My Small Keller Shell Rant

dxtr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
316
Reaction score
11
I just need to get this off my chest.

I have read this comment on this forum and many other far too many times about custom drum companies.

"They just use a keller shell. It can't be that different from all the other custom drums out there"

1) Not everyone who uses a keller shell make their drums the same as everyone else.

2) No! they do not all sound the same. That implies that bearing edges and quality of finish on the inside and out of the drum has no bearing on sound and tone.

3)Buying pre-cut shells on the interwebs and putting a finish on them does not make you a custom drum maker. Its the same way that me using a template to build a band webpage does not make me a professional web designer or buying an expensive camera make me a profession photographer.

4) I did not write this to dump on anyone who is building their own drums. I have been refinishing guitars and furniture lately and I find it to be a blast!

5) I did write this to the people of the interwebs who make insane comments that just because people use the same shells they all sound the same.

My peace is made.

No one has to feel any obligation to answer to this. I just wanted it written down somewhere so that when people look up "keller shell" and "custom drum" they can read that not everyone who uses kellers is the same.

dxtr
 

mudjacker2

Very well Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Messages
1,206
Reaction score
90
Location
At my computer desk
I just need to get this off my chest.

I have read this comment on this forum and many other far too many times about custom drum companies.

"They just use a keller shell. It can't be that different from all the other custom drums out there"

1) Not everyone who uses a keller shell make their drums the same as everyone else.

2) No! they do not all sound the same. That implies that bearing edges and quality of finish on the inside and out of the drum has no bearing on sound and tone.

3)Buying pre-cut shells on the interwebs and putting a finish on them does not make you a custom drum maker. Its the same way that me using a template to build a band webpage does not make me a professional web designer or buying an expensive camera make me a profession photographer.

4) I did not write this to dump on anyone who is building their own drums. I have been refinishing guitars and furniture lately and I find it to be a blast!

5) I did write this to the people of the interwebs who make insane comments that just because people use the same shells they all sound the same.

My peace is made.

No one has to feel any obligation to answer to this. I just wanted it written down somewhere so that when people look up "keller shell" and "custom drum" they can read that not everyone who uses kellers is the same.

dxtr

I agree....and backing up what you just said, most people use the term "keller shell" as if they are all the same. Lets face it, "keller" is a brand, not a shell design. They offer 5 ply, 6ply, 8ply, birch, mahogany, maple, carbon fiber, with rings, with out rings, etc etc etc. Add to that any edge cut you prefer, type of hoops, finishes, etc and it would be foolish to imply they all sound the same.

People hate to admit it, but now, just about every drum company out there assembles outsourced parts to create their brand. The only real difference is custom companies do it "your way" and one kit at a time, while the big boys just mass produce the same thing over and over.

For me, its all a mute point, as I think heads(and tuning) are the biggest determining factor on how your drums will actually sound....
 

dxtr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2008
Messages
316
Reaction score
11
just most of them

I completely agree with that statement.

I agree....and backing up what you just said, most people use the term "keller shell" as if they are all the same. Lets face it, "keller" is a brand, not a shell design. They offer 5 ply, 6ply, 8ply, birch, mahogany, maple, carbon fiber, with rings, with out rings, etc etc etc. Add to that any edge cut you prefer, type of hoops, finishes, etc and it would be foolish to imply they all sound the same.

People hate to admit it, but now, just about every drum company out there assembles outsourced parts to create their brand. The only real difference is custom companies do it "your way" and one kit at a time, while the big boys just mass produce the same thing over and over.

For me, its all a mute point, as I think heads(and tuning) are the biggest determining factor on how your drums will actually sound....

I almost agree!

If the drum isn't built correctly it won't have an even tuning range up the scale of notes and will choke out quickly
 

noahJT

prone to DFO-UI
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
2,693
Reaction score
195
Location
Los Angeles, CA
I think Keller unfairly gets a bad rap from all the smaller "custom" companies ran by 18 year olds. Where all they do is throw double 45s on Keller shells, paint them ugly, then slap on some tube lugs. (Not refering to SJC or legit smaller custom companies ran by 20 something year olds though :wink: I'm talking about the ones that pop up every other week where the drums are shabbily put together by high schoolers using their grandpas' power tools.)
 

BrianOwens

Drumsforever
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
11,072
Reaction score
236
Location
Butler County, OH 45011
That is true all KELLER shells are not the same while many are maple they also offer mahogany, a variety of; plies, bearing edges, re-rings etc. Keller is a good brand name that is often used arbitrarily when the specifications are not adequately described for all KELLER shell custom drums.
 

sharky10c

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2008
Messages
980
Reaction score
13
Location
New York
Keller was good enough for DW once upon a time, they should be good enough for anyone else lol. Agreed tho, its about a lot more than just the MANUFACTURER of the shell!
 

Dave H.

DFO Master
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
5,303
Reaction score
65
Location
Ashmore IL.
My GMS Grand Masters use Keller shells & I think you would be pretty darn hard put to find better sounding drums no matter who built the shells. For single ply shells Ryan Payne is number one in my book. :notworthy:

Slawman :occasion5:
 

Bongo Congo

DFO Star
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
6,468
Reaction score
257
I think Keller unfairly gets a bad rap from all the smaller "custom" companies ran by 18 year olds. Where all they do is throw double 45s on Keller shells, paint them ugly, then slap on some tube lugs.
...and offset the lugs. Don't forget to offset the lugs. :-D
 

67Mopar

God Speed Jerry
Joined
Apr 8, 2012
Messages
2,981
Reaction score
78
Location
Mass
So Camco used Jasper shells, and Camco's are somewhat rare. Do I have a boutique kit :0
 

Bunnyman

Stuarto Pidasso
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
5,802
Reaction score
158
Location
another planet
Some of the worst drums were built with Keller shells, as we as some of the best. Keller shells are like any other raw material- it's down to the skill of the builder.
 

tamadrm

DFO Master
Joined
Nov 16, 2010
Messages
3,171
Reaction score
114
Location
staten island ,ny usa
Camco also used Keller as well as Rogers.Gretsch went to Keller,and still uses them on their high end USA Custom kits.

It comes down to what you do with the raw materials you're furnished with.As far as hardware,there may still be companies out there that make their own.The only one I know that has ALL of their own custom hardware made in the country of origin is Guru drums in the UK.Very high end, custom hand made and selected wood stave kits which sound like nothing you've heard before.The company is just two guys,who take made to spec orders only.

Steve B
 


Top