In this paper we study the performance of several text vectorization algorithms on a diverse collection of 73 publicly available datasets. Traditional sparse vectorizers like Tf-Idf and Feature Hashing have been systematically compared with the latest state of the art neural word embeddings like Word2Vec, GloVe, FastText and character embeddings like ELMo, Flair. We have carried out an extensive analysis of the performance of these vectorizers across different dimensions like classification metrics (.i.e. precision, recall, accuracy), dataset-size, and imbalanced data (in terms of the distribution of the number of class labels). Our experiments reveal that the sparse vectorizers beat the neural word and character embedding models on 61 of the 73 datasets by an average margin of 3-5% (in terms of macro f1 score) and this performance is consistent across the different dimensions of comparison.