Loooong break after the huge NAMM show out in Anaheim. Sorry about that. Quick reminder, all the coverage I put together from the convention is going to DRUM! Magazine. Keep your eyes on their Gear page for a near never-ending stream of booth videos and extras (including a visit to Regal Tip’s display).
Alright, to get back on track; let’s dive into episode three of our Stick of the Week series. This week’s feature: the Regal Tip Session. If you’re curious about a particular brand or model, let me know in the comments section, or email email@example.com.
Tip: Flatted ball
Price: $7.99 at Music123
Regal Tip’s Session model almost didn’t make it to market. Originally designed in conjunction with an artist who aligned himself with another company not long after the stick was completed, the Session seemed like a hard-earned project that might never see the light of day.
Fortunately, the Regal Tip team knew that the Session was just too interesting a stick to pass up. With a long, narrow taper and a small, focused tip, the Session offers an excellent balance of lightning fast rebound and punchy clarity.
The stick comes in just a little wider than a half inch, but plays much smaller to my hand because of the elongated taper. Shaving off that extra front end weight creates a lighter playability with a grip that doesn’t feel like a pencil in my hand – kind of like a more nimble 5A. At first I was a little concerned about balance, but after a few minutes with the Sessions, it was clear that they were constructed with easy, fluid double strokes in mind.
Perhaps my favorite feature of the Session stick was the tip. Offering the clean focus of a smaller ball bead, but with the added fatness of a flatter striking edge, the tip did a good job of splitting the difference between a classic narrow acorn (common to many jazz models) and the ball tip found on most fusion-style sticks.
In profile, the tip looks a little bit like a trapezoid with a rounded top, making the flatter sides easily noticeable. The broader strike zone (as compared to a normal ball tip of this size) might suck just a little bit of warmth out of cymbal attack, trading it in for added brightness. It also pulled a rounder tone out of toms at lower dynamic volumes; a nice feature that helped make these sticks appropriate for a wide variety of styles.
The Session is an exceedingly well-designed stick that should serve a lot of drummers very well. The long, narrow taper offers a lighter feel with ultra-quick rebound, but a wider handle makes the stick plenty comfortable in hand. The Session, like all of Regal Tip’s models, comes coated in the company’s unique finish – a hard gloss that adds some tackiness, but in my sweaty palms, turned slippery a little sooner than I’d like. I wouldn’t call this a deal breaker, however, as a quick shot of sandpaper around the grip helped curb the issue.
On the whole, I’d call the Session a very satisfying stick that’s sure to see plenty of playing time around here.