Little correlation between stick type (2A, 9A etc.) and weight...?

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
AHEAD sticks, sound interesting but about 5x the price of others. Are they THAT good ? :unsure:
I did look at their website and they do at least give the weight & dimensions of all their sticks. It would be good to be able to sort the range of sticks by what thing you're interested in (e.g. weight) rather having to than click on every single stick to find the best match. Better still, in rose tinted spec drumming utopia land I'd like to see sticks listed by other manufacturers too to compare.

Before realising that the stick number is meaningless, I ordered a pair of "9A" sticks thinking that I'd have something resembling the weight of a straw to play drums with which could be interesting to try. These are the heaviest sticks I have so far!

DrumStickPorn:
View attachment 93847
Here's what I'm mostly playing with in weight order at the moment;
Stag 7A - very low weight, maple, tips are leaving my kit looking like a saw mill (chippings all over the place, can't see them lasting much longer but I'd like to get a similar weight pair before these are done).
Custom 5A - came free with something, maple.
Nova 7A - one of my trial pairs I've been trying for variety, oak I think.
Tama 7A - a present, these are Japanese oak.
Road 9A - I think these are maple but they feel like scaffolding poles they're so heavy. I use them sometimes anyway, again just to see how it affects my playing.

Oh, the contest is over !!! You have to use the ones with the flames !!!!!!!!! LOL

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planoranger

Junior Member
My hands are very dry. Some drumsticks, the one's with very little clear coating, tend to slip out of my hands. So I use coated sticks. Or I clear coat them with glossy clear spray. At one time I tried that drumstick wax and some other sticky stuff. It did not work for me. I discovered that the drumsticks are constantly rotating and moving around in my hands. And the sticky stuff kept that from happening.
My hands are kind of dry too. A guitarist clued me in to a little tip. He told me to wash my hands in warm water before playing. The original point of this was we were talking about how to warm up before a gig. Washing your hands in warm water gets blood flowing to your hands/fingers. Not only does it work in that regard, I found that leaving my hands a little damp helps "tame the sticks" until the lacquer heats up. From then on I have no problems. I just have to remember to wash my hands before returning from breaks/intermission. It's second nature to me now, so that's not a problem. I don't use any "additive" on my sticks...never thought of it until you mentioned it.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
I'm so glad the days or grabbing a handful of sticks from a bin and picking out a pair then rolling them on the music store counter are over. QC has improved dramatically over the years and I'd attribute that mainly to Vic Firth himself.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
AHEAD sticks, sound interesting but about 5x the price of others. Are they THAT good ? :unsure:
I did look at their website and they do at least give the weight & dimensions of all their sticks. It would be good to be able to sort the range of sticks by what thing you're interested in (e.g. weight) rather having to than click on every single stick to find the best match. Better still, in rose tinted spec drumming utopia land I'd like to see sticks listed by other manufacturers too to compare.

Before realising that the stick number is meaningless, I ordered a pair of "9A" sticks thinking that I'd have something resembling the weight of a straw to play drums with which could be interesting to try. These are the heaviest sticks I have so far!

DrumStickPorn:
View attachment 93847
Here's what I'm mostly playing with in weight order at the moment;
Stag 7A - very low weight, maple, tips are leaving my kit looking like a saw mill (chippings all over the place, can't see them lasting much longer but I'd like to get a similar weight pair before these are done).
Custom 5A - came free with something, maple.
Nova 7A - one of my trial pairs I've been trying for variety, oak I think.
Tama 7A - a present, these are Japanese oak.
Road 9A - I think these are maple but they feel like scaffolding poles they're so heavy. I use them sometimes anyway, again just to see how it affects my playing.
Yes, AHEAD sticks do cost more, but they last forever, at least in my case. Some players break them. I never have. One pair holds up six months or longer in my experience, and I drum five days a week. Another benefit: You don't have to clean up wood shavings. AHEAD is synonymous with tidiness.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
If you're new to drumming, here's something you should know about oak sticks: Because they're denser and more durable than hickory, they're also less flexible. As a result, more shock is transmitted to your hands and wrists with each stroke. I never recommend oak for beginners, as excellent technique is compulsory if injury is to be avoided. You might consider sticking (pun intended) with hickory during your formative phase as a drummer.
I wish I could find the article. The grain of oak is much larger and different vascularly than maple and hickory. Oak is also softer than hickory and maple. These two things are the biggest factors as to why oak sucks as a drumstick. It transfers vibrations all wonky like, and just sort of explodes when it fails.

The article is on here somewhere. Similar discussion, years ago, in a platform far far away...
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I wish I could find the article. The grain of oak is much larger and different vascularly than maple and hickory. Oak is also softer than hickory and maple. These two things are the biggest factors as to why oak sucks as a drumstick. It transfers vibrations all wonky like, and just sort of explodes when it fails.

The article is on here somewhere. Similar discussion, years ago, in a platform far far away...
I tried a few Promark oak models a long time ago (I'm talking thirty years ago or so) and never latched on to their feel. They seemed void of feel, in fact -- all vibration with very little flex. Some drummers love them, though. Neil Peart's signature Promark stick is oak. He must have discovered something appealing about that species. I just can't relate to his tastes, I guess.
 

gish

Senior Member
Yes, AHEAD sticks do cost more, but they last forever, at least in my case. Some players break them. I never have. One pair holds up six months or longer in my experience, and I drum five days a week. Another benefit: You don't have to clean up wood shavings. AHEAD is synonymous with tidiness.
One thing I’ve noticed about Ahead sticks; I don’t believe the price has ever increased since they were introduced. I bought a pair in the mid 90’s out of curiosity, and I swear I paid $30. They’re still $30, right? How are they pulling that off I wonder?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
One thing I’ve noticed about Ahead sticks; I don’t believe the price has ever increased since they were introduced. I bought a pair in the mid 90’s out of curiosity, and I swear I paid $30. They’re still $30, right? How are they pulling that off I wonder?
Excellent point, gish. Also, given that AHEAD sticks hold up pretty well, you don't need to buy them in bulk. I would think even devout AHEAD users like me are buying fewer sticks on an annual basis than drummers who purchase wood models. Price stabilization could be related to the possibility that manufacturing costs have decreased over the years, owing to advancements in technology. In addition, AHEAD makes a lot more than drumsticks, so their revenues could be strong in other areas too. Regardless, I love their products and can't see myself ever returning to wood.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I tried a few Promark oak models a long time ago (I'm talking thirty years ago or so) and never latched on to their feel. They seemed void of feel, in fact -- all vibration with very little flex. Some drummers love them, though. Neil Peart's signature Promark stick is oak. He must have discovered something appealing about that species. I just can't relate to his tastes, I guess.
Same here. The few times I've used oak it feels like I'm trying to hold on to a buzzer. My hands don't like it at all.

Obviously they have their place or wouldn't still be made. My hands are not that place.
 

NackAttack

Well-known member
AHEAD sticks, sound interesting but about 5x the price of others. Are they THAT good ? :unsure:
The stick itself is made out of aluminum, but it has a protective sleeve. The initial price is expensive but replacement sleeves are only 2 or 3 bucks (last I knew). When I used AHEAD sticks for many years, it wasn’t anymore expensive than buying regular wood sticks for me. I’m one of the few people in the “neutral camp” regarding AHEAD. I swore by them for a long time but lately I’ve been experimenting with different sticks from Vater, ProMark, and VF.
 

KJIB

Active member
With a few recommendations, in this thread, for the AHEAD sticks I have got hold of a pair to try, 7A coming in at 49 grams each according to the packet. I think the weight is about mid-range compared to other 7A sticks I have. I've played a couple of hours practice with them. I'm not bowled over through noticing anything special about how they feel (but sure, no wood chips flying around). Perhaps they'll grow on me and I will certainly keep them in the mix for now.
 
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