Craviotto & Noble & Cooley - sonic difference?

bbunks

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I have a few Craviotto solid shells that I like a lot, and I’ve been intrigued by N&C’s solid shells as they have a lot of fans here.

I’m wondering if someone who’s owned both can describe what they noticed as the sonic difference is between the two?
 

wayne

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Interesting question, but because we all hear things slightly different, im not sure this is possible. Sound is like taste, its your opinion, however there are those who will insist one is different enough to make it "better" than the other.
I,ll be interested in the response here.
 

kevinyarger

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I've only played a couple Noble and Cooley's at Vic's Drum shop(miss that store) I felt the N&C played almost like a thin ply snare with just a bit of bite to it and more open note. Where as my craviottos seem to have a thicker sounding bite with a more focused note. It's just what my ears heard, mileage my vary.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I have a personal preference for N&C from both and aesthetic and sound point of view.
I prefer the proprietary N&C lugs and strainer to what Craviotto uses .
I think when it comes to finishes it is pretty much a wash .
I like the FACT that N&C stick to a tried and true edge that has worked for them for years. They get all their wood from local sources and steer clear of the crazy exotic woods that Craviotto does . I really like how nicely N&C play and tune up .
I was not able to dial in my former Craviotto as easily as any of the N&C snares I have owned . I far prefer the 45 degree edge Craviotto snares to the 30 degree edge and especially more than the baseball bat edged Craviottos . My last statement may have been triggered by a couple steambent snares that Tom Wells of Wells Custom Drums made me . Tom loved the big roundover Radio King style edge . I found that this edge did not suit my preferences or playing style .

Now these are my personal observations , someone that is a Craviotto fan may feel differently . Craviotto are fine drums and there are models I love the sound of . The major thing for me to choose N&C over Craviotto is mainly aesthetics like the fittings and the sound with certain edges with Craviotto . We get very defensive when it comes to our drums end especially when it comes to high end boutique drums . At this level you really cannot go wrong with what you decide on .

The whole history of N&C , the family who I have gotten to know , the factory , where the wood is sourced and the whole bundle of sound and look are just it for me . Then with a moniker like mine what would you expect .
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I own a couple Craviottos but I'm really wanting to try some N&C.
I'm thinking 7x14 cherry
Snootier
My first ever N&C SS was a 7” Cherry and I ended up trading it back for a 5” Maple SS.
I think Cherry is better suited to shallower shells where it’s enhanced clarity and sensitivity shine .
The 7” Tulipwood is a wonderful drum of you are looking for a 7” N&C snare as is the Walnut .
 

bbunks

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Thank you all. I know this is about preferences and opinions.

I’ve been a Craviotto fan since the company starting doing shells for DW. Sold a DW/ Crav to a forum brother in Norway (hey Bjorn!) that I’ve since become good friends with. Still kicking myself that I didn’t buy the 4x14 Mahogany Crav I lusted after at a great price at The Chicago Show years back.

That said, N&C makes gorgeous drums. I don’t NEED any more drums, but I’m sure drawn to N&C as a brand I’d like to own.
 

drumtimejohn

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It seems implied that the discussion is about snares. If not, note that N&C does not have solid shell drum sets whereas Craviotto does.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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It seems implied that the discussion is about snares. If not, note that N&C does not have solid shell drum sets whereas Craviotto does.
N&C Star series were made up of solid steambent maple toms and snare drum with a ply snare . N&C made their shells in a short stack configuration rather than stacking shells like Craviotto does and hiding the seam with an inlay . The Star series was in existence far before Craviotto made a steambent kit . Craviotto has now started producing plywood shell kits now , I assume to offer a lower price option and to help keep the doors open .
N&C made a steambent oak kit for artist in residence Daren Metz in the last few years (2016).Nicknamed the Atomic kit , it has short stack steamebrnt rack Toms , and longer steambent floor Toms and bass drum.
 

drumtimejohn

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N&C Star series were made up of solid steambent maple toms and snare drum with a ply snare . N&C made their shells in a short stack configuration rather than stacking shells like Craviotto does and hiding the seam with an inlay . The Star series was in existence far before Craviotto made a steambent kit . Craviotto has now started producing plywood shell kits now , I assume to offer a lower price option and to help keep the doors open .
N&C made a steambent oak kit for artist in residence Daren Metz in the last few years (2016).Nicknamed the Atomic kit , it has short stack steamebrnt rack Toms , and longer steambent floor Toms and bass drum.
Im sure they have and can. Doesn’t sound like something regular per a recent talk with the company on Drum History Podcast. They go into a discussion on Keller making their N&C ply drum sets.
 

musiqman

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Craviotto solid kits are one shell not stacked as far as I know.

They do have the steam bent machinery that N&C didn’t have to produce longer tubes.

The inlay is really a inlay and you can get them without inlay too.
 

Whitten

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I have owned quite a few N&C Snares and quite a few Craviotto.
It's hard for me to differentiate them. They are both excellent drums.
By far the most audible difference is the wood type IMO.
My favourite kit of any kind is actually the ply N&C, their Horizon series. It's just a contemporary sound, but really amazing sounding IMO.
 

lossforgain

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Craviotto solid kits are one shell not stacked as far as I know.

They do have the steam bent machinery that N&C didn’t have to produce longer tubes.

The inlay is really a inlay and you can get them without inlay too.
I would be interested to know if we can confirm this. AFAIK they are joined/stacked shells in certain depths, which you often wouldn’t be able to see. My Summit steambent set has a join in the bass drum that is invisible.
 

robthedrummer

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Craviotto solid kits are one shell not stacked as far as I know.

They do have the steam bent machinery that N&C didn’t have to produce longer tubes.

The inlay is really a inlay and you can get them without inlay too.
I love my Craviotto walnut set, but you are partly incorrect. The smaller depth shells (snares and rack toms) are one board, but the bass drums and floor toms are two boards with a seam under the inlay. To make a bass drum out of one board, it would have to come form some ancient, old-growth tree. It would be morally wrong to kill such a tree for a drum!

There is a drum maker out of Belgium, Lignum, that can make drum sets out of hollowed logs. Amazing drums along with an amazing price.
 

Markkuliini

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Craviotto solid kits are one shell not stacked as far as I know.

They do have the steam bent machinery that N&C didn’t have to produce longer tubes.

The inlay is really a inlay and you can get them without inlay too.
Here they talk about bookmatching the top and the bottom parts in the bigger sizes. At 3:47 mark.
 

robthedrummer

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Thank you all. I know this is about preferences and opinions.

I’ve been a Craviotto fan since the company starting doing shells for DW. Sold a DW/ Crav to a forum brother in Norway (hey Bjorn!) that I’ve since become good friends with. Still kicking myself that I didn’t buy the 4x14 Mahogany Crav I lusted after at a great price at The Chicago Show years back.

That said, N&C makes gorgeous drums. I don’t NEED any more drums, but I’m sure drawn to N&C as a brand I’d like to own.
I own some Craviotto snares and a drum set and love them. I've also played a few N&C snares and have always been blown away. You honestly can't go wrong with either drum. I prefer Walnut, but other woods are great also. I will say that I don't like drums made from Cherry or Oak. I find the sound too brittle and harsh.

I think a 6" N&C walnut satin finish snare would be perfect. Wonderful sound and a bit less expensive than the Craviottos. BTW, newer used Craviottos don't command the price that the older ones, signed by Johnny, do. They are more in line with new N&C.
 

cochlea

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I have a 6.5x14 Craviotto "Johnny C" model that I was able to purchase new for under $500 just after Johnny's passing. This was their entry level model a few years ago but uses the same maple shell as their Custom Shop offerings. This snare does everything I want, so much so that I sold all but my Pioneer snare after getting it. It is full, sensitive, has a wide tuning range, and an excellent side stick sound. I can't say I would pay $1000+ if I had to replace it but every time I get the itch to add something new to the snare arsenal, all I need to do is play my Craviotto for an hour and I realize there's no need to look any further. I even like the 3-position Trick throw that many seem to think is not on par with others.

I have not played a N&C solid shell snare but this would certainly be on my radar if I ever had to replace my Craviotto. The company has such a rich history with outstanding customer service. I also like the finishes available over those common to Craviotto snares (I'm not a big fan of inlays, although I do appreciate the craftsmanship involved). I've read mixed reviews of the N&C throw, but I do like its simplicity. As others have said, if you've looking at getting a solid shell snare, I don't think you can't go wrong with either company.
 

musiqman

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I love my Craviotto walnut set, but you are partly incorrect. The smaller depth shells (snares and rack toms) are one board, but the bass drums and floor toms are two boards with a seam under the inlay. To make a bass drum out of one board, it would have to come form some ancient, old-growth tree. It would be morally wrong to kill such a tree for a drum!

There is a drum maker out of Belgium, Lignum, that can make drum sets out of hollowed logs. Amazing drums along with an amazing price.
Ahh. Learning something every day.

So that mus be 14” and deeper kicks and floors?

Yes solid Log drums are a different breed altogether. If not kayntained well they can crack quicker than Stave.

Gert from Lignum is a great artisan. I had a couple of his snares too.
 

Markkuliini

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I have a few Craviotto solid shells that I like a lot, and I’ve been intrigued by N&C’s solid shells as they have a lot of fans here.

I’m wondering if someone who’s owned both can describe what they noticed as the sonic difference is between the two?

I previously had 3 Craviottos (14x4 mahogany, 14x5,5 birdseye maple and 14x6,5 mahogany), and nowadays I have 2 N&C SS's (14x3 and 7/8 and 14x6 maple), so i might be able to give some perspective.

The Craviottos sounded really good, especially 4" and 5,5" deep ones. The deepest was maybe bit too unfocused/mushy for my taste, but the two shallow ones I really dug. The reason I decided to get rid of Craviottos were the constantly loosening tension rods, especially on the bottom side. I sometimes had to search them from the floor after a gig.
Maybe some locktite would have helped but I'm not a fan of clogging a lug with extra stuff, especially one piece brass lugs.
I mean it was bad, and it was happening pretty much exactly the same on all three so I figured that it's just a thing with those lugs.
Great sound, but functionality was so so...

Now the N&C's...
The N&C piccolo is mid 90's so it's already really well settled and dried. It simply kills! Craviotto piccolo was really nice but this thing is superior. Really wide tuning range and the sound is suprisingly wide for such a shallow snare.
Tuning rods hold exceptionally well!
Zero complaints, superb drum!

6" maple N&C also has a wider note, bit longer sustain than the 5,5" Craviotto, which I didn't fully appreciate in the beginning, because I was stubbornly using an ambassador. Then I swapped the head to a CS and boom, suddenly the sustain was just right and the drum sounds like million bucks.
I think that their one point lugs really open up the sound and resonance (especially on deeper drums) so you might actually need to control it afterwards if you prefer tighter sound. Something to think about if you're a purist when it comes to heads and dampening.
Oh, by the way, I don't really like N&C snare wires. They're ok, but I always feel that I get better sound when using Canopus wires. And the wire change happens on most of the drums when I get them, I'm just quite particular about them. So it's absolutely no biggie.

Craviottos had Trick strainers which are my favorites, to be honest. N&C's own strainer is ok, but nothing more. You often have to disengage the strainer to adjust the tension and changing snare wires is bit more cumbersome than with Truck strainers. So Craviottos win on the strainer department.

But I think that N&C's take the cake on the sound and especially on the tuning department, so I really think I made a good move when I changed.

Are N&C's my favorite solids? Well.. read my other text below.

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Markkuliini

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I prefer Walnut, but other woods are great also. I will say that I don't like drums made from Cherry or Oak. I find the sound too brittle and harsh.
I thought so too, I have pretty much disliked every oak drum I have played.
Never tried cherry until I took a leap of faith with a 14x5,5 Longo that someone wanted to trade with one of my snares.
Glad I did! It actually sounds better than any of my previous Craviottos or current N&C's (well the N&C piccolo comes quite close). I can't believe how good it is! Maybe it's just a really good specimen, I don't know.
It's bit on the drier side, I can play it even with wide open ambassador. Amazing pop in the attack. Not too much bottom to make it muddy, but enough to keep it from sounding thin. It's quite loud, but so are all solids, so it's not a huge difference.
Really inspiring drum to play!

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