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  #1  
Old 03-20-2013, 02:15 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

To the other maples?

I mean if it is grown on the same latitude, why is American maple considered to be superior?

Is Chinese maple similar in makeup as American Maple as far as hardness, weight per board foot or any other measuring criteria?

What other kind of maple is used in drum shell construction?

Any factoids floating around?

Sorry just found this thread:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=72422
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2013, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

Hey Larry,

The density of the wood is related to the growth rings. The tighter they are packed, the more dense the wood, and most people find the denser wood to sound better. One of the reasons Stradivarius' violins are considered superior, is that they are made of woods that grew during the so-called "Little Ice Age". North American maple has denser growth rings than Asian maples. This is one of those areas where my day job as a structural engineer is useful in my night job.

Brent
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:43 AM
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

To add to the above, its not only rings, but cell size in the wood. Smaller cells packing for a denser wood, IN a given layer.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

To add. With some woods, the 'cold climate' growth is desirable. Scandinavian Birch is prized for exactly the same reason.

On the flip side because of temperature, the tree also grows much more slowly than it would in a warmer climate. Hence the supply is more limited in terms of availability per mile squared. Sometimes that can also severely affect the price, so it's not just that the wood is better and more timber merchants charging more as a result but also market forces and straightforward supply and demand.
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:41 AM
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post

I mean if it is grown on the same latitude, why is American maple considered to be superior?
Because it's harder/denser. Asian maple, the type used in Mapex Meridians, Pacific M5s, OCDP Newports/Avalons, etc., is a softer wood. Asian maple compares to basswood, poplar, Asian mahogany, and the like when it comes to sound absorption within the shell.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:06 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

...

Tiger Wood's got a new girfriend. Again.

...
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:10 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
...

Tiger Wood's got a new girfriend. Again.

...
Yep. It must be so hard to keep pulling all those quality women when his wallet weighs him down as much as it does.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:13 AM
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

I know this thread is comparing Maple to Maple, but im currious from the perspective that cold weather helps density ( though China can be pretty dam cold) why woods like African Bubinga and Australian Jarrah are amongst the 'hardest" drum woods )or are hardness and density 2 different concepts ?)
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:53 AM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
It must be so hard
Yup, he's got some serious wood related issues to contend with.

...
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:00 AM
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2013, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
Yup, he's got some serious wood related issues to contend with.

...
If Tiger is uncurcumcised does that mean he has a Fore-wood when at a gig?
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2013, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wombat View Post
I know this thread is comparing Maple to Maple, but im currious from the perspective that cold weather helps density ( though China can be pretty dam cold) why woods like African Bubinga and Australian Jarrah are amongst the 'hardest" drum woods )or are hardness and density 2 different concepts ?)
I think Australian and African wood has different characteristics and are harder not because of the warmer climate so much as lack of rainfall. Being the two driest continents on the planet is going to effectively change the evolutionary aspects of the trees there.

Following on from a thread that Guru Andy commented on in the past that fascinated me was the idea that hardness and/or density does not necessarily make for a good 'tone'.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:11 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

Better in what respect? Sound wise I cant tell the difference between Birch, Maple, Oak, whatever, never mind the sonic subtleties of sources of the same wood.

Better built and more durable shell? Open to debate.

If the drum sounds good, to you, douse it matter what it's made from?
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2013, 02:13 PM
john gerrard john gerrard is offline
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

I honestly believe that the wood issue is WAY, WAY overrated. Manufacturing process,bearing edges and heads are far more important to overall sound IMHO. The wood issue is a byproduct of advertising. Also do you really believe that we Americans are the only ones who know how to make quality drums? Again I believe that alot of these issues are all about hype and advertisement. I'm a oldtimer so I remember when you bought a drum set and didn't even know what it was made out of, and you really didn't care as long as it sounded good. I also remember when you had a tough decision on choosing drum heads. You had to choose between Remo coated Ambs or smooth Ambs.

I realize that if it weren't for all of these discussions we wouldn't be here at DW but I believe we spend too much time discussing these issues and not enough time playing. John
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  #14  
Old 03-22-2013, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Woods: Is North American Maple really superior...

Quote:
Originally Posted by john gerrard View Post
I honestly believe that the wood issue is WAY, WAY overrated. Manufacturing process,bearing edges and heads are far more important to overall sound IMHO. The wood issue is a byproduct of advertising. Also do you really believe that we Americans are the only ones who know how to make quality drums? Again I believe that alot of these issues are all about hype and advertisement. I'm a oldtimer so I remember when you bought a drum set and didn't even know what it was made out of, and you really didn't care as long as it sounded good. I also remember when you had a tough decision on choosing drum heads. You had to choose between Remo coated Ambs or smooth Ambs.


John
It may surprise a few here that I mostly agree with John.



But ;) once the essential elements are all in place, the wood species, & certainly the quality, can provide a noticeable difference in the instrument's character. Whether that's of value is a personal & contextual matter.

As for one maple vs. another, it depends on what you're seeking. If you want fairly mellow tones centered around a prominent midrange, then some of the softer varieties can be a good choice. However, if you want greater resonance, a typically longer note, & a generally brighter sound, then the hard maples are the way to go. If you really like that lower midrange maple vibe with crisp highs, then (IMHO) purpleheart is the very best maple voice you can get.
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