Super Sticks: A New Take On Tips
Barrel Tip Super Sticks
Flat Top Super Sticks
A few years ago I was manning DRUM!’s Winter NAMM booth when Jimmy Lento walked up and introduced himself, eager to share his newest invention with the magazine. As I went to shake his hand, I realized he was wearing the invention in question, the Triplet Drum Glove. As Lento proceeded to outline the various benefits of the glove, it was obvious how passionate he felt about the product.
That enthusiasm and energy has helped Lento and his inventions stand out from the crowd over the years. When I heard about his latest creation, Super Sticks, I was eager to give them a whirl and see what Lento had done to shake up the world of stick design. I got even more intrigued when I visited supersticksmusic.com and discovered that Bernard Purdie was the company’s marquee endorser!
Out Of The Box
Printed on the sticks’ packaging are the words “The Technology Is In The Tip.” And no doubt it’s the tips that distinguish Super Sticks from any other stick you’ve ever seen. The tips’ shape is reminiscent of a circular Jell-O pan, a hollowed-out donut cut in half, or one of those old-school umbrellas from the ’80s that kind of cocoons the person holding it. On the descriptive flier Lento sent with the package of sticks he promises that the “barrel tip and flat-top design offer greater rebound, flexibility in the tip, a dynamic response, and your drum and cymbals will come to life.”
Lento sent me two pairs of barrel-tip hickory Pro series 5As. Aside from the otherworldly tip, the shape of the stick itself is similar to that of your average pair of 5As. The hickory looked and felt great, and my first impression was that they felt extremely well balanced.
When I finally got the chance to sit down at my kit and give them a try, the sounds they elicited from my drums and cymbals were very close to another promise Lento had printed on the flier: a “sound that is very close to wooden tips.” The sticks sounded just like your average pair of 5As. There was nothing hollow about their sound at all, just nice solid notes being drawn from my snare and toms. I may have heard a slight muffling effect in their response on my ride cymbal, but it was subtle, and more positive than I would have thought. All in all a welcome surprise.
FeelAfter playing with the sticks for a while, I decided the feel was nice and solid. Rim-clicks in particular felt and sounded great using the barrel tips – again, a subtle but noticeable difference. I spent a while on my ride cymbal positioning my arm at many different angles trying to find a sweet spot with maximum rebound. I was able to get a fast solid triplet pattern going on the cymbal as I tried my hardest to get that Tony Williams three-stroke ride cymbal bounce.
For the sake of comparison, I picked up a few other pairs of name-brand sticks lying around my drum kit, and found that their rebound was in the same ballpark as that of the Super Sticks. However, when I picked the Super Sticks back up again, I did feel that I was able to get slightly more rebound.
DurabilityThe hickory used in these sticks felt nice and sturdy. I spent a while playing at normal volumes, and then turned it up a notch with some full-on bashing, and the hickory’s endurance was comparable to that of every other high-quality name-brand stick I’ve used. When I finally managed to break two the four sticks I’d received, they splintered close to their tips. I only mention this because Lento did, in fact, make good on his promise that “Jimmy guarantees that his patent-pending tips will never break.” Sure enough, the tips remained firmly intact, and showed no sign of fatigue.
VerdictDrum stick innovation has always struck me as a difficult endeavor, especially considering that there’s a real limit on the number of modifications you can make to such a basic design. Lento’s product is a good idea, and a much-appreciated effort, though maybe not a game-changer of the magnitude promised on the Super Sticks promotional materials. The improvement in rebound is noticeable, though subtle. On the other hand, a little extra rebound never hurt anybody. Whether or not that’s a necessary improvement depends on your drumming needs and what you’re looking for in a stick. Super Sticks feel nice, sound great, and proved to be very durable. There’s not much more you could ask for in a stick.
Models & Sizes Flat Tops: 5A, 16", Barrel Tips: 5A, 16"
Features Hickory shafts, Open Flexible-Tip Design, 100-percent lifetime money-back guarantee on tips.
List Price $14.95