First things first: The development of seamless metal drumset shells has been a very cool concept that Vukan and Oriollo have been discussing for a long time. When Vukan first introduced himself on DFO back in the day, and started offering so many great innovations, the seamless aluminum drumset was a point of discussion for many…a common question asked…usually followed by “is it possible?” or “can you do this.” I think that is a reasonable question to ask when approaching an innovation that no one has ever done or achieved before….so on a day like today, when Vukan and his team will officially launch/release the Phantom kit…I can’t help but be so thrilled for my friend and just blown away by his amazing achievement that lives in this new drum set.
That being said, having spent considerable time with my own phantom kit, I am even more thrilled by the fact that I can honestly say without a doubt in my mind or heart, that this innovation truly lives up to what everyone hoped and dreamed it could be…a drumset that will set new standards of sonic clarity, fullness, and tone…all while offering incredible durability, aesthetics, and flexibility. This is innovation at its finest and I am grateful to be a part of it.
The back-story: A good while ago, I saw Vukan posting on dfo and Facebook that they had begun to develop the technology to offer seamless drumset shells. I saw him post a shot of a 13” tom, and then a little later, a 16” floor tom. Ever intrigued, and very impressed, I went about my day. Time went by, and as I was discussing with Vukan one day some of the plans he had for his company and what they wanted to develop next, I had a thought…”what ever happened to those toms you made.” I immediately asked him the same question over messenger, and he responded “They are sitting in my shop.” Instantly, I asked if I could buy them from him, and thus began my journey and involvement with the phantom kit. I went out to the garage, and tuned my phantom snare down to tom tension and struck it…and I was floored by the tone, and even more excited about what would be coming my way.
I received the aluminum toms shortly after, and they were everything I hoped they could be. Everyone that heard them were floored by them, and I knew I had something special. I began to talk more with Vukan about the kits, and developing the kick drum, and he started that process. After a bit of a wait from machining the tech to make the kick drum, he had created the first 20” seamless shell…and shipped it to me…and the full phantom kit was born.
Arrival/Unboxing: On a very practical note, the majority of Oriollo products I have received have come in the span of a week. Lately, and probably due to the time of year/holidays, the wait has been a little bit longer. For whatever reason, the lot of packages my kick drum was in, took their sweet time getting to me…so it was a nice lesson for me in patience. Thankfully, everything came and was unharmed and packed incredibly well…and it was worth the wait.
How it's made: One of the cool things about Oriollo seamless shells is there are different “layouts” used in the process that allow for variances in sound and feel. The basic phantom layout is a center bead with flanged edges on top and bottom. My copper and this phantom kit is the oriophonic layout, which is a top flanged edge and a flat, beaded and angled bottom edge…and has variations of beading…mainly inward. For this kit, the inward bead is right at the very bottom. This to me is perfect, because it allows the shells to not have anything visually breaking them up…no center bead to make the kit look like a snare…just the aluminum shell in all its glory.
These shells start at varying thicknesses, depending on the size of the drum. My 13 and 16 started at 2mm and the bass drum at 3mm. Vukan sent these to me as shells with lugs attached, so I was able to pick out how I wanted to finish the drums. I chose black nickel no flanged hoops with claws, and for the bass drum, black lacquer wood hoops. This was mainly an aesthetic decision, but I also figured the no flange would open the drum up a bit. I added maxwell reproduction old-style gretsch floor tom mounts mainly for their simplicity, and I chose to use clamp on DW spurs instead of drilling right into the shell. I currently have chosen to place the rack in a snare stand.
One little thing I wanted to add is that these drums are SUPER light. Mine are about average simply because the hoops are kind of heavy, but if I added an aluminum hoop to these, they would absolutely be the lightest drums I have ever seen or picked up. That combined with their durability and resistance to the weather make them a gigging dream.
The Sound: What is so great to me about this whole process…is that as cool as this drumset looks…as innovative as making seamless drum set shells is…the best part is the kit sounds absolutely bonkers. I will do my best to describe. These lightweight toms and kick are literally exploding with tone and fullness, yet are so how able to keep an amazing feel to them. What i mean is, the fullness of tone is similar to my ears of something like a solid shell kit, but solid shell kits often feel very hard. This aluminum kit has the fullness, but is somehow able to keep that melty, pocket feel that causes us to love our vintage wood drums…so for me, this is a playing experience that is new to me in a good way…and exactly what I would want in a drumset. It is easy to talk about how wonderful the kit is, but listen for yourself. You can’t miss it in the video. Its amazing at all three tunings.
Summing it up: I think for me, just being a part of this process, and having such amazing drums in my garage is a humbling experience. When I think about how I get to be the first to show everyone something that has never been done and this innovative…I am very grateful. I know people are going to love these kits, because they deliver in every way. Check them out!
Edited by JCKLudwig, 07 December 2016 - 09:56 PM.