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  #1  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:41 AM
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Default Nylon vs. Wood tip

As a new drummer I've used exclusively wood tip sticks up until now. I usually go with the Vic Firth 5A's. (Started with a 5 B and found they were a little bigger and heavier than I felt comfortable with.)

I went to my local music store the other day to buy a new set and looked at the nylon tip but just wasn't sure what the difference was. Is it just a sound preference or is there an advantage to one over the other?

Just curious. Thanks!
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Nylon tips are much brighter. Personally, it's not a sound I care for. I find them excessively harsh, but thousands disagree with me. Many also state that they provide more tip durability. Again, it's not been my experience. The things always seemed to split and fly off long before a wooden tip has the time to wear down. One flew off and hit me in the eye many years ago and I parted company with nylon tips straight after that.

Grab a pair, see if you like them.
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Old 06-28-2011, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Nylon lasts a lot longer (at least in my experience) since wood has a tendency to chip away at the tip. But nylon also sounds really bright on the ride cymbal which a lot of drummers aren't too keen on, including me. I'd rather buy new sticks when the tips wear down than to hear that high, harsh DING! DING! DING! when I'm trying to get in touch with my inner smooth guy.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I used nylon or plastic tipped sticks back in the sixties and only for durability. However, at the time the technology was lacking. I have been playing Regal Tip brand for the last 5 years and have had not one malfunction. If you like the sound, try some Regal Tips and see what you think. Remember that if your hihat is at a severe height, you will saw sticks off long before your tips start to wear. Try to lower your hats some to prevent this.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:06 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Well, we all have out stories and reasons.

I like nylon better but I almost wish there was an inbetween.

Nylon is a bit bright and pingy, which I like, but it can be a bit much when youre trying to play something with a little more warmth.

I cant do wood most of the time (I will use them on some mellower tunes though) because to me they sound like peck peck peck on my ride when I want a ping ping ping.

I can count on one hand how many times a tip has came off of my sticks. Its just a non issue for me.
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Old 06-28-2011, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

In my experience nylon sticks are at least 5 fold more durable than wood. I dig the sound of wood more, but I can't afford to go through that many vic firths. Though it's probably because I'm a fairly hard hitter and my ride is at an almost vertical angle. But then again i play with the shoulder on the ride a whole lot. I just haven't had good experience with wood tips. The longest I have had a wood tip is 4 weeks tops. The most durable nylon tips I have found are on the Vic Firth hickory sticks that I currently use. They rock!
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

A lot of it depends on the cymbals. I like nylons personally, but I play an A Custom Ping Ride, which is incredibly bright and loud with nylon tips.
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Old 06-28-2011, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I like them both (wood & nylon) tips. But I mainly play the 24" Giant Beat Ride with wood tips!
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2011, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Williams View Post
But I mainly play the 24" Giant Beat Ride with wood tips!
It would be a sacrilege to ruin the sonic qualities of that beautiful cymbal by laying a nylon tip on it, Ian.

In fact, mine came with a "wooden tips only" instruction....didn't yours? :-)
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Nylon is a superior tip for durability. And like Homey says, tips coming off is a non issue. I think I had 1 nylon tip come off on me in the 70's. Sound is a personal preference. I don't think the audience would notice much between wood and nylon.

Funny you should mention this thread Mary...I've been playing wood tips for 8 years now but I might switch to nylon for a spell to see how I like them lately.
I recently got my first Agop (ride)Turkish cymbal, and that cymbal needs a nylon tip to be able to hear any iota of a ping. So I tried them on my others, and just might gig a set next time. Wood tips do chip fast. They make a nylon tip that has ribs to mellow the sound. They might be worth checking out.
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  #11  
Old 06-28-2011, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Regal Tips have a ribbed tip which does mellow it out some and why I use them. I have a bunch of new solid nylon tipped sticks here waiting for my grandsons.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I wasnt that lucky Pocket! ;-) but I went through the Giant Beat background carefully!

...and it states - Nylon tips: Forbidden!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
It would be a sacrilege to ruin the sonic qualities of that beautiful cymbal by laying a nylon tip on it, Ian.

In fact, mine came with a "wooden tips only" instruction....didn't yours? :-)
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Someone, I forget, sorry, makes aluminum tips and felt covered tips.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Thanks everyone. Sounds as if wood tips are going to be the way to go for me for the most part. But will definitely have to give nylons a try just to hear the difference.
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Old 06-28-2011, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Yes! try both and get the - feeling - on drums & cymbals.

Some cymbals are more "woody stick sound" as the Giant Beat - if you are arranging to get a 24" lovely ride!!!
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  #16  
Old 06-28-2011, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Nylon tips...
ewww
aggghhh

Nylon tips on heads..
aaaaaaggghhhhhh
*shrugs*

Nylon tips on ride cymbals..
ohhhhh please stop!! :(

Been playing for almost ten years, had only one or two pairs of nylon tip sticks when I was starting.. never liked them.

But.. as everything in drumming, it's a personal choice. Buy a pair and see for yourself. :)

Cheers.
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  #17  
Old 06-28-2011, 06:10 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

It's good to have both, especially if you're switching up your ride cymbal every once in a while. I like a wood tip on my A Ping ride and nylons on my drier darker K Custom.
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  #18  
Old 06-28-2011, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I was never keen on the harshness of the nylon sound. Still, as Larry said, I doubt it's obvious to listeners.

I used nylon tips for a while in the 80s for durability. Since I was playing in a loud band and hitting very hard it was not much of an issue. When the band was extra loud and the foldback weak I'd play with the butt end of both sticks - and no one noticed the racket I made when playing the ride, so tip choice was hardly going to matter.

Unless it's a stylistic choice like DMC's I think wood is a far better option if you do a lot of low volume playing. Much more mellow and tasty IMO
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  #19  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I started out years ago using what my dad used, wooden tips. Then sometime in the seventies I started using nylon because I thought they sounded better, especially on cymbals. Well now I'm back using wooden tips 100% of the time. I like the slightly mellower tones that you get with wooden, although depending on the type of wood and tip of the stick, this sound can vary a bit. When I'm purchasing cymbals, I make sure to use the same sticks I play with to audition the cymbals.

Dennis
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  #20  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I used to mess about with both but only play wood tip these days. I sometimes get chips on the tips of my Vic Firths (5A and 5B) after a while but the Pro-Mark 5B sticks I've tried recently seem to hold up very well (I prefer the less laquered feel of these sticks at the moment for some reason, especially for live playing when hands can get a little bit sweaty and stick too much to the laquer).
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  #21  
Old 06-28-2011, 12:35 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

My stickbag has a mixture of both.

It also contains about 5 sets with the tips completely broken off and like Pollyanna, I often play with these sticks using the butt end.
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  #22  
Old 06-28-2011, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I usually use nylons just for practice because I can't afford to go through woods like candy, which I usually do. I can get a wood stick to last me about 2-3 weeks. I still havent broken my nylons, and Ive had them a week now so so far so good. The sound of the tips doesn't really bother me because I don't really like my ride and I'm going to get a new one, but it already sounded weird(very dark and earthy) so whats the difference. And I just use them for practice. So really whether I like the sound or not, nobody else has to hear it. But long story short I use nylons for practice and am considering using them all around because I really like the ping it gives
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  #23  
Old 06-28-2011, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

its really about a combination of the stick and cymbal (or head) and finding a combination that works with you.

as a newb myself, i have gone through a few sticks in the past 4 years (ive broken Marching Band sticks). ive never liked wooden tips or even wooden sticks, but i found that the shape of the bead, as well as whether nylon or wood is a factor.

i never thought that wood would ping like i want it to, but i found that some wood sticks ping better than nylon tips. anything is possible.

however, now that ive found my Ahead Studio Hybrid ABs all my problems are solved as far as sticks are concerned. i do however tape up the butt end of the stick with electrical tape.

your kit is a system with components...you will find out what works for

a) your sound
b) your technique
c) your cymbal
d) your heads
e) other : )

happy thumping.
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Old 06-28-2011, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

here's a great video that goes through a few different tips.

Vater Artist Mike Johnston Tip Selection
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Old 06-28-2011, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
here's a great video that goes through a few different tips.

Vater Artist Mike Johnston Tip Selection
cool !!!!!

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Old 06-28-2011, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Wooden tips are the only serious choice.

Not feeling particularly diplomatic today,
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  #27  
Old 06-28-2011, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyger View Post
here's a great video that goes through a few different tips.

Vater Artist Mike Johnston Tip Selection
Thats an interesting video
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Old 06-28-2011, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Thanks for the link to the video. The difference actually was a little more subtle than I imagained, at least in this demonstration, but that does help.
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  #29  
Old 06-28-2011, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
Wooden tips are the only serious choice.

Not feeling particularly diplomatic today,
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I'm a little grouchy too. ;)
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  #30  
Old 07-02-2011, 01:05 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I like nylon tips but I haven't used them in forever because the tips keep flying off the stick. Are there any brands that don’t do this?


And thanks for that mike johnston vid. The "Teardrop" tip sounded bright like nylon, but had a very beefy sound to it. "Acorn" sounded warmer, with alot of body to it. Now if only there was a hybid...
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  #31  
Old 07-02-2011, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I much prefer wood tips because to me they sound better. However, due to a change in finaces (my wife retired), I went with nylon tipped because they last much longer. But I found a solution: Pulse drumsticks at Musician's Friend. They are Vater seconds. Vater rejects any stick with color variation, which does not bother me at all. The other musicians I play with said they like how the Pulse sticks look. They may say "Pulse", but they came from the Vater factory. I am on the second pair, and so far they last as long as any other wood-tipped stick I have ever used. At six pairs for twenty bucks, I can afford to use wood tips again. Peace and goodwill.
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  #32  
Old 07-02-2011, 02:46 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

[quote=cobamnator;861380]I like nylon tips but I haven't used them in forever because the tips keep flying off the stick. Are there any brands that dont do this?


QUOTE]

I have used nylon sticks for 15 years and found that Pro-Mark makes some pretty durable ones...I found that Vic Firth and Zildjian sticks had the 'tip flying off' problems like crazy, at least in my experience.
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  #33  
Old 07-02-2011, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I wear down the shoulder of the stick before the tips wear out, so I choose based on sound rather than durability of the tip. For me, that's generally a wood tip.
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Old 07-02-2011, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by cobamnator View Post
I like nylon tips but I haven't used them in forever because the tips keep flying off the stick. Are there any brands that dont do this?
I had that problem with Vic Firth, but I got Vaters and have not had one fly off yet. I would get some of the Vaters at Guitar Center and see how you like them
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
I wear down the shoulder of the stick before the tips wear out, so I choose based on sound rather than durability of the tip. For me, that's generally a wood tip.
I do the same. Some of the shoulders on my sticks look as if a beaver was chomping on them.

Dennis
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  #36  
Old 07-03-2011, 05:54 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumolator View Post
Pulse drumsticks at Musician's Friend. They are Vater seconds. Vater rejects any stick with color variation, which does not bother me at all.
They also reject Crooked sticks..........................so............

Last edited by cobamnator; 07-12-2011 at 05:42 AM.
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  #37  
Old 07-11-2011, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Someone, I forget, sorry, makes aluminum tips and felt covered tips.
Vic firth do. I had a play with some of the aluminum ones in a store and the sounded disgusting. I think they are mostly marketed at young inexperienced drummers to seem cool and extra hard wearing. That or anyone who wants a ridiculously bright sound :)
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  #38  
Old 12-20-2011, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

Hey, sorry for the bump, but I now use nylon tips exclusively for everything. I really love the ping you get from them, and I like how durable they are. So far the Vaters and Promarks have been the toughest sticks I've used, holding up to all the abuse I put them through
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  #39  
Old 12-20-2011, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

I prefer wooden tips, nicer sound in my opinion, but yeah try them out i guess...
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  #40  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: Nylon vs. Wood tip

OK so I haven't seen one post in this thread addressing the application of clear nail polish to your wood tips for longevity purposes. Anybody do this? I've never done it. Don't really feel the need..I will have played 90 total gigs this year and I think that I used a total of 3 pair, 1 of which I am still wearing down. Wood tips. The nylon tip sounds different to the player, but I don't think it really matters 10 feet away.
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