Just as shell finish is crucial attraction of top line drums so is the appearance of the metalwork. And this brings us to another way which top line drums are sometimes made to look more desirable. Flawless chrome plating is taken for granted, but if you want something more striking you can sometimes get a choice of different plating.
The most luxurious is gold, but a popular alternative is powder coating, which is usually black but can be in any color. How far you extend the special plating is down to your aesthetic sensibility and the depth of your pocket. You may just include the rims or just the lugs, or you could go the whole hog and have all the hardware plated, including the stands.
Top line drums come with top line hardware. This will be the heaviest hardware the company makes, and will have the greatest degree of sophistication, stability, range of extension and adjustability, etc. Hardware packs, however, are optional, recognizing the fact that some drummers may already have hardware they wish to keep. Whereas drums may all sound somewhat similar, the different companies’ hardware solutions really are quite variable.
Most drummers have a preference for one type over another, particularly as regards tom mounting and bass drum pedals, and this can be a major factor in the final choice of gear. However, there’s nothing stopping you buying a set of shells from one manufacturer and accompanying it with a different manufacturer’s stands and pedals. You may even decide to use a rack system made by an independent manufacturer such as Gibraltar or Dixon. Most small drum makers do not make their own hardware. They sometimes go as far as making their own lug because, as we’ve seen, this gives strong brand identity.
But the cost of tooling up to make the metalwork for a drum kit is prohibitive, so small-scale operations will buy it in from generic stock. This has been a drawback in the past and a major reason why drummers were reluctant to buy from smaller outfits. Occasionally the individual craftsman would be able to obtain good quality parts from one of the major manufacturers. But obviously there are times when the big names don’t want their easily identifiable parts stuck on someone else’s drums. But these days the generic hardware available from the Far East is of much better quality and the perceived drawback is considerably lessened.
Just about every top line kit made today is fitted with some type of resonance enhancing isolation mount for the toms-toms. Very often this means that the small toms are mounted off floor stands rather than off brackets attached to the bass drum. The advantage of this is that the bass drum no longer has a heavy base plate restricting its resonance. The disadvantage is that many drummers have actually grown up enjoying the sound the toms make in conjunction with the bass drum, since the two inevitably resonate together when either is struck.
It’s a matter of taste, but the writing has been on the wall for old style tom mounts for several years now. The original Gauger RIMS (Resonance Isolation Mounting System) is still hugely popular and used by many drummers. However, most of the top drum companies have now developed their own version of this type of mount. The idea of enhancing resonance wherever possible has become such a big selling point that companies have attempted to apply it wherever they can: to floor tom legs, snare drum stands, snare strainers and so on.
drum_techniuqes/emails/high-end_drum_stands_pedals.txt · Last modified: 2007/07/26 12:19