Acrylic Shells


Gold Member
What is your opinion of Acrylic Shells? Would you buy a kit or snare if the quality was excellent and the price reasonable?

It would be sort of retro to have a "rainbow" kit.

Years ago I took lessons from a teacher who had a student right before me who owned an acrylic set - he brought it in one time for tuning. I was wondering how those sound in relation to wood. Any thoughts?


Platinum Member
If I had the room and money to squander foolishly, I'd get myself a set of Vistalites (to satisfy my Bonham 'fan-boy' needs perhaps). Until that time though, I can do without them.

I've only knocked around on a set in a store. Loud, bright sounding things. I liked them, but much prefer a wood shell.


"Uncle Larry"
I liked them. Had a clear set of Spauns for about 6 months. They had a nice pure tone. But one day I woke up and craved wood again. I had no good reason, the acrylic sounded great. I think it was an asthetic thing mostly. Plus they weren't lively sounding enough for me. They did deep good though. I liked the snare a lot. Clear drums pissed blues guys off too, so I ditched them lol.


Platinum Member
Reasonable price is relative. I'd never buy one for the sound and am just not that into the way they look. Not that I think they look bad, just not good enough to outweigh the sound penalty (personal preference, of course).


Senior Member
I'd never own a set of Vistalites or Fibes for that matter, but, I do own a set of Zickos clear acrylic from the 70s with blue heads. The shells are wonderful but the hardware leaves a lot to be desired. I have upgraded the shell tom mounts but can do nothing about the rims (slot type). The rims are better than the mounts and I think part of the problem was the origional heads which I have mostly replaced. I've seen the new ones on line (I think they are sold in Canada only) and I think they have a lot of those problems worked out, but I know of no stores in the US that sell them so I haven't "helt, felt or smelt" them. Mine have a wounderful, deep, resonant sound and I wouldn't take for them.


Platinum Member
What is your opinion of Acrylic Shells? Would you buy a kit or snare if the quality was excellent and the price reasonable?
I played Vistalite for 25+ years. Great drums. Sold them, mainly because I wanted a change. Now I have my Ludwig 6 ply kit, and my Yamaha Recording Customs ... and my electronics.​
I wouldn't mind getting another Vistalite kit. Storing it would be a bit of a problem, right now. But a year or two from now, could be a whole 'nuther ball game.​

I was wondering how those sound in relation to wood.
Brighter than "most woods", probably "closest" wood kit to compare to would be the Yamaha Custom Oak. Bright and loud. Great rock drums. Powerstroke 3 or Pinstripe batter, and Ambassador reso., were my two favorite working head combo's.


Silver Member
I have a porkpie Acrylic snare and while it looks cool I always end up using another one of my snares. However I have seen bands use acrylic bass/toms with a wood/metal snare live, and they sounded sweet. Just saw the band Boris and it's made me want to try one out for myself.

I might buy a Chrome-o-vistalite kit 22-16-13-12 this week if it hasn't sold yet. the chrome finish matches my 28 18 14 wood kit, so all different sizes. I figured why not if the shells aren't cracked. If i get it i'll let you know how I like it.


Senior Member
Zickos, what don't you like about Fibes and Vistalites?
IMHO, Vistalite and Fibes are too light (in weight) and the lugs absorb too much of the sound. Zickos has a much ticker shell and thus heavier in weight wich adds to the resonance. Also, there is a thin layer of soft polyentlyne between the lug and the shell and the shell and the back-up metal plate (which, btw, is the full size of the lug, not just a washer) thus allowing the shell to vibrate in sympathy with the head. That's my observation.