vent hole vs no vent hole

phdamage

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I don't own a snare without one, but I know Dunnett offers the hypervent. I'm pulling the trigger on a Duluth Brass custom shell and unsure what I want to do regarding a vent hole. searching "vent" here (or any forum, really) is not very useful - go figure. I am leaning towards including a vent hole, but curious if a grommet is at all critical in a metal shelled drum? seems like it wouldn't matter much. Thoughts?
 

anthony marquart

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Vent holes do change the sound a bit in my opinion. I think they reduce the resonance / ring in a drum. With no vent the air column in the drum is compressed slightly to make the reso head move. With no vent the batter and reso head are tied, so to speak,. with a vent both heads can move independently. I prefer the vented sound.
 

CSR

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My understanding of the purpose of a vent was to balance humidity inside and outside of the shell. Put heavy tape over the vent and see if the sound changes. My guess is, not appreciably. I think the only purpose of a grommet is to hold the badge on.
 

Seb77

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My understanding of the purpose of a vent was to balance humidity inside and outside of the shell. Put heavy tape over the vent and see if the sound changes. My guess is, not appreciably. I think the only purpose of a grommet is to hold the badge on.
Exactly, thats the main purpose imo. Very easy to tell if the sound changes, just put a finger over the vent hole and listen.
 

supershifter2

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In the late 80's I drilled an extra 1/2" hole in my 18" floor tom. It didnt seem to do anything. So I decided to drill 2 1/2" holes in my 20" floor tom. I didnt seem to do anything. Then I put bolts and nuts in all the holes and didnt notice a difference. I tune really low so maybe thats why.
 

Browny

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My radio king toms have no vent holes. They still sound alright...
 

Drumbumcrumb

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If you’re on the fence, I’d go without because you can always add one but you can’t take one away.

My Oriollos have no vent holes and sound great. Ive never wanted to vent them. I’ve heard people say “cover up your vent hole and you’ll hear the difference”... Well, I’ve taped them and put my finger in em and I don’t hear a damn bit of difference. Now, if I had a nickel for every thing I’ve stuck my finger in I’d have a big sack of nickels but nobody gives away nickels for that sorta thing.

Ronn Dunnett (who makes the adjustable Hypervent) says you only need it if you’re whaling on the drum (at least for snare application). He says if you want max sensitivity and reso head response (which equals snare wire response in the case of snare drums) then you want no vent. On an airtight snare, you hit the batter and the air is displaced right to the resonant head - no escape. Sounds like an ideal snare situation, unless you’re a ‘bone dry crack’ kinda snare guy, and in that case I can’t be your friend.

On a wood drum, I’d want one for humidity reasons - tight heads are basically airtight and you could get a little rain forest action going inside the shell I think. Metal shell snare, I’d try going hole-less!
 

DannyPattersonMusic

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In my 7drums kick (18x14) I do not have a vent hole in the shell. I do sometimes use a ported front head (see avatar) but there is a few times I use a non ported front head and it sounds great that way (boom/fullness). So a vent in the shell does make a differenece in the resonance.
 

Ptrick

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I would go with at least one vent hole on a cast bronze. And I have Duluth drums with and without grommets.

I do personally hear a difference with no vent hole (having owned Dunnett snares without one and also with a hypervent), but I also assert I can hear the differences between different wood species (and we saw how that went ;)

For lower volume, no vent sounds great. Very sensitive and full. Rimshot and louder sounds suffer, and to my ears the drum starts to choke on snares. I much prefer one vent hole at the minimum.

Last, please keep us updated on your build and update the Duluth thread!
 

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