Looking for harder wearing stick tips

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Rudy_Ment
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Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby Rudy_Ment » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:43 pm

Hey guys, I use bog standard VF 5A woods. but am fed up with tips chipping fairly quickly while the rest of the stick is still pretty fresh. Sticks are not getting any cheaper these days, they're quite expensive to replace unless you're lucky enough to have an endorsement. Mostly I rimshot so tips generally last longer, but recently I've been mixing up it more by playing centre of head without rimshots for quieter gigs which I guess is what is making the tips go quicker. I end up with a tip which is almost perfectly sheared in half, flat on one side and still intact on the other.

What would you recommend that is more durable? I've done some research and there are some choices. Some say maple is more durable, in fact Todd Sucherman says in 20 years he's barely seen any maple sticks chip. If that is the case, what maple stick would give the same feel and weight of a VF 5A, given that maple is lighter than hickory? Is maple a good choice over hickory as apparently they can just snap in half.

I read where one person said he had solved the problem of his chipping by going to VF extreme 5A, though at the same time I've also read from others that they're no more durable than the standard 5A.

Nylon tips. Not something I particularly favour because of the brighter sound but might be the best choice for durability. I might be happy to try a pair of VF 5AN. My only experience with nylon tips is cheap ones years ago where the tips flew off. I've got a pair of Ahead sticks that a student once gave me but have never really had the desire to use them.

Regal Tip 5AE, the E tip which has slots and apparently sounds much darker and close to a wood tip. These sound quite appealing.

Anyone use or used some of these and been as happy as with regular wood tips?
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Odd-Arne Oseberg
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby Odd-Arne Oseberg » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:04 pm

Some would say Vic dries their sticks out too much. Not that simple though as no piece of wood will stay that dry for long. They do tend to splinter more than other brands IME.

I've been using the Vinnie sticks for years while the Zildjian ones would just dent and slowly get worn down the Vics splinter way too easy.

Maple is a softer wood in general, so it stands to reason that it would behave differently.

Maple is lighter in general. Way lighter, but a light pair of Vic hickory sticks are light, too. They're not all the same., so the question really becomes if you like a light or heavy pair. Do you prefer to get the power from movement or let the stick do the job?

As you say, maple works for Todd. Why not try a pair of his sigs.
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Paul Marangoni
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby Paul Marangoni » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:36 pm

I stopped using Vic Firth sticks years ago for that very reason. Both Regal Tip and Vater seem to last much, much longer tip-wise. With Vater, I think it's due to the added moisture, and with Regal Tip, I think the varnish or whatever coating they have is responsible, although I did tend to have more warped Regal Tips than other brands. I suggest trying out Vater or Innovative Percussion sticks. They should have similar models to the Vic sticks.
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Rudy_Ment
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby Rudy_Ment » Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:19 am

Thanks, will look into Vater. Do most other brands these days have computer matched/balanced pairs like VF are known for? Not sure I'd get on with Todd's stick as it's based on a 5B which I generally find a bit too wide a diameter and I have smallish hands.

Aesthetically I've always found Vic Firth american classic 5A the most pleasing. It probably shouldn't be an important consideration, but I'm kind of fussy. Nevertheless, I've got one remaining fresh pair of VF 5A and won't be buying any more of them unless I decide to go nylon tipped. The main body of their sticks is fine, they get ragged from rimshots but last long enough before they need to be thrown, it's just the damn weak tips.

Apparently coating tips in nail varnish can strengthen them, anyone tried that?
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Odd-Arne Oseberg
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby Odd-Arne Oseberg » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:14 am

The smaller brands probably don't have the machinery, but they don't produce such volume either, so it's done more hands on.

I've only gotten one mismatched pair of sticks ever. I think it would pretty much be shooting oneself in the foot to not have good quality control these days. Even, straight, weight and pitch matched is probably just the standard of today.

There are many other brands to look at, though. One that's quite big around here that Americans maybe don't know about is Wincent. http://www.wincent.se/ There' s also B-stick.
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Paul Marangoni
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby Paul Marangoni » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:13 am

Rudy_Ment wrote:Thanks, will look into Vater.


FYI, Vater used to be an OEM and only started doing business under their own name in the early 90s. The first Vic Firth and Zildjian sticks were made by Vater.

Last edited by Paul Marangoni on Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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langmick
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby langmick » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:01 pm

I’ve never had a problem with this with Vaters. They just last.
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kinkymook
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby kinkymook » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:08 pm

I too got tired of buying a pair of sticks for 8 bucks, playing one or two tunes with the band, only to have half the tip missing. So, because I like the girth of a 5B, AND have a similar style to Sucherman, switched to the VF SD10 Swinger. Tips don’t chip. The only time they have was when I was using a soft/light ride cymbal on the wrong gig and had to lay into it too hard to get definition.
Yes, the Swinger has the handle of a 5B, but with the lightness of the wood and long taper, it reacts very well. Try them on a pad. They practically bounce by themselves. It’s MY stick, for sure.
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Morgenthaler
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby Morgenthaler » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:11 am

+1 on Vater.

By far the best sticks for the past 20 years.
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Rudy_Ment
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Re: Looking for harder wearing stick tips

Postby Rudy_Ment » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:29 am

Cool Vater factory video, Paul. Think I've seen it before but always interesting to see.

I've shortlisted Vater Nude Series 5A and Vater Los Angeles 5A. Spec and tip shape seem identical.
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