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  #1  
Old 03-25-2011, 12:33 AM
3rd Wheel 3rd Wheel is offline
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Default My stick review - just my opinion

Pro-Mark - Very inconsistent stick. 5A's and 5B's in both Natural and Lacquered finishes were badly warped. I found warped sticks at a GC in Sacramento, from a GC in El Cerrito and Starving Musician in Berkeley. Most models I tried in Sig.Series were badly warped also. I do not foresee myself buying Pro-Mark again as the quality is horrible due to such bad and so many warped sticks, very untrustworthy.

Vic Firth - Great feeling stick in terms of finish. Major problem is with weight and tips. Very brittle stick, tips chip off within hours of playing leaving a well bodied stick useless and uneven. For a hickory stick, they are very lite due to Vic Firth's drying process. Shoulders of sticks are too thin for my taste. Would probably try the HD9's before finally moving on completely. However, the HD9 is .5 diameters bigger than the Vater 5B, which makes trying the HD9 a bit silly in my opinion when I can play the Vater 5B, which has a tip I prefer more over the Vic Firth HD9.

Vater - I love the 4-packs available! Great price and the sticks are very durable. I enjoy playing both the nylon and wood tip versions of the 5A and 5B stick. The Vater stick grip tape is very comfortable. I'm noticing after awhile the 5A's feel too light once they get worn a bit, but still a great feeling stick. The 5B's at times seem too heavy, but the attack is off the hook! I get a great, full bodied sound from the drums, nice tone from the ride and my crashes seem to sound better. I love the tip on the 5B's! I also feel like the weight of the 5B's helps big time with fatigue(especially after a 3 1.5 hour sets playing Rock). I think if I get tired the weight reduces fatigue enabling me to lay into the back beat and get a fat sound with out hitting too hard.

Overall it seems Vater is my stick of choice. No need to worry about warpage, they are highly durable well bodied sticks, and you can find what you're looking for at any GC or local drum shop. The 5A's and 5B's suit my playing incredibly well, whether it's Rock,Funk or World music, I can rely on my Vaters to help me get the job done!
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2011, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I've been using the 5a Vaters for a while now and i find them more durable than the VF's. I'm a hard hitter and I would shred the VF's pretty quickly.

I like the Power 5A's Vaters also, I really wish they offered those in the 4 packs.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2011, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I would have to disagree on that, I used to always play Vater 5a sticks, but then I went through 2 pairs in about a month, as soon as i started playing they chipped and wore down incredibly fast, so I tried a Vic Firth 5a pair, and they felt sooooo much nicer, they had a nicer weight and just felt better.

I recently thought I'd try some 5b sticks so bought some Vic Firths and they seem to be holding up well, they are a little bit heavy though but thats probably because I'm used to 5a sticks. I dont think I'll be going back to Vater any time soon

Cheers
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2011, 04:11 PM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Never owned a bad pair of Vater sticks. I've played all the major brands and I'm currently on a pair of Pro Marks (Elvin Jones model, I like these a lot) and have found Vic Firth to be very spotty since about 2005, so I haven't really bought a pair of those in a couple of years.

Regal Tips and I seem to get on quite well too, but I'll happily play with nearly anything.
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2011, 05:40 PM
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daredrummer daredrummer is offline
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I never liked vater... The sticks always felt heavy to me, even the 7A's.

For my rock sticks I use Regal Tip, for my funk/latin sticks I use Vic Firth, and for my jazz sticks I use pro mark.
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2011, 05:43 PM
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IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Interesting. I guess with sticks, the YYMV caveat is alive and well. I've heard more than one person mention Pro-Mark's inconsistency and tendency to warp, but I've been using them for years without issue, except for one pair of hickory 747s years ago that were extremely light.

These days I order the Benny Greb model in bulk and have no probs. Obviously people have different experiences with different makers.

But, like MFB, I can pretty much deal with any stick if the need arises. I played on another fellows kit once and he had Zildjian sticks that had warped like bananas. To be honest, it didn't really affect my playing.

Last edited by IDDrummer; 03-26-2011 at 06:22 PM. Reason: left out a word
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2011, 05:47 PM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Maybe in the UK we get the good Pro Marks and the bad Vic Firths?

On Pro Mark's heavier sticks, I usually find the balance to be a little further forward than I like - but I've never had a bad pair of sticks from them.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2011, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I love the Vater 5B's. Hated them at first, but once you get used to the weight/feel of them they're great. I currently have a pair of pro-marks as well, they're 747's or something(?). Supposed to be 5A's but longer. Can't stand the extra length, just seems to throw me off a lot with stick clicks and what not.
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2011, 07:22 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
On Pro Mark's heavier sticks, I usually find the balance to be a little further forward than I like
This echos my sentiments too. I'm a VF guy, but will try Vaters if they aren't too forward weighted like the ProMarks.
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2011, 07:24 PM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
This echos my sentiments too. I'm a VF guy, but will try Vaters if they aren't too forward weighted like the ProMarks.
Vaters have always been fairly neutrally balanced as far as I can tell.
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2011, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

My experience with the Big 3 stick makers is very similar to 3rd Wheel. I really like the Pro-Mark 5B hickory, but finding 2-3 pairs that aren't severely warped at any of the drum shops I frequent is about as easy these days as finding Bigfoot! The last Pro-Marks I bought were in a 4-pack at my local GC. I went home, opened the pack...and discovered that 5 out of the 8 sticks had some wobble when rolled, and 1 in particular was so badly warped that it probably would come back to me if I threw it, like a boomerang. I'm really hoping that Evans can clean this up when they take over the company. I like the Pro-Mark 5B as my gigging stick BECAUSE it is front heavy. Its not a huge stick, still pretty light and easy to play, but the balance point just seems to make it easier to play powerfully, which is what I need to do with my band. If I'm just practicing at home, I like something with a more neutral balance. I'm going to try the Vater 5B again as a replacement for the Pro-Marks. I've tried Vater in the past, and was always impressed with the quality of their sticks, but they often seemed a bit too heavy and clunky. Maybe I need to give it a little more time to get used to them. Sorry for the long winded post, but I find it frustrating, with all of the fantastic drums and cymbals being made these days, how hard it can be to find a consistent and reliable stick.
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  #12  
Old 03-26-2011, 09:49 PM
TennesseeDrummer TennesseeDrummer is offline
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I like the ahead 7a sticks, very veristile. not need in real worry about breaking, as they are solid aluminum with a sleeve over it and you can change the tips to what ever you want. they are balanced extremely well and no warpage or bends on any pair i have picked up. very very consistent sticks.
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2011, 10:04 PM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TennesseeDrummer View Post
I like the ahead 7a sticks, very veristile. not need in real worry about breaking, as they are solid aluminum with a sleeve over it and you can change the tips to what ever you want. they are balanced extremely well and no warpage or bends on any pair i have picked up. very very consistent sticks.
See, I actually own a pair of Ahead 5Bs. I got them for Christmas from my parents when I was 14. I actually quite like them, but I wouldn't say that they're versatile because of the inherent properties of the stick. Nylon tips, aluminium cores and handles. That cancels out a lot of the subtleties of playing already - cross sticking, rimshots (potentially) and that touch you get with wooden tips. The same is true of any ahead stick.

But that's not to say I think they're bad; I actually quite like them. I just don't think they're versatile. Although they are certainly consistent.
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2011, 10:18 PM
TennesseeDrummer TennesseeDrummer is offline
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

i've had good luck with different styles on them, maybe just the way i play. but i've run them from country to rock and had no issues with the tones or cross sticking and rimshots. the only thing i've found they aren't very useful for is jazz.
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  #15  
Old 03-31-2011, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Well, my wife was nice enough to pick up a pair of Vater 5B's for me. Just like my past experiences with Vater, the sticks are straight, nice grain pattern, nice finish, obviously well made...and yet again, incredibly heavy for a pair of 5B's. My wife is also a drummer, by the way, but she plays 5A's, so 5B's always feel heavy to her. I understand Vater sticks have a higher moisture content for durability, but I'd rather play a stick that is somewhat less durable than play a stronger stick that feels like a club. In 25 years of drumming, I've never felt sticks so heavy for their size from any other manufacturer. Anyone else with a similar Vater stick experience?
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  #16  
Old 03-31-2011, 02:53 PM
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Bonzo_CR Bonzo_CR is offline
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Gish, I had exactly the same experience (although with 5A's). I found the Vater 5A to be heavier than the Zildjian 5A which I use. I could believe the Vaters last longer, but I just prefer the feel of the Zils.
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  #17  
Old 06-24-2011, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

http://richodrums.blogspot.com/

Got a new pair of Ahead's Speed Metal sticks today. Just created the review blog, and also where I put my opinions around them. They are very good, way better than the Lars Ulrich signature sticks from Ahead I used before.
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  #18  
Old 06-25-2011, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Vater seems to be the stick that I've seen the most warping in over the years out of the sticks I've bought. They seem somewhat inconsistent. I've never found a Vic Firth or Zildjian stick that I've liked. That's why I keep buying Pro-Mark 707s. Great stick, durable, no issues at all. I've also started using the Pro-Mark 5A Pro Round with a slightly smaller shoulder and tip for a bit of lighter playing. It's great because it has pretty much the same length and size of the 707 so the feel is the same just with a slightly lighter touch.

And yes, I have noticed that Vater sticks seem to be a bit heavy for their sizing.
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  #19  
Old 06-25-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I've been playing Vater 5A's for about 4 months now and I really like them. Once you get used to them(the extra weight because of extra moisture) they are great. And they are also very durable.
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  #20  
Old 06-25-2011, 08:21 PM
crucifixdrums crucifixdrums is offline
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Maybe in the UK we get the good Pro Marks and the bad Vic Firths?
I'd agree with that. I've never had a bad pair of Pro Marks.
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  #21  
Old 07-30-2011, 12:10 PM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I re-discovered my love for Vic Firth 7A sticks a few weeks ago and I've bought a couple of pairs.

Well, it would seem that Vic Firth have addressed the quality control concerns I had. Years ago I got a lot of bad Vic Firth sticks, but although these are a little softer now than the best I've had from them (which I bought in about 2003) they're much better than they have been.

I really did have an issue with Vic Firth for a long time because I loved the feel but hated the fact that they all seemed to disintegrate. Put me off for a long time and I've only just come back to the idea of playing them again.
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  #22  
Old 07-30-2011, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Picked up a brick of Silver Fox 1A's a couple of months ago, about the same time as my playing went on a "suck" curve! Don't think it's the stick's fault though.

Seriously, I love the length (long, 16.75") & the balance. Certainly last longer than the VF X5A's I've been playing for the last three years. A bit lighter than the VF's, but more durable. I'll be buying more of these.
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  #23  
Old 11-05-2011, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

It's funny, pro mark has always been my go-to stick. I've never had a bad pair. I started playing with the Elvin Jones signature models, and played them until they broke. Nowadays, I use the nylon tip 5As in either Hikory or Shira Kashi Oak. The Shira Kashis stay by my set so I always have good sticks there, and the 5As stay in my bag to go to gigs. I've had many Vic Firth's, and they're great sticks, but I'm just a pro-mark guy. Vater's on the other hand, I've never really liked. That extra moisture content that makes them heavier just doesn't suit me.
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  #24  
Old 11-05-2011, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rd Wheel View Post
Vic Firth - Great feeling stick in terms of finish. Major problem is with weight and tips. Very brittle stick, tips chip off within hours of playing leaving a well bodied stick useless and uneven. For a hickory stick, they are very lite due to Vic Firth's drying process. Shoulders of sticks are too thin for my taste. Would probably try the HD9's before finally moving on completely. However, the HD9 is .5 diameters bigger than the Vater 5B, which makes trying the HD9 a bit silly in my opinion when I can play the Vater 5B, which has a tip I prefer more over the Vic Firth HD9.
Just thought you should know that Vic firth guarantees their nylon tip, if they come off or break they will replace it, I only lost one in 12 years of using Vic Firth sticks and the stick was just about worn thru from hi-hat use and they still gave me a new pair.
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2011, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I agree generally with the OP comments. I have only really used Vic Firth and Vater. If you need something inbetween 5A and 5B the fusions are a good option. I have graduated from 7A to 5A to Fusion. One day I'll be a 5B but not yet. So far I'm happy with both Vic and Vater. My sticks last a long time. It's only cross-sticking that destroys my sticks.

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  #26  
Old 11-25-2011, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

For about 3 years I was using the Vater Sugar Maple Super Jazz stick. I loved the length of the stick and the types of venues I was playing called for a lighter stick. Then I realized I was using a very light stick and my control was suffering so I went back to a heavier stick like the 5 a or b model. I got the Vic Firth 85a wood tip but soon found the wood tip cracks way too easy

This sounds crazy, but I recently picked up a 10 pack of Sound Percussion - off brand - 5a's in wooden tip that I like. A bit shorter but the bead of the stick is thicker than most. For $10.00. Not a bad deal.

I'm continually searching for a stick that "feels right" and doesn't cost a fortune.

But I do love the Vaters.
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  #27  
Old 11-26-2011, 01:21 AM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I really like Vater drumsticks. I usually buy "seconds", sticks Vater rejects for cosmetic reasons. I most often use a 5A, but I prefer the H220. Peace and goodwill.
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  #28  
Old 12-05-2011, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by TennesseeDrummer View Post
I like the ahead 7a sticks, very veristile. not need in real worry about breaking, as they are solid aluminum with a sleeve over it and you can change the tips to what ever you want. they are balanced extremely well and no warpage or bends on any pair i have picked up. very very consistent sticks.
I have some Ahead 7A's also, great...just wish they were a 1/2 inch longer.
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  #29  
Old 12-05-2011, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

I'm just getting into Vater now, and i love the Nude series, but I'm being cautious. The first pair I bought broke way too quickly, and I suspect it was defective. I have a few pairs of 5B and the one pair of 5A that is wayyyy too heavy. They feel more heavy than the 5B's even, and I plan to try out the Fusion size next time I need sticks, but I'm really gonna inspect them this time.
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  #30  
Old 12-08-2011, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: My stick review - just my opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Maybe in the UK we get the good Pro Marks and the bad Vic Firths?

On Pro Mark's heavier sticks, I usually find the balance to be a little further forward than I like - but I've never had a bad pair of sticks from them.
+1

I've never played with a pair of VFs that I've been happy with. Pro Mark all the way.
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