Does anyone think that a drums tone changes with age?

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm just curious to hear what everyone thinks about the notion that a drums sound changes over time. In other words if I were to record my newly built drums now, and record it say 40 years later with the same heads, tuning etc. would there be any noticeable change in the tone. I for one hope that the drum would lose water weight over time and become more resonant, but I am the eternal optimist. What do you think?
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
That's the story I've heard. I don't know if vintage kits nowadays sound different because of the grade of wood used...

I imagine that the wood dries out, making it more reflective on the inside, but the wood also would "settle" a little into its round shape, so it would become more mellow. I wonder how much the different drum companies' drums, just sitting, go out of round?

BTW--if you still had the same heads on it, I'm POSITIVE it would sound different!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm going to record the drums. I'll write down all the drum dial settings on the batters and resos of all the drums, and I'll record them. Then I'll remove the heads, and store them. In 40 years, I'll make another recording using the same heads, tensioned the same, with the same recording equipment, in the same space, using the same cord and mic, from the same distance. Then I'll post my results. Stay tuned!
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
I'm going to record the drums. I'll write down all the drum dial settings on the batters and resos of all the drums, and I'll record them. Then I'll remove the heads, and store them. In 40 years, I'll make another recording using the same heads, tensioned the same, with the same recording equipment, in the same space, using the same cord and mic, from the same distance. Then I'll post my results. Stay tuned!
*waiting with bated breath*

Well, the rumor is also that violins, guitars, and other instruments with wooden resonating bodies "mature" with age as well. I believe it, but now you have me questioning my beliefs...
 

diosdude

Silver Member
I think it's more of the effect of environment. Here in florida, the humidity absolutely wrecks or warps things like wooden door frames so i'm sure it effects drum shells similarly if they're say, stored or set up in a garage. I would think that over time, the wood also naturally tries to revert to its original shape but its held in form by glue plies and hardware. I'm not a woodworker so i don't know if there's a shred of validity in my last statement.
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
The wood of a ply shell is always trying to straighten itself back out. It's in constant tension.

I heard of a guy who played an old Radio King, and the glue finally gave out during a gig. The drum just kind of "opened up", but was held (kind of) in place by the lugs, tension rods, and rims. It was rendered unplayable for the rest of the gig, obviously. When he took the hardware off, the drum opened up the rest of the way that it "wanted" to, and was roughly in the shape of a U.

I have no proof of this. It was just a story shared before a gig, but it sounds about right to me...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Kestrou...very interesting article. It's actually just what I had hoped. I'm gonna go vibrate my new drum shells now...
 

kestrou

Junior Member
I'm just wondering... if this is done with the new Keller VSS shells?!

They claim they're doing SOME kind of magic on them, as they charge a higher price...

Can anyone confirm/deny?!!!!

kestrou
 
T

trkdrmr

Guest
I'm just wondering... if this is done with the new Keller VSS shells?!

They claim they're doing SOME kind of magic on them, as they charge a higher price...

Can anyone confirm/deny?!!!!

kestrou
My last kit was made of Keller VSS shells. They are simply well-made shells. You can get them in North American (likely from Canada) rock maple or Birch. The hardwoods are inspected for quality and built to high standards. They are supplied to GMS, Pork Pie, OCDP, SPAUN and many more. They also make shells from pretty much any wood, so long as you order 100 or more. (For example: GMS white ash and Pork Pie Cherry).

You will find that shells made in the past 10 years are far more exacting and consistant than shells made before. They use superior adhesives and better pressure molds. They don't come out-of-round as easy as some made in the distant past.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
*waiting with bated breath*

Well, the rumor is also that violins, guitars, and other instruments with wooden resonating bodies "mature" with age as well. I believe it, but now you have me questioning my beliefs...
I was in a violin shop in Europe many moons ago and their secret as I understood is to age the wood before the instrument is made. They had lumber hanging everywhere to dry out or age. I think the point was to have the instruments sound not change much over time so that the sound you liked when you bought it was the sound it kept. I don't think any drum companies are aging wood before assembly, and the fact that most are ply the different woods are going to age differently. That may be a reason for ply drums peeling apart. Maybe if they aged the wood for 100 or so years like the violin makers the plies would stay put.

CUTTING and SEASONING. Violin makers prefer wood cut from old growth trees, grown at high altitudes on northern slopes. The wood must be cut during the cold dormant months and stored (seasoned) in controlled conditions for several years. Most of the wood used in violin making is split or cut "on the quarter" for greatest strength.

Immediately after the tree is felled, the trunk is bucked into rounds (cut up into cylindrically shaped lengths) only slightly longer than that needed for the finished pieces. Like slicing a pie, these rounds are split or sawn radially into wedge shaped pieces called billets. The billets are sealed on their ends with hot glue, stacked in such a manner that air can circulate all around them, and stored in a cool area away from direct sunlight.

Each piece of wood dries throughout at an equally slow rate. The drying or seasoning time for a piece of violin wood is generally ten years or more, depending on its size and thickness. Fifty year old wood is even better! Kiln drying of commercial lumber destroys the cell structure of the wood and thus its physical and acoustic properties.
 
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