Topic: Timpani Mallets  (Read 12586 times)

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Offline Jacob P

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Timpani Mallets
« on: November 27, 2010, 08:11 PM »
Does anybody have good suggestions regarding timpani mallets for a serious orchestral player? I'm a high school student now, but given how expensive the investment of a well-stocked mallet bag is, I'm starting to purchase whatever I can for college, as I intend to pursue a music major.

Right now I'm using Innovative Percussion's Bamboo Timpani Mallets - I have the BT4 (General) and the BT6 (Staccato). I like the feel of the bamboo, but the mallets themselves seem . . . well, cheap. The generals don't give a great roll and the staccatos have fallen apart fairly quickly. I've kept the mallets in the original plastic bags between uses, too.

Obviously my own developing technique is probably the main culprit in the poor sound, but I think a switch in mallet selection would help, too.

For a high quality set of mallets, I've heard good things about:

~Clevelander Timpani Mallets
~Cloyd Duff Mallets
~Black Swamp Carbon Fiber Mallets
~Grover Artist's Choice (Holmes) Mallets

Is there anybody who can give me imput on these lines of mallets, or on other good options? Thanks.

Offline Jon E

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 06:14 AM »
I've always been a fan of the aluminum Hinger (Fred Hinger) timpani mallets.  I think MalleTech makes them these days.

4 hardnesses.  Adjustable "weight" collar.

Offline Chip Donaho

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 11:05 AM »
Just a thought. In the Army Band I always used wood mallets with big/soft heads.
The sound I got was always in my control of the mallets and the pressure on the foot pedal.
Other than that, I don't have a clue as that was many years ago.  :-\
"When you quit learning you start dying."-My Grandfather

Offline Tim van de Ven

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2010, 03:00 PM »
I use Vic Firth Tympani Mallets; I like them because they have no seam and they seem to last forever as well.

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2010, 04:28 PM »
I have and still use Andrew Feldman Timpani Mallets; bamboo shaft. These mallets have been with me since the mid-80's and still going strong!

The Feldman mallets are no longer available; he's retired now, and used to make the all in his garage.

I am definitely a fan of bamboo handles/shafts.

I believe all of the "name" mallets have been mentioned, so I won't list them again.

Offline Jarmo Lahtiranta

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2010, 04:04 PM »
I think that the most important thing is that you like the mallet and feel comfortable playing with it. We all have our own playing style, and if you don't feel at home with the mallets, it won't sound good. I prefer heavy and hard mallets myself, because I get the most clarity and the deepest sound from them. In a concert hall and with proper technique the tremolos will smooth out even with hard mallets, and they'll help deliver the single notes clearly.

Be sure to work on your technique and especially listen how your playing sounds. It's a lot more important than the mallets you're playing. :)

Offline Christopher Stroh

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2011, 12:09 AM »
I like my set of ProMark Jonathon Haas timpani Mallets.  ProMark isn't exactly known for their orchestral percussion mallets, but these specifically have treated me well.  I use JH6 (cartwheels), JH4 (general), and JH2 (staccato).  I also have a pair of ultra staccato mallets that don't get used very often.  In my experience, all you need is a hard, general, and soft pair.  Save your money for the endless variety of marimba mallets you'll find yourself buying!

Offline JustAHobby

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2011, 07:57 AM »
If you know where you plan to go to school you might want to check the web and see if they a list of recommended mallets/accessories for their students.

Any mallet choice is going to be very personal.  Before you make a large financial investment I would encourage you to try to find an opportunity to try some different models.  Without an opportunity to try some different models, I would consider only purchasing what you really need for right now and save some money.  When you get to college your classmates will have other options in their bag and you will likely have an opportunity to share and figure out which ones you all (as individuals)  like best.  Then you can use the money you saved to purchase what you like.

In the past I used Vic Firth mallets.  I think they are a good economical option for students.  I have tried the Innovative Percussion CT series with Cherry handles.  The handle diameter is comparable to a 2B drumstick but it is at least partially hollow so the mallet has a really light comfortable feel.  These mallets are okay but they have a seem in the head so the player has to be conscious of that.  Recently I have been using the Innovative Percussion BT series with Bamboo shafts.  The handle diameter is more like a 5 or 7A drumstick.  For my personal taste the balance is very nice.  The heads do not have a seem.  It my personal opinion that the mallets are a little on the soft side (ultra-stacato is more like staccato and so forth).  So, there are many reasons that trying before you make a large purchase is wise.

Offline Larry Lawless

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2011, 07:21 PM »
Like Bart, I still have and use my Feldman bamboo handle mallets. The Grover Artist Series is the closest I have found to them, and those are my current "go to" mallets. I own some of the Black Swamps you mentioned. and although I like Black Swamp products in general, I personally haven't used those much. Nothing really wrong with them, just didn't work for me.
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Offline Eric Pancer

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2013, 03:09 PM »
I use Mike Baker Mallets (

Offline Brooke Ford

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Re: Timpani Mallets
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 06:55 PM »
You just have to find a mallet(s) that feel good to you.  Wood shaft, metal, bamboo.  There is no one mallet right for everyone.  I use and like Vic Firth general purpose.  Its not fancy, but does the job for me and I like the weight ratio.  The secret isn't how much you spend, it is how you take care of your mallets.  Keep them covered because you don't want them to get all fuzzed up.  Oh, and keep them away from your cat!  I learned this the hard way.


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