Summit vs. N&C

mikeylicious78

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I’ve been seeing a lot of Summit drums on the forum lately and they have definitely piqued my interest. I currently play a 7” NC tulip, and am looking for another steambent snare. Gary has sent me a few clips of people playing his drums, but it’s hard to compare those clips to say those of Memphis drum shop.
I know there are a few Summit owners here on the forum. I wonder if anyone knows how they compare to NC in sound?
 

Fat Drummer

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I will not attempt to make a direct comparison simply because I have never owned a N&C and only played them a dozen or so times. I will say however that while N&C are considered (and rightly so) one of the top names in steam bent drums, they also come with the appropriate price tag. At this point in the assent, Summit is as affordable as you are going to find in a professional built steam built shell. I would think that price will move with time as he builds on his success, but right now is a great opportunity to step into the Summit brand and try them personally.
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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I own snares from both companies . You really cannot go wrong with either Company .

Summit will do whatever wood , edges and hardware you want for a considerably lower price . They also do not do gloss lacquer finishes , so finish options are limited compared to N&C . I like wood grain finishes so I have no issue with Summit finishes .

N&C are a classic snare brand . Wonderful bras lugs and strainer all made in house . They also do some of the nicest lacquer finishes made today . They offer up options for the hardware colour as well . I really love the simplicity of the N&C strainer . The build quality is excellent and they always sound great .

The major differences between the two brands is price (and Resale value ) , finish options and wood choices (N&C on my uses locally sourced wood ; Summit will use whatever is available at their Lumber yard ).
Both Companies have outstanding Customer Service . Summit is still a very small ( one man ) operation but it is growing as world gets out . N&C has been making drums since 1854 .

I personally love both companies and by Summer will have kits and snares from both Companies .
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mikeylicious78

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Yes, some things to consider..People here in Japan know of Noble, so resale may be better. This is the Noble I'm looking at. I'd likely get this or an equivalent in a figured maple shell from Summit. Decisions, decisions..
NobleCooleyNut, man those are all so beautiful. How do you choose which one to play?! That's what I'm worried about..I already have a tulip 7x14 and an AK.
 

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MrDrums2112

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The finish options and the in-house hardware sets N&C above others. They set the bar for solid shell snares, IMO, not to mention their ply snares. They also have a long tradition. They use the same equipment to make their snares today that they used in the 1860s. They really make “modern vintage” drums. This is not to say that other drums, like Summit, aren’t excellent - they are! There’s no wrong answer here - only what you are willing to pay.
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Whitten

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wood choices (N&C on my uses locally sourced wood ; Summit will use whatever is available at their Lumber yard ).
I don't know about Summit, but there's a lot more thought put into wood at N&C than you seem to imply. They are not just using whatever wood is available.
They put research into every wood they use, and if they are thinking of using a new wood they will make a drum and test it before offering up that material to customers.
 

zenghost

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N&C bends the lumber while fresh, green - very shortly after it's locally harvested.

Summit (and Craviotto) steam kiln-dried lumber, so a different approach that affords different options.
 

wayne

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Indeed. N&C are using the old traditional way, the best way in my opinion from my experience. There is far more chance of failure when bending dried wood, just look at Vaughncraft. They had lots of issues, and rejects.
To each his own, but if you must spend big bucks, go with the tried and proven method. If its a deal you seek, then let your wallet decide.....either way; both are beautiful drums!!
 

pedro navahas

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N&C bends the lumber while fresh, green - very shortly after it's locally harvested.

Summit (and Craviotto) steam kiln-dried lumber, so a different approach that affords different options.
I would think a company like Craviotto would use green lumber also, can’t speak for Summit.
I remember reading about the struggles Johnny had when he first started until he found out the "proper" way to steam bend wood.
To eliminate steam bending failure green is the way to go.
 

zenghost

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Indeed. N&C are using the old traditional way, the best way in my opinion from my experience. There is far more chance of failure when bending dried wood, just look at Vaughncraft. They had lots of issues, and rejects.
To each his own, but if you must spend big bucks, go with the tried and proven method. If its a deal you seek, then let your wallet decide.....either way; both are beautiful drums!!
I would think a company like Craviotto would use green lumber also, can’t speak for Summit.
I remember reading about the struggles Johnny had when he first started until he found out the "proper" way to steam bend wood.
To eliminate steam bending failure green is the way to go.

Both approaches are perfectly valid - having the requisite knowledge and correct execution is key. N&C is a great company but it would be disingenuous to suggest only N&C''s approach is tried and proven. N&C will tell you some woods are significantly more difficult to bend than others. I wouldn't suggest Vaughncraft be considered as an exemplar of any method.

You still have to execute the respective techniques and methods correctly. N&C typically bends their boards within a week of harvest. It is more challenging to bend kiln-dried wood, but it can be done reliably and you have access to greater variety of woods etc.
 

pedro navahas

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I am just speaking from my own experience.
Trying to bend kiln dried wood is hit and miss, more so miss, but not saying it can’t be done.
When wood is split with the grain you will have much better success bending it, again speaking from my own experience.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I don't know about Summit, but there's a lot more thought put into wood at N&C than you seem to imply. They are not just using whatever wood is available.
They put research into every wood they use, and if they are thinking of using a new wood they will make a drum and test it before offering up that material to customers.
Chris
You are correct and I was not trying to downplay the effort or research into wood types N&C does before they present snare drums to the public . I have had some good conversations with Nick Jones about this and also some woods they are looking into bending they do not do now .
 

Old PIT Guy

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There is far more chance of failure when bending dried wood, just look at Vaughncraft. They had lots of issues, and rejects.
Vaughncraft also turned out high quality solid shells. I know you're not trying to say they didn't, but it should be noted.
 


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