How does our gear age?

Elvis

The King of Rock'n'Roll
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A drum builder friend used to do that.
He would set bare shells in front of a couple of speakers and send a constant pulsating low frequency signal through the shells, in order to pre-age them.
 

paul

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When I put my kit together I bought drums of various ages, finishes, and sizes, so I have Gretsch round badge, square badge, and stop sign all in the same set. When combined in the set they could all have been made the same day as far as my ears are concerned, and they've held up well for 20 years of regular use. In between outings they live in my unheated garage in their cases.

Treat them with respect, and don't abuse them, but you don't have to baby them.
 

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