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Stagg BR263 brushes
I recently picked up some Stagg BR263s because they're one of the few pairs of telescopic brushes that have wooden handles and the possibility of performing natural sounding rim-clicks appealed to me.

So are they fit for purpose? Well, the wood used for the handles is quite light, so getting a solid click requires quite a bit of leverage. This can be tricky as the handles are short - only 7½ inches. My best results were achieved by retracting the brush fully, thereby increasing its overall length. This solution is far from ideal though as it requires drawing back the metal plunger rod - I could grab a stick in the same time. Arguably, wooden handles make for a better sounding rim-shot, but in all honesty I can't say that I noticed much of the wood coming through in the sonic mix. In which case, you have to ask what is the point of wooden handles? (other than for aesthetics and, perhaps, reasons of economy).

Although first impressions were slightly disappointing, on the whole these brushes are quite good. The lightness of the wood works in their favour, making them comfortable to use. Also, the wires have a good spread when fully extended, with a maximum length of five inches, and the steel has a nice spring to it. Although pleasing on the eye, the overall quality of workmanship is reflected in the low cost of these brushes, but it's good enough and there are no major issues. Obviously I can't vouch for their durability as I've only just bought them, but I'll update this review if there are problems.

Probably my main criticism with Stagg's BR263s is that the brushes are prone to retracting after only a short period of playing. Having said that, this is an issue that even some top-end telescopic brushes have, and in this case a little masking tape wrapped round the end of each plunger-rod solved the problem (see my Tips & Tricks section for details).

In conclusion, these are nice brushes for the price. They look and sound great, are comfortable to use and I had no problems performing any of my usual moves. You'd think manufacturers would make wooden handled, telescopic brushes at least a few inches longer though, so that rim-clicks are easier; but Regal Tip are probably no better if photos of their more expensive Ed Thigpen brushes are anything to go by. A snugger-fitting plunger to prevent the wires accidentally retracting is something that Stagg should look into too. Overall though, I'm pleased with my purchase.