New Build

RayM

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Hello Drum Forum!
I am in the planning stage of a new custom drum kit build. Although this will be my first attempt, I am confident that my heavy construction background will allow me to do a professional job. But I wanted to get some insight and opinions from some of the more experienced members here. This will not be a kit that I gig with; in fact, it will probably rarely ever leave my house. But I very much enjoy building things and this will be a new and, I believe rewarding, experience.

It will be a 5 piece kit; snare, bass drum and 3 toms (2 up and 1 down). I am going to use Keller maple shells. I am going for an overall warm sound, kind of a 'modified' vintage sound. I would like the toms to sing out and the bass drum to be low and punchy. And I like the snare to be not to high toned and have a nice pop, without too much ring. I am not to worried about projection. In fact, since it will be played inside my house 90% of the time, lower volume and projection would be great, but not essential. I can always mic up if I need the added volume.

Anyway, here are the specs and concerns I have right now.

For the snare I am going with a 14x6.5, 8 ply shell. not too thin as to create much added resonance and not so thick to be overly loud. And I usually go with a medium head tension so I believe I will not need the added strength of a 10 ply shell. I am thinking of using 10 tube lugs and possibly die cast hoops here. I will also cut shallow snare beds for a puresound 20 strand snare wire. Not sure about the strainer. I like the mapex style but I am undecided right now.

The toms will be 12x8, 13x9 and 16x15. 6 ply shells. I should be able to get these to sing out nicely, and get a nice tone progression with the head tension high enough to give a decent rebound. Standard triple flange hoops with 6 lugs, maybe 8 on the FT. I like the Pearl ISS mounts but I may go with some RIMS mounts instead.

I want the bass drum to be small enough so that I do not have to reach to high for the toms, so I am thinking of going with 20x16. I want to use an 8 ply shell here, but since I will be mounting the toms on top, I am not sure if this will be strong enough. Or if that would create too much shell resonance for the low, punchy sound I want. Should I go with a 10 ply instead? I would rather not use a lot of muffling if I can avoid it. I will probably use a Pearl style tom mount on the top.

I will cut the bearing edges to 45 degrees on the inside with a slight round over on the back, larger round over on the FT. I want to do a full round over on the BD but I am not sure how that will affect the sound.

For the finish I am going with a medium to dark walnut dye with lacquer clear. Highly polished mirror finish. Not too concerned with this part. I am very confident in my skill and knowledge here.

I would welcome any comments, concerns or opinions. I don't want to waste a lot of time and money on experimenting if I don't have too. I would love to hear from the more experienced builders here.
 

Fat Drummer

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Hey Ray, welcome to the boards! As all opinions are just that, opinions; mine would be that your pretty much dead center of where you need to be based on your desired results.

I personally would shorten up the kick an inch or two as your not looking for projection just punch and can do that with a 14 or 15" deep shell just as well and if I was going for lower volume, then I would be looking at a 10" and 12" rack with a 14" floor. But again, those would be my own choices for the goals you laid out. I think you will nail your objectives with what you have planed and I look forward to seeing the progress pics of the build along the way!

Good luck and again, welcome!
Ward
 

jccabinets

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You might consider Stone Custom Drums, I just bought a 14x14 shell from them and it was high quality, 3 ply maple poplar maple with rings. You can specify the layup any way you want. I had them do a 30 degree round over edge even though I am a cabinet maker with all the tools I need. I belive this company purchased the molds from Slingerland several years ago and are using them today.
Just food for thought. Looking forward to seeing the project, please share the progress with us.
 

Houndog

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If your worried about loud drums go with Mahogany and make the toms really shallow .

I played an Adoro kit built like that sounded absolutely fantastic………
 

RayM

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Ok, now you have me thinking about cutting the BD to 20x15, I think I like that idea. My current kit is a Pearl Export with 10, 12, 16 and 22 BD and it sounds good but is very loud. For some unknown reason, I have always liked the 13 toms, so I really want to have that. Don't think there will be enough separation between that and a 14 FT.

I never thought about cutting the toms shallow, I've always been stuck on 'standard' sizes. Cutting the 12 and 13 down more would help keep them lower on the kick. That will help as I like to keep them not flat but just a small pitch.

I know the vintage sets had 30 degree bearing edges, and I am considering doing that. But what difference would that make on the sound of the drum?

I originally wanted to to mahogany shells and just clear coat it to show off the natural wood tone but mahogany is so much more expensive than maple. Anyone know where I can source quality mahogany shells?
 

Drumbumcrumb

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Sounds right. A lightweight shell with a good brass tube lug is a beautiful thing. The Mapex throws on the Black Panther drums are lovely, indexed adjustment from both sides and a solid piece of gear. Dunnett is excellent as well. iNDE makes my favorite traditional throw, indexed, simple, and elegant.

Nordic makes a nice ply shell too, if you haven’t seen them they’re worth a look for sure. DaVille Drumworks makes a very reasonably priced stave shell (really top-shelf stuff, not your typical shells) - they have a website with a full menu with prices. Buy once, cry once.

I’d personally go with 20x12 or 20x14 on the bass, it just works. I’d go 16x14 on ft too, a little less square is a good thing. 16x14 ft may be just a bit easier to tune, punchier, less ‘flabby’. On a 20” bd you’ll have no problem getting your toms at a nice height. 12x7 and 13x8 definitely is fine, but normal sizes work well on a 20”. That’s one of the (many) things that makes the 20” bd so popular- everything can go where you want it, instead of where it has to go.
 

Mulletmadnesssss

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If you don't mind shorter sustain you can make the rack tom shallower and get a bigger bass drum. Get the shells and hardware from drum factory direct. They also sell metal and exotic wood snare shells if you like non maple snares. For the snare use triple flange on bottom it sounds so much nicer. For the heads I would go with remo Cs over emperor. I know, 2 ply reso. Just trust me.
 


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