Guru Drumworks prototype kit, THE VIDEO!

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Andy,

Thanks for that comprehensive comparison. I think I understand now that with the Guru drums, whatever note the combination of the shell/hoops/cage naturally resonates at is the best sounding tone for that particular drum. Your design sounds like it really favors/highlights the natural resolved note of the combination of everything going on there. Which is pretty cool. You get all kinds of drum tones, plus 1 really awesome tone from each drum. Nothing wrong there. Actually I'm thinking ....Bonus!

TBH, if one tuning sounded way better than different tunings, I would just keep it at the good sounding tuning. The drum can only hold one tuning at a time, why not keep it at the drums most resonant pitch? All I need from a tom is to sound great at one tuning.

The diameter of the drum (and other factors) dictates where that will lie. I'm guessing that it lies in a range that is very useable. Now if I prefer my tom pitched higher, but that is out of the sweet spot...I'm guessing/hoping that isn't the case. There's the dilemma right there...does this drums sweet spot jive with where I like my tom pitched....hmmm.

If it didn't jive...Wouldn't it be cool to come up with some kind of thing where you can change the natural resonant note of the drum. (I just noticed that tone and note..contain the same letters...carry on lol) What that thing would be I have no clue, perhaps bands of wood you could slide up and down the shell and tighten to alter what note the shell resonates at..Ok I'm being silly but like I said, I'm fascinated with what you acheived. If you could make a drum that you could vary where it naturally resonates at, wow....pipe dreams that's what that is lol.

I'm sure if you built identical sized drums, same wood and all, the sweet spots would lie at different pitches, because of the natural differences in the resonant and construction properties of the materials involved.

Fascinating stuff there Mr. Wizard. The ultimate would be to build a set where all the natural resonant frequencies of the drums high to low...complimented each other like a musical scale. Like DW's Timbre matching, only the matching part is done AFTER the drums are outfitted and completely finished. Pipe dreams.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
The ultimate would be to build a set where all the natural resonant frequencies of the drums high to low...complimented each other like a musical scale.
That's pretty much what we've done Larry, but encompassed that in each drum. The fat fundamental tone is made up of multiple complementing tones that sing with a single voice. Think of it as a multiple part harmony. A single tone is so flat & lifeless. To me, management of so called overtones is the key to a wonderful voice.

Some great innovation ideas there too Larry, but I keep coming back to my belief that a truly superior result is based on specialisation. That single minded pursuit of a clear goal. Working with the character that nature provided, not trying to mold it into something else. If the wood is placed center stage, then your sound choice is made easy for you. You still have the easier to understand tools of drum size, depth, wood species, head choice, tuning, bearing edges, etc. That's enough choice for any player to get the sound they want. Mass manufacturers, for good business reasons, try to get a production kit to fulfill as many sound aspirations as possible. Don't get me wrong, I understand the need for an instrument that's flexible, especially for players who work multiple gigs, but there's enough choice out there already to satisfy that demand.
 

Rhett

Member
I must say I am a little surprised there has been all this talk about Spaun drums considering the only thing that makes their drums different from 90% of other custom drum makers is their solid brass lugs.
I am sure they make quality drums, but should they seriously be compared to these stave drums? Especially considering they are simply keller shells with mostly Taiwanese. Am I missing something?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Rhett, the reason I asked for the apples to oranges comparison (Spaun to Guru) was just to highlight how far above the bar the Guru's are.

The Spauns are there to represent a good quality plywood drum, the most popular construction type by far, and a sound that most of us understand.

I'm just trying to see how far above the "old" benchmark...the "new" benchmark sits. Far enough to be considered an unprecedented gain in drum tone IMO. Andy really achieved something here.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I must say I am a little surprised there has been all this talk about Spaun drums considering the only thing that makes their drums different from 90% of other custom drum makers is their solid brass lugs.
I am sure they make quality drums, but should they seriously be compared to these stave drums? Especially considering they are simply keller shells with mostly Taiwanese. Am I missing something?
Rhett, you may have missed the fact I have a Spaun maple 6 piece in the same sizes as the Guru, it's my gigging kit. Because they "live" together, a straight A-B comparison is easy, although not especially informative because of the huge difference in every aspect of the construction apart from diameter. Members here know my Spaun kit, so it's a familiar reference.
 

daredrummer

Gold Member
Listened to them again Andy, and I just can't get over that floor tom! IMO that's the highlight of the kit, really really dig the sound.
The other toms sound outstanding too, but the floor tom is my favorite.

The snare also sounds great, but I think I similar sound could be produced from other snares unlike the toms. But nevertheless a great snare and blends very well with the kit

And again the bass drum does sound really good, but for me it takes a really really nice bass drum to make it stand above the rest. Of all the bass drums I've heard, there's probably two or three that really do it for me, lots that sound good, and lots that sound bad. This one is at the higher end of the good category.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Listened to them again Andy, and I just can't get over that floor tom! IMO that's the highlight of the kit, really really dig the sound.
The other toms sound outstanding too, but the floor tom is my favorite.

The snare also sounds great, but I think I similar sound could be produced from other snares unlike the toms. But nevertheless a great snare and blends very well with the kit

And again the bass drum does sound really good, but for me it takes a really really nice bass drum to make it stand above the rest. Of all the bass drums I've heard, there's probably two or three that really do it for me, lots that sound good, and lots that sound bad. This one is at the higher end of the good category.
Thanks DD. Worth noting that there's no close mic's. Most good bass drum sounds are produced using a close mic (at least the one's you'll hear on YT), & most are EQ'd, etc. Even a bass drum close mic'd but run flat on the board will punch a lot more than one picked up from an overhead. It's only a 20" baby too! All that said, I'd certainly concede that the biggest difference in this construction lies in the toms.

The "floor" tom is only 14". I'm soooo tempted to produce a rock 4 piece with that 14" tom as the rack, 18" floor tom, & 24" bass drum. Oh dear, oh dear indeed! That ain't going to happen with this design (just too expensive), but it just might with the production version (plans well under way with that BTW).

The snare is a standard construction stave snare. Beautifully made, but there's no innovation there apart from the symphonic strainer, & that's not new, just a bit unusual.
 

Chaos_Inferno

Silver Member
I'm sure we'll get updates on the production version too, right? :)

I'm just curious... would changing the depth of these drums defeat the whole purpose of all of this? Because hearing the body of these, as I said before, I'd stick with the smaller sizes because of the response but would also probably want to stick with traditional depths... I know part of the point of your construction was to be able to make the drums deeper without sending everything into overtone hell like most drums of that depth are prone to doing. I just greatly dislike the feel of drums like that...

Would it be asking too much, in a production kit, for more "standard" drum depths like 8x8, 10x8 etc. etc.? I'd probably even go closer to traditional sizes on a bass drum and shallower than square sizes on floor toms...
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
So Andy how much DID this kit cost to build? (You don't have to answer that if you don't want, just color me curious) If I wanted you to build me a set just like yours (with the exception of the 200 YO mahogany) would you take orders (adding a fair profit of course) if I didn't care about the cost?
 

daredrummer

Gold Member
Thanks DD. Worth noting that there's no close mic's. Most good bass drum sounds are produced using a close mic (at least the one's you'll hear on YT), & most are EQ'd, etc. Even a bass drum close mic'd but run flat on the board will punch a lot more than one picked up from an overhead. It's only a 20" baby too! All that said, I'd certainly concede that the biggest difference in this construction lies in the toms.

The "floor" tom is only 14". I'm soooo tempted to produce a rock 4 piece with that 14" tom as the rack, 18" floor tom, & 24" bass drum. Oh dear, oh dear indeed! That ain't going to happen with this design (just too expensive), but it just might with the production version (plans well under way with that BTW).

The snare is a standard construction stave snare. Beautifully made, but there's no innovation there apart from the symphonic strainer, & that's not new, just a bit unusual.
Yes I know I couldn't believe that was a 14!

And yeah you're right about the bass drum, I guess you'd have to be in with the kits in person to make a fair comparison.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
So Andy how much DID this kit cost to build? (You don't have to answer that if you don't want, just color me curious) If I wanted you to build me a set just like yours (with the exception of the 200 YO mahogany) would you take orders (adding a fair profit of course) if I didn't care about the cost?
Well Larry, you've sure put me in a corner there. If it's ok with you, I'll give you the skinny by PM. The cost of the total development was very high, & wouldn't fairly represent the cost of making another one. I'm even hesitant to go into the costings of making a second kit of exactly the same specification, as it sends the wrong message re: the kind of costing we're looking to get to for the production kit. I can give you a snippet publicly though, those cage chassis assemblies cost close to $4,000 to make! That includes CAD design time, some failed attempts at bending/welding, powder coating, etc, etc. It wouldn't cost the same to make them again of course, but there would be little change out of $2,000 for the five cages, suspension profiles & tom mounts. I think you can see why my kit will probably remain the only one on the planet!

I will say this though, it's value in terms of superb real life information gained is huge, & I really believe the kit we produce as a result of this experiment, will be better again. Not only in terms of sound, but certainly price, weight, & closeness to the conservative accepted view of a good looking drum too. I'd be surprised if the production kit wasn't worth the journey, but it won't look the same as this baby.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I'm sure we'll get updates on the production version too, right? :)

I'm just curious... would changing the depth of these drums defeat the whole purpose of all of this? Because hearing the body of these, as I said before, I'd stick with the smaller sizes because of the response but would also probably want to stick with traditional depths... I know part of the point of your construction was to be able to make the drums deeper without sending everything into overtone hell like most drums of that depth are prone to doing. I just greatly dislike the feel of drums like that...

Would it be asking too much, in a production kit, for more "standard" drum depths like 8x8, 10x8 etc. etc.? I'd probably even go closer to traditional sizes on a bass drum and shallower than square sizes on floor toms...
These drums can be made in just about ant depth, but so called "fast toms" would remove quite a bit of the benefit. I like deeper drums, & part of the brief was to design the drums so that they wouldn't suffer from high overtones problems.

The production version will be a very different animal. Far less depth sensitive in terms of benefit reduction, so just about any dimension will be both possible and great sounding.
 

Pass.of.E.r.a.

Gold Member
The video looks fantastic Andy!! Unfortunately I don't have any decent speakers hooked up to my computer, but when I do I'll come back and give some honest feedback!! Even through these shitty little things those drums sounded very rich.

-Jonathan
 

Rhett

Member
Rhett, you may have missed the fact I have a Spaun maple 6 piece in the same sizes as the Guru, it's my gigging kit. Because they "live" together, a straight A-B comparison is easy, although not especially informative because of the huge difference in every aspect of the construction apart from diameter. Members here know my Spaun kit, so it's a familiar reference.
I was missing something =). It all makes sense now.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Wow Andy you really think you can equal or surpass this kit with the production kit?
Oh yes, & by an appreciable margin too (informed gut feeling). The prototype kit is like your first band, a huge learning curve, & you quite quickly know where to put your effort in, & where not to. My prototype baby will always be the "genisis" kit, both in reality, & in my heart.

The production kit will look different though. Not just because of constructional changes, but also because many have found the aesthetic to be challenging. Some like the look, some are just curios because it's different, but the reality is, few would part with their hard earned money to buy one. Drummers are an uber conservative bunch, & their perception of beauty has been crafted over decades of drum porn onslaught. Indeed, I'd go as far as to say the majority buy with their eyes before their ears.

I will tickle you with one little possibility though, the new construction lends itself to steambent single ply too! How's that for player choice.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
This I have to see. Any time frame available as to when the production prototype will be ready for prime time?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
The video looks fantastic Andy!! Unfortunately I don't have any decent speakers hooked up to my computer, but when I do I'll come back and give some honest feedback!! Even through these shitty little things those drums sounded very rich.

-Jonathan
Sorry, missed your post there Jonathan. Glad you like the video matey, & yes, good speakers/cans are essential to get the full picture. As there was no close mic's, or EQ to boost the punch you're used to hearing on recordings, you need that full spectrum to hear how different these drums are, especially the toms. I'd be super grateful if you could come back to this thread once you've heard them properly though, as I really value your opinion.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
This I have to see. Any time frame available as to when the production prototype will be ready for prime time?
Whoar, missed your post too Larry. Too much cross posting, a real Be Bop Deluxe moment.

Only in the design phase right now, but expect to be putting tooling down over the next month. With luck on our side, we hope to have an experimental kit together by the end of the year. Got the minor distraction of the London Drum Show to get out of the way in October.
 

Chaos_Inferno

Silver Member
These drums can be made in just about ant depth, but so called "fast toms" would remove quite a bit of the benefit. I like deeper drums, & part of the brief was to design the drums so that they wouldn't suffer from high overtones problems.

The production version will be a very different animal. Far less depth sensitive in terms of benefit reduction, so just about any dimension will be both possible and great sounding.
I think I may have just found the company to order custom drums from in the future.
 
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