Who here plays ash drums?

TK-421

Senior Member
I don’t anymore, but about 12 years ago I had a DDRUM Dominion Ash kit. They sounded very good. It had a HUGE 24x20” bass drum, which was just way too big for me. That’s ultimately why I sold it.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I've never played an ash drum, but I've listened to a few ash snares recently. I'm mulling my wood options in preparation for ordering a Pearl Music City Custom snare. Pearl offers this series in maple, walnut, cherry, and ash. I've ruled out both cherry and ash. Cherry is a tad too cutting, and ash seems just as assertive. Rich in warmth, walnut is seducing me, but I still have some pondering to do.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Ash to me is in the middle between maple and birch. Which to my ear sound fairly similar. So ash is right around the maple birch territory sonically speaking IMO. I played my steambent ash kit after not playing it for too long, and of course it was really pleasurable. Very clear sounding compared to the walnuts, which are akin to rolling the tone knob back on a bass guitar a bit. It just made me realize that for drum making, ash is an overlooked wood species by and large. Do any of the majors even offer an ash kit?

I'm not saying ash is any more special than maple or birch, but IMO it's every bit as special as maple or birch.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
I started my youngest daughter on a ddrum Dominion Ash Pocket Kit years ago. Once we swapped out the cheap factory heads it sounded really good. To be totally honest I was really surprised at the price point how good it sounded. When my daughter stopped playing the kit sold instantly to an out-of-state individual with a recording studio who wanted it (he had an exact matching kit down to the nugget including color).
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I have a hollow log ash kit, by Luka Percussion. The wood is exceptionally hard and dense, since it’s slow-growing wood from the cold climate of central Canada. The sound is bright and clear, and kind of piercing, although that’s partially due to the vertical grain, hollow log construction.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
The Ddrum Ash Dominion is the only production set of ash drums that I can think of.

Too bad, ash deserves it's place in drum manufacture
I know Gretsch used to market a Catalina Ash kit like 15-20 years ago. I say "market" instead of "make" because they don't make any of the Catalinas. They just slap their name on them.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I've never played an ash drum, but I've listened to a few ash snares recently. I'm mulling my wood options in preparation for ordering a Pearl Music City Custom snare. Pearl offers this series in maple, walnut, cherry, and ash. I've ruled out both cherry and ash. Cherry is a tad too cutting, and ash seems just as assertive. Rich in warmth, walnut is seducing me, but I still have some pondering to do.
Maple, walnut, cherry and ash?
You had a tasty recipe going there then blew it at the end.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Ash drums are not my cup of tea. I would describe them as being on the slightly "bright and cold" end of the spectrum. Lots of upper midrange. Soundwise I think they sound the most like Oak. Of course, there are exceptions, I'm just generalizing here.

Exhibit A, very strong highs, but sounds like the lows were rolled off.


Exhibit B, bright and cold, despite a 6.5" depth.


Exhibit C, sounds pretty good in the highs and mids, but lows seem to be lacking.


Exhibit D, I think this one sounds great, but notice it had to be 7" deep to get enough low-end. Maple SS snares, for instance, can achieve that same low-end sound with a much narrower depth.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm not saying ash is any more special than maple or birch, but IMO it's every bit as special as maple or birch.
Nor am I contending that ash is inferior to other woods in any way. Also, not all shells made of ash -- or of any wood, for that matter -- will sound the same. There might be ash drums out there that I'd like quite a bit, but ash isn't doing it for me among the Music City Custom varieties. It's got a bit more edge than I care to entertain.
 
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bongoman

Junior Member
I have a steambent ash snare, and I like it a lot, but the prominent high end does get a little fatiguing when I play at home. I prefer it at gigs where I need a little help cutting through. I don’t think mine is lacking in the lows at all, but the highs are strong enough to maybe give that impression.
 
The Ddrum Ash Dominion is the only production set of ash drums that I can think of.
There was also the Tamburo Ash and the Natal Ash but these might be less common in the US.
I've only played a very thick Natal stave snare made of ash. That drum could cut through everything but I can't separate how much of the sound characteristics I should attribute to the wood and how much to the construction.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I've never played an ash snare or drum kit but I have dribbled ash down my shirts and burned holes in just about all my shirts for the last 50 years. I should change my name to Ash and maybe wear a bib. My wife raises hell when she buys me a new shirt and then within a few days I've burned a hole in it, (or get grease on it) so I wear my old hole-y shirts and she complains I'm wearing shirts with holes in them and buys me new ones. It's a vicious cycle. You know you could make a composite drum from ashes
 

Armor of Light

Senior Member
I have owned and played the Dominion Ash kit for 10 years now. Same as the OP I think..24 x 20.
I use Evans G2 heads and Evans Resonant on bottom. EMAD on the Bass..no foam ring.
They sound terrific! I used pinstripes for a long time, and those are also good but, the coated heads really mellow it out.

The Bass drum is just a bit too deep. Too much air to push through that far, I think. I just shove the mic inside a few inches, and it booms like a Pearl.
 

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Vintage Old School

Gold Member
If we're including Ash snare drums we'd be remiss to not include Guru's English Ash snares (starting at 3:07 through 9:45):

 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Ash to me is in the middle between maple and birch. Which to my ear sound fairly similar. So ash is right around the maple birch territory sonically speaking IMO. I played my steambent ash kit after not playing it for too long, and of course it was really pleasurable. Very clear sounding compared to the walnuts, which are akin to rolling the tone knob back on a bass guitar a bit. It just made me realize that for drum making, ash is an overlooked wood species by and large. Do any of the majors even offer an ash kit?

I'm not saying ash is any more special than maple or birch, but IMO it's every bit as special as maple or birch.
Canopus offers an Ash kit and snares and have done so for a while.
Edit: S1212 notes the shell is ash/poplar. I forgot about that.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I used to own a Catalina Ash, nothing to write home about. Relatively thin shell and nice interior / exterior finish. Soundwise it wasn't bad at all. A bit dry.
 
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