The sound of the drum is within the heads

johnwesley

Silver Member
Finally someone with sense when it comes to drum construction and the sound produced by the heads not the shell. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of shell thickness and wood versus metal. One major, major point is.....Roto Toms. There is no shell and they can sound great. I found a set of CB 700s sitting by a dumpster waiting for the garbage man. I took them home, stripped the crappy wrap, stained the Luan plies, put good Remo Ambassadors all around and those drums sounded great.project 1.jpgrestore 1 001.jpgrestore 2 002.jpgrestore 4 002.jpgrestore 4 005.jpg
 

Griffin

Well-known member
I like this guy. He’s definitely on to something. So much marketing hype with drumming technology. Ever since I uprgraded the heads on my entry level Tama Swingstar as a teenager and realised it became a totally different set I’ve realised heads is pretty much the ball game. Like he says you buy high end kits for the finish and hardware.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I like this guy. He’s definitely on to something. So much marketing hype with drumming technology. Ever since I uprgraded the heads on my entry level Tama Swingstar as a teenager and realised it became a totally different set I’ve realised heads is pretty much the ball game. Like he says you buy high end kits for the finish and hardware.
Absolutely correct. First thing most drummers look at is the brand, followed by looks, THEN and ONLY THEN do they want to know how they sound. That of course was pre-determined by the first two things. Drums are drums. Just like it ain't the construction material that makkes a clarinet sound good. The reed is what makes the sound. Like the head on a drum makes the sound. The shell or body of a clarinet is just the carrier of the sound. It does so no matter the material.
 

EhhSoCheap

Member
This guy’s video on snare sounds was posted not too long ago. The discussion was interesting:

 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
I think there's some truth to this. I've played a lot of different types of drums, brands, shells, and wood.

I joke that every time at practice when I tune the drums I always say "Yup, sounds like a drum". I know some people and guitarist get so into tuning and getting it just right. But in the mix all that goes away.
 

Griffin

Well-known member
I think there's some truth to this. I've played a lot of different types of drums, brands, shells, and wood.

I joke that every time at practice when I tune the drums I always say "Yup, sounds like a drum". I know some people and guitarist get so into tuning and getting it just right. But in the mix all that goes away.
I was just talking to my bassist about this after practice tonight. He was asking if drummers get into the tone wood discussion as much as guitarists. I just laughed. But in the end we both agreed that while it has some impact in a real world playing scenario it will almost never make much impact, or certainly not the impact the marketing claims.

The main situation we agreed where tone-wood makes a difference would be solo classical guitar.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
There seems to be a certain sound that sound engineers think drums should sound like and recording techniques are adjusted to that sound. That's why I take drum recordings with a grain of salt. I want one, maybe two microphones out front picking up the sound of the drums. Not one mic attached to each drum and EQ'd to ll sound the same. It is hype, and marketing. Do I make drums, No. Do I play and tune drums, YES. I had at one time eight snares , and I could tune them to all sound the same. Luaun layers, walnut, oak, maple. If you are buying, try to find a store where you can play and maybe play with the tuning. Ignore the marketing hype on Youtube. Johnny Rabb was at a local drum store clinic and was playing drums by a local builder. One of the rack toms, just for yucks, was a thick cardboard 8 inch tube.
 

Armor of Light

Senior Member
stumbled upon some late night viewing and the engineer in me thinks, yup, you have a point.


Let's discuss.
Yup.

The same fluctuations and evolutions happen to a lot of industries as far as pricing. Look at mountain bikes or road bikes over the last 20-30 years and you see the same thing. The only way (I think..) to keep profits and market up is to convince the masses that UPDATING is UPGRADING.

Convince people to buy what they don't need with $ they don't have.

You shouldn't have to friggin FINANCE a drum kit or a mountain bike, but that is par-for-the-course for a lot of folks.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
So, with this all being valid. Maybe I could just buy some shells from a distributor, wrap them or stain them, throw on a bunch of new hardware and BOOM.

New to me drums at a fraction of the cost.
 
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Justinhub2003

Well-known member
Ok.
Maybe what he is saying is true to a degree. But ain’t a person on this planet gonna convince me that my Ludwig Classic Oak doesn’t sound better than my DW Design series.

I used the same heads. Same mics. Same tuning strategy and my classic Oak’s sound professional, less fussy when it comes to tuning and just over all they sound better.

but i do believe heads are very critical to the sound. which is why i have a huge selection of drum heads on hand.

i think, like most things, the answer is in the middle
 

dboomer

Senior Member
The drum shell does make a difference. The question is “how much difference”?

Obviously size makes a difference (both diameter and depth affect tone differently) as well as one head or two. But after that my opinion is that the shell itself makes a very small impact on the tone. And even what/when it does that tone makes very little difference inside a band. If you can play your 50 favorite recordings and you are 100% certain what shells the drummer is using than you probably don’t agree with my opinion. But I couldn’t name 1 out of 50.
 

bearblastbeats

Senior Member
I’m not sure how cost effective this strategy would be.
I'm pricing it up as we speak.

I got a quote for a Ludwig Legacy Mahogany in Sky Blue Pearl (12/14/20)for $2700.

I priced out precision (Keller) drum shells; Vintage Mahogany (12/14/20)
8x12 = $121
14x14 = $147
14x20 = $212
(1) roll of sky blue drum wrap = $100

(2) 12", 6 hole 2.3mm flanges = $22
(2) 14", 8 hole 2.3mm flanges = $25
(2) 20", 6ply 1.5"w w/ 24mm inlay = $78

(28) Ludwig Mini Classic lugs with screws/gaskets/etc. = $252
OR
(28) 1 1/4" tube lugs = $166

(1) pair of telescoping spurs = $46

Heads = $150

Total = $1153

I can pay myself $1500 to assemble the damn thing.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'm pricing it up as we speak.

I got a quote for a Ludwig Legacy Mahogany in Sky Blue Pearl (12/14/20)for $2700.

I priced out precision (Keller) drum shells; Vintage Mahogany (12/14/20)
8x12 = $121
14x14 = $147
14x20 = $212
(1) roll of sky blue drum wrap = $100

(2) 12", 6 hole 2.3mm flanges = $22
(2) 14", 8 hole 2.3mm flanges = $25
(2) 20", 6ply 1.5"w w/ 24mm inlay = $78

(28) Ludwig Mini Classic lugs with screws/gaskets/etc. = $252
OR
(28) 1 1/4" tube lugs = $166

(1) pair of telescoping spurs = $46

Heads = $150

Total = $1153

I can pay myself $1500 to assemble the damn thing.
You forgot ~48 tension rods, floor tom legs and brackets. I'm guessing the 12" goes in a basket, but if not you need mounting hardware for the kick and the bracket for the tom also.

Did you include bearing edges and holes for lugs in the price of the shell?
 
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