Vic Firth Inc., drumsticks and mallets, and Avedis Zildjian Co., cymbals, have announced a merger, brining the leading manufacturers of cymbals and drum sticks under one roof. While this may come as a surprise to some, the percussion community is merely echoing the actions of other industries. While no mention was made of financial issues, it can be assumed that such a merger is an attempt to remain afloat, or at least, to increase their global reach by combining resources. According to the Zildjian website (link) the union is just that, two leaders now able to “leverage our respective leadership positions.” In an email from Vic Firth this marriage should have been expected simply because they operate in a similar fashion – “The similarities in our values and our shared passion for manufacturing provide a strong foundation for the union of our companies. You should know that both companies will continue to run autonomously.”
A drum and percussion conglomerate this is not, but again, it is also nothing new. Musically you might reflect on where the rest of your gear came from. You might have to look at the rest of your band but somebody has something made by D’Addario & Co. Vic Firth and Zildjian are combining sticks, cymbals, and peppermills, but D’Addario has a competitive foothold for nearly every modern musical instrument which might be seen in every possible venue the world has to offer. Strings, reeds, drum heads, sound equipment, and every possible accessory; you might be familiar with Evans Drumheads, Planet Waves, Rico Reeds, Pure Sound Percussion, D’Addario Bowed Strings, HQ Percussion, and a few others.
While this news might not necessary be thought provoking or intellectually stimulating there is still the possibility that there will be benefits for you and me. Combining resources, though of two different drumming products, may reduce cost, and, hopefully, reduce the price offered to the consumer, or at least prevent it from escalating that the same rate it might otherwise.
We’ll have to wait and see as the new year progresses if there are any other major developments, in the meantime this may have just given you a new reason to buy or boycott depending on your love or hate for their new percussion partner.
Vic Firth Sticks, Zildjian Cymbals