View Full Version : My Custom Maple Kit - One of the smallest big kits ever...
07-27-2005, 02:18 AM
Not really new to the forum, I frequent it, but never got around to posting. So I've decided to take some initiative and set up an account. Thusly, I have decided to make my drum kit thread my first post. This kit was built for me a year and a half back, by a Tennessee drum builder by the name of Donoho Meadors. His company was called Donoho Custom Drums. From what I know, the company no longer exists, but I think I may try to get in touch with him soon to see if he would build me a snare drum to add to the kit. All the drums are made from Keller maple shells. Anyways, here is the breakdown of the kit:
DRUMS: Donoho Custom Maple
10x6 - 6 ply Tom (vented)
12x6 - 6 ply Tom (vented)
14x8 - 6 ply Tom (vented)
16x8 - 6 Ply Tom (vented)
18x18 - 8 ply Bass
Premier Artist Birch Heritage - 13x5.5
Yamaha Oak Custom - 14x5.5 (not pictured)
Ludwig Vintage Maple Parade Snare - 14x12 (not pictured)
WFL 1940's Super Classic Maple/Mahogany Parade Snare - 15x12 (not pictured)
6, 8, and 10 inch - Remo Roto-toms
13 and 14 inch - Toca Timbales
6 inch - 4 Custom Acrylic Octobans (not pictured)
RhythmTech Hi-Hat mounted Tambourine
LP Handheld Tambourine
LP Shakers (various types)
LP Rock Ridge Rider Cowbell
14 inch - Zildjian A Medium Hi-Hats
6 inch - ZIldjian K Splash
11 inch - Zildjian A Splash
18 inch - Zildjian A Medium Crash
18 inch - Zildjian K Crash/Ride
18 inch - Zildjian A Medium Sizzle Ride (1970's Canadian Made)
24 inch - Zildjian A Jazz Ride (1950's)
10 inch - Wuhan China
20 inch - Wuhan China
16 inch - Sabian VFX Crash
14 inch - Sabian VFX Mini-ride
9 inch - Sabian Stage Ice Bell
Gibraltar Road Series Drum Rack (2 sided)
Gibraltar Stands/Stackers/Cymbal Arms
Gibraltar Tractor Seat Drum Throne
Tama Iron Cobra Lever Glide Hi-Hat Stand
Tama Iron Cobra Rolling Glide Double Bass Pedal
Tama HS700W Snare Stand
HEADS: Remo and Evans (EMADDs on Kick Drum)
MICS: Shure and Avlex
There is the whole break down of all my current drumming gear. I just wanted to add that the Toms are Vented Speed Toms, meaning they are very shallow in depth and have a single 3/4 inch circular vent cut into the side of each drum. I ordered these drums after a lot of research and analysis with past kits. I went through dozens of kits and took the pros and cons of each and weighted them so that I could get the perfect kit for my playing and needs. I chose some obscure features for specific reasons. The shallow tom sizes were chosen because I simply love small drums! The shallow maple shells deliver perfect sustain (not too dead, but not too boomy), clear attack and tone, and a large dynamic response. Keeping in mind that this was going to be both a studio and live kit, I chose vents on the toms for more volume and faster playing capabilities. Everyone always assumes that more holes in the drums diminishes the tone quality of the shell, which I feel is true in most cases. The vents were cut in very specific points in the shell. They are at the points were the lowest resonance occurs. They are kind of the dead spots of the shell. In the end, this does not prohibit the tone of the drum at all. They sound and play fantastic. Very versatile in use. They sound great and controlled in studio and loud and fat on gigs. They are very adaptive to any room it seems. Overall, I would suggest that drummers who love really small drums, but don't get the volume required for certain situations, to really consider vents. If cut correctly, they can really enhance your drums capability. I also chosea unpopular mounting system. Everyone now seems to be going with the ISO mounting systems. Don't get me wrong some are amazing, but I did not want to pay another couple hundred dollars on YESS mounts or Opti-mounts. My other option was getting the 4 lug ISO mount (that Gretsch kits have), I had a Gretsch kit, which I loved...but I just could not stand these mounts. They shake the shell way too much and they really dampen the batter head dramatically. I hate dampening my drums if they don't need it! So instead I got older school 7/8 inch tom mounts. However, unlike most mounting systems of this type, I did not get another hole in the toms for the arm to stick through. Too many holes are not a good thing! So my mounting system is kind of like a big version of the YESS mounts. They are very stable and don't alter the shells resonant and tone qualities with an unnecessary hole. The 18x18 kick is awesome too! The fast playability and tight Top 40's pop rock sound is awesome. It is also mounted on a Gibraltar riser to allow the shell to resonate more and allow more projection and volume out of the shell. Another note I would like to make is about my cymbals. My primary cymbals (hats, crashes, and ride) are older and very dirty. I personally fell in love with that dark, washy tone that is usually heard in jazz, thus I hunted for older cymbals. I also use cymbal cleaner on the majority of my cymbals to knock off the top coat of the cymbals. You sacrifice the logos and identification, but this allows the cymbal to get really dirty and aged a lot faster. The result is a very dark, mellow tone!
Anyways, my apology for that plethora of what could possibly be useless information to most, but I have been intending to write up a summary and specifications about my kit. As the title states: this is one of the smallest big kits ever. Though the kit is rather extensive and large, fundamentally the drums are tiny compared to most sizes. I also have a more traditionally sized Yamaha Oak Custom kit that I use on most gigs (it is a LOT easier to travel with and more socially acceptable with the musicians and bands I play with).
Thanks for your time and let me just say that this forum rocks and there is a lot of awesome and amazingly talented players here! It is a non-stop source of inspiration for me as a musician. Thanks again everyone! And thank you Bernhard for making such an awesome site! This plays rocks!
07-27-2005, 02:27 AM
Nice kit man. I like what you have done to the whole setup of it. I got a question, how does the 20" Wuhan China sound? And how much did you pay for it if you don't mind me asking.
07-27-2005, 02:38 AM
It sounds like a china should in my mind. I tried out Zildjian and Sabian Chinas and they were just not trashy enough for my likings. I find that a lot of chinas from major brands like that sound really bright and similar to the sound of a crash in most cases, plus they are at least $100-200 more. The Wuhans are REALLY trashy and dark. The 20 inch has a passively mellow tone, but it still has that glass shattering impression like all Wuhans. They really sound like garbage in the best way possible. They sound old, trashy, and beat up. As far as cost, I got this cymbal for $40 Canadian brand new. I got the 10 inch Wuhan for $10 Canadian. I bought both a few years back. I believe Wuhans are a bit more expensive now, as their reputation and company is growing. I believe even Neil Peart was using Wuhan Chinas before the Sabian Paragon sponsorship came about. I hope that helps answer your question. I am also told that companies World Percussion and Rancan Chinas have a very similar sound to the Wuhans.
08-03-2005, 07:03 PM
What a cool kit: unique and nice looking. I am sure the sound is very good too. Peace.
08-03-2005, 07:09 PM
Brent, beautiful kit bro. I would love to hear that vintage A Jazz Ride.
08-03-2005, 07:16 PM
BTW, you may wish to contribute dos centavos to these threads:
08-15-2005, 03:04 PM
I love the sound of shallow toms. If I were to get a custom kit I would get Shallow toms but not soo shallow. Mine would be more like
It is a mix of shallow ride toms and floor toms that are slightly larger than fast sizes and DW calls them.
08-17-2005, 07:28 PM
you must have owned rock sized toms (is square sized or deep) before this kit.
can you give us a breakdown of the quality of sound, comparisons, tuning issues etc. i'm interested in tone and prjoection etc. Chris whitten who played with Dire straits for a while also uses these toms and they sounded great.
08-21-2005, 07:54 PM
hey dude ! lovely Zildjians, beautiful !
your drums remembered me of Keith Moon, who used to play "short" toms ..
08-26-2005, 02:28 AM
Sorry for the late reply. I was on vacation for almost 2 weeks, so I haven't had a chance to check the forum. Funny that you mention Keith Moon. I had an old Premier Resonators (I believe that was the model?), which featured (doing the best with recalling the sizes) duel 26x14 kicks, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, and 20 inch toms. They were all short sized concert toms (except the 18 and 20, which were of proportional depth and closed at both sides). It was a disgustingly large kit. Anyways, to make the story short, I paid $450 Canadian for this kit used and ended up trading it for a 5 piece Gretsch Reknown Maple (again I am not sure if this is the model name), that was worth about $1500 if I was told correctly. The guy made the trade because he joined a The Who tribute band. So it was a pretty cool deal because just as I got sick of those huge diameter drums the guy contacted me. Sorry for the self indulgence, but your comment brought back the memory.
Anyways, to answer Nutha Jason's questions:
I have owned numerous rock and fusion sized drums in the past, but when I first started palying shallow toms I just couldn't really go back to them. In my opinion, the shallow toms are better in every aspect. The depth does not alter tuning capabilities at all, as that is mostly dictated by the diameter. The fundamental pitch of each drum is comparable to its larger depth counter parts (10x8, 12x10, etc.). That frequency that the drum just seems to sing at is consistent between drums of varying depths, but of mutual diameter.
As far as quality of sound goes I would say that the shallow toms win again. Drums of this depth to not have that infinite sustain of huge rock drums, which for me is a huge bonus. I play a lot of pop rock and funk, so I love having a really tight sounding set up. Don't get me wrong though, these drums have great sustain. It is just a lot easier to control. They don't have those boomy overtones that always seem to be a problem when the drum is under a mic. They have great tone with fast decay, which again for my playing is perfect. A downfall of most shallow drums is obviously the projection. This is where the depth becomes a huge factor. Naturally, small depth means less projection. This can definitely be a problem with unmiced gigs. But, this is where my added spec makes everything right again. As I described earlier, the vents in the toms make up for the projection. So with these specific drums they project very nicely, just as well as rock sizes.
In the end though, it all comes down to preference. With my kit, I have had dozens of drummers play my kit and fall in love with them, but I have also had dozens of drummers play my kit and absolutely hate them. To him his own I guess.
08-27-2005, 05:56 AM
interesting. do you have any sound clips or videos im curious as to how they sound.
08-29-2005, 09:43 PM
I currently have no good quality audio or video with this kit. Though I have 3 EPs coming out with various bands in which this kit was used. All 3 EPs are getting finished up, but even the raw, unmixed/unmastered drum tracks sound awesome.
I will post as soon as the recordings get finished. Hopefully, I will also have a video of some recording sessions that are coming up shortly.
09-03-2005, 01:17 AM
I just recorded drum tracks (with this kit...not all of it though...I broke it down a bit, because I didn't require every drum and cymbal for this recording) today for an instrumental rock tune that I just finished arranging over the past 4 days. So I am hoping to finish bass tracks, guitar, keyboards, and I am also hoping to have a friend of mine and her fellow string playing friends lay down a string quartet segment to the song. Anyways, I'm just giving the heads up. The other EPs I am working on are still being recorded and deals are being made with distribution amongst other things, thus it could be some time before I have those to post. I just got a new bass rig and have been meaning to try it out on a recording. So I shall post the tune up in the next few days (pending recording goes well) and give you guys an idea of my playing and how the drum set sounds.
09-21-2005, 01:32 AM
First off, nice kit. Donoho sponsored me and I LOVE the work he did. Amazing guy. I'm bummed that he quit making stuff. Anyway, more to the point, I noticed that you wanted to buy a matching snare. It just so happens that I'm trying to sell my custom Donoho snare! What a coincidence! It's a 6.5 x 14 maple 10 ply in natural finish. Be aware that this "goblet of rock" as my bandmates like to call it, has 4 1' vents in it. It's amazing though. The only reason I'm selling it is because I just need something a bit smaller for my gig. Here some links for pictures...
It's got a new Remo Emperor head on it and the thing flat out rocks. If you want an idea of how it sounds, check out this link: www.myspace.com/chaserocknroll and listen to the two songs we have up there. "Conversations" is a better idea of how the thing handles rocking. If interested (or if you know anyone who is) drop me a line at email@example.com or call me at 541.349.7411...
Thanks (and enjoy your great kit!)...
09-24-2005, 06:02 PM
Really dug that tunes, I espcially liked the bass and drums in California Sun. The snare sounds great. Really good rock snare. I recently just invested into some bass gear as well as an older Ludwig maple snare that I just had to take because of the price and sound. So I've got quite a few debts to pay off before investing in anymore gear. Though, I would absolutely LOVE to have that snare. How much are you looking to sell it for?
10-09-2005, 01:26 AM
Glad you dug the tunes. We're getting better versions recorded soon. As far as price, make an offer. I got a newer snare recently so this one I can sell for checkers (sorry, band phrase). Seriously, make an offer and I will for sure consider it. Take it easy...
03-31-2006, 09:37 PM
How does that 18x18 kick sound? I'm extrememly curious.
03-31-2006, 09:43 PM
Wow really nice kit, are the pinstripe remo heads any good?
03-31-2006, 09:59 PM
That kit looks very nice! Good looking setup in general :)
04-01-2006, 12:51 AM
I always like to check out uncommon drum kits, and yours is no exception. Wish I could hear what they sound like. Thanks for sharing.
04-01-2006, 01:16 AM
try and give a bigger discription next time.
kiddin of course read every word and enjoyed! what was the price of this beauty? and i would be intrested in how those toms sound, have you considered posting in YOU PLAYING thread? excuse me if you already have.
04-01-2006, 03:06 AM
I always like to check out uncommon drum kits, and yours is no exception. Wish I could hear what they sound like. Thanks for sharing.
Ditto for me. What a beautiful kit.
04-01-2006, 09:43 AM
Wow, that is pretty!! First my friend wanted to buy this yellow basix with those "small" toms. I`ve heard that you can tune the toms very very low without a "brrrr" sound...right?
Looks natural, very cool
04-02-2006, 09:15 PM
What mic are using for the kick/overhead/snare?
04-03-2006, 04:48 PM
Awesome kit dude! I love it :)
Could you get some more pictures?
04-03-2006, 06:59 PM
Wonderful kit you've got there. I really want to hear that kick. I also really like that snare series by premier i was looking at one in Manchester.
04-11-2006, 06:30 AM
Very nice man. What did you think about the two different head you have used on your kit. ie you had a clear pinstripe and a coated empror I think.
04-11-2006, 06:32 AM
What I mean is how would you rate each one (Pinsrtipe vs Emporor)
04-11-2006, 11:37 AM
Very nice kit and setup nice cymals also,i like the natural finish also
04-12-2006, 03:16 AM
Very interesting. What kind of sound do the shells give you? I imagine a shorter "blem"-type sound.
04-12-2006, 05:36 AM
I'd give you a hundred bucks for five minutes behind that beauty.
04-12-2006, 07:53 PM
So nice. I'm guessin you play prog??? Looks like a prog setup. Very nice.
07-27-2006, 08:16 PM
Wow it has been a long time since I've visited this board. My apologies to all the questions I have neglected. I shall do my best to answer all of them now.
relyc: the 18x18 kick actually has a pretty big sound for its size. the tone is beautiful. no muffling or BS required. my roots are jazz and i always loved my teachers 18 inch kick so i picked one up. unfortunately, after the purchase of the kit, all the bands that i played in were playing rock, so the 18x18 kick doesn't quite cut it for that, so in the studio i either use a 20 or 22 or just sample replace the kick with a bigger one (22" DW and 20" OCDP are my 2 favs). however, for live gigs. it is HUGE. put a D112, running through a decent PA in the hole and it really conquers any venue.
ns3476: the pinstripes are decent heads for sure. when i was playing heavier rock stuff they worked great. very durable. but they have a very wet sound in the studio, which can be very hit and miss. for clear heads from the Remo family, i still prefer emperors and ambassadors, but if you are into hard rock or metal, i imagine these heads would work for you better than any other clear Remo heads.
eyeofthebeholder447: i actually posted some stuff about 8 months back on the Your Playing. they weren't great recordings though. i recorded some drum and bass tracks for this band: [/URL] those aren't mixed or mastered. but it gives you a feel for how the drums sound. but my configuration for that recording was my 18x18 kick, the 14x8 as a rack, the 16x8 as a floor and a 14 inch brass shell snare custom made by UDRUM. the drumming is really meat and potatoes, but the music doesn't call for any technical drumming. i posted a prog-rock arrangement of variations on the theme from the NES hit Punch Out, which is still pretty basic, but show cases my drumming a bit more. i was also playing with this band. i am not a fan of the music, but it was fun playing nonetheless, as i was doing my brother a favour: [URL="http://www.myspace.com/thesitcom"] (http://www.myspace.com/kilhuminzu) in addition, new recording from my main project are currently being recorded. so i'm excited. i'll post once they are done.
Drummer Karl: its true, these drums really respond well to a VERY wide tuning range. i like to play with the heads pretty lose, forcing the drum to a lower pitch than its fundamental range, but they really work well throughout their entire tuning range.
Mike Firth: my miking set up changed in the past few months. i use a mono overhead miking with an audio technica 2020 and a weird prototype avlex condensor. sm57s on batter and resonant side of the snare with a u87 on the shell. 421s on the batter sides of the toms. d190s on the resonant side. d112 on the resonant side of the kick and an old ev mic from the 60s on the batter side (boxy as hell, but nice blend with the d112).
anders: i currently don't have any more photos. however, i just shot some, but they have to be developed (digital would have been nice), but if you have any region that you want me to focus in on i can snap some pics with my digital camera if you want.
chris--byrne: you can hear the kick on the kilhuminzu recordings i posted above. the sitcom tunes were a 22 inch DW maple kick.
Remopinstripe: its completely personal i find. i love the dark, mellow tone of coated emperor heads, so i'm biased. i prefer to play lighter jazz and swing, so the coated just work better sonically. but when i was doing heavier rock stuff, the pinstripes seemed to work a lot better. a lot more open. (just make sure that you can tune really well with clear heads in order to get really impressive tone)
tambian89: responsive. lots of attack. but nice clear tone. not boomy, but the perfect amount of sustain. i wouldn't say a "blem" sound. more of a duuuuuung. (the number of u's are an approximation of the sustain time of the shell)
zildjian_dude101: its actually not a prog rock kit. i mean, i would have a lot bigger kick drum...well probably 2 kick drums. it is just my studio kit. i really cut down when gigging. i just like to have a lot of options sonically. ive been doing a LOT of recording for people. and usually the process is: i hear the song once, make a structure chart for myself and just record. so i rarely have time to REALLY sit down and think about the drum arrangement, so i find i can use the same fill dozens of times, but use different drums and cymbals to give it a completely different flavour. plus, it is just fun to go down and have so many options when playing. since i started drumming, i dreamed of having a kit like Portnoy and Peart. however, after getting one, i still go back to a basic 4 piece set up. its totally dependent upon my mood i guess.
thank you everyone for the kind words and responses. my deepest apologies for the lack of correspondence. ive been wrapped up with all of these projects in the last 6 months.
if i missed any questions, please let me know, i'd be glad to answer anymore you guys have.
all the best, your friend,
07-27-2006, 08:16 PM
my apologies, the links didn't seem to work for some reason. here are some recordings of some tunes:
07-27-2006, 08:48 PM
wow, lol. That kit looks amazing dude. I like the idea of the shallow toms.
07-28-2006, 12:11 AM
Nice looking kit.
my question to you.... are you my long lost brother??
07-28-2006, 01:28 AM
Very nice. I admire that your not following the crowd. Looks like the ultimate gigging kit. Sweet.
07-28-2006, 02:31 AM
First off, BrianW: I actually have a brother named Brian. I'm not even kidding. Crazy.
Anyways...I just came across this question somewhere in the thread. I'm not sure if I answered it or not. But everyone always asks me this and here is my answer about the infamous Wuhan Chinas:
Neil Peart was using Wuhan chinas for a while and thats when I found out about them (it was pre Paragons). But anyways, when I got it, Wuhan was not very popular, so I picked up the 20 inch china brand new for $40 Canadian and the 12 inch china brand new for $12 Canadian (ridiculous, I know).
I LOVE these chinas. To me, the Zildjians and Sabians (etc.) just don't do it for me. I love their other cymbals, but their Chinas have a lot similar tone to their crashes. Really bright and explosive. I wanted something different from a china. I wanted a disgusting, dark and overly trashy sound. Like glass breaking or something. The Wuhans are all that. I have my 20 inch (which sounds like a gong when I use soft mallets on it) for riding on and large, explosive accents. I even ride on it softly for some jazz stuff. Sounds great. The 12 inch is the same tone and timbre, just a higher pitch. A lot less sustain, so it is a pure accent/shot cymbal. I like those 2 sizes though. I had a 14, 16 and 22 inch Wuhan china, but I like the 12 and 20 inch set. It is a nice match pitch-wise. However, these cymbals are hand-made, thus every cymbal sounds different. Overall though, they are awesome and versatile. But be warned. They are REALLY trashy. You either love them or hate them. Guys who like them though, swear by them.
Thanks again and, once again, let me know if you guys have any further questions.
SLEEPY BRiGHT EYEZ
01-24-2007, 06:03 AM
Cool kit. Good to see someone using shallow toms. I'm taking notes. :)
01-24-2007, 04:16 PM
Very Nice kit! to me that looks lik a 12" Wuhan China, but they may have had different sizes few years ago.
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