Our Birch drum shells are constructed with a vertical grain, which means that the sound is purer and faster. A Professor of the Royal Institute proved that vibrations travel nearly 4 times faster down grain than across it, and also that it maintains the integrity of the wave formation. Hence a big sound from the toms and a very responsive snare. You will get a deeper and clearer sound
The 3 main woods used for shell construction
Mahogany: it's the softest of the three. Mahogany's softness gives it the lowest tone of the group. You can expect good bottom end punch with this wood. Many cheaper kits may claim to be constructed from Mahogany but this is a poor quality and therefore will reflect in sound (we always go for an African Mahogany) this makes a great studio kit. We can also blend vertical grain Birch into your Mahogany shell to give the drum a little more projection
Maple: falls in the middle when it comes to both hardness and tone. The pitch is higher than mahogany's, but offers a warmer tone when compared to birch. The great tonal range offered by Maple makes this wood a very popular choice for studio recording kits.
Birch: the hardest of the group, birch has the brightest sound. It is also very attractive with a nice staining wood grain. The volume and tones that you can achieve with Birch makes it a perfect choice for drummers in live and recordng settings. The Vertical grain Birch offers a little more warmth than the horizontal grain,
Birch/Maple combination: combining these two woods will give you more depth to your sound with plenty of volume. With a Birch (virtical grain) core and Maple plies to each outer edge, the energy travels along the Birch grain faster to the bottom head, vibrating the softer Maple outers and making a loud and deeper sounding drum.
Mahogany/Birch combination: an ideal recording drum offering exceptional low end but with a nice punch and attack from the vertical grain Birch. My favourite configeration for this is a VG Birch core with Mahogany to each outer ply (again the same idea as the Birch/Maple but with a little more clarity and bottom end.
Mahogany drum shell with alternating ply direction
Characteristics of shells
The thinner the shell, the more it will vibrate and give a rich wood tone. The volume will be less than a thicker shell though.
The thicker the shell, the more higher it will sound. The thinner the shell, the lower it will sound.
Don't get caught up in plies. You can't always judge a shell's thickness by how many plys it has. Some companies cut their plys thinner or thicker than others. The density of the wood also determines how thin a ply can be cut. Mahogany plies will be much thicker than Birch, for example, because Birch is stronger and can be cut thinner.
One company's 10 ply shell could be thinner than another company's 6 ply shell. There are many variables
The number of plys effects how readily energy is transferred from the heads to the shell. This single factor has a profound effect on the tonal characteristics and projection of the drum.
Thin shells (4-5mm) have easy energy transfer from the heads to the shells thus causing the shells to vibrate. This vibration imparts a very rich "wood" tone to the overall sound that can be most appreciated in near-field applications and especially in recording.
Medium thick shells (6-9mm) have greater stiffness and resist energy transference from the heads. With less shell vibration, the sound is slightly dryer than thinner shells and projection is greater. Drums made to this thickness are ideal for general-purpose applications and or situations requiring more volume.
Thick shells (9mm-20mm) are extremely "efficient" and allow most of the player's energy to be focused to the audience. These
drums are ideal for applications requiring high sound pressure levels. Snare drums made in this thickness will rival metal snare drums in intensity and projection.
The thicker shell will also give you a much more controlled and dryer sound.
Vintage Style Shells
Our vintage style shells produce a warm and deep drum, ideal for that classic Big Rock sound. Constructed with a thin shell wall and re-rings fitted to both top and bottom. Vintage Style Toms have a 3mm shell wall and 6mm re-rings to maximise the low end tone but insuring the she still projects well through the music. Vintage Style Bass Drums have a 4.5mm shell wall with 6mm re-rings. I wanted to create plenty of low end with a great punch (for a louder bass drum we can make a 6mm shell wall with 6mm re-rings).
Vinstage Style Snare Drums have a 4.5mm shell wall with 6mm re-rings.
Bearing edges are the contours (angle or round) cut at the edges of the drum shell. The bearing edge is where the drum head "bears", or makes contact with the drum shell. The style and quality of the bearing edge has a great effect on the sound of the drum..
Single 45 degree edge
Probably the most popular choice by many drum companies, however the shells point of contact is towards the outer part of the head (where the head starts to curve over).
Single 45 degree with a round over
This edge had the same 45 degree angle with a slight round over allowing the head to sit nicely around the bearing edge.
Double 45 degree edge
Many drum companies talk about 30 degree and 45 degree edges, this really does not effect the sound of the drum a great deal. The important part is the amount of shell that contacts the skin.
A double 45 bearing edge is bringing the point of contact closer to the center of the drum, it also has less wood touching the shell making the drum much easier to control in tuning (too much shell contact will deaden the drum)
Pictured to the left is my favourite edge, 45 degree inner with a small 45 degree to the outer shell 80/20 devide.
The snare bed is the indentation that is located on the bottom bearing edge of the snare drum shell and centered under both the snare strainer and the butt plate. The bed gives the snare wire/cord a relief so the wires lay evenly against the snare head. We hand cut all of our snare beds to a nice contour that will allow your resonant head to wrap around the wood and still insuring that there is a nice gap to reduce any vibration between the snare wired and the shell.