Need Help with Wood Types

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Alcyon
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:29 pm

Can anyone point me to or write up a list of different drum wood types and their sound differences? Maple, Birch, etc. it's all very confusing to me.
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The Alien Drummer
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:03 pm

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Post Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:24 am

Alcyon wrote:Can anyone point me to or write up a list of different drum wood types and their sound differences? Maple, Birch, etc. it's all very confusing to me.

MAPLE-low volume, quality sound, good for the consistent, med-heavy-play, looking for good recording sound, and longevity.
BIRCH-PROJECTION-more a Hard hitter's drum. Not as good a drum sound but it makes up in volume. In my opinion; best bang for your buck; any drum maker has good, cheap birch.
BUBINGA-Don't waste yout time. Unless you are in a close microphone situation AND can AFFORD IT, don't bother. Buy a custom Maple kit' OCDP, spaun, etc.;
POPLAR-Exports, DDrum beginners kit, $300-$700 range, good for your first band, first kit, or 2nd kit. Not good for live, unless you tune the hell out of them, and put good heads on em.
"ANYTHING ELSE'-Hell; Check out Rocket Shells; carbon Fiber drums, Wood is wood; metal is metal; they all go together, its just the time and effort pu into the shell, hardware, etc. Play what you like.
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PaulZILLA
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Post Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:15 am

ill agree with most of t hose. but you guys left off my faveorite 2 woods.
Ash- very bottom end tone oriented. very solid sound, speaks well. usualy somewhat pricey but concidered by most to be more than worth it.
Basswood- similar to ash, BUT cheaper and has more treble response as well as a solid bottom end. very round hefty tone. good response and excelent for the intermediate/ budget drummer
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Waylon
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Post Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:39 pm

One more very popular in the 60's & 70's is Mahogany. It's used in some semi-pro kits and has a sound kind of in between Birch and Maple, warm and loud. The popular Yamaha Stage Custom series is mostly Mahogany w/ one ply of birch (discontinued now).
Important to know this: The inexpensive Maple kits being offered by so many Drum makers now are usually not the North American Canadian or Rock Maple that has that Maple sound we like. It is an Asian Maple that is a softer wood and still has a good sound but it is not the same as the sound of harder N.A. Maples. There are not as many as there used to be, they take longer to grow and are more expensive.
I have noticed this: My students kits are usually an inexpensive beginners kit made of whatever they were cutting that day in Indonesia. When I put new heads on them and tune them up they sound pretty damn good I must say! There is a lot of wood type hype. Go with what you like the sound of.
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Post Sun Dec 03, 2006 8:46 pm

Unless you are listening to (North American) Maple or Birch, you are not hearing what you should. Many companies are advertising inexpensive all maple or all birch shells made in China. Great sounding drums but they are definately not what should be considered high-end, nor does it come woth all the charachteristics of North American Hard Rock Maple. Comapnies that focus on other woods like Bubinga, Beech and such are doing it for a reason. The brains behind companies such as Tama, Yamaha and Pearl that have chosen to explore with alternative woods other than maple or birch.....well, they know a whole lot more than people who answer web-posts. Go to a store and play them. That is the only way you will hear what is for you.
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Post Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:42 pm

Maple: full tones, rich sound, good mix between Mahogany and Birch, good all-around wood.

Birch: Sharp and crisp attack sounds, punchy, great for recording sessions

Beech: Almost a mix between Birch and Maple, but more low tones emminating. Good for local studio playing, small gigs

Ash: Don't know much about this wood type

Mahogany: Resonant, deep sounding, very alive, great for stage and live performances

Poplar: Basic wood, found in beginner kits, a cheap wood with a decent sound, tone and resonance.

Bubinga: The Fancy Wood, pricey, good sound for the price (it better be)

Rosewood: Many concert snares use this wood. Clear resonance, overtones sing, full rich sound. Well worth the extra money. Ludwig makes a concert snare with African Rosewood. Beautiful sounding drum.

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Chazdrums
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Post Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:01 am

Everyone forgot walnut!!!

Here is the description for my Mapex Saturn:

Bright, crisp North American Maple, tonally matched with the warmth of premium walnut combine to create tone and range unrivaled by any other drum set on the market.

I can and do tune them way up for Jazz gigs and way down for rock gigs! I use Evans G2's for Jazz (higher overtones) and Remo Pinstrips for Everything else, (lower less overtones)
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stevo
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Post Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:01 pm

my favorite by far :

japaneese white oak - strongest shit you'll find, i dont really know about sound cuz i use nylon tips, and i really dont notice the sound difference in any stick if im but-end belling or something. they last me awhile though =)
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anavrinIV
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Post Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:52 pm

stevo wrote:my favorite by far :

japaneese white oak - strongest shit you'll find, i dont really know about sound cuz i use nylon tips, and i really dont notice the sound difference in any stick if im but-end belling or something. they last me awhile though =)


this is shell types, not stick types....
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DrumHead15
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Post Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:55 pm

Pearl has good sound info on wood types on their website. I had a MasterWorks kit made in African Mahogany. It sounds amazing. Great low end frequencies. I have a Pearl BRX kit (Birch) as well. I really like the presence of the birch sound. I agree that Birch is probably the best bang for the $ right now. I remember back when Maple was king, then it was Birch (Thanks Yamaha Recording Series) and back to Maple again. With all of the hybrids out there is has never been a better time to play drums, with so many new shell types. You might want to consider Brady Drums. He has some amazing drums made from exotic to us the North America, but indigenous to Australia. Purple Heart, Zebrawood etc...

Other woods to consider are:
Beech
Oak

Do you homework and try to physically listen to the type of wood you are interested in. Making the best educated decision is what we MacAddicts do best.
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