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Nylon vs. Wood vs. ???
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Poster Nylon vs. Wood vs. ???
pgdrums





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No. 1 Posted on Jun 17, 2013 10:00 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I know that the debate about nylon vs. wooden tips is as old as this forum and has been discussed many times, but I'm reconsidering my position on it. Actually, I'm solidly on the fence about it.

I prefer the sound of wood tips on cymbals, but I prefer the sound of nylon on drums, at least when using coated heads. I use coated Ambos as batter heads because I find them to be the most versatile, which is important in my particular band. The problem is that they're too warm/dark for my taste, so I've always asked our sound tech to brighten the high end EQ in order to add some attack that gets lost otherwise. But EQ'ing to add attack isn't always the best option.

At last weekend's gig I played with nylon tips for the first time in a long time, and I loved the greater attack on the drums. Unfortunately, I still don't like the cymbal sound.

Seems like my options are to get used to the brighter cymbal sound with nylon, be satisfied with the weaker attack with wood, or switch to clear heads. I don't like any of these 3 options. Is there another option I'm missing?




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No. 2 Posted on Jun 17, 2013 4:13 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Personally, I much prefer the clarity on cymbals from nylon tips. And I also much prefer the durability of nylon tips. I'm nylon tips all the way.


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OldFart

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No. 3 Posted on Jun 18, 2013 9:35 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
In the Ahead sticks thread, I mention owning and liking them. They, I guess obviously, have a synthetic tip and sound good.

For many years I used pretty much nothing but Nylon tipped sticks. My mantra here with respect to my approach to things was and is as one who suffered against amplifiers and PA's while not being mic'd myself. So it was an uphill struggle as an all-acoustic player living in amplified Rock bands.

Nylon tipped sticks supplied the needed articulation. I fully agree with RvJim .

That said, however, I don't have that need now, since I'm not in a performing band. I'm currently playing longer wood sticks sans Nylon tips.



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pgdrums





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No. 4 Posted on Jun 18, 2013 10:15 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I wonder whether there's a correlation between batter head preference and stick tip preference. I think I like wood tips for clear heads but nylon tips for coated heads. Do most of you who prefer nylon use coated heads? Do most who prefer wood use clear heads?



technique2012





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No. 5 Posted on Jun 18, 2013 12:17 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
pgdrums wrote:
I wonder whether there's a correlation between batter head preference and stick tip preference. I think I like wood tips for clear heads but nylon tips for coated heads. Do most of you who prefer nylon use coated heads? Do most who prefer wood use clear heads?

I think it's a matter of the articulation that each head produces with each stick. It often depends on the articulation you want. I rarely use nylons only because I overall don't particularly care for the way it articulates and feels. I practice with them all the same but when it comes to a performance, I always use wood tips.



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OldFart

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No. 6 Posted on Jun 18, 2013 1:58 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
pgdrums wrote:
I wonder whether there's a correlation between batter head preference and stick tip preference. I think I like wood tips for clear heads but nylon tips for coated heads. Do most of you who prefer nylon use coated heads? Do most who prefer wood use clear heads?


I tried both types of heads while using Nylon-tipped sticks. I think I always preferred the response (including the sound) of Coated heads because too much Attack has always caused me to cringe a bit; and I think I get that attack with Clear Batter and Reso while using Nylon-tipped sticks. Case in point : I now have Coated single-ply heads as Batter and Reso on my Toms ( That's my attempt to purposely hark back to a 1960's sound, though ).

I do notice something more 'rounded' in attack and tone while playing wood-tipped sticks on Coated batters; I'll grant you.



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RvJim

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No. 7 Posted on Jun 18, 2013 3:19 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
pgdrums wrote:
I wonder whether there's a correlation between batter head preference and stick tip preference. I think I like wood tips for clear heads but nylon tips for coated heads. Do most of you who prefer nylon use coated heads? Do most who prefer wood use clear heads?


This seems likely. I do also prefer coated heads.



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paul

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No. 8 Posted on Jun 18, 2013 7:22 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Maybe I'm not paying close enough attention, but I think the difference in sound is much greater on cymbals than on drums, and that's the basis I use for choosing.

I like nylon tips when playing rock, because they help the ride cut through, especially with a heavy ride. At lower volumes, or when miked I like wood tips, but ditch them as soon as the tips start to splinter or get soft. Regardless of what I'm playing, I want the definition.

All that said, if the stick doesn't pull the sound I want out of the drums I won't use it, regardless of the tip.



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No. 9 Posted on Jun 19, 2013 9:37 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
This is just a thought that quickly came to mind, but could a possible fourth option be using darker cymbals to counteract some of the extra brightness you're getting with the nylon tips on the cymbals?


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pwc





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No. 10 Posted on Jun 19, 2013 11:40 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
My cymbals were chosen for their darker sound for my acoustic jazz gigs and include flat rides that are known for stick definition. I use the smallest ball tipped wooden sticks I can find that make these cymbals even darker. It would be counter productive for me to switch to nylon tips with such cymbals. For blues or higher volume gigs I switch to bigger tipped wood sticks that obviate the need for nylon tips which I personally dislike intensely. But that's just me.


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No. 11 Posted on Jun 20, 2013 5:03 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I'm solidly in the nylon tip camp, mainly for the durability and secondly for the brighter cymbal sound. I don't notice much difference between wood and nylon on drum heads but notice a whole bunch on cymbals.

One thing nobody mentioned is that most of us crash our cymbals using glancing strikes from the shoulder of the stick, so the tips really don't matter too much. Sometimes I ride my hi-hats with the stick shoulders if I'm looking for a really muddy sound. Once again, in these cases, tips aren't really a factor.




pgdrums





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No. 12 Posted on Jun 20, 2013 5:51 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
The difference between wood and nylon is definitely more pronounced on cymbals than on drums, but I also think I have more 'tolerance' for cymbals that don't sound exactly the way I want them to sound than for drums that don't produce the sound I want.

I suspect that we drummers are much more able to detect differences in cymbal sounds than members of the audience are. And I also suspect that most audience members are more likely to be impressed/distracted by good/bad drum sounds than cymbal sounds.

Andy's right that stick tips generally don't make much difference for cymbal crashes because most of us aren't crashing with our tips. But crashes aren't the only thing I do on crash cymbals, and I even play hi-hat with the tip of my sticks, so the difference between nylon and wood makes a big difference in my sound, especially on hi-hat.

Replacing all my cymbals with something darker isn't a good option at this point, so I've come to the conclusion that there's really no ideal situation for me. I just have to choose between cymbals that are too bright or drums that are too dark. Either way, life goes on.




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No. 13 Posted on Jun 20, 2013 12:59 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Well... No matter which option you choose you can be certain that nobody in the audience or your band will ever know (or care)! Smile Whichever route you choose, you'll sound fine.

Last practice, our guitar player was angrily fussing with his amp the whole time as it wasn't giving him the perfect sound he was looking for. Just like drum sticks, none of us could tell the difference in the sound. Finally I said: "Hey Greg, did you realize that I switched out three of my cymbals and a snare drum before practice?"





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