Wood color theories

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I made an observation and wanted to see what you guys think of it.

The ob...IMO...dark colored woods (mahogany, walnut, bubinga) sound deeper/warmer/richer than light colored woods (maple, ash, birch, beech etc.)

Looking for your opinions about that.

Also, I have a Stratocaster, it's made from alder. The body has a nasty dime sized chip in it and I can see the the color of the alder, which is about as dark as walnut.

Ever hear of anyone making alder drums? I'm curious if they would make a sound like their other darker cousins. I'm in love with the darker woods especially for toms and bass and what the hell snares too, and wondered if alder would be similar.

Looking for opinions about darker compared to lighter woods, and if anyone has heard an alder drum.

Thanks. Butt in the front.
 

Smoke

Silver Member
Don't know much about tone-woods, UL. I think that alder gets the nod for guitar bodies as it's light (in weight) , easy to finish and not prone to warping. Plus, it's one of the softest *hardwoods*, which would make it easy to machine and easy on cutter-heads.

You'd think that those qualities would make it a prime candidate for a drum ply, at least. Blame it on them dang guitars for hogging all the wood for those potential drum shells. You had to know it... ;)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Don't know much about tone-woods, UL. I think that alder gets the nod for guitar bodies as it's light (in weight) , easy to finish and not prone to warping. Plus, it's one of the softest *hardwoods*, which would make it easy to machine and easy on cutter-heads.

You'd think that those qualities would make it a prime candidate for a drum ply, at least. Blame it on them dang guitars for hogging all the wood for those potential drum shells. You had to know it... ;)
You bring up another point I wanted to touch on, wood hardness. (stop thinking that!)

I prefer dark woods in the (softer) 900-1500 janka range.

Bubinga is at least twice as hard as maple, it's really hard. The hardness of the bubinga...I don't prefer the really really hard woods. To my ear it's harsher where a softer wood sounds more...tone-ey to me.

But yea, I think alder might make a nice rich drum sound, like walnut or mahogany.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Anyone know what kind of walnut wood is used? We have black walnut trees here, they are everywhere. We had one in our back yard when we first moved here. It was like 3' in diameter and super tall.

Seriously there are so many here I could probably source free fallen trees on CL. Build my own walnut kit!
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Here's a maple birch comparison of biomechanics properties. I wonder where you cut the wood is about as important as the wood, also structural differences in organization? Any given species the environment plays a big role and rate of growth. Like the hybrid medicinal plant the phenotype depends on growing conditions so it can favor either of it's parents or be a hybrid mix. https://bioresources.cnr.ncsu.edu/resources/wood-mechanical-properties-and-discoloured-heartwood-proportion-in-sugar-maple-and-yellow-birch-grown-in-new-brunswick/
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Black walnut yea, get with that.

Yolanda is black walnut.
Good to know. I just checked CL, yeah there's lots of it. I can get it in felled logs (free), slabs, firewood, lumber, even an ad for a still standing tree (also free). Hell I live in the woods. Maybe I'll just look around.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Black walnut is highly prized in States. A friend of mine has a family member with a nice stand he tended as part of inheritance. Sadly after he died the immediate family was clueless of it's value and had it cleared and hauled off. I found a piece to make a plaque after my Dad died. My friend was just sick to say the least.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
It always freaked me out that Pee-can's (that's what we eat in south and Pee-can pie, we sell the inferior pachans to everyone else) are just a mutant hickory growing on Mississippi River. It was further domesticated by man. Hickory is some crap wood-smells awful-heck beavers won't even chew it.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
It always freaked me out that Pee-can's (that's what we eat in south and Pee-can pie, we sell the inferior pachans to everyone else) are just a mutant hickory growing on Mississippi River. It was further domesticated by man. Hickory is some crap wood-smells awful-heck beavers won't even chew it.
Got lotsa those too, except we call it peh-con. The hard E goes soft, and the a becomes an o. We pronounce things weird here. Ex: ornery is pronounced awnree.

I wonder if pecan makes a good drum?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I wonder if you could create a chitin drum shell (like a mushroom) and then mineralize it hard like crabs and insects to make drums from another biomaterial. Chitin is similar to cellulose but with acetylgucosame. In theory you could synthesize drums that have a specific pitch. I worked with one student on a stridulation study and those they scrape tiny parts to produce a sound it's amplified by resonating it's shell in bess beetles. Timbales of cicadas are deafening-so something really tiny can produce a really loud sound.
 
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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
ddrum has a line of drums made from alder. I think Dixon maybe as well???? As far as the tone of different woods. . . . .I'm very, On the Fence about this.

 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
In theory you could synthesize drums that have a specific pitch.
JG's note stamps. No longer theory yuk yuk.
ddrum has a line of drums made from alder. I think Dixon maybe as well???? As far as the tone of different woods. . . . .I'm very, On the Fence about this.
Not everyone buys into the different wood different tone thing.

Thanks for the info on the ddrums and maybe Dixon.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Also, I have a Stratocaster, it's made from alder. The body has a nasty dime sized chip in it and I can see the the color of the alder, which is about as dark as walnut.
I've seen west coast Red Alder used on speaker cabs before, and is pretty workable if you can dry it without oxidization (Requires a special drying kiln). I know it glues up and takes stains well from doing up furniture.

Can't say I've come across a drum kit yet.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
The best sounding set of drums I ever played was an old Mapex set. It was a kit made from cheapo basswood. Thin shells. It had very used old coated drum heads on it. But it sounded warm, low and punchy. It was in a rehearsal room. The kit would not have been able to cut through the mix in a live band situation without setting up microphones and amplification. When you put microphones on a drum set that changes the whole game. There are a lot of variables when amplifying an acoustic drum set.

.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Look up cross sections and microscopic cross sections of basswood, maple, birch, and black walnut. I think I'll call my new drum shells "Lobster shells" because they will be as thin and basically the same stuff as a lobster shell except synthetically engineered and much stronger so no re-rings LOL.
 
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opentune

Platinum Member
Alder is in the birch family. Me guess is it has similar tone properties.
Parotting Andy .... if alder for ply drums, then a bunch of other variables will come into play for overall sound.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
Generalisations here, my 2 cents. Mahogany warmerer than Walnut which is Closer to Maple .. Heard a Hickory kit once Wonderful , Beavers may not chew on it but I'd beat on it! Alder is for Strats. But what about Korina?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Alder is in the birch family. Me guess is it has similar tone properties.
Parotting Andy .... if alder for ply drums, then a bunch of other variables will come into play for overall sound.
Interesting factoid and a reasonable assumption

Generalisations here, my 2 cents. Mahogany warmerer than Walnut which is Closer to Maple .. Heard a Hickory kit once Wonderful , Beavers may not chew on it but I'd beat on it! Alder is for Strats. But what about Korina?
I know nothing of her. If you know what about Korina, I'd love to hear it.
 
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