To me, the Vic Firth 5A American Classics are the standard of drumsticks. These are well-balanced, well-matched, great sounding drumsticks. As a drummer of small stature with hands that are on the small size, I find these sticks to be of just the right size, both in length and diameter, and weight for general playing. The bead of the stick also gives a good, clear sound on the cymbals. For slower, heavier songs I prefer a 5B or other bigger model, but for faster stuff and for lighter playing that requires less volume, these are great.
On the negative side, I find that while these sticks hold up well even under fairly heavy playing with constant rimshot backbeats, they're not as durable as e.g. Pro-Mark's equivalent 5A model (though I've never had a Vic 5A snap on me within minutes of starting playing, as has happened with some other sticks). The wood tips also have a tendency to chip, so they may not be intact at the end of a 50-minute set.
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