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  #1  
Old 03-16-2011, 03:15 PM
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Morbid Koala Morbid Koala is offline
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Default 26" maple vs 24" Acrylic

So the mates in the band say they can hear my 24"x14", 16"x16", 13"x10" Vistalite kit much clearer than my Maple 26"x14", 16"x16" & 14"x12".

I'd really like to keep playing the 26" kit. It's currently fitted with all Vintage Coated Emperors (including the bass drum with a felt strip and a 5" port on the front) but I play it with a felt beater on the 26" instead of a wooden one (on the 24) since it sounds better.

Anyway, if I want to "cut through" better, does it actually make sense to use the Vistalite kit, (albeit smaller) instead of the Maple?

Cheers for any help and/or suggestions (aside from the usual 'have everyone turn down' stuff).
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:24 PM
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PQleyR PQleyR is offline
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Default Re: 26" maple vs 24" Acrylic

Are you mic'd? Tuning and choosing drums for close micing is very different from the acoustic sound of them.
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2011, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: 26" maple vs 24" Acrylic

That's the problem. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The venues we play are never consistent. One might mic a bass drum, another might mic the whole kit.

With my Vistalite, I don't have to worry as much about being lost in the mix but obviously it doesn't sound as sweet as the larger maple kit.
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Old 03-16-2011, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: 26" maple vs 24" Acrylic

A 24 is going to be a bit more "punchy" than a 26 anyway, and being as the 24 is acrylic, it's just a bit more clear in the mid-high end.
The Acrylic is so reflective inside, it's no wonder they can hear it more.
Clear heads on those? Because a clear head (even a 2 ply) is also going to project more than the coated Vin Emp.

If you want the Maple kit to project more, I'd say to tighten your bottom heads (a bunch), and use a different head than the Vin Emps. Regular Emps will be as durable, but have more presence IMO.
Tighten the front head on the 26 a lot more than you'd think. Use the wood beater and play with the beater head height placement a little up or down from center.

For heads, maybe try an Ambassador X (on one drum first) which has a thicker single ply, but will be a tad brighter than the Emps. That extra high end will project more, and some of it will get soaked into the overall sound.
I use Coated Ambassadors (top, bottom, and kick batter--I play a 20x26) for heavy/hard playing and they hold up for me just fine. Never dent either, and I use double butt end sticks.

The tighter bottom head will definitely help though.

I tried some Coated Emp JP's (which are the same as a vin emp) and they just didn't have the same "oomph" as a reg Emp to me. They sounded cool when I played alone, but I knew they weren't gonna make it live, so I just switched back to the good 'ol Ambassadors.

If you really want a 26, why not check into an RCI 26" acrylic shell? Just swap out the hardware form the 24.
I know it's shelling out some dough, but it's an option to think about down the road.

Otherwise, I'd just do some head tension experiments, and maybe plan which kit to use in different venues...and tell those guy's to turn down if they can't hear you!

Hope some of this helps.
Good luck!!
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: 26" maple vs 24" Acrylic

I had Vistalites for 25+ years, as my stage drums ... and yes, they'll be brighter (and louder) than maple. That, of course, depends on how you set up your maple kit, and acrylic.
I have a Ludwig 26x16 6ply, and if you need volume, I'd go with a Powerstroke 3 batter, and an Ambassador reso. I'd go with that combo on the toms, also. And no coated heads. Smooth white or ebony or clear.
I don't remember what shell configuration your 26, 14, 16 kit is, but if you've got re-inforcement rings in those drums, they'll never be as loud as your Vista's. One of the reasons Ludwig (and Rogers and Slingerland) all moved away from the re-ring shell was to get more projection. Ludwig's move was '76, with the 6 ply .... Rogers was '78, with the XP-8. If your maple kit has stadium shells, you'll be able to give the Vista's a good run for the money.
Or ... like Karl said .... you "could" ask the band to turn down a tad .... but I know how that can be ... like talking Trigonometry to imbecils ...
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: 26" maple vs 24" Acrylic

Super good advice. I really liked the Smooth White PS3 when I recorded a band with a 26x18 kick, unported.

So yeah, it's a Bonham reissue kit from the mid 2000's, natural finish so I assume it doesn't have reinforcement rings?

So I guess it looks like Smooth White Emperors for the toms and a Smooth White PS3 for the kick while keeping my ported reso head and really tightening up the reso heads on the toms. Not stuffing anything inside the kick.

If I'm missing anything, lemme know.

I tried an RCI kit once, believe it or not. Great shells but not so great lugs, hoops, and other stuff. Nice enough guys running the company though. Hope they make it.
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Old 03-17-2011, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: 26" maple vs 24" Acrylic

Like the others said, the acrylics will always project more than the maple. That's actually why Bonham toured with them (and the stainless steel kit too) and used remo cs black dots.

If properly miced though, you should have no trouble with a maple kit these days. If they can't hear you, hit your drums harder.
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