Wood Hoop Ayottes- I have questions (and lust)

I'm having a serious G.A.S (D.A.S?) attack for some Ayottes with wood hoops that I've found. I play rim shots a lot on both snare and toms. I have three questions for those that have played these drums.

-how do rim shots on wood rims sound compared to metal rims to your ears?

-do Ayotte's wood rims hold up to repeated whacking?

-does the height of the wood rims take some getting used to when playing rim shots?

Thanks for any advice,information you can offer!

OK, one last question- should I sell my Grandmother into white slavery to pay for these drums?


Staff member
To quantify what you're thinking of buying you need to understand wood hoops - the various construction methods - their impact on the drum sound - & the practicalities of ownership.

Let's take the Ayotte hoops first. They're a low mass single flange style made from multiple plies. They have little sound of their own. Their contribution to the drum sound is via low mass (yet somewhat negated by heavy claws), & a muted rimshot compared to a metal hoop. They do deliver nicely to the head though, & that in turn produces a satisfying cross stick sound. As they're fairly thin, they will dent quickly, so not for the heavy handed player. Set against that, it must be understood that, when rimshots are delivered vigorously & continuously, no wood hoop will last as long as a metal hoop (but you'll save money on broken sticks :).

Yamaha hoops. Made from multiple plies & very thick, they're far more durable, but sonically dead. Fairly high mass too. Contribute little to the drum's character except taking brightness from a cross stick response & adding focus compared to lighter hoop forms.

There are other wooden hoop forms that contribute far more to a drum's & rimshot/cross stick sound, but of course, they're more expensive. Steam bent single flange hoops sound great, but suffer the same durability issues as the multiple ply Avotte hoops ( & similar). Segmented solid hoops also contribute considerably to the drum's sound, deliver superb cross stick & rimshot tones, but are the most expensive of all (the high quality ones, by some margin). They have high durability too.

I hope that helps.


Senior Member
I've played on a few Ayotte sets with wood hoops, and I still own one snare with them. I love the sound they produce and the look.

The wood hoops let overtones through very nicely, and I would say they are very much the opposite of diecast hoops in that regard. Cross-stick to me sounds much better with the wood hoops.

To answer your questions, I've never had an issue adjusting to the height of wood hoops. Once I start playing my body tends to just remember where they are and adjust.

Durability wise, I've played on mine for years and I pretty much play rim shots all the time. You can see a little worn section on the batter side hoop where I hit rim shots, but it hasn't progress much if at all since the initial flattening. I'm not a terribly heavy hitter, but I do hit like I mean it. I know a guy who has two Ayotte sets and he hits much harder than me. His snares also have the worn, mushroomed section of the hoop, but he has yet to break one. Wood hoops won't last forever if abused, but they should last you. Only you really know if you hit too hard for them.

I would also say they are a little harder to tune than metal rims due to the flexibility.

If you really like the style and sound of the drums then go for it.
Thanks for the replies, gents. Guess I should sit down and play the kit in question. The more I think about it, the more I think that this kit should maybe go to a collector, since it's so pretty that it would be a shame to subject it to rigorous gigging. I'm not a real heavy hitter, but I like to play with authority. I imagine I could use a metal rimmed snare on the road, if I start to see the wood hoops getting damaged.

I assume that, since these kits are no longer manufactured, they will hold their value well, if kept in good shape. What do you think-is this a nice looking drum kit?

Here's a link to the CL ad.


Silver Member
I have played an ayotte wood hoop kit,and while I can't comment on the durability of the hoops,I can tell you they have a warm open organic sound.

The kit I played had a 15 x20 kick and it was the biggest loudest punchiest 20 I have ever heard,it shook the walls and sounded bigger than most of the 22 kicks in a store that had ludwig,premier,sonor fibes,and noble and cooley.

If you have never heard one I suggest you go play it,it sounds different than any metal rimmed kit I have ever played.


Platinum Member
I assume that, since these kits are no longer manufactured, they will hold their value well, if kept in good shape. What do you think-is this a nice looking drum kit?

Here's a link to the CL ad.

I love Ayottes, maybe its the Canuck thing.
that particular blue colour combo is not my choice but hey thats all personal. The 20 x 22 bass drum? thats just too deep for me, loses punch when so deep.

I too dream to one day own Ayottes from that era. I almost got a used kit, but the tom sizes were not right for me. I have heard however it is nearly impossible to get any replacement parts, especially for Ray era- sets.

But hold their value?...for sure.

Good luck, enjoy


Silver Member
I have owned two wood-hooped Ayotte kits, so I think I can speak to your questions. First off, the sound is slightly drier and a tad more focused than the same drums with 2.3mm hoops.

I never had a problem with durability of the wood hoops on my Ayottes. In fact, I have cracked Yamaha wood hoops, while I never damaged my Ayotte hoops. Now their lacquer finishes would scratch if you sneezed on them, but that's another story.

Personally, I loved my Ayotte drums, and I would consider them to be among the best drums I have ever owned/played in nearly 30 years of being a drummer. I only sold my kits because of issues with the finish that just were not feasible for a gigging drummer. (And truth be told, I wasn't a huge fan of the sizes I had.)

The price on the kit in the ad is WAY too high considering what they sell for on ebay. Personally, I'd never pay that much for a used Ayotte.
Thanks Chunkaway, for the info. I agree that the price on those drums is really high. Guess he's hoping for that one buyer that just HAS to have those drums, at any cost. I'm keeping an eye on the ad, for the time being,but my lust has abated somewhat. Musical instruments can be a lot like with women- it's probably wise to not make any big commitments when you are in the infatuation stage of the relationship.

Hey, Opentune, you guessed it! I live in BC, actually about a seven minute drive from Buff Allen, a great jazz drummer who used to work at Ayotte and has a wood hoop kit that he had custom made by them. Each drum was cut in half horizontally and is held together with latches, so that he can nest the drums, one inside the other for easy cartage. I need to ask him what he thinks of the CL kit.