Stick of the Week: Zildjian 5A Acorn Black

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Alright, down to business. This week, we’re looking at an updated version of Zildjian’s 5A Acorn Black, a hickory stick with a tip-to-butt black finish. Let’s get right to it.

Zildjian 5A-Wood-BlackZildjian 5A Acorn Black

Material: Hickory

Length: 16.25”

Width: .570”

Tip: Acorn

Price: $8.00 at Zildjian

With a little more length and weight than similar models, the 5A Acorn Black is a really, really comfortable stick in hand. It’s got a gentle taper that offers the perfect amount of front end weight for a stick this length, and it makes speedy stokes a breeze. Navigating different dynamic levels was remarkably easy with the 5A Acorn Blacks, because they just played so fluidly in hand. Again, I really enjoyed the feel of this stick.

Snare drum strike zone after about 3 minutes of play.
Snare drum strike zone after about 3 minutes of play.

However, the new black coating ruined these bad boys for me. Sure, that sleek, black coating looks bangin’ on the stick itself. You know where it doesn’t look bangin’, though? All over my cymbals and coated drumheads (see photo). What a huge bummer!

I would have assumed that the savvy stick-makers at the Big Z would have figured out a formula that didn’t leave black crud on my sweet gear. Maybe I’m missing something, or maybe my expectations are too high, but I was really disappointed with this result. I am sending this review to Zildjian, so if they offer any additional clarity, I’ll be sure to include it in an amendment to this review.

Wrap Up

As I mentioned above, I loved the feel of this stick. It brought a very even, full tone out of both cymbals and drums, and the balance was just excellent. Unfortunately, that black remnant it left on cymbal edges and coated heads was too much of a setback for me to recommend it (unless you’re playing black heads and black cymbals). I’m pretty interested in checking out the 5A Acorn Natural model to see if I can get the same feel without any of the mess.

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