Can someone give me a quick rundown on woods and finishes?

(Future)DWdrummer

Senior Member
I'm looking into purchasing my first custom drum set... And I recently realized that I don't have the slightest clue about different woods and finishes and how they affect sound :eek:

Will someone be kind enough to give me a little run down (or post a link) that talks about the different types of wood and finishes?

Thank you :)

Jacob G.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Right there is why you shouldn't buy custom drums.Just go out and listen to a few brands and models,check out varoius shell materials,and bearing edge profiles,of the drums you do like the sound of.

You buy custom drums for a unique sound,and because they give you something that no other company can give you.Also be prepared to keep then forever,are they have terrible resale value,reguardless of what you payed for them.

Steve B
 

Arky

Platinum Member
Correct. And this is info that keeps coming up once in a while.
Do a search and you'll find everything yourself.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
What the others said above!!! If you have no clue about how those things affect sound you need to head to as many drum shops as possible and try out different brands and need to look into the mid to high level kits seeing how they sound the bearing edges, the plies and types of woods used in the shells as mentioned and so on. Don't waste your time with the lower end kit sounds if you are looking to build a custom set.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Will someone be kind enough to give me a little run down (or post a link) that talks about the different types of wood and finishes?

Thank you :)

Jacob G.
I could write a book on this, no, two books :)

Seriously, wood species is just one element of the instrument's design that affects sound & playing characteristics. To arrive at a specific set of talents, all elements must be considered together. This becomes more important the higher up the quality ladder you climb.

The manufacturers have already done the work for you. Ok, some more successfully than others, & sometimes with priorities other than performance, but they've all done this having the benefit of more knowledge than you. Only if you can't find the sound you're searching for in an already conceived kit/series, should you consider custom work, & then you're placing yourself in the hands of the builder to translate your requirements into reality. Nothing wrong with this, but without a very clear idea of what you're looking for, it's a difficult path.

What's your budget? What are you seeking in terms of performance characteristics? Come back with these basics, & we can help narrow down options.
 
Id say that if you want a custom kit but don't have a clue what difference the different woods make to the sound, then id say you are not ready for a custom kit!

Custom kits are also, as stated already, very expensive to buy and the re sale on them is not good, as my custom kit is probably something totally different from your needs/sizes/materials etc, its very specific to me!

Id say your best move is possibly to go to a local drum store and try out some stuff, acquire a bit of a taste to the woods etc, looking at the characteristics of a wood on paper may look good to you, but maybe another could sound better in real life to your ears! :)

Hope thats of help!

J
 

Mikecore

Silver Member
Define custom as you see it. Are you looking for a specific finish or hardware color that's out of the ordinary? A specific sound/size relationship? I have to assume that's your DW kit in your photo album, so in that respect you're already halfway there.

It's one thing for me to get a DW kit with an 18" bass that kicks like a 20", and a 12" floor tom that actually does justice to the term "floor tom", but that's what I think of as custom. The other extreme would be getting them dressed up in a finish that nobody else has or reflects some personal meaning to you. Half the time, I see guys listing a "custom" kit as follows:
12" rack tom
16" floor tom
22" kick
Add a finish that could just as easily be found in any drum company's catalog, and suddenly it's not really all that "custom", is it? I could get a PDP or Vision kit in those sizes with a half-decent lacquer color on them and call it a day, and use the money I saved on cymbals or heads or something.

I'm with the rest of these guys. I think a little more experimentation with what's already out there might serve you better.
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
I agree with the others, I won't be ready to choose my custom set until I've tried everything and really understand what makes a drum sound the way it does.
 

rmandelbaum

Platinum Member
First of all if you want a custom kit and can afford it, cool, that is your decision, there is no criteria that must be met before you can go custom.

Any reputable custom shop will be able to achieve the sound and look you are after.

I would get on the phone, call a few companies and let them do their job, have a discussion, tell them what sound you are after, how you will be using the kit etc.. And see what that gets you.

On my last DW order i went to the showroom and played with all the options, I could see and hear the difference.

On more thing to think about, and again just my opinion, if your going to be gigging a wrap finish is less likely to get damaged than a painted finish. Trust me if you spend thousands of dollars on a kit you won't want to trash it.


Just my 2 cents

Oh wait, keep it simple is a builder and look, he already started the conversation with education and some questions, ;-)
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I'm looking into purchasing my first custom drum set... And I recently realized that I don't have the slightest clue about different woods and finishes and how they affect sound :eek:
What is it about your current drums that you're missing? What are you looking for that you can't find from companies like Gretsch, Sonor, Yamaha, Tama, Pearl, Sakae, Guru, etc?
 

(Future)DWdrummer

Senior Member
Okay...

A) Regardless of if I even go through with getting this kit, I would still like to know about wood and finishes.. Its a question I would have asked eventually regardless of whether I had even considered getting a custom kit.

B) The only reason why my parents and I are even considering getting me a custom kit is because a representative of Rockett Drum Works approached me the other night at a gig and basically offered me an endorsement deal (please I don't wanna hear any of your opionions on enorsements or the company)... So my dad and I are just gonna stop by at NAMM to chat some more with him and we're gonna work out a day when I am gonna go down to the shop and play some drums.. Then we'll take it from there

So there lol.. I appreciate all of you chiming in but thats just where I'm coming from
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Namm will be a good place to compare his kits to the others. Gruntersdad posted a good link if you want to read but if you go on YouTube and compare a line of kits that offer different shell materials you might get an idea.

Time to change that silly username ;)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
So there lol.. I appreciate all of you chiming in but thats just where I'm coming from
It would have been nice to know that from the start. Saves our time scratching around trying to identify information that's useful to you. Let your builder advise you from the choices he has available.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
It would have been nice to know that from the start. Saves our time scratching around trying to identify information that's useful to you. Let your builder advise you from the choices he has available.

X2

To the OP it's great you want to learn, I would suggest from now on you give us the whole story when you are searching for answers, especially like you have a custom company that's talking about giving you an endorsement. The number of times the "I want to build a custom kit but have no idea" is one that comes up quite frequently, usually by newer drummers who think it may be cheaper and have never really played many drums to see what they like. That's why the majority here have commented the way they did, including myself.

Like Andy said above, contact your rep at Rocket Works and sit down with them to discuss the woods, plies,finishes, sound and such for their kits that they offer
 
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