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  #1  
Old 11-15-2013, 12:25 AM
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Default My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

OK so I gigged my Guru snare a total of 3 times. One time with the ovangkol hoops. Then I gigged it with S hoops. Then last night I gigged it with a die cast on the batter.

I think we have a winner.

Here's a portion of a PM I sent to Andy:

OK so I'm excited. Really excited Andy. I gigged the snare with the die casts last night. A little backstory...I gigged the Guru snare a few weeks ago with the wood hoops and my recorder says it didn't beat the maple. In my trio, who I've gigged regularly with now for over 3 years, not one time, EVER, has anyone EVER mentioned ANYTHING about my drums sound. Until last night.

Totally unsolicited, last night as we were breaking down, the bass player commented on how nice the snare sounded. He noticed it wasn't my usual snare. The real surprise is the guitar player/leader/best musician I know/guy who does not often compliment ANYTHING/ chimed in and said that he really likes the tone of the snare.

I about fell over almost (This is unprecedented. For him to mention something...it's special. The guy just doesn't hand out props, unless he really means it) He went on to ask me if it was a metal drum and I said no its wood and he was mildly surprised. He said it sounds like metal, but not too harsh...I really like the ring. (his words) He said when I hit it without any rim it sounds like a snare drum, but when I hit it with the rim, depending on how/where I hit it, he really likes the ring. He also mentioned how it is tuned matters too. Meaning he liked the tuning. I told him that this was one of only a handful of this particular brand of snares in the US. He seemed a little impressed by that, in that he's lucky because his drummer has this great sounding snare that basically no one else has.

Seriously, for Don to say 4 glowing sentences about my snare drum...and ask me a question about it? (the guy hardly ever asks questions, he is more of a statement maker) that right there is proof. I've gigged my maple, 2 different depth BB's, a bronze Sensitone...even the Guru with the ovangkol and the S hoops...never a comment on any drum, not ever. One gig with the Guru (with die cast just on batter, and a 2.3 on the SS) and he notices. Believe me when I tell you that's a big deal.

So it's a big hit with the guys in my trio. And my recorder! Yay! Woo-Hoo! (Cue the singing angels) Andy, the thing records like a champ. I have to be honest in that it records, as far as my personal like-ability of the tone, a little better than the maple. The Guru is a little more untamed, a bit wilder. More alive sounding. I am not missing the extra depth listening back as much as I feared. But I still want a deeper one. Still the maple is close, really close, but I would have to give the edge to the Guru.

F-ing congratulations man. No snare has ever beaten my maple from a recording aspect. Until now. If I could express to you what this means to me...Words fail. It's a pretty big deal to me man. You build ah-f-ing-mazing drums.

The Guru has a better rim click, even with the die casts. Of course the ovangkol rim click beats all. I was surprised that the drum didn't sound too thin like a 5" drum does to me. I had to play quietly last night, not too many people came out. (very reflective room) It really shined when I was able to hit it a little harder at the height of the crowd attendance, which didn't last too long. I need to record it in a room where I don't have to hold back too much. But this is my new gigging snare from now on, congratulations, you did it. You unseated the long time champ. That's epic in my book. Epic I tell ya!

Andy, I am so impressed with how this ash sounds, I may just stay with ash in the 7" depth instead of maple. Seriously, the tone my 5.75 makes....I love it. LOVE. IT. Frequency-wise....I love the particular frequency palette this drum delivers..Plus it has this wild quality, yet it is supremely sensitive, and resonant...with a ring that is as clear as the finest crystal. I simply love everything about it. I'd go as far as to say that I am f-ing crazy about the tone. So there. See what you did? I think having this same snare in a 7" depth would be my best move. I know what I'm getting, no surprises, but really it's more because I simply love the tone ash makes. Having a 5.75 and a 7...I don't see the need for any other snares.



So as usual, I am your biggest fan and cannot say enough good things about you and your Guru drums. Way to go man. Thank you Andy.

Larry
Biggest Guru fan EVER.


So that about says it all. Here's 2 recordings that feature the Guru snare.

The Temptations "Standing on Shaky Ground" and Johnny A's classic instrumental, "Oh Yeah"
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 shaky ground w guru.mp3 (6.93 MB, 174 views)
File Type: mp3 Oh yeah w guru.mp3 (8.73 MB, 100 views)
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

The band sounds killer. You sound killer. The drum sounds incredible.

Perfect snare tone. Well done all around!
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Very very nice!








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Old 11-15-2013, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Your snare sounds unbelievable Larry! Very tight group too!
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Old 11-15-2013, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

very nice all around.
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Your drums sound great. Your playing sounds great. Your band sounds great. Sheesh! Tough crowd. ha ha!
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Can't wait to put on the phones and give a listen. I'm breaking out my new Guru snare tomorrow for its debut gig. Maybe we can start a Guru revolution Larry.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

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Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Your drums sound great. Your playing sounds great. Your band sounds great. Sheesh! Tough crowd. ha ha!
There was hardly anyone there at that point. Actually, they love us there, when there's people around lol. That night could be the slowest night I ever saw there.

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Maybe we can start a Guru revolution Larry.
Viva la revolution!
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Snare sounds really good. Congratulations on finding that "thing"!
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Sounds great, Larry. That's what I like a snare to sound like. Sometimes, I think us drummers crave a different sound than many other musicians and casual listeners. I'm glad you're in a band situation where the leader can appreciate a great snare sound.

I notice you play WAY ahead of the beat on Shaky Ground, which intrigues me because it's the kind of tune I'd sit way back on. It sounds great, gives me some ideas for my own approach to that kind of blues.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Larry, I love this recording :) The drum is so distinctive, & screams "I'm wood". Can't ignore that tone popping through the mix, even on a simple recording like this. Great band, & I love your playing. What really catches my attention is your driving style, especially your bass drum placement. So much flavour going on in your kit work Larry. For me, your playing pretty much is the band!
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
Sounds great, Larry. That's what I like a snare to sound like. Sometimes, I think us drummers crave a different sound than many other musicians and casual listeners. I'm glad you're in a band situation where the leader can appreciate a great snare sound.

I notice you play WAY ahead of the beat on Shaky Ground, which intrigues me because it's the kind of tune I'd sit way back on. It sounds great, gives me some ideas for my own approach to that kind of blues.

Thanks Lar. Well it's not on purpose, playing ahead. I don't think in those terms, ahead and behind. It messes me up. I try and make it feel good. I don't set the cadence for this band, it's all the leader. He starts every song off except 2. He likes it how he likes it. We agree about 99% of the time. I follow his tempo lead, (I wouldn't have a spot if I didn't) because it's his band and he definitely understands the time/tempo thing. So all the speeds are his choice. The song is nothing like the original as far as feel, so I just go with the flow.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

This is great stuff Larry - the sound and the playing. Congratulations. That was the drum I favored most in Andy's Official Comparison Video thread.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:06 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Great review Larry. I was most surprised by the sound of the wood snares in the LDS videos. I just don't think that sound should be from a wood snare yet it is. They are making amazing drums.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Great stuff!

That's the kind of sound I like too. I love the ring.
This is the type of snare head/shell ring I have (different tone obviously), and my bands like it too. It's awesome when the people you play with really like your sound.

Just imagine what you'll get out of the snare after you get to know it a while.... :-)

Looking forward to hearing MORE!

Awesome work Andy, and the Guru team!
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:55 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Awesome, funky drumming my man. I also liked a few of those kick dittys a lot! The snare sounds really good too, but I think we're not getting the whole picture in that noisy room with the little recorder.
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Old 11-15-2013, 06:27 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Good stuff Uncle Larry...............drums sounded great across the board.

Did you change anything between the two songs...............On "shaky ground", the snare seemed to have more ring than on "oh yeah"...............may be just more rimshots

Loved the cowbell work too...................but I'm really disappointed there were no chimes
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

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Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
That's what I like a snare to sound like. Sometimes, I think us drummers crave a different sound than many other musicians and casual listeners.
That is so true. We seem to want to hear a pure sound, one that speaks clearly. Very often, it seems others don't actually want to HEAR the drums at all, they just want to feel them.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

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Awesome, funky drumming my man. I also liked a few of those kick dittys a lot! The snare sounds really good too, but I think we're not getting the whole picture in that noisy room with the little recorder.
Not my best version of that song but I'll take the comp, thanks man. The kick dittys...I consider them one of my 2 trademarks. The other trademark I have is hitting the bell or the tambourine on the quarter notes with broken 16ths on the hi hat. Thanks for noticing. Totally agree about the recording. Not the best place to evaluate. Next gig I do where I can hit normally, I will post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by longgun View Post
Good stuff Uncle Larry...............drums sounded great across the board.

Did you change anything between the two songs...............On "shaky ground", the snare seemed to have more ring than on "oh yeah"...............may be just more rimshots

Loved the cowbell work too...................but I'm really disappointed there were no chimes
I actually do have chimes at all times. But I haven't set them up in a LONG time. No space in this room lol. I only used them on like 2 songs which we only do 1 of anymore.

No changes to the snare Watso-ever, except where I hit it. I tend to play the stick tip closer to the rim on "Oh Yeah" for that Bill Bruford tone...On "Shaky Ground" the stick tip is closer to the middle for a fuller tone from the snare. So that's what you are hearing. Good ear longgun lol, except I thought I was putting more ring in "Oh Yeah, not "Shaky Ground", go figure. Perceptions are a funny thing. No two are exactly the same it seems. Different people hear different things.

Even though it sounds like I'm smacking the drum pretty hard, I'm really not. Maybe 3" stick heights. But with generous use of the rim. It's a hard surfaced reflective room with not many people in it and it makes it sound like I'm hitting a lot harder than I actually am. I am holding back because of the room and lack of bodies. Hopefully I can get a recording in a room where I'm able to hit it normally.

How well a snare can cut through the mix and still retain tone you can hear, is what I go for. I tune it tight and this snare cracks through the mix with a nice amount of pleasing overtones accompanying the crack, and has that lower to midrange after-glow I go for. (But I still am getting a 7" deep regardless) No muffling obviously. Like Karl said, I still need more gig hours on it so I can learn the different ways to hit it so as to pull out the really wild tones this thing makes. There's some really sweet spots on that drum that I have to learn how to consistently hit.

I know it's not very easy to do, but everybody owes it to themselves to try out an In-Tense steambent snare drum. In-Tense seriously raises the bar IMO. These instruments are truly all that. I was knocked out on Day 1 and it continues to impress me even after having it almost 2 months now. I have a better life now it seems lol. Really!
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Last edited by larryace; 11-15-2013 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

Larry,

One question I have for you on this snare pertains to about it responds at low volumes. Since about 99% of what I play is much softer than a typical backbeat, I seek sensitivity and openness at low volumes (think ghost notes I guess). The drum though also needs to be equally responsive at medium volumes and even beyond in rare cases for myself.

I will paraphrase a term Andy has used in other threads about "exciting the shell" with little effort. I like a lively open tone at all volumes.

Not sure if what I'm asking makes any sense or not, but I'm very interested in your feedback if it does.

Thanks!

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Old 11-16-2013, 06:00 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

OK David good question...this is where this drum shines, at low volumes. Most definitely, the shell is excited really easily with minimum force applied. I believe it is because the compressed wood is milled out, that's the difference in these drums. On the one song posted below, "Oh Yeah" at the end, the last 2 progressions....the next to the last progression we drop the volume by about 50%. The last progression before the ending, we drop it down to the basement, like maybe 10% volume. I mean I am barely tapping it. Listen for yourself. That song has 3 different dynamic ranges you can hear, 1 during most of the song, and then a different dynamic for each of the last 2 progressions, with the last progression being about as quiet as I am capable of playing.

I will say that IMO the one thing this drum doesn't excel at is really low and sloshy tunings. Not medium low, it does that fine, I mean really low. I like some of my other snares better for really low and sloshy. My 5" BB believe it or not does really low really well. IMO the In-Tense snare is more suited to a lower midrange tuning on up. It is happiest in the range from medium to ultra tight.

On the other hand, I am way impressed at how this drum takes the high and even ultra high tunings. I mean I had this thing cranked "even beyond Stewart Copeland" tight... and the drum retained all the ring and personality. It didn't choke not even a little. OK the note was a little shorter due to the head tension, any drum would do that, but all the personality remained. I never heard a drum do that before. I didn't want to crank it any tighter, for fear of the head pulling out. All of my other drums would have choked at the tension I had it. So it takes high and ultra high tunings better than any other snare drum I've ever owned.

I told Andy that I thought this snare would be a big hit with orchestral players because of how sensitive it is. Even with the slightest touch, it retains it's tone and personality. In fact I would go as far as to say that for light playing, I don't think there is a better snare on earth for that. If I were Andy, I would be contacting all the major orchestral snare drummers. I think that is a ripe market for these drums.

David, please come to my place in 2014 and play it for yourself. Hearing it on a recording is nice, but you really have to get your ears on one to appreciate the beauty of it.

Actually, if it's OK with WhoIs? perhaps we could plan a get together at his place early next year. That way it wouldn't be as far a drive for you. I would really like for you to hear this snare for yourself David. And the rest of the set too :) Plus I really want to meet both of you and I really want to see WhoIs?'s new place.

Let's do it, whatty-ya say?
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Last edited by larryace; 11-16-2013 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

What Larry describes about these drums' ability to respond to the lightest touch was my big takeaway from Andy's recent video. It's not just the steambents either. The staves also excel in this regard, though the note will decay faster.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post

I am way impressed at how this drum takes the high and even ultra high tunings. I mean I had this thing cranked "even beyond Stewart Copeland" tight... and the drum retained all the ring and personality. It didn't choke not even a little. OK the note was a little shorter due to the head tension, any drum would do that, but all the personality remained. I never heard a drum do that before. I didn't want to crank it any tighter, for fear of the head pulling out. All of my other drums would have choked at the tension I had it. So it takes high and ultra high tunings better than any other snare drum I've ever owned.
The ability to take very high tunings whilst still offering tone is a direct result of shell resonance. A stiff/low resonance shell, or otherwise with high hardware mass, doesn't give in the same was as a highly resonant shell does. What's especially hard to achieve, is high tuning without choking with an unvented shell. That same high resonance that delivers tone at low dynamic, also allows tone without choking at very high tunings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I will say that IMO the one thing this drum doesn't excel at is really low and sloshy tunings. Not medium low, it does that fine, I mean really low. I like some of my other snares better for really low and sloshy. My 5" BB believe it or not does really low really well. IMO the In-Tense snare is more suited to a lower midrange tuning on up. It is happiest in the range from medium to ultra tight.
The steam bent In-Tense will make a reasonable job of ultra low tunings, but it isn't it's party piece. Notice how we only showed ultra low tunings on segmented & stave drums in the video. A stiffer shell is better at ultra low stuff. A very resonant drum will sometimes deliver too much into the mix, whereas control is what maintains punch at very low states of tune. Under such tunings with most snare drums, the shell contributes little to the mix, with most of the sound being crafted by the heads. There are exceptions, such as wood species that respond to very low frequency input (e.g. old mahogany). In all cases, a very tight reso head with low tunings produces the most satisfactory result. Rounded bearing edges & a heavier gauge head helps too.
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Old 11-16-2013, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
The ability to take very high tunings whilst still offering tone is a direct result of shell resonance. A stiff/low resonance shell, or otherwise with high hardware mass, doesn't give in the same was as a highly resonant shell does. What's especially hard to achieve, is high tuning without choking with an unvented shell. That same high resonance that delivers tone at low dynamic, also allows tone without choking at very high tunings.

The steam bent In-Tense will make a reasonable job of ultra low tunings, but it isn't it's party piece. Notice how we only showed ultra low tunings on segmented & stave drums in the video. A stiffer shell is better at ultra low stuff. A very resonant drum will sometimes deliver too much into the mix, whereas control is what maintains punch at very low states of tune. Under such tunings with most snare drums, the shell contributes little to the mix, with most of the sound being crafted by the heads. There are exceptions, such as wood species that respond to very low frequency input (e.g. old mahogany). In all cases, a very tight reso head with low tunings produces the most satisfactory result. Rounded bearing edges & a heavier gauge head helps too.
So my findings and yours concur beautifully it would appear. Man you really know your stuff when it comes to drum construction. I didn't know that a less responsive shell was better at ultra low. What did you lock yourself away from the world for 2 months and just experiment? I continue to remain in awe of your knowledge.

Andy I just made the first video of the entire set. I started a new thread in the Drums section. It's not really supposed to highlight any playing, more hearing the kit. I tune the holy f&sh#% out of the snare drum. I think you will get a kick out of it.
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Old 11-17-2013, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

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I about fell over almost (This is unprecedented. For him to mention something...it's special. The guy just doesn't hand out props, unless he really means it) He went on to ask me if it was a metal drum and I said no its wood and he was mildly surprised. He said it sounds like metal, but not too harsh...I really like the ring. (his words) He said when I hit it without any rim it sounds like a snare drum, but when I hit it with the rim, depending on how/where I hit it, he really likes the ring. He also mentioned how it is tuned matters too. Meaning he liked the tuning.

The Temptations "Standing on Shaky Ground" and Johnny A's classic instrumental, "Oh Yeah"
Recordings were nice! I'm guessing Mr. Guitar was listening to your work on Oh Yeah at the end. The ring was there and sounding great. ;-)

You got lots of energy Larry, it shows in your playing. Giddyup.

Cheers,
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Old 11-17-2013, 10:55 AM
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What did you lock yourself away from the world for 2 months and just experiment?
Pretty much - yes :)
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Old 11-17-2013, 01:33 PM
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dmacc dmacc is offline
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Default Re: My 14 x 5.75 Guru In-Tense steambent Ash snare drum in action

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
OK David good question...this is where this drum shines, at low volumes. Most definitely, the shell is excited really easily with minimum force applied. I believe it is because the compressed wood is milled out, that's the difference in these drums. On the one song posted below, "Oh Yeah" at the end, the last 2 progressions....the next to the last progression we drop the volume by about 50%. The last progression before the ending, we drop it down to the basement, like maybe 10% volume. I mean I am barely tapping it. Listen for yourself. That song has 3 different dynamic ranges you can hear, 1 during most of the song, and then a different dynamic for each of the last 2 progressions, with the last progression being about as quiet as I am capable of playing.

I will say that IMO the one thing this drum doesn't excel at is really low and sloshy tunings. Not medium low, it does that fine, I mean really low. I like some of my other snares better for really low and sloshy. My 5" BB believe it or not does really low really well. IMO the In-Tense snare is more suited to a lower midrange tuning on up. It is happiest in the range from medium to ultra tight.

On the other hand, I am way impressed at how this drum takes the high and even ultra high tunings. I mean I had this thing cranked "even beyond Stewart Copeland" tight... and the drum retained all the ring and personality. It didn't choke not even a little. OK the note was a little shorter due to the head tension, any drum would do that, but all the personality remained. I never heard a drum do that before. I didn't want to crank it any tighter, for fear of the head pulling out. All of my other drums would have choked at the tension I had it. So it takes high and ultra high tunings better than any other snare drum I've ever owned.

I told Andy that I thought this snare would be a big hit with orchestral players because of how sensitive it is. Even with the slightest touch, it retains it's tone and personality. In fact I would go as far as to say that for light playing, I don't think there is a better snare on earth for that. If I were Andy, I would be contacting all the major orchestral snare drummers. I think that is a ripe market for these drums.

David, please come to my place in 2014 and play it for yourself. Hearing it on a recording is nice, but you really have to get your ears on one to appreciate the beauty of it.

Actually, if it's OK with WhoIs? perhaps we could plan a get together at his place early next year. That way it wouldn't be as far a drive for you. I would really like for you to hear this snare for yourself David. And the rest of the set too :) Plus I really want to meet both of you and I really want to see WhoIs?'s new place.

Let's do it, whatty-ya say?
Thank you so much for the thoughtful reply. Fortunately, the tuning range is right up my alley since I always tune medium and mostly high.

At this point, I fully intend on making it to your place in 2014 and would be more than interested in an organized hang at WhoIs's. This would obviously give me a true real life experience which I crave, not to mention - even better - to hang out with you guys.

When I am able to turn the sound on my computer later this morning, I'm listen to the clips again and focus on the points you highlight.

Thanks again!
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