Zildjian: Expanding Wood Options
Zildjian’s sticks went lighter, heavier, and more rubbery as of summer 2011. I’m talking specifically about the new Maple Dip models — double-coated in bright green grip stuff, the new Maple stick models — light and airy, and the notable heaviness of Zildjian’s brutally laminated birch sticks.
Zildjian has long carried “dipped” sticks. The new Maple Dips are half coated in a double-dipping of green goo, not black. The easy-grip, rubbery coating is very comfortable to hold and instantly solves the “slippery stick” problem for many of us. And there are a couple of other things you’ll notice right away.
First, the dip coating, which goes about halfway up the stick, will change your cross-stick sound because the coating will contact the rim during a typical cross-stick grip. In my experience with these, the cross-stick sound still came through, so I wasn’t entirely out of luck, but it did lose a good dose of pop and click. Secondly, the dipped sticks gain a noticeable bit of weight on the back side, which can make for a lovely feel if you like that sort of thing — and I like that sort of thing.
The new Zildjian Dip sticks include 5A, 5B, Super 7A, Maple Mini Ball, and Maple Acorn. The Super Dip Maple 7A is awesome for rockers who need a lighter stick for softer articulations. The dip makes the very small, very light stick easier to hold if you are more used to swinging a hickory 5B like a baseball bat. The Mini Ball tip Super Dip Maple is dramatically focused on both cymbals and drums — give it a try just to hear how tips can drastically alter sounds. Then try the Acorn tip Dip Maple stick, with the same shaft but different tip — it’s open and lively where the Ball is focused and precise. Maple Dip sticks in 5A and 5B are classic sizes but with fatter-feeling grip. The 5A feels, in the hand, like a 5B, but very light.
The Airy Articulations Of Maple
Of course, “dipped” maple sticks are not quite as lively as plain wood maple sticks. To get 100 percent of the airy, feathery articulation that a maple stick can produce, you’ll have to use plain wood (and you might have to adjust your technique to the lighter weapon). The new Zildjian Maple Super 7A is lovely, a jazzy stick with a small ball tip that makes cymbals sing. The Maple Jazz is very similar but a tad fatter and with a fuller, oval tip. The 5A and 5B wood tip Maple models are both great introductions to maple goodness.
Zildjian’s new laminated birch models have nothing in common with regular birch sticks. They are made from resin-coated plies of birch, layered in plywood fashion before being turned into dowels, and they are heavy and brutal. Yum. If you need to pummel some stuff, these are your tools. They have low flex, very even, solid weight distribution, and promise tremendous durability. They are really heavy. Available in Heavy Super 7A (which I find to be weird: a really small, super-heavy stick), Heavy 6A, Heavy 5A (now you’re talkin’) and the nearly perfect Heavy 5B (these are the sticks I needed in 1988!!).
What’s In A Name This Time?
Two new Zildjian Artist series sticks have arrived from two old favorite rockers, Joey Kramer and Danny Seraphine. Kramer, of course, is still driving Aerosmith from his drum throne, and Seraphine, the original, founding, ex-drummer of horn-band rockers Chicago, is doing clinics and concerts. Seraphine was semi-retired for many years but has been resoundingly welcomed back into the drumming world, and with good reason: you won’t find many old-guy drummers who can’t air-drum a couple of Seraphine fills from Chicago’s early albums. He made some very influential recordings.
Kramer’s stick is 16.25" long and 0.55" in diameter, with a raw, unlacquered finish that is double-sanded for better grip. It’s a long, evenly weighted hickory stick with an acorn tip. The slight neck taper gives it plenty of forward throw.
Seraphine’s stick, also 0.55" in diameter but a more standard 16" long, has a unique thumb-groove turned into it, a sort of fulcrum placeholder for his hand. I dug the groove, thought it wasn’t always the “fulcrum point” for me as I moved grip for different volumes and applications. Seraphine’s lacquered stick has a fat teardrop tip that gave bright, full cymbal response.
The new double-goo Dip sticks are a must-have style of stick. The laminated, heavy birch sticks will be awesome for heavy hitters. Zildjian maple is still sweet for lighter swinging. And all the drummers we know are happy to give props to Joey Kramer and Danny Seraphine.
Models & Sizes
Zildjian Maple Dip: 5A, 5B, Super 7A, Maple Mini Ball, Maple Acorn
Zildjian Maple: Super 7A, Jazz, 5A, 5B
Zildjian Laminated Birch: Heavy Super 7A, Heavy 6A, Heavy 5A, Heavy 5B
Zildjian Artist Series: Joey Kramer, 16.25" x 0.55"; Danny Seraphine, 16" x 0.55"
Model & List Price
Zildjian Maple Dip $9/pair
Zildjian Maple $8/pair
Zildjian Laminated Birch $11/pair
Zildjian Artist Series $9/pair
New Maple Dip sticks are double-coated in grip goo; new Maple models expand choices in this articulate wood; Laminated Birch sticks are super-heavy for loud displays of artillery; Kramer’s raw stick and Seraphine’s grooved stick only add to their legendary status in the Rock Drummer community.
Avedis Zildjian Company