Stick Review! VF and Regal Tip


Senior Member
Hey all, just wanted to give my 2 cents in regards to a few models of sticks I`ve been playing the past year. Anybody else play these? What do you think of them?

The big band stick! First of all, I really enjoyed the spread and high end this tip pulls out of the cymbals. The bigger tip also allows for a good drum sound as well. I always find that the tip is a sort of compromise; if you have a bigger acorn it gives a great sound on drums, but sometimes it`s unfocused and too washy on the ride. However, the big band delivers well in this department. The stick has a nice balance for a long tapered stick. I find some sticks with long tapers to be weird feeling balance wise, but not these. Maybe it`s the bigger tip? I find I can be real dynamic with these, and I`d say they excel at the lower to mid levels of volume.

SD10 Swinger
So if you`re a fan of Henry Cole, like I am, you too went out and bought these sticks. They are a thicker .610, but are maple with the weight of an 8a or 5a hickory. They are slightly longer than 16”, which gives a nice flex to them and gives you a lil more reach around the kit. The balance was kind of weird for me at first, but like other VF sticks, I found the best balance point to be around where the American flag is printed. The acorn tip gives a nice fat spread and sound out of the cymbals and sounds good on the drums as well. When comparing them to the big band sticks, they focus more on the low end spectrum. The maple wood feels great in the hand and doesn`t have as much shock as the hickory equivalents. They were overall a little too long for my tastes and the balance didn`t feel right to me.

SD2 Bolero
This stick is quite fat and a lil shorter than the normal 16”. I was skeptical of this stick at first, thinking that it wouldn`t be so suitable for kit playing, but I was wrong. The thickness of it allows me to relax my grip, since it`s already taking up much real estate in my palms. I find that it is a quick playing stick and quite balanced. The thickness of it gives it such a juicy crosstick, that it makes playing one drop reggae so much fun! The small round tip gives a lot of definition on cymbals and the overall “bigness” of the stick lends it to have a good sound on drums as well, despite the small tip. One thing I found with my darker cymbals is that the sticks mainly bring out lows and low mids, so I might try nail polishing the tips for more high end… anyone try this with boleros?

Regal Tip 8A
I tried this stick thinking that it`d be similar to the Keith Karlock`s. They are similar in dimensions, however this stick has a thicker neck (taper) and a bigger barrel tip. They are slightly tip heavy, which I find to be awesome for playing fast or general kit playing. That slightly forward heaviness gives a great drum sound and brings out a lot of high end from the cymbals. I love the lacquer finish since my hands are on the drier side and that tackiness helps me loosen up my grip on this smaller stick. I dig this one for general playing, but it also sounds great in a jazz setting as well.

Keith Carlock Signature
I first tried this one when it was under Regal Tip and have played the VF model over the years. This stick has an amazing bounce, on the pad or kit. One thing that really surprised me is how heavy the stick is. It feels as heavy as some brands` 5b or 2b sticks! However, all that weight along with the compressed tip gives an awesome cymbal sound, complete with a lot of highs, mids, and some lows. I didn`t really enjoy it on the drums and felt the tip was too small. I felt like I had to work a lil harder to pull a big drum sound out of the toms. If I play cymbal-focused music, I grab this stick.

Jojo Mayer Signature
This stick was my main stick for the past few years. It`s quite smaller in length than the average 5a, however once you get used to that, it`s a well balanced stick that can do almost any genre. Lately, I haven`t been digging the sound on the ride as much so have been switching it up. The stick`s bead is a large barrel so you get a big sound out of drums and cymbals. The stick plays quite fast and the balance point is way toward the butt end of the stick, which I enjoy. The stick has quite an interesting taper; it starts from the butt end all the way to the tip, which may add to why it feels so balanced. I just wish there was a slightly longer version of this stick.

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I generally use the Colaiuta stick for most things. It's a bit heavier that most of these, but

I do have a Big Band stick in my bag. It is that happy medium. Wonderful and light as the Ride stick sounds on the cymbal it is a compromise for anything but light jazz comping on the snare. I use both, but the Big Band stick is more versatile and it's a favourite of many jazz drummers I know. Lighter on the shoulder than my main choice offcourse which also makes it a better jazz riding choice.

Same with the SD Bolero. It's actually a very popular stick to give young beginners here. It's light, it's big and fat hence comfortable to hold for small hands without strain and offcourse it just works so well as a general orchestral snare stick. Offcourse, for that same very reason it works well as a kit stick for a variety of lower volume acoustic situations.

Trip McNealy

Gold Member
Nice thoughts man. I concur with you fully on the VF Carlocks and JoJo sticks. I haven't used SD10 or SPE3 in a long time so I forget how they were for me. I used to like the maple SD9 but graduated away from a .610 diameter stick.

I find that my hands have really settled into the .577 - .580 zone, which I find great comfort in the JoJo's (despite them being shorter than I like) or my recent love the Regal Tip 5A Wide (they called 5A E model now). The lacquer on the Regals are perfect for my hands which verge on normal/dry even during play. The E-tip is a grooved nylon tip which Regal says sounds like a wood tip - I believe it. It's a nice oval-ish style as well which I like. Durability is also above average; I feel sometimes the VF hickory sticks rash up way too much off the hats - not so with Regal.

I also still have quite a few pairs of Rich Sticks which are a custom stick manufacturer who seem to have a good process and understanding of stick making. I made a design off their Hickory 16" 3A model with a wood oval tip and Beeswax finish - also a nicely tapered stick and very durable. My ONLY gripe is the beeswax leaves some "schmutz" on the cymbal edges but nothing a quick wipe can't solve. It's just pokes at my OCD-ness lol.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have been all over the place with sticks as far as weight and length and diameter, but for now I have been playing Vic Firth Stanton Moore signature models. I will say however, that I have not found sticks better built and more consistent than Regal Tip. I don't find them locally was much as I wish but when I do I buy a few pair.

dan f

New member
I'm a few years late...I played VF for years and years because they were always straight. I found many other manufactures had sticks with slight bows to them. The inconsistent, though small, really became apparent when I played. Roll them across a flat surface and it became obvious in the shoulder of the stick. I really liked the consistency of VF.

About 6 months ago I saw Regal Tip sticks at Steve Maxwells in NYC - friend of mine has been endorsed by them for ages. When I am back in Oz, I see them nowhere.So, I tried a pair on a pad and subsequently grabbed ten pairs of 5A and have really enjoyed the switch. They are, going by my ears and the feel in my hands, on par with VF. They are the only two brands I completely trust to be consistent. I now use the 5A wood tip for everything now from Jazz to Rock.

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
Fun Fact: Keith played the Regal Tip 8A for many years before he was given his own signature model. When they introduced his stick on the market it was a slightly modified version of the 8A that was precisely available under a different model years prior. His current Vic Firth Signature is a carbon copy of what his Regal Tip Signature stick was.

I've found this with many artists that bounced brands. They end up having the exact same stick made, just by another company.