Zildjian Streamlining Their Stick Catalog.....Going All In On "Hipness" As A Whole

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Greetings,

I noticed that Zildjian has discontinued quite a few models from their catalog recently, namely the Hal Blaine Artist Series, the hickory and maple Jazz models (which I loved), the Big Band Jazz model, the 6A, the Super 7A Maple and the entire "Gauge" Series, which was a really cool concept.

We all know that Vic merged with Zildjian and that Vic now makes all the Zildjian sticks. It seems like Zildjian might be positioning themselves to get out of the stick business and let Vic handle it all under the Vic name. Here's why I say that:

If you look at their regular, "normal" hickory models (not the DIP series, Chroma, Anti-Vibe, and colored sticks) they only offer a few basic models:

7A Wood & Nylon
5A Wood & Nylon
5B Wood & Nylon
Super 5A Wood
Super 5B Wood
5B Acorn
2B Wood

The only offer 4 maple models anymore (they used to offer a dozen), ALL of which are "DIP" Series wood tip, so no "normal" maple models. Unique to Zildjian, they offer 4 Laminated Birch sticks, which is a much heavier, denser wood:

Jazz (curiously, they didn't discontinue this Jazz model)
5A
Super 5A
5B

They also only offer one pair of brushes and only one pair of mallets.

Meanwhile, if you add up all the "non-normal" models (DIP, Chroma, Anti-Vibe, and Colored), they offer 43 of those models, not including any of the Artist Series! They out number the "normal" sticks 3 to 1. Looks like Zildjian is going all in on the non-standard stick models.

This is disappointing, because I really like Zildjian sticks, and they have discontinued many of my favorites. Here are some questions for the group:

1-Do you think Zildjian is positioning itself to possibly get out of the stick business and let Vic handle it all?

2-Regaridng what I said about the "non-traditional" sticks being outnumbered 3 to1, it seems to me, in general, that Zildjian is trying really hard to be "hip" and "edgy", especially with all of their marketing. Do you feel like they should just focus on making great cymbals, or do you like their new "flashy" and edgy" approach to their company?
 

roncadillac

Member
I like the Zildjian 7a wood tip sticks. My favorite sticks are the vater manhattan 7a and my most commonly used stick is the sound percussion 7a because they are the exact same dimensions as the vater manhattan 7a except I can get 4 pairs for $12-$15 when the vaters usually run almost $10 a pair. The zildjian 7a fit similar dimensions and are usually cheaper then the vaters.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
This is disappointing, because I really like Zildjian sticks, and they have discontinued many of my favorites.
You can probably find the VF equivalent of the sticks you like. They make a huge variety of sticks. Plus the Zildjian sticks you like are just VF sticks anyhow with a different badge.

Some players are drawn to those companies because they aren't Zildjian, which, in their eyes, represents the status quo.
And then there are people like me who could care less about the brand of cymbal. I honestly pick cymbals by how they sound and nothing else. It could say rubbermaid on it and I wouldnt care as long as I like how it sounds. So that kinda shafts them too.

I'm a 1 stick kinda guy like @C.M. Jones. If I cant get my stick, VF HD4, I buy the Steve Jordan model and cut it to length. The rest of the stick is practically identical.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
As long as VC doesn’t discontinue the Jordan model, i’m good.

I wouldn’t say the DIP is hip. I played those two decades ago already (back then black dip). The dip wore off quickly, leaving more material than actual splinters 😂
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
They're the parent company of Vic Firth so their reduction in offering make sense.
I messed with Zildjian for a while to see if their sticks really made that much of a difference.
They didn't.
I liked the 3A Fatbacks from Vader, but Vic's won out with their Extreme 5A's.
I was hoping Zildjian would do the lacquer like Regal Tip does, but they never seemed to get there.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
the Zildjian sticks you like are just VF sticks anyhow with a different badge.
Interesting.

I have played Zildjian 5A for about 25 years, and it has been different from the VF 5A. It was a little lighter and has a teardrop tip, larger than the VF 5A. So a different weight, and a different sound on cymbals.

I wanted to choose a mainstream model that would always be available and and stick to it. So I guess this worked for about 25 years, until now!
I had lots of pairs of this model, so haven't needed to buy sticks for a while. As a result of this thread (thank you Vyacheslav) and a little online research I only just learnt that at Winter NAMM 2018 (wow 3 years ago already) Zildjian redesigned the 5A & 5B. The updated 5A has a slightly different tip, and a longer taper. So my reliable favourite model has changed. Hmm. Maybe indeed they are more like the VF (although lengthening the taper would make them even less like the VF 5A IMO, and the tip size still seems bigger than the VF 5A too).
I just ordered some of the new model to compare, we'll see how different they are.

Meanwhile, now on Zildjian's page I see only 5A, 5B, 7A, 2B, super 5A and super 5B. Did they reduce the range at the same time as the redesign, or has the reduction just happened this year?
 
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Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
I messed with Zildjian for a while to see if their sticks really made that much of a difference.
They didn't.
I liked the 3A Fatbacks from Vader, but Vic's won out with their Extreme 5A's.
I was hoping Zildjian would do the lacquer like Regal Tip does, but they never seemed to get there.
Regal TIp are my favorite sticks because of the lacquer. I hope more brands do this since it just makes their sticks a lot better feeling. The only other lacquered stick thaat I've found are VF's double glaze sticks, I should try them one day.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I never understood why they even got into the stick game...why need to? But it makes total sense to me now with the merger that they phase the sticks over and out to VF...

I have played VF sticks for years, so nothing will be different to me in the end I guess, but was always confused about that decision years ago
 
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