Quality Lauan Shells???

Quality Asian Firewood...Yay or Nay?


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JackieTreehorn

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Jackie: I had a 1962 Pearl set. The spurs were lousy and the shell was so thin that it flattened out where the disappearing spurs were. My father helped me put plates behind the spurs, contoured to the shell. Made by a local machinist. When ZI started gigging with my Dad, it became apparent that the tom mount was a problem too. We put a Slingerland rail mount on them. Put a couple of large washers under the mounting screws inside the bass drum. Next, we replaced the spring loaded floor tom legs with Slingerland floor tom legs. But NOT the push button ones... By the time we sold those drums for a better set, they were working and sounding pretty good. Could still be around Indiana somewhere. Sold them in 1966.

Great minds must think alike :) I did the same thing you mentioned. Sadly enough they started to get soft around those point also and i went to the cradle. No complaints since.
 

BigMur

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The return of concert toms is a thought that hurts my balls. Concert toms where an abomination, the creation of those who couldn't tune.

That post sounds familiar. Did you have a different name on this forum before? Just wondering. And welcome.......
 

JackieTreehorn

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The return of concert toms is a thought that hurts my balls. Concert toms where an abomination, the creation of those who couldn't tune.

That post sounds familiar. Did you have a different name on this forum before? Just wondering. And welcome.......

Nope, brand new here and thanks for the welcome :)
 

Crazy 8s Drums

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Would you play drums made with QUALITY lauan (AKA Asian Firewood) shells?

Yes. Yes, I have played drums made from lauan. I won't again, unless there is nothing else to play.

The question is loaded though as there is no such thing as 'quality' lauan shells. Quality drums do not get built from the cheapest materials available. Think of it this way... Would you let your doctor use dirty needles on you? No? Why not? It would be cheaper, right? and it would do the job, right? and you would be recycling, right? and it is still a perfectly sharp needle right? OH! But wait! There is something about using cut-rate materials that just freaks you out, right?!

Right! To be honest though, I am more inclined to play some lauan drums than to use some dirty needles.....or ANY needles except for brand new tattoo needles.

Would you want your tattoo artist to use the cheapest needles on you? How about on your private parts? Your most valuable possession, your snare drum, sits right there in between your legs.

Nothing but the best sits right in between my legs!

:)

(No offense to the OP intended at all.... Mr. Frondelli is an admirable cornucopia of drum knowledge, a guru...)
 

Jerry Hendrix

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Would you play drums made with QUALITY lauan (AKA Asian Firewood) shells?

Yes. Yes, I have played drums made from lauan. I won't again, unless there is nothing else to play.

The question is loaded though as there is no such thing as 'quality' lauan shells. Quality drums do not get built from the cheapest materials available. Think of it this way... Would you let your doctor use dirty needles on you? No? Why not? It would be cheaper, right? and it would do the job, right? and you would be recycling, right? and it is still a perfectly sharp needle right? OH! But wait! There is something about using cut-rate materials that just freaks you out, right?!

Right! To be honest though, I am more inclined to play some lauan drums than to use some dirty needles.....or ANY needles except for brand new tattoo needles.

Would you want your tattoo artist to use the cheapest needles on you? How about on your private parts? Your most valuable possession, your snare drum, sits right there in between your legs.

Nothing but the best sits right in between my legs!

:)

(No offense to the OP intended at all.... Mr. Frondelli is an admirable cornucopia of drum knowledge, a guru...)
First of all, if there is a risk of getting infections from needles that get used for the sake of vanity, then the best thing to do is to avoid the needles altogether.

Second of all, I've seen your posts before and you often equate "cheap" as being the fault of the material. What if rosewood suddenly became less expensive than lauan? Does that make rosewood an inferior material because it's suddenly "cheap"?

If, by your own logic, the cheaper something is, the less-quality it possesses, then doesn't it stand to reason that the most expensive material is also the "best" material? So, what is the most expensive wood? ebony? rosewood? Certainly birch ain't even in the top 20 -and that's using your comparison except in the other direction. Birch is cheap and totally cut-rate compared to ebony or rosewood (in addition to many other exotic hardwoods). So, yeah, birch is waaay to cheap to make any kind of quality drum from.
 

TommyWells

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Hey guys. Check out Joey Waronker in the new Modern Drummer. A working and recording professional. See what he is playing. I find it interesting. BTW: I recorded all day today on the Catalina Clubs. Play what you like.
I play what works in a particular situation. 8)
 

AaronLatos

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From what I've heard, the Gladstone shell company (C&C drums under a different name) is gearing up to do high quality luuan here soon.

If done right with good edges, I dig luuan drums. With bad edges, I don't care what the kit is, I'm not going to like it. As long as the wood ain't falling apart, it doesn't matter WHAT it is if it sounds good!
 

TommyWells

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Exactly! And the luan drums do something a little different. They are similar to mahogany in some ways, but a little more in the high frequency area, and less of the lowest lows. Of course edges and heads will effect this, too. It is a light , resonant wood. But, as said in the previous post, they must be finished out with attention to detail.
 
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wayne

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Nothing wrong with luan shells at all that a little attention wont cure.Drum snobbery is alive and well and a lot of players will never accept Asian product.If this wood was grown in the U.S.this discussion would,nt exist.Its all about the origin of these drums,but imo thats ok.Its what makes good forum banter.I love my Zimgar kit,it sounds great to me,and a lot of other drummers that judge by listening,and nothing else.
 

JackieTreehorn

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From what I've heard, the Gladstone shell company (C&C drums under a different name) is gearing up to do high quality luuan here soon.

If done right with good edges, I dig luuan drums. With bad edges, I don't care what the kit is, I'm not going to like it. As long as the wood ain't falling apart, it doesn't matter WHAT it is if it sounds good!

100% agree.
 

BennyK

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I picked up an old Coronet kit 20 12 14 at the Salv. Army not quite 2 weeks ago. 6-ply luan nicely finished with a flat gray factory sealer inside. Read all about them at TBruceWittet drum magazine. Bruce is not one to praise drums for no reason, but he was impressed in a BIG way about these. So was I. I've paid 30 times more for drums that were about the same.
As long as a drum is round enough to get a head on it, there's potential, and some of those luan kits are(were) real gems. Punchy and naturally e-qu'd.last time I saw Mike Sloski (one of Canada's top drummers) play he was using Cadets from the 60's.
Its the drummer not the drums, y'know.
 

tommy1

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I picked up a set of the so called "Asian Firewood" stencil-branded drums around a year ago. These are 3 ply with rings, the "stencils" (Slingerland copy's). Took them all apart, cleaned all the hardware, sanded the inside of the shells with 220 sand paper, applied several coats of Deft lacquer, and put some decent heads on them. The edges are rounded, I lightly sanded and lacquered them also. Thought I would practice on a stencil kit before I worked on a set of 65 Slingys! I was shocked on how well these drums sound! The bass has a deep clear tone with none of that ringing and the toms sound good too. Now the snare is a different story. I would not recommend trying to tune real hi, I don`t think these shells can take a lot of tension. But if you like a snare tuned down, then you might like the sound. Some people think these old kits are just "junk drums" and some of them probably are, but I would not trash any of the old 3 ply's from the 60`s. Just my 2 cents. Here are a few picks.
 

SteveB

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I don't see anything wrong with trying any kind of material for a drum shell..it could be a reworked garbage can, or a piece of pvc tube. Cost has really nothing to do with sound.

Also, a laminated maple plywood shell doesn't guarantee a good sound or even a good sound to a particular set of ears.

I believe at one time, before Paul Mason took over Milestone you could actually order different density shells. The less dense ones might sound more like lauan, being lighter and more porous.

JR,

You could even do what REMO did and fashion a metal or plastic hoop that acted as an extension of the shell with a bearing edge of choice, although the crazy glue sounds like a good idea.
 

Sonorlite

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I've played bad sounding Luan and some good sounding Luan kits. The thing with wood is: Its not always consistent - and in the Luan arena there are many species.

There is resonant sounding Maple and Dead sounding maple. Ask any Musical Instrument builder. e.g: Why does one Crav snare you play sound somewhat better than that an identical model Crav when the wood is the same species - could it just be the edges/heads/tuning. Or one of them has a more resonant piece of wood.

Luan is just a name associated to a bunch of woods people now assign as low quality woods only, the density of some makes it harder than others. YMMV.
 

atomicdave

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drumsforever said:
Most definitely!
What the heck brought this old thread up? :violent1: 7 pages on this "poll" and counting...some of these kids might not know what "stencil" or "asian firewood" kits are. I have two right now, one for sale, the other I have because its green sparkle...played it twice at oudoor party gigs, no worries about anything getting damaged, $100 kits are much to worry about!
 

drummerjohn333

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My guess is that drumsforever just loves this topic and he wants this thread to be further developed so he has more to read about stencils! (That's why I would post such a short vague comment like that).

I can relate.
 

kona1984

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I have this 1414 FT that was given to me a few months ago.....A Royal Star as you can see. It's Phillippine Mahogany (Luan). It was covered in a thick black lacquer - including the badge! - when I got it. Under the lacquer was a kind of a Midnight-Blue-like(?) Pearl wrap (see photo) not salvagable.
The outer has two ply sections and I didn't want to primer it so I stained one section and painted the other.

The drum sounds really good.....great tone - easy to tune. Not much for bearing edges. I put each edge on my sanding table to make sure they were nick free and level. This drum is a keeper.
 

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carl1969

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My late 80's Tama Swingstars are great sounding Drums hands down. I may use them this week on an out door gig.
 

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