Real wood veneers, or engineered?

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I see where you are going with that.. however, you really equate the non-engineered plies in drumshells with "particle board" ??
Plywood is a wood composite material, as is particle board, particle board gets a bad rap. Remo makes Acousticon shells (which actually sound very good) which are a high-grade form of particle board, just as drum shells are a high-grade form of plywood. A lot of drummers look down their noses at Acousticon, but their own ply drums are close cousins.

Personally, I don't look down my nose at anything. I have drums made of natural whole wood, ply, Acousticon, plastic, fiberglass, metal and ceramic. I'd love one of those Tibetan drums made of a human skull to add to my collection!
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
Plywood is a wood composite material, as is particle board, particle board gets a bad rap. !
Yes Death.. I see where you are going.. BUT,.. The PLIES of the shell are not composite.. are they ???? Particle board is like an entirely different thing. It's like the bologna of wood... yes ??

I know an entire "plywood" shell is made of different plies of wood.. but those individual plies are not composite.. are they ??
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
No they are not. There is wood with glue between the layers. If you do some Youtube looking you can see the drums being made with the thin laminates of wood. True particle board is ground up wood and glue then formed. Like presswood. Drums today are called 100 percent wood or all wood because their are no other materials in the shell but the wood laminates and the glue. to argue over semantics is silly. I have a steam bent snare. It isn't 100 percent either because the lap is glued together. It is more wood than a ply shell but still not 100 percent wood. I think most people are aware that if a drum maker is selling a 7 ply all wood snare that it understood that there is some glue in there. Cymbals like Zildjian say that their cymbals are 80 / 20 with a trace of silver, so it must be 79 / 20 or 80 / 19.98 or whatever and no one is jumping up and down that they cant be 80/ 20.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Of course.. boards made from PARTICLES of wood.
Plywood seems to be the least processed of engineered wood products and is the most expensive, as it relies on veneers of whole wood. Particle board may be just sawdust bound together with glue. But then there is oriented strand board, which has chips and large pieces of wood in the mix. I think Remo's Acousticon shells are like this.

Arguing over semantics is not silly. The Federal Trade Commission, for example, monitors the semantics of advertisements. To me, it is misleading to call plywood a "100 percent wood shell" when plywood is an engineered wood product. Indeed, plywood is ar superior to natural whole wood for strength and workability.

To me, it would be arguing over semantics to quibble over whether a steambent shell is 100 percent wood. Aside from the tiny bit of glue holding the shell together, it is natural whole wood. A steambent shell has minimal processing, while a plywood shell is the result of a great deal of processing. A stave shell is somewhere in between.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The Federal Trade Commission, for example, monitors the semantics of advertisements

If they do the monitoring then I would assume the language that is currently being used has passed their scrutiny. Also when it says "all maple", of course there is glue but the intent is to say all of the plies are maple. Taye for instance has drums, the Pro-X, that is advertised as Birch/Basswood. Would you be happier if it said Birch/Basswood/Glue??
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
The Federal Trade Commission, for example, monitors the semantics of advertisements

If they do the monitoring then I would assume the language that is currently being used has passed their scrutiny. Also when it says "all maple", of course there is glue but the intent is to say all of the plies are maple. Taye for instance has drums, the Pro-X, that is advertised as Birch/Basswood. Would you be happier if it said Birch/Basswood/Glue??
Typically, the FTC gets involved if someone complains about advertising. I think most people buying drums have adjusted to ply drums not being whole wood, like how they accept crab spelled with a K.

I would be happy - and consider it accurate advertising - if drum manufacturers and sellers said something like, "All-maple ply drums" or "Birch/basswood ply drums," and if they avoided saying things like "All-maple wood drums" because plywood is not wood, it is an engineered wood product.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
To me, it is misleading to call plywood a "100 percent wood shell" when plywood is an engineered wood product. Indeed, plywood is ar superior to natural whole wood for strength and workability.


Plywood is not what's used when making drum shell's, no one starts with plywood and forms it into a shell, if so, you could safely call that a 'plywood' shell.

That's the grey area of the description, they don't start with plywood, they end up with a shell made of wood plies.

Arguably the same thing?

No, not if you understand the processes.
 

RickP

Gold Member
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.
Sonor makes only a few real wood veneers with those being :
Silky Oak
Scandinavian Birch
Smoked Larch
American Walnut
African Marble .

All the others including the aforementioned Birdseye maple, Ebony , Rosewood etc are Alpi Veneers
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
The veneer on my birch kit is an option available in SQ2 known as Vintage Onyx and after a close look when I first got them and took them outside under bright sunlight I saw the detail that is available with Alpi finishes. I was cool with the price point. The real wood finishes in SQ2 are beautiful but are beyond my budget. I tip my hat to anyone considering buying those amazing instruments.untitled-8.jpg
 
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timmdrum

Silver Member
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.
I think what they mean is that there's only one wood species used, rather than a blend. I don't think they're trying to fool people into thinking it's not plywood. They all say something like "x ply all-maple" to indicate there's no poplar/basswood/etc. filler. Nitpicking over the presence of glue making it a "composite material" is like saying the same about the deck/porch at the back of someone's house, needing to call it "_______ wood and nails"- the presence of the nails doesn't make it "not wood". With a drum, specifying ply vs. solid is enough.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
The Alpi veneers are more or less a necessity because of limiting resources of precious woods. Humans have been really good at raping timber and exporting round the world-did it in Europe, then in US, etc. and now South America. The gymnosperm pines can grow to harvest in decades (though the long leaf pines in my parents yard I bet are over over 300 yrs since they can live to 500 yrs) but generally hardwoods grow in lifetimes. In Northern hemisphere deciduous tree growth and leaf loss each Spring and Fall produces cyclical fall and rise of carbon dioxide (Spring leaves actively fix carbon and during Fall with leaf loss the live tissue still respire so carbon loss. Since the 1800s the carbon has risen in a signifiant step wise fashion each cycle (like a stair case)-correlating with tree loss (this is from defect in a natural large carbon budget not the small amount from fossil fuel that produces forcing).
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The only "all wood drums" in existence are basically hollowed out logs. Stave, segmented, ply, steam-bent are all glued with the glue's orientation being the only semantic difference. It's honestly not worth anyone's time arguing over.

If the glue used in plywood were made from a tree, like an anhydrous sap extract/reduction/reconstitution, would this still be an argument?
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I care about how the drums sound. I care about how they look. I care about how well the drums last (durability). How they are described does not matter to me at all. Peace and goodwill.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I think the use of "engineered" veneers is absolutely to be encouraged & welcomed on the basis of sustainability and consistency. What I can't get my head around are the attempts to hide the material's origins by a variety of drum manufacturers. Rather than smoke & mirrors, I'd proudly stand behind the decision to use the material and promote it's wide ranging benefits.
 

SYMBOLIC DEATH

Senior Member
I think the use of "engineered" veneers is absolutely to be encouraged & welcomed on the basis of sustainability and consistency. What I can't get my head around are the attempts to hide the material's origins by a variety of drum manufacturers. Rather than smoke & mirrors, I'd proudly stand behind the decision to use the material and promote it's wide ranging benefits.
Exactly! Don't call it exotic and charge more for it pretending that it's actually a natural product, when it's just "printed" on the alpi.
I also feel a little sorry for those who aren't aware of alpi and their exotic wood finish, while nice looking, isn't a natural finish. I try my best not to burst their bubble.
 
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