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  #1  
Old 09-07-2007, 09:22 PM
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Default I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

I'm having a bit of a stick dilemma lately. I really like, and have *always* liked Vic Firth 5A American Classics. To me, they're just the right weight & size...and the bead on the tip is perfect. However, I crack and split the bead very quickly, going through several pairs per-month...which is unusual for me.

I have also frequently played w/ Pro Mark 5A Oaks and while they tend to last much, much longer, I can't shake the weight. Something about them just *isn't* right and I'm missing the articulation I was able to achieve w/ the VF's. I've been punishing a pair of PM oaks for the past month and there isn't the slightest sign of damage on the bead...that's what I'm talkin' bout!! The last pair of VF I used lasted 3 frickin' hours before a tip splintered and a chunk flew off!! The pair before that, about a week...ridiculous.

Can someone recommend a stick? I need the durability of the oak sticks (or just better than VF) and the light weight of the VF stick.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2007, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Just about any stick will have better durability than Vics now, I recently switched because I had the same problem with tips.

Try Promark hickory 5As or Vater 5As. If I'm not mistaken the Vaters are a smidge larger in diameter and heavier. (I may be wrong, but that's how it is with the 5Bs.) Both brands are lasting me much longer than the Vics do.
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Vater hickory are going to be just as heavy.

Check out the Vater Maple 5a, which suit suit you very nicely, and are highly durable.
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  #4  
Old 09-09-2007, 12:38 AM
tkillian tkillian is offline
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Vic Firth 5a NYLON TIP..they sound great and the tip never breaks.

Ive had mine for 3 years.
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  #5  
Old 09-09-2007, 04:24 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Well again I seem to have weird experiences with my percussion equipment. The ProMark Oak 5as I bought were much lighter than the Hickory 5As I have from VF. They wore out just as fast as a pair of Buddy Rich VF sticks I bought at the same time. I bought a pair of Vater Super Jazz which is thinner than VF 5a but longer. These are much denser and heavier than VF sticks and are very durable. I just don't like the sound they give on cymbals or crosstick/rimshots. I didn't like the Oak sound either. The Vic Firth sticks are the only ones that sound right that I've had. I've got a pair of Oak 707s and these are lighter than 5As too but they have a big round tip. Oak just feels stiffer not really heavier. Promark makes bigger tips on their sticks which is something to consider especially if you have issues with the tips wearing down. I've tried Innovative Percussion and while they had a great sound and feel were the most brittle sticks I've ever seen. Then again I had a pair of VF 5A woods that lasted 8 years before I just stopped using them as the tips were just too worn out. Had a pair of 5A nylons that lasted about 7 years before splitting about a week ago. I'm using a pair of VF 5A wood tips now that I've had for a few months but the AJ1s I got at the same time have worn tips. Sticks are a curious thing really. If you want a durable pair of sticks go for Vater Super Jazz as these are the closest to VF 5A size.
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  #6  
Old 09-09-2007, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumtechdad View Post
Just about any stick will have better durability than Vics now, I recently switched because I had the same problem with tips.

Try Promark hickory 5As or Vater 5As. If I'm not mistaken the Vaters are a smidge larger in diameter and heavier. (I may be wrong, but that's how it is with the 5Bs.) Both brands are lasting me much longer than the Vics do.
That's what I've been hearing...I guess every manuf. has its ups-and-downs and consistency just can't ever be expected when it comes to sticks.

I actually had some Pro Mark 5A hickory laying around in my pile that I had never used. I played them for a few hours today and they felt fantastic! If they hold up well, I'll go buy a couple more pairs.

The reason I hadn't used the pair I have after buying them is; they felt very vibrational when using a practice pad. I went through a long phase of using Zildjian Anti-Vibe...so I was ultra-sensitive to this. Talk about cheap sh** sticks, by the way!
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  #7  
Old 09-09-2007, 05:08 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fijjibo View Post
Vater hickory are going to be just as heavy.

Check out the Vater Maple 5a, which suit suit you very nicely, and are highly durable.
Ahh yeah! Maple! I might try these...I haven't been really fond of the Vaters I've used, though.
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  #8  
Old 09-09-2007, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cymbalrider View Post
Well again I seem to have weird experiences with my percussion equipment. The ProMark Oak 5as I bought were much lighter than the Hickory 5As I have from VF. They wore out just as fast as a pair of Buddy Rich VF sticks I bought at the same time. I bought a pair of Vater Super Jazz which is thinner than VF 5a but longer. These are much denser and heavier than VF sticks and are very durable. I just don't like the sound they give on cymbals or crosstick/rimshots. I didn't like the Oak sound either. The Vic Firth sticks are the only ones that sound right that I've had. I've got a pair of Oak 707s and these are lighter than 5As too but they have a big round tip. Oak just feels stiffer not really heavier. Promark makes bigger tips on their sticks which is something to consider especially if you have issues with the tips wearing down. I've tried Innovative Percussion and while they had a great sound and feel were the most brittle sticks I've ever seen. Then again I had a pair of VF 5A woods that lasted 8 years before I just stopped using them as the tips were just too worn out. Had a pair of 5A nylons that lasted about 7 years before splitting about a week ago. I'm using a pair of VF 5A wood tips now that I've had for a few months but the AJ1s I got at the same time have worn tips. Sticks are a curious thing really. If you want a durable pair of sticks go for Vater Super Jazz as these are the closest to VF 5A size.
Indeed...sticks are just a pain in the ass. I don't care for nylon tips, I just don't like how they feel...and the sound is "clicky" to me...maybe I'm just too picky. I do have a pair of Pro Mark 747 nylon tips my dad bought in 1993, however. He died in '97 and I played on them for a couple of months...they're friggin' indestructible!

I waffle so badly on sticks that in my whopping 10 mo. of playing experience, I've probably tried a couple dozen kinds. I've got a big clay pot full of sticks...it's a giant bouquet of hickory and oak.
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  #9  
Old 09-09-2007, 11:10 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Ahh yeah! Maple! I might try these...I haven't been really fond of the Vaters I've used, though.
Glad to suggest something useful.

The issue with Vaters is that you need to get a 7A if you want a 5A, as all their sticks are larger than the corresponding model from a different manufacturer.
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  #10  
Old 09-10-2007, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

I know you said you didn't like the Vater sticks you've tried, but you might want to check out the Vater Session stick. It's nearly identical to the Vic Firth 5A, and I've found Vaters to be tougher sticks than Vic Firth lately.
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  #11  
Old 09-10-2007, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Definitley 100% Regal Tip. They make such light and great sticks. Incredibly durable too. Im thinking about getting the 2B's myself.
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  #12  
Old 09-10-2007, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

What about Silverfox?

http://www.silverfoxpercussion.com/drumsticks.html

...anyone usin' those and liking them?
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2007, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

yes!!! silverfox are very very nice. i use the joe morello pro-mark sticks mostly, but they're hard to get a lot, so my 2nd choice is silverfox. the finish feels real nice, and the stick plays well, and they last really long. I think i've been playing this current pair since late june, and the tips haven't even dented yet.
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  #14  
Old 09-29-2007, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

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Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
yes!!! silverfox are very very nice. i use the joe morello pro-mark sticks mostly, but they're hard to get a lot, so my 2nd choice is silverfox. the finish feels real nice, and the stick plays well, and they last really long. I think i've been playing this current pair since late june, and the tips haven't even dented yet.
Cool, thanks for the info.

However, I think someone at Vic Firth heard the dull roar of angry customers from afar....or something. I'm on week TWO w/ a single pair of American Classic 5As and not even a *hint* of the tip shredding...yet.

Typically I would at least begin to see some separation in the grain on the tips after this long. Maybe someone pulled the chair out-from-under the sleeping QA guy on the floor and he's actually doing his job now?

I got my Vic Firth MS4 Corpsmaster tree trunks in the mail today, too...love 'em!
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  #15  
Old 09-29-2007, 01:51 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
However, I think someone at Vic Firth heard the dull roar of angry customers from afar....or something. I'm on week TWO w/ a single pair of American Classic 5As and not even a *hint* of the tip shredding...yet.

Typically I would at least begin to see some separation in the grain on the tips after this long. Maybe someone pulled the chair out-from-under the sleeping QA guy on the floor and he's actually doing his job now?
Hopefully that is true Zam.

I have always been a fan of Vic's but over the last 2 years I have had issues with them. I had a pretty drawn out thread about them awhile back and someone suggested using the Vater X'treme 5A's. So, I gave them a shot.. and I couldn't be happier. I'm still on the same pair that I bought over a month and a half ago, and they still look like new.

Vater X'treme 5A's, check them out.
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  #16  
Old 09-29-2007, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

I feel the pain. I also like the finish and weight of the VF Hickory American Classic 5A. They just feel great to me. My experience is that the tips chip and crack (hammerhead) anywhere from two sessions to a week (two at the absolute most) of playing. Ready for the garbage bin after that.

I experimented with the pro-mark Hand-Finished USA - Japan Oak, Millennium II Shira Kashi Oak 5A. I think it's the one you guys are talking about above. The finish feels very nice, but I just can't get used to the bead, as it is 50% longer and 50% wider than the VF.

I also tried a pair of nylon tips ... not for me.

The lathe cut of the VF, together with it being Hickory, appears to be at the root of the problem regrding its lifespan. It's also the reason the bead plays so well.

Anyway, after weighing out the options, I've decided to spend the extra $20/month and enjoy the feel of a new pair of VF's when needed. I understand this isn't an option for some of you younger guys, so, consider trying out those PM's and see if they solve your problem. They are quite durable. When someone finds the perfect 5A, please be sure to let us all know! Joey
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  #17  
Old 09-29-2007, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
What about Silverfox?

http://www.silverfoxpercussion.com/drumsticks.html

...anyone usin' those and liking them?
I know someone who uses them and he is so pleased that he is working out an endorsement deal with the company. From the people I've heard and who have tried out Silverfox's sticks, they have all said to be very satisfied and that their sticks are probably the most durable out there. I'd love to try some out but there is no distribution here in France.
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  #18  
Old 09-30-2007, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

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Originally Posted by joeybeats View Post
I feel the pain. I also like the finish and weight of the VF Hickory American Classic 5A. They just feel great to me. My experience is that the tips chip and crack (hammerhead) anywhere from two sessions to a week (two at the absolute most) of playing. Ready for the garbage bin after that.

I experimented with the pro-mark Hand-Finished USA - Japan Oak, Millennium II Shira Kashi Oak 5A. I think it's the one you guys are talking about above. The finish feels very nice, but I just can't get used to the bead, as it is 50% longer and 50% wider than the VF.

I also tried a pair of nylon tips ... not for me.

The lathe cut of the VF, together with it being Hickory, appears to be at the root of the problem regrding its lifespan. It's also the reason the bead plays so well.

Anyway, after weighing out the options, I've decided to spend the extra $20/month and enjoy the feel of a new pair of VF's when needed. I understand this isn't an option for some of you younger guys, so, consider trying out those PM's and see if they solve your problem. They are quite durable. When someone finds the perfect 5A, please be sure to let us all know! Joey
YEP...dammit...they shredded on me yesterday, finally...after 2 weeks without the slightest hint. It was too good to be true.

I'm with you, I'm just going to put up with it, there simply is not a better stick for me, so far. I got 4 pair in the mail on Friday and I'll just plow through them, as usual. Vic Firth could do us all a solid, however, and cut the price in half...since they last half as long as any other stick I've ever used.

I ordered a pair of vater maple but I didn't realize they were "cymbal sticks"...they have a really weird, long bead on them and they just suck to play. I should have paid more attention when ordering.

I'll try a pair of Silverfox in the meantime...there has to be zen out there somewhere! If I had a pair that would last a month (that didn't weigh a metric ton) I'd be a happy guy.
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  #19  
Old 10-02-2007, 02:21 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

What about a Pro-Mark Oak 7A ?
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  #20  
Old 10-22-2007, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

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Originally Posted by aruration View Post
What about a Pro-Mark Oak 7A ?
I tried them...as well as 727, 747, and a couple others...I just cannot bring myself to like oak sticks....I don't know exactly what it is. Maybe it's the density? No matter how light the various models are, they feel heavy on impact, I'm not sure how else to explain it.

I actually picked up a pair of Vater 7A Manhattans and I like them a lot. If they last, I may have found a viable replacement for the VF 5A. They have a very interesting bead that is very articulate on any surface and I like the weight distribution. Only time will tell!
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  #21  
Old 10-22-2007, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

ZAM! have you tried the old Dave Weckl Vic Firths? the reddish brown ones?( NOT the new Weckls) Dont know what they are made of, but I use them.

They are very light, balanced and I got a pair that looks like its been through the Iraq war. I'm kinda hoping it breaks so I can pull out a fresh pair, but it doesnt.
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Old 10-22-2007, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

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Originally Posted by aydee View Post
ZAM! have you tried the old Dave Weckl Vic Firths? the reddish brown ones?( NOT the new Weckls) Dont know what they are made of, but I use them.

They are very light, balanced and I got a pair that looks like its been through the Iraq war. I'm kinda hoping it breaks so I can pull out a fresh pair, but it doesnt.
Actually, I was trying them out yesterday when I picked up the Manhattans...they were very nice but I dismissed them as they're Vic Firth and I figured they wouldn't be any more durable than the 5A American Classics I love and hate so much.

I'm returning 2 other pair that I tried, I'll pick up a pair of these and try 'em, thanks!
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  #23  
Old 10-23-2007, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

On second thought...on the Manhattans...

Upon using them for a few days I started getting a weird cramp/pain on the top of my right wrist, especially doing 16th. notes or anything requiring some speed - this particular pain is something I've never had...never. It feels mostly (if not entirely) muscular and goes away after a quick rub and stretch.

Is it possible that the weight and/or diameter of this stick could be harmful in some way? Using them seems to fatigue me much faster...it's very weird. I didn't notice a change in my technique in using them...

I dunno, very strange. I stopped using them and went back to the VF 5A and the pain seemed to have subsided after using the practice pad for a while.
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  #24  
Old 10-24-2007, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Late in the thread but my personal favorite 5A sticks actually the only sticks I use are my Los Cabos Maple 5A's. Just the perfect size and weight and type of tip for the cymbal sound I like and very well made and CHEAP compared to any of the previous American made sticks I used which were of the same quality but twice the price at local shops.


Don't know who sells them in the States but here's the link to the sticks in question on their website:

http://loscabosdrumsticks.com/product_view.php?id=1672
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  #25  
Old 10-25-2007, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

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Late in the thread but my personal favorite 5A sticks actually the only sticks I use are my Los Cabos Maple 5A's. Just the perfect size and weight and type of tip for the cymbal sound I like and very well made and CHEAP compared to any of the previous American made sticks I used which were of the same quality but twice the price at local shops.


Don't know who sells them in the States but here's the link to the sticks in question on their website:

http://loscabosdrumsticks.com/product_view.php?id=1672
Those look ideal, I wish I could try them out. It doesn't look like anyone is selling them in the states? I contacted them about finding a dealer, haven't heard back yet.
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  #26  
Old 10-26-2007, 02:11 AM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

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Those look ideal, I wish I could try them out. It doesn't look like anyone is selling them in the states? I contacted them about finding a dealer, haven't heard back yet.

You still may be able to get them in the States zambizzi because I think their website needs an update. The local Canadian shop Bone Rattle Music where I pick up mine are not listed as a dealer on their site even though they have sold the sticks for months. Good luck on what you hear back. They are great sticks!.
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  #27  
Old 12-24-2007, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: I need a tough AND light 5A stick...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
ZAM! have you tried the old Dave Weckl Vic Firths? the reddish brown ones?( NOT the new Weckls) Dont know what they are made of, but I use them.

They are very light, balanced and I got a pair that looks like its been through the Iraq war. I'm kinda hoping it breaks so I can pull out a fresh pair, but it doesnt.
Hey, thanks for the recommendation on these, buddy...they're great! I've made it through 3 weeks of practice (band and alone) and they're still intact! This is impressive, for a Vic Firth stick.

They're identical to the 5A American Classic but have a smaller, rounder bead...which I actually like better!
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