Done with shell mounts!


DFO Master
Platinum Supporting Member
Sep 4, 2006
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I had a chance over the last couple of months to finish up a project that had been on the shelf for a long time, and take on a new one as the result of a trade. The first was a bop kit using Acousticon shells. When I first put it together, I had an 18x14 bass drum, a 14x14 floor tom, and a 10x9 rack tom. It actually sounded fine, but I really wanted an 8x12. A few years ago I bought an 8x12 on ebay that had the same shell as my existing drums, but the lugs and the hole spacing was different. The spacing for the lugs I'm using is slightly wider, so I figured the best course of action was to use the existing hole closest to the edge, fill the other hole and drill a new inner hole for each lug. Thanks to a post here at DFO, I learned about a wood putty that someone had good luck with, so I used it to fill the holes, and drilled new ones. I put the drum together, and since I really plan on using it tuned up in the bop range, I thought about using a shell mount, since it had already been drilled for one. I decided to do an A-B test, so I put the shell mount and a RIMS mount on the drum directly across from each other. I tried the shell mount first, holding the RIMS mount so it wasn't leaning against the drum. It sounded pretty nice, and I thought I could live with it. I flipped the drum around so it was using the RIMS mount, played one note and knew I would not be happy with the shell mount. Even tuned up high, I could hear and feel the loss of the low end - not much, but I knew it would bother me. I filled in the holes for the mount and wrapped the drum.
About a month ago I did a trade with a friend for a Ludwig Breakbeat kit. It's a nice little kit, but I really needed to take it apart to correct a few problems, and since I had a 10" RIMS mount left over from my last project, I decided to try it on this drum. I did the same test, with the same result. Again, I really wanted to like the shell mount well enough to keep it, but after hearing what the drum could sound like, I figured I can live with the mount holes.
I've played RIMS mounted drums almost exclusively for the last 40 years, so I'm sure I'm more used to the sound and feel more than most. I don't need to change heads frequently, and when I do I'm not in a hurry, so I'm willing to trade a little more hassle a couple of times a year for the improvement in sound I hear. To each his own.


DFO Veteran
Apr 11, 2013
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Once you've dicsovered that sound and like it (not everybody might) you're spoiled. I haven't played real RIMS for a long time, but similar systems by Pearl and Gretsch. Even with dc hoops and high tunings, I prefer the response.

I also use some older Pearl on-shell mounts, but with a twist, literally: I put the tom arms on multi-clamps that provide a little flex on their own by means of torsion.