Tama Starclassic Performer (birch/maple) vs. All Maple

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Hey guys/gals - I thought I'd share with you the drum room I referenced in my original post above. It's almost done. I've been working on this on my spare time for about 5 years. It started out as a simple need to control all the echo in my garage and to make my kit sound better. Little by little, it turned into a really fun hobby. The basic requirements were that I needed space all around to get around the garage, and the garage door had to be able to slide over the top! So, there's not a ton of headroom once inside the room LOL. The other challenging task I wanted to achieve was for the main front wall to completely slide forward around 7 feet so that I could have some buddies come over and jam together. I don't have any pics of the wall projected out but basically imagine a big-ass drawer track with the front wall pulled away from the rest of the room (there are casters under the front wall). Once I complete the artwork (almost done), maybe I'll post some pics with the wall slid out (if anyone is interested in seeing). I wish I had a little more room inside to expand my kit over time. Unfortunately, there's zero room left. Anyways, like I said - it was a lot of fun and I figured the people who would appreciate it most are my drumming brothers and sisters! And any comments on the set up of the Silverstar or anything else would be awesome.

Now that I've made a cool place to play, the next step is to become a decent drummer hahaha! 😂 And Starclassic Walnut/Birch or not?! Decisions, decisions!


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TK-421

Senior Member
Hey guys/gals - I thought I'd share with you the drum room I referenced in my original post above. It's almost done. I've been working on this on my spare time for about 5 years. It started out as a simple need to control all the echo in my garage and to make my kit sound better. Little by little, it turned into a really fun hobby. The basic requirements were that I needed space all around to get around the garage, and the garage door had to be able to slide over the top! So, there's not a ton of headroom once inside the room LOL. The other challenging task I wanted to achieve was for the main front wall to completely slide forward around 7 feet so that I could have some buddies come over and jam together. I don't have any pics of the wall projected out but basically imagine a big-ass drawer track with the front wall pulled away from the rest of the room (there are casters under the front wall). Once I complete the artwork (almost done), maybe I'll post some pics with the wall slid out (if anyone is interested in seeing). I wish I had a little more room inside to expand my kit over time. Unfortunately, there's zero room left. Anyways, like I said - it was a lot of fun and I figured the people who would appreciate it most are my drumming brothers and sisters! And any comments on the set up of the Silverstar or anything else would be awesome.

Now that I've made a cool place to play, the next step is to become a decent drummer hahaha! 😂 And Starclassic Walnut/Birch or not?! Decisions, decisions!


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Wow, super nice drum enclosure you’ve got there! One thing to keep in mind though. Higher end kits generally sound as good as they do because their construction allows for more shell resonance, which adds more low frequencies to the overall tone. Which gives them a fuller, richer sound. However, low frequency standing waves require lots of physical space to form. That’s one of the reasons why high end recording studios have a large live room, to allow these long, low frequency standing waves to form, which make the drums sound huge.

With a small enclosure like yours, I’m not sure if you’d get the full benefit of high end drums, because there simply isn’t room for those low frequencies to develop. I‘m sure they’d still sound good in there, but they might not sound significantly better than what you already have, given the room constraints. Just something to keep in mind.
 
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Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Wow, super nice drum enclosure you’ve got there! One thing to keep in mind though. Higher end kits generally sound as good as they do because their construction allows for more shell resonance, which adds more low frequencies to the overall tone. Which gives them a fuller, richer sound. However, low frequency standing waves require lots of physical space to form. That’s one of the reasons why high end recording studios have a large live room, to allow these long, low frequency standing waves to form, which make the drums sound huge.

With a small enclosure like yours, I’m not sure if you’d get the full benefit of high end drums, because there simply isn’t room for those low frequencies to develop. I‘m sure they’d still sound good in there, but they might not sound significantly better than what you already have, given the room constraints. Just something to keep in mind.

First off, thanks! Now. . . . .imagine me smacking myself on the forehead after reading your response above! That's really good information. So you're basically saying I'm screwed LOL. That makes sense though. Not only is the room small inside, but I also added so much sounds insulation. Ugh! Well, like I said, the front wall does pull out. I'm about to post some images with the wall pulled out. Can I assume with the wall pulled out and the sound now open up to the rest of the garage, the Starclassic Walnut/Birch might sound different/better than my current kit?
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Here are the rest of the pics, with the front wall pulled out. This provides at least some room for a couple of people to join me and jam a bit. Beats listening to myself play all the time lol.



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TK-421

Senior Member
First off, thanks! Now. . . . .imagine me smacking myself on the forehead after reading your response above! That's really good information. So you're basically saying I'm screwed LOL. That makes sense though. Not only is the room small inside, but I also added so much sounds insulation. Ugh! Well, like I said, the front wall does pull out. I'm about to post some images with the wall pulled out. Can I assume with the wall pulled out and the sound now open up to the rest of the garage, the Starclassic Walnut/Birch might sound different/better than my current kit?
With the small room size and tons of sound insulation, in short, yes you're screwed :)

The Starclassic W/B might sound a little better in there than your current kit, but they most likely won't have that rich, full sound that you hear in videos like the one posted earlier in this thread (even though that one was a Starclassic Maple). It's hard to tell from the pics, but I don't think opening up that wall would help all that much.

So how does your current kit sound in there? Are you happy with the sound overall? Even if you are, investing in new heads will likely help, as yours look like they're way past due to be replaced. And if you wanted to warm up the sound, you could try coated 2-ply heads on the toms such as Remo Emperors or Evans G2s.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Very cool looking setup you have there. I would not want to talk you out of buying a new kit if you want one, but I can tell you what I would do with that setup.

Mics, board, and in-ear monitors. Simply hearing things through mics will sound drastically different, and arguably cleaner with in-ears.

If you already have those things, please disregard as I do not think I saw them mentioned.
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
With the small room size and tons of sound insulation, in short, yes you're screwed :)

The Starclassic W/B might sound a little better in there than your current kit, but they most likely won't have that rich, full sound that you hear in videos like the one posted earlier in this thread (even though that one was a Starclassic Maple). It's hard to tell from the pics, but I don't think opening up that wall would help all that much.

So how does your current kit sound in there? Are you happy with the sound overall? Even if you are, investing in new heads will likely help, as yours look like they're way past due to be replaced. And if you wanted to warm up the sound, you could try coated 2-ply heads on the toms such as Remo Emperors or Evans G2s.

So in terms of my current sound, below is my response earlier today to "Brushes" who had some great advice/information (see page 1):

"You've given me a lot to think about. I'm embarrassed to say I'm clueless as to how to properly tune a drum kit. I've watched Youtube videos on how to put the heads on and I feel like I've done it correctly but I can just tell that my drums aren't in tune. I just downloaded an app called DrumTunePro but haven't tried it yet. Any recommendations on mastering the art of tuning would be super appreciated. There is also quite a bit of buzzing from the snares but I suppose that's just normal? I put on some of those moon gels but I'm not thrilled about how they look on the heads. The heads that I have are about 4 years old (Evans G2's on the tops & G1's on the bottoms).

So in a nutshell, the current sound isn't fantastic, probably mostly because the kit isn't properly tuned.
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Very cool looking setup you have there. I would not want to talk you out of buying a new kit if you want one, but I can tell you what I would do with that setup.

Mics, board, and in-ear monitors. Simply hearing things through mics will sound drastically different, and arguably cleaner with in-ears.

If you already have those things, please disregard as I do not think I saw them mentioned.

Hey, thanks I appreciate it. Honestly, I don't know anything about the sound gear you mentioned above. I obviously have much to learn in that regard. Typically, since the room is so small and me not wanting to go deaf, I wear my Sony over-the-ear Wh-1000XM3 noise-cancelling headphones. I play music via my phone, through the headphones while I play. They're good headphones but I'm getting the sense that there may be a better way to "enjoy" the sound of my drums. With those headphones on, while they protect my ears, I do feel like I'm not truly hearing the acoustics of my kit.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
So in terms of my current sound, below is my response earlier today to "Brushes" who had some great advice/information (see page 1):

"You've given me a lot to think about. I'm embarrassed to say I'm clueless as to how to properly tune a drum kit. I've watched Youtube videos on how to put the heads on and I feel like I've done it correctly but I can just tell that my drums aren't in tune. I just downloaded an app called DrumTunePro but haven't tried it yet. Any recommendations on mastering the art of tuning would be super appreciated. There is also quite a bit of buzzing from the snares but I suppose that's just normal? I put on some of those moon gels but I'm not thrilled about how they look on the heads. The heads that I have are about 4 years old (Evans G2's on the tops & G1's on the bottoms).

So in a nutshell, the current sound isn't fantastic, probably mostly because the kit isn't properly tuned.
Here's how I tune, and it works well for me.

First, get each head in tune with itself. In other words, make sure the tension at each lug is even all the way around. The easiest way to do that is to place the drum on a carpeted floor and tap about 1-2" in front of each lug. The carpeting completely mutes whichever head is facing down, so you'll only hear the head you're tapping. Furthermore, you'll only hear the higher harmonics, which makes it easier to determine relative pitch between lugs. Keep adjusting little by little until they're all at the same pitch, then do that for each head.

Once all the heads are in tune with themselves, assuming you kept tuning each lug up to get them in tune, most likely the heads will be much higher than where they need to be. So you’ll have to tune them down to the tension you need, going a little at a time in a star pattern across the drum.

There are a few different methods for getting to the right tuning on top vs. bottom heads. For rock, most of the time I'll tune the top heads at a medium to medium-low tension, then tune the bottom heads about a third higher. That produces a bright, articulate sound, no matter which heads you're using. The exact ratio between heads will vary (for example, your lowest floor tom may only have the bottom head 1 note above the top head instead of a third higher). You'll have to experiment for each drum.

Another way to tune is to have the bottom head lower in pitch compared to the top head. That produces a downward pitch bend that may or may not be desirable. I normally don't tune top and bottom to the same pitch, but if you're using the exact same heads on top and bottom, then this is something you can try.
 
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Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Here's how I tune, and it works well for me.

First, get each head in tune with itself. In other words, make sure the tension at each lug is even all the way around. The easiest way to do that is to place the drum on a carpeted floor and tap about 1-2" from each lug. The carpeting completely mutes whichever head is facing down, so you'll only hear the head you're tapping. Furthermore, you'll only hear the higher harmonics, which makes it easier to determine relative pitch between lugs. Keep adjusting little by little until they're all at the same pitch, then do that for each head.

Once your heads are in tune with themselves, there are a few different methods for tuning top vs. bottom heads. Most of the time, I'll tune the top heads at a medium to medium-low tension, then tune the bottom heads about a third higher. That produces a bright, articulate sound, no matter which heads you're using. The exact ratio between heads will vary (for example, your lowest floor tom may only have the bottom head 1 note above the top head instead of a third higher). You'll have to experiment for each drum.

Another way to tune is to have the bottom head lower in pitch compared to the top head. That produces a downward pitch bend that may or may not be desirable. I normally don't tune top and bottom to the same pitch, but if you're using the exact same heads on top and bottom, then this is something you can try.

Awesome, thanks. Are apps such as DrumTunePro worth using? I’m not sure how reliable they are.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Awesome, thanks. Are apps such as DrumTunePro worth using? I’m not sure how reliable they are.
I have that app, but I rarely use it because I’ve noticed that it’s not consistent in determining pitch. For example, I’ll tap one lug and it’ll read, say, 285 Hz, but then I’ll tap that exact same spot and it’ll read something completely different. So I don’t really trust that app over my own ears. But you can try it out and see what you think.
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
I have that app, but I rarely use it because I’ve noticed that it’s not consistent in determining pitch. For example, I’ll tap one lug and it’ll read, say, 285 Hz, but then I’ll tap that exact same spot and it’ll read something completely different. So I don’t really trust that app over my own ears. But you can try it out and see what you think.

OK thanks for your time and advice. It’s really helpful. BTW - not sure if you saw the other pics I posted with the from wall pulled out. Let me know if you think swapping kits may make a difference with the room open to the rest of the garage. Thanks
 

TK-421

Senior Member
OK thanks for your time and advice. It’s really helpful. BTW - not sure if you saw the other pics I posted with the from wall pulled out. Let me know if you think swapping kits may make a difference with the room open to the rest of the garage. Thanks
Because lower frequency standing waves need long, unobstructed space to fully develop, I don’t think having that wall open will help much since it would still be in the path of the sound waves. But I’m not an audio engineer, so take that for what it’s worth.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I'm not an audio engineer either, so take this with a grain of salt, but I'd posit that the space needed for long waves / low frequencies is necessary for room mics, not close mics. The latter are gonna do their thing ("hearing" the sound right off the heads) regardless of the size of the room, eh?
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I'm not an audio engineer either, so take this with a grain of salt, but I'd posit that the space needed for long waves / low frequencies is necessary for room mics, not close mics. The latter are gonna do their thing ("hearing" the sound right off the heads) regardless of the size of the room, eh?
You're partially right, because close mics do pick up more of the head sound than the full resonant drum sound like a room mic would. But even close micing is affected by room size, since they still pick up what the drum sounds like from up close. So if they sound constrained due to a small room (i.e. no low frequencies for a less full sound), that's what the mics will hear. The initial attack should be roughly the same regardless of room size, but the decay and any resonant frequencies will be diminished in a smaller room.

One time I did a session for a friend at a small studio in someone's home. The drum room was tiny, barely big enough to fit a 4-piece kit. My Renowns have never sounded that bad, before or since. There was zero—and I mean ZERO—resonance or decay, or any sort of "presence". Just these lifeless thuddy sounds. And for the first time ever, I thought my kit sounded like crap. But there wasn't really anything I could do about it, so oh well.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
TK correct me if this is off, but I thought standing waves....which supposedly every room has (verify)...are to be eliminated, no?
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
. . .
. . .
The exact ratio between heads will vary (for example, your lowest floor tom may only have the bottom head 1 note above the top head instead of a third higher). You'll have to experiment for each drum.
. . .

I've heard that's to keep unwanted overtones to a minimum, especially on deeper floor toms, is that correct?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The heads that I have are about 4 years old (Evans G2's on the tops & G1's on the bottoms).
So in a nutshell, the current sound isn't fantastic, probably mostly because the kit isn't properly tuned.
4 year old heads ..... yikes!!!! Time to re-head that kit. Tired, old heads may be the entire reason you're falling out-of-love with the Silverstar. Kudos on your drum room. Hellofa build. It's small size is surely an obstacle to getting killer sound ..... but we all have to do whatever we have to do to play our instruments.

ineedaclutch mentioned mics, board, and in ears. That would help, a lot. Your headphones are filtering out a ton of frequencies that make your kit sound its best. They're saving your hearing, that's good. But you're not getting the full sound spectrum. Even a Yamaha EAD10 would probably a step in the right direction.

So first, I'd get new heads ..... and get to tuning. Think about mics. And ..... you can still get a new kit if that's what you really want to do. Everything else will help you enjoy that more, it it comes down the road.
 
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