Synthetic (drums)

Bozozoid

Gold Member
Looking back over the years I'm surprised I've never owned any. My fondness I think started with preferring fiberglass congas over wood. I was super impressed with Zickos snaredrums as well as Tempus snaredrums. I remember jamming on a friend's set of ludwig acrylics and really liking it. I saw Gary Peterson with BTO ⚙ playing a small Tempus kit and they sounded PHENOMINAl (fiberglass). I've thought about this over the years and wondered if it's because I'm stuck in tradition. While youtubing I've been mightily impressed with acrylic drums. Have any of you ever had this question as to why YOU haven't went to some form of synthetic kit?. This question is haunting me even today. Hmm?..why?
 

Bozozoid

Gold Member
Not that long ago I was listening to a set of C&C coke bottle acrylics on YouTube thinking how full they sounded..a nice warm gummy kind of tone. Yet I just sort of casually think..ok..thats nice and walk away. Maybe it's time for me to focus on this a bit more and not be so dismissive. I was however serious about a Tempus kit when I'd learned that they were defunct. Sometimes wood kits can sound dull to me after listening to various synthetic kits yet think nothing of it. I'm like hypnotized by looking at nothing but wood kits.
 

John Q. Drummer

Active Member
I’ve owned several Tempus drums over the years, specifically a kit (10/12/14/20) and a couple of snares. (5” x 14” and a 6.5” by 14”). The Tempus kit was my primary gigging kit for well over a year which was about 90 shows. I even recorded an entire album using it with great success.

I was also lucky enough to be included on an early prototype send around of a Jenkins Martin 6.5” x 14” snare drum in a hideous lime green color. (This was years ago back on DrumForum.)

All of the Tempus drums I’ve either owned or played I really jived with. Paul Mason was onto something there. The Jenkin Martin snare was pretty good as well, but it was set up with heads and wires that are not my first choice, (to put it nicely) so my experience with it was not able to be fully realized. There was definitely something there and if I had the opportunity again, I wouldn’t pass it up.

I sold off all my Tempus wares due to getting “to-good-to-pass up” offers for them. I missed having a synthetic snare in my collection and literally DAYS after that realization I came across a Yamaha FRP snare drum for sale locally. It was sitting in some collector’s basement shelf for 15 years untouched. It was in borderline NOS condition. I don’t plan on parting with this snare anytime soon. I just used it this past weekend at an outdoor gig and it brought me much joy.

I never liked acrylics though. I don't have anything against them, but they put out a sound that doesn't do anything for me. I don't care that I can see through them, that was never a selling point for me.

So I guess outside of acrylics, I really like synthetic drums overall. To my ears, they sound like the perfect amalgamation of wood and metal drums. Two thumbs up here.
 

Bozozoid

Gold Member
I’ve owned several Tempus drums over the years, specifically a kit (10/12/14/20) and a couple of snares. (5” x 14” and a 6.5” by 14”). The Tempus kit was my primary gigging kit for well over a year which was about 90 shows. I even recorded an entire album using it with great success.

I was also lucky enough to be included on an early prototype send around of a Jenkins Martin 6.5” x 14” snare drum in a hideous lime green color. (This was years ago back on DrumForum.)

All of the Tempus drums I’ve either owned or played I really jived with. Paul Mason was onto something there. The Jenkin Martin snare was pretty good as well, but it was set up with heads and wires that are not my first choice, (to put it nicely) so my experience with it was not able to be fully realized. There was definitely something there and if I had the opportunity again, I wouldn’t pass it up.

I sold off all my Tempus wares due to getting “to-good-to-pass up” offers for them. I missed having a synthetic snare in my collection and literally DAYS after that realization I came across a Yamaha FRP snare drum for sale locally. It was sitting in some collector’s basement shelf for 15 years untouched. It was in borderline NOS condition. I don’t plan on parting with this snare anytime soon. I just used it this past weekend at an outdoor gig and it brought me much joy.

I never liked acrylics though. I don't have anything against them, but they put out a sound that doesn't do anything for me. I don't care that I can see through them, that was never a selling point for me.

So I guess outside of acrylics, I really like synthetic drums overall. To my ears, they sound like the perfect amalgamation of wood and metal drums. Two thumbs up here.
Thanks for the thoughts on Tempus. I'd read somewhere that Nick Mason had used Tempus on some Floyd recordings. There are some BTO recordings where it's obvious that Gary Peterson is using them..very bright yet a full low end at the same time. When Gary was with BTO opening for Vanhalen moons ago his kit was totally unique sounding and literally shook the walls of the auditorium.they opened with a power version of You ain't seen nothing yet.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Funny you mention synthetics, cause I just picked up a Tama Fibrestar yesterday, and I really like it! It's more like a wood drum than metal, but I'm still trying to put my finger on how it sounds. It's dry, but powerful, without being overbearing, and not at all harsh.

I like acrylic kits. Would I use them for a jazz gig? No. But they'd be right at home in just about any rock situation. I helped set my friend up with a Pearl Crystal Beat, and it's got one of the loudest kicks I've ever heard.

I've played a couple Pearl wood/fiberglass kits over the years, which where also incredibly loud, and honestly didn't do anything for me.

The last all-fiberglass kit I was able to play was a North kit, and I'm not sure you can really count that. Those kicks were really something, though...

Carbon fiber snares are always a lot of fun, but ultimately not a sound I think I need.
 

Bozozoid

Gold Member
Carbon fiber (to me) is all together different. Not a fan of it. Fiberglass..oh ya..Tempus..not the old Pearl. The Pearl acrylic BD?..one low end punchy bass drum..super impressive. The 8x12 acrylic ludwig I'd played stayed on my mind for a month afterwards.
 

Johnny2u2

Active Member
Lordy…I feel like a novice reading these posts. Haven’t a clue what those brands are let alone how they sound. o_O
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I've owner Blaemire, Zickos, and Ludwig Vistalite. All good, viable drum options.
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
I had a blue Vistalite kit for a few years, but sold them. I basically came to think they were too harsh and loud… perfect for a loud rock band, but wrong for the band I was in at the time. I switched to a 3-ply Ludwig and never looked back.

I had a Blaemire snare for a bit, but the previous owner regretted parting with it, so I sold it back to him. Super nice sound it had, and I’d like to try another fiberglass snare some day.

I think we need to stretch the OP’s original meaning of “synthetic” to include Remo Acousticons. Yes, the paper component isn’t synthetic, but it ain't wood either. It's a composite that includes a lot of glue… so partly synthetic, I’d say. I had an Acoustic 516 Mastertouch, and it sounded amazing. The 24x16 kick was a cannon. I got tired of hauling them around, though… they weigh a ton. So I sold them a few months ago.
 
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JimmyM

Platinum Member
Lordy…I feel like a novice reading these posts. Haven’t a clue what those brands are let alone how they sound. o_O
Don’t feel bad. I’m not up to speed either. Heard of some brands, but definitely not all, and about the only kind of synthetic drums I played are Vistas and Fibes. And I feel like they are fine drums but I would rather have wood because they can get out of control…or better yet, out of MY control.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Sweet baby jesus, how did you ever move those suckers? Look at the size of those power toms! And two kicks?!?!
These actually belonged to a drummer bud (RIP) of mine, that I inherited upon his passing. But over the years, I've owned 3 VW vans, 1 Toyota van, a Ford F-250 & a Ranchero, and an Olds Cutlass wagon. That's how I move drum kits like this;)
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Have any of you ever had this question as to why YOU haven't went to some form of synthetic kit?
Not gonna lie, I don't want an acrylic drumset because of how they look. I just cant get past them being see-through. No point in owning a kit I dont dig looking at. Yes, its vein.

I do have a Pearl Wood/Fiberglass kit from the 70s. I didnt seek it out. It was the only drumset available at this particular garage sale.
 

Iristone

Well-known Member
I'm afraid they'd be heavier than wooden drums. I own an acrylic snare I've not yet played, though.
As for syntheSISED (as opposed to syntheTIC) drums - I use these from time to time, too. Power supply could be an issue, as could be triggering and wiring. But, they could be fun!
 

MustangMick

Senior Member
Fibreglass is a great material for drums, especially snare drums.
Have played Tempus, plus Noonan Fibreglass and Yamaha FRP, all sound great and mic up well.
They just sound like great wood drums.

The recent Pearl Kapur/Fibreglass drums are a bargain buy if you find them.
Mick
 

criz p. critter

Silver Member
Sweet baby jesus, how did you ever move those suckers? Look at the size of those power toms! And two kicks?!?!
These actually belonged to a drummer bud (RIP) of mine, that I inherited upon his passing. But over the years, I've owned 3 VW vans, 1 Toyota van, a Ford F-250 & a Ranchero, and an Olds Cutlass wagon. That's how I move drum kits like this;)
I meant the weight more than the size. My kick weighed a ton! Plus, the T-rods are nice and pointy... in fact all the hardware is really sharp-edged... perfect for taking a chunk out of a wall... or your leg. Or busting your knee cap. I don't miss these old green drums.
 

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timmdrum

Silver Member
Not gonna lie, I don't want an acrylic drumset because of how they look. I just cant get past them being see-through. No point in owning a kit I dont dig looking at. Yes, its vein.
Not all acrylic drums are transparent/translucent. I agree with you, I kinda don't dig it either because I haven't seen a color that dazzled me, nor do the completely clear ones. No one needs to see my pot belly that badly. :LOL: But I'd be open to acrylics otherwise, due to temperature/humidity resistance.
 
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