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  #1  
Old 07-17-2011, 06:32 AM
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Default Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

I've been having a disagreement with my guitarist dad about my current drumhead situation.

As some of you may remember, I posted a few months ago about an Aquarian drumhead not fitting my 12" ddrum tom. Well, there was a little more to that story than I told, if only to simplify the problem in the eyes of its potential solvers (you guys). All of the Aquarian tom heads, the Super 2's with Studio-X Rings, had difficulties fitting on the drums one way or another. The 16" tom was the least problematic, with each head having a snug, not quite tight, fit on the shell. The 10" had the issue of undersized hoops, but the heads fit in decently and did not warp. The 12" was the worst and it took a lot of frighteningly aggressive maneuvering to get both heads to fit on the drum. I have measured the shells several times now, each in round. The only problem I could find was that the 12" and 16" shells were all a touch oversized (the 10" was fine, the hoops were the problem there). Keep in mind that these shells are wrapped.

With these heads being a good half-year old, and with the fitting problems at hand, I've decided to go for a new set of tom heads. I was already set on Remo under the observation that their head collars (metal hoop attached to drumhead) are just a little thinner than the bulky Aquarian collars, and I think that will make just enough difference to make the Remo's fit better. I told my dad this, and he said maybe I should call ddrum and ask which heads work best with their drums. My dad seems to believe that drumheads are like guitar pickups, in that certain heads might not fit certain drums due to a variety of subtle manufacturing techniques. No! That's completely wrong. I tried to tell him that ddrum screwed up and oversized the shells, but he still thinks that they should know brands or types of drumheads that work with their drums. But I told him, it doesn't work that way. Drum manufacturers don't make drums that only work with one brand of drumhead. All drumheads should fit all drums, end of story.

I'm so frustrated! I can't seem to get this concept across to him in such a way that he understands from the perspective of a drummer. Please give me a way of explaining this concept to a non-drummer.
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Last edited by Typo; 07-22-2011 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

If you think that they're oversized then measure them!! Any 12" drumhead should fit on any 12" tom. If the drums are incorrectly sized then you should definally call ddrum.
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:58 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

Even though they SHOULD all fit, they obviously don't. A call to DDrum might not be a bad idea, because they may have already had other customers call with the same issue and may indeed have discovered that some heads work better than others. I doubt that your kit is the only one that ever came out of their factory oversized, so I don't think your dad's suggestion is unreasonable.

The other solution, as I see it, would be to take your drum shells to the shop when you go to get heads and make sure they fit before you buy.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

Take the worst offender (the 12", right?) into a drum shop, and see if an Evans head and/or a Remo head fit. It's that simple. Fighting with your dad, calls to Ddrum .... all a waste of time .... effort ..... breath. Simply figure out if you can re-head the tom. If you can, that's cool .... problem solved. If you can't, return the drum kit.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

ive run into that on some of the no name brands of plywood drums when repairing hardware or changing heads for people , or doing a rewrap, etc, but never on anything from a reputable manufacturer, and to be honest im an aquarian user so when i have encountered this problem have found that i will go grab one of my old heads and it will fit, ive had to tell people that i can either trim the wrap back to use their old heads or they can just use aquarian heads so you may not get a remo or evans to fit either
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Old 07-18-2011, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HUdrummer View Post
If you think that they're oversized then measure them!! Any 12" drumhead should fit on any 12" tom. If the drums are incorrectly sized then you should definally call ddrum.
I did measure them, that's how I know they're oversized.
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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Even though they SHOULD all fit, they obviously don't. A call to DDrum might not be a bad idea, because they may have already had other customers call with the same issue and may indeed have discovered that some heads work better than others. I doubt that your kit is the only one that ever came out of their factory oversized, so I don't think your dad's suggestion is unreasonable.

The other solution, as I see it, would be to take your drum shells to the shop when you go to get heads and make sure they fit before you buy.
I just have a hard time believing, much due to ddrum's rep, that they would any idea how to help me. I keep joking to myself that they would try to sell me their stock heads as a "solution."
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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Take the worst offender (the 12", right?) into a drum shop, and see if an Evans head and/or a Remo head fit. It's that simple. Fighting with your dad, calls to Ddrum .... all a waste of time .... effort ..... breath. Simply figure out if you can re-head the tom. If you can, that's cool .... problem solved. If you can't, return the drum kit.
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Originally Posted by tard View Post
ive run into that on some of the no name brands of plywood drums when repairing hardware or changing heads for people , or doing a rewrap, etc, but never on anything from a reputable manufacturer, and to be honest im an aquarian user so when i have encountered this problem have found that i will go grab one of my old heads and it will fit, ive had to tell people that i can either trim the wrap back to use their old heads or they can just use aquarian heads so you may not get a remo or evans to fit either
This is interesting. I think that it will be a good idea (courtesy of harryconway and IDDrummer) to go to my drum shop and see what fits before I buy. If nothing fits well, it looks like I will be calling ddrum.

Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

Oddly enough, Aquarian themselves make a 'vintage' head that was slightly oversized to fit on drums that might be a little bigger. Back in the days when everyone tucked their own calf skin heads, drum sizes weren't exactly spot-on. So Aquarian came out with these slightly larger heads to accommodate those people with vintage drums. However, Ddrum is not an old drum so you shouldn't have that issue. However, they are Ddrum and maybe you've uncovered a new issue that these fine drums possess.

I say try different makes and find out who fits. You coulda' got a bad batch of heads (unlikely), or maybe you should seek out these vintage heads to see if those fit. Modern shells are slightly smaller, so maybe you just need the slightly bigger heads.

Find heads that fit, then sell those drums and get drums that fit ;)
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Oddly enough, Aquarian themselves make a 'vintage' head that was slightly oversized to fit on drums that might be a little bigger. Back in the days when everyone tucked their own calf skin heads, drum sizes weren't exactly spot-on. So Aquarian came out with these slightly larger heads to accommodate those people with vintage drums. However, Ddrum is not an old drum so you shouldn't have that issue. However, they are Ddrum and maybe you've uncovered a new issue that these fine drums possess.

I say try different makes and find out who fits. You coulda' got a bad batch of heads (unlikely), or maybe you should seek out these vintage heads to see if those fit. Modern shells are slightly smaller, so maybe you just need the slightly bigger heads.

Find heads that fit, then sell those drums and get drums that fit ;)
Yeah, I know about those heads. But as you say, I shouldn't have to resort to those, uh, unattractive yellow heads for modern drums. I've been thinking about selling the drums, too. Unfortunately, that's not an option right now.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

I've run into this problem with Aquarian heads and wrapped finishes. The problem area is where the wrap overlaps, even with Aquarian's "Modern Vintage" heads. I have not had one that wouldn't work however but you have to be careful when you first put the head on to not distort the edge of the wrap where it overlaps. If your wrap has a lot of overlap that makes it bigger at that spot you may be running into the same problem.

I've had heads that were "snug" but not to the point that I had to fight to get the head on the drum.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

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Originally Posted by BigSteve View Post
I've run into this problem with Aquarian heads and wrapped finishes. The problem area is where the wrap overlaps, even with Aquarian's "Modern Vintage" heads. I have not had one that wouldn't work however but you have to be careful when you first put the head on to not distort the edge of the wrap where it overlaps. If your wrap has a lot of overlap that makes it bigger at that spot you may be running into the same problem.

I've had heads that were "snug" but not to the point that I had to fight to get the head on the drum.
Have you tried using different brands of heads? I have that exact problem, but, yeah, mine are more than snug.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

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Originally Posted by Typo View Post
Have you tried using different brands of heads? I have that exact problem, but, yeah, mine are more than snug.
No, I have'nt had the problem you seem to be having. If you have to force the head on the drum that is no good.

You might measure the inside diameter of the Aquarian head you are using, then go to your local music store and do the same with a Evans or Remo head to see if it's going to work. Or just take the used head in and compare that way. Sounds like you need to put on some new heads anyway.

Aquarian's customer service is pretty good...have you mentioned your problem to them?
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

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Originally Posted by BigSteve View Post
No, I have'nt had the problem you seem to be having. If you have to force the head on the drum that is no good.

You might measure the inside diameter of the Aquarian head you are using, then go to your local music store and do the same with a Evans or Remo head to see if it's going to work. Or just take the used head in and compare that way. Sounds like you need to put on some new heads anyway.

Aquarian's customer service is pretty good...have you mentioned your problem to them?
I have actually measured the inside diameter. What should it be, usually? I would think that from inside to inside, it should measure to the designated size, for instance 12", exactly. That's a good idea to take it with me and compare to other brands.

As for calling Aquarian, I had thought about it, but I just figured their heads weren't at fault in this case. Maybe they are, though, and I guess I shouldn't discount them before knowing for sure.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

"But I told him, it doesn't work that way. Drum manufacturers don't make drums that only work with one brand of drumhead. All drumheads should fit all drums, end of story."

Tolerance: Dimensions, properties, or conditions may vary within certain practical limits without significantly affecting functioning of equipment or a process. Tolerances are specified to allow reasonable leeway for imperfections and inherent variability without compromising performance.-from wiki

Type " Aquarian heads fit tight" in a google search and tell me what happens. It's purely anecdotal evidence but, if that many people say "Aquarian heads seem to fit tighter than other heads." Guess what, they just might fit a lil tighter than other heads...

...and that coupled with a drum that ran a little on the large end of the tolerance can be a problem. The good news is there are more drum head manufacturers to choose from.

Never argue with your Dad....even if he's a guitarist.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Take the worst offender (the 12", right?) into a drum shop, and see if an Evans head and/or a Remo head fit. It's that simple. Fighting with your dad, calls to Ddrum .... all a waste of time .... effort ..... breath. Simply figure out if you can re-head the tom. If you can, that's cool .... problem solved. If you can't, return the drum kit.
I think Harry has it right here....take the 12" tom to the music store and fit some new heads on it. I'm sure you will be able to find some that fit.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

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Originally Posted by jkevn View Post
"But I told him, it doesn't work that way. Drum manufacturers don't make drums that only work with one brand of drumhead. All drumheads should fit all drums, end of story."

Tolerance: Dimensions, properties, or conditions may vary within certain practical limits without significantly affecting functioning of equipment or a process. Tolerances are specified to allow reasonable leeway for imperfections and inherent variability without compromising performance.-from wiki

Type " Aquarian heads fit tight" in a google search and tell me what happens. It's purely anecdotal evidence but, if that many people say "Aquarian heads seem to fit tighter than other heads." Guess what, they just might fit a lil tighter than other heads...

...and that coupled with a drum that ran a little on the large end of the tolerance can be a problem. The good news is there are more drum head manufacturers to choose from.

Never argue with your Dad....even if he's a guitarist.
That is good news. I was always under the impression that Aquarian heads were already slightly larger than other heads, but apparently not for these people. I am now extremely eager to try Remo and Evans.

And technically, it wasn't an argument. It was more of a me-trying-to-get-my-dad-to-understand conversation. But thanks for your concern (not sarcastic; authentic thanks).
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

I have used one Aquarian head in my life and it will be the last. A couple of years ago, I purchased an Aquarian bass drum head. It would not fit on either of my older Ludwig kits or a newer DW kit. The bass drum hoop would not seat correctly on the head.
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Old 07-22-2011, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

I only ever use Evans and Remo heads and they fit any and all the kits I ever had. I never tried an Aquarian head. I know that DW trims a bit of their wrap material at the seam overlap near the bearing edges to help facilitate the fitting of the heads.

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Old 07-22-2011, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

This all makes me wonder if I should try some Aquarian heads because I've always been under the impression Sonor intentionally ever so slightly undersizes their shells in addition to whatever other manufacturing processes they apply to get that "Sonor tympanic sound" I've come to know and love from my Force 3007s... Try, just to see what happens.

Anyways, I've been itching to put some Ambassador X's top and bottom on all my toms because I think they would sound sweeeeeeeeeeeet...
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:49 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Typo View Post
I've been having a disagreement with my guitarist dad about my current drumhead situation.

As some of you may remember, I posted a few months ago about an Aquarian drumhead not fitting my 12" ddrum tom. Well, there was a little more to that story than I told, if only to simplify the problem in the eyes of its potential solvers (you guys). All of the Aquarian tom heads, the Super 2's with Studio-X Rings, had difficulties fitting on the drums one way or another.
I've been playing Aquarian heads exclusively for almost 20 years now. I've never, never, ever had this problem or any other problem with them. I've put them on ddrum, vintage Ludwigs, modern Ludwigs, Pork Pie, Yamaha, Tama, vintage Rogers, vintage Slingerland, Leedy, etc. I've used all models and sizes of Aquarians as well.

I bet 99/100 times, there's an issue it's a shell that's out of round in which case you'll have a problem with any head unless you make your own hoop and tuck your own skin for it. 1/100 there's a dispersion in the manufacturing of the head (happens to every type of product in the world). I've gone through hundreds and never had a bad head or any issue. I've had problems with way too many Remo heads (overpriced junk IMO), I've never seen or heard of a problem with Evans.

I'm currently using coated Studio-X or clear Performance II on toms; Hi-Energy on snares; Impact II on bass. Late-70s Ludwigs (black cortex).
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

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Originally Posted by simmsdn View Post
I've been playing Aquarian heads exclusively for almost 20 years now. I've never, never, ever had this problem or any other problem with them. I've put them on ddrum, vintage Ludwigs, modern Ludwigs, Pork Pie, Yamaha, Tama, vintage Rogers, vintage Slingerland, Leedy, etc. I've used all models and sizes of Aquarians as well.

I bet 99/100 times, there's an issue it's a shell that's out of round in which case you'll have a problem with any head unless you make your own hoop and tuck your own skin for it. 1/100 there's a dispersion in the manufacturing of the head (happens to every type of product in the world). I've gone through hundreds and never had a bad head or any issue. I've had problems with way too many Remo heads (overpriced junk IMO), I've never seen or heard of a problem with Evans.

I'm currently using coated Studio-X or clear Performance II on toms; Hi-Energy on snares; Impact II on bass. Late-70s Ludwigs (black cortex).
The shell might be out of round by 1/32 of an inch, but no more. Is this enough to cause a head to not fit properly? I think the oversizing of the shell is the main problem; I consistently get measurements at slightly more than 11 15/16", I guess 11 31/32". And shells should be an 1/8th less than the designated size, right?

I also measured the inside diameter of the Aquarian head with a result of slightly less than 12", looked like approximately 11 31/32". Is this normal?
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Last edited by Typo; 07-23-2011 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

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Originally Posted by Typo View Post
The shell might be out of round by 1/32 of an inch, but no more. Is this enough to cause a head to not fit properly? I think the oversizing of the shell is the main problem; I consistently get measurements at slightly more than 11 15/16", I guess 11 31/32". And shells should be an 1/8th less than the designated size, right?

I also measured the inside diameter of the Aquarian head with a result of slightly less than 12", looked like approximately 11 31/32". Is this normal?
I'm probably going to take all the heads off my drums and measure now...as far as I can ever remember, shell diameter is the diameter (if it's a 12" drum, it's 12" diameter). The hoops on the heads will be slightly larger because the actual head size matches, not the flesh hoop size.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

I found this site, but I'm not sure how credible it is. Under Tom's method, a couple paragraphs down, it is noted that shells should be undersized. A fellow DW member, jodgey4, also informed me of this a while back.

http://pdgood.us/drumshed/ply.html#tom
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

DDrum, DDrum, DDrum... Total rubbish. I own one so I can pay them out all I want. In fact, I've owned 3.
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Old 07-27-2011, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

I discovered something else today. I've got this old TKO kit sitting around, and it had a 12" Aquarian coated single ply head on the batter side. Why I never tried this head on my ddrum shell before, I can't say; I guess I just didn't think about it. So I tried it and it FIT! It looks like an older version, because it has this "Satin Finish" label, which I've never seen elsewhere (picture below). Then I tried putting my newer Aquarian heads (Super-2 and Classic Clear) on the TKO 12" tom and they fit excellently. Not even a tad snug, I could shuffle them from side to side. I also figured something else out. One end of the ddrum 12" shell is slightly larger than the other end, because the Aquarian Satin Finish head fit decently on the batter side of the ddrum tom, but was snug on the resonant side.

I think I can conclude two things from this. First, the ddrum shell is definitely oversized, at least on one side. Normally you hear of drums being out of round and formed into an ellipsis sort of shape, but this shell is tapering in diameter (not much at all, I would think). I'm not sure why I didn't notice this when I measured the shell, considering I measured both sides, but I guess the difference is just that minimal. Second, either Aquarian has changed their manufacturing process to make smaller heads, or at least one of the three 12" Aquarian heads I have are defective in terms of size. It looks like I might be giving both companies a call.

I should be getting some Remo's very soon.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:00 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

Great news: I got clear Remo Emperors and Ambassadors. Better news: they fit. Even better news: they sound fantastic! I tuned the 10" to C#, 12" to Ab, and the 16" to C#. Awesome!
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:17 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

Great!

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Old 11-28-2011, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Drumheads should fit all drums... right?

http://www.google.com/m?hl=en-US&ie=...ead+fit+issues
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