Real wood veneers, or engineered?

hateplow

Silver Member
I recently joined the Sonor drum forum, as I am anxiously awaiting my SQ2s. (This forum is wayyyyy better, btw)
They are having a very interesting discussion on which veneers are "real" wood (ebony, walnut) and "fake", or reconstituted veneers (Walnut Roots, some Birdseye maple).
What are your feelings on this?
I would be very upset if I paid top dollar for an exotic finish, only to learn that the veneer is not real wood.
 

markiet1966

Senior Member
I didn't even know that you could fake a wood veneer (unless it's just a picture printed on plastic off course), a wood veneer is just a very thin slice of wood.

If it's not a wood veneer then it must be a wrap.

Mark
 

hateplow

Silver Member
I didn't even know that you could fake a wood veneer (unless it's just a picture printed on plastic off course), a wood veneer is just a very thin slice of wood.

If it's not a wood veneer then it must be a wrap.

Mark
I'm refering to cutting a piece of real wood, and then dying it to look like another type.
Like an "ebony" veneer being made out of poplar.

check it out for yourself....
http://www.alpi.it/uk/ListaProdotti.asp?IDSC=15
 

markiet1966

Senior Member
Ahh I see what you mean now, can't imagine that Sonor do that on the SQ2 kits, I can imgine it being done on cheap kits but certainly not something as high end as SQ2's.

Mark
 

Drummer Karl

KARL MEMBER
For the SQ2 they use best wood veneers. They write that they invested much time for new finishes, including wood veneers.
I think you shouldn`t worry about that...especially for these high quality drums you can be sure Sonor uses "real" veneers.

Karl
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
If they call it Ebony Veneer, it damn well better be made of ebony wood, not something else dyed.

Part of the problem is that manufacturers like to say their shells are "100 percent maple" or whatever when it's not - it's an engineered wood composite material held together with pressure and glue and is no more 100 percent wood than is particle board. So now that manufacturers have gotten people to confuse plywood with whole wood, it follows to reason they'd try to get them to believe that dyed maple is ebony.

There are all sorts of ways manufacturers confuse people with their techniques to hide the fact that it's fake. "Chocolate flavored" and "Cheese food product" and "Krab meat." I hate having to read between the lines to figure it out.

Do they call it "Ebony finish"? That could be a tip-off that it's fake - ebony spelled with a K.
 

markiet1966

Senior Member
If they call it Ebony Veneer, it damn well better be made of ebony wood, not something else dyed.

Part of the problem is that manufacturers like to say their shells are "100 percent maple" or whatever when it's not - it's an engineered wood composite material held together with pressure and glue and is no more 100 percent wood than is particle board. So now that manufacturers have gotten people to confuse plywood with whole wood, it follows to reason they'd try to get them to believe that dyed maple is ebony.

There are all sorts of ways manufacturers confuse people with their techniques to hide the fact that it's fake. "Chocolate flavored" and "Cheese food product" and "Krab meat." I hate having to read between the lines to figure it out.

Do they call it "Ebony finish"? That could be a tip-off that it's fake - ebony spelled with a K.

Not sure that I have ever been misled by a manufacturer as to whether they use ply or solid wood, every manufacturer that uses ply states such in their marketing materials. Ply by it's very nature is an engineered composite but that does not mean that all the wood used in the construction is not of one type or another.

Mark
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Not sure that I have ever been misled by a manufacturer as to whether they use ply or solid wood, every manufacturer that uses ply states such in their marketing materials. Ply by it's very nature is an engineered composite but that does not mean that all the wood used in the construction is not of one type or another.

Mark
Many of them do state they use ply much of the time, but it's also just as common for manufacturers and retailers to say they sell wood kits. More accurately, they make or sell wood ply kits or kits made with real wood. For example:

"Yamaha ... is the only drum company to offer 100 percent wood kits in four different wood shell materials: Maple, Beech, Birch and Oak."

"The Pacific Drums by DW Maple Snare with Wood Hoops features an all-maple shell with maple hoops and chromeplated brass tube lugs. 5-1/2" x 14"."

"Yamaha has made sound the priority once again with the Beech CustomTM drum series. It features a 100-percent beech wood shell"

"Gretsch's first Birch wood drums, Catalina Birch Series takes the Gretsch Drums philosophy ...."

"Tama wood shell snare drums offer that warm wood sound ...."

"Premium grade hardwoods like maple, walnut, birch and basswood are hand-selected from worldwide sources and are then matched by skilled experts...."

This is a more accurate way of putting it:
"Its scaled-down all-maple 7-ply shells come complete with miniature retro-style 6000 Series hardware and DWSM771 “banana” tom mount. "

Nothing wrong with plywood - some of the best drums ever created are made from it - but I'm just saying manufacturers and sellers should just be consistently up-front about it.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I think most high end drums (and the companies that make them) are pretty honest and straightforward about the "outer ply" being what it is. Mapex, for example, with their Orion series, use a burl maple outer ply. Makes for a pretty wood grain finish. More important (soundwise), the Saturn series has 2 inner plies of walnut. Figure if it says 100% maple shell, all the plies are maple. If it says maple shell (no 100%), then you probably are getting a maple exterior/interior ply and mystery wood in between. In the case of the Ludwig Legacy shell, the maple, poplar, maple 3 ply shell with maple reinforcement rings is the selling point. As far as "exotic" woods go, a sheet of Carpathian Elm Burl weneer from Anderson is gonna run you $403, so building an entire shell is pretty much out of the question. The fancy stuff don't come cheap.
 

latzanimal

Silver Member
I'm refering to cutting a piece of real wood, and then dying it to look like another type.
Like an "ebony" veneer being made out of poplar.

check it out for yourself....
http://www.alpi.it/uk/ListaProdotti.asp?IDSC=15
Every wood has its own distinct grain pattern, much like a fingerprint. If you are concerned about your SQ2's, do some research, find the grain pattern and see if your drums have that pattern. Grain patterns are very hard to fake in a stain finish. What gives the stain it's look is the "stain particles" accumulating in the grain (which is like a pore in the wood) causing it to appear darker and giving the finish character. If the grain wasn't featured or showing, the finish would be nothing more than a dye or paint job.

Congrats on the Sonor's BTW.
 
Sonor SQ2's have two different types of veneer; real wood veneer and reconstituted veneer.

The real wood veneers are quite easy to tell; rosewood, birdseye maple etc.

The reconstituted finishes such as tribal, walnut roots, earth, tiger finish, stratawood etc. look a bit more exotic, and are supplied by the Italian company Alpi.

The process used is quite complicated; I think it's along the lines of cutting wood into very thin venners, putting them together, compressing/steaming them and finally cutting them at different angles/directions to achieved the desired visual effect.

I am currently in the dilema of choosing between these two options, as I am ordering an SQ2 later this year.

I.e. Will a peice of reconstituted wood have inferior sound quality to a peice of real veneer?

I'm torn between the rosewood veneer and the walnut roots veneer.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
; I think it's along the lines of cutting wood into very thin venners, putting them together, compressing/steaming them and finally cutting them at different angles/directions to achieved the desired visual effect.

I am currently in the dilema of choosing between these two options, as I am ordering an SQ2 later this year.

I.e. Will a peice of reconstituted wood have inferior sound quality to a peice of real veneer?
.
You are correct Phil, in that they are actually natural wood product and not fake wood. That is what many don't understand.

Regarding sound.. I seriously doubt you will get any noticeable sound qualities. Maybe when you order with an interior of the wood you want, but all these hardwoods and EVEN the re-constituted, will contribute to a nice sound.. I don't see how they could not.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The outer ply has the least impact on the drum tone (from what I've gathered)
It's the center plies and the innermost ply that colors the sound the most. That's why wrapped drums can sound just as great as a non wrapped drum. Some might even say better. Get something that drives you wild visually, engineered or not.
 
You are correct Phil, in that they are actually natural wood product and not fake wood. That is what many don't understand.

Regarding sound.. I seriously doubt you will get any noticeable sound qualities. Maybe when you order with an interior of the wood you want, but all these hardwoods and EVEN the re-constituted, will contribute to a nice sound.. I don't see how they could not.
Yes, thanks. I've always been certain i'd go for the walnut roots, until recently; realizing that half of the shell is veneer on the vintage option.

But, it looks absolutely spectacular, and I would agree there will not be a 'notable difference in tone compared tom that of a natural wood veneer.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
You are correct Phil, in that they are actually natural wood product and not fake wood. That is what many don't understand.

Regarding sound.. I seriously doubt you will get any noticeable sound qualities. Maybe when you order with an interior of the wood you want, but all these hardwoods and EVEN the re-constituted, will contribute to a nice sound.. I don't see how they could not.
Plywood is not wood. It is an engineered wood product made from wood, like particle board or oriented strand board. Some of the best drums ever made have been made from plies of veneers glued and pressed together, but there is a huge difference between that and natural whole wood.
 

AveyTare

Senior Member
Their modern Bubinga finish is for 99% not real bubinga - I've read it somewhere (the site was drums-4sale.com or something like that - I can't remember) and the guy seemed to be pretty confident about that. It also looks very artificial to me. The same goes to birdseye maple. That's not a surprise to me - real birdseye maple is very expensive (especially here in Europe) and they're offering that finish on their cheaper drums like S Claassix, I believe.

Scandi birch is the real wood for sure - I've seen it, touched it and it's the real karelian birch.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Plywood is not wood. It is an engineered wood product made from wood, like particle board or oriented strand board..
I see where you are going with that.. however, you really equate the non-engineered plies in drumshells with "particle board" ??
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Their modern Bubinga finish is for 99% not real bubinga - I've read it somewhere (the site was drums-4sale.com or something like that - I can't remember) and the guy seemed to be pretty confident about that. It also looks very artificial to me. The same goes to birdseye maple.
Can you point me to this info Avey ???
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Keep in mind the reality is 1 mm is on the thick side when you're talking drum plies. @ 1 mm that's around 20 ply's per inch if wood thickness.

Said wood may be expensive, but for drum companies its still way profitable to use exotic$ (even N American Maple per the same formulae) when making drums.
 
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