which shell?

billystein

Junior Member
i have a mapex snare with great rims and a nice throw. the lugs are single screw cast aluminum. 2 of them broke and a cant find replacements. so i am looking for a nice shell and i will make my own snare. i want 10-15 ply with rings and bearing edges. can anyone suggest some fine shells that i should be looking at?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"

They offer steambent and ply. My suggestion is to go steambent. Everyone uses ply drums. Not knocking ply drums, they are great instruments. Steambent shells IMO make finer, more resonant instruments. Since steambent is an option for any build these days, why not?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I personally prefer stave to steambent. Stave have a wonderful low-end gut punch, especially woods like walnut and such.
Opposite tastes, us. Stave is too dry and short for me. Steambent and segmented seem to ring longer IMO. I'd like to say the gut punch is because it's a solid, not ply, shell. But that's just a guess.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Opposite tastes, us. Stave is too dry and short for me. Steambent and segmented seem to ring longer IMO. I'd like to say the gut punch is because it's a solid, not ply, shell. But that's just a guess.
The gut punch is because the staves aren’t under tension, unlike steambent. An object under tension will have a higher pitch, and will tend to ring longer, all other things being equal .
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Champagnedrum.com Greg took great care of me. He will build to order. I picked up a birch shell 3/8" with a bubinga veneer. I have not built this drum yet, but the shell looks better than anything I've encountered thus far. One small mistake was made--no re-rings like I had asked. But he quickly refunded me $$ because of the mistake. They have great lugs, I personally picked the Cito lugs. At least check them out and email Greg. The shell with bearing edges, snare beds, and re-rings was $128, then refunded $15.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
We have a new member that's making some seriously nice looking shells.

 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Yes. Do you like it?
Yes, but your supposition on the resonant properties of segmented shells doesn't align with our extensive research / comparison testing. Personally, I've never found glue to be a significant contributing factor outside of excessive use of resin type adhesives. There are several other constructional factors that dominate massively by comparison to amount of glue / size of glue surface area used.

As an example, we found the ply layup deconstruction of the natural structure by shaving into veneers then re-assembling, made a much bigger difference to the fundamental character delivery (diminished) compared to any "solid" shell design than any potential glue influence. The biggest sonic change contribution being from rigidity gain of lamination.

Also, with respect to resonance, either relating to note length, or in terms of input dynamic necessary to excite the shell form, the results depend on so many variables, it's difficult to draw a parallel that's strictly limited only to differences in construction. Thickness / mass, rigidity, hardware mass, and head to shell contact, all being bigger influencing factors.

The only constant, irrespective of any construction method, being that horizontal grain offers a raised pitch, and with tension, a further raising of pitch - all other elements being equal.
 

Drum_Muffin

Active member
Yes, but your supposition on the resonant properties of segmented shells doesn't align with our extensive research / comparison testing. Personally, I've never found glue to be a significant contributing factor outside of excessive use of resin type adhesives. There are several other constructional factors that dominate massively by comparison to amount of glue / size of glue surface area used.

As an example, we found the ply layup deconstruction of the natural structure by shaving into veneers then re-assembling, made a much bigger difference to the fundamental character delivery (diminished) compared to any "solid" shell design than any potential glue influence. The biggest sonic change contribution being from rigidity gain of lamination.

Also, with respect to resonance, either relating to note length, or in terms of input dynamic necessary to excite the shell form, the results depend on so many variables, it's difficult to draw a parallel that's strictly limited only to differences in construction. Thickness / mass, rigidity, hardware mass, and head to shell contact, all being bigger influencing factors.

The only constant, irrespective of any construction method, being that horizontal grain offers a raised pitch, and with tension, a further raising of pitch - all other elements being equal.
I party agree with you. You have to take into consideration a lot of factors to see the whole picture.

First of all, this post is all about shells. So it doesn't include effects of size, hardware, bearing edges, heads, etc.
The same goes for my article where I try to explain the construction method of drum shells, the pros and cons of it, and give some kind of comparison with shells built using other methods.

I can't agree with you that glue is not a huge factor. Glue is a huge factor in shell sound and resonance.
Why do I say that?

For example:
When I buy a maple shell, I want it to sound like maple does. This means that I want to get the best out of that exact essence (tonewood). To get what I like from maple in this case, I need the least alteration possible to a wood plank. Every alteration changes the pitch and the character of the shell.
You can't say there isn't a difference between a Keller and a Craviotto maple snare. Or between a DW 10+6 and an N&C snare. Or between a stave jarrah Brady and a ply jarrah Brady.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not telling that solid snares are better in every aspect. But if we are talking about wood, then yes, they are superior.
Ply shells, even if they are made out of wood veneers, are not solid wood. They are a new composite material with its own character and resonance.
It's higher-pitched than wood and way more rigid than most hardwood.
For many people, that's exactly the type of shell and sound they are looking for.

Here's a wonderful video about this exact topic:
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I can't agree with you that glue is not a huge factor. Glue is a huge factor in shell sound and resonance.
Why do I say that?

For example:
When I buy a maple shell, I want it to sound like maple does. This means that I want to get the best out of that exact essence (tonewood). To get what I like from maple in this case, I need the least alteration possible to a wood plank. Every alteration changes the pitch and the character of the shell.
You can't say there isn't a difference between a Keller and a Craviotto maple snare. Or between a DW 10+6 and an N&C snare. Or between a stave jarrah Brady and a ply jarrah Brady.
In your reply, you're comparing utterly different shell constructions, not just the volume of glue used. Of course, a ply shell will sound different to a steam bent shell, a ply shell to a stave shell, etc, etc, but it has very little to do with the glue volume, and everything to do with wood structure (or lack of), mass, thickness, and grain orientation - glue volume itself being a minute contributing factor by comparison.

In the video you example, this is displaying the difference between construction thickness, rigidity, mass, and grain orientation - nothing to do with amount of glue, other than it's use to assemble the shell.

In the example on your website, referring to segmented shells, you state "In the end, you have pieces of full wood that can’t vibrate because they are surrounded by glue from at least 3 sides". This is not true on any measurable level of influence. The implication from your statement is that the segments need to vibrate independently of each other to generate an overall construction resonance. This is not the case. A shell resonates as a whole, in fact, the entire instrument resonates as a single entity, including the glue. Nothing resonates in isolation. For sure, segmented will deliver very differently compared to stave, but the amount of glue used, or the number of segment interface bonds, is almost irrelevant in terms of sonic affect outside of resulting diametrical rigidity. All other elements being equal, the biggest difference between delivery of stave and segmented shells is grain orientation resulting in a difference in rigidity, and that lowers pitch + shortens + highlights the fundamental in a stave shell.

We've built, in house, numerous "like for like" shells across two years of R&D, in ply, steam bent, stave, segmented, and hollow log constructions, and carried out extensive testing to isolate the elements that contribute certain characteristics in a finished instrument, so I know, in great detail, exactly what elements equate to both specific and overall affects. Glue volume, in itself, unless using a very heavy resin, has minimal impact.

With the exception of resins - when considering industry standard wood adhesives (i.e. PVA), the vast majority of the applied glue mass evaporates to leave a minute film of no structural consequence in itself. So long as the segments are in intimate contact, there is certainly no "barrier" affect in play. The additional rigidity you find in a ply shell is almost 100% associated with the plies being held in intimate contact with each other / not being able to move (slip) in relation to one another, plus the typical opposing grain orientation. If you move to all vertical grain plies, rigidity is reduced accordingly. If you move to all horizontal plies, diametrical rigidity is increased. The same relationship exists between stave and segmented constructions (assuming segments with horizontal grain orientation), but with overall reduced rigidity compared to ply because of the layup glue bond, but not the residual glue mass itself.
 

Drum_Muffin

Active member
In your reply, you're comparing utterly different shell constructions, not just the volume of glue used. Of course, a ply shell will sound different to a steam bent shell, a ply shell to a stave shell, etc, etc, but it has very little to do with the glue volume, and everything to do with wood structure (or lack of), mass, thickness, and grain orientation - glue volume itself being a minute contributing factor by comparison.

In the video you example, this is displaying the difference between construction thickness, rigidity, mass, and grain orientation - nothing to do with amount of glue, other than it's use to assemble the shell.

In the example on your website, referring to segmented shells, you state "In the end, you have pieces of full wood that can’t vibrate because they are surrounded by glue from at least 3 sides". This is not true on any measurable level of influence. The implication from your statement is that the segments need to vibrate independently of each other to generate an overall construction resonance. This is not the case. A shell resonates as a whole, in fact, the entire instrument resonates as a single entity, including the glue. Nothing resonates in isolation. For sure, segmented will deliver very differently compared to stave, but the amount of glue used, or the number of segment interface bonds, is almost irrelevant in terms of sonic affect outside of resulting diametrical rigidity. All other elements being equal, the biggest difference between delivery of stave and segmented shells is grain orientation resulting in a difference in rigidity, and that lowers pitch + shortens + highlights the fundamental in a stave shell.

We've built, in house, numerous "like for like" shells across two years of R&D, in ply, steam bent, stave, segmented, and hollow log constructions, and carried out extensive testing to isolate the elements that contribute certain characteristics in a finished instrument, so I know, in great detail, exactly what elements equate to both specific and overall affects. Glue volume, in itself, unless using a very heavy resin, has minimal impact.

With the exception of resins - when considering industry standard wood adhesives (i.e. PVA), the vast majority of the applied glue mass evaporates to leave a minute film of no structural consequence in itself. So long as the segments are in intimate contact, there is certainly no "barrier" affect in play. The additional rigidity you find in a ply shell is almost 100% associated with the plies being held in intimate contact with each other / not being able to move (slip) in relation to one another, plus the typical opposing grain orientation. If you move to all vertical grain plies, rigidity is reduced accordingly. If you move to all horizontal plies, diametrical rigidity is increased. The same relationship exists between stave and segmented constructions (assuming segments with horizontal grain orientation), but with overall reduced rigidity compared to ply because of the layup glue bond, but not the residual glue mass itself.
First of all, I need to say that I'm really pleased to have this conversation with a person who obviously knows what is talking about.
:)
I understand that a drum vibrates as a whole. But this is a topic only about drum shells. Not about fully built drums.

I see that the word "glue" got you triggered.
I'm not sure why you deny the bad effect of glue on resonance since this is a longlasting problem from guitars, loudspeaker boxes, to drums. But ok... people warp their drums in plastic veneers and still try to make buyers believe that it doesn't affect the sound.

Still, I'm not blaming only the glue volume, as I tried to explain in my articles, there are other numerous factors involved. Maybe I wasn't able to make that clear enough. My bad.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
First of all, I need to say that I'm really pleased to have this conversation with a person who obviously knows what is talking about.
:)
I understand that a drum vibrates as a whole. But this is a topic only about drum shells. Not about fully built drums.

I see that the word "glue" got you triggered.
I'm not sure why you deny the bad effect of glue on resonance since this is a longlasting problem from guitars, loudspeaker boxes, to drums. But ok... people warp their drums in plastic veneers and still try to make buyers believe that it doesn't affect the sound.

Still, I'm not blaming only the glue volume, as I tried to explain in my articles, there are other numerous factors involved. Maybe I wasn't able to make that clear enough. My bad.
No bad at all :) It's just exchange of opinion, & that's to be encouraged.

I base my observations on testing shells / constructions - lots of them. Of course, I take wider evidence into account, but I've lost count of how many "facts" I've disproven through A-B testing, & the magnitude of influence attributed to most glues in shell constructions is one of them.

I am happy that you reference one of our drum constructions in your segmented shell link though, so all is good (y)
 
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