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Old 09-19-2016, 04:20 PM
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Default Segmented shells born on date

I'm curious as to when this construction method showed up in drums. Everyone knows stave has been around forever but segmented? Does anyone know when the first segmented shell made it's debut? I want to say it's a fairly new construction method for drums, like within the last 20 years, but I don't really know. I can't think of one example of a segmented shell before the 90's, if indeed they were being made then.

Any help appreciated.
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Old 09-20-2016, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Segmented shells born on date

I'm sorry Larry, but I have absolutely no idea. I think your thoughts are probably about right, although I'm sure someone somewhere was probably doing this decades ago.
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Old 09-20-2016, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Segmented shells born on date

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I'm curious as to when this construction method showed up in drums. Everyone knows stave has been around forever but segmented? Does anyone know when the first segmented shell made it's debut? I want to say it's a fairly new construction method for drums, like within the last 20 years, but I don't really know. I can't think of one example of a segmented shell before the 90's, if indeed they were being made then.

Any help appreciated.
SOTA (State Of The Art) Percussion started manufacturing segmented snare shells in 1984. Choices were African Padauk, Rosewood and Walnut. Modern Drummer did the attached write up in May 1984.

I would assume there were independent builders that might have offered segmented shells before them. No idea when the segmented process was applied to full drum kits.
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Segmented shells born on date

That's really interesting! The dowels help line up the segments, but actually add nothing to the roundness retention of the construction as claimed in the article. At 5/8" thick, those shells would be regarded as medium thickness for a segmented shell today. $500 for a bare padauk shell back in 84 (nearly $1,200 in today's money) - not cheap, but probably a more accurate reflection of the cost of making them compared to the squeeze of today, especially the cost of thin shell versions. They're hugely time consuming to craft. The only way of reducing cost is to either use more economical wood species, or get them made where time (unfortunately) is cheap.

Kit sizes (especially bass drums & floor toms) represent a Herculean building task (again, especially thin shell), so very few dare venture there.
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