Update on Wac'd Drums

gwaco

Senior Member
Here are the prototype strainer and adjustable butt plate. We looked over a bunch of designs including many many vintage snares owned by one of the partners and this is what we came up with. Based more off the vintage drums and the Gretsch Lightning throw off it was felt that it needed to be just a simple design with minimal moving parts. I moved the fulcrum points around and this design has a positive lock to it , it will not pop open even under hard playing.
The butt plate is pretty straight forward but with using a standard 12-24 pitch rod it makes drawing or slacking of the snares much quicker.
We most likely will be thinning out the strainer demensions, even though I kind off like the feel of the beefier one in the pics.

Also one of the things that was liked about the drop design is that no matter how tight you like you snare wires , this type of strainer gives you more than enough clearance between the wires and head when in the off position. Some of the strainers we looked at had a real problem with tight snares and clearance problems when in the off position.
On those when you hit the snare with the snares off you would get some buzzing from the snares bouncing off the head.

We will also be doing a foot operated throw off down the road. The ideas for it have been penned so we just need to find time to really detail it out.

btw , The WD will be done much more professional , I got a little carried away with the die grinder!
 

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bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I really like the strainer designs. I agree that they should be slightly less bulky for the final product.
Great job Gary!
 

iwantmemoney

Senior Member
I've been watching this develop, as I'm sure others have been silently checking it out...what you guys are doing with your stuff is such a great inspiration to me. And I love some of your ideas. I want to do some similar work in the near future(tho none of my stuff will ever cross with yours, so I'm not a competitor), so it's with great interest that I watch and learn! At the moment, I love what you and the forum guys are doing with the lugs(cool, cool drums), and I need to order them from you, something I assume can be done from your website(haven't been there yet), or please let me know. Those strainers look solid. very original. Hope 2012 is an awesome year for you!
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Hey Gary, you'll be pleased to know I've just found a lovely tom shell that's the right size to test those lugs. It's a 12" Guru Drumworks driftwood finish solid oak stave. I recon that's good enough to kick off with!

I'm on it :)
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Ok, here goes, I fitted out the 12" tom shell with Gary's lugs. The shell is a stave oak, about 12mm thick, & suspended with a Gauger RIMS Alloy mount. Even though stave shells are very resonant, being quite thick, it's not the ideal shell to bring out the best shell resonance gain of a free floating design. I know this from our own extensive experimentation on shell performance, but it's what I have to hand. Over the next couple of months, we'll make a shell that will truly test the maximum difference between lugs bolted to the shell & Gary's design. Heads = Evans G2 coated over G1 clear.

So, as a background to the following information, we've already conclusively proved to ourselves that free floating designs offer substantial sonic benefits when part of an overall concept, & the results are much more profound on medium to thinner shells. Equally, the results are further enhanced when applied to solid stave, segmented & steambent shells (i.e. shells that are inherently more resonant).

According to this specific test, we found the following positives compared to the same shell with standard lugs:

1/ Increased shell resonance. As it was a thick shell, we didn't expect much gain, but it was certainly there. If I was to put a guesstimate figure on it, I'd say around 15%. The lugs certainly improved an already very good drum.

2/ Ease of tuning. Especially on the fly.

3/ Increased headroom. The drum was able to tune lower without loosing a strong fundamental, & much higher without choking.

The small downside:

We weren't able to get the bottom head tuned completely evenly. It was close, but not 100%. This is due entirely to differences between the accuracy of production of the heads. In our own tests, only one in five heads, across all makes, were consistent in their film to rim application. The differences are small, but they're there. With a lug tensioned drum, you never notice these small differences, because you can just tweak a tension screw. If you spend some time on a free floating drum, you can revolve one head, & re-tension until the head difference diminishes. I must emphasise that the affect on the sound of the drum was small, but it was there. With careful head selection, this affect can be eradicated. The affect is more pronounced at lower tensions, & gradually reduces as tension increases. On a snare drum, you're unlikely to notice anything.

Conclusion:

When taken as a whole, Gary's lug design is nothing short of a revelation. The design offers the player an economical & high quality free floating drum facility, either by design from the ground up, or retrofit. I'm totally sold on the sonic benefits. More shell tone, greater tuning range, & incredible ease of tuning. The fast tuning is of superb benefit to those who struggle with tuning, or those who need to change tuning frequently from gig to gig. All these benefits massively outweigh any minor evenness control challenges, & quite frankly, the majority of players will never notice the affect.

Free floating drums are all about getting maximum resonance & shell tone. If that's what you want, you'll be automatically tuning batter & reso heads to the same pitch. Gary's system makes that so simple, so convenient, & delivers real sonic benefits as a big bonus. Ok, they won't appeal to every player, specifically those who like to tune their reso head to a different pitch compared to the batter head, but to those that tune evenly, this is the best system I've tried. Imagine how easy it is to build your own drum with Gary's system. Go buy a Keller shell, get the edges on it, apply the finish of your choice, fit Gary's system, & there you go, an instant high end drum sound.

As a footnote, the quality of the lugs is superb.

I'll be back with a testing update early next year, but for now, just go & buy some of these wonderful lugs, & open up a whole new user friendly way of getting a great drum sound in minutes
 

LukeSnyder

Gold Member
Gary, I like the looks of that strainer and butt plate, I especially like the fact that you can adjust it with a drum key!

I recently picked up a new snare, and my new drum heads finally arrived. Here's some pics of them with the Wac'd lugs, I'd say that the purple lugs look pretty sharp on a steel snare!




I'll try to get around to recording with this snare as soon as I can, it sounds pretty good!
 

gwaco

Senior Member
Andy , Thanks you so much for taking the time to evaluate the lugs! We talk quite abit behind the "camera" and I have so much respect for you and Dean that when you make a post like that it really puts a smile on my face!

I know I haven't been around the forums to much lately but please know that its not because I've faded from sight but because we are working our rears off getting things done.

I took on a big challenge when setting out to do this venture and hopefully you guys and gals will be able to reap the benefits.

Some of the time I even get overwelmed by it all, but with the guys I have around me with the business and especially on this site my drive keeps on going! Theres no time for this train to slow down and make stops at this point so we will keep going ahead at full steam!

Luke- did I send you some plugs for the holes? If I did you may have to push on a plastic tension rod washer in order for them to fit snuggly. You also can play around with the dryness of the snare by adding or subtracting plugs. Looks awesome !

Gary
 

madidus

Senior Member
Well, after a couple of crazy months of recording, playing, working, moving house, setting up a farm, I'm back. Gary I'm pleased to see the progress you're making and Andy's comprehensive analysis.
My trusty snare with your hardware is holding up to the rigours of regular gigging with no problems at all - very reliable piece of kit.
I am in the process of setting up my workshop and getting ready to make some snares, so am watching the progress of Wac'd drums closely.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Hey Gary, I like to use wooden hoops on the top and bottom of some of my drums.
It would be great if you made lugs that would work with wooden reso hoops.
 

gwaco

Senior Member
Well, after a couple of crazy months of recording, playing, working, moving house, setting up a farm, I'm back. Gary I'm pleased to see the progress you're making and Andy's comprehensive analysis.
My trusty snare with your hardware is holding up to the rigours of regular gigging with no problems at all - very reliable piece of kit.
I am in the process of setting up my workshop and getting ready to make some snares, so am watching the progress of Wac'd drums closely.
Yep , sounds like you've been busy !
I wll send you a message as soon as I can Harry! Glad to see the hardware is holding up. Much more to talk about in a minute! Stand by ..
 

gwaco

Senior Member
Hey Gary, I like to use wooden hoops on the top and bottom of some of my drums.
It would be great if you made lugs that would work with wooden reso hoops.
Hi Bob . It can be done but I don't know if you want or willing to do this. What we did was to just undercut the backside of the hoop with the tip of a big drill bit to give us enough room to get the clip on. You can see the dished out area in the pic. We knew that people with wood hoops would have trouble with the batter side , but we tried to keep as much equal distance between non-threaded bottom side and the top thread side when the drum is assembled. Don't know if that makes sense , but I am more than willing to relook at the current length and see what we can do. Its only a couple of quick key changes in the computer program , so it wouldn't be hard to do. Also do to the thickness of the wood hoop you can pretty much throw the spring away because its nearly impossible to compress it enough to get the clip on.
 

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gwaco

Senior Member
For me it feels like I have been away from here forever, even though I had the ocassional pop in!

For the last month I have had to put the drum side of the company away , not because of anything bad. I did manage to have a little time to work on some prototyping of parts with one being the bass drum spur you see in the picture ( more about that in a minute ) .

We had been asked by a couple of companies to come up with a few products that they could use in their displays at N.A.M.M. coming up.

I can't openly discuss everything we have done but I can say that those going to namm should go to the Ludwig and Drumcraft booth. We did the heads and the l.e.d. rings in their bass drums. In the pic you can see the basic component we came up with. Its a removable led ring . Its works great and has been used by Casey at some of his local gigs to see how it held up to vibrations and constant pounding.

Loosen the five little thumb screws and you can remove it as quick as you can take the head off. Or you can position it at different depths for different effects on the front head. Just a bunch of different things that can be done and none of it is permanent.

Of course there is a little more that goes with it like the control boxes for the leds, but thats pretty boring stuff.


We also did some work for Drumcraft and their newest artist Brian Frasier Moore , whom incase you didn't know has left Tama.
Their stuff I can't say anything about until Namm starts but check out the front head for sure.

Most of this work was done under the Drumstatic name but in the coming months that will be a part of Wac'd Drums even though we will continue to keep that part as a seperate entity.

So as you can tell I've been up to my eye balls with projects and that on top of everything else going on (like trying to keep myself from walking out on the day job... ) and continuing to prototype up the last couple of components before we start churning out drums kits ( This is what I have been waiting for so long ! )

Now to the bass drum spur pic. I have put so much time into developing these its not funny. But in an attempt to eliminate wingnuts or thumb screws on the hardware and to make things easier for you guys , I developed a push button spur. As quick as you can push the center button in , you can fold the spur in the storage position and vise-versa. And to set the height of the legs ( though its not shown in the pic) its a simple cam lever. The inpiration for the cam lever came from a friend that builds high end bikes for amputees.Its the same operation used to change seat height or remove the wheels.

Also in the beginning stages are the floor tom leg brackets of which will also be simple push button operation. These things are gonna be really cool and so simple to use! I'm sure I will be making some cosmetic changes but the function will remain.

I will try and get back here as often as I can , but please don't hesitate to shoot me a p.m. , email , whatever you have to do to get in touch with me. I may not be able to answer right away , but I promise I will.

Thanks
Gary
 

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mwilsonii

Junior Member
This is exciting!

I have just started on a new four piece kit, and I would love to get my hands on some of this hardware. Please let me know when you have some to sell.

I have been trying to find free floating options for a while now. That's actually how I found this thread.

Thanks!
 
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