BIRCH!?? That pricey??

Old Dog

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I bought a custom made 20" birch bass drum from Stubblefield Drums (Reverb). After seeing his work, the lugs they use, I instantly started thinking "matching 14" FT and a 12" rack!

BUT, the price was ungodly. Is that because of birch? Maybe because it's custom work? I got such a great deal on the bass drum, I didn't imagine the price I was quoted.
 

JDA

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title is pearl-clutching
 

Old Dog

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Birch trees are almost extinct on this wonderful planet of ours...
I had no idea. That's a shame. . .not for me. I hate when I hear of anything going extinct on this planet.

title is pearl-clutching
Sorry. I'm just not picking up what you're putting down. :scratch: :dontknow:
 

JDA

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Sorry. I'm just not picking up what you're putting down
Saying there's a ton of Birch choices ...out there...new and used.... So why lock (or frustrate..) yourself in to one make... Birch is nothing new in drums...goes back to the 50s (Premier) and into the 2020s (new Sonor..) and that's just skimming the surface (eames, yamaha..)
don't fret was all I'm saying..
 
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Old Dog

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Saying there's a ton of Birch choices ...out there...new and used.... So why lock (or frustrate..) yourself in to one make... Birch is nothing new in drums...goes back to the 50s (Premier) and into the 2020s (new Sonor..) and that's just skimming the surface (eames, yamaha..)
don't fret was all I'm saying..
No no, I totally get that. Yeah I'm not stressing it. Was completely surprised. He told me, he let the bass go for a bit less than he wanted.

And, I'll add, those kits you listed are about the same as the quote I got. I'd probably be partial to finding a Yamaha Stage Custom. They are mostly, if not all birch, correct? I've had my eye on a couple players kits in the $300 range.

Thanks
 
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GeeDeeEmm

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Are you kidding? Scandinavia is full of them (as used by Premier and Sonor).
Yep. Birch is plentiful. You can bet that if there was a problem, countries like Scandanavia would not be using them.

By the way, anybody who want to experience the ULTIMATE birch sound should save a bunch of pennies and buy a set of used Recording Customs.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Tommy D

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I bought a custom made 20" birch bass drum from Stubblefield Drums (Reverb). After seeing his work, the lugs they use, I instantly started thinking "matching 14" FT and a 12" rack!

BUT, the price was ungodly. Is that because of birch? Maybe because it's custom work? I got such a great deal on the bass drum, I didn't imagine the price I was quoted.
What were you quoted? And how did you get the bass drum so cheap? Was it used? NOS on eBay that someone had laying around for years? Or was it new and direct from the company you had quote the other drums?
 

drumfx

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Yep. Birch is plentiful. You can bet that if there was a problem, countries like Scandanavia would not be using them.

By the way, anybody who want to experience the ULTIMATE birch sound should save a bunch of pennies and buy a set of used Recording Customs.

GeeDeeEmm
Exactly my point, buy used..Like anything else and give the planet a break. People think that forests are a bottomless pit of available wood that will last forever.
 

Old Dog

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What were you quoted? And how did you get the bass drum so cheap? Was it used? NOS on eBay that someone had laying around for years? Or was it new and direct from the company you had quote the other drums?
It came from Stubblefield Drums. John is a custom builder out of Virginia. The bass was brand spanking new. I'm not sure why he let it go for the price he did--I have a feeling it was supposed to go to someone who ended up not paying maybe? It was on Reverb, with the offer option. He listed it for 225 and $55 shipping. I offered $185, still paid over $250 with tax, etc. After seeing the workmanship, and his own "S" (Stubblefield lugs), etc., I thought, why not get a quote. I got such a good deal. Well, he has normal 3-piece pricing. The quote was for a 14x14 and a 12x9 birch,. . . . .he wanted just over $1000 for the 2. No way I can do that. Nor would I want to really. I can get a brand new Stage Custom full kit for less than that. With that said, I really dig the bass. Oh 20" x 12" shell. Punchy.

stub drum.jpg
Stubby drum.jpg
 

Tommy D

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Yeah, probably a situation where the drum was made, someone didn't buy it or backed out and he is trying to recoup costs. The $1k for the other drums is kinda pricey, but not totally out of the realm of reality. It's not the birch shells that cost so much, it's the custom hardware and the labor for finishing them that makes up the majority of the costs.

I have built a couple snare drums myself and when you add up all the costs of just the raw materials you are typically over $300. Then you have to put in the time to actually build and finish the drum. How much is your time worth? Even at $25/hour it will probably take about 8 hours to do all the work for finishing, drilling, edges, assembly, etc on the drum. Now you are over $500 on that snare. Do you have tools that need to be maintained or replaced from working on these drums? How about electricity? Or a place to actually do the work? Those are additional costs that have to get factored in to the cost of doing g the job, so add another 15-20% minimum to that price to pay for the soft costs of doing business.

It's not cheap to do this stuff, and being a small business trying to compete against the big boys you have to cut your margins so tight to even be mildly competative in the market place. I doubt at $1k for the 2 drums that the builder is pocketing more than $100 in profit on them. Even at $1k, you would have a 3 piece custom kit for $1250. Not too shabby for a boutique build, but as you said, you could buy a Stage Custom 5 piece for $650.
 

Old Dog

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Yeah, probably a situation where the drum was made, someone didn't buy it or backed out and he is trying to recoup costs. The $1k for the other drums is kinda pricey, but not totally out of the realm of reality. It's not the birch shells that cost so much, it's the custom hardware and the labor for finishing them that makes up the majority of the costs.

I have built a couple snare drums myself and when you add up all the costs of just the raw materials you are typically over $300. Then you have to put in the time to actually build and finish the drum. How much is your time worth? Even at $25/hour it will probably take about 8 hours to do all the work for finishing, drilling, edges, assembly, etc on the drum. Now you are over $500 on that snare. Do you have tools that need to be maintained or replaced from working on these drums? How about electricity? Or a place to actually do the work? Those are additional costs that have to get factored in to the cost of doing g the job, so add another 15-20% minimum to that price to pay for the soft costs of doing business.

It's not cheap to do this stuff, and being a small business trying to compete against the big boys you have to cut your margins so tight to even be mildly competative in the market place. I doubt at $1k for the 2 drums that the builder is pocketing more than $100 in profit on them. Even at $1k, you would have a 3 piece custom kit for $1250. Not too shabby for a boutique build, but as you said, you could buy a Stage Custom 5 piece for $650.
Definitely Tommy, you're absolutely correct. I'm starting my 2nd snare build and I have about $280 into it, unfinished. LUGS are SO pricey! I would think his cost him 4-6, if not more. Yeah, many things to take into account.
 

amosguy

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Yeah, probably a situation where the drum was made, someone didn't buy it or backed out and he is trying to recoup costs. The $1k for the other drums is kinda pricey, but not totally out of the realm of reality. It's not the birch shells that cost so much, it's the custom hardware and the labor for finishing them that makes up the majority of the costs.
I got a 14-12-18 Roger set of shells with most of the hardware intact. The wrap was a total disaster. Even with my labor, the shells, new wrap, missing parts and heads totaled over $1000 to for total restoration of a vintage set. Without volume quantities, doing custom drum work can be pricey.
 

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