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Thread: Maple or poplar

  1. #26

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Quote Originally Posted by noreastbob View Post
    When guys say "The type of wood has nothing to do with the sound of a drum", and "Any drum sounds good with the right heads and tuning", I can't help but cringe. It's a fact of physics that hard substances resonate differently than soft substances. And more to the point..."GOOD" is a subjective word!!!!!!!
    Let's instead refer to the phrases, "Vintage" and "Modern" sound. The vintage sound is more thuddy and damped sounding in most cases due to the use and/or inclusion of softer woods and the heads of the day, usually two ply batters.
    The manufacturing methods and abilities of the earlier, or vintage drum shell makers contributed to their sound as well. The appearance of the inside of my first set of Ludwigs" in "66 comes to mind: nameless fuzzy unfinished wood painted white. (Almost seemed like soundproofing)
    Now "high end" drums are being built of select very hard woods (maple, birch, and think of all the exotic Australian hardwoods used by Brady) employing extremely accurate CNC methods and better hardware and head materials and construction yielding "the modern sound": richly resonant tone that can truly be tuned to a focused pitch if desired.
    These are different sounds.
    One may prefer one sound to the other.
    If one likes the damped less resonant sound then one may say, "The best kit I ever heard..." about an older softer material shelled set. Many don't want the modern sound.
    I believe strongly that the fact is you can with some difficulty make modern hardwood shelled drums sound like vintage softer wood drums via thicker heads, less tension and generous damping, but you CANNOT quite make an older softer wood and less well made shell sound like a modern drum.
    And many don't want to so...great!
    Go for the sound you want.
    OP likes the sound of his Pearl Forums. He may not like the maple shells' sound as much.
    I believe this oratory to be a mixture of my opinions, and fact.
    QUOTE=noreastbob;709737]When guys say "The type of wood has nothing to do with the sound of a drum", and "Any drum sounds good with the right heads and tuning", I can't help but cringe. It's a fact of physics that hard substances resonate differently than soft substances. And more to the point... ..."GOOD" is a subjective word!!!!!!! "

    ..."GOOD" is a subjective word!!!!!!!

    There is the key phrase right there. When you are dealing with a instrument that is, more than anything else, at the mercy of the acoustics of a given venue, be it a bar that holds 100 people or a club that holds 3-400+ people, tuning becomes more important than whatever the drum is made out of.

    If you have 2 clubs of exactly the same dimensions but 1 has a lot of hard surfaces and the other has carpeting, drapes, acoustic tile, etc., you are going to have 2 very different drum sounds. I know, I've been there. In that situation, the tuning of the drums to make them "blend" in with the band becomes way more important than what the drums are made of.

    This is not to start a debate, or worse, a argument, it's just my opinion based on what I've seen (heard) in maybe 10,000 gigs since my 1st band in 1961.

  2. #27

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    In the set that I do my videos on, there are 4 different drums, made from 4 different woods.

    My main set that I bought in '71, '72, is supposed to be made of mahogany. They sprayed something over the wood so you can't see it. ( That part I could care less about, I tune them then I play them)

    In my set now are 6 toms, 4 of which are made of different woods, from a cheap tom I picked up a few years ago made of balsa wood to another tom made of glued together toothpicks.

    A lot of you have listened to my videos and that makes me feel good, but my question is: How many can tell whether a drum is a cheaper model, made of a cheaper wood, or a expensive drum, made of the good stuff. They are all Ludwigs, which I move around for just a topic like this.

    I doubt if there is 1 person out there that can tell a cheap tom from a top of the line tom.
    My point is that you can definitely get a sound from a modern well made drum of hard wood (yes, with modern 45 degree bearing edges) that you cannot get from an older softer wood drum, admittedly probably not with a 45 degree bearing edge.
    I can't guarantee that I can pick out an expensive high end drum compared with a cheaper example by listening to a forum clip due to the fact that I don't know what heads are on it and how it's tuned, but if a high end modern tom has good well tuned heads I'm confident I can pick it out over a well headed and tuned cheap older drum.
    I'll concede that bearing edges have a much bigger effect than wood type.

  3. #28

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    A little over a year ago, I did a side-by-side sound comparison of two of my 9x13 toms.
    One was a late 60's B/O badge vintage Ludwig...the holy grail for Luddy fans. It was 3ply Maple/Poplar/Mahogany (as many were that were wrapped). It had re-rings and the wrap was removed. It was stained and treated to a clear lacquer finish. 1.6mm hoops, clear Ambo reso, coated Emp batter.
    The other was my late 80s Pearl Maxwin tom made in Taiwan from Luan (the proverbial Ford Pinto of the drum world. It also had the wrap removed, stained & lacquered, 1.6 hoops, clear Ambo/coated Emp.....virtually identical except for the wood and shell construction.
    For curiosity, I tuned them to identical pitch (both heads), placed them side-by-side and did a sound check. To my surprise, they sounded ALMOST identical. Admittedly, the old Ludwig did have a touch more brightness...BUT, it was so slight that I had to play them both up close for 20 minutes to make the assessment. I had my son play them at random while I stood at the other end of the room with my back turned. Without knowing, and from 20' away, I could not tell the difference. True story.

    Now, if I were to compare my Maxwin to my brand new PDP Maple or Ludwig Centennial, I'm fairly certain I could tell a difference....but I thought that the last time too!
    Last edited by N2Bluz; 07-31-2017 at 07:40 PM.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  4. #29

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    I remember the so called "experts" that said they could tell, with no problem, if a tom was mounted on the BD, if the tom had a isolation mount off the BD, and finally, if the tom was put in a snare stand next to a virgin BD.

    Some guy called them on it. He had 3 sets of drums set up as mentioned above. The same guy tuned them and played them.

    When the "experts" couldn't see the drums, they couldn't tell squat from squat. So much for "expertise".

  5. #30

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    I will admit, I could hear a difference. I could hear a difference when I went from the Pearl style arm mount to a Suspension mount on my Maxwins. I even swear I heard a gradual difference (improvement) in their sound 6 months after I refinished them....which I attribute to the lacquer curing and getting harder. All have a sound basis in physical science (no pun intended). The thing is; those slight differences may be noticeable in a controlled environment, with something to readily compare them to, but in the context of a real world application like playing in a live band, they are near meaningless.

    Funny how some buy a kit with a virgin bass for the added shell resonance....then stuff a pillow in it. Or buy suspension tom mounts, then throw moongel on and only mic the batter head.
    Last edited by N2Bluz; 07-31-2017 at 09:40 PM.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  6. #31

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    QUOTE=noreastbob;709737]When you are dealing with a instrument that is, more than anything else, at the mercy of the acoustics of a given venue, be it a bar that holds 100 people or a club that holds 3-400+ people, tuning becomes more important than whatever the drum is made out of.
    If you have 2 clubs of exactly the same dimensions but 1 has a lot of hard surfaces and the other has carpeting, drapes, acoustic tile, etc., you are going to have 2 very different drum sounds.
    Amen to that !
    When I practice with my band, I use the kit at the practice room (cheapie set owned by the guitarist).
    My kit is set up at my house -- it sits in a newly remodeled bedroom that has new hard floors and no drapes -- nothing soft.
    Drums sound very bright and sharp -- no warmth at all.
    My drums sounded so much better in the other bedroom that has carpet and drapes...............and they sound even better in clubs full of people.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  7. #32

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    This is after I moved my set 15'.

    Last edited by rickthedrummer; 08-12-2017 at 05:31 AM. Reason: ========

  8. #33

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    This is before I moved them 15'.

    My basement is concrete walls all around. the difference is a lot. Imagine going from venue to venue, big club to small club.

    This is where the wood they are made of ceases to be a issue and tuning takes over.
    Last edited by rickthedrummer; 08-07-2017 at 10:39 PM. Reason: ==================

  9. #34

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Amen to that !
    When I practice with my band, I use the kit at the practice room (cheapie set owned by the guitarist).
    My kit is set up at my house -- it sits in a newly remodeled bedroom that has new hard floors and no drapes -- nothing soft.
    Drums sound very bright and sharp -- no warmth at all.
    My drums sounded so much better in the other bedroom that has carpet and drapes...............and they sound even better in clubs full of people.
    I learned my lesson about people soaking up sound decades ago. 1st time playing in a big club (300+people). I thought I had them right for the room. Came back that night and they sounded flatter than the afternoon sound check. It never occurred to me to account for the people.

    After that, at sound check, I'd get the sound I wanted (my friend and bass player could play enough drums so that I could walk around and listen to them from various parts of the club) I would then open them up a hair more to allow for the people.

  10. #35

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    I learned my lesson about people soaking up sound decades ago. 1st time playing in a big club (300+people). I thought I had them right for the room. Came back that night and they sounded flatter than the afternoon sound check. It never occurred to me to account for the people.
    I found this phenomenon also happens outdoors when playing at dusk as the sun sets. The outside air gets dense as the temperature drops and I can tell the sound on stage changes.

  11. #36

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    wow I experienced that a couple of times and each drumset handled it differently.

    I fear outdoor shows now.. never know what could happen weather wise.
    19pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 5pc Gretsch Energy | 41 Snare drums and growing!

  12. #37

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I found this phenomenon also happens outdoors when playing at dusk as the sun sets. The outside air gets dense as the temperature drops and I can tell the sound on stage changes.
    Yes! Me too!
    And....I might add...not just the drums, but EVERYTHING. Vocals, guitars, cymbals; the entire band. It seems like hot & humid is the worst. Everything sounds dull and I swear the pitch of everything changes the farther away from the stage you get. It just does funny things to the sound. In addition, it's hard to keep all instruments in tune and we always seem to have equipment issues like bad cords, control knobs not working, etc..

    I agree, I've grown to be apprehensive about any outdoor gigs. Especially in the middle of summer.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  13. #38

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    What they said. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Signature here

  14. #39

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    It's enough to make you re-think your purchase of top-of-the-line drums! My next kit (if there is a next time) will be something like entry level with tom mounts and a wrap I like being the only requirements. Then I'll get new heads.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
    The Almighty Speed King pedal, Speed Cobra, Sonor Single

    http://www.screaminmelinas.com

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