Oak?

KR3

Senior Member
I'm thinking of getting a new kit and I'm interested in looking for something different. Can anyone here give me their opinions on Oak drums. How do they sound? Do they sound more like maple or birch. Are they easily tuned, more tone, more attack. Please advise?

Supposedly they are loud...but are they?
 

Big Foot

Silver Member
My Oak Yamahas are awesome! 10, 12, 14, 20"

Compared to my GMS maple kit the toms aren't really louder. The 20" kick is loud though.

I'm really happy w/ both my kits but I have to say I like the Oaks better. I can't pin point exactly why though.
I play mostly jazz, blues and fusion stuff and they seem to work well. I just tighten every thing up a bit for the jazz and it's all good (remo emperors on the toms).

And for rock they'll work, no question.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I'm thinking of getting a new kit and I'm interested in looking for something different. Can anyone here give me their opinions on Oak drums. How do they sound? Do they sound more like maple or birch. Are they easily tuned, more tone, more attack. Please advise?

Supposedly they are loud...but are they?
Oak? In a word: yes!

I've been playing Oak Customs for a few years now and I think they're fantastic. It's very difficult to talk about drum sounds, but I'll give it a go.

In regard to the Maple/Birch comparison. You aren't going to get that big, long, wet (drum porn anyone?) rumble of maple out of an oak drum. They don't speak as well in the lower register and they die away more quickly than maple. However, you are going to get more sustain of the fundamental pitch than with birch, which to my ears has always sounded slightly choked.

My oak drums resolve to a clear fundamental pitch very quickly. So when you hit them you hear their "note" almost immediately, which leads to the description of them being "bright" and having a lot of "attack". The advantage is that you get very clear "notes" out of the drums. This is why many jazz drummers (incl. Jeff Ballard) like them. With single-ply heads on them, they speak crisply and clearly. Two-ply heads will roll off some of the attack leaving a punchy sound that is great in pop and rock settings, especially live.

There are two sides to the volume issue. On the one hand, if you leather them, the drums really speak out. However, the other side of this is that because the drums speak clearly and quickly, you don't have to hit them as hard to get a full sound. Even at lower volumes, you get a clear fundamental.

All of this is really subjective, and the best thing to do is to go hear a few sets of oak drums both in the store, and if possible in gigging situations. In my case, I've used mine with great results in theatre pits, in rock bands, and in big band and jazz. One thing I would consider when buying them is size. If you want a big, deep floor tom sound, for example, don't expect the 14" to tune down the way a maple drum would. Go for the 16" (either in 14" or 16" depth) as the drums don't like slack tuning the way maple does, in my experience.
 

Big Foot

Silver Member
Uhmm, yeah that's what I meant to say.

Very true about the 14"X12" floor tom. I found it now resonates much better on floor tom legs, it was getting choked on the yess mount. They are much heavier then birch or maple drums - thus putting more pressure on the small contact point of the yess mount.

Also, your choice of heads will make a big difference (typical to all drums I guess).
 

2bsticks

Platinum Member
My Oak Customs consists of 10, 12,14,16, 22 sizes. I use clear Emperors on top and clear Ambassadors on bottom. PS3 on kick with Aquarian regulator reso. I love the drums and they respond great for my needs. I play rock from the 50's - 80's also G.B, Country and these drums just sing. I use NO muffling on the toms at all and the drums resonate really nice. Not to mention their competitive price. I don't think you can go wrong with oak. Good luck with your decision.
 

flyhighns

Junior Member
I have a Yamaha Oak Custom and a 5 star Oak custom, 10,12 14,16,22, 6.5 and love them both. I can save you a lot of money on a new set if you are interested. Email me at flyhighns@yahoo.com and I would be glad to send info and pics. I live in KY and could even meet half way for you to pick up. Neither set has been in a bar, like new condition. I have 5 drum sets and need to sell one to buy PA gear is the only reason I would get rid of one.
 
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