So… What Happened to Regal Tip?

Posted on January 22, 2023

I want to do the drumming community a public service and round up some info regarding drumstick manufacturer Regal Tip.

Rumors are all over the internet about Regal Tip being out of business. Nothing has been confirmed, but what is true is that it’s basically been impossible to buy a pair of Regal Tip drumsticks for several years now. While I don’t use Regal Tip, I feel sorry for the people who do — the sticks you play with are a highly personal choice since it’s the key way you interact with your instrument. I’ll be heartbroken if Vic Firth ever discontinues the AJ5.

Anyhoo, the fact that the Regal Tip website is still running only adds to the confusion, although I suspect that the domain is on auto-renewal; whois says the domain will expire in 2025. The cracks are beginning to show in the meantime since the TLS certificate is gone (if the site ever had one). 

Moreover, the socials have been dormant for quite some time, with the exception of their FaceBook page — someone was uploading videos until November of this past year, while (almost comically) ignoring the clamor of commenters asking “what the hell happened to you guys?”. 

This forum thread has most of the info: apparently, production wound down towards the end of the last decade as the company began to replace the aging machinery in its factory. But problems with the new hardware stymied plans to reset in 2020, and the difficulties were turbocharged by the pandemic. 

It’s all hearsay though. What’s less of a rumor and more of a fact is that there’s now some sort of a dispute within the Calato family that runs Regal Tip, specifically between Carol, daughter of Regal Tip founder Joe, and Carol’s own daughter, Michelle. 

Hard facts are tough to come by, but we do have a screenshot of an alleged FaceBook post from Michelle:

There are more social media comments here and there, but I’m not going to spread any more rumors about a family’s acrimonious situation. 

It would be nice if the staff at Regal Tip would address the bavardage, but as I said, nobody seems interested. I don’t think anyone expects details about family matters, but at least say something

Meanwhile, Carol was on some music business podcast back in October of ’21, making no mention of the company’s status.

In terms of actual news, a New York–based website profiled Joe for his 101st birthday a few months ago, and the article curiously says “granddaughter Michelle now in charge of the business”. 

Could it be that the grievances have been sorted out? The article also confirms a rumor that the company is in the process of relocating to Niagara Falls. All three of the Calato family members were interviewed, and unsurprisingly, none of them touch upon the fact that Regal Tip hasn’t made a drumstick in almost four years. 

But maybe that’s a reason for all you Regal Tip fans out there to be optimistic. Perhaps the company will come back this year, and the silence is part of the business strategy — get back to making sticks, and don’t draw any attention to the glitches, although soft–pedaling the circumstances would be a bit beyond brazen at this point.