Janka Scale

SpinaDude

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I hope this doesn't devolve into another divisive argument about whether or not the type of wood used in a shell affects the sound of a drum.

This is a link to a Janka hardness scale. It's very comprehensive from what I can tell.

Does anyone here aver consider this when looking for a drum or a full kit? If so, is that because you feel it will reflect in the sound in some way?

Is some wood so dense that it can't be properly worked into a ply or steam-bent shell?
 

Ptrick

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I have used the Janka scale when building snare drums, but not kits.

I definitely think the biggest differences I can hear are between soft, medium, and hard woods. Woods with similar Janka hardness tend to react similarly. But a poplar (soft) reacts way differently than say a Rosewood (hard), and even vs maple (medium). And I’ll say I notice it most in staves, segments, or single ply builds way more than ply. Ply shells with similar thickness and ply counts seem to sound very similar, regardless of the species. Maybe it’s the glue?

I just happen to have single ply cedar (soft), maple (medium), and Rosewood (hard), and they all respond and sound differently. The softer woods are muddier, harder are clearer and more like a metal shell. Maple sounds like maple ;)

I know certain woods are more difficult to steambend, but I’ve seen hard woods like Rosewood in that form. I know bamboo is very tricky to get into a ply shell.

And yes, I will choose a hardness for a specific use. Hard shells for clarity and projection, soft for gutsy low Lo-fi kinda vibe, and medium for generalized use. Of course you can tune any drum into any range, but the soft shells choke in the upper range way quicker, and the hard shells have a lot of ring in the low tunings, comparatively.
 

Seb77

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"Building" is the crucial term here. If I were to build a drum, I would look into that kind of stuff, from a woodworking angle.
As a buyer/player, there's another scale I apply.







The "Do I like the sound" scale ;)
 

bellbrass

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I ascribe to the Janka scale quite a bit, in fact, in how the wood hardness contributes to a drum's overall sound.
There are those who think that wood is the least important factor, and that head choice, hoops, bearing edges and tuning all matter much more. I agree...to a certain point.
I think that play layup is a major contributing factor, and one that is often overlooked. I have my own theory - an equation, if you will - that factors in overall wood hardness as a result of ply type and thickness.
 

Hop

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The Janka Scale on its own is a bit over rated and doesn't tell the whole story. Wood, with it's many species, is complex and has way more attributes than the scale reveals (recall that this is a only pressure resistance test). Those unrecognized attributes may be far more important to the "musicality" of a given species. Do a web search on the attributes of wood and you'll begin to get a better idea of the complexity rather than just hanging a hat on the hardness scale.

Here's a link that provides some good visuals on the structure of wood without being overly technical: http://www.tboake.com/2014/172-Structure_and_prop-2013.pdf
Here's some more technically oriented info: https://www.dot.state.mn.us/bridge/pdf/insp/USFS-TimberBridgeManual/em7700_8_chapter03.pdf
 

Mcjnic

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Absolutely, I have referred to it when designing a custom kit ... to be built by someone other than myself (obviously).
 


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