Innovative Percussion

Legacy Series 9A Drumsticks and KDB-1 Bass Drum Beater

by Michael Dawson

An all-purpose stick with a small barrel tip and a yarn-covered beater for beefier bottom end.

Innovative Percussion, one of the leading manufacturers of professional-grade percussion mallets, beaters, and drumsticks, recently added two products to its catalog that are poised to become go-to choices for many drummers, regardless of playing style or musical genre.

L9A drumstick

First up is the Legacy series 9A drumstick. This model is made from hickory and measures 16″ long and .580″ in diameter. It features a small barrel bead, which helps increase cymbal articulation. Width-wise, the .580″ Legacy 9A falls between a 5A (.565″) and a 5B (.595″), and it is the same diameter as the company’s teardrop-tip Legacy 5AB. The 9A is .125″ shorter than the others, but I didn’t notice any decreased reach when testing it. I often toggled between 5A and 5B sticks depending on how loud or quiet I needed to play, but the 9A was able to cover all situations, from super-soft background gigs to full-on rock shows. The small barrel tip is excellent for keeping cymbal wash under control at quieter dynamics, while the thicker neck provided big, full crashes and sloshy open hi-hats. The 9A sticks held up very well after several weeks of regular use, which is a testament to Innovative Percussion’s quality control. If you play in a lot of different genres and at various dynamic levels, the Legacy 9A could be your perfect match.

KBD-1 Bass drum beater

The KDB-1 bass drum beater has an innovative new design that borrows from IP’s expertise in keyboard mallet manufacturing. It features a wood core wrapped in yarn, so it looks like a short marimba mallet. The wood core helps provide solid attack, while the yarn softens the high-end frequencies a bit so that the low-end can come across stronger.

The KDB-1 was developed along with Nashville session great Chris McHugh. In a video interview posted on IP’s website, McHugh says, “It was important to have something that would work across a wide variety of kick drum approaches. Often with beaters you get a lot of attack and volume, but the lower part of the note is shy. You can use a beater with a lot of material on it and get some of that low end, but then you’ll lose punch.” In a follow-up email, Chris stated, “I have never found a beater that efficiently produced the lowest pitch and had the perfect balance of impact, attack, and tone until the KDB-1.”

The KDB-1 is designed to offer a consistent, balanced bass drum sound that combines attack and low-end at all volumes, and our testing proved that to be exactly the case. It produced the same clean front-end smack that you get from a traditional felt beater, while also eliciting some strong, deep low-end. The increased low-end response was reminiscent of the fluffy tone of a fleece-covered vintage-style beater, but the KDB-1 sounded more focused and balanced. And it had more power. If you’re looking to maximize your bass drum sound, start here.

Size: Legacy 9A: .580″x16″
Price: Legacy 9A: $15.25; KDB-1: $39