This is a good deal

braincramp

Gold Member
I see musicians friend is selling Drumcraft Certified Bubinga snare drums 14 x 5.5 for $149 on eBay. With the Nickelwork throw this is a steal. I see Beech 6" ones for $169. Thought I'd pass it on. The price is worth it just for the hardware IMO. Wish I didn't just spend so much on my Roland kit or I'd nab a couple of these.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I salute you Braincramp, for passing on this deal!
I just ordered the 14x5.5 Bubinga even though I'm in no position to spend any money.
 

Brian

Gold Member
Thanks. Just ordered a 14x6.5 maple and also in no position to do so, but I regret selling all of my wood snares.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I am also in no position to buy another snare drum, but somehow 3 of them landed in my shopping cart... At this price you could almost consider them "stocking stuffers".
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Oh gosh, I really really want to pull the trigger on this.
But I have my first ever wood snare coming in the mail tomorrow.
So I have not even tried a wood snare yet.


.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I am also in no position to buy another snare drum, but somehow 3 of them landed in my shopping cart... At this price you could almost consider them "stocking stuffers".
Which ones did you buy? I don't know anything about Drumcraft but I'm tempted by that Bubinga snare.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
When DrumCraft first announced they were no longer going to be distributed here in the states, I managed to pick up a new Series 8 kit at my local Sam Ash for $350 with a matching snare.

I can attest that the drums are made very well, but the lugs and strainer, seemed to be chrome plated plastic, so I returned it about a week later. I didn't need another kit at the time, but it was pretty cool to just pick up the whole kit for that cheap. The drums themselves sounded very good.

I'm tempted to look at one of those snares.....
 

newoldie

Silver Member
I fell under the influence and pulled the trigger on a Bubinga last night.
It certainly looks gorgeous and should be a nice middle ground between my Sonor Designer Lite maple and Ludwig Supralite if I don't use the snares that came with the full kits I have.
The price seemed too good to pass for a snare with relatively good reviews so far online and a sound that might be unique to this type of wood shell.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Which ones did you buy? I don't know anything about Drumcraft but I'm tempted by that Bubinga snare.
I ordered the 3 B's: Birch, Beech and Bubinga.

I am curious to see what kind of hardware quality they have. Honestly, at this price I wouldn't be surprised if the lugs are chrome plated plastic. But lugs can be replaced for not a lot of money. Considering how cheap these are selling for, you could get all new lugs, a new strainer, different heads and new wires and it would still cost less than the drum at full price.
 

Brian

Gold Member
My 6.5x14 maple just arrived. I happen to work for the shipper and deliver to the customer center, so I actually delivered the drum to myself today. heh heh

Anyway the edges are in good shape, the shell looks pretty nice. The hardware is so-so - I'm especially not digging the strainer much. The Remo heads are adequate.

I tuned it to a happy medium and it delivers a fat sound. Pretty loud and lively. Haven't experimented further, but so far it's definitely bang for the buck.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
The Maple sounds pretty good from the videos I have seen/heard. I was very surprised at the sound of the oak though. That one sounded particularly good. If it wasn't $200 I would have probably picked that one up instead of the Birch.

The Nickleworks strainer isn't that great, but its lightweight and smooth. It may break on you though. When I get mine in I'll decide if I'm keeping the strainer(s) or replacing them. I know of a few strainers that are direct swaps, no re-drilling required.
 

Brian

Gold Member
The Maple sounds pretty good from the videos I have seen/heard. I was very surprised at the sound of the oak though. That one sounded particularly good. If it wasn't $200 I would have probably picked that one up instead of the Birch.

The Nickleworks strainer isn't that great, but its lightweight and smooth. It may break on you though. When I get mine in I'll decide if I'm keeping the strainer(s) or replacing them. I know of a few strainers that are direct swaps, no re-drilling required.
Yeah I'm going to just enjoy as-is for a few months, or maybe a week or two?, or at least a few more hours, then disassembling and doing something else. :D
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Well, I just completely disassembled my Bubinga snare. Shell is totally bare. Here's what I have to report so far:

Quality of components:
Hoops: Pretty nice chrome plating on them. Nothing odd about the plating, but a bit more care could have gone in to de-burring all the edges. They are a bit rough and you can tell that that last step to making them really nice was omitted, probably as a cost savings measure. They are a bit heavier than a standard 2.3mm hoop, not just by weight, but you can feel they are a bit beefier in your hands. What will that mean for the overall sound? Maybe a bit drier tone with a bit more brightness and some good crack on rim shots. This is all a guess as I have not played the drum as of yet.

Lugs and tension rods: Lugs aren't too bad. They are plated pretty nicely and are de-burred well. They are very thin though. Maybe 1mm or less thick. Their design should allow for a long life, though, as they are reinforced around the brass swivel nuts and have a thick, hard plastic lug spacer that goes between the shell and lug. Hopefully this will allow for a bit of shock absorption and keep the lugs from having any cracking issues.

Tension rods are all stainless steel, nicely cut with slightly tapered ends so the glide easily in the the swivel nuts. They are a bit long on this drum since it is a 5.5" depth. So head changes will take a bit longer unless you have a drill with a drum key head to speed up the seemingly endless turning. Not much else to report. All looked good with no gummed up threads.

Heads: Remo USA ambassador snare side and coated CS reverse dot batter. That's a very nice welcome for a drum that is built overseas on a budget. Not much else to report at this time as I have not played the drum to let you about the sound. That will come later.

Throw-off and snares: The Nickleworks throw-off on this drum is 100% metal and the weight shows. Its not the usual metal with poly-carbonate exterior. Its a heavy throw-off. No rotation on this throw. But it operates pretty smoothly and is plated with a nice shiny chrome. The butt is not the usual Nickleworks butt. Its a bit larger with more overall surface area touching the drum. Probably not a huge deal considering how heavy the throw-off is, but if you are looking for minimal shell contact, this is not the butt for you.

The strainer is a 20 strand "Drumcraft branded" Puresound copper copy held on by "recycled parachute string"... Whatever that means. Just like the heads there's nothing to report until I play the drum.

Badge and air vent: Both of these are what I call "Good from a far, but far from a good." The air vent has noticeable scratches under the chrome plating that almost anyone would pick up on. The badge has elongated mounting holes as if the plate didn't fit perfectly to the holes in the drum and they had to fudge it a bit. Other than that its a very nice looking badge with a mix of brushed and polished aluminum. I wish this badge was held on by double sided tape instead on drilling 4 mounting holes in to the shell, but there's nothing I can do about that.

Shell: I believe Drumcraft says these are 8 ply 100% certified bubinga shells. Yeah, I'm sorry to report that this is not the case. I count 6 interior plys of Bubinga and the outer two I am calling out as Alpi. Granted its a very pretty exterior with the light playing gracefully over the fiddle-backed waterfall bubinga exterior, but I think we all know that for this pricepoint this drum can not afford such an expensive veneer of real bubinga. Also, a dead giveaway is that the 7th ply is bright white, like poplar. I don't know of any white bubinga wood. This is okay though, IMO. These last 2 plys don't really contribute too much to the sound when compared to the 6 inner plys. So if it affords nice looks, keeps the costs down and saves us trees, I'm okay with this construction method on this drum.

The bearing edges are an offset double 45 with a very sharp peak on both the batter and resonant side. They look to be cut very nicely, though I have not checked the shell on my table for how level they are just yet. I'm hoping it checks out well. The snare beds look to only be about 3/32nd's deep and about 4 inches wide, so this snare should be pretty lively. Overall, initial impressions are looking good. That means I won't have to cut all new edges on this drum. Yay!

The shell's construction is pretty solid. No gaps in any of the plys and the drum has a nice low pitched "dunnnnngggggg" sound when doing the John Good shell tap test. The shells exterior has a nice, smooth, gloss sheen to it and the interior was left sanded smooth, across the grain albeit... The hole drilling left a bit to be desired, unfortunately. The interior has some blasting out of the interior ply. Not huge, but its there and you can't fix it. The exterior, for some reason, has little chips around all the holes in the finish. I have never seen this before on a drum. Usually the outside is perfectly clean with the interior having the typical blasting. Im debating taking my stepped drill bit and cleaning up the holes to prevent any possible cracks from developing. Granted all this is covered up by the hardware, its a bit of a bummer to see a pretty shell like this have all these little imperfections.

Overall impressions: I get that this drum is built to a budget. Hower, for what you pay you get an awful lot: stainless tension rods, all metal nickleworks throw, 2.5mm hoops, Remo USA heads, copycat Puresound wires, and a mostly all Bubinga shell with a really pretty finish. These little flaws should be expected on a drum at this price point, but all the aforementioned things are never included at this price point. These items are typically reserved for snares costing 3-5 times this price.

If you have the means and are looking for a pretty well made drum for not a lot of money, at this time I would recommend the Drumcraft Bubinga Series 8 snare. If you keep your expectations where they should be with this price, you will probably be blown away with it.

Edit: Fixed typo's.
 
Last edited:

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Just took apart the Birch and its slightly better than the Bubinga. Less blasting out of the holes on the inside, but they skimped out on zinc coated fasteners so the mild steel ones were a bit rusty and stained the inside of the shell under them. Not the end of the world, but zinc coated would be better. Shell has a much higher pitched shell tap sound. The inside will be needing a bit more sanding as it looks like they used 180 grit and walked away. Its pretty rough feeling inside.

This is one of the strangest drums I have come across though. Its a 13" drum with 10 lugs. It uses black coated heats on the batter and the reso. Its a 6 ply shell with "let in" 8 ply re- rings effectively making the bearing have 11 plys to work with, but they still went with the same offset sharp double 45 like they did on the thin shell bubinga snare.

Its a rather strange drum.

Edit: Fixed typo's
 
Last edited:

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
And the Beech looks to be the best of the bunch. Least amount of blow out, no rust on the fasteners (these are some sort of black coated screws), thick 12 ply shell with the same offset sharp double 45. You would think on a shell with so much area to do a nice edge that you would take advantage of it. Oh well. Two unfortunates on this drum. One, the snare side hoop isn't the smoothest under the black nickle plating. Its a bit more textured/etched than a nice smooth rim. Oh well. And second, the snare wires were bent on arrival, so I will have to get new wires for the drum, or clip out the bad ones.

Okay, time to go to bed.
 
Last edited:

WallyY

Platinum Member
I just ripped my bubinga apart to see what's up with it too.

I have black coated screws on the bubinga snare, so maybe they're making mishmash at the factory.

My shell has no white ply in there, it's all brown. The shell is very thin. I can't tell if it's faux bubinga veneer because of the gloss. I'm only familiar with the old Sonor Signature bubinga and it looks similar, just just not as figured. I'm calling it probably just a budget veneer of real bubinga. Cool. Fine.

I had to take a lug off because Matt thought they were plastic lugs and to me they felt plastic. I put a knife to the chrome on the lugs and it dug in like plastic, but when I took it apart, it looks to be metal. I tried to carve some of the inside of the lug off, but it's fine. It's metal.

I thought the shell might have thickness variances, but when I mic'd it , it looks to be about 5.3mm all around.

Nice shells that lay flat when spun around on the countertop. Seemingly square edges. Measuring the shell across different diameters gives about 1/16" off at the largest, so it's good.

Hoops were fairly straight and only needed minor manhandling.

The snares were ugly and I switched them out for Ludwig snares. It looks like the Puresound copies were not made well and had gobs of solder on the ends, so I chucked em. Maybe I'll plop them on the Sonor Bop snare.

Luckily, I had an extra set of snares from Cascio because when I tried to make an order, I accidentally used an old credit card and they "deleted" my order. I then ordered again with a valid card and they un-ordered the deleted first order and I got sent two sets of snare wires. i tried to ask for return authorisation but Cascio didn't return my emails, so I won't bother using them any more even though it was a fairly cheap purchase.

Overall, I'll agree with TommyD. Not a bad drum for the price and a little bit of tweaking might make it sound good.

Since I haven't rung it out, if it sounds like a bag of crap I'll keep it for a low-fi sound and tune it all to hell.

Might take the gaskets off.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
The fasteners on my Beech drum are some sort of painted/coated black, but my Bubinga and Birch are both black mild steel. They must be grabbing from what ever bin is closest when making these. Its not the end of the world, but its just a sign of speed and efficiency when building these drums.

So Wally, your shell doesnt have a white colored ply directly under the outer veneer? I read a guy's review of the Bubinga snare on the Tama forums and he has the same white ply like I do. He has photos of the ply layup and mine matches exactly. I figured this would be the tell tale sign of an Alpi wrap.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
None that I can see. I'm terrible at counting plies.

If I can get this thing to sound good in the next hour, I'l probably bring it to tonight's gig and maybe get a zoom sample.
 

Attachments

Top