Steam Bent kits???

ronyd

Silver Member
seems to be more and more custom builders producing steam bent kits with a a variety of exotic woods.

Just wondering if the tonal qualities of these kits measure up to the ply kits. I for one, built a snare using a zebrawood steam bent shell which is quite spectacular. But as a kit, not so sure....

I know Craviato builds are wonderful, but does the costs out weight the reality of a perfectly ply kit at much reduced cost?


any thoughts?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
seems to be more and more custom builders producing steam bent kits with a a variety of exotic woods.

Just wondering if the tonal qualities of these kits measure up to the ply kits. I for one, built a snare using a zebrawood steam bent shell which is quite spectacular. But as a kit, not so sure....

I know Craviato builds are wonderful, but does the costs out weight the reality of a perfectly ply kit at much reduced cost?


any thoughts?
I own a set of steambent drums. Yes they beat out ply, my opinion. There's a more natural sounding fundamental, better sounding decay, it takes a little longer. Ply drums by comparison, sound slightly choked to my ear. Not real choked by any means. I mean slightly choked in comparison to steambent. Very little. Not enough to get in a panic about.

Ply drums sound fantastic. I'd say you get 90% of the sound in a ply drum as you would a steambent. IMO the other 10% is the richness and purity of the fundamental note, increased shell resonance (not to be confused with head sustain), and a more natural sounding decay.

TBH, if you are close miced, steambent or ply, you won't hear a drastic difference. Steambent is best appreciated unmiced in a smaller sized room. The only real reason to get steambent is if you don't give a crap about money and you want the very best wood shell tone you can get. No one in the audience cares.

That said, IMO segmented construction is far and away my most preferred method of construction for a wood drum. They're much stronger than steambent, can be repaired much easier, and sound every bit as good as steambent, if not better. I thought steambent was the be all end all of wood drum shells, and they are, but so is segmented.

I buy the expensive shells for me, no one else. No one really appreciates them like I do anyway. I'm fine with that. When it comes to my gear, it's all about ME. What I want. Non drummers don't give a crap, they just want to hear you play well. Some guys have all kinds of vehicles, or go to sporting events on a regular basis. For me drums are the only thing I will go overboard for, financially speaking.

There's no logic, it's all about following my heart.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
seems to be more and more custom builders producing steam bent kits with a a variety of exotic woods.

Just wondering if the tonal qualities of these kits measure up to the ply kits. I for one, built a snare using a zebrawood steam bent shell which is quite spectacular. But as a kit, not so sure....

I know Craviato builds are wonderful, but does the costs out weight the reality of a perfectly ply kit at much reduced cost?


any thoughts?
I use a steam bent maple I built at Tiki, it's head and shoulders the best drum I've ever had. Having said that you can get a great sound out of a 2nd hand Pearl Sensitone with fresh heads.

To the untrained ear a drum is a drum, my singer was saying how nice my £350 poplar midtown sounded out front on Saturday. That would be the last kit I'd ever take into a studio or use if tone ever mattered.

I guess what I'm saying is a kit is worth as much as you're willing to spend on it. I'd approach a builder who can make the shells for you, the resale value will be effected but if it's a kit you'll never be selling go for it.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Steambent maple is all you need really. Craviotto centre stage is where i would look first.https://youtu.be/EVvnITxF5OU what Larry says is true. after you play ply drums they do sound choked, it's up to you if that purer tone is worth chasing. but i do know from experience i can play 2 ply kits and not get the same tonal satisfaction as 1 steambent kit. 2 ply kits will cost more most likely than 1 steambent kit. do the math.
 
Last edited:

RickP

Gold Member
Unix Drums is making Steambent kits from a variety of woods and they are far more reasonably priced than Craviotto. I have a Steambent curly maple snare drum from them and the build quality is excellent.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
If I were buying Unix, I’m pretty sure I’d go stave, not steambent. I’ve got a hollow-log ash kit and have a deposit down on a hollow-log walnut kit from Antonio drums, and I’d love to pick up a satinwood kit at some point
 
Top