The Malletech line of Markus Rhoten bamboo timpani mallets are hand-crafted for the professional timpanist and for those who intend to become professional timpanists. Principal Timpanist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and faculty member at the Juilliard School of Music, Markus 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 bamboo mallets. While most 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. While such labor-intensive construction methods cost a little more, they offer the serious musician a degree of expressive nuance unachievable with less-complex designs. 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.
MR20 has a multi-layered felt structure similar to the MR24, 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 produce 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 MR20 or MR24, 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 in the 3rd movement of Mahler’s First Symphony.
This mallet is among the most versatile of the line. It has the perfect amount of articulation, but because of the multi-layered felt, the player can produce a full, round sound in rolls.
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, this mallet has plenty of articulation, but retains a big sound due to the slightly heavier weight, relative to the size of the head.