THE DRUM MODIFICATION THREAD.

Jasta 11

Well-known member
My band gigs a lot and it gets old setting up and tearing down, loading in and loading out, 3 or 4 nights a week so i have been thinking about how to do it with a smaller foot print ( less cymbal stands/less stage space) and lighter to carry. I was going to buy a "travel" kit or something like that but i realized, I have a ton of drums already ( a 12 piece and a 9 piece kit as well as some extra drums) so the first option was to convert a floor tom which i did. Now that is getting old too, the depth being 16 inches can take up valuable floor/stage space. SOOOOO, i decided to cut some drums on my table saw. I took a huge chance not knowing what they would sound like. The first pic without a bass reso was just to see what I had after cutting. I bought new bass lugs and used the existing holes. The next pic is at the first gig recently, now i eliminated the cymbal stand and have a small boom arm in the second tom hole. I also use a cymbal stacker arm on the ride. Last pic to give a little perspective, the bass is only 22X8. The sound is amazing, i feel like i got lucky.20190807_164148.jpg20190815_161316.jpg20190816_113830.jpg
 

roncadillac

Member
My band gigs a lot and it gets old setting up and tearing down, loading in and loading out, 3 or 4 nights a week so i have been thinking about how to do it with a smaller foot print ( less cymbal stands/less stage space) and lighter to carry. I was going to buy a "travel" kit or something like that but i realized, I have a ton of drums already ( a 12 piece and a 9 piece kit as well as some extra drums) so the first option was to convert a floor tom which i did. Now that is getting old too, the depth being 16 inches can take up valuable floor/stage space. SOOOOO, i decided to cut some drums on my table saw. I took a huge chance not knowing what they would sound like. The first pic without a bass reso was just to see what I had after cutting. I bought new bass lugs and used the existing holes. The next pic is at the first gig recently, now i eliminated the cymbal stand and have a small boom arm in the second tom hole. I also use a cymbal stacker arm on the ride. Last pic to give a little perspective, the bass is only 22X8. The sound is amazing, i feel like i got lucky.View attachment 87011View attachment 87012View attachment 87013
I've done exactly that for years. Always wanted a Pacific chameleon kit but could never find one, then Tama came out with the Club Jam Mini and I jumped right on it. But before that I've been playing (and loving) shallow cut drums.
 

travelin'light

New member
My band gigs a lot and it gets old setting up and tearing down, loading in and loading out, 3 or 4 nights a week so i have been thinking about how to do it with a smaller foot print ( less cymbal stands/less stage space) and lighter to carry. I was going to buy a "travel" kit or something like that but i realized, I have a ton of drums already ( a 12 piece and a 9 piece kit as well as some extra drums) so the first option was to convert a floor tom which i did. Now that is getting old too, the depth being 16 inches can take up valuable floor/stage space. SOOOOO, i decided to cut some drums on my table saw. I took a huge chance not knowing what they would sound like. The first pic without a bass reso was just to see what I had after cutting. I bought new bass lugs and used the existing holes. The next pic is at the first gig recently, now i eliminated the cymbal stand and have a small boom arm in the second tom hole. I also use a cymbal stacker arm on the ride. Last pic to give a little perspective, the bass is only 22X8. The sound is amazing, i feel like i got lucky.View attachment 87011View attachment 87012View attachment 87013
Great work! Your cut down drums looks like an expensive bop kit you'd see in the shops.

Quick question for the OP or anyone who knows...I also just recently converted a 16x16 floor tom to bass drum, and when mic'd and EQ'd it sounds impressive. Now I'm wondering how a cut-down kick drum, say 20x6, would compare? What's the difference? Is it worth it? Or should I just stick with the converted floor tom?

I'm a drummer living and working in the Tokyo area, so anyway I can lighten my load for train travel is a plus.
 

roncadillac

Member
Great work! Your cut down drums looks like an expensive bop kit you'd see in the shops.

Quick question for the OP or anyone who knows...I also just recently converted a 16x16 floor tom to bass drum, and when mic'd and EQ'd it sounds impressive. Now I'm wondering how a cut-down kick drum, say 20x6, would compare? What's the difference? Is it worth it? Or should I just stick with the converted floor tom?

I'm a drummer living and working in the Tokyo area, so anyway I can lighten my load for train travel is a plus.
In my continued quest for portability I have played both 'standard depth' small drums and shallow depth 'normal size' drums (my most recent examples being 18x7 and 16x14, with a 20x10 before those) and personally really prefer a smaller but deeper drum sound wise. 16 depth x 12-14 diameter seems to be my sweet spot. I find shallow drums speak too quickly to carry a deep note and my large diameter shallow bass drums always had plenty of punch but no bottom end and weird tuning inconsistencies. With the same shells, heads, tuning, and room I can easily make a 16x14 into a room filling, chest thumping cannon even without mics where as my 18x7 and 20x10 always needed a mic and plenty of EQ time. Not to say a 16" is 'loud' but it does cut which is an important distinction.
 

travelin'light

New member
Thank you for the reply. You might have just saved my marriage!😁 Wife officially banned me from any more drum purchases a while back. You've now convinced me to just stick with this converted 16x16 floor tom. I'd installed the Evens EMAD head and was slightly underwhelmed by it all. But the first gig we played I was definitely impressed with the bass the sound guy was able to coax from it. If only all our shows could have a nice PA and soundguy😏
Now I can focus on purchasing more cymbals. Wife didn't say anything about them😉
 

roncadillac

Member
Thank you for the reply. You might have just saved my marriage!😁 Wife officially banned me from any more drum purchases a while back. You've now convinced me to just stick with this converted 16x16 floor tom. I'd installed the Evens EMAD head and was slightly underwhelmed by it all. But the first gig we played I was definitely impressed with the bass the sound guy was able to coax from it. If only all our shows could have a nice PA and soundguy😏
Now I can focus on purchasing more cymbals. Wife didn't say anything about them😉
The emad is a great head, especially in mic'ed scenarios HOWEVER I've grown to really love the eq4. It gives me the same level of focus and punch I get from the emad when mic'ed but is made of a slightly different film that lends a boost to the drum's natural volume while overall making a more versatile drum (to me). Regardless, the emad is great and should serve you well and I'm happy that all worked out.
 

roncadillac

Member
EMADs are great 'til they start to rattle....
Thank you!!!

EQ4 all day: same punch, more volume, more tone, more versatile, usually cheaper, should last longer under the same conditions (vs rattling plastic tray on the emad). I know evans has fixed the issue of the plastic trays separating and falling off but they do still start to rattle after awhile, especially if you change tunings frequently or swap the head from drum to drum.

Love your website btw, not sure if I've said that or not before.
 
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K Chez

Member
So, I have a spare snare that was the original to my kit from the late 80's (Ludwig Rocker) that was needing a little TLC. One issue was the bosses that the screws go into on the lugs kept breaking. First is was one and a bout a year later another, then they all started failing. (the one on the right still has one screw boss left), so I decided to pull all of them and replace all the lugs.
Rocker-Snare-2.jpg
When I got the drum apart, I got the thought in my head that now would be a good time to do a refinish, as a chrome same is pretty ordinary.Rocker-Snare-1.jpg
Came up with a way to utilize the chrome with some new graphics and add some color with some transparent and matte vinyl (and a love for pinstriping!)
Rocker-Snare-4.jpg
First step was to wrap over the chrome with the transparent blue...Rocker-Snare-5.jpg
For the graphics, I made a template of the drum and laid out some stock pinstripe graphics (normally I would have hand painted this, but I wanted this to be done in a couple hours)Rocker-Snare-3.jpg
After cutting these designs on matte black wrap film, I reverse weeded them so the blue chrome would show through and this was the end result. Not too bad for a couple of hours work.Rocker-Snare-9.jpgRocker-Snare-8.jpgRocker-Snare-6.jpg
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
So, I have a spare snare that was the original to my kit from the late 80's (Ludwig Rocker) that was needing a little TLC. One issue was the bosses that the screws go into on the lugs kept breaking. First is was one and a bout a year later another, then they all started failing. (the one on the right still has one screw boss left), so I decided to pull all of them and replace all the lugs.
View attachment 89765
When I got the drum apart, I got the thought in my head that now would be a good time to do a refinish, as a chrome same is pretty ordinary.View attachment 89766
Came up with a way to utilize the chrome with some new graphics and add some color with some transparent and matte vinyl (and a love for pinstriping!)
View attachment 89767
First step was to wrap over the chrome with the transparent blue...View attachment 89769
For the graphics, I made a template of the drum and laid out some stock pinstripe graphics (normally I would have hand painted this, but I wanted this to be done in a couple hours)View attachment 89770
After cutting these designs on matte black wrap film, I reverse weeded them so the blue chrome would show through and this was the end result. Not too bad for a couple of hours work.View attachment 89771View attachment 89772View attachment 89773
That looks freaking awesome! I will say I think the blue alone with the chrome underneath would look fantastic also.

Is the vinyl the same as automotive vinyl wrap? And did you have to glue it or anything to the shell?
 

K Chez

Member
That looks freaking awesome! I will say I think the blue alone with the chrome underneath would look fantastic also.

Is the vinyl the same as automotive vinyl wrap? And did you have to glue it or anything to the shell?
Thanks! Yeah, I was thinking it wasn't looking bad just blue, but the kit it will get used on is black, so that was the logic for going that route. And yes, the black is 3M 1080 color change wrap, and the blue is Oracal 8300 transparent. The blue doesn't have air release and isn't that conformable - going over the badge almost caused some big wrinkles, but I worked through it.
 

GeorgiaPhil

Member
This is the lovely Beulah Mae. She started life as two sets of early 1960's Whitehall drums. The bass drum is believe it or not 3 Ply Maple-Luan-Maple, the rest are your standard Luan shells, all with reinforcing rings. But there ends the similarity to Asian firewood. I reconditioned all the shells, painted the interiors with faux stone finish and then a layer of laquer over that. Then I re-cut the bearing edges to a modern double 45, finally finishing the exteriors with a custom designed wrap. I also took one of the 13x9 rack toms and converted it into a snare drum, carving out the snare bed by hand. The two octabans are made from special ordered extruded clear pvc.

The interior shell treatment increased the resonance and made the drums a bit brighter overall. Still, even with clear 10 mil single ply heads (Georgia Phil brand, built to Remo Ambassador spec) they retain an overall warm vintage character. They don't project like my Slingies, I mean lets face it, luan has a beautiful natural dark and warm character, but it's lightweight and porous, it will never project like maple or birch, but still the sound character of these drums is wonderful and unique. And once you mic them up, projection is not an issue anyway.

She has been my main gigging kit for years and aside from the occasional fitting working loose from time to time (50 year old hardware whaddya gonna do), she's never let me down. I take care of Beulah and she takes care of me, and boy you should see the crowd reaction when they see her in her full glory under stage lights.

FlameLoversDrums.jpg
 
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roncadillac

Member
This is the lovely Beulah Mae. She started life as two sets of early 1960's Whitehall drums. The bass drum is believe it or not 3 Ply Maple-Luan-Maple, the rest are your standard Luan shells, all with reinforcing rings. But there ends the similarity to Asian firewood. I reconditioned all the shells, painted the interiors with faux stone finish and then a layer of laquer over that. Then I re-cut the bearing edges to a modern double 45, finally finishing the exteriors with a custom designed wrap. I also took one of the 13x9 rack toms and converted it into a snare drum, carving out the snare bed by hand. The two octabans are made from special ordered extruded clear pvc.

The interior shell treatment increased the resonance and made the drums a bit brighter overall. Still, even with clear 10 mil single ply heads (Georgia Phil brand, built to Remo Ambassador spec) they retain an overall warm vintage character. They don't project like my Slingies, I mean lets face it, luan has a beautiful natural dark and warm character, but it's lightweight and porous, it will never project like maple or birch, but still the sound character of these drums is wonderful and unique. And once you mic them up, projection is not an issue anyway.

She has been my main gigging kit for years and aside from the occasional fitting working loose from time to time (50 year old hardware whaddya gonna do), she's never let me down. I take care of Beulah and she takes care of me, and boy you should see the crowd reaction when they see her in her full glory under stage lights.

View attachment 89943
Brought a tear to my eye like those ASPCA commercials. That's a bond you've got there that not many would understand.
 
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