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Author Topic: Sticks...Sticks...sticks...  (Read 26254 times)
KenSanders
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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2011, 03:20:45 PM »

Did this help steer you to better understanding what you want and need?

http://www.vater.com/stickselect/stickselect.cfm )


For example, how a stick sounds on my ride cymbal is more important to me than durablity or comestics.  And the weight/grip diameter/length/balance characteritics......are what determine if the stick "feels" good to me.

The wood matters a lot too. A stick made out of hickory and the same model stick made out of maple may feel VERY different to you.
It's all a very personal set of likes and dislikes for you alone to analyze.

I've simply mentioned some crieria that I use, and the examples I've shared may not be things that matter to you at all. 

In reality, most of us end up spending a couple of hours at the drum shop checking out different models with a practice pad, snare drum and a ride cymbal.  I have about five models that I use over and over nowadays from a process of elimination plus live performance results.

I'd suggest that you take your own ride cymbal to determine EXACTLY how a stick will sound when you play it on your kit(s).   Wink


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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2011, 02:54:21 PM »

What's interesting is that I do own the stick that I think is a perfect fit for me.  I love the way it feels, and it's weight and balance.  The problem is that they are really cheap quality Guitar Center brand sticks that were thrown in when I bought my used drumset 2 years ago.  These sticks literally last me a day before they get completely shredded.  The challenge before me is to find better quality sticks that have these dimensions.  I'd be a very happy guy then!
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KenSanders
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« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2011, 06:25:30 PM »

Several of us can tell what we like to use as our carefully chosen sticks for certain performance situations, and probably articulate fairly credibly why.   Cheesy  But our rationale won't necessarily meet your personal criteria.

The very BEST advice I have to offer is to go to a well-stocked professional drum shop. Take your ride cymbal with you. 

Once at the drum shop spend some careful time looking through the various brands, and their models.  Hold them in your hands.....if they don't feel comfortable, then move on to another stick.  You'll eventually start to feel comfortable with a certain diamenter and overall length.  Then find a taper that feels good.  Whether long, medium or short, the taper (toward the bead of the stick) will determine the balance.

An exteme contrast of taper differences would be evident when comparing the Vater Echo model to one of those sticks with no taper and no tip bead (timbale sticks are usually this design too).  You are highly likely to desire something between those two extremes.  Cool

Once you determine the diameter, length and the sort of taper you like best, then you can focus on tip designs.

These design aspects are described very well in the Vater link cited in one of my previos  posts in this topic thread.  Basically, the idea is to first find the stick that feels good to you and then find the tip that produces the ride cymbal sound you most prefer.


One more factor other than diameter, length and taper is the wood density.  Oak and Hickory are heavier than Maple. I enjoy being able to use a slightly "beefier" stick in Maple because the lighter weight helps me keep the "easier to play" feel that I wouldn't feel in an Oak or Hickory stick of the same design. Now it may not be something that matters to you at all, but I thought that it was worth mentioning.  It's just a way to use a larger diameter without having the extra weight.


Finally, pick out the models that really feel the best.  Then listen to the way they make your ride cymbal sound.

You should be able to pick out two or three models that you want to buy and take home to try out on your drum kit.

If you really can not find the ideal stick, there are several companies who will make drumsticks to your specifications.  They could even use the "Guitar Centre" sticks you mentioned as reference sticks. It, however, is probably a more expensive option.

The best of luck with your quest for Excalibur!  Wink
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2011, 03:10:07 PM »


You should be able to pick out two or three models that you want to buy and take home to try out on your drum kit.


And I have! Smiley

My default has been the Vater 5A Los Angeles.  I can live with it, but I know there's something better out there as it doesn't match the aforementioned cheap stick in the balance.  As it turns out, the Vater 5Bs were very close to what I liked, although the tip was a teardrop.  "El Cheapo" was an acorn tip.  The drum shop "salesdude"  (that seems like a more apt term to describe him than salesman!) suggested I try a Pro-Mark model (which I can't recall off the top of my head) that was a little larger than the 5As I have, but not quite to 5B. 

As it turns out, I didn't quite care for the Pro-Mark as it was still a little to narrow for my hands.  It still felt like the other Pro-Marks that I had abandoned.  This is why I can't remember the model!  The Vater 5B worked out pretty well...not exactly like El Cheapo, but very much like what I wanted.  I still have a lot of 5As, so I will probably rehearse with them, but it's looking like I may have found "The One."

At least for now... Smiley
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KenSanders
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« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2011, 08:09:48 PM »

RE: although the tip was a teardrop.

Okay, since the Vater Los Angles 5A has a feel that you like, but maybe NOT the tip....here are options to consider.

The Los Angles 5A is 16” in length with a .570” diameter and it has an oval tip.

So some close matches are:

The “Session” Model is the same with a small acorn tip.
http://vater.com/products/product.cfm?M=18

The “Hitmaker” Model is the same with a true acorn tip.
http://vater.com/products/product.cfm?M=112

The “Mattrix” Model (which I really like) is the same with a barrel tip.
http://vater.com/products/product.cfm?M=311

You may have tried these models already, but just in case you didn't......they match the criteria you described. Perhaps your Excalber is out there in production at Vater.

Let us know.   Wink


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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #30 on: May 13, 2011, 03:14:39 PM »

Well, after lots of playing, rehearsals and a gig, I can officially say that Excalibur comes in the form of a Vater 5B!  I love the feel and the weight, and it sounds awesome on my set.

As I had mentioned, I was using a 5A, which I felt was too small in my hands, but was workable.  During rehearsals, I kept using the 5A, but "at night" I messed around with the 5Bs and was pretty confident it was going to work.

On our last rehearsal before the gig, I broke out the 5Bs, which made it the first time my bandmates heard me with the new sticks.  They were actually floored!  I knew that the heavier weight made my playing a bit louder, but I didn't think it would be that noticeable to the non-drummers.  My bandmates immediately took notice that it sounded like I was playing with a lot more energy and that I was totally pumping them up!

So...plays well, feels great AND sounds good.  Vater 5Bs are my weapon of choice!
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KenSanders
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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2011, 12:14:15 AM »

Glad to hear an update regarding your pursuit.  You might consider keeping some 5A sticks as an alternative when you are needing to play lighter (should that situation arise).
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2011, 03:23:52 PM »

I do...although that speaks more to how many 5As I managed to amass before changing course than it does any sort of foresight!
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KenSanders
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« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2011, 12:32:47 AM »

I forgot to mention previously that the Vater Hiclory 5B stick does have the acorn tip that you said you preferred.  Seems to be a win-win experience for you.  I love happy endings.  Smiley

http://vater.com/products/product.cfm?M=358
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #34 on: August 30, 2011, 11:21:45 PM »

i personally use the very durable stick the zildjian 5a dip nylon tips. i have tried almost all big name brand sticks and these zildjians last me the longest and dont wreck my stuff.
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