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  #1  
Old 06-07-2011, 10:51 PM
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Default Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

What do you prefer and why?

For me it's maple. I love the soft feel and the tone I get on both cymbals and drums.
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2011, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

OAK! although i have to admit i've been playing the same sticks (promark oak 747) for many years now and i've really lost a sense for what other sizes and types of wood feel like.

when i switched from hickory to oak, it was because oak felt heavier than hickory sticks of the same size. i liked that feel. also at the time i was breaking a lot of sticks, and for whatever reason, i found oak sticks to whittle down slower and break less often.
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2011, 12:40 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

Hickory FTW. I drop maples too much. They're too light in weight for their size for me. I could see many folks liking them though. Oak is too heavy for me, but I'm sure they last and have great tone. My hands work best w/ hickory.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I don't think I've ever played Oak sticks. Gotta give them a try. I like the durability of Hickory but the Maples just feel right in my hands and to my ears.
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2011, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

That's all that matters.
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2011, 02:31 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

Either/or, depending on what I'm doing. Louder gigs I'll favour a hickory stick. Practice pad or kit practice at home I'll lean towards a maple stick. In my bag I have maple and hickory Fusions (basically a 5A), maple and hickory 7A's and hickory 3B's

Why? Why do I do anything....that's god's own private mystery. ;-) I'm guessing comfort, feel, durability, availability all come into play.

I used oak sticks for a year or two in the 90's, until I decided I hated them. That jarring feeling that they have really started to bother me, so I ditched them never to return.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjohn View Post
What do you prefer and why?

For me it's maple. I love the soft feel and the tone I get on both cymbals and drums.
Me too. I also like that I can get a fatter stick in my hand that still feels light.
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  #8  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:25 AM
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ecpietscheck ecpietscheck is offline
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

i prefer maple
the sound is purer, so is the whole feel of it
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  #9  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:37 AM
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Coldhardsteel Coldhardsteel is offline
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I use Vic Firth 7A American Heritage. They feel amazing, and they have an airy tone on cymbals and draw the sound out of a drum instead of forcing it out. Hickory is far too dense for the sound I was looking for. Durability is a non-factor, but I like to believe that Maple chips instead of splintering, giving it a slightly longer life.
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  #10  
Old 06-17-2011, 03:04 PM
Librarian Drummer Librarian Drummer is offline
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I love both.
Hickory for his resistance, weight/balance in the 5A size, and shock absorbance.
I also love maple for playing and feeling the 2B size with the 5A weight (2B sticks made of hickory or oak are to heavy or loud for me).
I generally use a big maple stick for practicing on the pad and more thin hickory for playing.
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  #11  
Old 06-18-2011, 05:09 AM
eamesuser eamesuser is offline
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I keep a few pairs of Oak sticks around,1 pair in my stick bag, because they are tough especially the tips .They are heavy though maybe I will try a 7 A smaller than a 5 A next time.If I play to long with them,or have to play someone else's kit they seem to contribute to hand fatigue.I also like the way they sound on cymbals,and I have used three different shaped wood tips.I find maple sticks to be fast,and I like that you can play something as big as a 2b but the weight is like a light hickory 5 b,but they break on me,I tried some maple sticks with a thick sort taper,they were sturdy and still were fast but hated the sound on cymbals.I then found a chinese brand called on stage that was a 2 B with a nylon tip,and liked them,still had a nice blend like wood tips for single stoke and buzz rolls but I still broke them pretty quickly.If I could find a maple model with a sturdy taper and a nylon tip I would use them.I still use hickory mostly because they are durable,most of the tip shapes sound good on cymbals to me,good shock absorption,and they have just a tiny bit of give that suits my playing.
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  #12  
Old 06-18-2011, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

My Vic Firth 5A's and Vater Los Angeles' are hickory - love those. But I have some Oak Pro Mark Billy Cobhams that just feel great. I just recently got back into marching sticks with Vic Firth MS4's, and I have no idea what those are (I think hickory too?), but they're heavy and feel great. I've never played maple sticks, oddly enough.
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  #13  
Old 06-18-2011, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

The tip is as big a factor in the sound of a stick as the composition. I prefer Maple because I like the lighter weight. Also, the tips seem to hold up better. I have large hands and I usually use a 5B. My favorites are Regal but I understand they are being discontinued. I like the large tip and the weight. I just bought 9 pr. so I will have sticks till I find another brand. I have been experimenting with Brendt (think that's right - don't have them in front of me) and they seem pretty good but haven't found them in a size I like yet.

PS, Bo, it's time to change your avatar. We are getting used to this one.
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  #14  
Old 06-18-2011, 07:26 AM
DumDrum DumDrum is offline
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

My absolute favorite sticks to play are the Vic Firth SD-9 Drivers or the SD-10 Swingers... they just feel perfectly balanced to me and they feel big and solid in my hand, yet are light and fast... and rim clicks sound great with them to my ear.. the only problem is that they are not very durable at all... one pair will last me 2 or 3 gigs at the most... i notice that the tips are the things that start cracking first and then where I hit rim-shots it starts pitting up there and eventually breaking.... yet I always see people say "maple sticks chip instead of splintering, so they last longer".... I also use Vater Fusions in the hickory and they last much longer, yet are a much thinner stick.. am i doing something wrong? Does anyone have any suggestions on a stick that feels like the SD-9 or 10 that might be more durable?
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2011, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I have pairs of each. I like 'em both. Hickory gives to a more confident feel to the touch, and really draws the sound out of the cymbals and drums. Maple is like a drunk hickory, in the sense that it gets the job done, but the sound is less defined. I love the sound of maple sticks on my higher-tuned drums, but I am a hickory guy when it comes to expressing myself on the cymbals. I get a wider palette of sounds.
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2011, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I prefer hickory; hickory just feel right to me. Maple feels too light, and oak feels too heavy. Peace and goodwill.
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2011, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I love the feel of maples, because my hands like a fat stick but not a heavy stick. However, I broke them so fast I finally gave up on them. Now I use a hickory, generally in the 5B size range. That seems to be the best compromise. Oak just hurts my hands.
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2011, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

Me I love my vater la 5a's. I buy the four packs from guitar center and that lasts me about 2 or 2 1/2 months. In fact I'm going today to buy a pack of wood tipped ones as well as a pack of nylons. I use nylons for practice and wood for gigs because with the amount I practice (2-3 hours a day) the wood ones do not last very long haha I can get about a weeks worth of practice out of the woods before the tips chip off. I also go and buy eastons all sports grip and take the roll cut it in half, and put half of the roll on each stck. It gives you amazing grip and allows you to play faster to.
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2011, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

Take a look in the parking lot. See all the different brands and colors of cars? To each his or her own.
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2011, 06:35 PM
simmsdn simmsdn is offline
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

Having recently toured the Louisville Slugger factory, the tour guide (who makes bats for Major Leaguers) highly recommends against maple bats because when they break, they splinter and send shrapnel everywhere. Ash, Hickory, and Oak are clean breaking woods.

I do have some Sugar Maple Vater Fusions that I really enjoy, but mostly just use them on the practice pad. I grew tired of cleaning up wood shavings years ago and have been playing Ahead sticks for about 15 years, currently 7As (I started with 2B...then 5B, now 7A).
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  #21  
Old 06-24-2011, 06:43 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I used to use oak sticks for their durability, but they tended to fly out of my hands the very moment any sweat appeared. I seem to be able to grip hickory sticks a lot better. Hickory sticks have come a long way since the 60's & 70's. During that period, I used Ludwig hickory sticks - WAAAAAHH !! Sometimes I would break one with the first strike !!
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  #22  
Old 06-24-2011, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

Quote:
Originally Posted by simmsdn View Post
Having recently toured the Louisville Slugger factory, the tour guide (who makes bats for Major Leaguers) highly recommends against maple bats because when they break, they splinter and send shrapnel everywhere. Ash, Hickory, and Oak are clean breaking woods.
You bat a lot of tomatoes and and beer cans back into the audience, do you? Remind me not to play those venues.
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  #23  
Old 06-24-2011, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Sticks: Maple or Hickory?

I wouldn't be able to tell you the type of wood in most of the sticks I use. I do know for sure that one of my favorites is Zildjian's Heavy Jazz sticks and they're made from laminated birch. I wear the shoulders down on these sticks, but I never broke one.

Other manufacturers I use or used are Hornet, Vic Firth, Vater and Pro Mark. All mostly in a 7A or 5A.

Dennis
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