Vic Firth Company

Vic Firth Logo

Vic Firth is the world’s most popular manufacturer of drum sticks, mallets, brushes and other stick accessories.  Vic Firth’s excellence in wood turning and milling has also led to the development of Vic Firth Gourmet which is an offshoot that makes pepper mills, salt grinders and rolling pins.

Vic Firth Company History

Vic Firth SticksVic Firth was born on June 2, 1930 to a successful trumpet player.  Music was in Vic’s family and he began playing at the age of four.  By the time he reached high school he was a full time percussionist learning how to play the vibraphone, timpani and the drum set.

Firth had been playing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for over 12 years when he felt the need for higher quality drumsticks than what he currently had.  Firth physically hand whittled the first sticks from larger ones and sent them to a wood turner.  These would eventually become the prototypes for Vic Firth’s first two model sticks called the SD1 and SD2.

Although these sticks were originally designed for Vic Firth himself they gained popularity with students who he taught percussion too and Vic Firth, Inc. was born in 1962.  Today now called the Vic Firth Company, the drumstick maker produces over 300 products and makes more than 12 million sticks per year.

 

Timeline of Major Events in Vic Firth’s History

  • 1930 – Vic Firth Born in June 1930
  • 1947 – The Vic Firth Orchestra Begins
  • 1948 – Vic Enrolls at the New England Conservatory of Music
  • 1950 – Vic Begins Teaching at NEC
  • 1952 – Vic Joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra
  • 1954 – Vic’s BSO Timpani Debut
  • 1956 – Vic is Appointed as Principal Timpanist of the Boston Symphony
  • 1960 – Vic Begins Designing Sticks
  • 1963 – The Birth of Vic Firth Enterprises
  • 1964 – Vic’s Sticks, For Sale in Stores
  • 1965 – One of the First Vic Firth Catalogs
  • 1979 – BSO Tours the People’s Republic of China
  • 1983 – The Steve Gadd Signature Stick
  • 1984 – The Harvey Mason Signature Stick
  • 1986 – Vic Moves Out of the Garage
  • 1988 – Dave Weckl Signature Stick & The Peter Erskine Signature Stick
  • 1990 – The Corpsmaster Line
  • 1992 – The Ralph Hardimon Signature Stick, The Matchbox is Born
  • 1994 – The Vic Firth Offices Move, The Big Move: Our New Factory
  • 1995 – Vic Firth Gourmet Launched
  • 1997 – Education Program Launched
  • 2000 – Vic Firth Website Goes Live
  • 2001 – American Heritage, American Sound, American Jazz
  • 2002 – Vic Retires from the BSO after 50 years
  • 2006 – Vic Firth Moves to Boston

 

Vic Firth 16 Step Stick Production Process

  1. Green Boards – Undried wood cut from live tree
  2. Cut On Site – Wood is cut on site to meet strict standards
  3. Kiln Dried – Dried to exact specifications in custom kilns
  4. Squares – Made smaller with 6 planing heads
  5. Dowels – Physical inspection process to ensure straightness
  6. Special Sander – Sanded to guarantee uniformity
  7. Dowels are Inspected – Checked by hand
  8. The First Grinder – Stone grinders
  9. The Second Grinder – Top half and tip profile formed
  10. The Finishing Room – Clear finishes, paints and Vic Grip applied
  11. Injection Molded Nylon Tips – Reduces chipping
  12. The Printing Process – Artwork applied to stick
  13. Weight-Matching – Sorted with 2 gram tolerance
  14. Pitch-Pairing – Weight groups matched by pitch
  15. Color Matching – Matched cosmetically
  16. Bricking – Packaged for shipping

 

Vic Firth Products

Vic Firth makes 15 different drumstick lines with 26 size options, 16 brushes and routes along with over 200 percussive mallets and sticks.  Vic Firth also makes stick bags, stick holders and other drum accessories.

 

Vic Firth Drumsticks

Vic firth drum sticks come in the following lines including the popular, American Classic Regular, Nylon, Silver Bullet, Soft Touch, Kinetic Force and Vic Grip.  Also included is the Signature Series, American Sound, American Jazz, Custom, Heritage, Tom Gauger Series, Symphonic Signature Series, Corpsmaster Marching and Indoor.  Most Vic Firth sticks are made of North American hickory and come in standard sizes including HD4, 7A, 8D, 85A, 5A, 5AB, 5AW, 5AP, 5ADT, X5A, 55A, 5B, 5BB, 5BW, 5BCO, X5B, F1, 3A, 1A, HD9, 2B and CM.

 

Vic Firth Drumsticks Review

Vic Firth is the industry leader in drum stick manufacturing.   With over 300 products there is no doubt that you will find the right type of drumstick for your drumming needs.  With high quality hickory wood and a rigorous proprietary production process, you can rest assured you are getting durable sticks for the money you spend.

For more information on Vic Firth check out the official website at VicFirth.com

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