Vic Firth SDC Signature Series Danny Carey Drum Sticks Review - Wood Tip


97 out of 100. Incorporating 475+ ratings and reviews.

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Vic Firth SDC Signature Series Danny Carey Drum Sticks

Chunky Yet Curvy

I've had these sticks before, got a new pair to check them out. Are they as awesome as I remember?

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I love drumming. And that love extends to the interface between my hands and the instrument: the sticks. Like guitar strings, drum sticks are affordable enough to obtain different models and satiate my curiosity. I've tried all kinds. From gargantuan marching sticks, to light jazz sticks, orchestral 5B's and even heavy stainless steel practice sticks at one time!

 A picture of the markings on Vic Firth SDC Sticks
Can you be big yet gentle?

This familiar old model of drumsticks has accompanied me on the stage many times. Unfortunately sticks never last forever and my original copy is now obliterated after a few rehearsals and rock shows.

My main experiences with drums are Highschool Marching Band, Rock Bands and Orchestra Pit For Musical Theatre, I see these sticks able to fulfill highschool marching band and rock situations quite handily.

They feature a unique curvature along the holding area of the sticks. This provides a uniquely satisfying grip that prevents any slippage without resorting to friction based rubber solutions that can tear up the hands. It's subtle enough to still feel close enough to regular sticks so you won't have to adjust your technique.

Danny Carey is an excellent drummer who plays loud complex music with his band Tool. If you've never listened to them and like cerebral, heavy, dark and loud music, they are one of the best.

I can see why he designed this tool (no pun intended) in this way. It has very good reach for far away drums and cymbals, and provides reassuring leverage to loud backbeats. In no way do these sticks sacrifice their ability to play intricately and with dynamics but they do make you want to play louder every time.

Slightly blemished pair of Vic Firth SDC Sticks after the first use
This elegant beast has a fragile side to it - notice the marks after just one use.

Danny is quite a big person, and so is his weapon of choice. To me the chunkiness is a bit much for my frame, although drumsticks are a very personal choice so I dock no points here.

The tips provide ample definition to cymbals but trying to execute a traditional jazz ride pattern with these sticks is an exercise in futility for me to say the least.

On the drumset, it beckons me to play loud - make my worst impression of John Bonham or pretend I'm in Rage Against The Machine. I see these sticks being perfect for players who want to alternate between highschool marching band then play rock gigs after school.

I do appreciate the craftsmanship and thought put into these sticks, I wouldn’t main them unless I specialized in heavy forms of music such as heavy metal or outdoor mega concerts.

On a more critical note, these aren't the longest lasting big drumsticks I have tried. Although they invite you to rip on the drums, after a few shows they succumb to fraying and get pulverized at the contact point with the drum rims.

Mad props to Danny Carey and the Vic Firth designers, this is a beast of a drumstick made for a beast of a musician.

A hero shot of Vic Firth SDC Sticks
The perfect pair: comfort and volume.


  • Series: Signature Series
  • Surface Coating: Lacquer
  • Material: Hickory
  • Tip Shape: Tear Drop
  • Dimesions: .630" diameter, 16.5" length
  • Weight: Heavy 4.8 oz. (varies slightly depending on seasonal wood)
  • Taper: Short

Vic Firth SDC Weight: 4.8 oz.


  • Not as durable as other similarly-sized sticks
  • Too heavy for traditional jazz and other soft music - not an all-rounder


  • Feels good in the hands - uniquely ergonomic
  • Lots of controllable bounce - play intricate passages easily
  • Excellent reach
  • Inspiring club-like dimensions - meant for bashing


The SDC are a great feeling set of drumsticks. These sticks make a loud, articulate sound with good definition on the ride cymbal when playing with the bead. Super loud backbeats are a cinch as well although they do tend to fray quite easily. If you play mostly rock and other loud genres, give your hands a rare treat with the Vic Firth SDC. I give this a 94 out of 100.

About the Author

Alden Acosta Alden Acosta

I'm a drummer and former lead guitarist of the band Callalily, a platinum selling multi-awarded band from the Philippines. I also studied music for 6 years majoring in percussion and jazz studies with a minor in classical piano.

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