5A's is my ultimate choice.

Last edited by That Guy; 07-28-2007 at 04:27 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

I don't agree with the feel of the synthetics. It's all wrong for me.
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  #11  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Why not try some 5B's? They're not that much thicker compared to 5A's. ( But this is also Pro-Mark I'm talking about, and I just remembered you said you dont really like them) Or just try a different wood.
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2007, 03:53 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budiesel View Post
Why not try some 5B's?
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
Yes, I use 5B's too.
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  #13  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:07 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Like some other guys were saying, I would check into Vater. I mostly play jazz though now a days, but I use their Manhattan 7As and I have never ha d problem, but Im normally play fairly lightly. I think it might be a regional issue though. I live in Colorado and I do not have a quality control issue for vic firth.
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  #14  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Vater 2Bs. It'll take your hands a little getting used to at .635 diameter, but they're very resilient sticks, from what I've heard. You may not like 'fatty' sticks, but if you're going to play heavy like that, you're going to have to compensate by playing with a thicker stick. Other than that, my only suggestion is to be sparser with the rimshots, if at all possible.
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  #15  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:40 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

I used to love the Vics (5As) until they started breaking all the time and chipping tips almost instantly. Unlike you I've had much better luck with the ProMarks in both regards, even though they're slightly thinner. Plus I like the sound of their tips on cymbals much better and they have a better cross-stick sound.

I say try the Vaters, many people say they're very durable. If you do, let us know what your results are.

The guy in my local drum shop--a very experienced and knowledgable guy--swears by Regal Tip wood-tips. They might be worth a look, too.
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  #16  
Old 07-28-2007, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Thanks for all your posts and suggestions.

My biggest beef is... I have used the same sticks for many years, and they keep weakening in strength consistency. I guess I really can't expect anything different from a cooperation that is based on the (bottom line.)

I am going to look into Vater and Ahead sticks. I can't afford 20 dollars a week in sticks anymore.
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  #17  
Old 07-28-2007, 05:05 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budiesel
Why not try some 5B's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy
Yes, I use 5B's too.


Sorry :) must have read over that one part.
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  #18  
Old 07-28-2007, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Vater gets it done best in my opinion. I play Vater 7A's and I don't hit like a sissy; they've never snapped.
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  #19  
Old 07-28-2007, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

I had the same problem with Vic Firth 5A's and 5B's. I switched to Pro Mark and have been very satisfied.
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  #20  
Old 07-28-2007, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

I just dont like ahead sticks. They dont feel right to play with, but thats just my opinion.
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  #21  
Old 07-28-2007, 10:49 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Ive been using the VF 5Bs for years, I chew em up in a few hours. Not sure if theyll last any longer than 5As. Ahead sticks SOUND just horrible on my drums and especially the cymbals. And yes, they do break in the end. Ive also been using Pro-Marks SD-9 maple sticks, they seem to last a bit longer than the Firths. Beefy sticks but light-weight.
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  #22  
Old 07-28-2007, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

I was pretty skeptical about the Vaters being that much better, but so far they have proven much more durable than the Vic Firths. Their 5As feel a bit more weight-forward than the Firths, and that took some getting used to, but they really do last. Plus, you can often get them for $20-$25 per 4-pack.

I'd suggest trying the Vaters before resorting to the Ahead sticks. I tried the Aheads in the store and they felt horrible - very unnatural response, and they seemed to absorb a lot of the rebound energy.
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  #23  
Old 07-28-2007, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

I used to play the Aheads and just didn't care for the sound of them especially on the ride and hi hats.

One other solution you might try is going to a stick made of a harder wood like oak.
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  #24  
Old 07-28-2007, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Vater Power 5B my friend....

Try some - they will feel good to your 5B playing hands, and they are very durable.
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  #25  
Old 07-28-2007, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

From what ive heard...Vater is known for there durability
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  #26  
Old 07-29-2007, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Sheeesh! None of the stores around here carry Vater sticks. Whats up wit dat? One store said they could order them, but I would have to pay extra. (no thanks). The Guitar Center in West Palm Beach said they have them, but thats an hour and a half drive south. (not looking forward to paying that much in fuel for some sticks.)

.... and the search continues.
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  #27  
Old 07-29-2007, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

...This may not be of much help, but I have seen terminal stick snappers using seconds, or house brands that far outlasted their big name stick of choice.

Barry
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  #28  
Old 07-29-2007, 05:28 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
Sheeesh! None of the stores around here carry Vater sticks. Whats up wit dat? One store said they could order them, but I would have to pay extra. (no thanks). The Guitar Center in West Palm Beach said they have them, but thats an hour and a half drive south. (not looking forward to paying that much in fuel for some sticks.)

.... and the search continues.
Just order them online. I usually get mine through Musicians Friend or Midwest Percussion. After you factor in shipping, you're almost paying the same price as you would in person. Stores around here don't carry them either. I use Trueline now but stores here don't carry those either...the one store that did went out of business a long time a go. So I have to either order directly through Trueline or from the DDA (Disabled Drummers Assocation). Either way I can get them for $5 a pair + shipping because the discounts they have in place for disabled drummers.
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  #29  
Old 07-29-2007, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Ok, I will check that out Rob.
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
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Ok, I will check that out Rob.
Be sure to let us know how you find the Vaters.......
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  #31  
Old 07-29-2007, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Start buying the bulk blocks of sticks at GC and the like. They have 12prs for $20.
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  #32  
Old 07-29-2007, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

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Originally Posted by bighaibigdrums View Post
Start buying the bulk blocks of sticks at GC and the like. They have 12prs for $20.
Well if the sticks that he's using aren't working out for him, he's probably not going to want to keep buying them, even if he can get them in bulk for cheaper. If they all break as quickly as he's experienced, the savings wouldn't be worth it any more.

I had a problem years back when I used Pro-Mark 808 Nylons. I loved those sticks, but the tips ALWAYS cracked and fell off. Pro-Mark has a guaranteed replacement warranty if I just sent the defects back. I never took them up on it because I knew that even though I'd get replacements, they'd all just break like the others.
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Old 07-29-2007, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

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Originally Posted by fourstringdrums View Post
Well if the sticks that he's using aren't working out for him, he's probably not going to want to keep buying them, even if he can get them in bulk for cheaper. If they all break as quickly as he's experienced, the savings wouldn't be worth it any more.

I had a problem years back when I used Pro-Mark 808 Nylons. I loved those sticks, but the tips ALWAYS cracked and fell off. Pro-Mark has a guaranteed replacement warranty if I just sent the defects back. I never took them up on it because I knew that even though I'd get replacements, they'd all just break like the others.
Sure it would. If he's breaking two pairs a week at $20, he'll get six weeks out of a bundle for the same cost.
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  #34  
Old 07-29-2007, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

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Sure it would. If he's breaking two pairs a week at $20, he'll get six weeks out of a bundle for the same cost.
Oh yes true...they have blocks of the sticks he's using? $20 for a 12 pack, that works out to $1.50 a stick. I can see a no-name brand being that much but not Vater. I think a 12 pack would be more than that.

Even the price aside, you want to play something that's reliable. I'd rather pay $7.50 a pair and have them last me at least a month, vs. paying $3 a pair and having them only last a week.
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  #35  
Old 07-30-2007, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Instead of trying to find a stick to mask the issue, why not get rid of the problem at the source. Learn proper technique. There is no 5a size stick that will hold up for a long time to heavy bashing. Face it. The thing you must realize is that the way to get volume from a drum is not through physical strength, but through stick height and stick control created from proper playing technique. More efficient, less physical strain, wider dynamic and volume range, longer lasting sticks. A drum can only reach a certain level of loudness and playing extremely hard past this point just chokes the drum.

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  #36  
Old 07-30-2007, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

First... I think I am going to go with Musicians Friend. Thanks for the info Rob, I see that being the best deal. After shipping I am paying normal price, and they will be delivered in 3 days. Thats still a long time to wait.. but I am willing to wait in order to take a suggestion from my friends here at DrummerWorld. Thankyou everyone for your suggestions.

Next...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanos View Post
Instead of trying to find a stick to mask the issue, why not get rid of the problem at the source. Learn proper technique.
I appreciate your attack on my technique ethanos. Its amazing how you can draw such a conclusion even though I have been playing for the better half of 24 years. That might be longer than you have been alive for all I know. You didn't place your age or any info on your profile, so I can't really tell. I will just chalk that one up to ignorance. Also, did you notice that I am not the only one with the same issue? Are you saying that everyone who has my issue has improper technique, cuz it sure appears to be that way.

I am actually amazed that you would say something about my technique when.. #1, I have never posted a video of my playing, or #2, posted any type of sound file of my playing. Do you see where I am going with this?

Sorry if I seem perturbed my friends, but that comment did get to me. I'm only human.

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.. I will keep you all informed on my little stick journey here.. lol.

Last edited by That Guy; 07-30-2007 at 02:37 AM.
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  #37  
Old 07-30-2007, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
First... I think I am going to go with Musicians Friend. Thanks for the info Rob, I see that being the best deal. After shipping I am paying normal price, and they will be delivered in 3 days. Thats still a long time to wait.. but I am willing to wait in order to take a suggestion from my friends here at DrummerWorld. Thankyou everyone for your suggestions.

Next...



I appreciate your attack on my technique ethanos. Its amazing how you can draw such a conclusion even though I have been playing for the better half of 24 years. That might be longer than you have been alive for all I know. You didn't place your age or any info on your profile, so I can't really tell. I will just chalk that one up to ignorance. Also, did you notice that I am not the only one with the same issue? Are you saying that everyone who has my issue has improper technique, cuz it sure appears to be that way.

I am actually amazed that you would say something about my technique when.. #1, I have never posted a video of my playing, or #2, posted any type of sound file of my playing. Do you see where I am going with this?

Sorry if I seem perturbed my friends, but that comment did get to me. I'm only human.

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.. I will keep you all informed on my little stick journey here.. lol.

nothing like a drummer's ego :-D
i don't know, my friend....i use the Vic Firth 5B (nylons), i've had a 6-pack of the sticks that have lasted me since before christmas.....
i've broken 3 sticks so far, due to my snare rimshots just fraying the stick beyond playability....i've never had one just snap off and go flying...i just have to stop using the stick, because its integrity (and sound) is compromised...

i play a fair mix of music, from rock, progressive rock, metal, jazz-rock fusion, etc.., so i'm wondering what on earth you're playing that consumes these sticks (and deflates your wallet) so quickly!

i'm certainly not questioning your playing technique or past experience, but i'm curious as to what kind of forces are involved in destroying that much wood :-)

take care
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  #38  
Old 07-30-2007, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: I've had it!

With Ahead's, unless you play on the tips of the sticks exclusively, your going to be buying Ahead's covers almost as frequently as wood sticks and thos are about $3 a pair.

This may not be of much help, but I have seen terminal stick snappers using seconds, or house brands that far outlasted their big name stick of choice.

Barry
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These store sticks (has the store logo etc) are going to be from Vic Firth, PM or Vater, all of which produce and sell 'seconds'. Guitar Center sticks are a good example. With a little research (ask) you can find out who made the stick. If you pick through a bunch of seconds, you can get some matched pairs, well... close enough for shredding while practicing anyway.
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  #39  
Old 07-30-2007, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fijjibo View Post
Vater Power 5B my friend....

Try some - they will feel good to your 5B playing hands, and they are very durable.
hell yeah vater are amazing i love them i use the power 5b and there good but if you want an unbreakable stick go for the chad smith funk blasters i love them i worship them.also i wont waste your time with aheads i was checking out my friends cymbals the other day and there destroyed by his aheads.also ebay is good for sticks and there cheap with quick delivery. let us know what you think of the vaters they just are great
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  #40  
Old 07-30-2007, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: I've had it!

I'm going with Vater Xtreme's. We shall see how they work.
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