The only way to pick a drum (any drum) is to try them in person and compare as many as possible.Would love for you to elaborate a little further on the sound of birch being different. I've never experienced playing a birch shell kit, so any/all additional info related to birch shells and the sound they produce will be of great help to me. Many thanks in advance.
My description of a drum sound is pretty subjective and would be a futile exercice.
The AHM I handpicked over Live and Stage Custom, Tama Starclassic and tama b/b, and ludwig CM after an A-B comparison at my drum shop. The AHM was my sound. Greatest tuning range and perfect at every dynamic range, I'll choke before these drums ever will, any day of the week.
The RCs I tapped on every drum then got offered to buy a demo, an opportunity I could not pass up. A great sounding kit, a bit more generic in a very good way because it is the exact sound non-drummers will expect on their recording. Tunes in a breeze, great tuning range, never overpowering.
A roadtrip to Drum Center of Portsmouth is a great way to pick your dream kit, they may even have the finish you want in in stock. Great excuse for a trip to the beach !