Birch wood

Yohin

Member
Hello everyone,

I just had a quick question about drums made of birch. How is the low end compared with maple? I know birch has more higher frequencies than maple but is the low end punch the same? Or is it the same but it will seem less because of the added high end? Or does birch just not have the low end of woods like maple and mahogany? Thanks!
 

Moldy

Silver Member
http://www.drumdojo.com/shell_maple_birch_lauan_2.htm is a good read for you.

And you hit the idea pretty much on the head, in theory. Birch doesn't have as many lows or mids as Maple, however it's a very small difference and one that can be made up for with drumhead choice and tuning. The fact that birch has so much in the high department is what gives the overall high tone. That and a shorter resonance period (typically). That's why people say that birch has a good "attack".
 

Pat Petrillo

Silver Member
Back in the day I had a Yamaha Recording Custom, and it was an awesome sounding kit. Piano black, like Gadd!

However, I must say that my old 69 Ludwig had, (and still has) a beautiful warmth, due to the 3 play Maple shell..So does my new Classic Maple, 6 ply

So, having had both, I can honestly say the difference is subtle, but the head choice is also critcal.

Good Luck!
 

Yohin

Member
This is a direct quote from Yamaha's website, found on the page for Recording Custom Birch drum sets.

"Birch shells produce a lower fundamental tone than maple. Their crisp sound quality with short attack decay makes them optimal for recording situations."

I'm confused by this statement. Wouldn't birch have a higher fundamental tone, not lower?
 

Moldy

Silver Member
PR departments have been known to get things wrong. Though, again, tone is also affected by shell construction and shell thickness. I don't know enough about Yamahas to tell you conclusively why they would say that is the case.
 

Pat Petrillo

Silver Member
Traditionally, the Recording Customs were always warm and fat..and when I owned one, thats what I found..again, the heads and tuning do add to this
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I own a Masters Studio kit and it's by no means lacking in warmth. They're just as warm as my DWs, but has a more extended high-end due to the relative hardness of birch, along with more attack due to the different shell thickness and hardware, but that's another story. They sound great either way.

Birch could very well have a lower fundamental pitch, but a brighter overall sound. People tend to mix those up - if you crank up the highs and roll back the lows on a bass guitar, it still has the same fundamental pitch, it's just a lot brighter.
 

bonzolead

Platinum Member
Where did you get those charts? very interesting, I got the best of both worlds with my Cheap Ludwig Epic "Downbeat" kit Maple & Birch I know it's not a Legacy or Classic Maple but they really do sound great and for a tuck-away gig kit there perfect. My old Yamaha Tour Custom are Birch & Mahogany and like other posts have stated they are warm with plenty and I mean plenty of attack.

Bonzolead
 
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