Vic Firth Company History
Founded by percussionist, educator and businessman Vic Firth, The Vic Firth Company has been setting the standard in the industry since its inception in 1963. Vic’s knowledge of how to incorporate new ideas was unsurpassed. In fact, many of the key manufacturing processes used today were invented or standardized by Vic. Today, we proudly carry that tradition forward.
Never satisfied with the status quo, we continue to innovate, developing new imaginative designs and technologies so that every product we make sounds better, feels better and inspires you to play your best.
I’ve surrounded myself with the best of the best. Each member of this family has an unbelievable passion for what they do and a level of expertise which is unsurpassed in the industry. I couldn’t be more excited about our future.
– Everett “Vic” Firth
Necessity is the Mother of Invention
Vic never dreamed of starting a stick company, but after having played with the BSO for about 12 years, he grew frustrated with the drumsticks that were on the market.
“I thought there was a need for a higher-quality stick than what was being manufactured at the time,” he recalled. “Also, I was asked to do certain things that were perhaps more sophisticated than what a lot of timpanists were doing, so I started designing sticks to accommodate what I had to do.”
Vic hand-whittled his first pair of sticks in his garage, and when word got out about their superior quality, retailers started calling. In 1963, Vic Firth Company was officially born.
Superior Design and Manufacturing
Since the beginning, Vic Firth Company has blazed trails in manufacturing, bringing centerless grinding, pitch pairing, weight sorting, injection molding and more to the industry. But the key has always been our mastery of design.
As percussionists ourselves, we know that no matter how advanced the manufacturing process has become, every detail matters and the machines only shape, cut and create with the specs we set. That’s why we make sure our designs are truly perfect before we ever turn on the machines.
From the very beginning, we have guaranteed drummers The Perfect Pair™ — a straight pair of sticks, perfectly matched in pitch and weight, every time. This concept revolutionized the market for drumsticks and catapulted Vic Firth Company into a leadership position in the industry. Click here to watch our factory tour.
Vic Firth Company has been concerned about the environment decades before it was fashionable to do so. Some of our most notable efforts happen every day right on the factory floor. Water used in the grinding process that shapes each stick is continually recycled. Sawdust and waste wood are used as a carbon-neutral heat source to keep the plant warm in the winter and keep the kilns running year-round.
In addition, Vic was the first to start packaging drumsticks in paper matchboxes which have now become the industry standard, eliminating millions of plastic bags from landfills every year. Our current sleeves are printed using wind power with vegetable-based inks and are 100% recyclable.
We are also committed to improving the musical lives of percussionists at every level of experience by encouraging and supporting continuing education and providing world-class resources.
A Future That’s as Brilliant as the Past
In 2010, Vic Firth Company merged with the Avedis Zildjian Company, the world’s leading cymbal manufacturer. This merger was part of Vic’s vision for the future of his company beyond his lifetime. The Firth family has had deep connection to and relationship with the Zildjian family for many years. Their similar family approach to business, longevity and stability as industry leaders, and their mutual commitment to excellence, make Vic Firth and Zildjian the perfect union.
Over the course of his fifty-two years at the helm, Vic created a company culture that each of us are extremely proud to be a part of. “I attribute our success to many things, but chief among them is this: I’ve surrounded myself with the best of the best. Each member of our organization has an unbelievable passion for what they do and a level of expertise which is unsurpassed in the industry.”
Vic’s spirit and legacy will continue to live at the core of the Vic Firth Company. Never satisfied with the status quo, we at Vic Firth continue to innovate, developing new imaginative designs and technologies, making sure every product that leaves the warehouse sounds better, feels better and inspires you to play your best.