IP Mallets

I'm looking at getting some new mallets for the pit I tech and wanted some suggestions/opinions..

We already own the general purpose/soft Marimba and Vibe sets in the Casella series along with assorted things over the years, I'm just looking for some different sounds..

Anders Astrand Series, specifically the A225?
Differences between the Ancona and Casella series?
The new Nebojsa Zivkovic line?
Lastly, a good xylo to bells mallet (there's no time to possibly switch) that doesn't have too bright of a xylo sound...

I guess I'm focusing on IP because of my satisfaction with their products, but any other suggestions are welcome.

Thanks in advance.
Anders' series is great. We use them frequently as they have a nice weight to them, and provide a nice middle ground with a little less ";bite"; than the 1006 from my series.

If you're familiar with my series, you'll find that Jim Ancona's provide a good compliment that sort of fills in some of the gaps. The marimba dowels have a different finish and feel to them and the wrap may be just slightly looser which may give them a slightly different feel as well. Weight-wise they're pretty similar, but these little nuances give them their own personality. Really the best advice would be to try some out if you can so you can hear them and feel them for yourself. I really like them all.

Xylo/Glock - always a little tricky to find a mallet that fits both needs perfectly, but by far our most common standby is the 903 (James Ross, white ball). They have a nice warm xylo sound (similar to the 1007), and heavy weight. There's times they may be too soft on glock, particularly if your glock is a cheaper aluminum instrument. On a nice glock, these actually sound quite nice and blend well with other metals.

Hope this helps. Thanks for your support!
All--  I have been meaning to post this, and this thread seems like as good a place as any....  Any mallet (especially for synthetic marimba) suggestions for those front ensembles that are unamplified?  It seems as though, the game has changed a bit since amplification has become the norm and it's not all about projection as much.  Unfortunately, amplification is not a realistic option for us this year (gas prices are crippling the budget.)

For groups that use unamplified boards, I tend to go for heavier mallets. Mainly Jim Casella's series, and the Field Series. If I'm using amplification (and the school can afford it), I open my selection up to include most of the ";concert mallets"; that IP makes. Options abounding.

Right now at my unplugged school, the implement selection is as follows...







I recommend buying Jim and Jim's book ";Up Front"; which contains all sorts of useful pit related info, and a mallet selection chart which looks suspiciously like what I just typed.
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