Mahogany - quality question

iwearnohats

Silver Member
I already vouched for the quality of the Catalina Elites. They are great drums, and it's very unfortunate that Gretsch don't make them anymore.

I've heard a lot of kits, high and low end, and to be perfectly honest I would certainly pick the Elites over a lot of high end kits. That doesn't include my USA Maple though :).

You guys need to cool your jets and accept that there are a couple of great sounding cheaper kits - stop turning something that isn't a personal attack into an argument. That means you, Pete. Sheesh, grow up dude.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Nice one Hats, But i prefer to immature gracefully if that's O.K. with you? All through the History of Musical Instruments i can see that those who know Choose Meranti for Stradivarius , yeah. D-18"s, J-35"s , Gibson Mandolins, Slingerland Drums, Ludwig and the list goes on. No they chose Mahogany , Maple, Spruce, Brazilian Rosewood, and so on. Enjoy your Cats Man..
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
The only way to really compare is to post a simple recording of the various drums. Just fit a basic but good head eg.ambasador or other equivalent, tune medium and let's see whether their is much of a difference.

I expect their is but this may not be as obvious as the manufactures would have us believe.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
Pete, I can only assume that you're trolling. It's either that, or you're an idiot. Either way, it's not worth my time to argue with you. The Elites are a great sounding kit, end of story. I have also tuned, listened to, and played many different kits and I definitely rank them way up there with more expensive kits made of superior woods. And that's all I have to add - until you grow up and realise that it's possible that your opinions don't always reflect reality.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
There's no such thing as "superior" wood, at least, not in terms of species. Superior quality stock - for sure. Superior construction - definitely, but all species have merits. The route to a great instrument is the combination of elements all aimed at a defined sonic goal. Just because an instrument has a (insert favourite here) feature is meaningless in isolation.

Back to mahogany, it's a great species to build from, but sourcing these days is an issue for sure. The most consistently reliable & affordable associated species we've found is sepele. It's typically aesthetically more pleasing / interesting than most mahoganies, & sonically much more characterful than the "in name only" budget alternatives. Works especially well in single ply form.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
There's no such thing as "superior" wood, at least, not in terms of species. Superior quality stock - for sure. Superior construction - definitely, but all species have merits. The route to a great instrument is the combination of elements all aimed at a defined sonic goal. Just because an instrument has a (insert favourite here) feature is meaningless in isolation.

Back to mahogany, it's a great species to build from, but sourcing these days is an issue for sure. The most consistently reliable & affordable associated species we've found is sepele. It's typically aesthetically more pleasing / interesting than most mahoganies, & sonically much more characterful than the "in name only" budget alternatives. Works especially well in single ply form.
I am neither a Troll or an Idiot, the Placebo effect goes both ways.. Thanks Andy.
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
A personal note on placebo effect. It's not a factor in our choice of wood species. Not even aesthetic taints our evaluation. Price of wood is a product of scarcity & desirability, with higher prices in the same species often driven by aesthetics above other considerations. All wood species we use undergo A-B testing aligned with the sonic goals of a particular build / series. The species with the most appropriate balance of characteristics is chosen. It really is as straight forward as that.
 

StaggerLee

Silver Member
The Cat Club Jazz is an intermediate kit at best. Certainly not top of the line and certainly don't have the reputation of "many great jazz players" using them. I'm sure there may be an exception or two, but generally speaking it's not as sought after a kit as perhaps you're thinking it is.

Both will be made from Philippine mahogany....also called luan, which is worlds apart from higher end African mahogany. The price difference probably comes down to a few manufacturing factors such as man hours per kit, choice of hardware and the detail of the finish etc, as well as any number of economic factors like units sold etc (I dare say the Cat jazz outsells the Soundcheck).
Il slightly beg to differ on that... The amount of times ive been to ronnie scotts and seen a cat jazz... Yeah maybe not something they all take into the studio, but a LOT (and i mean a real lot) of the big names will use one live.
As for quality, anything keepitsimple says on this is gospel. But i also have seen some very high end drums made of luan, both brady and c&c made high end kits made like that. Same as poplar.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I am neither a Troll or an Idiot, the Placebo effect goes both ways.. Thanks Andy.
I'm not sure what an image of a Cravioto kit has anything to do with someones "knowledge" on the topic. I've played a Craviotto kit at the Craviotto booth at the Chicago Drum Show and it didn't impress me one bit. Not visually, and especially not sonically.

Anyway, on the topic of wood species, in ply construction I would say the workability of the wood is a bigger factor to me than what the actual specie is. For example, my Catalina Maples are made out of a softer Asian maple instead of a nice hard rock N/A maple. This, unfortunately, leads to the slightest bit of pocketing/tear out with brand new blades on the router and lots of ugly tear out with dull blades. The workability of this wood is not very good and leads to minor imperfections in the bearing edges no matter how carefully you cut. N/A hard rock maple cuts like a dream. No little "pockets" in the vertical grain plys like the softer stuff. Every ply (vertical and horizontal) cuts equally well and you get a great edge. Sonically, the soft maple still sounds very nice (my Cat's sound great!), but its harder to get a perfect edge on the drum and requires more finishing steps to get close to what the hard maple gives you right off the router.
 

GeoB

Gold Member
Well a number of replies address the supposed Mahogany woods out there which aren't really Mahogany at all and so I'll add this...

Has anyone ever smelled mahogany burn? It stinks. So... perhaps a smell test is in order. Birch and maple don't smell bad at all when it burns.


Also, I have observed that these woods splinter when drilled, including Mahogany. I personally as a wood worker do not favor that aspect. Many splintered holes are filled, or simply covered up with interior hardware.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
haha, well Geo surely you are not advocating we burn the edge of a tom to determine if we are playing maple, birch, mahogany ...or white meranti.
Seriously, what a p*ssing match fellas. My Janka's higher than yours? There are so many merits to so many woods.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Also, I have observed that these woods splinter when drilled, including Mahogany. I personally as a wood worker do not favor that aspect.
Triple point H2 FCE bits = problem solved. Even work on crappy open grain cheapo shells. Bearing edges are a different challenge however :(
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
He who pisses first pisses the furtherest. I think you need to play drums a little longer than in a show booth to get a real idea of what they are. The Crav's are mine and as Andy said works especially well in single ply. E njoy your Cats, I didn't say they were bad just that i think it's a big call to suggest they are the best drums out there. I just searched Gumtree and picked up a set of Cat Eleets for $200 so i will test them out for myself , i may piss on them, burn them, or decree they really are the best " mahogany "drums out there. Let you know when i am done belting them.
 
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StaggerLee

Silver Member
He who pisses first pisses the furtherest. I think you need to play drums a little longer than in a show booth to get a real idea of what they are. The Crav's are mine and as Andy said works especially well in single ply. E njoy your Cats, I didn't say they were bad just that i think it's a big call to suggest they are the best drums out there. I just searched Gumtree and picked up a set of Cat Eleets for $200 so i will test them out for myself , i may piss on them, burn them, or decree they really are the best " mahogany "drums out there. Let you know when i am done belting them.
Nobody is saying they are the best drums out there. just that catalina jazz kits tend to punch above price point and many pros are comfortable using one. that is all.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I think you need to play drums a little longer than in a show booth to get a real idea of what they are.
Well, first impressions mean a lot to people, and they didn't impress me for the few minutes I played on them. If they didn't impress me right away, I'm certainly not going to drop the coin to play for a month and get a better handle of what they can do. On the other hand, Kumu's vintage birch drums and Boom Alley's 6 ply Keller Maple drums impressed me right away. Actually, the Boom Alley's blew me away.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Well, first impressions mean a lot to people, and they didn't impress me for the few minutes I played on them. If they didn't impress me right away, I'm certainly not going to drop the coin to play for a month and get a better handle of what they can do. On the other hand, Kumu's vintage birch drums and Boom Alley's 6 ply Keller Maple drums impressed me right away. Actually, the Boom Alley's blew me away.
Go for it...........! I think there 12 Kumu mahogany ply kits on there site now.
 
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paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I'm going to wait until the drum show comes back in May to play them again. I'll try the Craviotto's again as well.
You can have my Cat's for $300 he he. The real aim of this thread i think is Mahogany, but the thing is a lot of non mahogany species are being touted as mahogany. Not which price point is more Valid. The Elites may punch above there price point but don't hold value. Martin Guitars for instance used Mahogany for their necks but now call the wood used " select hardwood" . If the thing that get's up people noses is Slick marketing bullshit then don't buy non mahogany drums then call them mahogany. If you dig Asian wood drums check out Ahay Drums.
 
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