By Andy Doerschuk
Published March 28, 2011
Anyone following our news column late last year will remember that the stick biz underwent a momentous transformation when, in quick succession, D’Addario (parent company of Evans and Puresound) acquired ProMark, and the famous cymbalsmiths Zildjian “merged” with Vic Firth. This high-stakes game of musical chairs didn’t seem entirely coincidental and suggested that those of us on the sidelines might be in for some action in the stick sector.
Which brings us to today’s announcement that Vic Firth has nabbed Dave Matthews Band’s iconic drummer Carter Beauford from his former endorsement deal with ProMark. Beauford is a longtime Zildjian cymbal endorser and, well, it ain’t hard to add two plus two.
But this deal isn’t purely gamesmanship. “When a friend of mine recently put some Vic Sticks in my hands, I could not believe the difference,” Beauford says. “The stick not only felt perfectly straight and balanced, but I could also hear the difference immediately.”
Ultimately, the proof is in the wood, so check out Vic Firth’s new Carter Beauford Signature stick, which combines a 5B shaft with an extended taper and elongated oval wood tip. (In techno-speak it is 16” long with a .595” diameter) The butt end of the stick is dressed in anti-slip Vic Grip coating in Beauford’s signature yellow, which not only increases the grip but also adds a smidgeon of durability. Suggested retail price: $20.50.