NAMM 2018: Vic Firth
There are plenty of new products on the Vic Firth stand this year, so to ring the changes from the new stick varieties which are only to be expected, something that is bound to attract attention is a range of three new products designed to to help drummers grip their sticks better: PureGrit, DoubleGlaze and VicWax.
Because every drummer’s body chemistry is unique, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to finding a way to improve grip, the maker says. Vic Firth’s American Classic PureGrit and DoubleGlaze sticks are designed to offer two new tactile experiences for the 5A and 5B player. Together with VicGrip and classic clear lacquer, PureGrit and DoubleGlaze offer players even more possibilities to find their own perfect feel, Vic Firth says.
The American Classic PureGrit sticks are not only lacquer-free but also undergo a unique abrasive processing step, which adds a touch of “grittiness” and raw wood texture to the shaft. Because the stick is not treated, over time the player’s perspiration and oil penetrates the surface of the stick, creating a natural feel and a ‘oneness with the wood’. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the American Classic DoubleGlaze sticks are coated with a specialised lacquer formula which creates a characteristically tacky feel. The maker says players with especially dry hands will appreciate the enhanced lacquered surface because it allows them to relax their grip on the stick. The thick DoubleGlaze coating also adds a bit of mass to the stick for a solid feel.
Meanwhile, for players who like a tackier feel, or who play a stick other than the 5A or 5B, Vic Firth is also proud to offer the new VicWax drumstick wax, which is specially formulated to be 25% tackier than all other waxes on the market, the maker claims. Available in a convenient, compact container, VicWax is a handy way to apply any level of coating on the stick, according to a player’s desired feel. And it’s berry scented.
Far away from sticks, Vic Firth will announce they have gone back to the drawing board to make one of their most popular hearing protection products, the Stereo Isolation Headphones even better. The new Stereo Isolation Headphones Version 2 (SiH2) features a redesigned larger driver in the ear cups that deliver a more powerful low end, cleaner mids and clear highs for a superior sound. Overall noise levels are reduced by 25 dBs and the improved padded headband creates a more comfortable fit.
Next up is the new Matt Garstka Signature Stick, designed for the Animals As Leaders drummer.
‘The Matt Garstka Signature Stick was designed with a unique alchemy of taper, tip and weight, providing the perfect symmetry between power, speed, balance and sound. The diameter is halfway between the 55A and the Buddy Rich Signature Stick, and is 16” in length. The way the profile blends seamlessly from the shaft, through the taper, and into the tip is key to producing amazing flex and response and a clear, full-bodied sound on the cymbal’.
Finally, also to be introduced at the show are the new VicKick Wood Shaft Beaters (VKB5) which will join the VicKick line of beaters designed for drum set and cajon players and Vintage Snappy wires for snare drums. For the latter, Vic Firth Company has partnered with Canopus drums, makers of premium Japanese snare wires. ‘The sound is in the name as these snare wires snap at all dynamic levels without choking the bottom snare side drumhead. Your snare drum will sound fuller and have more tone,’ the manufacturer says. Made from premium Japanese steel, the Vintage Snappy snare wires feature narrower than standard bronze end plates, which are perfect for modern and vintage snare drums’.
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