Why are Vater sticks cheaper???

planoranger

Junior Member
I ordered a pair of Vater Fusion sticks a while back. When I unsheathed them, I noticed a weight discrepancy immediately. I placed them on a postal scale, and, to my unspeakable horror, one was 46 grams, the other 52. That calamitous day marked the conclusion of my experimentation with Vater.

Your experience is one reason why I will never order drum sticks (or cymbals for that matter) online.

I know you are extremely happy with Ahead sticks, and I'm certainly not suggesting you try again, but it is possible that Vater may not be responsible for the varied weight difference (under the following condition). If you ordered the sticks from a company that also houses retail space then what might have transpired was at various times in-store customers were unsheathing multiple pairs of the sticks, laid them out, and played with them.
When they were finished, they just started to put them back in the sleeves without any thought given to matching pairs. Voila...mismatched pairs. I've seen this scenario too many times at Guitar Center. The employee who picked your order just grabbed a pair of sticks and sent them out to you.

Of course...if the company you ordered the sticks from doesn't have retail space, then the point is moot...so go ahead (no pun intended), and blame Vater. They would deserve it.
 
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I guess that they also spend less on marketing and online content than for example VF. I've played a few Vater sticks and while I pretty much never break sticks anyway, the Vaters seem extremely durable. I've played some for hundreds of hours and they still have very little wear. Dents but no real splintering. I also like their selection as they have some nice models for various tastes.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
Longevity has never been a big problem for me. I use firth mostly. Carlock / Garibaldu / extreme 5A models with a few pairs of Erskines when I need a little more from a ride pattern when recording. I still have a few pairs of Elvin Jones Promarks when I need to go light.

I have tried a few Vater models. They just felt "off". I don;t know how to quantify it.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Your experience is one reason why I will never order drum sticks (or cymbals for that matter) online.

I know you are extremely happy with Ahead sticks, and I'm certainly not suggesting you try again, but it is possible that Vater may not be responsible for the varied weight difference (under the following condition). If you ordered the sticks from a company that also houses retail space then what might have transpired was at various times in-store customers were unsheathing multiple pairs of the sticks, laid them out, and played with them.
When they were finished, they just started to put them back in the sleeves without any thought given to matching pairs. Voila...mismatched pairs. I've seen this scenario too many times at Guitar Center. The employee who picked your order just grabbed a pair of sticks and sent them out to you.

Of course...if the company you ordered the sticks from doesn't have retail space, then the point is moot...so go ahead (no pun intended), and blame Vater. They would deserve it.

You're absolutely right, planoranger. I did consider the possibilities you've outlined. I believe I placed my order with Musician's Friend. The sticks may well have been mismatched at a warehouse or elsewhere, not at Vater's factory. Another point, however, is that one of the sticks was so light that it seemed to fall beneath the weight range of quality control. If felt like a stick from a different category, though I realize that wood, an organic substance, can exhibit considerable variations in weight and mass. Regardless, the experience left a bad impression that dissuaded me from further trials.

I'm not attempting to discourage anyone from purchasing Vater sticks. I'm sure they make high-quality products as a rule. Stick companies are run by humans, and some degree of error is inevitable on occasion. I don't hold a grudge of any sort. I've settled on AHEAD for a variety of reasons, so my wood-sampling days are foreseeably over.
 

planoranger

Junior Member
C.M....Not to belabor the point, but, the 6g difference you experienced would be within specs for Vic Firth sticks. I saw a video that they did a number of years ago. They allow +/-3g of nominal weight within any style of stick. So theoretically one could buy 2 pairs of sticks that are 6g apart in weight.

It wouldn't surprise me if Vater followed the same tolerance.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
C.M....Not to belabor the point, but, the 6g difference you experienced would be within specs for Vic Firth sticks. I saw a video that they did a number of years ago. They allow +/-3g of nominal weight within any style of stick. So theoretically one could buy 2 pairs of sticks that are 6g apart in weight.

It wouldn't surprise me if Vater followed the same tolerance.

I hear you. The Vater pair I tried may have had a balance issue as well. One just felt dramatically different from the other.

One reason I like AHEAD: Because they're synthetic, spot-on accuracy can be expected. They even list stick weight on their website. Every 5B Light Rock stick I've owned has weighed 58 grams. (I keep waiting for one to come in at 57 or 59, but that's never happened.) The balance is always clinical as well. I'm sort of a stickler for stick specs (pun intended). As I've always maintained, we play sticks first and drums second, as our hands never make direct contact with drumheads. If my sticks aren't right, nothing else matters.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Darth has his own sticks? When did he land that endorsement deal? Oh. Vater, not Vader. Got it now.

You will use my VATER stix or I will SMITE you DOWN !!

I actually use Vater and Vic Firth. Both 5B w/ wood tips. VF is a little smaller in circumference and works well with my Prolite kit. Vater 5B's are a bit larger. I use those on my Saturn V kit. I don't think I've ever paid more than $5 a pair for either online. I usually buy 4 pair packs.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
You will use my VATER stix or I will SMITE you DOWN !!

I actually use Vater and Vic Firth. Both 5B w/ wood tips. VF is a little smaller in circumference and works well with my Prolite kit. Vater 5B's are a bit larger. I use those on my Saturn V kit. I don't think I've ever paid more than $5 a pair for either online. I usually buy 4 pair packs.

These aren't the Vater stix you're looking for.
 

wraub

Well-known member
"I find your lack of Vater sticks...disturbing."

You will use my VATER stix or I will SMITE you DOWN !!

I actually use Vater and Vic Firth. Both 5B w/ wood tips. VF is a little smaller in circumference and works well with my Prolite kit. Vater 5B's are a bit larger. I use those on my Saturn V kit. I don't think I've ever paid more than $5 a pair for either online. I usually buy 4 pair packs.
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
So theoretically one could buy 2 pairs of sticks that are 6g apart in weight.
In reality, you can buy pairs that are a whopping 20 grams apart. I have VF 85As ranging from 89g to 109g a pair. The pairs themselves are perfectly matched but I found the overal difference in weight astonishing.
These days I play Vater 7A Manhattan sticks. Mine range from 92g to 106g a pair. Not bad either...
 

planoranger

Junior Member
In reality, you can buy pairs that are a whopping 20 grams apart. I have VF 85As ranging from 89g to 109g a pair. The pairs themselves are perfectly matched but I found the overal difference in weight astonishing.
These days I play Vater 7A Manhattan sticks. Mine range from 92g to 106g a pair. Not bad either...

Thanks for the info. So...it seems that VF is ignoring their own claims for weight tolerance.

As an aside, just last week I switched to the VF 85A. I bought 3 pair to try them out. I don't weigh my sticks...I go by how they feel in my hands. Surprisingly, all 3 pair feel EXACTLY the same to me. The sticks that I'm really interested in are the Vater 8A. Unfortunately, nobody stocks them locally. There is no way I'm purchasing sticks I've never tried online. So, I'll stay with the 85A's for now.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member

wraub

Well-known member
DV: "Search your rhythms, you know it to be true..."

DV: "If you only knew the power of the 5-As. Obi-wan never told you what happened to your drummer."

LS: "He told me enough. He told me you fired him!"

DV: "No. I am your drummer."
 

Jml

Senior Member
Since posting this thread, prices for several Promark and Vic Firth sticks have gone up ($12.99/pair) while most Vaters are still under $8. Going with Vaters.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
Just looked on Amazon for these..... VF 5a's are 8.99 - cheaper than Vater 5a's at 9.99
The "goodwood" versions are 4.69 for 7a's but 8.99 for 5a's ...........
(Thats UK pounds and pence btw)

If they're longer lasting then I'd be happy to try them for the same price, but they don't appear to be the 20% cheaper as claimed:unsure:
 

planoranger

Junior Member
Actually, I'm surprised that manufacturers have held their prices for this long. VF's and ProMark's sticks (wood tip, non-signature models) have been $9.99/pair for quite a number of years now. I'm a hobbyist woodworker, and prices for all species of wood have gone through the roof within the past year. I don't work with your everyday stuff like 2 x 4's very often, but 2 years ago I was building some new mobile workstations for my shop. So I just needed some 2 x 4's since these workstations were not going to be "heirloom" quality. The wood they use to make 2 x 4's would best be categorized by the term "garbage". I paid something like $1.99 each for them. I just checked Home Depot's price...they are now $4.82 each (that's about a 142% increase). So you can imagine what hickory and maple would go for even at the bulk prices that stick manufacturers would pay. I guess it helps when you you own your own forests and sawmills. Not to mention the fact that there is also a shortage of wood for a number of reasons...the main one being what's been going on the past year. This also might explain why new drum sets are taking longer to be made/delivered (another topic within DW).
 
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