Favorite Mallet Brand and Why

marimba / vibes / xylo discussion

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DanielPedroza Offline
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Favorite Mallet Brand and Why

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 10:33 pm



I have been an Innovative Percussion guy for the longest time, when it comes to both malles and drumsticks, but my percussion instructor has been recommending Mike Balters to me as of late. So I ask, what are your favorite brands and why? Any comparisons? Recommendations?
Viera High School

2010 - Bass 5
2011 - Tenors
2012 - Snare (Center)
2013 - Staff
2014 - Staff
2015 - Staff

Eau Gallie High School

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TheKingofNone Offline
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Re: Favorite Mallet Brand and Why

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 12:58 pm



I don't like Balters all that much. I used to be a huge fan of IP, and still love them, but I recently got a few pairs of the Marimba One Double Helix mallets (Medium Hard) and they are like the most amazing thing I've ever used.
You cant just 'hit' a drum; you have to beat the s*** out of it. ~Eric Cartman

GSUS '15

I'm that guy who says he'll try out for drum corps next year and never does.
But I'm totally gonna try to march Alliance this summer.


Captain Offline
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Re:

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:51 pm



I prefer Innovative Percussion and Malletech for most of my mallet needs. Almost everyone has used Innovative mallets so I don't really feel the need to explain it but, I typically use the cedar shaft Zivkovic series, Janis Potter series, and Anders Astrand series. I like the natural feel on the shafts of the Zivkovic series and Potter series; the Astrand series just sounds beautiful to me and is extremely versatile.
Malletech is used quite a bit also. My first set of Malletech mallets were the Stevens series. They're pretty light but they're very versatile dynamically and the shafts feel awesome to me. They feel really "dry"/unpolished, which I like. Unless I'm remembering wrong (which is a possibility), they've never heard of a pair of their Concerto series mallets be returned/retired due to fraying of the yarn, so they're pretty durable. I also really enjoy the "Becker Blues," and really want to try the Natural Rubber series.
But, despite my mallet preferences, Balter makes good vibraphone mallets, but I'm not the biggest fan of their other products. Their marimba mallets feel rudimentary (for lack of a better term I can think of) to me, but I could have just gotten a weird set or something.


DanielPedroza Offline
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Re: Favorite Mallet Brand and Why

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:31 pm



Thanks for the feedback. As far as IP mallets go, I love the Zivkovic series. I've tried the Astrand models and also the Dan Moore vibe mallets, but im not all that impressed by them, that's why my instructor recommended the Balter Pro Vibe series.

As far as the Marimba One mallets go, what are some reasons you like them? How's the weight, shaft diameter, length, etc.?
Viera High School

2010 - Bass 5
2011 - Tenors
2012 - Snare (Center)
2013 - Staff
2014 - Staff
2015 - Staff

Eau Gallie High School

2015 - Staff


TheKingofNone Offline
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Re: Favorite Mallet Brand and Why

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:54 am



DanielPedroza wrote:Thanks for the feedback. As far as IP mallets go, I love the Zivkovic series. I've tried the Astrand models and also the Dan Moore vibe mallets, but im not all that impressed by them, that's why my instructor recommended the Balter Pro Vibe series.

As far as the Marimba One mallets go, what are some reasons you like them? How's the weight, shaft diameter, length, etc.?
Keep in mind, I have very limited mallet experience- at least, compared to most mallet players. The length is great, about the same as IP-240s. They aren't all that heavy, with an unfinished shaft (prolly 3/16ths of an inch). The reason I love them is the feel and the sound. They are very, lively, I guess- they kind of have a bounce. I really don't know how to describe it, but they don't feel ''Dead'' on the keys like Balters do. I have the medium-hards, and they sound great in every register, though they are a bit harsh on the lower octave and have little ''cut'''on the highest octave. They have a great, booming sound but can be very melodic with less effort than some others I've used. All in all, I doubt I'd pay the full $50 for a pair, but if you can catch a sale on Steve Weiss (which usually only last a day or two) I'd definitely spring on a few pairs. My favorite mallets I've gotten the chance to use- next on my list are the Malletech Stevens.
You cant just 'hit' a drum; you have to beat the s*** out of it. ~Eric Cartman

GSUS '15

I'm that guy who says he'll try out for drum corps next year and never does.
But I'm totally gonna try to march Alliance this summer.


NGPercussion Offline
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Re: Favorite Mallet Brand and Why

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:56 pm



My first marimba mallets were IP 300s. They were a great set of four mallets and lasted forever and a day on the synthetic marimba I was playing on all of the time, and still have life in them. That said, my Malletech Wave Wraps are fantastic and I would definitely recommend those as well, though the price tag is high. I know what you guys are saying about the Balters, but I've used chime hammers and brass/plastic glockenspiel mallets from them in the past, and prefer those to the IP ones I bought recently.

Long story short, all of the brands have pros and cons. There aren't many terrible sticks or mallets out there from the major brands.
Percussioning since 2003.


ribull Offline
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Re:

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:20 am



I really like Innovative Percussion. Their Casella Line is really really nice. IP1001s last literally for an eternity, but are pretty soft. IP1002s are my favorite because they can produce an awesome range of sound and still last a really long time. Vic Firths are usually lighter and easier to grip, but less well made. I really like Pro-Mark as well as their mallets tend to last forever.
'13 ZCHS MB "Sorcerer and the Swan" - Marimba
'14 ZCHS Indoor "The Singularity" - Center Marimba
'14 ZCHS MB "A Day in the Life of a Knight" - Center Marimba
'15 ZCHS Indoor "Balance" - Marimba
'15 ZCHS MB "Uncharted Waters" - Center Marimba
'16 ZCHS Indoor "Batter Up" - Center Marimba


gloriousgoo Offline
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Re: Favorite Mallet Brand and Why

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:23 pm



Marimba One user here for concert stuff. The weight, sound profile, and minimal impact sound to volume ratio is incredible. The ideal mallet.


hurt-a Offline
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Re: Favorite Mallet Brand and Why

Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:30 pm



There are a lot of great mallets from all companies. Try not to fall for brand loyalty too much.
Legends DBC Front Ensemble
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