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  #1  
Old 04-18-2013, 03:46 PM
TheCommissioner TheCommissioner is offline
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Default Various birch birch birch.

This is a super nerdy, almost OCD question, but what kind of birch gets used by all the companies out there that do alright with birch drums? Yamaha uses Indonesian birch on their mid-price kits and Hokkaido birch on their pro-grade kits (though i dont know what species of woods those are, so i dont really get the difference in quality), Premier used to use "Finnish birch," now they use "American birch?" I wonder what the difference is. Lets see, Tama used to use "Japanese birch" in their Superstar line from the nineties, Pearl and Sonor use "Scandinavian birch." What species are all of these woods, and which ones are the most tried and true out of all of these proclaimed high-grade birch woods from all these different areas, and what makes Indonesian birch so much worse than Japanese grown birch? I dont wanna accidentally buy a birch kit made with "American birch," like a Premier Genista, and end up with some dead shells as opposed to if i wouldve gone with a Yamaha Absolute Birch kit, whose birch is from northern Japan and might sound different in a better way. Anyone have any input?
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:52 PM
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steverok steverok is offline
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

All other things being equal, I doubt one version would produce a "dead sound" while another would sing. My understanding is the Finnish Birch was the primo stuff, sort of like North American Maple, but my understanding and knowledge is extremely limited.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:57 PM
Bonzobilly Bonzobilly is offline
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

I'll echo what Steve said. I mean I'd have no issue with a custom absolute birch. They sound good. That's what matters. I'd be more satisfied that the R and D in that kit would contain their idea of the best birch more so than say Gretsch cat birch.
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

The vast majority of drums are built from birch sheet that's available on the open market. Almost all of that birch is destined for the construction board market. It's used as the outer decorative layer. So there's generally nothing speciaI about the birch sheet that's used to layer up ply shells. As you probably already know, there's a multitude of species within the birch family, so it's difficult to generalise about their characteristics other than the default averages. Stating the geographical area of the source tells you nothing about the species chosen. Frankly, I doubt most drum manufacturers even know what species of birch they're supplied with. Finnish birch (as in any other northern birch) carries a certain premium because the colder climate + shorter growing season typically results in slower growth thus closer grain. As a side note, it's actually quite difficult to buy quality solid birch boards, but very easy & cheap to buy sheeting.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:25 AM
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BGH BGH is offline
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

If you want a quality birch kit, go with Yamaha Recording Custom, Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute or Eames Custom Drums. I can't get into wood properties or details, but these are among the top birch kits available. You can't go wrong with one of these. Been playing Yamaha RC's for 30 years. I've never once thought about where the birch originated. All I know is, its my sound and the quality is superb.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2013, 07:08 AM
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muso7 muso7 is offline
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

I cannot comment on the actual birch wood details but I played a Pearl Masters Studio birch kit for several years - it was a great kit but I had tuning issues with the 10" and 14" toms - -when I say "tuning" I mean that they tuned up OK but did not have the nice clean over tones of the 12" and 16".

More recently, I have purchased a mid-90's Premier Genista (made in England) and I have to admit that it leaves the Pearl for dead. This kit has the best and easiest tuning on any kit I have owned. I think the undersized shells have something to do with the awesome "after-tone" of the toms - I have 10,12,14,16 toms all sounding fantastic. I realise that "sound" is personal and in the ears of the beholder, so these are just my opinions.

Interesting - I had not realised that the earlier Genistas were made from Finnish birch....

Cheers

Pete :)
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:39 AM
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2013, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 017 View Post
Yamaha, Sonor and Eames are the stand-outs for me.
I'd roll Kumu into that list. In fact, specifically for birch drums, I'd put them right at the top of the pile.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:19 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

Vintage 70's and early 80's Tama Superstars are Japanese birch and are reguarded as not just good,but great drums.

Steve B
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2013, 09:01 PM
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Florian Florian is offline
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

Sonor birch is Scandinavian....and sound fooking lovely!


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  #10  
Old 04-20-2013, 09:33 PM
newamsterdam newamsterdam is offline
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Sonor birch is Scandinavian....and sound fooking lovely!


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SonorLite Scandinavian Birch
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  #11  
Old 04-21-2013, 06:37 PM
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Florian Florian is offline
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Default Re: Various birch birch birch.

^^^ that is just lovely!

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