Vater Mike Mangini's Wicked Piston
"This stick does everything you could possibly want it to do. It's not your ordinary stick. It is balanced, it is powerful. This is the Wicked Piston!" - Mike Mangini
Mike Mangini’s new unique American Hickory design starts out at .580” (1.47cm) in the grip and increases slightly towards the middle of the stick until it reaches .620” (1.57cm) and then tapers back down to an acorn tip. Mike’s reason for this design is so that the stick has a slightly added front weight for a solid, consistent “throw” and transient sound. With the extra length, you can adjust how much front weight you’re implementing by slightly moving your fulcrum point up or down on the stick. You’ll also get a fat sounding rimshot crack from the added front weighted taper.
“It is almost funny to me that it took over 4 decades to come up with the idea to shape a stick pretty much backwards so that significant weight is adjustable on the fly. At home I don’t have adrenaline, so I choke up on it to lighten it a bit. On tour, I need an increase in weight, so I just choke down per my feeling that day.”
“Mangini clearly put a lot of thought into this design, and I’d like to thank him for that. It’s one of the most interesting sticks I’ve ever played, mostly because of the body shape. The result is a gentle bulb at the shoulder that adds some weight to the front of the stick, and puts a little extra meat in the rimshot strike zone. The Wicked Piston comes in a whopping 16.75” long, leaving extra room in the handle to either pull back or choke up and let the bulb take care of some of the throw, which helped eliminate fatigue. “
“That feel, along with the broad acorn-type bead combined to pull a very potent sound out of toms. Each strike gave me a big punch with plenty of bottom. And snare drum rimshots, greatly enhanced by thee bulb, were just tremendous. That was a real joy.” – Drum Magazine