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  #1  
Old 05-26-2012, 03:22 AM
plangentmusic
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Default Why? Why? Why?

It's so obvious, but no one -- no drum experts, drums shop owners or people in marketing seem to have an answer to this.

WHY isn't hardware made of aluminum?

It'd weigh 60% less. Would that not be great?

Now, I know Rogers made an aluminum hardware series in the 70's, but it had the crappiest locking system. Most of it cracked, people got turned off and that was that.

So...is there a logical answer to this? Or is there aluminum hardware that I'm unaware of? And if there is, why doesn't everyone use it?
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

Durability is the first thing that comes to mind. It's lighter because it's less dense. Designs utilizing aluminum tend to factor in the relative low strength of the material with clever re-enforcing designs, but it will still generally look flimsier; and I'd wager would not last quite as long, especially in situations where it's moved and thrown around a lot, like touring.

However, I agree with the overall premise. I'm sure there's better designs and materials that would be lighter. I suppose the question is then, will people pay more for lower weight hardware?
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

Axis offer aluminium hardware: http://www.axispercussion.com/vortex.html .......pricey though. And I note it doesn't seem to be completely aluminium either.....looks like they still use steel as well.

Why it's not more widespread is beyond me. Perhaps aluminum is just too soft an alloy to stand up to the continual rigours of set up/tear down? Surely after all these years it's been experimented with? There must be a reason why it hasn't caught on.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:34 AM
plangentmusic
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Durability is the first thing that comes to mind. It's lighter because it's less dense. Designs utilizing aluminum tend to factor in the relative low strength of the material with clever re-enforcing designs, but it will still generally look flimsier; and I'd wager would not last quite as long, especially in situations where it's moved and thrown around a lot, like touring.

However, I agree with the overall premise. I'm sure there's better designs and materials that would be lighter. I suppose the question is then, will people pay more for lower weight hardware?

I'm not so sure. I mean, how durable does a snare drum stand have to be? What do you put it through that the piping would wear out?!? How does a cymbal stand wear out from hitting a cymbal? As far as how it looks-- what's wrong with brushed aluminum? Hell, if it were pink and took my trap case from 110 pounds to 40 pounds, I'd use it!
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

Stripped threads, dented poles, etc. Why not Titanium? buy your gear for life. Lightweight, strong. the best of both worlds.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

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Originally Posted by plangentmusic View Post
I'm not so sure. I mean, how durable does a snare drum stand have to be? What do you put it through that the piping would wear out?!? How does a cymbal stand wear out from hitting a cymbal? As far as how it looks-- what's wrong with brushed aluminum? Hell, if it were pink and took my trap case from 110 pounds to 40 pounds, I'd use it!
You might be surprised what hardware-gear gets subjected to sometimes.
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

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Originally Posted by plangentmusic View Post
What do you put it through that the piping would wear out?!? How does a cymbal stand wear out from hitting a cymbal?
This. vvvvv

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Stripped threads, dented poles, etc.
It's not a matter of it not lasting while supporting a cymbal, it's the continual set up/tear down that causes most wear and tear on hardware. Stripped threads and dented poles due to overtightening are common on steel hardware. How much more susceptible is a much softer alloy like aluminium gonna be?

Titanium is a great idea. Although I'd need a balaclava and sawn off shotgun to be able to afford the stuff.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

If hardware, particularly stands, become too light it would probably be prone to instability.
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Old 05-26-2012, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

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Originally Posted by areFish View Post
If hardware, particularly stands, become too light it would probably be prone to instability.
Yeah I agree.

I'm not sure on the physics but I feel the stand should be considerably heavier than the cymbal for it to have good stability when struck.

I know that my 'heavier duty' hardware always feels more stable than the lighter/cheaper stands I've played on.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:06 AM
plangentmusic
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
This. vvvvv



It's not a matter of it not lasting while supporting a cymbal, it's the continual set up/tear down that causes most wear and tear on hardware. Stripped threads and dented poles due to overtightening are common on steel hardware. How much more susceptible is a much softer alloy like aluminium gonna be?

Titanium is a great idea. Although I'd need a balaclava and sawn off shotgun to be able to afford the stuff.
So make the threading steel. That adds another 2 ounces. And it isn't so much weight that makes something stable, it's design. You still need good bracing, not the flimsy legs that cheap stands have. And I doubt most people, when playing, could tell the difference between a snare drum stand with double legs and single legs.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:11 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

Both Gibraltar and Sonar have offered aluminum hardware in the past.

The problem is it actually ends up TOO light. Boom stands fall over as soon as you the crash. Straight stands creep across the floor. And in the end, no one bought them.

Companies have tried selling aluminum stands several times, but each time, no one bought them.

The real question is why don't more companies offer hybrid stands, using aluminum tops for light weight with more traditional bases so they don't fall over or fly away.
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: Why? Why? Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by plangentmusic View Post
So make the threading steel. That adds another 2 ounces. And it isn't so much weight that makes something stable, it's design. You still need good bracing, not the flimsy legs that cheap stands have. And I doubt most people, when playing, could tell the difference between a snare drum stand with double legs and single legs.
I reckon there'd be an earner in it for you if you wanna be first cab off the rank in designing and manufucturing the stuff. I know at least one drummer that would certainly be interested in checking 'em out.

As a whole though I think your point is valid. There's little doubt that a hell of a lot of modern drum hardware is over engineered. Big thick tubing, huge double bracing et al that not only easily does the job of holding up a cymbal or two, but could almost double as a high rise crane in many cases. There does seem to be a shift back towards lighter hardware in recent years. Gibratlar, DW and now Ludwig all seem to be offering lighter, flat based alternatives to the gear that could survive re-entry from space. There's little doubt the vintage gear of yesteryear was probably a little too flimsy for many applications.......but the giant leap to the opposite end of the spectrum seems to be a bridge too far too. Hopefully, the emergence of the "middle ground" alternatives will catch on and provide more options for all.
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