DIFFERENT TYPES OF DRUMS… WHICH IS THE BEST?
Here at Outlaw Drums we build many different types of drums, each having their own story and history as well as their own design and sound.
When it comes to answering the question “Which is the best?” we find that it’s always left up to the individual to find their own unique answer.
We always encourage drummers to check out all the different types of drums that are available because each type can deliver a totally different sound and feel that may appeal more to them, so before you commit to buying that cool looking snare drum that is advertised all over the place let’s take a quick look at some of the different types of drums (most of which we build on site) and what goes into the manufacturing process to make them so “different”…
1. Ply Shell drums
The first drum type that we’ll look at is ply shell. It’s by far the most popular type of drum shell and for a good reason; IT’S AFFORDABLE! When it comes to needing a drum at a moments notice, this is more than likely going to be your choice because most music stores only offer this type of drum. Sure the amount of plies in the shell can differ and the type of wood can vary, but the overall sound is toned down by the surface area of the wood glue that holds the ply boards together, so while more plies (thicker) equals a higher sound, it can tend to deaden the “natural resonance” that you may have hoped to achieve, and with less plies (glue amount) you will get a lower sound that you may or may not necessarily want… Of course the difference in sound is very small (in fact most people never notice) it can tend to be “all the difference” according to a lot of drummers and music enthusiasts alike. Ply shells are good, but there’s more range in drum tones than a ply shell can offer… Which brings us to the next option…
2. Stave shell drums
The second type of drum that we’ll look at is the stave shell. A stave shell is blocks or “bars” of wood that are cut into even strips and pieced together to form a general circle which is then cut and sanded down to a smooth surface. The amount of glue that holds the bars together is a lot less than ply shells because for every ply there is an amount of glue that sandwhiches in between it and then next ply, creating a “sheet of glue” that wraps around the entire circumference multiple times. The amount of glue in a stave shell only amounts to the number of bars in the drum itself; So if you buy a 10 piece stave shell (10 bars) then you’ll have 10 spaces in between the staves to hold the glue. Way less glue equals way less deadened sound! The tuning range is most notably what makes this type of drum more bang for your buck hands down. The downside to stave shell drums is that most main stream drum company’s don’t make this type of drum and may be a bit uncommon to find, so aside from Outlaw Drums, here’s a few links to other drum companies that also carry this type:
Stave shells have a different sound than ply shells in all the right ways, while the thicker the shell creates a higher “pop” sound, the fact that the less glue amount covered gives the sound more natural resonance which is noticible to every music enthusiast’s ear, especially the drummer!
Since stave shells have a more natural resonance, which enhances the sounds, it seems that stave shells are the way to go, so where do we go from here? There is yet another type to be noted…
3. Segment Shell drums
This type is constructed a little bit differently from a stave shell. It adds an extra ring of bars that are offset to not only add an extra amount of beauty in the details, but give the shell much more durability and strength. While the look of each unique shell is always a little different and almost guaranteed to be a one of a kind work of art, segments do not flex with ease when you apply pressure to them and that has a lot to do with the natural resonance. While a stave shell is resonant and loud, they tend to stay towards the lower end of the sound spectrum. A segment shell also has a natural resonance and stays towards the higher end of the sound spectrum. The main difference is in the pitch. From a collection of testimonies gathered it’s determined that segment shells tend to have a wider tuning range, and that alone is a “Big Plus” in the drumming community. The range of tuning that a segment drum offers will almost guarantee that you will find the tone you want with the best “Punch” added to it. This type has quickly became the most sought after type. Yes the price is a little more than staves and plies, but with our lifetime warranty on this type, we ensure that you only have to purchase it once and enjoy it for a lifetime! This type of drum design is more uncommon and here’s a few links to other drum companies that also carry this type:
Alternatively we also offer stave and segment shells
in a book match design. Book matching is cutting the
individual bars down the middle in a certain way so
that when opened up (like a book) the grains all line
up and add extra beauty within the details.
We at Outlaw Drums offer these different types of drum designs. We can customize them with certain types of wood and dimensions, all of which create a different feel and pitch making them unique, and ultimately geared towards “that sound” that you hope to find in a drum set.
On a side note it’s worth mentioning a few other types of drum designs that are available, here are a few links to drum companies that offer these types.
5. Metal drums