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Thread: Acrylic Shells?

  1. #1

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    Default Acrylic Shells?

    What does everyone think about acrylic drums? Anyone own a set? Are they hard to tune and are they prone to cracks and scratching? The leader of one of my bands thought it would be a good look for us if I played a clear set, and although I really don't need a 5th acoustic kit(and I already promised the wife that the last one was the LAST one), I did start checking them out and it just so happens that the Tama Silverstar Mirage has had a $150 price reduction at at certain large retailer who I happen to have a credit account with. I feel temptation...


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  2. #2

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    I love the look and sound of acrylic shells but in my opinion, it's high maintenance to keep the shells from getting scratched and the static build up on the surface lends itself to be a dust magnet. The floor tom brackets are where most start to show signs of wear but the modern acrylics are pretty sturdy.

    Overtones are an issue on acrylic kits. Most drummers including myself had to use some sort of pillow in the kick to cut down the overtones. I normally play with my kick empty but use kick batter heads with dampening rings attached to the surface such ask the Aquarian SKII or Evans EMAD for tone control issues.

    For heads, I used clear Evans EC2 with G1 clear resos and for my acrylic snare, I kept the clear head theme going and used an Evans clear G2. The kick had an Evans EMAD 2.



    With or without LED lights, the clear acrylic shells are a show stopper. I owned a '69 Zickos kit but chose not to add a strings of LED lights fearing I'd scratch them up somehow. I chose instead to buy two slim Par64 lights and aimed them on the kit. It didn't take much light to make them look pretty.





    Last edited by late8; 11-03-2017 at 08:55 AM.

  3. #3

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    Gotta love the look. Great under the lights and definitely unique. I've been told they have more attack than a wood shell, but not as resonate. Not having to worry about water or termites is a plus, too.
    -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. #4

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    Well I'll tell you I love mine and if the leader of one of the bands thinks a clear kit would be some nice eye candy maybe he should go half on a kit and that will take some heat off with the wifey. I have no problem with cracking and tuning isn't bad at all, they are boomy though. I have recently went to clear hydraulics over G1 reso's and the bass drum has a powerstroke 3 batter and a standard emperor with no muffling. You only live once I say you go for it.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderjig View Post
    Well I'll tell you I love mine and if the leader of one of the bands thinks a clear kit would be some nice eye candy maybe he should go half on a kit and that will take some heat off with the wifey. I have no problem with cracking and tuning isn't bad at all, they are boomy though. I have recently went to clear hydraulics over G1 reso's and the bass drum has a powerstroke 3 batter and a standard emperor with no muffling. You only live once I say you go for it.
    Wow! That's nice!!

  6. #6

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    They do tend to be "louder" in a way. But harsher as well. I have a 70s Fibes set that I've kept to have a weather impervious alternetive to my maple set.
    Cracking has never been an issue but scratches and, as mentioned, dust, do accumulate. They are more one dimensional sound-wise. IMO wood drums sound much better and are more versatile.
    Although you can get them to sound OK for most applications, I'd have to ask: which is more important, Looks or sound?
    I guess it's up to you and the band leader to prioritize.

  7. #7

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    From a "band in a live show" perspective, I'd say that looks and image is more important than the quality or sound character (for the drum kit, anyway). 99.999% of the audience at a live show couldn't care less what the drums sound like in terms of tonal character. To them, they just sound like drums, LOL. The other .0001% are other drummers that happen to be in the crowd. Everyone, however, will notice and remember an awesome LOOKING drum kit. It's just a sad fact of life for the working musician.
    -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

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    From a "band in a live show" perspective, I'd say that looks and image is more important than the quality or sound character (for the drum kit, anyway). 99.999% of the audience at a live show couldn't care less what the drums sound like in terms of tonal character. To them, they just sound like drums, LOL. The other .0001% are other drummers that happen to be in the crowd. Everyone, however, will notice and remember an awesome LOOKING drum kit. It's just a sad fact of life for the working musician.
    You are so right, all the time we spend getting our drums to sound perfect, and this cymbal this and this cymbal that, most of the people hear DRUMS, I guess it's our self gratification that matters.

  9. #9

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    I think the sound of the drums certainly makes a difference in the overall production. I definitely strive for the sound that I want out front...one that fits my bands music, instrumentation, style, etc.. I think it's a big part of what gives my band its personality. I just don't think the majority of the audience realizes it.
    We just started playing a venue that mic's everything. The sound guy always cranks up the drums and has the toms and kick drum so loud that the whole place vibrates. It completely throws me off. Trying to play with feeling and dynamics is pointless (and impossible). That's great for hard rock, but not exactly the sound I want for Bluegrass, Blues & Rockabilly, LOL. Before we play there again in 2 weeks, I'm gonna stop in and talk to him about our sound. We'll see what happens.
    -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

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderjig View Post
    if the leader of one of the bands thinks a clear kit would be some nice eye candy maybe he should go half on a kit
    HaHa...I was thinking the same thing. Actually, if he thinks its such an outstanding idea he should foot the bill for the whole thing. How receptive would he or anyone else in the band be to being told what personal equipment to buy? Phhht!

  11. #11

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    Actually, his proposition was if I got a set of acrylics, he would give me a whole set of mics for them(he owns a microphone company and a set of his top of the line drum mics costs almost as much as the kit). I saw a used Fibes clear set at GC this weekend, and they were in great shape for their age. I've decided though that I can't justify(even to myself) getting another kit.


    2017 DW Design 5 piece Tobacco Burst
    Evans, Remo

    2010 Tama Superstars 5 piece Birch BPG
    Evans, Aquarian

    200? Gretsch Catalina Ash 4 piece Black and Silver Sparkle
    Evans

    1980 Slingerland 7 piece Poplar/Maple White
    Evans

    Tama SLP Black Brass

    Yamaha DTX532k

    Alessis Sample Pad

    Tama RoadPro hardware
    Speed Cobra 310 bass pedal
    Camco/Tama bass pedal
    DW5000 double bass pedal

    Zildjian

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    14" A Custom High Hats
    6", 8", 10" Fast Splashs
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    From a "band in a live show" perspective, I'd say that looks and image is more important than the quality or sound character (for the drum kit, anyway). 99.999% of the audience at a live show couldn't care less what the drums sound like in terms of tonal character. To them, they just sound like drums, LOL. The other .0001% are other drummers that happen to be in the crowd. Everyone, however, will notice and remember an awesome LOOKING drum kit. It's just a sad fact of life for the working musician.
    Great post Brian and in my opinion you're 100% right. Take Eric Singer's kit for example; one would expect something like on stage for KISS.

    d19320e6d16708b61dfcb8fde993e21e-1200-80.jpg

    d8b7b79d86019b9c78722f61caa1b6e9.jpg

  13. #13

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    Sorry, but to me music is not as much a visual medium as an aural one. I suppose if you're in an "over the top" act like a Kiss or maybe a Motley Crue type outfit then that's another story. If it's a serious musical group, of any genre, then it's all sound. My idea of a good show is watching musical geniuses astound me with their virtuoso performances.
    But I'm an old guy who isn't into explosions and strobes etc on stage...so, what do I know.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by noreastbob View Post
    Sorry, but to me music is not as much a visual medium as an aural one. I suppose if you're in an "over the top" act like a Kiss or maybe a Motley Crue type outfit then that's another story. If it's a serious musical group, of any genre, then it's all sound. My idea of a good show is watching musical geniuses astound me with their virtuoso performances.
    But I'm an old guy who isn't into explosions and strobes etc on stage...so, what do I know.
    Good point noreastbob. In my opinion, there's always those who can do bring both visual and aural dynamics to the stage such as Mike Potnoy. He used a huge Tama Mirage acrylic kit back in the Dream Theater days.

    1194222814_2.jpg

  15. #15

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    I may have mentioned this before...but remember a very cool drummer back in the mid Seventies with a Custom multi colored acrylic set that had lights inside that would flash each time he hit the drum...he used it on some songs where there was a drum solo or extended run. It was very cool.
    Enjoy the Music!

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  16. #16

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    Just bumping this up since I mentioned this issue at the top of this thread. I found a fairly new Pearl Crystal Beat on CL showing signs of spider cracks around the floor tom leg bracket. If this was my kit, I'd be pissed.

    00E0E_4qsSMX5sjXB_1200x900.jpg

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    Just bumping this up since I mentioned this issue at the top of this thread. I found a fairly new Pearl Crystal Beat on CL showing signs of spider cracks around the floor tom leg bracket. If this was my kit, I'd be pissed.

    00E0E_4qsSMX5sjXB_1200x900.jpg
    That's a big problem Crush drum company was having, I have a 14 x 7 Clear acrylic Crush snare and it has spiderwebbing near 75 percent of the 20 lugs

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