Totally new drum concept, the build journey.

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Ok, I've been banging on about this for some time, so I owe it to everyone to put some meat on the bones. I've designed a totally new concept in drum construction. I've come up with the design principal, produced drawings, etc & partnered with the very talented Dean Price of Guru Drumworks who's constructing the beast. I'll start by saying that, if all works out as planned, we intend to patent certain aspects of the design. That equates to frustration all round regarding giving you the full details. As most of you probably know, releasing detail of the unique features precludes patent listing, so this thread will be very general in nature for a while to come, sorry. Our decision to patent or not is based on one simple criteria, if we create a kit that sounds as good as the very best out there, we will have failed. It needs to be something very special to warrant the huge deviation from conventional design.

So, here goes on as much detail as I dare release for now:

The shells, hoops, & other key components are constructed from 200 year old mahogany.

Shell construction is stave. Tom shells are only 3mm thick (less than 1/8"), bass drum shell is 5mm thick (just over 3/16ths). Free floating & completely unstressed.

Hoops & bearing edge assemblies are segmented.

Unique "hybrid" bearing edge design.

Independent batter & reso head tuning.

Shell sizes (equivalent to standard measuring method, diameter x depth)
8" x 10"
10" x 10"
12" x 10"
14" x 16"
20" x 20"
14" x 6" snare.

Snare is conventional stave construction using tensioning lugs. Same 200 year old mahogany but 30mm thick shell, mahogany segmented hoops, triple throw symphonic strainer with chord (gut), wire, & spring snare options.

Something about the design principal & goals:

This kit is all about the sound. It's primary function is a recording kit, or live & mic'd. The construction is designed to isolate & control overtones whilst promoting maximum shell involvement. There is almost a total reliance on sympathetic resonance rather than vibration transferred by contact. This should allow me to fully exploit the depth benefits of these drums. Both the isolation systems and unique hybrid bearing edges are designed to offer maximum sustain, with the exception of the bass drum reso head & the snare.

I'll be back to this thread with updates as we progress. Once the kit is finally together, & assuming it's all worked out as planned, I'll be back on with sound clips & other stuff. Sorry it's taken so long to get to the construction stage, but just about every component of this kit has required bespoke tooling to be laid down, & that takes time. Thanks for your patience.

One last note, the very special bearing edge concept will not be the subject of a patent. Although it easily fulfills the criteria for patenting in it's own right, if it really does work, I'm keen to throw the design into the public domain so that anyone who wants to use it is free to do so.

The first picture shows the stave shells & all segmented pieces in their raw state.

The second picture shows the hoop & bearing edge blanks for the suspended floor tom.
 

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M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Well I'm certainly intrigued. I await updates forthwith!
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Cheers guys, in all honesty, we're a good few weeks away from final assembly & even further away from recordings. I will be spending a couple of days with Dean when we finally put everything together. I'll be taking my Spaun kit up as a comparison for initial results. If I get the chance, I'll record those early comparisons.

One point I forgot to mention, although we've tried to get the aesthetics as good as possible, there's no doubt this kit will look anything but conventional. Looking good is way down the list of priorities, & doubtless it won't be to everyone's taste.
 

double_G

Silver Member
that is super crazy & amazing. dream project. i am just blown away on the concept of 200 year old mahog. how / where / when were you able to source this?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
How much waste is there going to be if the drums are 5mm thick. Those unfinished shells look to be 30mm or more thick as they sit there. Are you shaving off 25mm or more?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
that is super crazy & amazing. dream project. i am just blown away on the concept of 200 year old mahog. how / where / when were you able to source this?
The mahogany was sourced through Dean's usual specialist reclaimed timber merchant. The planks were taken from old church pews, so they've had quite a while to season. Dean uses very old wood whenever possible, and sights good evidence of the superior resonance properties of very old timber.

How much waste is there going to be if the drums are 5mm thick. Those unfinished shells look to be 30mm or more thick as they sit there. Are you shaving off 25mm or more?
The straight answer is, yes. I'm hoping Dean will chime in on this. He's the "go to" guy on stave construction, with a lot of experience of this construction, but I'll have a go at my take on this. The toms are 3mm thick, bass drum 5mm thick, snare 30mm thick.

Of course, a lot of thickness is shaved off just to get the shell into the round. I've seen the raw planks, & I'm assuming that Dean has decided to construct them initially close to their original thickness. Splitting the planks into thinner sections probably wasn't a practical option. Also, I'm sure Dean has stability & similarity of grain section in mind. The raw stave will be lathed inside & outside to achieve the desired diameter & thickness. This should leave the resultant shell comprising of wood from consistent growth sections of the tree.

There is a real development angle to this, even the shells. Stave shells of such thickness have rarely, if ever, been produced before, especially without rerings. I've already viewed one of Deans experimental super thin stave shells, & it was impressively stable. This kit design will leave the shells completely unstressed yet constantly supported by the isolating mechanism in the design.
 

gwaco

Senior Member
This is gonna be good ! When is Dean going to start turning the shells down?

Andy you need to get a picture of them being turned so we can see how he does it , with out devulging to much top secret stuff of course!

By looking at the second pic are the shells going to have vertical air shafts drilled through them?

I defianatly understand about a project like this taking awhile so please keep us updated on the progress.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Nice!

And now I no longer have to threaten to fly to England and heckle you at gigs! :p

I'm looking forward to future updates!
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Very cool, Andy. I, too, eagerly await updates and eventually/hopefully some sound/video files. I really enjoy studying the particulars of drums and thinking about sound variations, etc., so this project sounds exceptionally cool: a marriage of technical creativity and love of an instrument.

Look forward to the updates!

P.S. Does this mean your son gets the Spauns when the uber kit is finished? :)
 

Guru

Junior Member
Great thread andy,

I have really been looking forward to getting into this build for awhile, from talks with andy and his concept he really has great understanding of manifacturing/acoustics and what can and cant be done, i would not normall take on such a idea but andys thinking/knowlege is great and got my brain hooked on the idea

The wood was a great find, ussually old wood is found in all sizes other than what you would need but these pues fit the bill nicley. i will take some pics today of the seat ends and post a pic here to show abit of how it started

i really like old wood and the theory of its acoustics makes it even better, a simple explaination is, the wood fibers are held together by a resin called lignin wich even in dryed new wood is still a resin but with a low moisture content, after years of the wood being dry and in use this resin eventually drys so much it crystalises and becomes hard so will transfer vibrations much easyer giving higher resonance and sustain


@ guntersdad the shells are 20mm thick as they are now apart from the snare, i do this as the larger flat angle makes the glue up much easyer, with a thicker board and angles cut right when i tighten the shell up with a clamp the angled faces lock flat together wich pulls the shell in perfect round, this gives a few good advantages the main one being is it balanced when spinning on the lathe

looking forward to your guys thoughts as the build/thread progresses

dean
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Great thread andy,

I have really been looking forward to getting into this build for awhile, from talks with andy and his concept he really has great understanding of manifacturing/acoustics and what can and cant be done, i would not normall take on such a idea but andys thinking/knowlege is great and got my brain hooked on the idea

The wood was a great find, ussually old wood is found in all sizes other than what you would need but these pues fit the bill nicley. i will take some pics today of the seat ends and post a pic here to show abit of how it started

i really like old wood and the theory of its acoustics makes it even better, a simple explaination is, the wood fibers are held together by a resin called lignin wich even in dryed new wood is still a resin but with a low moisture content, after years of the wood being dry and in use this resin eventually drys so much it crystalises and becomes hard so will transfer vibrations much easyer giving higher resonance and sustain


@ guntersdad the shells are 20mm thick as they are now apart from the snare, i do this as the larger flat angle makes the glue up much easyer, with a thicker board and angles cut right when i tighten the shell up with a clamp the angled faces lock flat together wich pulls the shell in perfect round, this gives a few good advantages the main one being is it balanced when spinning on the lathe

looking forward to your guys thoughts as the build/thread progresses

dean
Hey Dean, thanks for chiming in. Seeing the shells together is really exciting! Looking forward to your pictures too. BTW, you should be getting a special delivery this morning!!!!

Dean touched on a big point here, I'm so lucky to have found someone with Dean's skills who was prepared to take on something this crazy. Thanks Dean, super appreciated!!!! The design is way more "out there" than I dare describe right now. There are elements that have been done in part before, but the real innovation is totally blue sky thinking.

This is gonna be good ! When is Dean going to start turning the shells down?

Andy you need to get a picture of them being turned so we can see how he does it , with out devulging to much top secret stuff of course!

By looking at the second pic are the shells going to have vertical air shafts drilled through them?

I defianatly understand about a project like this taking awhile so please keep us updated on the progress.
Thanks Gary. I've been following your design with great interest, & I believe you've got a great product in the making there. My project is a lot more specific to a defined need, & also much more expensive to produce. If it works out, I hope there will be a market for it, but any customer would have to really want the benefits to go the extra mile to buy one. As for pictures of the shell turning, I'll leave that up to Dean to decide if he wants to do that. I know he has special jig designs that he might hold precious, although these shells will be produced in Dean's standard way, just a whole bunch thinner than usual!

Nice!

And now I no longer have to threaten to fly to England and heckle you at gigs! :p

I'm looking forward to future updates!
I was looking forward to the heckling, lol!!! Thanks DED.

a marriage of technical creativity and love of an instrument.

P.S. Does this mean your son gets the Spauns when the uber kit is finished? :)
What a great way of putting it Robert, that's exactly what it is. Trust me, you wouldn't go through this without falling in love with the project.

As for the Spauns, they'll continue to be my main gigging kit, but I might just wheel the Guru (shit, we'll have to think up a trademark Dean!!!!) kit for special gigs. It's designed primarily as a recording kit and to be set up at home for hours of pleasure!

Cool design, I can't wait to hear some sounds!
Thanks DD, that will happen, I promise, but it will be a while yet. Of course, this might be a total failure of a project, who knows. That said, I've developed many products to market (non drum related) and the formula that "risk is always directly proportional to benefit" applies equally here as to any other project (i.e. big risk = big benefit, small risk = small benefit) We're taking a huge risk, so guess what I'm hoping for!
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Any projected cost for this kit, figured out yet? I know this is probably a "labor of love" ... but it looks like a very expensive one.​
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Any projected cost for this kit, figured out yet? I know this is probably a "labor of love" ... but it looks like a very expensive one.​
Hmmm, difficult one that Harry. The short answer is no. You're right, this is a labour of love, & it's primary purpose is to build the kind of kit I'd always wanted to have available. At the same time, if we really have stumbled across something special, it would be nice to market it, if only to get some of the up front cost back.

Everything is bespoke, & produced in a way that lends itself to very small quantity production. If Dean decided to run with it, & we had a business relationship, the cost per kit could be reduced by going for production tooling of key components. Equally, the design principal could transport to much cheaper materials & methods (i.e. ply shells, off the shelf hoops, etc), so, if the design is really that good, there may be some mileage in the intellectual property being taken up by mass market brands. Who knows, that's way off in the future, & only if we truly have found something special.

A standard construction 6 piece stave kit of this quality from Dean @ Guru drumworks would run close to the $4,500US mark + options, & if you've seen any of his work, worth every cent. Obviously, this bespoke build will come in a chunk higher than that figure, especially as we'll be taking 100% of the bespoke tooling cost into a single build.
 

latzanimal

Silver Member
As a builder I am looking forward to this project. I wish you guys the best of luck at achieving your goals...
 

Cameo

Gold Member
This is so cool, even for a young, unexperience man (nah, almost...) like me!
I'll build my first snare and perhaps even kit this summer. Hopefully it'll turn out as good as this are going to!
 

Guru

Junior Member
HI All

I took a couple of quick pics yesturday of seat ends of the wood to show abit more of where it come from , one is sanded one still has original varnish

allso a couple of pics of steambent cocobolo shell i built getting its first coats of laquer
 

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specgrade

Senior Member
That is some beautiful wood! Good luck with the project! I can't wait to see and hear the finished product.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for your best wishes guys, & a big thanks to Dean for those pictures. Those church pew ends are a godsend, literally. I like to think of it as divine recycling, lol. Hopefully, he'll bestow his blessing on this build.

BTW, those steambent shells are for another customer of Dean, & nothing to do with this build. Stunning grain & colour though, & of course, beautifully built.
 
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