Welcome to the very first installment of our “Stick of the Week” series! Hopefully, these super-quick reviews will provide a little extra info about some of the many, many drumstick models on the market. If you’re curious about a particular brand or model, let me know in the comments section, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before we jump into the full review, I have to mention that our first submission is up for a Drummie! If you’re familiar with the SilverFox Bop Master, head over to DRUM! Magazine’s Drummies! voting page and see if you can help them win.
Length: 16 1/4”
Tip: Wood Oval
Price: $6.65 (39.95 for six pairs) at Grover Percussion
In response to artist requests for a hickory answer to their much loved maple 515, Boston-based beat makers, SilverFox, whipped up the Bop Master model early last year. Just a bit longer, and six tenths of an inch narrower than their classic 5A, the Bop Master stick offers a nimble feel with excellent balance. The added length allows you to choke up just a bit higher and manage the stick’s weight more effectively, making it much easier to draw out that perfect “spang” from your favorite trashy ride.
When compared to the company’s 515, the Bop Master’s added weight and density yields more attack and a slightly punchier response from toms and snares. Similarly, the stick brings a much sharper sound out of even the darkest cymbals.
I know there are a lot of drummers who prefer the sound of hickory sticks to maple in a jazz setting, but I think the Bop Master’s greatest strength would be as a companion to the 515. Keeping a few pairs of each in your bag would give you the option of using the exact same stick in either wood choice depending on the needs of the room or situation. Quiet dinner gigs might feel a little more manageable with maple, while larger halls would probably call for hickory.
Either way, this is a really nice stick that shouldn’t be limited to just jazz applications. The extra length and long taper make speedy playing very easy, and SilverFox’s Duracrylx finish adds plenty of durability for harder hitters.
In summary, the Bop Master is a very comfortable, very playable and versatile stick. Great stuff.