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  #1  
Old 02-16-2011, 05:42 AM
TwoCables
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Default Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

I just checked out Sonor's Select Force Series and I noticed that they have a mix of Canadian and Chinese Maple [source]. So now I'm curious: how do these two types of maple compare to each other? And of course, how do both types compare to the North American varieties?

One reason I'm asking is that I heard that the Meridian Maple and Select Force shells are made using the same shells. So if this true, then I think I'm about to learn a lot more about the Meridian Maples as well as what I'll be getting myself into in 2-3 years when I get a top-of-the-line set (the Meridian Maples will serve to hold me over until then).
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

There is a perception out there, a belief held by many, that Canadian/North American maple is a better quality wood than Asian grown maple.

I've been told by an reliable source that once the tree is cut down, the wood isn't any different. From at least a sonic point of view, maple is maple, regardless of where it's grown.

Which side to believe?

I don't know.

I don't really see how once the tree is cut into thin little plies, and the plies are formed into shells that anyone could possibly tell where the maple is sourced from, assuming it was from a good cut of wood to begin with.

Years ago people only cared if a drum was Maple, birch or other. This whole idea of knowing where the tree was grown is a new concept to the drum business.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:51 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
There is a perception out there, a belief held by many, that Canadian/North American maple is a better quality wood than Asian grown maple.

I've been told by an reliable source that once the tree is cut down, the wood isn't any different. From at least a sonic point of view, maple is maple, regardless of where it's grown.

Which side to believe?

I don't know.

I don't really see how once the tree is cut into thin little plies, and the plies are formed into shells that anyone could possibly tell where the maple is sourced from, assuming it was from a good cut of wood to begin with.

Years ago people only cared if a drum was Maple, birch or other. This whole idea of knowing where the tree was grown is a new concept to the drum business.
It sounds to me like it's generally believed that North American types of maple are the hardest species of maple while the rest are softer.

But I have to admit that I am more inclined to believe what you've been told because I'm having a very difficult time trying to believe that Chinese Maple is softer than North American Maple.

Or it's like with Taye: they make a big deal about using North American Sugar Maple. To that, I just say "Yeah, so why do you use that instead of some other North American Maple?"

I guess another question I just realized that I have is why North American Maple is said to be the best maple.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:32 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

I know Canadian pine wood is better, because it grows slower in our climate, making the fibers denser, thats why we export a large amount of construction wood to America and Asia.

I dont know that this is the same for maple, but it might explain where the stereotype was formed
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

When I got my first drum shop job 20 some odd years ago, I would spent time memorizing what drums were maple and which ones were birch. There weren't so many choices, so it was a bit easier. But as I said, source of the wood didn't even come into question. No one ever asked, no one ever considered it important.

Anyway, so I'm doing this, and making mental notes about this and that about all the kits.

I remember the older guys would say this knowing what wood was in the drum was a new concept, and back in their day, people would just come in and pick out a kit based on looks, and what ever sizes they felt they needed. Wood type wasn't in the conversation.

So, we have 40 years ago, no one really cared what kind of wood was in the drums.
20 years ago, people wanted to know what wood was used, but not it's source.
Now, people ask about where the tree was grown.

(And yet, people love vintage drums).

In the next 20 years, I suspect people will start asking what kind of irrigation system and soil type was used to grow said tree, and what sort of saw was used to cut the tree into plies of wood. (Ok, I'm slightly kidding...)
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:51 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

While Pimento does bring up a good theory, I believe it's mostly marketing hype.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:54 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

This makes me wonder what wood was used in most prized vintage drums.

I guess one could argue that we are just learning more about how to make better-sounding drums (like the Yamaha PHX, or perhaps even Spirit's Ironwood drums).
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

I would think certainly "where" a tree is grown, is important. Just like with coffee. There are only two kinds of coffee beans ... arabica ... and robusta .... yet "where" the bean is grown (Kenya, Maui, Columbia, etc.) is where the coffee gets it's flavor.
So. I would think, this would apply to trees, as well. But, which is better? That becomes subjective. More the point, which do you like?
As far as vintage drums, all the big American companies shells were mixed wood, until Rogers came out with the first 100% maple shell, the XP-8. Before that, maple, poplar, gum, and mahogany pretty much dominated the American drum wood scene. I think Premier was using birch.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
I would think certainly "where" a tree is grown, is important. Just like with coffee. There are only two kinds of coffee beans ... arabica ... and robusta .... yet "where" the bean is grown (Kenya, Maui, Columbia, etc.) is where the coffee gets it's flavor.
So. I would think, this would apply to trees, as well. But, which is better? That becomes subjective. More the point, which do you like?
I'm not asking which is better, but just how these three species of maple compare to each other. I've already been told that the North American varieties of maple are the best maple woods, so now I want to know why as well as how Canadian and Chinese Maple compares. I mean, are they softer? These 2 woods certainly costs less than their North American cousins!

Plus, it seems to me like the descriptions of the best maple drums drums make a big deal about saying "North American Maple", or "North American Rock Maple", or even "North American Sugar Maple". I mean, if maple is maple, then why not go with Chinese Maple? Or Canadian? I mean, why care? Why did Sonor mix Chinese and Canadian Maple in their Select Force series? It sounds to me like the North American varieties are probably harder/denser - or perhaps just produce better-sounding drums for some other reason.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
I'm not asking which is better, but just how these three species of maple compare to each other. I've already been told that the North American varieties of maple are the best maple woods, so now I want to know why as well as how Canadian and Chinese Maple compares. I mean, are they softer?
So start looking ... here: http://www.sizes.com/units/janka.htm
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
Plus, it seems to me like the descriptions of the best maple drums drums make a big deal about saying "North American Maple", or "North American Rock Maple", or even "North American Sugar Maple". I mean, if maple is maple, then why not go with Chinese Maple? Or Canadian? I mean, why care? Why did Sonor mix Chinese and Canadian Maple in their Select Force series? It sounds to me like the North American varieties are probably harder/denser - or perhaps just produce better-sounding drums for some other reason.
as far as the Sonor Force select, the Canadian maple probably looks better .... so .... it's used as exterior and interior ply. Where the human eye can see the "nice" wood grain. Hidden between and "out of sight" is the cheaper, Chinese grade.
Madison Avenue learned that trick a long time ago. It's not so much to make a better sounding drum ... it's to make a better looking drum. The intermediate level drums ..... very competitive market .... and "looks" is key issue to sales .... since a lot of these kits are sold without their owners ever hearing them.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
So start looking ... here: http://www.sizes.com/units/janka.htm
as far as the Sonor Force select, the Canadian maple probably looks better .... so .... it's used as exterior and interior ply. Where the human eye can see the "nice" wood grain. Hidden between and "out of sight" is the cheaper, Chinese grade.
Madison Avenue learned that trick a long time ago. It's not so much to make a better sounding drum ... it's to make a better looking drum. The intermediate level drums ..... very competitive market .... and "looks" is key issue to sales .... since a lot of these kits are sold without their owners ever hearing them.
How are you able to get your message all tabbed over like that?

Anyway, that Sizes.com page is helpful, but it doesn't tell me what I'm trying to learn.

Also, I do understand that it's easier to sell drums to the mid-range market when they look pleasing to the eye. My Stage Customs have a single outer-ply of birch for the sake of the finish.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
How are you able to get your message all tabbed over like that?
If I told you, then you'd have no use for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
Anyway, that Sizes.com page is helpful, but it doesn't tell me what I'm trying to learn.
That's as far as I'm gonna go, with this game ...you want to know ... you have a computer ... access to google, etc. I could continue to do research for you, but, you probably can't afford my rates.
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Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
Also, I do understand that it's easier to sell drums to the mid-range market when they look pleasing to the eye. My Stage Customs have a single outer-ply of birch for the sake of the finish.
Sure, that's DW's trick. Take a drum shell. Cover it with a really expensive, exotic, wood veneer (like Carpathian Burl @ $845 a sheet), a primo lacquer paint job, and bam, a $4000 drum kit is born. Won't sound any better that a $2000 DW kit, but it sure will look pretty.
Old trick Ludwig used to do. If the drum shell was gonna get a wrap, then the outer ply was mahogany. Wood looks like crap, doesn't stain well, etc. But hidden under "White Marine Pearl" or whatever, who cares? It ain't to be seen. If the drum was gonna get a natural wood finish, then it got a maple exterior. Years of wear, and those maple exteriors got scratched and scarred, and even more of them got wraped. Now, we're decades later, and "vintage" 60's clear maple exteriors command a high price.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Maple wood comes in two varieties: hard wood and soft wood. Hard wood varieties include black and sugar maples, while silver and red maples are examples of soft wood.

The Canadian and American maple will be similar in quality because we use the same species of Sugar Maple (hard rock maple), from similar growing regions and are harvested at about the same age.

China will use what ever maple is cheapest to purchase at that point in time from anywhere in the world.

Go North American!
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

"Asian maple" has a Janka hardness rating of 960.
"American maple" has a Janka hardness rating of 1450.
Birch has a Janka hardness rating of 1470.

...it's kinda funny how people used to go on and on about the differences between maple and birch. Sure, there's a real sound quality difference, but they are pretty close in hardness. Asian maple is vastly differing in hardness to American maple, and there's a "smack you upside the head and say DUH" difference in the sound, but people still dare to argue that "maple is maple"...
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

I think I'm beginning to understand now why drums like the Meridian Maples have such a low price!
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

I know when I buy leather I will look for and only buy "Corinthian leather" as said before this is Madison Ave. there is no such thing as Corinthian leather but when Ricardo said it in the Chrysler commercials it sounded real special..(anyone over 40 remember?)...that being said what I have heard and not sure if its true you can take your finger/thumb nail and leave an indent in China maple where you cannot in NA...again this what I heard...
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
[indent]I would think certainly "where" a tree is grown, is important. Just like with coffee. There are only two kinds of coffee beans ... arabica ... and robusta .... yet "where" the bean is grown (Kenya, Maui, Columbia, etc.) is where the coffee gets it's flavor.
I thought about that, but we don't drink the maple drums, and we don't attemt to make sound with the coffee beans. Flavor and sonic properties are such a different thing.

I have no doubt the trees may taste differently is made into a beverage, but would that affect the sound?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
"Asian maple" has a Janka hardness rating of 960.
"American maple" has a Janka hardness rating of 1450.
Birch has a Janka hardness rating of 1470.

...it's kinda funny how people used to go on and on about the differences between maple and birch. Sure, there's a real sound quality difference, but they are pretty close in hardness. Asian maple is vastly differing in hardness to American maple, and there's a "smack you upside the head and say DUH" difference in the sound, but people still dare to argue that "maple is maple"...
Now, see, this makes sense.

I found this table of hardness: http://tinytimbers.com/janka.htm

But at the same time, who's to say they're not importing North American saplings to Asian and growing the same species on Asian land?

China has a lot of land, and a lot of space to grow trees. It's a big reason why birch drums are cheaper now than they were 10-20 years ago.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Here are some north american maple janka scores:

bigleaf maple 850
red maple 950
silver maple 700
sugar maple 1450

Rock maple is considered to be sugar maple (Acer saccharum). I dunno about chinese maple species, only that china is sourcing a lot timber in russia. There might be a siberian maple that would be as hard as north american rock maple, but I can't find any infos about it. It wouldn't matter anyways, because it would be mixed with other softer maple timbers to do cheap sets anyways.

The big question is, does pure rock maple sounds better than softer and lighter ones? I doubt it. Different, yes.

However I would go for pure north american timber: I would consider it to be more environmentally friendly, since it's from sustainable managed forrests and not from clear cuts somewhere in russia/china.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

I confess that the reason I'm asking is because I need some drums that will do a great job of holding me over for about 2-3 years. I mean, I am finally going to be able to replace my Stage Customs in 4 months (which were manufactured and purchased in 1997) which is basically the start of a dream come true. But the reason why I want the new drums to hold me over for 2-3 years is because that's how long it'll take for me to save up to get some very high-end drums.

So, I'm kinda using this thread to learn more about Sonor's Select Force drums as well as Mapex's Meridian Maples because I was told that they are using the same shell.

Fortunately, it sounds like drums such as the Meridian Maples will do an excellent job of holding me over. But for a minute there, I became concerned about this Chinese Maple. lol
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

[quote=caddywumpus;803459 "smack you upside the head and say DUH" difference in the sound, but people still dare to argue that "maple is maple"...[/QUOTE]

+1 on this.

I had a set of Mapex M series that I got in a trade and maple shells or no, the sound was no where near as good as as Ludwig Classics or the Keller shell drums I own. Sound wise...not even close!!
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:06 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
I became concerned about this Chinese Maple. lol
Why not get the Birch kits from Sonor? They are cheaper than the Select Force, and Birch is SO hard according to that Janka rating thing (and wood hardness is like...all that matters when picking a kit, dude), I mean, I'm sure the ones with the interior chinese maple will just literally desintegrate into dust in those two years. You REALLY should be concerned.


Fox.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

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Originally Posted by Fox622003 View Post
Why not get the Birch kits from Sonor? They are cheaper than the Select Force, and Birch is SO hard according to that Janka rating thing (and wood hardness is like...all that matters when picking a kit, dude), I mean, I'm sure the ones with the interior chinese maple will just literally desintegrate into dust in those two years. You REALLY should be concerned.


Fox.
On this page, the hardness of 4 different species of Birch ranges from 760 to 1470. ;)

But, do I sense a bit of sarcasm of some kind? :P
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

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Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
But, do I sense a bit of sarcasm of some kind? :P
Really ;)?


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Old 02-16-2011, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Well, I am asking you if you're being sarcastic (that's a question I posted, not a statement). So, now that I know my answer is "yes", I have another question: is there something wrong with being careful about what I spend my money on?
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

According to Wikipedia, there are 129 different varietes of maple and most of them come from Asia. The climate and soil will also affect the density of the wood. I know there are many different kinds of ironwood and my drums are made from one particular type.

Keep in mind that plywood is an engineered wood product, not natural whole wood. The careful selection, precise machine processing and chemistry of adhesive glues will all affect the sound, probably more than the natural whole wood of the original tree.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

know why?
industry is a LOT bigger in china than the us...
why? cheap and good labour

why do you prefer buying a 100$ us made product, when you could be the exact same product made in china for 50% of the price? you trust the us labour more than the chinese

why? i include my self in this answer, we presume the us labour is better than the chinese, but do we even know how do the chinese do their thing? as far as im concerned, china has earned a good and big name in industry, and thats because of something (prime work)

so, going straight forward into the answer: its just a way to promote a country's industry

maple is maple, steel is steel, coffee is coffee, humans are humans
you might notice a difference, i might not. different point of views : different perspectives. different trust worthiness from the buyer.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

TC, if the Yamaha's are doing OK, why spend the dough on a new kit now, and spend MORE in 2-3 years for a "top of the line"?

Those Meridians are kinda nice looking, but the ft's have 6 lugs, and the bass drum has 8.
The bass drum wouldn't concern me so much, but 6 lugs on a 16" ft.....
It would seem to me to be harder to keep in tune with less pressure keeping the head in place.

I'd look into a good condition, used A+ kit. You could probably score something a lot better in quality for around the same cost as a new Meridian.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:08 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
Keep in mind that plywood is an engineered wood product, not natural whole wood. The careful selection, precise machine processing and chemistry of adhesive glues will all affect the sound, probably more than the natural whole wood of the original tree.
This is a key consideration, yet one that takes a long time to make it into these kinds of discussions.

Glues, lacquers, wraps, ply thickness, and number of plies all must factor into the sound as well. Are these factors a larger or smaller part of the drum's overall sound when compared to the source of the actual timbers?

And can one of these factors supersede or compensate for other wood factors? From the way some people talk it's like a sponge vs. a granite table top when comparing Asian maple to American maple, but once either of these woods are sliced into thin wafers, impregnated with glues, bent into cylinders, and baked I wonder how much of the sound we hear is just the wood.

Want to complicate things even more? Think about shell hardware, mounting system, drumhead, muffling, and playing style.

Do these make a bigger or smaller difference in the overall sound of the drum when compared to wood type?
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

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Originally Posted by TwoCables View Post
Well, I am asking you if you're being sarcastic (that's a question I posted, not a statement). So, now that I know my answer is "yes", I have another question: is there something wrong with being careful about what I spend my money on?
There is nothing wrong with gaining knowledge about a product you are gonna purchase.

Pearsonally I think worrying about what maple on a mid level kit is a bit overkill though.

Why dont you ask how the Mapex M's and the Sonor Force maple sound?.

My Sonor Force 3007 is by far the best sounding kit I have ever had (and I've had high end kits before) and its on par (sound wise) with anything I've ever played.

I just put some Evans EC2's on, tuned it up and I couldnt seem to stop playing my toms because I couldnt believe how freakin awsome they sounded.

I think either the Mapex or the Sonors will more than hold you over for three years.


Last edited by Homeularis; 02-17-2011 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Bottom line, the Sonor Select Force (or the Mapex, although I think they have less lugs as KarlCrafton has mentioned) are outstanding drums for their price. It'd be very...well, stupid, really, to think they are just going to vanish into thin air because they have 2 mm of asian maple inside; it's all a matter of sound. Keep in mind Sonor hands these kits out to upcoming artists who just got their endorsement, so they are clearly not ashamed of these drums. But if you are planning to go high end in just a couple of years, save up a little longer.
Although, in all fairness, what do you want a 2500 dollars+ kit for? Are you currently recording and touring professionally? Even if you are, so are many other artists recording and gigging with intermediate drums; and they don't sound half bad. Invest in nice cymbals and recording equipment. Just what I'd do.


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Old 02-17-2011, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

It is the same thing here in Western Australia.

There is black, white, and brown types of Jarrah. Years of different vegetation caused the root systems to change colour. It is still Jarrah at the end of the day.
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Old 02-17-2011, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

I really don't know very much about different grades of wood, but what I do know is what sounds good and that to me has to be the common denominator. I did hear once that North American Maple is a very hard maple compared to others and this was told to me by someone that really should know his woods, but I'm just relaying information. My knowledge of wood products goes to the extremes of putting two pieces of wood together with some Elmer's Wood Glue.

Dennis
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Even though N.A. variety might be slightly harder.. the difference on the janka scale is probably minuscule for the different maple varieties.. I could be wrong.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:37 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I thought about that, but we don't drink the maple drums, and we don't attemt to make sound with the coffee beans. Flavor and sonic properties are such a different thing.
But where does the OP mention "sonic properties" in any way, shape, or form.
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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I have no doubt the trees may taste differently is made into a beverage, but would that affect the sound?
Again, my reference is two where these items are grown. Whether it be a coffee plant or a maple tree, latitude and longitude (geographic location), soil and atmospheric conditions (amounts of sunlight, rainfall, etc.) are going to impact a tree grown in North America vs. Asia.

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Now, see, this makes sense.

I found this table of hardness: http://tinytimbers.com/janka.htm
Which seems to be basically just a reiteration of the information I linked to here: http://www.sizes.com/units/janka.htm
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

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Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
But where does the OP mention "sonic properties" in any way, shape, or form.
Haha....Ok, you got me there Harry.

But this is Drummerworld, not tasty hot beverage world, so I sort of figured it was implied. Silly me.

But yeah...umm.....coffee....yummy....I only buy whole beans and grind it fresh every morning. Tastes better that way. Trader Joe's Dark is pretty good for being rather inexpensive. And anything Sumatra is good.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

You all are absolutely awesome for putting up with me. Thank you very much!

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Originally Posted by ecpietscheck View Post
know why?
industry is a LOT bigger in china than the us...
why? cheap and good labour

why do you prefer buying a 100$ us made product, when you could be the exact same product made in china for 50% of the price? you trust the us labour more than the chinese

why? i include my self in this answer, we presume the us labour is better than the chinese, but do we even know how do the chinese do their thing? as far as im concerned, china has earned a good and big name in industry, and thats because of something (prime work)

so, going straight forward into the answer: its just a way to promote a country's industry

maple is maple, steel is steel, coffee is coffee, humans are humans
you might notice a difference, i might not. different point of views : different perspectives. different trust worthiness from the buyer.
But isn't "Made in China" synonymous with "low quality", "cheap", and other such adjectives?

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Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
TC, if the Yamaha's are doing OK, why spend the dough on a new kit now, and spend MORE in 2-3 years for a "top of the line"?
Because I've had these same Stage Customs for about 14 years, and so it's a dream of mine to finally replace them with something that sounds better - even if it means that I have to do it this way.

Plus, if whatever I get sounds better to me than my Stage Customs, then it'll increase my motivation even more to keep saving up for some high-end drums. Otherwise, my motivation/enthusiasm for doing this is likely to fade away (it's one of my negative traits).

But ultimately, I can't stand the thought of keeping these drums for another 2-3 years. I have been sick of them for almost 10 years now (it's not my tuning and head choice either). The only reason why I didn't do this sooner is because I've always had trouble saving up: I could never commit to it long enough. But I discovered very recently that I don't have to commit to it because I can have a monthly automatic transfer from my checking to my savings in the amount I specify - and for as long as I specify at the time I set up the transfer!

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Originally Posted by KarlCrafton View Post
Those Meridians are kinda nice looking, but the ft's have 6 lugs, and the bass drum has 8.
The bass drum wouldn't concern me so much, but 6 lugs on a 16" ft.....
It would seem to me to be harder to keep in tune with less pressure keeping the head in place.

I'd look into a good condition, used A+ kit. You could probably score something a lot better in quality for around the same cost as a new Meridian.

Just my 2 cents.
Believe it or not, but the 14" and 16" floor toms have 8 lugs. I know this because I spent about 1 hours tuning up and getting to know the Meridian Maple Studioease shell pack (which was all set up on the floor at Ellis Drum Shop). But the reason why I remember this is because it was actually a very big deal to me: every time I went back to retune the 14" and 16" floor toms, I just smiled because they had 8 lugs while my 14" tom only has 6 (I don't have a 16") - and I've been tuning my drums for about 14 years now.

Here's a pic: https://www5.corecommerce.com/~forksdrumclo135/images/products/8758.jpg (3504 x 2336)

Plus, if I get a high-end kit now, then where do I go from there? I mean, there's a part of me that wants the experience of upgrading in steps so that I can have an even greater appreciation for top-of-the-line drums (hopefully). Plus, it's hard to find the right words to express just how badly and how quickly I want to get rid of these old Stage Customs.

Not only that, but it'll allow me to relax so that I can carefully and patiently choose some high-end drums to buy once I can afford them (which should be in about 2-3 years). I mean, if I keep my Stage Customs, then I think I'll remain distracted by my intense desire to finally get rid of them.

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Originally Posted by Winston_Wolf View Post
This is a key consideration, yet one that takes a long time to make it into these kinds of discussions.

Glues, lacquers, wraps, ply thickness, and number of plies all must factor into the sound as well. Are these factors a larger or smaller part of the drum's overall sound when compared to the source of the actual timbers?

And can one of these factors supersede or compensate for other wood factors? From the way some people talk it's like a sponge vs. a granite table top when comparing Asian maple to American maple, but once either of these woods are sliced into thin wafers, impregnated with glues, bent into cylinders, and baked I wonder how much of the sound we hear is just the wood.

Want to complicate things even more? Think about shell hardware, mounting system, drumhead, muffling, and playing style.

Do these make a bigger or smaller difference in the overall sound of the drum when compared to wood type?
Excellent and thought-provoking. Thank you very much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeularis View Post
There is nothing wrong with gaining knowledge about a product you are gonna purchase.
Oh, I know. It's just that it seemed to me like he was mocking me or something. :/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeularis View Post
Pearsonally I think worrying about what maple on a mid level kit is a bit overkill though.
hehe I admit that I can see this. :) But I have this weird personality trait that when I buy something, it has to be the best of the best among the options within my budget. :o

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeularis View Post
Why dont you ask how the Mapex M's and the Sonor Force maple sound?

My Sonor Force 3007 is by far the best sounding kit I have ever had (and I've had high end kits before) and its on par (sound wise) with anything I've ever played.

I just put some Evans EC2's on, tuned it up and I couldnt seem to stop playing my toms because I couldnt believe how freakin awsome they sounded.

I think either the Mapex or the Sonors will more than hold you over for three years.

Especially if the 3007s and the Meridian Maples share the exact same shells! And it sounds to me like they do!

Speaking of your head choice on the toms, I recently saw some video clips of Aquiles Priester's DVD called "The Infallible Reason of my Freak Drumming" where he is playing some Meridian Maples with EC2s! Here are two clips in 720p:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym_-tZwhRL0&hd=1 (part 1)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXrrqO-Lz3o&hd=1 (part 2)

Of course, there are many more clips on YouTube from this video, but these are my favorite because they're in 720p while the rest are in 480p. :)

But anyway, there are a few sections where the toms can be heard quite clearly, and they sound really nice to me. Unfortunately, I see triggers on his bass drums so I am basically ignoring their sound, but I don't see any triggers on any of his toms!

Oh man, speaking of his toms, listen to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXrrqO-Lz3o&hd=1#t=6m30s

Here's are the specs for his setup:

http://www.aquilespriester.com/ingt/setup.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox622003 View Post
Bottom line, the Sonor Select Force (or the Mapex, although I think they have less lugs as KarlCrafton has mentioned) are outstanding drums for their price. It'd be very...well, stupid, really, to think they are just going to vanish into thin air because they have 2 mm of asian maple inside; it's all a matter of sound. Keep in mind Sonor hands these kits out to upcoming artists who just got their endorsement, so they are clearly not ashamed of these drums. But if you are planning to go high end in just a couple of years, save up a little longer.
I can't wait any longer. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox622003 View Post
Although, in all fairness, what do you want a 2500 dollars+ kit for? Are you currently recording and touring professionally? Even if you are, so are many other artists recording and gigging with intermediate drums; and they don't sound half bad. Invest in nice cymbals and recording equipment. Just what I'd do.


Fox.
I've had the same Stage Customs for 14 years. :/ Their sound is holding me back quite a bit. I've even had friends say so. So even if the Meridian Maples (or some other comparable drums) sound significantly better than my Stage Customs to me, then I still want to get some top-of-the-line drums because it's been a dream of mine for about 10+ years now. Plus, my playing has finally reached a level recently where I think I can finally say that I have completely outgrown my Stage Customs.

Although, I know myself well enough that I am quite sure that once I have the Meridian Maples, my mind will probably change and so then I'll be spending my saved-up money in 2-3 years on a whole new set of cymbals (which is another dream of mine) instead of high-end drums. I mean, I want to keep a few of my cymbals, but the rest just aren't me anymore. But fortunately, all of my cymbals are professional models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
But where does the OP mention "sonic properties" in any way, shape, or form.
It's implied. ;) Plus, I hoped that it would go without saying.

Quote:
Originally Posted by harryconway View Post
Again, my reference is two where these items are grown. Whether it be a coffee plant or a maple tree, latitude and longitude (geographic location), soil and atmospheric conditions (amounts of sunlight, rainfall, etc.) are going to impact a tree grown in North America vs. Asia.
Which seems to be basically just a reiteration of the information I linked to here: http://www.sizes.com/units/janka.htm
Exactly.

It also sounds to me like how fast or slow the tree grows further affects the sound in addition to everything you mentioned, Harry.
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Old 02-17-2011, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

I think the fact that you've played these drums .... had hands on ... at "Ellis", and you like the sound of 'em ... is more important than wood type, hardness, Chinese made, and any and all the other moot point WGAF issues .....
I played the kit, and I liked the way it sounded. Hard core. Old school. You can't fault that logic. "I liked the way they sounded" is exactly the reason why people should buy drums.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Cables, have you considered the yamaha tour customs too? I think they sound very nice, compared to the meridians maple I play once a week.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Basswood View Post
Cables, have you considered the yamaha tour customs too? I think they sound very nice, compared to the meridians maple I play once a week.
Yeah, but the higher price of the Tour Customs is turning me off. :/ I know I could buy used, but for now I have a strong preference of being the first owner of whatever I get.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:16 PM
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Default Re: Chinese Maple vs. Canadian Maple vs. North American Maple?

Here's my list of things that go into determining the sound of a drum, in APPROXIMATE order of the influence on the sound. Note that this is just MY general list, give or take a ranking -- somebody else might put these in a different order:
1. Heads & tuning
2. Shell material (wood vs. metal vs. acrylic, etc.)
3. Bearing edges
4. Dimensions
5. Shell thickness
6. Shell construction (ply vs. steambent vs. stave, etc.)
7. General wood density (soft vs. medium vs. hard)
8. Hoops
9. Mounting system
10. Wood species
11. Wood variety within species
12. Number of lugs
13. Type of lugs

...so if you want to upgrade the sound, I'd suggest recutting the bearing edges before replacing the kit to get a different variety of maple. Yes, the harder wood will give you a noticeable change in the character of the sound, but great edges on cheap wood still sound really good. You can probably give your whole kit a huge step up for $150 or so.
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