Round Over Bearing Edges

Invicta

Junior Member
I found this really cool clip on youtube today and it really opened my eyes to modern drum manufacturing in terms of bearing edges:


I think this is why I have always loved the sound of round over bearing edges on drums more so than sharp edges. Less plastic head attack sound and a lower tuning range with better feel.

I'm trying to make a list of lines of drums that are/were produced with round over bearing edges, so far I've come up with:

- vintage drums prior to 1970's
- early 80's tama superstar
- yamaha club custom
- C and C playdates
- ludwig legacy
- ludwig club date
- mapex w/ soniclear bearing edges (maybe?)
- pearl reference and reference pure (drums > 13")
- sonor vintage series
- gretsch broadkaster

That's as far as I've got off the top of my head. If any of these are wrong or anyone knows any I didn't list or has comments about the video please feel free to comment. Trying sort bearing edges out fo rmyself.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Rounded edges...specifically where it makes contact with the head, I understand make a drum sound warmer, but you lose a bit of crispness and attack. Softer attack, a mellower sound if you will. That's what I understand. Feel free to contribute. Like the ultimate mellow sound would be rounded edges and calf heads, medium to low tuning.

Personally I favor sharper edges and mylar heads for the attack and crispness. But shell contribution is a wonderful thing. I want definition and lots of it. But I also want shell resonance, not to be confused with head sustain, which I want too. An outside roundover profile, making full contact with the head collar radius, with a sharper contact area on the flat, striking part of the head, would seem to be the balance point. Like Andy's tympanic edges, maybe not to that extreme.

Speaking of Andy, he really innovated with those edges. IMO it's the biggest innovation for the drum kit since RIMS, which was what, over 40 years ago? It's an edge form that anyone can do that gets crazy sustain, no extra isolation hardware necessary, although I like the combination. It's full impact has not been realized in the building community IMO. I wonder if it ever will. Think of what John Goode could do with THAT.

There's no question or anything here, I'm just emptying the contents my mind on this topic.
 
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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Very interesting and compelling.

Most of it is spot on.....but there are a few caveats...



The example on the left would be true IF any companies made them that extreme. They don't. Nobody makes perfectly-sharp-on-the-outside bearing edges, like in the left example.

Even "sharp 45 degree edges" have a small roundover (1/16" to 3/16"). This usually comes from the sanding the sharp edges receive after the initial cut. The apex is never on the very outside of the shell like in his example. Most "sharp" or "standard" bearing edges fall somewhere in between his 2 examples.

Secondly, he states that roundover edges "vastly increases tuning range". This is almost certainly not true.

Ludwig Club Dates, Legacy Maple, C&C drums, Broadkasters, (many of the kits on OP's list).....as great as these kits may be, they are definitely not known for their vast tuning range and versatility. They generally have a smaller tuning range than kits with sharper bearing edges.

The guy makes a great case for roundovers and the importance of shell contact...and that's all well and good.....BUT...

The bad thing about roundover edges is they reduce attack, articulation, and resonance. That can be good or bad depending on your preferences.

Personally I prefer sharper or more balanced edges like @larryace said. Roundovers may add more tone, but they greatly reduce attack and crispness.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Most of it is spot on.....but there are a few caveats...



Secondly, he states that roundover edges "vastly increases tuning range". This is almost certainly not true.



The guy makes a great case for roundovers and the importance of shell contact...and that's all well and good.....BUT...

The bad thing about roundover edges is they reduce attack, articulation, and resonance. That can be good or bad depending on your preferences.

Personally I prefer sharper or more balanced edges like @larryace said. Roundovers may add more tone, but they greatly reduce attack and crispness.
You accentuate points that are valid IMO.

While I agreed with the video overall, there were a few sticking points that you pointed out nicely.
 

Mr Farkle

Active member
Thanks for posting the video and the Instagram link! Jeff is drum-famous here in Portland. I considered brining a kit to him but thought that he might laugh at my Asian Sonor. It looks like he works on kits like that all the time. That’s encouraging. I really like my Bop kit but it could really benefit from good edges.
 

Invicta

Junior Member
Very interesting and compelling.

Most of it is spot on.....but there are a few caveats...



The example on the left would be true IF any companies made them that extreme. They don't. Nobody makes perfectly-sharp-on-the-outside bearing edges, like in the left example.

Even "sharp 45 degree edges" have a small roundover (1/16" to 3/16"). This usually comes from the sanding the sharp edges receive after the initial cut. The apex is never on the very outside of the shell like in his example. Most "sharp" or "standard" bearing edges fall somewhere in between his 2 examples.

Secondly, he states that roundover edges "vastly increases tuning range". This is almost certainly not true.

Ludwig Club Dates, Legacy Maple, C&C drums, Broadkasters, (many of the kits on OP's list).....as great as these kits may be, they are definitely not known for their vast tuning range and versatility. They generally have a smaller tuning range than kits with sharper bearing edges.

The guy makes a great case for roundovers and the importance of shell contact...and that's all well and good.....BUT...

The bad thing about roundover edges is they reduce attack, articulation, and resonance. That can be good or bad depending on your preferences.

Personally I prefer sharper or more balanced edges like @larryace said. Roundovers may add more tone, but they greatly reduce attack and crispness.
Very educational. Thanks for this reply. I suppose with the way modern drum heads are now these days in terms of variety you could probably have sharper edges and just dull the attack if you really wanted to by choosing the appropriate drum head. The only exception I could think of would be DW drums. I don't know what it is about DW drums but in spite of every different type of head I have heard on those drums there is this definite "pop" or "click" sound that comes with the attack, like too much attack for my taste. Like hitting a bunch of cardboard boxes, more so than any other company I've heard. I've no idea why their drums have that sound.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Very educational. Thanks for this reply. I suppose with the way modern drum heads are now these days in terms of variety you could probably have sharper edges and just dull the attack if you really wanted to by choosing the appropriate drum head. The only exception I could think of would be DW drums. I don't know what it is about DW drums but in spite of every different type of head I have heard on those drums there is this definite "pop" or "click" sound that comes with the attack, like too much attack for my taste. Like hitting a bunch of cardboard boxes, more so than any other company I've heard. I've no idea why their drums have that sound.
Instead of focusing on which kits have what bearing edges, maybe it's better to focus on the sound you're going for.

The "round" sound runs a pretty wide gamut, from Saturn 5s on one end...to C&Cs on the other. Are you looking to jump in with both feet and go for a baseball bat roundover that makes a tubby and thuddy sound, or a more versatile modern version of round?
 

Invicta

Junior Member
Instead of focusing on which kits have what bearing edges, maybe it's better to focus on the sound you're going for.

The "round" sound runs a pretty wide gamut, from Saturn 5s on one end...to C&Cs on the other. Are you looking to jump in with both feet and go for a baseball bat roundover that makes a tubby and thuddy sound, or a more versatile modern version of round?
Well I play fast, really fast, a lot of the time. I play mostly metal and some rock with a lot of double bass work. I can see how drums with not much attack would probably sound like mud for me. I've also determined standard depth toms are better for me than power toms through trial an error. I like maple drums because I have had both maple and birch and maple sounded fuller. I also like lowest pitched drums possible so I assume I'd be going with a thinner shell but not vintage drums thin, either way I'd go with bigger diameters like 12-14 toms, 16-18 floors, 24 bass. I've thought about the Saturn V's but never gotten to play them. I played the Tama B/B's and they weren't full enough sounding. I played pearl vision birch and they were better than the B/B's but still not that full. I played ludwig classic maple's and they were kind of sharp and cold sounding with a lot of ringiness, not the thuddy full sound I was hoping they would be. Pearl MCT's sounded pretty good, had those for a year, was just kinda okay. I love how DW performance and design drums can sound so low and full, if I could get the stick slappy ringy sound to go away that sounds like you're hitting paper it'd be great. Tama starclassic maple would probably be just about perfect minus the diecast hoops that i don't like judging off their specs, but I can never find those. Seems like they are really rare. Love the sound of sonor drums but who in gods name can afford those, not me.

I don't want to buy a set of drums and regret it. I've done that many times and just end up playing drums I'm not real happy with for a couple years or so. I'd like to get it right this time but there is so much to consider it's like information overload. Mapex Saturn V's or Tama SCM seems to be what I've narrowed myself down to.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Well, I do like that vintage vibe, myself. My Ludwig 3 ply's and my Gretsch 6 ply Round Badge kit ..... certainly sport round over edges.

My two 45 degree kits. Both RMV's. But damn, they sound great. So I guess I gotta keep 'em all.
Mapex Saturn V's or Tama SCM seems to be what I've narrowed myself down to.
I don't think you could go wrong with either of those.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Well I play fast, really fast, a lot of the time. I play mostly metal and some rock with a lot of double bass work. I can see how drums with not much attack would probably sound like mud for me. I've also determined standard depth toms are better for me than power toms through trial an error. I like maple drums because I have had both maple and birch and maple sounded fuller. I also like lowest pitched drums possible so I assume I'd be going with a thinner shell but not vintage drums thin, either way I'd go with bigger diameters like 12-14 toms, 16-18 floors, 24 bass. I've thought about the Saturn V's but never gotten to play them. I played the Tama B/B's and they weren't full enough sounding. I played pearl vision birch and they were better than the B/B's but still not that full. I played ludwig classic maple's and they were kind of sharp and cold sounding with a lot of ringiness, not the thuddy full sound I was hoping they would be. Pearl MCT's sounded pretty good, had those for a year, was just kinda okay. I love how DW performance and design drums can sound so low and full, if I could get the stick slappy ringy sound to go away that sounds like you're hitting paper it'd be great. Tama starclassic maple would probably be just about perfect minus the diecast hoops that i don't like judging off their specs, but I can never find those. Seems like they are really rare. Love the sound of sonor drums but who in gods name can afford those, not me.

I don't want to buy a set of drums and regret it. I've done that many times and just end up playing drums I'm not real happy with for a couple years or so. I'd like to get it right this time but there is so much to consider it's like information overload. Mapex Saturn V's or Tama SCM seems to be what I've narrowed myself down to.
Ok, you definitely do not want roundover bearing edges, lol.

It kinda sounds like some of the issues you've had with drums in the past could've been fixed with different head choices. For instance, you mentioned the sharpness and ringiness of Ludwig Classic Maples. With Emperors, G2s, or Pinstripes, Hydraulics, they'd sound much different and more controlled.

Have you checked out the new Tama Birch/Walnut? They sound just as deep as the Birch/Bubingas, but fuller. I played the B/W at Guitar Center, it sounded amazing...very deep and punchy.

Saturn Vs would be worth checking out too.

I recently bought a new kit after spending months and months watching every demo vid on Youtube, thousands of them. I chose Gretsch Renowns. They're the best sounding kit for under $4000 IMHO.

I wouldn't normally recommend them for a metal player, they love higher tunings, BUT the way I have them set up right now, 12" and 16" toms, Emperor Clears tuned medium to medium low with O-rings, and cotton balls inside the toms...they sound deep and incredibly full...almost too full in fact, like a DOOZSHH sound. They sound nothing like the typical Renown demos on Youtube using the stock setup. The O-rings make them sound totally different.

Anyway , maybe it's worth checking out the Renowns too, lol.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
He lost me when he said the round over offers a broader tuning range....

For over fifty years quite a few (ALL? lol) pretty respected and successful drum builders, not to mention drummers, have been saying the double-45 offers the broadest tuning range. Hard to just dismiss that.

Ibiteprettyhard already pointed out that the example he gave does not represent the double-bevel 45 edge found on kits today and over the past fifty years (Rogers for one). So that doesn't fairly represent other makers edges. Why did he do that? And why does he think we don't know a single 45 cut from a double?

The lack of real examples-let me hear two side by side examples of the same Ludwig with your edge and the factory edge....is a concern for me as well

If you want to sell me your bearing edge service that's cool, but an audio example vs. incorrectly drawn diagrams would be more effective.

Lastly, this is nothing new-Steve Maxwell detailed the differences and some of the advatages of the "roundover" and "baseball bat" edges in a video several years ago. I will see if I can find it.

Steve Maxwell from 2011:
 
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Invicta

Junior Member
Round Over Bearing Edge Tuning Range: Yes, I agree with you guys. Every video I've watched after the video originally posted states the contrary, that sharper edges increase tuning range. I am very glad that was caught in this thread. Learned something.

IBitePrettyHard: Thanks for that feedback. I agree with you, definitely am turning away from round over edges now. About the ludwig classic maples, you are probably right. I always read about how that line of drums you can literally get any style of sound out of, they're legendary. I didn't even remember tama put out walnut / birch drums but now I have something else to check out. Full, punchy drums, yes, that would be what I enjoy. Something you can still hear my fast articulation on but also still has a full body behind it without sounding like a cardboard box. That would seem to be key. I will add them to the list to go play!
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I'm confused with descriptions and terminology.
I find my roundover edged drums to have more attack (whatever that means, focus?) and articulation than the straight 45º edges I have. the 45º edges are more open and airy. Like the difference between die cast and triple flange.

The 45º edges don't have more tuning range. The tuning range seems to be related to the drum. I have a set of Cheap Sonors with 45º edge and they sound bangy at higher tunings, but the Nice German Sonors still have a pronounced fundamental at higher tunings. My Pearl Reference Pures don't tune up as well. They sound too clean at higher tunings and then they get noisy when I go a little higher. They can sometimes have a weird overtone that lingers at high tuning.

I don't prefer roundover edges for my typical preferred sound.
 

Invicta

Junior Member
I'm confused with descriptions and terminology.
I find my roundover edged drums to have more attack (whatever that means, focus?) and articulation than the straight 45º edges I have. the 45º edges are more open and airy. Like the difference between die cast and triple flange.

The 45º edges don't have more tuning range. The tuning range seems to be related to the drum. I have a set of Cheap Sonors with 45º edge and they sound bangy at higher tunings, but the Nice German Sonors still have a pronounced fundamental at higher tunings. My Pearl Reference Pures don't tune up as well. They sound too clean at higher tunings and then they get noisy when I go a little higher. They can sometimes have a weird overtone that lingers at high tuning.

I don't prefer roundover edges for my typical preferred sound.
You know this goes to show at the end of the day there are so many factors going on that it's best to just go and play a set of drums and go with the one that makes you say "Hey, I love how this sounds.".
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
......., either way I'd go with bigger diameters like 12-14 toms, 16-18 floors, 24 bass.
Interesting. My "toms" are 14" snare drums! A 4x14, 5x14 and 6x14. Plenty of surface area and the different depths give me the tuning I want. They sound really full and give the attack/articulation I'm after. My main floor tom is a 14" deep by 18" diameter marching bass drum and I gotta say that sucker BOOMS!
 

Attachments

TJK

Well-known member
Also depends on the diameter of the shells. Sonor is undersized and I believe the old 50-60s gretsch you have to hammer the new heads on they are so big.
 
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