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  #1  
Old 09-12-2017, 07:31 PM
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Default Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

Have you come across any drums whose sound doesn't quite go with its specs/design or size? Like a piccolo snare that's unusually fat, or a 10" tom that sounds really big?

I bought some Canopus Zelkova snares (5, 6.5 and 8x14") because I really wanted them. I knew that they were nice snares, though I'd never had much experience with them. For those not familiar, the Zelkova is a single piece of carved wood, with die-cast hoops and sharp edges, and the shell curves inward a bit so that the heads 'float' a little. Based on its design, you'd expect it to be crisp with a lot of attack. It can certainly do that with higher tuning, but it's also a surprisingly fat drum with a lot of body, the opposite of what you'd think a solid, fairly heavy, sharp-edged drum would sound like. And that's the 5"! The deeper ones are even more complex. They're very nice snares, but a little too nice to take on gigs.

Bermuda
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

Well, I'm sure Andy could give some intelligent thoughts on this, but the only really unusual thing about the design is how thin the shell gets near the bearing edges. My guess is that the fatness comes from the extra give in the thinnest parts of the shell. I could be wrong, though.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

These drums that don't sound like they should...How can we be sure it isn't the room causing the enhanced freqs?
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

My experience has been, for instance, I find a bass drum that sounds really good, but the toms donít sound so good. Or a rack tom sounds great but the matching floor tom sounds horrible. I have not done this, but I could spend some time and put together a great sounding kit using different drums from different drum sets.

We are all OK with using various snare drums and cymbals. Using any ones we like. They donít have to match in color or size to the shell pack.
Why not mismatched bass drums, and toms?

I have a 12 inch Yamaha Stage Custom tom that sounds wonderful. But the matching 13 inch tom sounds sour. It has funky overtones. Should I spend hundreds of dollars trying to find a good sounding 13 inch that matches the set? Or spend lots of money trying out a bunch of different drum heads on the 13 inch? Maybe............

What usually happens is when the guitar amps and PA and turned on and the venue starts rockin' all this does not seems to matter too much. The only really annoying thing is playing on drum sets that are not mine at the local jams. Most of the time the drummers that own these sets have no clue what a good sounding drum set is supposed to sound like.


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Old 09-12-2017, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
These drums that don't sound like they should...How can we be sure it isn't the room causing the enhanced freqs?
Yep, you are correct Larry. You can never be totally sure what you drum set will sound like in a new venue. It's scary. It's just something that we drummers have to live with. I'm playing at a party next week. I don't even know if we will be playing outdoors or indoors.


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Old 09-12-2017, 09:46 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Yep, you are correct Larry. You can never be totally sure what you drum set will sound like in a new venue. It's scary. It's just something that we drummers have to live with. I'm playing at a party next week. I don't even know if we will be playing outdoors or indoors
.
I've known a lot of guys who gig a lot and they basically go JAW or dead tuning on their gig toms just for this reason. They got tired of getting it into a particular room and it not sounding as good. Rather than tune to the room they find it easier (and more sound-guy appeasing) to simply run them dead, mic em up and enhance at the board for the room.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

Yeah, my drums, but I think it's user error.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:11 PM
Rosemarydrumco Rosemarydrumco is offline
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I play aluminum drums that don't sound metallic at all. Very woody and warm. Very neat.
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2017, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

My Mapex Sledgehammer (6.5x14" hammered brass) has a crazy tuning range. Like paper bag low or tin can high. And it sounds good anywhere along that spectrum, but it's warm and growly, not ringy.
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  #10  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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I play aluminum drums that don't sound metallic at all. Very woody and warm. Very neat.
That's not surprising though, considering how much people love the sound of aluminum snares.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2017, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I have a 7 x 14 Noble and Cooley Beech SS snare that surprised the heck out of me. My local shop has a 5 x 14 N&C Beech SS in stock and I have played it a few times at the store and it is really crisp and sharp sounding and very loud ! I assumed that the 7 x 14 would sound similar with a lower fundamental. Once I received the drum I was very surprised at how warm and fat sounding it was. It had a nice thick attack with none of the sharpness of the 5 x 14" version. Two very different sounding drums for sure.

I had a similar incident with a 5.5" solid Cherry shell snare I own. I previously owned a 7 x 14 N&C SS Cherry snare and it was a very articulate and crisp sounding drum. I assumed the 5.5" Cherry snare to be even crisper and more articulate. I had the builder of the snare TRS cut the edges of this snare the same as N&C does. The 5.5" is a very fat sounding snare with a thick attack sound. Not like the N&C 7 x 14 at all.
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2017, 03:19 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

While in Portsmouth a few years ago, I 'auditoioned' the 8" deep Zelkova at Shane's suggestion and was quite surprised at the clarity and sensitivity at the lowest playing level I could muster.
I imagine the design/construction/result explanation that Andy gave us was what helped create an instrument like that.
When I really laid into it, it was a beast. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough C-notes in my wallet that month for that drum, but what a killer it was.
I joked that when Genesis calls me to go on tour if Chester Thompson can't make it, this would be the drum to use.
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2017, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I had a 6 lug 5◊14 Ludwig Universal that did low and fat way better than any other drums I had, until I started playing 15's that is...
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  #14  
Old 09-13-2017, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
While in Portsmouth a few years ago, I 'auditoioned' the 8" deep Zelkova at Shane's suggestion and was quite surprised at the clarity and sensitivity at the lowest playing level I could muster.
I bought my 8" from Shane! It was gently used (looked brand new to me!) and he said it was his personal drum. I think it was $1399, which was less than I paid for the 5 and 6.5" drums.

Each Zelkova is a very magic drum. Much too good for Brown Eyed Girl and Midnight Hour. :)

Bermuda
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  #15  
Old 09-13-2017, 06:21 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Of course, like everything, it's a combination of factors, but in the case of the Zelcova, rigidity plays a big part. Although the shell is quite thick, it's not that rigid compared to a ply shell of similar thickness), & that lack of rigidity suppresses high tone generation + shortens the fundamental.
I knew you'd know why! :)
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  #16  
Old 09-13-2017, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post

Each Zelkova is a very magic drum. Much too good for Brown Eyed Girl and Midnight Hour. :)

Bermuda
Kinda off topic, but I filled in for a band and they were picking a song to do next. They asked me if I knew Brown Eyed Girl. I said no. So it was not played
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  #17  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I interpret the question as 1) "what drums sound nothing like the marketing guff"

or 2) "do we really know the correct adjectives when describing sound"

For interpretation 1, I would say all of them. I am yet to play/own a drum that matches their descriptions in the marketing guff. I think it's all bollox until you get it home and play in your own room and situation.

for interpretation 2) I would say no. Every company needs good promotional material to market and sell their drums but in my experience, this just means confusion and muddys the waters.

Personally, I think it's all a crock. They are drums, wood with bits of metal holding a film of plastic over the ends.

All drums have tone, sustain, ring and fatness if you tune them properly with decent heads. The ONLY tangible difference between all drums is the amount of attack.

Attack, after all these years, drum kits, snares, etc, it's the most important thing to me. I need a drum to respond instantly and if it doesn't then it has to go back.

You can mess around with tunings, heads, dampening etc on every drum, but if it doesn't have attack, you will never get it.

So a drum sounding like it SHOULD to me is saying, does it sound like they are telling you. Most of the time I would say no
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  #18  
Old 09-13-2017, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

My kit didn't sound like drums and cymbals until a real drummer played them.

What an eye opener!
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  #19  
Old 09-13-2017, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by JohnoWorld View Post
I interpret the question as 1) "what drums sound nothing like the marketing guff"
Point taken, but I was referring to drums that are anomalies, such as a 10" tom that makes a much lower note than anyone should expect for its size. Nothing to do with the effects of the room, its build or specs, or marketing (maple is warm, for example.) Just drums that are different for no apparent reason.

Bermuda
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  #20  
Old 09-13-2017, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Point taken, but I was referring to drums that are anomalies, such as a 10" tom that makes a much lower note than anyone should expect for its size. Nothing to do with the effects of the room, its build or specs, or marketing (maple is warm, for example.) Just drums that are different for no apparent reason.

Bermuda
Well, there's Blaemire/Jenkins-Martin, of course. I still don't get how they're not better-known.
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  #21  
Old 09-13-2017, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

With the right tuning I can get the 10" Tom on my Live Custom sounds much larger than it should.
I also used to own a Remo piccolo snare. I think it was 3.5" x 14" if I'm not mistaken. That was much fatter sounding than it should have been, lol.
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  #22  
Old 09-13-2017, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I was surprised by a 3X14 Tama bronze snare I once owned. Just a cheap one from the 90's but it sounded waaay deeper than the 3 inches would elude.

I should have kept it, really. So versatile in any tuning. Arghh
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
Well, there's Blaemire/Jenkins-Martin, of course. I still don't get how they're not better-known.
They're pretty great drums. Very stiff shell, yet punchy and warm. They're one of those drums that don't need an iso mount to have a full, rich decay.

The old pros are hip to them, because they're basically the old Blaemire shell (although with more attention to detail and better edges!) Lots of those in the studio back in the day, regardless which brand the drummer endorsed.

Bermuda
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Old 09-13-2017, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

My Mapex Venus 10x8 tom sounds way better than it should with its basswood shells. I may never use my Gretsch 12x8 drum again. Peace and goodwill.
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  #25  
Old 09-14-2017, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Have you come across any drums whose sound doesn't quite go with its specs/design or size? Like a piccolo snare that's unusually fat, or a 10" tom that sounds really big?

I think that it's really funny that my plain ol' Pearl steel shell snare can sound deep and fat while by Tama Rockstar snare sounds rather insensitive and choked...even with the same heads, tension, and tuning. The edges don't look that different, and they are both made of steel. The Rockstar snare would probably sound best played with a 5B while the Pearl gets along great with 7A sticks.

I don't know. In my mind they should sound similar, but they don't. I totally understand how two "exact" snare drums made of wood can sound different because there's so many variables when working with wood. But with steel, it seems the material would bring down the variables, but it doesn't look like it does.
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:49 PM
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  #26  
Old 09-14-2017, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Point taken, but I was referring to drums that are anomalies, such as a 10" tom that makes a much lower note than anyone should expect for its size. Nothing to do with the effects of the room, its build or specs, or marketing (maple is warm, for example.) Just drums that are different for no apparent reason.

Bermuda
Ah I see

Sonor 12" toms - vintage maple shell

Delite and Prolite kits sound amazing, but the 12" is just epic. Full, punchy, rounded, plenty of attack and a lovely long decay

When one Tom is better than the rest ofthe kit, twice, I had to get rid. Surely the whole kit should sound as good as the 12"? Snare was epic too, but I found the same with dw.

8" and 10" on dw were so musical, the rest, nothing like them.

I find all kits I've played have had similar issues, I'm yet to try pearl reference and porkpie USA customs which apparently fix those issues.

I believe each drum should be treated differently according to its size
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  #27  
Old 09-14-2017, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I'll second the Jenkins-Martin references. I would have guessed they'd be pretty bright, but they're quite warm indeed, "woody" as it were.
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  #28  
Old 09-15-2017, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

Hi Bermuda. I have a 10x9 Sonor Force Maple tom (twelve years old) that has a big warm sound and people don't believe me when I say that's a 10" not a 12".
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  #29  
Old 09-15-2017, 07:58 PM
LeftySlammer92 LeftySlammer92 is offline
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I have a 14x5 brass drum that sounds like it should be an 14x8 with how deep that thing sounds. It reminds me a bit of the Black Magic snare.

My DW oak snare on the other hand, sounds exactly as you'd imagine it would.
To my experience though, I haven't had good luck with entire DW kits. I played a Collector's maple kit where the toms were just heavenly, and the kick was a dud. Then I owned a Performance Series kit briefly, and just the opposite was true. The 10" sounded beautiful, the 12" was the single worst drum I have ever struck in my entire life, and the floors were pretty forgettable: I A-B'ed the 16" next to my old faithful Pearl Export 16", and actually got more tone and low end out of that.

Speaking of that very same Export kit, that thing with worn out single ply Ambassadors with the stock resos on it should sound absolutely horrible on paper, but the recording engineer I usually work with said it was one of the nicest kits he's ever recorded, and has tried to buy it off of me several times.

The Yamaha BCAN's are actually quite warm for a birch drum. Why? Who really knows, but birch usually doesn't sound like that.

So I would attribute most of drum stuff to marketing fluff, there's so many different variables that go into drums, that you really can't gauge how something is supposed to sound by theorizing.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I never would have guessed that fiberglass drums could sound so good. Spun fiberglass, when done properly, is the ideal shell for making drums! ;-)
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by Living Dead Drummer View Post
With the right tuning I can get the 10" Tom on my Live Custom sounds much larger than it should.
I also used to own a Remo piccolo snare. I think it was 3.5" x 14" if I'm not mistaken. That was much fatter sounding than it should have been, lol.
I own one of these and agree with you. It could sound very deep with thicker head. I had a similar experience with Pearl maple piccolo 3.5" x 13". When I heard it recorded I thought that I swapped the snares by accident or the engineer did a sound replacement without telling me. The sound was so full and big. I got a bit disappointed because it wasn't what I intended. I had to change the heads to get what I wanted.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:20 AM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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I never would have guessed that fiberglass drums could sound so good. Spun fiberglass, when done properly, is the ideal shell for making drums! ;-)
Indeed, and I'm not sure why none of the big makers bought out Blaemire in the 70s and started making their own spun fiberglass drums. Ludwig, especially.
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Old 09-16-2017, 01:27 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by LeftySlammer92 View Post
The Yamaha BCAN's are actually quite warm for a birch drum. Why? Who really knows, but birch usually doesn't sound like that.
...premium northern hokkaido birch wood plies (golden colored with nice grain patterns)...imo...

...another candidate for non-conventional sound is canopus' 15" rfm maple bass drum: warm, punchy, round, nice pitch, etc...
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
Indeed, and I'm not sure why none of the big makers bought out Blaemire in the 70s and started making their own spun fiberglass drums. Ludwig, especially.
It is a precise procedure that is not easily done. David Martin comes from a composite background, and it took him two years to perfect the Jenkins-Martin shell.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I'm still waiting to find a 14-inch floor tom that sounds like actually sounds like a floor tom and not a frame drum.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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I'm still waiting to find a 14-inch floor tom that sounds like actually sounds like a floor tom and not a frame drum.
Me too. I've never gotten one to sound right.
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Old 09-16-2017, 10:52 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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It is a precise procedure that is not easily done. David Martin comes from a composite background, and it took him two years to perfect the Jenkins-Martin shell.
I agree that Ludwig is probably not the best company for something like that (LOL), but you'd think that SOME company would have made the effort. Not only are they the most resonant drums ever, the marketing writes itself, just because of Hal Blaine.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

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I'm still waiting to find a 14-inch floor tom that sounds like actually sounds like a floor tom and not a frame drum.
You are gonna really hate me for this.
But last month I found a 14 inch floor tom that sounded Wonderful !! It sounded so good that I almost went out and purchased all of the other drums to go along with it. I found a 1968 Rogers red sparkle 14 inch floor tom at a thrift store. I paid $4 for it! It had no hoops or tension rods. I purchased some hoops and tension rods and I put some old drums heads on it. I hit that drum and I almost died! It sounded super nice.

Problem was it was worth so much money that I just had to sell it. I sold it for $600. I almost kept it but it was worth crazy money. Rogers 14 inch drums are worth a fortune. I just did not need any more drums. Besides I play a 1963 Slingerland kit with a 14 inch floor tom that sounds almost as good as the Rogers.

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  #39  
Old 09-17-2017, 06:49 AM
Mr. Compactness Mr. Compactness is offline
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

I had a 12x18 bass drum that sounded monstrous with the right heads and tuning.
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  #40  
Old 09-17-2017, 08:38 PM
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Morrisman Morrisman is offline
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Location: South Australia
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Default Re: Drums that don't sound like they 'should'

Played my Rydeen bop kit for a couple of gigs this weekend, one quiet, one loud. Got so many compliments on the sound at both gigs. Three mic's - snare, kick and overhead, it sounded huge!

It's an 18" bass, 10" tom, 13" floor tom made of cheap grainy luan. Shouldn't sound good at all, but it does! At all volume levels.
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