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Thread: Birch Shells

  1. #1

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    Default Birch Shells

    Does anyone have a birch kit? After struggling to tune my Ludwigs, I decided to tune everything low. Except the snare. I swear they're the best sounding drums I've ever heard. Especially in resonance and attack! I use clear emperors over ambassadors with min-emads on each tom, and one on the snare. I've had countless issues with my floor tom, but I figured it out. I tune the reso tight and the batter finger tight. What can you say about birch shells?
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    There is intelligent life out there. The problem is that there isn't any here.

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  2. #2

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    I have a birch kit using Aquarian Performance 2 heads on all the toms no problem tuning them.

    Jim
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  3. #3

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    I have an M Birch kit with Coated Emps over Ambos & it sounds just great.
    Mapex Armory - Photon Blue
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    Mapex & Pearl snares
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  4. #4

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    I have 2 Tama birch kits. I love them! I've tried a lot of different heads, both clears and coated, from Remo, Evans and Aquarian, and personally, I found clears to have too much attack for my taste. I'm now using black coated Aquarian Response II's on my toms, and Aquarian SuperKick I's and Regulators on the kicks. I found them to be my favorite. Still plenty of attack, controllable sustain, and nice warmth.
    Aut Viam Inveniam Aut Faciam
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  5. #5

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    Someday I'd like to do a side by side test. Same sizes, same heads, same tunings.

    all the best...

  6. #6

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    Love Birch, in fact during my search for a Birch kit I stumbled upon a Beech Sonor and man I am very happy for that. Beech is similar to Birch in many ways but with less overtones. I am running coated amb. over clear amb and she sounds huge.
    Crush Sublime Birch

    Mapex Saturn V

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

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  7. #7

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    Used to own a set of Recording Customs and I truly loved them - with one exception. The toms were absolute cannons, with the most focused tone ever, and very, very fast decay. I tried every brand and model of drumhead available at that time (worked in a music store), but nothing came close to delivering that legendary RC tone like the heads it was shipped with: clear Remo Pinstripes on the batter and clear Remo Ambassadors on the resos. The exception was the bass drum, 16X22. I had a love/hate relationship with that drum, but could never achieve the deep tone I've come to expect from a good maple bass drum. The drum sounded great in the low-medium and higher frequencies that it preferred, but refused to equal the low tones of a maple BD no matter what head/tuning/muffling configuration I tried. That led me to believe that the perfect drum set for me would be Recording Custom toms and a Maple Custom bass drum.

    GeeDeeEmm

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by gdmoore28 View Post
    Used to own a set of Recording Customs and I truly loved them - with one exception. The toms were absolute cannons, with the most focused tone ever, and very, very fast decay. I tried every brand and model of drumhead available at that time (worked in a music store), but nothing came close to delivering that legendary RC tone like the heads it was shipped with: clear Remo Pinstripes on the batter and clear Remo Ambassadors on the resos. The exception was the bass drum, 16X22. I had a love/hate relationship with that drum, but could never achieve the deep tone I've come to expect from a good maple bass drum. The drum sounded great in the low-medium and higher frequencies that it preferred, but refused to equal the low tones of a maple BD no matter what head/tuning/muffling configuration I tried. That led me to believe that the perfect drum set for me would be Recording Custom toms and a Maple Custom bass drum.

    GeeDeeEmm
    I've actually noticed the same thing with birch bass drums. I can't get a resonant sound if the bass drum is tuned low. Only when it's high, which is the complete opposite of the toms.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    There is intelligent life out there. The problem is that there isn't any here.

    -Mike

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyByNight View Post
    I've had countless issues with my floor tom, but I figured it out. I tune the reso tight and the batter finger tight.
    IMO, the bigger drums-FT's, BD's, need different tuning than smaller drums such as toms and snare drums.
    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

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    IMO, the bigger drums-FT's, BD's, need different tuning than smaller drums such as toms and snare drums.
    Exactly!
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    There is intelligent life out there. The problem is that there isn't any here.

    -Mike

  11. #11

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    I play 100% birch and love them have EC2 frosted on all and emad on bass. I tune low and love the sound and have had lots of people say they like my sound also. from 8 to 18 in toms. My snare is Millenium supraphonic I use Ludwig med coated ot Remo reverse dot control sound
    Last edited by not him; 08-13-2015 at 01:44 PM.
    So whats so wrong with laughing. Some need to learn to laugh

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    IMO, the bigger drums-FT's, BD's, need different tuning than smaller drums such as toms and snare drums.
    Of course. Doesn't everybody use different tuning methods between smaller and larger drums? I don't know how it would be possible to use the same tuning methods. I guess I'm not understanding exactly what you mean. Could you elaborate a bit?

    GeeDeeEmm

  13. #13

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    No. Some drummers assume larger toms should be tuned as small toms are tuned. Then they are surprised when those methods don't give satisfactory results. Same for heads-some assume all batter heads should match all toms, yet it's OK for the BD to use completely different heads.
    Last edited by slinglander; 05-24-2015 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Spelling
    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
    http://www.facebook.com/DerailedRockers/

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    No. Some drummers assume larger toms should be tuned as small toms are tuned. Then they are surprised when those methods don't give satisfactory results. Same for heads-some assume all batter heads should match all toms, yet it's OK for the BD to use completely different heads.
    I use clear emperors on my 12 and 16" toms, but I use a pinstripe on my 13" because I use it as a floor tom. I needed a head that would be able to hold a low tuning without any unwanted overtones.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    There is intelligent life out there. The problem is that there isn't any here.

    -Mike

  15. #15

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    I guess size wise my 14" floor comes in under the wire. I use a coated amb. or G2 the same as the small tom, with great results. (clear amb. resos)

    all the best...

  16. #16

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    kay-gee, I just meant sometimes, if there is a problem drum, using different heads can be an option. If you like the drum's sound, then that's not needed.
    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
    http://www.facebook.com/DerailedRockers/

  17. #17

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    I personally love birch kits. In fact I have a Tama one coming in the mail tomorrow. The toms seem to be easier to tune low compared to maple, though that could also just be the maple kits I've played.

  18. #18

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    Big fan of birch kits. I had a 2006 Pearl Session all birch (SBX) in tobacco fade I regretfully sold. Missed the sound so much, I bought a Pork Pie birch/mahogany kit to fill the void. I like the attack and quick decay of birch shells. No lingering overtones to contend with. Had the birch/mahogany kit set up next to two all maple kits awhile back and a side by side comparison verified my hunch that birch has much more attack than maple with less overtones.

    Last edited by late8; 07-30-2015 at 01:54 PM.

  19. #19

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    I have a Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute in the piano black and I LOVE it ! I use the coated Ambassadors top and bottom . 10 , 12 , 14 , and the 17x22 kic . I use the factory reso and a clear Powerstroke 3 on the kic with a small pillow in it . The 10 and 12 are mounted on the kic and sound great with the Y.E.S.S. mounts...the 14 not so much . Once I put a RIMS mount on it it came to life , fat , huge and deep . The kic is a monster ! And very versatile , you can get a solid thud that gets bigger the harder you hit it or you can leave it wide open and rattle the mirrors in the back of the club .
    However I also had the new Tama Silverstar Birch kit and I turned that thing around real quick ! No matter what head combo is used I could not get a satisfying tone out of them . Same with the PDP Birch . The toms on that kit were better but the kic was dead...no life to it . Traded the PDP for a set of Pearl Vision Birch . Now that kit I like a lot ! 8,10,12,16,22 . The kic is good , fat and thuddy but not as versatile as the Yamaha . The toms go deep or high but don't hang there as long as the Yamahas . They sound the best (to me) with the coated Emperors and the clear Ambassador bottoms . Kic has the same PS3 as all my kics with a small pillow .
    Maple is a whole other animal . I have a few of those too...
    Rudy .

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jedi View Post
    However I also had the new Tama Silverstar Birch kit and I turned that thing around real quick ! No matter what head combo is used I could not get a satisfying tone out of them .
    This is interesting. This is the first negative review I've heard of the Silverstar kit. Everyone I've talked to loves them, and reviews are very good. I guess I will find out tomorrow because that's what I ordered! The audio I've heard sounded very good, so we will see. I've owned some Pearl Vision toms and did not like them, they were the only birch drums I wasn't really a fan of. The 10" was very nice actually, but the 12" sounded dead no matter how I tuned it, with any heads I had. Both are now for sale!

  21. #21

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    I just bought a Silverstar kit and am about to put coated Emperors over clear Ambassadors.

    Tex

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcs90 View Post
    I personally love birch kits. In fact I have a Tama one coming in the mail tomorrow. The toms seem to be easier to tune low compared to maple, though that could also just be the maple kits I've played.
    That's what I love about them. I use a 13" as a floor tom and it's tuned incredibly low. Compared to the 12". It holds it's tune, and it had the same characteristics as the other toms.
    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    There is intelligent life out there. The problem is that there isn't any here.

    -Mike

  23. #23

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    I use Remo Powerstroke 4's on my birch kits. Very happy with the results.
    "The problem with information on the Internet is that you can not validate it's authenticity. " -Abraham Lincoln

    SILVERFOX DRUMSTICKS & SOULTONE CYMBALS Endorsing Artist.

  24. #24

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    I have 9 toms with my Ludwigs. I don't use all of them all the time, but when I buy heads, I buy for all of them.

    The sizes are 12x10, 13x10, 13x11, (2) 14x10, 15x12, (2) 16x16, and a 18x16.

    Outside of the BD and snare, I treat them all the same when I tune them.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyByNight View Post
    That's what I love about them. I use a 13" as a floor tom and it's tuned incredibly low. Compared to the 12". It holds it's tune, and it had the same characteristics as the other toms.
    This is exactly what is going on with my Silverstars. The 10" and 12" tune incredibly low and I love it. The problem is, it's a 10" 12" 16" set, and that huge size difference does not work with that tuning. So I'll be on the search for a 13" or 14" tom. But wow, the 10" and 12" sound awesome.

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