Huge difference from maple also Vic Firth SD2's? Are the Agner lighter, finish? what's the differences.3 years ago at the annual Chicago Drum Show I came across Agner drumsticks. I'd been using Vic Firth's for decades, 5A's, 5B's or SD9's. The Agner SD2's have been my go-to ever since. These are maple and they're about an SD9 diameter but easily the most balanced stick I've tried. Agner is a Swiss company so they're not going to be at Guitar Center or SamAsh but luckily Vic's in Chicago has been able to order them for me. They have everything else too, mallets, brushes, etc. Check them out if you get the chance!
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Paul's answer is great. It's taken me years but I have finally settled on the Vater 1a wood tip as my stick of choice.I settled on one particular stick several years ago, and use them for everything.
If you're starting out, I think a 5A from any of the popular brands is a good starting place. Your taste in sticks will probably change over time and in different situations. It's important to recognize that your sticks are a significant part of the sound of your drums, and to choose accordingly.