Stick Weights and Consistency

J-W

Well-known member
I apply white grip tape to my AHEAD sticks and cover the blend ring with it.
Just curious, do you buy a thinner stick to compensate for the added tape?
I tried tape (on hickory) when I was touring and liked the grip but didn't like the added thickness. When I was able to get thinner sticks, I didn't like the weight and fragility of the stick then.

I tried the AHEAD's as well, and wanted them for the durability and not necessarily the shock reduction, but like others found that they felt almost too flexible.......like you lost some "oomph" in your strike. To me it felt like when a stick splits along the shaft but doesn't break free. That solid feedback just wasn't there. They also seemed very slippery to me. I can see why you use grip tape.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Just curious, do you buy a thinner stick to compensate for the added tape?
I tried tape (on hickory) when I was touring and liked the grip but didn't like the added thickness. When I was able to get thinner sticks, I didn't like the weight and fragility of the stick then.

I tried the AHEAD's as well, and wanted them for the durability and not necessarily the shock reduction, but like others found that they felt almost too flexible.......like you lost some "oomph" in your strike. To me it felt like when a stick splits along the shaft but doesn't break free. That solid feedback just wasn't there. They also seemed very slippery to me. I can see why you use grip tape.
I use AHEAD's 5B Light Rock model, which has a .595 diameter at the handle. After I apply grip tape, I'm sure it's over .600, though I do wrap the tape tightly. I have a medium hand, but I like a larger handle, as it permits me to grip the stick very loosely, enhancing my rebound-oriented technique. Smaller diameters have always felt like pencils to me.

I've never cracked or broken an AHEAD stick. I should mention that my drumming is neurotically clean. Ninety-nine percent of my stick contact involves only the tip -- unless I'm cross-sticking, which doesn't cause much wear on AHEAD sticks. The only time I use the neck or shoulder is when crashing cymbals, and I employ crashes sparingly, as I believe the crash to be the most overused component of a drum kit. A single pair of AHEAD sticks can last me close to a year, even if I'm playing five or six days a week.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Before you go further,what is the precision of your wife's food scale? If you re-weigh a 49 gram stick, do you get 49 grams?
Yes, I reweighed the sticks multiple times. They always weighed the same. I also tried the scale on different spots on the island, as well as placing the sticks in different places and orientations on the scale. The weights remained consistent.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Yes, I reweighed the sticks multiple times. They always weighed the same. I also tried the scale on different spots on the island, as well as placing the sticks in different places and orientations on the scale. The weights remained consistent.
Using a digital kitchen type scale, my main sticks from top to bottom:

Zildjian - Trilok Gurtu 92g 46g/46g
ProMark 5B Jap. Oak 121g 60g/61g
Vic Firth - Danny Carey 148g 74g/74g
Vic Firth - Gavin Harrison 133g 66g/67g

Boring, I know.

Pete

Main Sticks.jpg
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Here's a photo of my AHEAD 5B Light Rock sticks with grip tape applied. I use the 5B Light Rock for everything I play, meaning I own no other model of sticks.

AHEAD 5B Light Rock.jpg
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Your Vater pair with one stick at 48 and another at 56 is egregiously inexcusable. That's abominable quality control in my opinion, though the sticks may have been mismatched at a warehouse or music store rather than at the factory.
I had to read the entire thread to see if you were joking here. And you’re not, but…egregious…😂

Imma check my sticks mañana.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I had to read the entire thread to see if you were joking here. And you’re not, but…egregious…😂

Imma check my sticks mañana.

An eight-gram difference might not be noticeable when comparing baseball bats, but it's significant when applied to drumsticks. While it might be within a given manufacturer's range of tolerance, it's beyond mine. Two grams, no problem. Eight, no way. Those sticks should never have been paired in my opinion. But hey, I'm not angry about it. They weren't my sticks, after all. :)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Using a digital kitchen type scale, my main sticks from top to bottom:

Zildjian - Trilok Gurtu 92g 46g/46g
ProMark 5B Jap. Oak 121g 60g/61g
Vic Firth - Danny Carey 148g 74g/74g
Vic Firth - Gavin Harrison 133g 66g/67g

Boring, I know.

Pete

View attachment 94449
Boring yes, but nice to see how close they all are. In this instance, boring is great.
 

Griffin

Active member
Just curious but what’s the cross-stick sound like out of the ahead sticks @C.M. Jones ? I guess if a wood block can be made from plastic a plastic stick could give a nice cross stick sound, but I feel like it would still be quite a different tone from wood.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Just curious but what’s the cross-stick sound like out of the ahead sticks @C.M. Jones ? I guess if a wood block can be made from plastic a plastic stick could give a nice cross stick sound, but I feel like it would still be quite a different tone from wood.
I'm able to cultivate a surprisingly satisfactory cross-sticking effect with my AHEAD sticks. Without grip tape, the metal handle produces a very clear but somewhat cold cross-sticking sound. I use grip tape, however, so when I cross-stick with the handle, the effect is softened and warmed but still sufficient from a volume standpoint. More often than not, though, I cross-stick with the shoulder. From the throne, the result is similar to that of a synthetic woodblock, but when my snare is mic'd, and when I'm accompanying other instruments, you probably wouldn't notice a significant difference between wood sticks and AHEAD.

My drumming involves a lot of cross-sticking, so AHEAD would be out of the question if it failed on that front.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
So just for curiosity I dug out a pair of unused sticks I was gifted a few years ago, Vater 5A Color Wrap. I compared them physically to a new pair of my beloved VF HD4s. The length is almost the same, the Vater is just slightly fatter (which I dont like), but the sticks themselves just didnt feel right regardless which hand I put them in. So I decided to weigh them.

Using my wife's food scale, my VFs came in at 97 grams total, 48 and 49 grams each.

The Vaters came in at 104 grams total, 48 and 56 grams each.

So I decided to weigh 2 pairs new of Vater Mike Wengren signature sticks. The first pair weighed 147 grams, 72 and 75 grams each. The second pair weighed 153 grams, 75 and 78 grams each. That's a spread of 6 grams between sticks, and 6 grams between pairs.

What I'm wondering is, is this big of a spread important? I can feel the difference in the 5As and dont like it. Can y'all tell the difference in your sticks, and would you be willing to weigh them after determining if you can tell with your hands to see if you really can or not? I put the 5As in a non drummers hands and they could not tell. That would mean it doesnt matter. Are drummers hands more sensitive to gram changes?

I would never play the Wengren sticks. They are huge.
Force = mass * acceleration.

Drummers can tell once they start playing on a surface with the sticks. The "Force" is the force felt by the hand when reversing the upstroke to a downstroke (negative acceleration followed by positive acceleration), or stopping an upstroke for a ghost note (negative acceleration only).
 
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