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View Full Version : finish on the inside of drum shells and tone


larryace
08-31-2008, 06:17 AM
What are your thoughts on how the finishing or non finishing of the interior affects a drums tone? I wonder how the tone would be affected by finishing an unfinished drum or sanding smooth a finished drum. Comments?

GRUNTERSDAD
08-31-2008, 06:37 AM
Most new drums are sanded pretty smooth with the exception of some of the cheaper finishes like Luaun which resembles an interior door of your house. Then there are a few companies that add some sort of sealer on the inside. Gretsch for one uses their Silver Sealer, and neither Gretsch nor I will tell you whats its made from. I feel that a smooth surface will resonate better than a rough one.

Mr. Slingerland
08-31-2008, 07:26 AM
Drum builders whether custom shops or big companies, finish the inside of the drums for durability reasons. If the drums are sealed by a sanding sealed and/or lacquer finish on the inside it helps prevent the wood from unevenly changing/cracking overtime.

Ironcobra
08-31-2008, 07:31 AM
Drum builders whether custom shops or big companies, finish the inside of the drums for durability reasons. If the drums are sealed by a sanding sealed and/or lacquer finish on the inside it helps prevent the wood from unevenly changing/cracking overtime.

Having a lacquer finish on the inside will affect sound.

A stain and a good sanding job is the maximum you should do to the inside of a drum. The interior ply is what affects the sound most, not like the exterior ply which can be lacquered and will not change the sound whatsoever.

rmandelbaum
08-31-2008, 05:13 PM
I may be way of base here but, without any facts, simply my assumption:

If you think about it at a micro level an un-finished surface is porous and uneven. The sounds waves would be absorbed and bounced around unevenly as the column of air moves down the shell. If that surface is smooth and sealed the sound would project more evenly and less would be lost due to absorption.

I do know that drum builders seal their drums to prevent moisture entering the wood but I think there is a sonic benefit as well.

bobdadruma
08-31-2008, 06:08 PM
I found some drum building sites that mentioned various products and sanding procedures for the inside of drums. None of them said much about the changes of the sound. It does make sense that protecting the inside of the drum is a good idea. It also makes sense that the smoothness and the type of finish will have an affect on the tone. Gretsch has the silver seal. I have never seen any data on how it changes the sound. I do however like the tone of Gretsch drums. I also like the tone of many other drums. Is it just a type of silver paint that provides protection, or is it a product that the company developed to change the tone? Does it make a big difference? Its hard to say.