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Drum Shell Construction

Most drum shells, with the exception of snare drums, are made from wood. Snare drums are often made from metal, and very occasionally the toms and bass drum are made from metal too. For example, every now and then someone comes up with a steel kit. Steel is loud and resonant but it is also heavy.

Aluminum drums are a lot lighter, with a somewhat drier tone, and they are currently made by the Trick company in America, which uses sheets of 1/8” (3.175mm) ecertified grade’ aluminum. The word ecertified’ highlights one of the advantages of inorganic materials. They are much more consistent than an organic material like wood. Trick says it chose aluminum because of its pureness of tone, sustain and durability.

The ultimate in metal shells, though, are the titanium drums made by the Japanese company Kitano. Kitano claims that titanium gives you the best of everything n warmth, projection, sensitivity, power, you name it. But then so it should, since we’re talking around $12,000 for a standard five piece kit. As well as metal, there are synthetic shells made from Plexiglas/Perspex or fiberglass. These were plentiful in the 1970s but are rarely made nowadays.

Ludwig made a large number of colorful Plexiglas eVistalite’ drums in the mid-1970s and they are great favorites with collectors. Fibes, the original maker of fiberglass drums, is still producing both fiberglass and acrylic eCrystallite’ shells today.

Then there’s the Rocket drum company, which makes carbon-fiber kits. But by far the most successful (semi) synthetic shell material is Remo’s eAcousticon’, which is made from hardwood fibers impregnated with resins. Remo use Acousticon for all their drum kit and percussion shells.

drum_techniuqes/emails/drum_shell_construction.txt · Last modified: 2007/07/26 12:19
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