What are the differences between stick companies?

RaxCity

Senior Member
I'm really interested to see what the differences are between sticks made by different companies. I've tried 5A sticks from Tama, Promark, Vic Firth, Vater and Zildjian, and they all felt relatively similar to each other with very subtle subtle differences like weighting and finish. So I want you guys to tell me, what is the difference between these sticks?
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I find the Regal Tip 5AN to be thicker than a Vic Firth 5AN, yet the Regal feels lighter and more flexible. It has a longer, thinner taper, and seemingly lighter wood.

I use the VF's for louder, rock playing. I use the Regals for lighter, more 'finessed' playing.
 

gish

Senior Member
Pro Mark 5A- 16" long, .551" diameter
Vic Firth 5A- 16" long, .565" diameter
Vater 5A- 16" long, .570" diameter
Regal Tip 5A- 16" long, .580" diameter

The Vater has a bit shorter taper resulting in a little more throw than the other sticks (at least that's what my hands tell me). Finish wise, I find Vater to have the most "woody" feel in my hands, Pro Mark being a close second. Regal has their famous glossy finish, typically great for those with dry hands but can be slippery if you're the sweaty type. I think Vic Firth makes great sticks, but I really don't like the finish on them; feels like plastic to me and I actually have a reaction to it sometimes (hands get red and irritated). If I'm using Vics, I always sand the grip area. There are different opinions out there as far as which company makes the most durable stick. From what I've read, the majority of drummers that have used Vater sticks report that they have been the most durable (which has been my experience, as well). Vater sticks have a higher moisture content than other brands (by design), which is intended to make them less prone to breakage. I used to play much larger sticks in the past, but have settled on the Vater 5A as my main stick. Durable, feels great, easy to find.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Vater sticks have a higher moisture content than other brands (by design), which is intended to make them less prone to breakage.
I doubt there is any real value here as the wood is going to come to equilibrium with the humidity of wherever it actually is very quickly.
 

gish

Senior Member
I doubt there is any real value here as the wood is going to come to equilibrium with the humidity of wherever it actually is very quickly.
Maybe, maybe not. What I do know is that they consistently outlast other brands for me.
 

Defender

Silver Member
I only know the difference between Promark and Vic Firth. When I got back into drumming on an acoustic kit a few years ago, I started with Vic Firth, then I switched to Promark and then I switched back to Vic, and then finally back to Promark for good.

To me, the tip of the Vic Firths are just way to small. I like the bigger more beefy tip the Promark 5A offers.

I'm actually using the Oak Neil Peart 747s, which to my hands seems like a slightly longer 5A.

Peace, Defender
 

RaxCity

Senior Member
Cheers for that link man, those videos were quite interesting.

Pro Mark 5A- 16" long, .551" diameter
Vic Firth 5A- 16" long, .565" diameter
Vater 5A- 16" long, .570" diameter
Regal Tip 5A- 16" long, .580" diameter

The Vater has a bit shorter taper resulting in a little more throw than the other sticks (at least that's what my hands tell me). Finish wise, I find Vater to have the most "woody" feel in my hands, Pro Mark being a close second. Regal has their famous glossy finish, typically great for those with dry hands but can be slippery if you're the sweaty type. I think Vic Firth makes great sticks, but I really don't like the finish on them; feels like plastic to me and I actually have a reaction to it sometimes (hands get red and irritated). If I'm using Vics, I always sand the grip area. There are different opinions out there as far as which company makes the most durable stick. From what I've read, the majority of drummers that have used Vater sticks report that they have been the most durable (which has been my experience, as well). Vater sticks have a higher moisture content than other brands (by design), which is intended to make them less prone to breakage. I used to play much larger sticks in the past, but have settled on the Vater 5A as my main stick. Durable, feels great, easy to find.
Cheers for that info man, exactly what I wanted to know.

And me too. Played ProMark 5As and Vic 5As before trying Vater 5A and have not gone back.
Vater is definitely the brand I have used the least, so I'll try some more at some point. I like the promark sticks that I last used more than my current vic firth sticks, which feel plasticy and gave me blisters.

Well - one difference with Rich Sticks is - you get to design the stick yourself.
:)

I play them exclusively now.

https://richsticks.com/
I've heard a lot of good things about Rich Sticks, and I'd really love to try them, except since I live in New Zealand, it would probably be really expensive to ship them over here, so I'll probably stick to sticks I can buy at the store down the road. However, I wish Rich Sticks all the best!
 

RaxCity

Senior Member
Moisture content, wood quality, manufacturing process, finish, shape, weight, cost. Pretty much everything.
Yeah man, I knew those were the differences between sticks from different companies, I was just looking for some more specific information like stick diameter, moisture content % etc.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
You can look at a lot of numbers and stats but I would suggest trying different sizes of the different companies to see what fits best. I would also suggest that trying any companies partucular stick and depending on them being 100% matched over time may be disappointing. I have used over the last few years 10 t0 15 maybe different sizes and models and I switch constantly depending on my mood. That is not to say that you will. You may find your "perfect pair" as one company advertises and be set for life. Good luck with your hunt.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Since you're in NZ, look for 'Australian Drumsticks' on Facebook. They're a part of Love Drums in Melbourne. I recently bought a few pairs on special for half the price of USA sticks. Nicely made, strong wood, the 5A's are slightly thicker than Vic Firths, and thinner than Regals.
 

RaxCity

Senior Member
You can look at a lot of numbers and stats but I would suggest trying different sizes of the different companies to see what fits best. I would also suggest that trying any companies partucular stick and depending on them being 100% matched over time may be disappointing. I have used over the last few years 10 t0 15 maybe different sizes and models and I switch constantly depending on my mood. That is not to say that you will. You may find your "perfect pair" as one company advertises and be set for life. Good luck with your hunt.
Cheers for the reply, I'm still looking for my perfect pair of sticks but I'm getting closer! Nice display pic by the way, lookin' good!
 

RaxCity

Senior Member
Since you're in NZ, look for 'Australian Drumsticks' on Facebook. They're a part of Love Drums in Melbourne. I recently bought a few pairs on special for half the price of USA sticks. Nicely made, strong wood, the 5A's are slightly thicker than Vic Firths, and thinner than Regals.
Cheers Morrisman, I'll definitely check them out.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Pro Mark sticks seem to be more expensive than Vic Firth at my local shop so VF was always my main choice. However I've bought two bags worth of Pro Mark seconds in the last two years and they last for ages, 12 pairs lasted me almost 18 months of regular gigging and very few of them broke, I just retired them as they'd worn down and seemed ready to give way. My weapon of choice many years ago was the Vater Chad Smith signature model and they also lasted for ages. My style of playing back then was to lay into the hi hat with the shoulder of the stick and the Vaters wore down creating a covering of sawdust on my drum mat but they never broke or cracked. I also had a soft spot for the Stagg American Hickory line (VF lookalikes) but since being able to pick up 12 pairs of Promark seconds for pretty much £1 per stick, even Staggs at £6 a pair look expensive by comparison.
 
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