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Malletech® = Mallet Technology

Malletech - Malletech

mallet_imageSince 1982 Malletech® has been the world’s premiere manufacturer of high-quality mallets and instruments. Overseeing the whole process is Leigh Howard Stevens, the founder of Malletech and the world’s foremost Classical Marimbist. Recently, Malletech® mallets was reunited with Malletech® instruments in our new 20,000 square foot musical instrument facility in New Jersey. Once again (just like the old days!), every pair of Malletech® mallets is inspected, paired and packaged by a percussionist with a music degree. When you take them out of our custom packaging, you’ll see, feel and hear why the greatest keyboard percussionists in the world all seem to play with Malletech® mallets.

Malletech® Exclusive Model Numbering System

To aid in the selection of mallets, every Malletech model is assigned a number that reflects its brightness of tone (apparent hardness) at maximum volume. The scale of model numbers range from 0 (extremely soft) to 50 (extremely hard). Thus, at fff, the LS17Z sounds slightly brighter than the LS15. A difference of only one number is usually not audible. For example, a DS11 has about the same brightness of tone at maximum volume as a DF12, even though these models are very different in weight and winding procedure. Two models that may sound almost identical at maximum volume may have very different timbral response and rolling characteristics at lower volume levels.

Complex Response Characteristics

Unlike most mallets sold today, many of our models are designed to respond to the velocity of the stroke, coloristically as well as dynamically. Not only does this assist the soloist by boosting brightness and “cutting power” when the volume needs to increase, it also brings out many of the colorful, expressive qualities of the instrument that most other mallets leave unheard. Complex performance characteristics require complex construction techniques, such as tension adjustments during the winding process, multiple under-layers of contrasting materials, and multiple layers of wrapping - all with different angles and tensions.

Two-Toned and Multi-Toned Models

Our “multi-toned” models are designed to smoothly change their tone color as the volume increases. A multi-toned mallet designated as “soft to hard” will sound soft and mellow at low dynamic levels, gradually changing to hard and bright at high volume. The “two-toned” (or ‘Z’) models designated as “very soft and very hard” will sound very soft and mellow at low and medium levels, but will sharply change to very hard and bright at high volume levels. A “one-toned” mallet, like traditional mallets, will maintain its basic sound characteristics at all volume levels.

Threaded Mallet Heads

Another important Malletech innovation is the way the heads are attached to the handles. Every Malletech mallet for marimba, xylophone and orchestra bells has screw threads tapped into the hole in the ball to create the strongest possible connection. This extra manufacturing step doubles the area of contact between the glue and the ball and produces a much more reliable mechanical bond between the stick and head than traditional gluing methods.

Custom Made Yarns

You won’t find any of our yarns at your local knitting store, or on any other brand of mallet. That’s because each of our yarns has been custom-designed for a specific sound quality or performance parameter, and then it is “spun” specifically for us. Some yarns are designed for minimal contact noise and smoothest rolling and others for articulation, projection or maximum resistance to wear. Malletech was the first mallet company in the world to use synthetic “poly” yarns. Not a single pair of Concerto Series mallets has ever been returned because of fraying, and some from the early 1980’s are still making music today. All of these advances in design and technology, as well as the great care we exercise in the crafting of mallets, are for two purposes: so that you can have the very best tools with which to make music, and so that we can keep our reputation as the best mallet maker in the world.