Bearing edge comparison: vintage - 30° - 45° - 60°

What would you prefer?


  • Total voters
    31

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
Just stumbled over this comparison video. They're testing the same Keller shells with the same heads, hardware, tuning and microphone but different bearing edges. Intro is way too long (I don't care about the birth certificate of a random guy hitting a drum in a comparison video) and the pronunciation is sooo bratwurst, but it's nice to hear them side-by-side (more or less..).

 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Wow, that's a great video. I had to listen to them a couple of times because they were so different. I'm diggin' the round and 30 degree edges. Seems if you are in a loud environment though, 45 and 60 would be best for cutting through. Would have loved to hear them all with the different heads though!
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I'm sure the lower/higher tunings would be easier to hear a difference than the four different bearing edges, and I'm not sure how consistent the Mapex branded head would be. I'm surprised, as drum builders, that they didn't have more insight into different bearing edges. I would also like to see the four first tom sound graphs side by side.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
that was great!! It was good to hear the "as objective as you can get" comparisons for me. Now I know that a sharper bearing edge "cuts" more...whixh I sort of thought I new previous to this video

and then the sound of the coated head on the vintage round edge was great! Total old school jazz...

thhis is a good reference point to start from
 
Wow, that's a great video. I had to listen to them a couple of times because they were so different. I'm diggin' the round and 30 degree edges. Seems if you are in a loud environment though, 45 and 60 would be best for cutting through. Would have loved to hear them all with the different heads though!

As far as I'm concerned, and I say this as someone who's done pretty much every role: guitarist, singer, drummer, live soundman, recording engineer and mixing engineer: I would always go for what sounds best and rely on mics and a PA to ensure a good mix.

I tend to prefer 45 degrees because of the attack though, but last week I was gigging (as a guitarist) with a drummer that had a vintage kit with rounded edges and it sounded massive (with a full complement of mics on it). Head choice and tuning abilities still goes a long way towards getting the sound you want.

Heck, whenever I see someone gigging with a Club Date (roundover), I'm always amazed at how fat and full it sounds, even though I always prefer the Classic Maple (45 degrees) in video comparisons.

When I sawed off my cheap Ludwig Accent, I put a 45 degree edge on it but did a slight exterior roundover (similar to the Mapex "Soniclear" edge), I swear it sounds fatter now enough though I cut 4" off its length (from 18 to 14")
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
I would also like to see the four first tom sound graphs side by side.

Good call actually. Hope this is helpful, although a bit chaotic:

BearingEdgesFR.png

I aligned the responses in a way that the fundamental is at the same level. The graph starts at 50Hz and ends at 20kHz.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
I'm surprised, as drum builders, that they didn't have more insight into different bearing edges.
Well, at least they gave it a try in a quite scientific approach. To me the question would be more like why haven't we seen such support in choosing the right model from the big brands or the boutiques?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The vintage bearing edge is my favorite by far.

I can definitely hear a difference. This leads me to this question, did they use a TuneBot or other device to tune the drumheads to the same parameters? If the drums naturally sound different, how does one know when they are the same?

I definitely dont care for the 30° edge. It has a wonky trailing overtone that almost makes it sound out of tune.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I'm surprised, as drum builders, that they didn't have more insight into different bearing edges.
I'm not that surprised, because I have found that custom builders of many things, from bows to firearms to cars and drums, don't necessarily know any more than you or I. They're often simply craftsmen, and usually build what they like.

I was impressed with the video, and that they undertook the expense and effort to do this kind of test.

My favorite edge was the vintage edge, which was cool. I learned that I really do like that sound, and not just the music where I generally hear that type of sound.
 
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Thin Shell

Well-known member
There are too many variables at play here. They are using different heads and different shells. There will be variance from head to head and definitely in shell to shell. They are also on their own stands and own microphones. The placement of the microphones will vary from drum to drum no matter how careful they are and that can alter the sound. There could also be variances from microphone to microphone.

The best way would be to have one stand and one drum with the microphone in a fixed spot. The top edge would have to be removable so you could put an inch or so section of shell and use the same head and tuning.
 

Thin Shell

Well-known member
I'm not that surprised, because I have found that custom builders of many things, from bows to firearms to cars and drums, don't necessarily know any more than you or I. They're just craftsmen and usually build what they like.
I have found that often, they know a lot less.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
.....When I sawed off my cheap Ludwig Accent, I put a 45 degree edge on it but did a slight exterior roundover (similar to the Mapex "Soniclear" edge), I swear it sounds fatter now enough though I cut 4" off its length (from 18 to 14")

I usually do a round outside and leave what ever what on the inside - usually a 45.
Kind of stuck in a rut though. Probably do something different, if there's another next time.

I did a full roundover on an Accent bass drum after cutting it down and was pretty impressed with it
after a couple additional mods. I really should have kept that one.
1635015299113.png

For those not familiar with some edges, a visual can help:
1635014913848.png
 
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