Vic Firth's affordable Nova drum sticks are crafted of the same First Quality wood used for Vic Firth brand sticks. Each pair is weight-sorted and tone-paired using Vic Firth technology. On the nylon sticks, Vic Firth's new "TipLock" process guarantees that the tips won't chip or fly off.
What Makes a Great Drumstick?
For almost 40 years, Vic Firth Inc. has produced the finest drumsticks and mallets available. Innovative design coupled with uncompromising quality control - highlighted by the recent improvements to our proprietary tone pairing system - truly provide their customers with the Perfect Pair. It is this commitment that makes Vic Firth the world's largest manufacturer of drumsticks and mallets.
Here's an overview of each step in Vic Firth's manufacturing process:
I. Kiln Drying
As every Vic Firth drumstick passes through the manufacturing process, it is inspected and reinspected to ensure the highest quality product.
This begins at the sawmill, where only the finest logs are cut into squares. These squares are dried to an exact moisture level in Vic Firth's own kilns under closely monitored conditions which prevent stress, cracks and warpage.
II. Doweling Process
After reaching the proper moisture level, pallets of wooden squares are brought into the manufacturing facility. Each wooden square is then processed individually into a round dowel.
III. Dowel Inspection
The wood dowels are then carefully inspected and graded into several categories, based on color, grain straightness, mineral streaks, blemishes and structural defects.
IV. Centerless Grinding
To become a Vic Firth drumstick, a system of grinding takes place. The dowels are positioned in front of an abrasive grinding wheel which is turning at a high speed. The dowels are spun and pressed into the wheel which grinds the wheel profile into the stick.
V. Backknife Lathe
Most of Vic Firth's timpani mallets and bass drum beaters are not made on centerless grinders, but instead on a lathe that is called a back knife. The wood dowel is loaded between centers and spun at a very high speed. Then, the carriage strokes the length of the wood and cuts off the excess. Finally, a knife cuts the profile of the stick.
VI. Computer Shaping
Sticks or mallets with complex profiles are shaped on a machine known as a CNC lathe (Computer Numerical Control). The CAD specifications for the stick are first loaded into the CNC computer. As the dowel is spun at a high rate of speed, the computer selects a particular type of knife to cut the profile as determined by the numerical configurations of the design.
VII. Finishing & Logo Stamping
All clear finished sticks are placed into large hexagonal tumblers. Small wooden balls are added to the tumblers to carry the finish to the tapered part of the sticks. After being inspected once more for all possible defects, sticks that meet Vic Firth's quality standards are printed with their logo.
VIII. Weight Sorting
The stick is checked one more time for straightness by rotating it under an infrared fiber optic sensor. As the stick is rotated, the computer detects any variation in the straightness of the stick. The sticks are then loaded on a conveyor and are placed one at a time on a computer scale. The computer records the weight of each stick and places it into a bin containing sticks of a specific weight.
IX. Tone Pairing
After being sorted for weight, the sticks are loaded into a testing station where they are struck by a hammer. The computer analyzes the frequency spectrum to find the value of the fundamental frequency that the stick produces. The computer records the exact peak frequency and then places the stick into a bin with others that match.
X. Color Matching & Packaging
After the sticks have been weight & tone sorted, an operator then chooses two sticks from each bin that match in color and places them in Vic Firth's pairing sleeves. A label is then applied to each pair, along with a bar code. The paired sticks are then bricked into groups of 12, bound, shrink-wrapped and shipped to their distributors.