Acrylic shells vs maple?



Ok, well I'm looking at getting some custom shells made, and from looking around the two main types of material I am thinking about is acrylic or the generic maple.

Advantages of acrylic:
Looks cool!
I'm guessing it does not need a wrap, but is just one piece? So would save lots of money!
Has a good sound.

I'm worried it would be more brittle? So wouldn't take kindly to being used on long tours.

I'm not sure what the advantages and disadvantages of maple shells are.

What are your opinions?


Platinum Member
acrylic shells definitely look awesome, and i think that's their main advantage. they can sound good too, but they tend to be very loud and bright sounding. if you like that, then great!

i've never owned acrylic drums, but it seems to be they'd tend to get scratched up pretty easily if you didn't keep them in cases.

maple drums sound warm and full to my ear. i have maple drums and i think they sound great. they definitely sound like they have more low end to them than my old drums, which were basswood.


Platinum Member
I played Ludwig Vistalites for 25+ years. Treat them with the "respect" you should treat "any" drum, and they should last you a lifetime. Cases, if you're gonna tour, yes. Led Zepp, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Iron Butterfly, Three Dog Night, all did world tours with acrylic drums. And I'm sure they all used cases.​
And indeed, they do look very cool. If you're gonna have drums blowing thru a P.A., the maple/acrylic isn't such an issue. That's why they invented EQ. Although brighter and "louder" (dare I say) than maple, Powerstroke3 or Pinstripe heads batter/Ambassador reso. were my 2 favorite head combo's, even out the playing field quite a bit.​