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Old 12-19-2011, 08:34 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default The truth about wood hoops?


I've lusted for the Akira Jimbo snare, a beautiful odd sized, deep beechwood snare, with wood hoops for a long time now.

So finally, I go to my drum sales buddy at Washingtion Music Center, which by the way has some of the most knowledgeable and experienced sales staff ever known to man a counter in a music store, not to mention the incredible array of snare drums that you can try, always in stock in the store.

I try out the Jimbo snare in the sound proof cymbal room and its beautiful. To compare Jim brings some other snares. These dont have hoops so I ask him to bring me some with the hoops. He's says " oh, the hoops make no difference to the sound, other than rimclicks/rimshots etc. This answer shocks me. 19 ply maple hoops, make no difference to the sound of a drum???!!!

To prove his point, he took the hoops off, and it really did seem to make not much difference. I wasnt sure if I was imagining a little difference at all or that it was all in my head ( the one on my neck )

Do wood hoops make any difference to a clean strike in the center of the drum?

Any views on this?


Last edited by aydee; 12-19-2011 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:06 AM
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keep it simple keep it simple is offline
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Default Re: The truth about wood hoops?

Oh dear, here I go, about to be labelled an anti ply whore. But as it's you Abe, I'll give you the truth as I see it.

Ok, your in store buddies are right, but that's because they've only tried ply hoops. Thick ply hoops only change the body of the drum sound (i.e. striking the centre of the head with no rim involvement) by virtue of the change in mass they bring to the party. The reason being, is they bring so little resonance of their own into the mix. Ply single flange wooden hoops with claws however are a bit different, but I assume we're talking about Yamaha style chunky hoops here? Those thick ply hoops will offer a different rimshot & cross stick sound though, although typically, quite dead.

Solid segmented or solid steambent 1 or 2 ply hoops are a different animal. Especially if made from the same wood as the shell, they add a considerable degree of voice to the sound. Essentially, they reinforce the shell fundamental. The reason being is they resonate far more readily, they're much easier to excite, despite their bulk.

Non of this is theory, I've done the A - B's. The issue with this is cost. The solid hoops cost a lot more than the ply hoops (mainly because of the massive difference in labour), & the real world reward in an amplified live music setting is minimal. In the studio however, or for personal playing pleasure, then you're getting something back for your effort.

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:41 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: The truth about wood hoops?

I agree about the Yamaha wood hoops not doing anything for the sound. I tried them on that Ludwig Brick snare not too long ago. It was an expensive 'upgrade' just to make the drum look cool.

However, I'm interested in trying something like the Taye wood-hoopers, and Stan at Pro Drum had two of them in stock so I played on them. Shame I didn't have a chance to put a steel hoop on it to do an A-B comparison, but the drums did have a bit more of a woody tone as opposed to the double-the-price Yamaha Elvin Jones snare that was also on the same rack with those clunky Yamaha wooden hoops.

Personally I go with what Andy says, the drum probably must be built for and around the given wooden hoop. Simply retrofitting a wood hoop to a drum is only going half-way, and at great cost too (two Yamaha hoops cost me $215). See if you can't try those Taye snares. A thinner wooden hoop with the only issue being that you have to deal with the claws. But I'm secretly in love with those snares ;)
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:27 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: The truth about wood hoops?

I tried a pair of those thick19(?) ply wooden hoops on a snare drum I had. I am used to the die cast sound on my snares. I thought they did alter the sound. To my ear, the drum sounded less focused and took away some balls, it sounded softer (not volume-wise, tone-wise) to me. I took them off pretty quickly and haven't thought about them since.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:32 PM
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Dr.horsemouth Dr.horsemouth is offline
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Default Re: The truth about wood hoops?

The best wood hoops i've ever seen and played on were some super thick stave ones made by Todd Created Wood. It was a 18'' kick but was tuned so low yet.. in tune still because of these extremely strong hoops. I was told he is starting to make them for toms and floor toms. Can't wait to hear what his drums will sound like with the hoops. His drums sound enormous already!!!!

P.S. He makes WINE BARREL BASS DRUMS!!! INSANE! Muahahahaha!!

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Old 01-03-2012, 10:50 PM
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caddywumpus caddywumpus is offline
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Default Re: The truth about wood hoops?

I bought one of those Pacific maple snares with the wood hoops for a student, and played around with it for a while. I think it's the SX series, or something like that. Anyways, I tried triple flange hoops on it to compare the sound, and to see if it was a decent snare to begin with, before putting the hoops on. The difference in sound was minimal--much less than when you switch out triple flange hoops with die cast hoops. The difference I DID notice was that the wood hoops took out some of the clarity. They made the drum sound not as sharp, and not as cutting. It "softened" the snare sound, so to speak. I don't mean that it attenuated the highs, or made the drum sound "warm", but it just weakened the bite of the snare.

Other than that, I've played on several Allegra snares with wood hoops (they're big in Portland, especially in the jazz scene), and some vintage marching drums with them. To me, they sound good/fine/whatever, but they're not some sort of holy grail to pursue. Probably impact the sound of a 14x5 snare drum as much as switching from maple to birch--not much at all...
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