The Malletech line of Markus Rhoten bamboo timpani mallets are hand-crafted for the professional timpanist, and those who intend to become professional timpanists. Markus Rhoten, PrincipalTimpanist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and faculty of the Juilliard School of Music, is the perfect musician to design a line of timpani mallets that bring European timpani traditions to America.
The Rhoten Series is not comparable with other designs of bamboo mallets. While most bamboo timpani mallets are made in the American tradition of core plus one, or at maximum two layers of felt, the Markus Rhoten line has up to five functional layers of construction with a variety of core materials and structures. Of course, such a labor-intensive, multi-layered design costs a little more, but it offers the serious musician a degree of expressive nuance that isunachievable with less-complex designs. The mallets in this line require several cycles of “play-in” on a hard surface, depending on the number of layers of felt.
A custom re-felting service is offered by Malletech felt sewing experts, so that timpanists can be confident that they will be able to use each pair of these musical instruments for many years.
This is the hardest mallet of the line. Similar to a flannel mallet, it provides the necessary articulation, but is easier to roll with. Carefully balanced, with a slightly heavier weight relative to the size of the head, this mallet has plenty of articulation but retains a big sound.
Based on a round cork core, machined flat at the equator, with two contrasting under-layers and a final covering of German felt, these mallets offer a wide range of timbres, including velvety rolls on the tips.
20B has a multi-layered felt structure similar to the 24B, however it is heavier and has a larger core in order to provide the necessary volume and sound one needs in the romantic repertoire like Strauss or Tchaikovsky. The felt is layered in a way that above a mezzo-forte dynamic the mallets produces great articulation but a beautiful, full and warm sound.
I use this mallet for every pp to mf roll I encounter. It is slightly lighter than the MR20B or MR24B, but has an even and soft felt feeling to it. However, it also has a clear sound that works perfectly to underline a pizzicato -- for example on the 3rd movement of Mahler's First Symphony.
“Light Roller”: This model works perfectly for loud rolls on higher pitched notes. The complex multi-layered felt provides many different colors, depending on the dynamic level and tension of the head.
"Heavy Roller": Especially useful for low notes like one would encounter in Bruckner Symphonies, this perfectly balanced mallet produces the biggest and fullest sound a player would ever need in an orchestra.