What are the cheapest sticks you're willing to play (and pay)?

DanRH

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I don’t believe in cheaping out on equipment.When it comes to sticks, they have to have the right feel and weight.

For me that means Vater Sessions.
 
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Barden

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I bought a brick of cheap sticks almost 20 years ago. With the exact same playing I shredded through them as fast as it took to get through my current pair of VF.

The biggest deal was wood grain running through the stick at an angle. One hit at just the right spot on a new stick with angled grain and it can split right through. There was alot of that in the brick of sticks.
 

Erik

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I've used the store brand from GC and Sam Ash and probably wont do that again. I usually use Vic Firth 5B & 5A. I just tried a pair of Meinl 5B's and I liked them, a lot.
 

Old Drummer

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Me, I need all the help I can get. I want 'em straight, and well matched both pitch and weight wise.
Not important, but this comment reminds me of my slight preference for a heavier stick in my left hand and a lighter one in my right. I don't go so far as to use different size sticks and don't grumble when the sticks are matched, but when I grab a couple sticks and one feels a little lighter (whether from the brand or wear) I'll put the lighter one in my right hand.

This isn't something I consciously decided to do, although insofar as there's a rationale, it is that I'm always trying to work my weaker left hand harder than my right. Related may be that my weaker left hand probably better matches my right hand when the left stick is a tad heavier. But as said, this was never a conscious decision, just one of those quirky habits I fell into over the years.
 

chollyred

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On my acoustic drums, I usually use a 5AN and have several brands in my bag (Firth, Vater, Zildjian). When I started playing the hard rubber e-drums at church, I started having problems trying to hit too hard to get any sort of dynamics. One day in the music store, they had a bucket of cheap sticks. I found a couple of pair of On-Stage "Sticks" hickory 2Bs, one in nylon and one in wood, to try out. They have become my "go to" sticks for the e-drums. If I remember right, they were less than $3 a pair.

 

Joe A

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I too have bought a bunch of the bagged sticks over the years at 9 or 10 bucks a bag. They were clearly Vic Firth overruns, and probably first quality at that, as I've seen labeled pairs with worse grain than these.

I read somewhere that these bulk sticks are a hodge-podge of second quality and mismatched ones weightwise, and that theory has proven out so far. I found some nice peculiarities this way: what appear to be AJ2s, with the long taper and thick shaft, AJ6s with that strange abrupt taper, a Steve Gadd-ish stick without the normal paint (probably a Vater template from a contract factory that also does Vic Firth?), some Dave Weckls WITH the annoying red paint (I miss that beautiful stain), etc.

The Sound Percussion sticks look exactly like Vater to my eye. Also, I remember getting sticks from Granny's Music Mall, which were 1st-quality Vaters branded with the parrot logo.
 

RIDDIM

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I care less about the brand than I do about the stick having the shape and tip I want, with no warping.
 

Stretch Riedle

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I'm currently using Los Cabos Seconds, which are $3.99 a pair to the public but a lot less than that price to me...as I work at a music store. The red hickory 5B's are a little thin for B's, but they feel great and last a real long time. Only issue I've noticed is slightly out of round. So I roll them first and all is good.

Stretch
 

Tomb

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back in the day i remember rolling the sticks on the drum store counter to weed out the warped ones, and they were all brand names. Better QC finally put an end to that task. I started out using Regal Tip 2B's, went from nylon to wood tip, then to 5B, 5A but it's been Vic 8D's for as long as I can remember now. I like them so I stick with them.
I buy the bricks, use a coupon or sale so really doesn't cost too much more than cheapo's, and lasts me forever
 

On the one

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Every pair of sticks I buy I roll on the counter. My experience Promarks and VF are the straightest. Seems to me Vaters were the worst followed by Regal Tip, but still have found some good ones from these brands also.
 

Rich K.

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On my acoustic drums, I usually use a 5AN and have several brands in my bag (Firth, Vater, Zildjian). When I started playing the hard rubber e-drums at church, I started having problems trying to hit too hard to get any sort of dynamics. One day in the music store, they had a bucket of cheap sticks. I found a couple of pair of On-Stage "Sticks" hickory 2Bs, one in nylon and one in wood, to try out. They have become my "go to" sticks for the e-drums. If I remember right, they were less than $3 a pair.

I used these at church and buy bricks of them for student sets I sell. I think they're pretty straight and consistent... much more so than the other cheap sticks I've had.
I once got some Regal "budget" sticks... seconds from Chicago Music Exchange and they were awful... unplayable.
 

Targalx

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back in the day i remember rolling the sticks on the drum store counter to weed out the warped ones, and they were all brand names. Better QC finally put an end to that task. I started out using Regal Tip 2B's, went from nylon to wood tip, then to 5B, 5A but it's been Vic 8D's for as long as I can remember now. I like them so I stick with them.
I buy the bricks, use a coupon or sale so really doesn't cost too much more than cheapo's, and lasts me forever
Oh yeah, I used to do the same. I've not rolled them in decades, though. I think you're right, the QC is just improved.
And VF 8D Jazz, wow, I used to play those all the time. They replaced my VF Harvey Mason stick phase.
 

zenstat

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I make my own sticks for West African drumming as I was taught by those guys I'm playing with in my photo.

sticks-handmade.jpg


for playing these (excluding the Djembe which is a hand drum)

afrodrum.jpg


The nail in a wooden handle is for various bells not shown.

I own a few manufactured drum sticks, but I'm not fussy about straight or even weights after years of training in Ewe style. What matters to me with my Western style drum sticks is how the tips sound on cymbals. :icon_e_wink:
 

Old Drummer

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On my acoustic drums, I usually use a 5AN and have several brands in my bag (Firth, Vater, Zildjian). When I started playing the hard rubber e-drums at church, I started having problems trying to hit too hard to get any sort of dynamics. One day in the music store, they had a bucket of cheap sticks. I found a couple of pair of On-Stage "Sticks" hickory 2Bs, one in nylon and one in wood, to try out. They have become my "go to" sticks for the e-drums. If I remember right, they were less than $3 a pair.

I have a pair of these "Sticks" and they are among my disappointments. The taper on them is different in that they're thicker toward the tip than usual. This isn't necessarily bad, but it is different. I use my "Sticks" only for at home rudiment practice, since they're a little heavier than my normal sticks, though prefer my normal sticks otherwise.
 

lrod1707

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I'm currently using Los Cabos Seconds, which are $3.99 a pair to the public but a lot less than that price to me...as I work at a music store. The red hickory 5B's are a little thin for B's, but they feel great and last a real long time. Only issue I've noticed is slightly out of round. So I roll them first and all is good.

Stretch
I love their 5B's. Like you say they are thinner than 5B's from other brands. I feel that they are in between a 5A & 5B. Perfect stick for me! When I want real heavy I go for Promark 5B & lighten up with Los Cabos 5B. I've never bought the seconds but the standard first rate quality ones are perfect every time. The fit & finish is fantastic! I think Los Cabos really has a great product overall.
 

cruddola

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Buying cheap sticks is a no-go for me. I used to buy Promark's Billy Cobham model with the round Nylon tip back in my Dark Ages. The tips would shoot off or shatter after a few sessions at the drums. I turn my own sticks on the lathe because I like an 18-19 inch length sticks. I like a medium shaft profile, thick short-tapered neck, round bead, but I want them heavy. Some I have a core filled in with various metals. Laminated hickory, ash and rock maple combinations under high temperature and pressure does the job. I can easily get a 7b to weigh and balance like a 5s stick. My dad was a bricklayer by profession. But he also used to build acoustic mini-concert and full-size Irish harps, passed the knowledge to me. The closest thing to what I make are Zildjian's laminated sticks, the former Mangini model. They're just too short.
 

REF

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The least expensive I have used come from ebay; either independent woodshops or "On Stage" sticks. Maple. They last as long as any other Maple from other companies for a whole lot less a pr.

Now I make my own from dowels from dowelsondemand.com. I can experiment with various woods, weights, and tapers. I won't be purchasing major manufactured sticks again.
 


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