Drum shell woods

chrisev94

Junior Member
I just want to ask if anyone can explain me the differences between some woods that i am not very familiar, i have seen some kits that use basswood,poplar and ash,my question is how do these woods affect the sound of a drum?and how do they sound if they get mixed?,for example birch and basswood
 

Cypriss

Senior Member
Ah, none of those threads refer to what he is asking.poplar, basswood ,ashwood all are used on cheaper drum kits as they are soft(easy to work with) readily available and cheap i'm assuming.so comparing the woods is probably not worth it.give a list of the drum kits that your looking at as other variables matter a whole lot more.I also think lots of drum makers use these as filler woods ie in between birch ,mahogany plies etc indicating that they dont put much faith in the sonic properties of these woods? please someone correct me if i'm wrong:)
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Ash is not a budget wood, Poplar and Basswood are generally considered budget woods. What you've got to remember is that quality of kit construction matters far more than the wood used in the shell construction - a badly made maple shell will sound awful compared to a well made basswood shell.

I play a well-made Ash kit and it is certainly not a budget wood; just not a particularly common one. My kit isn't particularly high end mind.
 

Skitch

Pioneer Member
Ah, none of those threads refer to what he is asking.poplar, basswood ,ashwood all are used on cheaper drum kits as they are soft(easy to work with) readily available and cheap i'm assuming.so comparing the woods is probably not worth it.give a list of the drum kits that your looking at as other variables matter a whole lot more.I also think lots of drum makers use these as filler woods ie in between birch ,mahogany plies etc indicating that they dont put much faith in the sonic properties of these woods? please someone correct me if i'm wrong:)

No....You seem to have hit it right on the head as these woods are cheaper and tend to be easier to work with. Maple is more expensive and relatively easy to work with as is birch. Mohagany is less so. This is why, when you start getting into exotic woods, the price goes up.

Mike

http://www.mikemccraw.com
http://www.dominoretroplate.com

http://www.youtube.com/drummermikemccraw
http://www.myspace.com/drummermikemccraw
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
Softer woods are easier to work with (bend, cut, etc...) and are more porous. Their "softness" also means that they absorb the sound rather than reflect it. Harder woods like maple, birch, bubinga, etcetera don't absorb the sound, but reflect it and conduct it, which causes them to vibrate in correspondence with the sound waves...this is called resonance. The natural vibrations of the wood and how they interact with the vibrations of the head and the sound waves within a drum shell cause the shells to "color" the sound. That is why cheaper kits sound muddy (they absorb sound/inhibit sustain) and higher-end kits sound big and harmonically full-spectrum (they reflect and conduct the sound and increase the sustain).

When mixing woods, their different vibrating rates complement and contradict one another in various ways. Some work well (maple-poplar-mahogany...Ludwig's famous 3-ply shell), and others don't (luaun and anything else). I find it interesting when companies mix woods in shells. It's like an overdriving guitar amp...it creates a distortion, but it's a pleasing one.

Some will argue that you can't hear a difference and that a shell is a shell, but it's just not true. Other factors like bearing edges, thickness of the shell, and heads make a huge difference, but they all factor in and work together to create the final sound.

To see how different woods rate in hardness, check out the janka scale.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janka_Wood_Hardness_Rating

Hope this helps!
 

chrisev94

Junior Member
give a list of the drum kits that your looking at as other variables matter a whole lot more.

I was looking at some tama hyperdrive kits that i am thinking of buying one and they have inner plies of birch and outer plies of basswood
 
Top