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Thread: Maple or poplar

  1. #1

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    Default Maple or poplar

    Hi I'm wondering if I should keep my pearl forum heat compression shells or buy a pearl decade maple kit ? I think the sound of my pearl is great

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Welcome to the forum! If you like your current drums, is there a reason to spend the money to upgrade to maple? If you are just starting out, the kit you have should be fine for a while. My son and I started just under a year ago and we are still very happy with our Yamaha Stage Custom kit (Birch/Falkata). Would we love a higher end kit? Sure, but at this point our focus is on getting better on the kit we have and practicing as much as possible. Whatever you end up deciding, have fun!
    Drumming noob
    Yamaha Stage Custom
    22x16, 12x10, 13x11, 16x16, 14x6.5
    Cranberry Red
    Zildjian A Custom Hats
    Zildjian 20" A Medium Ride
    Dream Contact Crashes 16" & 17"
    Tama Iron Cobra 600 Series double chain pedal

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    It is up to you man if you like the kit that you have now then keep it. I have a Maple kit and love it. Welcome to DC
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

    5pc Pearl MCX Chestnut Fade 12x9, 13x10, 16x16, 18x22 14x6.5 matching snare
    Pearl Sensitone 14x5.5 steel alloy snare
    Vintage Slingerland " Festival" steel snare 14x5
    Zildjian A's (avendis) Vintage 70's era
    17 med thin crash, 14 new beat hhts and 21 sweet crash/ride
    Zildjian K 18 med thin crash
    Pearl 1000 series all double braced hadware: 2 cymbal stands , 1 boom stand, hhts stand, snare stand
    Pearl Eliminator single chain drive

  4. #4

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    Yeah that's truly up to you. If you're happy with what you got stick with it. If you think you're ready for an upgrade and financially sound go for it!
    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!

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Get the Maples ..

  6. #6

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    Love maple - you wouldn't regret the move.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    If you are happy with your Forum set I recommend you keep it. If you decide to buy the Pearl Decades because you regard them to be 'better' drums because of the maple shells, maybe in a year or so you will decide you want to upgrade to MCX or other high end shells because they are more desirable.

    If you are still using the stock snare drum that came with the Pearl Forum set I'd prioritise upgrading that first.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    If you are happy with the drums you have, keep them. I do agree with CC to upgrade the snare.

  9. #9

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    imho

    the forum is simply a toy compared to a quality maple kit , and not simply because the maple sounds wayyyyyyyy better ...you will notice side by side the clarity on maple , the notes are just more audible

  10. #10

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    I play a Sound Percussion poplar kit at my rehearsal studio. The owner changed the heads to Aquarian 2 ply (forgot which ones) but the kit sounds amazing. There are plenty of videos/tutorials on YouTube how people made minor adjustments to poplar/low end kits and they sound good. Another point is your budget, how much are you willing to spend. Can't go wrong with brand new but they are plenty of used maple kits out there. Last point if you are just starting out like Old E said concentrate on your skill level, don't get caught up in thinking a maple/high end kit is going to make you sound better.

  11. #11

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    The best sounding set of drums I've ever heard was played by a guy named Johnny Wallet. He played in a band like our band, we made money, but, we had to keep on the move to do so.

    Back in the mid-'70's, I would hear about the sound that he got from his drums from a lot of different drummers, so I knew that at some point I would have to hear him, and it took almost 2 years before our paths crossed.

    When I got the chance, my friend and bass player went with me to hear his band and him. The sound he got was as good as any I had heard, and when the night was done, I took a stroll past the stage to get a look at his drums. They were not any of the "name" brand drum sets. THEY WERE US MERCURY DRUMS, or 1 step above balsa wood.

    If you can tune, I don't care what kind of drums you have, you can make them sound as good as the high end sets.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    If you can tune, I don't care what kind of drums you have, you can make them sound as good as the high end sets.
    This is the cold hard truth that the big name drum companies don't want you to hear---drums are plywood---what kind of tree it is made from is insignificant to the overall sound!

  13. #13

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    True, they are plies of wood.
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

    5pc Pearl MCX Chestnut Fade 12x9, 13x10, 16x16, 18x22 14x6.5 matching snare
    Pearl Sensitone 14x5.5 steel alloy snare
    Vintage Slingerland " Festival" steel snare 14x5
    Zildjian A's (avendis) Vintage 70's era
    17 med thin crash, 14 new beat hhts and 21 sweet crash/ride
    Zildjian K 18 med thin crash
    Pearl 1000 series all double braced hadware: 2 cymbal stands , 1 boom stand, hhts stand, snare stand
    Pearl Eliminator single chain drive

  14. #14

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    Some of the best drums I have ever heard have actually been Poplar/Maple hybrids. They work very very well together. Much better than any other hybrids I can think of.
    DW Collectors

    Sonor Essential Force Birch

    Zildjian K Cymbals

    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

    http://www.redskymary.com/ NOT MY BAND, JUST A GREAT LOCAL BAND WHO SHOULD BE SOOO MUCH BIGGER IMO

    https://www.facebook.com/marcydriveband/ This is my band, please give a like.

  15. #15

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    Rock music was built around Maple/Poplar/Maple shells. The Poplar adds warmth and temperance to the Maple.
    -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

  16. #16

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    I have a set of 80s Ludwig Super Classic drums that have the 4 ply maple/poplar/maple straight shells. I believe that Ludwig produced them for about 6 years or so before they discontinued them. Neil Peart played a set like this for a short time in the late 80s. These drums sound fantastic but are loud and resonant, Rock drums for sure ...

  17. #17

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    Plywood and plies of thinly sliced wood are very different products in reality. The shell may be thicker plies not as well laminated with less tonality or quite finely made thinner shells with more range of tone. Like banging on a hollowed piece of basswood (thunk) or a hollowed piece of fine white oak (ka-bong).

  18. #18

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    if you like how your drums sound then keep them, later just buy more LOL. GAS attack.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by wr_stix View Post
    Plywood and plies of thinly sliced wood are very different products in reality. The shell may be thicker plies not as well laminated with less tonality or quite finely made thinner shells with more range of tone. Like banging on a hollowed piece of basswood (thunk) or a hollowed piece of fine white oak (ka-bong).
    Good point. I think shell construction has more to do with a good sound than the wood species. Ply thickness, grain orientation, glue formula, bonding process, etc. Remo shells made from spun wood fiber (fancy cardboard) are a good example.

    I guess (by general marketing concept) you're more likely to find quality shell construction in a North American Maple, Oak, Birch or other more expensive wood than in a Basswood, Luan or other "select hardwood" drum. That said, there are exceptions. Modern manufacturing technology has really made an impact.
    -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

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Many among us like the sound of the softer wood species built drums. They sound more like the "vintage" sound of the 60s and 70s, whereas the harder (and more expensive) woods like maple and birch et al, are more resonant, intense, and purer tonally. IE: the modern sound.
    Get and play what you like. I personally play maple and love it. Head choice, tuning and some judicial damping when indicated shapes and controls the sound to suit.

  21. #21

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    Good point and I love my Maples too.
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

    5pc Pearl MCX Chestnut Fade 12x9, 13x10, 16x16, 18x22 14x6.5 matching snare
    Pearl Sensitone 14x5.5 steel alloy snare
    Vintage Slingerland " Festival" steel snare 14x5
    Zildjian A's (avendis) Vintage 70's era
    17 med thin crash, 14 new beat hhts and 21 sweet crash/ride
    Zildjian K 18 med thin crash
    Pearl 1000 series all double braced hadware: 2 cymbal stands , 1 boom stand, hhts stand, snare stand
    Pearl Eliminator single chain drive

  22. #22

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    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.
    Last edited by noreastbob; 07-30-2017 at 08:23 AM.

  23. #23

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    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.

  24. #24

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    You are right Rick I have listened to a lot of your videos and I can't tell that you have different shells on your drums. I know they are Ludwigs but never really knew what kind of wood your shells where. For some reason I thought they were Maples so I guess I was wrong. No matter what they are made off they all sound good in your videos man.
    Keep on drumming and have fun doing it.

    5pc Pearl MCX Chestnut Fade 12x9, 13x10, 16x16, 18x22 14x6.5 matching snare
    Pearl Sensitone 14x5.5 steel alloy snare
    Vintage Slingerland " Festival" steel snare 14x5
    Zildjian A's (avendis) Vintage 70's era
    17 med thin crash, 14 new beat hhts and 21 sweet crash/ride
    Zildjian K 18 med thin crash
    Pearl 1000 series all double braced hadware: 2 cymbal stands , 1 boom stand, hhts stand, snare stand
    Pearl Eliminator single chain drive

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Maple or poplar

    Classic drums did use softer wood in their construction, however in many occasions this was used as an filler ply i.e. Maple/Poplar/Maple - Maple/Mahogany/Maple etc. Apparently it is the inner ply that is most influential in the overall sound. the centre ply(s) to a lesser extent, followed by the outer ply (who can honestly say they can hear the difference between a wrapped or stained drum?)

    I suspect the classic rounded bearing edge giving lots of head to shell contact and choice of heads has far more influence in producing the 'classic' sound than the inner ply of a softer wood species - I suspect the main reason that manufacturers chose a less expensive 'filler ply' was cost rather than any detectable difference in sound.
    Last edited by crispycritters; 07-30-2017 at 11:38 AM. Reason: More Gibberish

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