What about Birch? Who make the best birch kits?

KamaK

Platinum Member
Worth a mention is that Gretsch made a Renown Birch, as well as doing a few runs out of other semi-interesting woods in the Purewood line (IIRC Oak, Hickory, Wenge, Mahogany, and Beech).

While I wouldn't rate these as "The Best", they are perhaps the best birch drum for Gretsch enthusiasts looking for a birch kit.
 

LeftyDoug

Senior Member
I have a set of Japanese made Tama Starclassic Performers (all birch) from around 2003 and I would put that kit up against almost any birch kit in terms of sound and quality. The hardware is excellent with diecast hoops and there is just nothing cheap about them. Finish is a nice honey amber lacquer.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
My birch experience is limited to owning a Pearl BLX and spending some time with a friend's Recording Customs. Two very different sounding birch sets, IMO. The pearls highlighted the quintessential birch sound I always read about. Accentuated highs and lows, with scooped out mids....almost to a fault due to lack of mid range presence. The recording customs had more warmth than the Pearls and didn't accentuate the highs and lows as drastically....they were more centered sounding. Both nice birch sets, but with very different sounds.

It all depends on what you're looking for in a birch set.
 

adamosmianski

Senior Member
As everyone has already mentioned, the Recording Customs are a classic choice. I've also got a set of Birch Custom Absolutes that I love.

Worth a mention is that Gretsch made a Renown Birch, as well as doing a few runs out of other semi-interesting woods in the Purewood line (IIRC Oak, Hickory, Wenge, Mahogany, and Beech).

While I wouldn't rate these as "The Best", they are perhaps the best birch drum for Gretsch enthusiasts looking for a birch kit.
I forgot about these! They are actually pretty cool.
 

iCe

Senior Member
...than the Pearls and didn't accentuate the highs and lows as drastically....they were more centered sounding. Both nice birch sets, but with very different sounds.
I think you really nicely described what i was trying to say!
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
The best sounding birch snare drum I ever heard was by Joyful Noise Drum Co. built from a piece of wood that was hundreds of years old-recovered from an ice cold lake. It had an incredible sound and dynamic range.
I didn't have the bread at the time to take it home with me :(
 
Last edited:

RickP

Gold Member
The Sonor Protean snare rekindled my admiration for birch shells. This snare may have the widest tuning range of any snare I have ever owned.
I had already chimed in about the Sonor SQ1 kits being my favourite birch drums, thought I would add my two cents about my favourite birch shell snare.
I have owned a couple Yamaha RC kits ( Sakae made) and loved the toms and disliked the bass drums. The SQ1 bass drums are super and so are the toms.
 

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
The Sonor Protean snare rekindled my admiration for birch shells. This snare may have the widest tuning range of any snare I have ever owned.
I had already chimed in about the Sonor SQ1 kits being my favourite birch drums, thought I would add my two cents about my favourite birch shell snare.
I have owned a couple Yamaha RC kits ( Sakae made) and loved the toms and disliked the bass drums. The SQ1 bass drums are super and so are the toms.
The new RC’s solved that issue. I always had the same sentiment.
 

arpic75

Well-known member
Because I love to argue semantics, which one of the 52 species of European and Chinese birch are we referring? Or is it one of the 16 different NA species? This information would be highly pertinent to the basic argument as the geographic location and growing climate vary across all the species and would thus create different characteristics within the wood.
I'd be willing to bet there's maybe one person at the manufacturer who can accurately identify the species used and even then I bet it's not consistent unless they have their own arboretums.

All that being said, I love the sound of my XPKs, birch/eucalyptus hybrid shell. (and no, I have no idea what species of birch)
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
which one of the 52 species of European and Chinese birch are we referring? Or is it one of the 16 different NA species? This information would be highly pertinent to the basic argument as the geographic location and growing climate vary across all the species and would thus create different characteristics within the wood.
Indeed. Someone on this forum made a remark disparaging Japanese birch wood, but didn’t specify if it was soft, dry, etc.
 
Top