Can you hear a difference?


Platinum Member
I wanna say yes, but I think no. I listened to each, switching back and forth repeatedly. At one point I wasnt sure which one I was on, and I cant draw any descriptors to differentiate one from the other.

I was wearing Sony headphones, not earbuds, and they were plenty loud.


Gold Member
Noble and Cooley maple vs Noble and Cooley walnut, same player, same room, presumably recorded similarly.




Also, THIS is how I wish all drum sets were reviewed.

I could listen to that Hendrix demo all day. No overbearing rock beats or gospel chops...just making his way around the set to illustrate how they sound. And they sound damn good too.

on the Noble and Cooley sets, dare I say the sound is from the heads and not the


Well-known member
Using Sony headphones as well. When he was hitting hard it was hard to tell. When he play soft-mid, I could hear the fuller mid on the CD maple and a bit more pronounced low on the walnut; I definitely heard a longer note on CD, 12" especially and I think I like their tuning better on the CDs at well. Also a difference between die-cast and triple flanged which was actually less impactful (didn't even notice it at first). I would definitely consider getting a N&C again (this time in the sizes I really want).
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Well-known member
The Hendrix video is nearly perfect, imo.

I'm pretty sure I can hear a difference between the two N&C kits, because I commonly switch between a maple snare and a mahogany one so the maple sound is familiar to me, but I can't say for sure because due to an ear infection, I am suddenly deaf in one ear.
I'll get back to you. ;)


"Uncle Larry"
I agree with what s1212z says. It's not that pronounced, but I can definitely pick it out.

Yea the Hendeix video...I wasn't expecting how good that sounds. It's probably EQ'd, guessing. I wish they were all natural captures

The Hendrix may sound better than the N&C.

*runs for cover*


Gold Member
As some of you may know , I own a Noble and Cooley CD Maples Kit and a Horizon kit . I can hear the differences between these two brands once ai had them for a short period of time . I also taught drum lessons last year at a Drum Shop that is an N&C dealer so I had the opportunity to play the walnut and Tulipwood (Union) series a lot . I can definitely hear the differences . I find the most difference in the attack and sustain and depth of tone .
The CD Maples have the brightest attack , with nice sustain and a lot of mid range .

The Horizon have more warmth and a softer attack with a bit more bottom end than the CD Maples

The Walnut - have tons of mids and low end . They have a thick attack with a richness the CD Maples just do not have . These are ideal for people that like to tune their drums down as the tone stays clear and doesn’t get muddy .

The Union Series ( Tulipwood ) have a far softer attack with less clarity of sound . They are very warm and not as clear as the others . They do have their merits and are fine drums in their own right . They have balls and a very thick attack .

So there are my observances on the various lines of Drums N&C makes today .


Well-known member
Subtle difference but no game changer. The same guy that demoed the gretsch renown kit. I won't even say go and listen then YOU say it.


Senior Member
I hear a ton of differences between those two N&C kits, but not necessarily from the drums themselves. The maple kit has a LOT more room sound and reverb than the walnut kit, and because of those elements coloring the sound, that makes it very difficult to discern the actual differences. But I have played walnut kits, and I can say that they sound like a warmer, slightly darker version of maple. Admittedly a similar sound though.


Gold Member
Walnut sounded a bit darker to me. But they both sounded great and there wasn't that much of a difference. If you gave me a quiz on "name that wood"...I would have failed.

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I believe there are a few minor differences between the kits that may come into play here. Both the N&C Walnut bass drum and the Hendrix bass drum have a lower fundamental than the N&C CD Maple bass drum. It appears there are different head combinations on all three of the bass drums and side wise the Hendrix bass drum and CD Maple are both 22" X 18" with the N&C Walnut bass drum being 22" X 14". It would be interesting if Nolly and his crew at Drummers Review could record the Hendrix kit in the same room, using identical head combinations with the same microphones as the two N&C kits. Honest capture on all three kits would be ideal for a fairer comparison.

I'm putting different replays through Adams Studio Monitors as well as high-end Sennheiser headphones. I do hear differences--as noted in prior posts--between the CD Maples and the two Walnut kits. Nothing drastic but the "biggest" distinction is in the bass drums. Otherwise the CD Maples are brighter, and both Walnut kits sound warmer, darker and thicker. My two cents worth.


"Uncle Larry"
If you can pick the difference out from a recording, listening to them as you're playing them it would be even more pronounced. That's where the real difference is heard/felt, playing them. But yea, it's not night and day. What's been said is spot on IMO. Walnut definitely has shorter sustain, not short short...with a 2nd helping of warmth and sinister-ness...maple is rounder, a little brighter, and more evenly proportional across the board frequency-wise, to my ear. With a loooong note. Longer than walnut. Still I dig walnut for toms, even though I really go for a long note. The walnut's darker tone and enveloping warmth around my ears I guess supercede the longer note of maple..

As long as a tom has between at least a full second and 2 full seconds of really great fundamental...while the music is playing...I'm good with that. Walnut has that. Maple has that in spades. My 14" walnut floor tom has like 3 seconds of blissful fundamental, and like 4 seconds of lower volume sustain...when it's the only sound in the room.

Maple I am in love with too, in a big way. Always have been. It's noticeably brighter to my ear than walnut but not as bright as birch, which I also dig lol.. It's nice to have both maple and walnut, that's why I'll always keep the DW's. The bass drum I could go either maple or walnut, the snare I'd go maple over walnut if I had a gun to my head. Walnut toms with maple rings and/or hoops is one of my favorite shell constructions for looks. Maple and walnut are symbiotic in my mind.

I have a Carolina snare from Jeff Hankin, motleyh here,14 x 6.5 that's actually closer to 6" now as a result of me wanting sharper edges. It's a steambent birdseye maple snare with pretty thick inner dark walnut rings. It's got many shades of dark-ish mineral streaks on the shell everywhere inside and out that really give the drum a unique visual character. The darkest mineral streaks match the dark walnut re-rings inside, like perfectly. I couldn't have planned that if I tried. It's the 3rd snare from the bottom, in the middle on this page:

Jeff offered to get me a different shell, because when he started lathing the shell, that's when the mineral streaks showed up. So he offered to replace it with a different shell. But I have this thing where this was the first shell he picked out for me, and I should probably stick with it, and don't fight fate. I'm glad I did. Plus it's a hassle for Jeff and he's stuck with a shell, makes less and that's never pleasant. It's definitely the wettest sounding snare I own. I just love maple and walnut in the same drum.
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Senior Member
Here's the problem (as I see it) with most drum demos that use close miking...IT ALL STARTS TO SOUND THE SAME. Once you start filtering the mix through 10 mics and tons of recording equipment, it homogenizes the whole thing.

I'm sure plenty will disagree with me because close miking sounds "better", but I truly believe that overheads/room mikes sound more realistic (as long as the room acoustics are decent). Believe it or not, there's tons of drum demos on Youtube that are filmed with a cell phone camera that sound more accurate than close miking does. Sure, it may not sound "better", but it sounds more accurate.

The purpose of a drum demo should be to get an accurate representation of what they sound like as if you were in the room playing them yourself. NOT how great they sound with $10,000 worth of recording gear. Just my 2 cents.

If you just want a "great sound" from your demos, don't listen to me. Just know that when you set them up at home, they probably won't sound anything like they do in the close-miking videos.

One channel that doesn't do close miking is Drumcenter cz. Compare drum kits there and you'll see a difference. The nuances are still intact.
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paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Yes I hear a distinct difference , the Walnut is tuned better than the maple. Coated heads ..Hendrix clear heads, at first sound deep and impressive but after a while sound one dimensional to me. and has reverb on the recording.Walnut wins..
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Chris Whitten

Well-known member
Some kits sound similar, some kits sound radically different from each other.
I have found kits that sound different and have held on to them for that reason. So an Oaklawn Camco, N&C Star Series and N&C Horizon.
I used to have a CD Maples and it sounded clearly different to the Horizon. The Horizon is modern sounding, but still quite warm. The CD Maples was modern sounding, but brighter.
I agree, if you are the one playing the drums (not watching a video) you can hear any differences more clearly. Most drum companies don't want to be outliers, so most modern drums are made to conform to the sound most people perceive as modern, contemporary.


Gold Member
Agree that the Hendrix demo is an ideal way to let the drums be heard than the usual demo full of chops that we’re inundated with. Any subtle differences between those kits likely have more to due with the uniqueness of the source trees and tuning than the wood species. These are ply drums but we’ve kicked that can down the road long enough. Those who believe wood species play much of a role in ply drum tone aren’t going to be convinced otherwise.
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Staff member
I agree with what s1212z says. It's not that pronounced, but I can definitely pick it out.
I can hear the differences for sure. They're not massive, but they're present enough to be worthy of factoring into choices.

Yea the Hendeix video. It's probably EQ'd, guessing.
Yes it is.

Agree too on close mic comments, as well as everything else in the signal chain, wether intentionally "enhanced" or not.

Recordings of any standard or method can never replicate listening in person, no matter how near fidelity you strive. We "hear" much more than just via our ears.

I had someone deliver their wisdom to me just a few days ago.
Statement - overheads are the only true representation of how a kit sounds.
Andy answer - oh really, when was the last time you levitated horizontally over a drum kit?