My drumstick journey

"poppies"

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I know this covers many of the same things that have been discussed ad nauseum recently, but I thought someone may get something out of my stick journey over recent years. Maybe even save some dough.

- I had been using various Vater hickory sticks for years, but became increasingly dissatisfied with how quickly they would wear down, and how they wouldnt always necessarily match in weight.

- I started off experimenting with Bopworks Birdland. Great sticks, and great company. They made it easy to stay light in softer environments, but they were quickly destroyed in amplified music.

- Next I tried Firth SD2s. I love the feel of these chunky but light maple sticks, they rebound like crazy. Cymbals sound cool with them too, the sticks resonate like youre playing with giant claves. I found it a little fatiguing to manipulate the sizeable diameter after long sets, though, and the tips would get worn down rather quickly.

- I then tried Rick Sticks 8As with a bebop tip. These were awesome, I fell in love! They felt and sounded amazing. They were a little roughly finished compared to mainstream companies products, but their high moisture content was really helpful for tone and longevity, Unfortunately, the company was shuttered.

- I figured Id try nylon tips since I had been having such trouble with tip degradation. I ordered some Regal Tip E-Series sticks, but had such a bad experience with the company Ill not be giving them any more business. I never even got to try the sticks!

- Next came Vater Maple Sweet Ride sticks. They felt and sounded good, but they split in two for me after only two shows! It was crazy, they disintegrated in my hand during only moderate playing.

- I then tried Los Cabos Red Hickory 7As. These are the sticks for me! Theyre very, very high quality in terms of construction and finish. Beautiful in color, too. They draw out great sound from cymbals. They hang impressively even with moderate aggressiveness; I had difficulty figuring out which sticks were used during a show and which were new! The tips seem rather indestructible. Im very happy with these sticks!
 

speady1

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Again, Red Hickory Los Cabos sticks seem to be the answer. I simply can't figure out why everyone is so reluctant to try them.
 

Heartbeat

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poppies77 said:
- I then tried Rick Sticks 8As with a bebop tip. These were awesome, I fell in love! They felt and sounded amazing. They were a little roughly finished compared to mainstream companies products, but their high moisture content was really helpful for tone and longevity, Unfortunately, the company was shuttered.

- I then tried Los Cabos Red Hickory 7As. These are the sticks for me! Theyre very, very high quality in terms of construction and finish. Beautiful in color, too. They draw out great sound from cymbals. They hang impressively even with moderate aggressiveness; I had difficulty figuring out which sticks were used during a show and which were new! The tips seem rather indestructible. Im very happy with these sticks!
Good to hear! I also went to Los Cabos after Rich Sticks closed. They are impressive sticks. A great family-run company with quality products.
 

"poppies"

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jaymandude said:
How are you ordering ? I could never do sticks on line. I gotta feel them.
I cant always find the time to shop in person, so a brand with very high consistency that I can order blindly online is important for me. Los Cabos is definitely that.
 

"poppies"

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Heartbeat said:
- I then tried Rick Sticks 8As with a bebop tip. These were awesome, I fell in love! They felt and sounded amazing. They were a little roughly finished compared to mainstream companies products, but their high moisture content was really helpful for tone and longevity, Unfortunately, the company was shuttered.

- I then tried Los Cabos Red Hickory 7As. These are the sticks for me! Theyre very, very high quality in terms of construction and finish. Beautiful in color, too. They draw out great sound from cymbals. They hang impressively even with moderate aggressiveness; I had difficulty figuring out which sticks were used during a show and which were new! The tips seem rather indestructible. Im very happy with these sticks!
Good to hear! I also went to Los Cabos after Rich Sticks closed. They are impressive sticks. A great family-run company with quality products.
Didnt know thats where you ended up, how funny. You have great taste!
 

"poppies"

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speady1 said:
Again, Red Hickory Los Cabos sticks seem to be the answer. I simply can't figure out why everyone is so reluctant to try them.
For me, I hadnt seen many people talking about them, so it made me a little hesitant. I wish I had tried them long ago!
 

Peterk256

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My stick choice not too long ago was Rich Sticks 8A as well. I've been wanting to try Los Cabos sticks but they don't have a thin 16" stick. I'm playing lower volume music these days and have been using Bopwork's 40's Swing Classic which is 16" x 0.515. These hold up pretty good considering how thin they are.
 

paul

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A few years ago I gave about 40 pair of assorted sticks, mostly new or nearly new, to a band director. I found my stick 6-8 years ago, and use them for everything because of how they feel and how they sound on drums and cymbals. Jazz or rock, always the same.

My music store will always break a brick and let me weigh pairs, so I buy 5-6 pair at a time, all the same weight. I do this once or twice a year.

It's good to find the right stick, no matter how long it takes.
 

"poppies"

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paul said:
A few years ago I gave about 40 pair of assorted sticks, mostly new or nearly new, to a band director. I found my stick 6-8 years ago, and use them for everything because of how they feel and how they sound on drums and cymbals. Jazz or rock, always the same.

My music store will always break a brick and let me weigh pairs, so I buy 5-6 pair at a time, all the same weight. I do this once or twice a year.

It's good to find the right stick, no matter how long it takes.
Totally get what you mean. I used to use different sticks for different situations, but had recently desired to have a single go-to model. Seems like less to think about.
 

Cauldronics

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I had much the same experience with Vater hickory. They felt great but would chop down to nothing in no time. In that regard they were no better than Vic Firth to me.

Its weird. Vater used to be more durable but their quality dropped off at some point.

This thread made me order a pair of Los Cabos red hickory 2B. I think theyre a bit longer than my usual VF, which should be better for me if so. Mainly Im hoping the tips will stay intact at least 2x longer and that I wont find the stick splintering in two.

FWIW, I almost bought them on amazon until I found that actual drum shops have better selection and the same prices. Interestingly, amazon had a walnut model that isnt shown on LC website.
 

"poppies"

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The latest stop on my journey was to try “Steel Heart” 7A sticks from London Drumstick Company, which are apparently designed by Jeff Rich, who was behind the Rich Sticks DNA. They arrived in a reasonable time frame after ordering them from the company website. It was a little challenging to figure out how to order them.

They are interestingly close to the Rich Sticks vibe, including the high durability, great feel, and rough fit/finish. The tips, particularly, seem very hard to wear down.

I think I might go back and forth between the Steel Hearts and the Los Cabos to try and figure which I like best. They’re both excellent sticks, but pretty different in feel.
 
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Tigerdrummer

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A few years ago I gave about 40 pair of assorted sticks, mostly new or nearly new, to a band director. I found my stick 6-8 years ago, and use them for everything because of how they feel and how they sound on drums and cymbals. Jazz or rock, always the same.

My music store will always break a brick and let me weigh pairs, so I buy 5-6 pair at a time, all the same weight. I do this once or twice a year.

It's good to find the right stick, no matter how long it takes.
But what is your stick?I think I'm missing that part.
 

Johnny K

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Good thing I dont have to hit hard. Ive been using Bop Works Art Blakey 8ds for light work and VF Buddy Rich when I need to hit harder. The Blakey sticks are delicate, but they sound fantastic cross sticking on a die cast hoop. I havent broken a Buddy Rich yet.
 

drummertom

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I used to play mostly promark 5b’s but last month ordered some los cabos 5b’s. They are nice sticks but one of the 5 pairs was noticeably lighter. I also ordered some London Steelheart stocks. I like the feel of those but haven’t played them enough to see if they’ll last longer.
 

Tmcfour

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I had much the same experience with Vater hickory. They felt great but would chop down to nothing in no time. In that regard they were no better than Vic Firth to me.

Its weird. Vater used to be more durable but their quality dropped off at some point.

This thread made me order a pair of Los Cabos red hickory 2B. I think theyre a bit longer than my usual VF, which should be better for me if so. Mainly Im hoping the tips will stay intact at least 2x longer and that I wont find the stick splintering in two.

FWIW, I almost bought them on amazon until I found that actual drum shops have better selection and the same prices. Interestingly, amazon had a walnut model that isnt shown on LC website.
I've been using Vater for most of the 2000s now and love them. Haven't had any issue with breaking them. Not that they don't break, I just don't notice that they break any more than say Vic Firth or Regal Tip.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I've been using Vater for most of the 2000s now and love them. Haven't had any issue with breaking them. Not that they don't break, I just don't notice that they break any more than say Vic Firth or Regal Tip.
Same over here. I have used Vater New Orleans model sticks for the past 10 years or so, and they are fantastic. I have not had any issue with them breaking or chipping.
 

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