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  #1  
Old 12-22-2008, 10:31 PM
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Default Sticks on the brain...

I saw another thread started today on "the perfect stick" and since I have nothing better to do today at work, I thought I'd comment on the *many* sticks I've tried in the last year.

1. VF Dave Weckl Evolution - used this stick for a long time and got very comfortable with it. It's basically a 5A with a smaller tip and a nice easy-grip lacquer finish. On my third pair I found they started making them quite a bit heavier and had changed the taper and tip.

2. VF Jack DeJohnette - A big, long, heavy stick. I used these for a while and the same thing happened as the Evolutions - they got heavier and the tip changed. Lame.

3. Pro Mark Oak 5A - A nice stick though I don't care for the tip. Quit using when it became too hard to grip it loosely.

4. Pro Mark Hickory 5A - Too light...quit on 'em after 1 pair.

5. VF Buddy Rich - I thought this would be a nice replacement for the DeJohnettes but in the end...too fat.

6. VF Steve Gadd - I liked this stick but hated the sound...of all things. The tip makes for a very weak sound on surfaces.

7. VF Weckl (original) - The jury is still out on this one...I might try them again soon.

8. Vater "Manhattan" - I liked this stick but the diameter was too small...I felt strain and ended up with tendonitis within three days of using these. It was my technique...but still...I gave up on them after that.

9. Zildjian "Anti-Vibe" 5A - I started with these sticks 2 yrs. ago because it was what my teacher was using. I tried them again the other night and realized why I quit using them...awful!

10. Pro Mark "Pro-Grip" 5A - Been using these the last few nights. I like the feel other than they're a bit too light. The pro grip surface is great.

11. VF Mike Terrana - I have been using these on and off for a couple of weeks and keep coming to the conclusion that they're far too light, despite the perfect length and great tip. This would be a *great* stick if it were a bit heavier.

12. VF Akira Jimbo - This is a weird stick that I both love and hate. It tapers at the butt which is cool because it's a 5A length - so it pushes some of the weight to the upper-end of the stick. It's got a GREAT tip...perfect really. However, it's fairly heavy...and after a couple of months using these...I don't think I'll stick w/ them.

13. VF Jojo Mayer - Too short, too fat, too heavy.

That's all I can think of for now, though I'm sure I've tried more. What it comes down to is; I'd still be using either the Evolutions or the DeJohnettes, had VF not altered them to be heavier and changed the shape. Since then I've been looking tirelessly for a good replacement.

I'll post more "reviews" as I try more of them out. I hear Los Cabos makes great sticks but I'd have to order them directly from the company in Canada, which makes it less convenient.

What I need is a heavier Mike Terrana with an Akira Jimbo tip. I need to hurry up and become a competent drummer so I can get my own signature stick! :)
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  #2  
Old 12-23-2008, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

that would be cool to have your own signiture stick.

my favorite sticks that i have used are the Pro Mark: 7A Japanese White Oak.

you should try the japanese white oak it is about the best wood i have found that doesn't break fast.
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  #3  
Old 12-23-2008, 04:33 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Yeah I had those down in my list - I used the 5A for a while but they're a bit small and hard to grip. Sticks are tough for me because I have big hands but I don't like big heavy sticks (i.e. 5B, 2B, etc.)

Obviously...I'm very picky ;)

I've narrowed my needs down to something that's easy to grip and no bigger in diameter than the average 5A....no longer than 16" or *maybe* 16.25". I'd even compromise on the tip as long as it rebounds well. The Pro Mark Oak 5A didn't.
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  #4  
Old 12-23-2008, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I've used Pro-Mark 808 w/nylon tips- oak for rehearsing 'cause they last longer, hickory for gigs 'cause they're a bit lighter- almost exclusively since 1992. They're between a 5A and 5B- closer to the latter. Haven't found a better feeling one yet. Great rebound, (almost) round tip is consistent-sounding when my playing isn't, and durable. I check out sticks now & then but I won't switch until I've found a better model.

I've used the VF Hakim model and like it ok. Tip's a little bigger, and the shaft's a little thicker. I used them in percussion ensemble at ECU. I have a pair of oak Jazz models for lighter/quieter gigs. But for general use, nothing's topped the 808's yet IMO.
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  #5  
Old 12-23-2008, 05:28 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Haven't used Pro-Mark sticks in fooorrrreeeevvveeeerrrr. lol

So, I picked up a pair of Shira Kashi Oak in 5b nylon tips. We shall see how well they hold up.
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  #6  
Old 12-23-2008, 05:40 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I have become completely addicted to Vater New Orleans Jazz Sticks. http://www.vater.com/newproducts/product.cfm?M=2 Great, light sticks for jazz. I've found that my single strokes somehow become BLAZING FAST with these sticks, probably due to their lightness and shortness. Disadvantages: bead isn't as cymbal-sweet as other sticks like the Manhattan Jazz stick, and it breaks rather easily (especially when subject to lots of rimshots).
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  #7  
Old 12-23-2008, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clayton_C View Post
I have become completely addicted to Vater New Orleans Jazz Sticks. http://www.vater.com/newproducts/product.cfm?M=2 Great, light sticks for jazz. I've found that my single strokes somehow become BLAZING FAST with these sticks, probably due to their lightness and shortness. Disadvantages: bead isn't as cymbal-sweet as other sticks like the Manhattan Jazz stick, and it breaks rather easily (especially when subject to lots of rimshots).
Those look like a good stick, actually. Maybe I'll give those a try and tack them onto my list. I used the Manhattans for exactly 3 days, like I said. Call it superstition - but I dare not touch 'em again! :) They *seemed* like a great stick but mysteriously caused me to strain whereas other sticks never had.

According to the Vater site, the Stewart Copeland is identical but with a round tip - very similar to the Manhattan. Maybe that would be more to your liking?

timmdrum - those 808's look nice...might have to try those!
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  #8  
Old 12-23-2008, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I have used many sticks this year as well. My favorites being Vater Copeland models and Vic Firth 5As and 5Bs.
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2008, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

VF X5B's are some wicked sticks. 16-1/2" .595 i personally like smaller sticks, but when you want a semi-fatter one for fat deep hits, this is a good one.
But coming for Christmas are Zildjian Trilok Gurtu double-dipped yellow rubber coating with the finger groove and dark walnut stain... i like those

lol, made this a while ago for fun cause i was EXTREMELY bored
http://cid-74ef76ee56094dfe.skydrive...lic/sticks.xls
i never finished and i think some had to be corrected, but oh well..
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2008, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Yeah, 5B is out of the question for me. I need something a little more versatile and "quick"...but not too light...but not too heavy...haha!

I have eliminated most sticks based on their gripability (huh?) I'd like a good stick w/ a non-slip surface that I don't have to apply myself (i.e. Plasti-Dip). Something I can order or pick up that is fairly common.

I saw those Triloks in MD - weird looking!
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  #11  
Old 12-24-2008, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by jtkiv View Post
coming for Christmas are Zildjian Trilok Gurtu double-dipped yellow rubber coating with the finger groove and dark walnut stain... i like those
I tried Zildjian sitcks with that rubber DIP coating once... I didn't like them, they were too grippy. so grippy that after a while they even rubbed open the callouses on my hands. painful...
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  #12  
Old 12-24-2008, 08:14 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I just walked in the door with twp pair of VHFW Vater Fusion Wood. Just a tad bigger than
7A or Manhattan. I got wooden tips since I seem to have nothing but nylon tips. these have a great diameter for my hands.
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  #13  
Old 12-24-2008, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
According to the Vater site, the Stewart Copeland is identical but with a round tip - very similar to the Manhattan. Maybe that would be more to your liking?
Oh, thanks for the suggestion, I'm really gonna have to try that one out!
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  #14  
Old 12-25-2008, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I can add the Vater 5A Los Angeles to the list now. I used them tonight and I think they're the best 5A I've played yet! We'll see if I can pick them apart and find something to complain about in the next few days. ;)
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  #15  
Old 12-25-2008, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I've never played with a good branded pair of sticks, i've always played with cheapo lil ''eagle branded 5A sticks", they are pretty bad, dont give much rebound, have bad tips and break every 3months, so advice, dont buy them lol
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  #16  
Old 12-25-2008, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

3 months! That's fantastic! Either you're not practicing enough or that's one durable stick! I fork over the dough for a pair of sticks about twice a month.
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  #17  
Old 12-25-2008, 09:24 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by Clayton_C View Post
3 months! That's fantastic! Either you're not practicing enough or that's one durable stick! I fork over the dough for a pair of sticks about twice a month.
Yep. I do a pair every 2-3 weeks. I'm on the kit 2 hrs. every night and play w/ the band once a week.
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  #18  
Old 12-25-2008, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I'll never go back to anything else, i've found my perfect stick :). Its the SD2 Bolero and i just love it so much. The tip gave my cymbals a totally new sound, its like i bought new cymbals. The thickness of the stick coupled with the extra long taper to the tip gives it really nice weight distribution. Although zambizzi i doubt you would like it because of the thickness...but its a real good stick.
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  #19  
Old 12-25-2008, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I still have yet to find a stick that I will stay with. I usually go in cycles and come back to the Vic Firth 5a. Not that its my stick of choice its just part of the cycle. I'm thinking Vic's are starting to lack quality control cuz they have been splintering more frequently over the years. It could just be my playing though.

I'm never happy with sticks.
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  #20  
Old 12-25-2008, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Yep. I do a pair every 2-3 weeks. I'm on the kit 2 hrs. every night and play w/ the band once a week.
That's odd. I'm on the kit 6+ hours every day and I change a pair every 6-8 months or so, but I never snap them, it's just a result of wearing down too much and getting a bad sound.

The Vater Los Angeles 5A's are bangin but...

VF ERSKINE'S ALL THE WAY, BABY!
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  #21  
Old 12-25-2008, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by FunkyJazzer View Post
That's odd. I'm on the kit 6+ hours every day and I change a pair every 6-8 months or so, but I never snap them, it's just a result of wearing down too much and getting a bad sound.

The Vater Los Angeles 5A's are bangin but...

VF ERSKINE'S ALL THE WAY, BABY!
I've never snapped a stick but then again I'm not a basher. Usually after 2-3 weeks the tips start to "soften up" and shred a little. I don't like how they sound or feel at that point.

This was with the VF 5A wood-tip, however...which is pretty prone to falling apart. Since I started using the Akira Jimbos and other signature sticks, I'd say I'm getting twice as much mileage. Who knows w/ the Vater sticks (if I continue to use them) - they don't seem as good of quality though.
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2009, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

So, since last I wrote I've tried a few more.

I bought some Ahead 5A on a whim and decided I didn't like them after about 10 minutes. IMO, they sound absolutely terrible on both drums and cymbals and they're very top-heavy for 5As, with almost none of the weight in the back.

I found out that Vic Firth is now making a rubber-dipped American Classic line called "Vic Grip". I got a pair of 5A of those in the mail today, along with a pair of the black-painted American Classic 5A. I always found the painted or lacquered sticks much easier to grip than the plain "satin" finished ones...so we'll see.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2009, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

This looked like a pretty cool thread...great idea for a discussion I thought I would chime in too.

I've been playing for about 4-5 years and have always used Vic Firth sticks. (So how about an endorsement guys!!) :-) Here are the sticks that I've used over the years...


5A - I started out using the wood tip ones. I don't use them very often anymore; just when I'm playing a heavier/louder tune. These are actually the largest sticks in my bag...I have fairly small hands.

5A Nylon tip - These are used even less often. (Anyone want a good deal on VF 5AN sticks?) I just got them for a different sound for whenever I'm in the mood. They do sound a little brighter on cymbals; and they last forever.

7A - I wanted something smaller to help improve my speed and to facilitate getting around the kit. They worked well for this purpose. I think I tried these with a nylon tip as well...

Peter Erskine Signature - Somewhere along the way I decided the 7A was too big when I tried these sticks. Great small stick with a bead that sounds great on cymbals, but not as good as...

Peter Erskine Ride Stick - I happened upon a pair of these in a practice room at my old drum teacher's studio. They have the sweetest, dark sound on cymbals. It is now my main 'large' stick. (If you're reading this, thank you Mr. Erskine for an awesome stick!)

AJ6 - My absolute favorite stick! Some think it's too small, but it fits my hands perfectly. I love the almost effortless rebound from this stick...perfect balance. And the tip sounds AWESOME on my ride. This stick is almost like the PE Ride Stick, but much smaller. The exaggerated taper helps it rebound so easily, I believe. If you are looking for a smaller stick, check out this one.
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2009, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Has anyone tried the Steve Smith sig. model? It's supposed to be a heavy 5A, sounds right up my alley.
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  #25  
Old 02-03-2009, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Has anyone tried the Steve Smith sig. model? It's supposed to be a heavy 5A, sounds right up my alley.

I just ordered a pair. I'll tell you what I think.
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  #26  
Old 02-03-2009, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
That's all I can think of for now, though I'm sure I've tried more. What it comes down to is; I'd still be using either the Evolutions or the DeJohnettes, had VF not altered them to be heavier and changed the shape. Since then I've been looking tirelessly for a good replacement.
Vic Firth has very big variations in weight of different pairs of sticks of the same model.
Next time you go to a store, try out five or even ten different pairs of a model and you will probably find at least one pair with the weight you like.
If you don't go to stores, but order your sticks, well, tough luck.

Oh, and try the Vic Firth David Garibaldi signature, and look into Regal Tip sticks, you'll probably like the grip of their lacquer finish.
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  #27  
Old 02-03-2009, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by Fiery View Post
Vic Firth has very big variations in weight of different pairs of sticks of the same model.
Next time you go to a store, try out five or even ten different pairs of a model and you will probably find at least one pair with the weight you like.
If you don't go to stores, but order your sticks, well, tough luck.

Oh, and try the Vic Firth David Garibaldi signature, and look into Regal Tip sticks, you'll probably like the grip of their lacquer finish.
Yeah, that's why if I find a stick I like I order them in threes or more. I always find at least one pair out of the batch that isn't right. Save for a few, the models I've tried and liked aren't carried locally so I have to order to try them.

The changes I mentioned were just an inconsistency, it's like the entire line was overhauled and altered. This only happened w/ the signature sticks so perhaps it was an artist request? Who knows, it's frustrating either way.

They do carry Regal Tip at my local GC so maybe I'll try 'em out, thanks!
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  #28  
Old 02-03-2009, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Hey Vinnie

I do try as many as possible and yet I like very much the Vater Session, not too small not too big, medium oval tip with a very good distributed weight balance.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by mind_drummer View Post
Hey Vinnie

I do try as many as possible and yet I like very much the Vater Session, not too small not too big, medium oval tip with a very good distributed weight balance.
Does Vater make a stick with a non-slip grip? Their sticks are nice but the finish is way too smooth.

I picked up a pair of Danny Carry sigs and a pair of Regal Tip 5A on my lunch hour today. The saga continues! :)
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Has anyone tried the Steve Smith sig. model? It's supposed to be a heavy 5A, sounds right up my alley.
I play the Steve Smith sigs all the time. It's a tad smaller in diameter than the Weckl Evolution stick (which i play as well). Definately a more "solid" stick. The elongated tips may throw you off at first but you get use to it quickly. Not as bouncy as the evolution. Great stick for all kinds of music.
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  #31  
Old 02-03-2009, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Has anyone used the VF Steve Jordan Sigs? I was thinking of picking up a pair...
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  #32  
Old 02-03-2009, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Thanks for the tips on the Smith sig. guys. Sin - you liked the Jimbos, so I'll be interested to hear your comparison. I played the Evolutions for a long time Muckster, a little thinner than those would be nice.

king - I tried the Jordans a couple times at GC, they're nice but they're way too small in diameter for me. Very, very thin.
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  #33  
Old 02-04-2009, 06:16 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

I think I'm in love.....the Regal Tip 5A is a friggin' fanTAStic stick! Thanks for the tip on the Tips, Fiery. The weight and balance is *great*...the tip is *great*...and the lacquer is not too smooth, not too dry - just right!

I think I may have a new stick!
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  #34  
Old 02-04-2009, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

yea, i played vic firth 5a's and b's. then i decided i wanted a beefier stick. so i settled on my new pair, vic firth "metal" sticks, and oh jee these sticks are huge. fatter than 2b's an longer than 7a's, i love the feeling of power when i use these sticks. simply amazing
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  #35  
Old 02-04-2009, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
Does Vater make a stick with a non-slip grip? Their sticks are nice but the finish is way too smooth.
Yes ! they are called the "Nude series" ;-)
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  #36  
Old 02-04-2009, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
I think I'm in love.....the Regal Tip 5A is a friggin' fanTAStic stick! Thanks for the tip on the Tips, Fiery. The weight and balance is *great*...the tip is *great*...and the lacquer is not too smooth, not too dry - just right!

I think I may have a new stick!
If you hated the Vater finish, you'll hate the Regal Tip too because they have an heat agent on the finish that melt to create a sticky finish to improve the grip. You leave with messy and gummy hand.
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  #37  
Old 02-04-2009, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mind_drummer View Post
If you hated the Vater finish, you'll hate the Regal Tip too because they have an heat agent on the finish that melt to create a sticky finish to improve the grip. You leave with messy and gummy hand.
Vater has this too? The Vaters I've played are were smooth...and stayed that way, even once my hands got warm. I tried the "nude" sticks but to me, they were smoother than the satin finish on the regular sticks.

I used the RT's last night and found them exceptionally easy to grip, I think that's my favorite finish on a stick so far! I'll give it a good week before I think about using them long-term though.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:11 PM
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zambizzi zambizzi is offline
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

The drum clerk at GC told me a story yesterday - maybe someone here can confirm this. He claims that Vic Firth uses substandard wood with their painted sticks, which is why they're painted. Supposedly, that's how they get rid of the less pretty and desirable wood stock.

That struck me as odd, seeing how many of the painted and finished sticks are signature models and I doubt the big-name drummers using them would want the "B" stock wood being used in their lines. Unless of course, what artists receive as part of their endorsement deal are different sticks than what consumers are sold?

Who knows...
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by zambizzi View Post
The drum clerk at GC told me a story yesterday - maybe someone here can confirm this. He claims that Vic Firth uses substandard wood with their painted sticks, which is why they're painted. Supposedly, that's how they get rid of the less pretty and desirable wood stock.

That struck me as odd, seeing how many of the painted and finished sticks are signature models and I doubt the big-name drummers using them would want the "B" stock wood being used in their lines. Unless of course, what artists receive as part of their endorsement deal are different sticks than what consumers are sold?

Who knows...
My Gadd sig sticks with wood tips are some of the toughest sticks I own and they are paint. Every time I go to a drums store I find there's a Vic Firth box with rejected stick that didn't meet QC so I thought those substandard sticks were going there.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Sticks on the brain...

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Originally Posted by mind_drummer View Post
My Gadd sig sticks with wood tips are some of the toughest sticks I own and they are paint. Every time I go to a drums store I find there's a Vic Firth box with rejected stick that didn't meet QC so I thought those substandard sticks were going there.
Yeah it seemed strange to me too...maybe just a rumor. All the painted sticks I've used have been top-quality...just highly inconsistent.
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