Internal Mufflers : A Bad Rap?

JohnnyVibesAZ

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The internal mufflers on my classic Slingerlands worked very well; always doing a good job. At the time, I thought it was insane when drummers followed the Pied Piper, and started removing them. Did they really interfere with shell resonance that much? Today, I noticed that some are going back to the old days and installing them. Yes, I know that the latest batter heads can "do the job", but I have always preferred the internal muffler.
 

flatwins

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I rarely use the internal mufflers but when I restore a kit I make it a point to reinstall them. Due to the fact that many were removed and lost, the used prices for internal mufflers are high.
 

Tornado

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I'm sure I was doing something wrong (I was 12), but the nuts on the one inside my Acrolite kept coming loose and falling off inside the drum. Which resulted in me having to take the heads off and re-install it. Multiple times. I hate them for that reason alone. My teacher at the time was like, oh, those...nobody uses those anymore, so just take it out, lol. It may still be in a box somewhere.
 

Mcjnic

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They have their place. There were times when I needed just a touch dampening on a tom or maybe a snare. I really liked that it was right there mounted ready to go. I always had them on my vintage kits. If they were missing, I made sure I picked them up used and installed them. Great little wonders. They got more use on my snares than the toms, but most all got some use.
 

Patrick

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I just reinstalled my old Gretsch mufflers that had been stuffed in a box for decades. The knobs look great though I don't know how much I will use them.
 

rstange1

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Some older internal mufflers rattle when disengaged. Not hard to fix but may be annoying to some. I like having an internal muffler on my toms and snare but have never had one on a bass drum. That said, I haven't got to the point where I'll install a muffler on a drum that didn't come with one.
 

mattr

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Put mine back in my bronze Supra. Used to think that they bygone era hardware, but I do remember their utility in concert band in quiet sections, you need a tight snare sound and light dampening helps out without tape and rings and such…
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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I'm sure I was doing something wrong (I was 12), but the nuts on the one inside my Acrolite kept coming loose and falling off inside the drum. Which resulted in me having to take the heads off and re-install it. Multiple times. I hate them for that reason alone. My teacher at the time was like, oh, those...nobody uses those anymore, so just take it out, lol. It may still be in a box somewhere.
The drum set I had before my Slingerland was a Ludwig and wouldn't you know, the muffler inside the matching snare came loose all the time, just like your Acrolite.
 

backtodrum

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I install them on all my snares that didn't have them already (vintage) I find them really handy to EQ a snare for micing and the room Im playing in....
 

Tornado

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The drum set I had before my Slingerland was a Ludwig and wouldn't you know, the muffler inside the matching snare came loose all the time, just like your Acrolite.
Well, good to know it wasn't just me. That permanently turned me off from having mechanical parts inside a drum that I can't reach without removing the heads.
 

ARGuy

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I've never heard the idea that they interfere with shell resonance before. I don't think that's true and I don't think that's the reason a lot of drummers took them off. They rattled, especially on toms. Muffling the head from underneath chokes the sound rather than removing unwanted ringing, at least to my ears. I'll use them on a snare drum if they are already installed because sometimes I'll want a short dry staccato sound. That's not a sound I want from my toms.
 

drummer5359

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I like them, I like them a lot.

My 1960s and 1970s Slingerland kits have them, and they work well. I don't use them all the time, but when I come across a room where they come in handy they are a godsend.

When I bought my Gretsch USA Custom Shell bank in 2019/2020 I had the traditional top and bottom tone controls installed on the toms, tone controls on the batter sides of the matching snare drums, and "Pratt mufflers" installed on each of the four bass drums. (I went all in.)
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Of the fourteen USA Gretsch snare drums in the photo below, only the right three in the front row don't have mufflers. That would be my 2018 Bell Brass, 2019 solid maple, and 2011 Stanton Moore Signature.

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The only drum set that I own without mufflers is my 2008 DW Collector's Series.
 
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RIDDIM

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I took mine out.

Muffling from below chokes the head - and sometimes things on the mufflers vibrate loose and fall off. If you're recording, that means an immediate drum disassembly, unless having a random part buzz around inside the drum is part of your sound. If you're on a session for someone else, the producer may not let you get away with it - and may not call you back because you showed up with gear not ready to record, slowed the process down and cost him or her money. He or she may also discuss this with others, further reducing your calls.

If I need muffling, Moongel or something similar works fine.
 
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Hop

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I had a rattler or two in my kit (3-ply Ludwig), which got taped up during a early 80's recording session. I ended up taking them out (and packing the lugs), snare drums too.
Not too long ago I was playing my hammered Bz Supra, (the only drum not to get the 'silent treatment') and adjusted the muffler and remarked to myself, "Ohhh, that's what those are for!
Quick easy adjustment, no gels/tape to worry about - a nice option in a pinch. However, my preference is not to dampen.
 

mattr

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I had a rattler or two in my kit (3-ply Ludwig), which got taped up during a early 80's recording session. I ended up taking them out (and packing the lugs), snare drums too.
Not too long ago I was playing my hammered Bz Supra, (the only drum not to get the 'silent treatment') and adjusted the muffler and remarked to myself, "Ohhh, that's what those are for!
Quick easy adjustment, no gels/tape to worry about - a nice option in a pinch. However, my preference is not to dampen.
Same exact story, and the nice surprise with my hammered bronze Supra. Not that you’re getting much honking ring from this snare, but it helps tame the “extras”.
 
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noreastbob

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My first kit, early 60's Ludwig Club Dates, of course came with the (swivel type muffler on the Supra) threaded round screw type on the toms. I used them all the time. After those drums were kind of stolen from me I bought an early 70's 9 pc Fibes monster kit that did not come with internal dampers. I was horrified: how was I supposed to sound like the records with wide open acrylic drums??!! I bought and installed Ludwig dampers in all but the bass drum and continued with life.
Jump to 2011 and getting back into playing I purchased a 7 pc Collectors kit and was overjoyed by the fact that with today's improved methods of drum, hardware and head design and manufacture the drums have such a strong, pure, mellow and pleasant fundamental that nothing more than a pc of moongel - if that - is required depending on the room etc.

I did have a rattler or two on the fibes kit. I tied a short pc of twine around where the threaded rod went through the black "blade" spring/pad holder and all noise was................damped.
 
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Deafmoon

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For me, I’m not a fan. It’s not the potential buzz or rattle, cause you can fix those issues. It’s that they stop the head from resonating. You fool your ears up close into thinking the drum sounds good with mufflers on. If you go out front and listen away from the drums, you will hear the drum is choking.
 


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