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Hickory or oak?

thejohnlec

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Hickory for me. I’ve been using Vater 5B wood tip for a really long time. They just feel right in my hands.
 

jptrickster

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Janka wood density scale has Hickory Maple Oak. Hickory is more flexible than both if you ask me and that’s why I prefer it. Can’t remember last time I broke a hickory stick. I tend to shatter maple and oak.
 

aratts

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I played ProMark oak for over 45 years, and loved how solid they felt. Hickory felt cheap by comparison. But about five years ago the jarring effect of the lack of give started to affect my playing, so switched to to hickory 5B— VF, Vater or ProMark are all fine.
 

cornelius

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I’ve been using vater power 5a’s and have to say they like right there in being almost perfect. I used to use the pro ark 747 oaks, and may go back. What’s everyone using and why?
Gosh I haven't played those sticks since high school in the 80s :) I also remember trying the oak 808's (Billy Cobham) and 707's (Terry Bozzio). I never got the feel for oak, and when Vic Firth became available, I switched. I liked how the Firth sticks just slowly disintegrated, versus shattering. So my favorite is hickory - I've been playing Vater 5B's since the early 90s.
 

type85

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Love Promark oak 808's! Been playing them for about 20 years.
They make my ride sound amazing and I've never broken one.
They do transmit more shock into may hands, but that taught me to loosen my grip and let the stick do the work!
 

HalldorL

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I’ve been using Tama Oak sticks for the past three years. The Tama OakLab Full Balance model. Love how they sound on cymbals and haven’t experienced any jarring but I do use a very loose grip.
 

jptrickster

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Vic Firth American Classic 7a (hickory)
Geez. Am I the only one here playing 7A's?
Nah we’re here !
E87AFF55-B0EA-4A35-8488-D42B40D0501F.jpeg
 

Lazmo

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Vic Firth American Classic 7a (hickory)
Geez. Am I the only one here playing 7A's?

Na, you're not alone. About a month ago, I tried a bunch of sticks at a well stocked drum-shop and the Vic Firth American Classic 7AN (hickory with nylon tips) just simply felt the best.

For quite a while I've been thinking about going to smaller sticks from my trusty 5B's that I've played forever, as I'm not gigging at loud hard rock venues anymore and I'm keen to pull the volume down a bit at home.

I also wanted to give nylon tips a go... as my hearing (high frequencies) is shot, and the beautiful woody nuance of new wood tips on cymbals and hats is now lost on me... so, the nylon adds some crispness and attack on the cymbals that was missing for me, which I hadn't noticed devolving over time.

As for Oak or Maple... I've no idea... but my new hickory 7AN sticks sound and feel great.
 

SAXET

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My go-to sticks. Promark 707 American Hickory Simon Phillips.

 
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JohnnyVibesAZ

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After I try several brands, I always go back to the Promark Oak. I like the way they bounce, and LOVE the way they sound on cymbals. Long ago, I played the 3D, followed by the 3A. Now they are both gone, so now I'm playing the 5A Rebound, which I think is on its way out, too. Lots of models are being eliminated by D'addarrio.
 

Kimotej

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I choose the stick and wood depending on the sound i want and on what I play. Hickory/Oak/Maple/Nylon/etc all create quite a different sound. Also the shape and size of the tip makes quite a difference. Yes, i choose the model depending on how it feels in my hand (balance/size/thickness/length and so on), but the most important issue must always be how it sounds.
If the best sounding stick feels somewhat uncomfortable to the style or speed, well, the answer is simply practice.

Right or wrong?
Test for yourself a maple stick, hickory stick, oak stick and nylon stick of the same size and shape of tip on a ride cymbal.
Then, do the same with a heavier size.
Then a lighter size.
Now a different shape of tip.
There are endless options of how to sound. The only one that can determine how you want to sound is YOU. (Or the recording manager/director/producer/conductor/composer/arranger and so forth).

Brands, types, series, models and sizes of the cymbals, drums and heads, and of course tuning etc is another issue These are factors that also make up the sound, but the source of the sound is YOU and how you use what you have.

Pay attention to HOW you hit (angles, force, impact lentgh, grip, etc) and compare to those you would like to sound like. It is not as much the matter what they use, but how they use it.

...I wandered away from the main topic a little here, but hopefully some may find some of this useful when choosing sticks. :)
 

groovemastergreg

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I went to the Vater 3A over 20 years ago and haven’t looked back. Pro mark 5a for first 30 years on kit, not counting marching sticks in band.

I needed just a bit more than a 5a but less than a 2b or 5B. The late Barry Frosty Smith gave me a pair of Vater 3A way back when, and I’m still using them.
 

groovemastergreg

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I use VF 2B Bolero due to medical reasons (had wrist surgery and thin sticks fall out of my R. hand). The only thing that sucks about them is they are maple and one usually loses a tip after a month as it wears down from the ride. I dream of that stick in hickory! I also play Zildjian Bill Stewart sticks. They are thin but I modded them with some electrical shrink wrap to thicken them and it provides a little grip. I have a few sets and the tips are still fully intact due to being hickory. The only oak sticks I have is a pair of Neil P. Promarks sig sticks that I barely played years ago and now are no longer played.
Try a Vater 3A. Might hit your sweet spot hand fit wise as it did me.
 

Azoth

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I’ve been using vater power 5a’s and have to say they like right there in being almost perfect. I used to use the pro ark 747 oaks, and may go back. What’s everyone using and why?
Hickory. Never used anything else, so can't compare. I'm a huge fan of 85A Freestyles (5A Freestyles when the song calls for them). I like the extra length of the 17"
I'd probably try Promark, but haven't seen 17's, or I'm missing them on their site.
 

kip

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Oak is my pref.
ProMark 5a Oak wood tip

For me they are balenced better for how i play
Hickory feel lighter and top heavy to me. Oak seems to have more weight in the bottom.
Total agree that OAK just Split half... but still me goto
Hickory, i work harder
Oak, the stick does as much work as i can let it
Maple... always felt too light and i never liked the feel, regardless of model
I do like Hickory on a practice pad kit, or e-drums as they don't have that shock from Oak...
the hickory are more forgiving imho.... still, I'm an oak fan!
 


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