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  #1  
Old 04-26-2013, 07:23 PM
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Default Guru questions

Something that has been bugging me about the "Origin" drums is the lugs. Are they attached to the re-ring in some manner or are they loose? I just cannot tell from any of the photos, so yes I'm bugged. The reason I ask is because I tend to keep my batter head pretty loose and find that they can go looser than finger tight after a gig. (Grrrr!)

The other thing I have been wondering is about your snares. Have you contemplated or attempted the "Origin" style lugs on your snares? I imagine the logistics would be a bit different due to the thinner width of a snare, and I suppose the mass of the re-rings might do certain unwanted things to the sound.

Also, the idea of not drilling the shell is not necessarily new, yet Guru has taken to the idea...but the mass added to the shell with the re-rings on the outside must be as great as some of the smaller lugs on top-end drums. What benefit is it to not drill a shell?

I know Sleishman has the whole free-floating thing, but I've found that I like different tensions on each respective head. How relevant is the free-floating idea to over-all tone? And would Guru move towards that direction with their drums being the patent is about to expire?

I guess that I ask these questions with the understanding that I very much respect Guru for the sounds that I have heard from their videos, and am curious as to the path that has been taken to get where they are, perhaps a glimpse of the future as they see it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: Guru questions

The lugs aren't loose. They are affixed in place with pins. They won't fall off. The other questions can be better answered by Andy.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Guru questions

OK, big post alert :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonnygrabber View Post
Something that has been bugging me about the "Origin" drums is the lugs. Are they attached to the re-ring in some manner or are they loose? I just cannot tell from any of the photos, so yes I'm bugged. The reason I ask is because I tend to keep my batter head pretty loose and find that they can go looser than finger tight after a gig. (Grrrr!)
That's an easy one, & already answered by Larry. Two 4mm stainless steel pins are located on the underside of the external rering at each lug position. The lugs have matching receiving holes in the "claw" form of the lug. The pins serve only to keep the lug orientation correct, & have negligible - no strain placed upon them. The pins locate to about 5mm depth in the lug body, so as you undo the tension screw, after 5mm of travel, the lug can swivel, allowing you to take the hoop/head off for rapid head changes.

You'll be pleased to know that Origin lugs are specifically designed to maintain tension. We use stainless steel M5 tension rods (equivalent to about 30TPI), & have at least 20mm (more than 3/4") of thread engagement in the lug. The threads are roll formed into the aluminium too (as opposed to cut with a tap). This gives a better thread finish & more than doubles the thread strength. All this gives very accurate tuning function & strong retention, even at very low head tension. Although those lugs look simple enough, there's a ton of engineering thought gone into them.

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Originally Posted by sonnygrabber View Post
The other thing I have been wondering is about your snares. Have you contemplated or attempted the "Origin" style lugs on your snares? I imagine the logistics would be a bit different due to the thinner width of a snare, and I suppose the mass of the re-rings might do certain unwanted things to the sound.
Have we thought about it? - hell yes, we've tried it, but we found something better (more about that later). Put simply, the lack of shell depth largely negates the benefit of the Origin construction. Additionally, even though those aluminium lugs are strong, & the roll formed threads are stronger than tap cut brass lugs, they're still not ideal for super high tensions. We have to engineer our snares assuming that someone will want to crank the crap out of a heavy batter head, & the Origin lugs simply don't offer enough headroom for us to be happy. Mass of the rerings was not an issue, but the lack of free resonating shell depth was. Prototypes sounded as good as any high end snare out there, & that's not good enough to justify the additional expenditure the Origin build dictates. If it's going to cost more money, there better be a damn good reason for it :)

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Also, the idea of not drilling the shell is not necessarily new, yet Guru has taken to the idea...but the mass added to the shell with the re-rings on the outside must be as great as some of the smaller lugs on top-end drums. What benefit is it to not drill a shell?
Adding mass is an important consideration, but it's far & away not the only reason for having lugs off the resonant portion of the shell. For the record, the external rerings on Origin drums have, on average, the same additional mass equivalent of adding less than 1mm to the shell thickness. It's important to point out that adding a different mass (i.e. cast lugs) is very different from adding mass of the same material as the shell. It's also important where you add that mass. As for comparisons with other high end drum's lugs, anyone who's ever picked up an Origin drum will tell you there is no comparison at all. Depending on wood species, they're incredibly light.

Not drilling the most resonant portion of the shell, in itself, isn't a big deal, but having a totally clean shell internal surface is. That's not to say a drilled shell delivers a bad sound, they sound great, but Origin sounds different, partially because it's not drilled with nuts protruding internally. Like all good drum features, their benefit should not be taken in isolation, but as part of an overall concept/direction. Origin's concept is the production of the purest fundamental voice, the most faithful reproduction of the distinctive tones of the wood species, without unwanted overtones. Not mounting lugs directly to the most resonant part of the shell is just one aspect of that concept.

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Originally Posted by sonnygrabber View Post
I know Sleishman has the whole free-floating thing, but I've found that I like different tensions on each respective head. How relevant is the free-floating idea to over-all tone? And would Guru move towards that direction with their drums being the patent is about to expire?
First up, Sleishman make great drums. I like what they do, & how they do it. Our direction is different, not just to be different, but because we prefer the results we get, & our drums offer something very different to Sleishman drums. The free floating concept is most valid in itself, & carries many advantages. Of course, to those that wish to tune batter & reso heads differently, a true free floating design can present some challenges. Equally, it relies to some extent on the accuracy of the heads, as small adjustments around the head are not viable. We also found that mass, even mass away from the shell but still remotely connected, makes a difference. Of course, our shell constructions are very different to those Sleishman offer too.

I've played a couple of Sleishman kits, & I like them very much. I also like Peavey's radial bridge drums. Each to their own. We have no interest in Sleishman's patent, or anyone else's for that matter. We A-B'd free floating designs against the Origin design, & using exactly the same shell specifications too. We're satisfied we encapsulated the best of both world, & some!

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I guess that I ask these questions with the understanding that I very much respect Guru for the sounds that I have heard from their videos, and am curious as to the path that has been taken to get where they are, perhaps a glimpse of the future as they see it.
I think our path to get where we are now is well documented on this forum. Perhaps we haven't talked about the 1,000's of hours work, the financial pains, & all the other crap we've had to deal with, but I'll park that for another day.

The future, well, that get's interesting. I might as well take this opportunity to let the cat out of the bag :) In a few months time, we'll be formerly releasing our new series of snares. Even before that, next week in fact, we'll be showing the first examples publicly, although not fitted with the new strainer. The new range is called "In-Tense", & the new snare range will be followed shortly after by a new range of kits too. They feature a more standard "attached to the shell" lug construction, but of course, there's nothing standard about the new lugs. Most importantly, we've developed a steam bent shell technology the equates to the most resonant portion of the shell being in constant tension. & by that, I mean no compressed wood whatsoever. So how do you bend something without compressing the inside? You'll have to wait for the answer to that one ;) It's the total opposite to DW's "Super Solid" principal, & oh man, can you tell :) :) :) vThe new strainer's cool too. It has a mechanism that automatically evens wire tensions across the wire bundle, even if the ribbons/strings aren't set correctly. That means less wire pressure is needed on the reso head, & a reduction in snare buzz too. We're proud of our developments. Something like a high end ground up strainer development isn't something you'd expect from a company of our size.

We've really been working hard on creating the ultimate wood snare range. You can probably tell I'm excited by this. Why? 'Cos I've played 'em!!!!!!

Anyhow, I hope this marathon post has answered some of your questions, & you squeezed a "scoop" out of me too :)
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Last edited by keep it simple; 04-26-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2013, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Guru questions

Andy, aren't the rods more like 30 TPI? You wrote 20. I'm pretty sure it's 30 if I recall correctly. I wasn't aware that the lugs swiveled. Do you mean they come off completely for head changes? I also wasn't aware of of the roll forming of the threads. I was concerned about harder and stronger stainless steel rods coupled with not as strong aluminum lugs. Seems like you've got that covered.

Other manufacturers mount their lugs in the prime resonating area of the shell, the worst place for lug placement as far as resonance goes. I had always thought that if they could somehow make it so their lugs attached within 1 inch from the edges, the negative effect that metal lugs have on resonance could be greatly reduced. Kind of like Yamaha's YESS mounting system, that mounts the toms using holes close to the edge of the drum. As opposed to for instance vintage Ludwigs that have the mounting bracket dead center of the resonating shell. That kills the sustain of the drum. Anyone owning old Luds without suspension mounts, knows that when you take the drum off the mounts, hold it by the rim and strike it, it sounds much better than when the drum is on the tom mount. The tom mount bolted directly to the middle of the shell is the worst way to mount a drum as far as resonance and sustain is concerned. As much of the middle of the shell as humanly possible should have no metal on it, that's what I look for.

That's why I am getting Guru's, because of the science they incorporate in their drums. IMO they build a drum that has unequaled resonance and sustain capabilities, due to the design, and also I admire the work they have done to the end of understanding how each component affects the other components in relation to the total resolved tone.

I just think Guru has completely re-defined and upped the ante, substantially, of drumshell construction. I would go as far as to say that, and this is just a prediction, that in about 5 years time, the majors will start to incorporate their versions of Guru's concepts in their own drums. So I feel Guru is cutting edge drum designing/building.

Andy, a question: I have a drum that has different length rods. I threw it together on the cheap with parts I had lying around. The different length rods seems to make for wonky tuning. So if I have an 6 lug tom, and 2 of those 6 lugs have only say 1/4 inch of thread engaged, where the other 4 lugs have say double or triple that length of thread engaged, will that affect things? It seems to make the drum harder to tune having unequal length rods. Is this my imagination?
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:44 PM
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Default Re: Guru questions

Andy, I consider myself drum building stupid.. I mean stupid to the max. All I know is I love to play stuff I love the sound and feel of. Even looks are secondary to me assuming the first two criteria is met.

All I can say is I'm on eggshells for your upcoming release........
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Andy, aren't the rods more like 30 TPI? You wrote 20.
Yes. silly Andy in a rush :( 30TPI Larry - OP corrected :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Andy, a question: I have a drum that has different length rods. I threw it together on the cheap with parts I had lying around. The different length rods seems to make for wonky tuning. So if I have an 6 lug tom, and 2 of those 6 lugs have only say 1/4 inch of thread engaged, where the other 4 lugs have say double or triple that length of thread engaged, will that affect things? It seems to make the drum harder to tune having unequal length rods. Is this my imagination?
If you tune partially by feel, then having big differences in thread engagement can make a difference. Where it certainly makes a difference, is tuning retention. If rods are only holding on a few turns, they can detune almost on the first strike. That applies to lug designs with only a shallow thread portion too. Some designs I've seen either have a shallow thread that you can easily see, or shallow inserts in die cast lug casings. Shallow thread engagement is exacerbated by the rather course industry standard thread, especially at low head tensions.

In strength terms, it's widely accepted that 1.5 x diameter offers optimum torsional strength, anything else being superfluous, but that's not taking coefficient of friction into account.

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Andy, I consider myself drum building stupid.. I mean stupid to the max. All I know is I love to play stuff I love the sound and feel of. Even looks are secondary to me assuming the first two criteria is met.

All I can say is I'm on eggshells for your upcoming release........
You know, non of the technical stuff matters one bit outside of your two main criteria. It's a means to an end, & nothing more. The only addition I'd place on your criteria is hardware reliability.

Unfortunately, geeks like me & Dean have to understand this stuff. It's the only way we can get to where we want to be, but we understand the real world too, & everything we do must have an advantage, otherwise it doesn't get included, irrespective of fashion.

We're on eggshells about our new stuff too :) We're not moving beyond Origin. Quite the opposite actually. The new stuff was planned at the same time as Origin. The idea being to offer a full range of high end instruments of distinction. Hopefully, something in there for everyone - so long as you like wood ;) We always wanted to encompass everything from a satisfying whisper, to outright thunder, & everything in between. The full range of snares & kit series should get us into that space.
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: Guru questions

Just thought I'd throw up a couple of pictures, as an insight into what we have to do to make our signature ovangkol hoops. Not the kind of photo you'd usually see on our site.

What you're looking at, is a stack of Ovangkol double layer segmented hoop blanks, & the number of clamps it takes to hold them in place while they set. 4 full days work for two craftsmen, & they're about 40% of the way through their production process. Another 6 days of crafting (multiple machining operations / finishing) to go before they're complete, making 10 days (2 weeks) in total. Making in these numbers is more economical/faster than making individual pairs. Each layer has deep finger joints to each segment, & there's two layers to each hoop. There's 14" & 13" hoops in this stack, so just how many pairs do you think it takes 2 people 10 days to craft?
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:53 PM
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I'll play. 12 pairs, or 24 hoops. Just a guess.
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Guru questions

Photos like that are great Andy, They really put into perspective the tedious lengthy process that is involved in making high end custom drums.
It would be cool to see some videos of the processes too.
People understand what they are paying for when they see the highly skilled hard labor that goes into producing the products that they buy.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:19 PM
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I'm going into the clamp business!!!! I'm counting 14, 28 each
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:25 PM
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I'd say 16 pairs / 32 hoops :)
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:09 PM
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No one's got it yet, but you're getting close.

Bob, I agree. Take these hoops as an example. We don't sell them separately (despite loads of requests from both customers & other drum builders). Why? - because we loose money on every set we make, plus they're there to complement our drums, & designed to partner specifically that instrument, & no other. No one would ever pay the price for these if we sold them separately, with even a modest margin. We could make 8 sets of ply hoops for the same price as one set of our signature hoops.

BTW, a small clarification, we don't regard our drums as custom drums, any more than DW or Sonor do theirs. These drums are all series drums like anyone else's. You buy them as they are. In fact, we're less custom than they are. The only finish option we offer is wood :)
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:55 PM
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OK, the answer is 20 hoops / 10 pairs. 4 pairs of 13", & 6 pairs of 14". Even making in batches, that's one days work for two men for each pair of hoops. We add 200 / just over $300 US to the street price of a snare drum when fitted with these hoops. That's about 80% of what they cost us to make them, purely in materials & labour - no overhead contribution. Right there is the reason why you'll never see hoops like this on a production drum or for sale separately. Why do we do it? Because they sound incredible, & we can't replicate that quality of sound by any other method. We know, we've tried!
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Guru questions

Wow! Loads of information! Fantastic! Thanks so much Andy and everyone else.

It's funny that I started this thread and had to be away gigging all weekend and couldn't partake in the fun until now.

Cool idea with the lugs and how they attach to the re-ring, It makes sense to me now.

I had completely forgotten about comments in earlier threads that I had read regarding the lightness of Guru drums. I guess this partly comes from being in Australia for so long, and the wood here is heavy stuff. Sometimes the brain functions in weird ways, and sometimes not at all :P

As with the others who commented on this thread I am waiting on the edge of my seat to see and hear the new drums. I take it from the excitement coming from Andy that these things will be incredible....as if the ones you already produce weren't! I'm interested to learn why you would got to a more conventional type of lug for the new drums, even though it was mentioned that they are special. And how the hell does one bend anything without getting compression! I work metal as one of my professions, and annealing (heating and quenching in water for non-ferrous metals) relieves the stress caused by plastic deformation. How do you anneal wood?

As always, Andy, thanks for the informative and in-depth responses...I kinda wanna move to England and beg a job from you!
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:20 AM
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As with the others who commented on this thread I am waiting on the edge of my seat to see and hear the new drums. I take it from the excitement coming from Andy that these things will be incredible....as if the ones you already produce weren't! I'm interested to learn why you would got to a more conventional type of lug for the new drums, even though it was mentioned that they are special.
The new kit series was always designed to sit alongside the Origin series. The new series is exactly the same quality as Origin, but a more conventional layout, & designed to appeal to those who value a traditional look that they can understand, but also to offer a different sound palate to Origin. Origin series drums deliver a tone that you just can't get from a standard construction drum. It's clear fundamental is very distinctive. That's great, but maybe not for everyone, so we set about designing a drum series that took all of the qualities you like in a standard drum format, & make them a ton better. The lugs are super low mass. A twin attachment screw design but with a slender footprint. No gaskets - designed to resonate with the shell, but the real innovation is the shell itself.

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And how the hell does one bend anything without getting compression! I work metal as one of my professions, and annealing (heating and quenching in water for non-ferrous metals) relieves the stress caused by plastic deformation. How do you anneal wood?
All will be revealed soon, but we dare not release that until we launch, as others may chose to jump on our idea first. We can't protect it (or actually, we can, but can't afford to), but the answer is so crazy simple - really :) We will be showing a couple of early release snares using this construction at the Jobeky show next weekend. Photo's posted here the following week :)
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:43 PM
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Here they are during finishing. 10 pairs of double layer ovangkol snare hoops plus one pair of single layer ovangkol tom hoops.

Another coat of shellac to go, rub down with fine grit paper, then several coatings of hard wax & buffing to their final lustre.

2 weeks work for two craftsmen!!!!!!
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:41 AM
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Those things look awesome! I'm now actively saving my pennies for a smaller diameter Guru snare. Hee hee, just in time for the new series!

Is the new series going to incorporate these beautiful hoops?
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:54 AM
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Is the new series going to incorporate these beautiful hoops?
Yes, as an option on all three constructions, but you can also have triple flange, die cast, & "S" hoops These are the latest generation of our signature hoops. They feature additional rounded form to the striking surface, as well as being double layer + deep finger jointed to take high tensions.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:29 PM
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Even before that, next week in fact, we'll be showing the first examples publicly, although not fitted with the new strainer. The new range is called "In-Tense", & the new snare range will be followed shortly after by a new range of kits too.
So, its next week now...
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:01 AM
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So, its next week now...
Yes, & as promised, we will be displaying the new snares at a show this week(end). I'll have shots up within a day or so of the show :)
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:14 PM
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Yes, & as promised, we will be displaying the new snares at a show this week(end). I'll have shots up within a day or so of the show :)
Haha, was hoping for an early sneak peak!

Looking forward to it, saw that Jon from Dry The River tried out a Guru kit in the studio not long ago, great guy.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:46 AM
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It appears that Le Soprano Drums is using the external re-ring as a hardware mounting on their snare drums. I was wondering about your take on this Andy. (Cursed thing won't let me upload the picture, but if you google Le Soprano images you'll see it)
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:17 AM
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Haha, was hoping for an early sneak peak!

Looking forward to it, saw that Jon from Dry The River tried out a Guru kit in the studio not long ago, great guy.
Sorry I'm late back here. As I was away at the show, I didn't see your reply.

I think the kit you're referring to that Jon tried is a studio kit at Middle Farm Studios. It's an early production steam bent ash kit. Basic, but a lovely kit. Pete Miles (studio owner & producer of some note) is so pleased with it that he's asked us to build additional drums. Pete has quite a drum collection, & of course, uses what he feels delivers the production platform he's shooting for.

BTW, those snares in another thread (you've probably seen them by now anyhow )

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It appears that Le Soprano Drums is using the external re-ring as a hardware mounting on their snare drums. I was wondering about your take on this Andy. (Cursed thing won't let me upload the picture, but if you google Le Soprano images you'll see it)
You mean this system?

I like Le Soprano stuff. Good innovators, & nice quality. Their system on snares, although constructed differently, is essentially a through shell version of Pearl's FF design. Their system on kits is closer to Sleishman's design, but with the outer ring either secured to the shell, or abutting against an annular ring in the shell. In both cases, the hardware is fairly high mass stuff, although very nice quality. We've learn't that hardware mass makes a big difference, almost irrespective of how remote it is in terms of proximity & contact, but isolation still has value. Additionally, there's big differences in shell construction too.

I played a Le Soprano kit last year, & also a couple of snares. Good stuff. I preferred them to the Sleishman drums I tried a while earlier, although both companies make great drums.
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