Stick Companies.......The Big 4 (3) and..................

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Greetings,

Sadly, it looks like Regal Tip (with no formal announcement that I can see) is now a relic of the past (they've been quiet for WAAAY to long. You think after all the speculation, if they planned to continue, they would have gotten the word to the street by now). That leaves four major stick companies: Vic Firth, Vater, Pro Mark and Zildjian. I say three in the title, because Vic owns Zildjian.

I know Zildjian has discontinued quite a few sticks over the last year, including signature models, and they have lost at least one signature endorser recently (Ronnie Vannucci, who is now with Istanbul cymbals). I guess you have to play Zildjian cymbals to be an endorser of Zildjian sticks? Zildjian dropped him.

Since Vic owns Zildjian, I'm kind of surprised that they haven't just merged the existing models into the Vic line up. It doesn't make much sense (to me) to keep them in name only (Vic is making them all; on their machines). I would say, generally speaking, that of the four major companies, Zildjian probably comes in last as far as popularity and/or preferred stick company. Again, I'm surprised that haven't just merged into Vic at this point. If/when that happens, I will miss the cool shiny, reflective ink stamps on the Zildjian signature models............even if they wear away after about an hour!

So after the "Big 4 (3)", which smaller boutique companies have gained/are gaining some national recognition? I can think of La Backbeat and Bopworks. I know there are more out there, but I'm zeroing in on the most popular of those companies. Sort of "The Next 2 or 3"...........

I welcome your thoughts!

V
 

jda

Silver Member
Promuco (maple specifically) I own a good amount of (5A, 2B, 5B maples..
They're British . Sold at DCNH Portsmouth drum center, plentiful and have a website
 
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someguy01

Platinum Member
Promark active grip 7A, 5A, 5B. I have some Vaters in the mix and some Vics, but the active grip is what keeps the Promark in my hand. Both literally and figuratively.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Got no idea about the smaller builders, but I do agree that having two lines of sticks seems a bit odd. On the other hand, I quit using Vic Firth and switched to Pro Mark anyway :p :D
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
I only have ever tried Bopworks and LA Back beat other than the biggies. Oh and Bosco bamboo- meh. Interested to try Los Cabos, but usually just pick up Pro Mark at the local shop.
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
Promark and meinl are my preferred stick choice but the sticks I bought and tried from Wincent were pretty damn good too

 

marratj

Member
I like Meinl's sticks. I also like LA Backbeat's sticks a lot too. If the stories I've heard are true, I guess liking both shouldn't be a surprise.
Which stories would that exactly be?

I also like the Meinl Heavy 2B ever since I discovered them last year. Only thing that's missing for them to be "perfect" are nylon tips. I asked them late last year if they plan to introduce nylon tips as well, but don't have any plans yet to do so and also no machinery for it yet.

I really liked the the "Forward Balance" variants of Pro Mark before, but those were discontinued as well and the closest in feeling were the Meinl Heavy 2B for me.
 

marratj

Member
It seems I need to retract my last statement, as I'm slightly confused about Pro Mark's "Classic", "Forward" and "Rebound" designations...

In the past, they had all three balance types of a drum stick (like the normal Hickory 5B and its Firegrain variant). Then last year or so, I could only find "Classic" and "Rebound" models anymore, but no more "Forward" Balance ones.

But looking at Pro Mark's website, it looks like the "Classic" models are actually the "Forward Balance" models...

Is here anyone who has more experience and insight into Pro Mark's product line up who might care to shed some more light on this?
 

John Q. Drummer

Active Member
Innovative Percussion. They’ve been around for many years now. I’ve played their 5A, the Vintage and Legacy models for several years now, maybe 6-7? They also have a 5AB which is in between a 5A and a 5B in terms of diameter for times when I need a little more power. I love the acorn tips on the Vintage model, so I prefer those over the Legacy which has more a of teardrop tip.

I tried the Los Cabos sticks a few different times. I didn’t care for them. Most of them very tip heavy to me. (Forward balanced? Isn’t that what Promark calls it?)

Out of the current major stick manufacturers, I vastly prefer Vater sticks over all others.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I also use some set sticks from Innovative Percussion, though they are mostly more focused on marching and concert/orchestral stuff

and my step son has some set sticks from Salyers out of Texas

I have also heard that Vater makes/supplied a lot of the smaller stick companies with their product, and then they put their name on them...

I mostly use vic 3a's now though
 

cdar

Junior Member
Promark and meinl are my preferred stick choice but the sticks I bought and tried from Wincent were pretty damn good too

I tried the W/Vincents also as I was told they’re almost indestructible. True, they definitely didn’t break as much as say VF, but the cost was to the hands….really started to hurt my wrists. Also tried Ahead, way more comfortable but then a tip came off and gouged three new heads with the sharp screw underneath.
VF guy…

I still have an old pair of Regal Tips 5a w/nylon tips from my early days that are among the “personal sticks” I’m to be buried with…
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
I say three in the title, because Vic owns Zildjian.

[...]

Since Vic owns Zildjian, I'm kind of surprised that they haven't just merged the existing models into the Vic line up. It doesn't make much sense (to me) to keep them in name only (Vic is making them all; on their machines). I would say, generally speaking, that of the four major companies, Zildjian probably comes in last as far as popularity and/or preferred stick company. Again, I'm surprised that haven't just merged into Vic at this point. If/when that happens, I will miss the cool shiny, reflective ink stamps on the Zildjian signature models............even if they wear away after about an hour!
Got that backwards - Zildjian owns Vic Firth. This took place within a few weeks of D'Addario purchasing ProMark at the end of 2010/early 2011.

As for not simply consolidating all Z sticks under VF, there's plenty of reasoning to maintain the line logic they've developed over the last decade and keeping options available (and even releasing news sticks) under the Zildjian brand.

As for ProMark's abandonment of the Select Balance concept, this one was definitely personal for me, as I put SO much time into working on the line logic and future development plans. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, none of the people I worked with in brand management are still employees so much of that, even in concept, is now lost.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I have tried many times the Tama sticks ; Oak.
They're a bit cheaper than Vic Firth, they feel good in hand but are way more rigid, that could be tiring. And they tend to break more easily, whereas the VF chip but they don't break. Soundwise, being more rigid and stiffer, they sound more powerful and the tip is great.

But for me, it's VF 5A forever :D
 
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brushes

Active Member
I used to play RegalTip a LOT during the past years, they were really great, and yes, it is suprising that they somehow silently "went out of business". I have switched to VF since then but given others also a try, among them Los Cabos, Vater and Rohema. There are some other brands, like Agner.
 
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