Have you ever noticed what type of shell your drums are built with? If you are like most drummers, as long as the drum sounds good, you don’t care what it’s made out of. However, here are a few tips and some information to make you more aware of what you are buying so next time you go to the music store, you know exactly what you are getting for your money.
There are two main types of shells: 1) Ply Shell, and 2) Stave shell. Ply shells are more popular than stave shells because of the more affordable pricing options mainly due to the price of the wood and speed at which they can manufacture ply shell drums. Essentially, the way a ply shell drum is built is by taking a long sheet of wood (almost like a giant sized roll of tape except there is wood instead of tape), which is then measured and cut to fit the size of the drum to be made. From there, the builder has to stress and steam the wood to be able to manipulate it and bend, fold, and mold the straight wood into the circular drum shape you see it when you purchase it. A downside to this method is that all that stress on the wood impacts its sound and if not done carefully can produce a canned sound rather than letting the wood breathe and speak for itself.
Now on to stave shells! This is a much more time consuming process and as a result is more costly than ply shells, but the sound you get out of stave shell drums doesn’t even compare to ply shell. Stave shell building includes taking small square pieces of wood and gluing them together piece by piece until the drum is finished (see picture above for segments in the snare drum). There is no stressing or manipulating the wood giving you the most natural sound straight from the heart of the drum.
Outlaw Drums has been building stave shells drums from the time it started, but is proud to recently present you its new affordable ply shell drum line! Both ply and stave shell have their pros and cons but lucky for you Outlaw Drums offer both types of drums at the highest of quality and will work with you on the price to find the drums of your dreams!