Today I’ve spent the day in the workshop dismantling, cleaning, grinding, corrosion-removing, re-heading and re-tuning a kit belonging to a lovely guy who inherited it from his grandfather.
It’s been a total pleasure to work on a kit that obviously means so much to its owner. Although I quote timescales for my various levels of drum servicing, realistically I take as long as necessary at each level to give the best finish possible (in this case 10am-6pm so far!)
The time I take is one very good reason why I do pretty much all of my servicing work here, not to mention the mess and noise that comes from a thorough clean-up job.
(the matching snare to my kit)
14” x 4” Piccolo Maple Custom Absolute Nouveau in blue-purple fade.
Featuring offset, single point quick release lugs, die cast aluminium hoops and an upgraded Gibraltar/Dunnett strainer.
It has been fitted with a ported Evans Genera batter, Hazy 300 snare head and Puresound Blaster snare wires.
Tuned high for a tight funk sound.
The first version of this snare with the wood grain shell, maple custom-style lugs and twin strainer.
Fitted with an Aquarian reverse dot batter head, stock Remo Ambassador snare side head one DW truetone snare wire and one Pearl snare wire,
The snares are tensioned so the Pearl is tight and snappy, the DW is looser and fuzzy, giving a variety of snare tones by having either or both wires engaged. This snare is also used when an open ringy tone is needed without snare wires (for example U2’s "Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", where the DW snare is just too focused).
Cast Aluminium shell with four different interchangeable snare wires, this drum can sound like a marching side drum, military field snare, electronic gated snare or a whole variety of other interesting unusual snare sounds (or just a regular metal snare if you are being boring!!!) It's great as a secondary effects snare.
Bought for me by my amazing, awesome wife as a present!
I have a choice of eight different snare wires, these are:
- 4 strand phosphor bronze for an open airy classic snare sound.
- 4 strand synthetic gut for a old school field drum snap.
- 1 strand wooden beads, sound artificial and gated in a good way.
- 2 strand red glass beads, very rattly snare sound almost like a Roland 808.
- 6 strand grey cloth cord, an ultra dark warm fuzzy snare that also acts as a damper if used in combination with the other wires
- 6 strand medium blue coated cable, a very military marching type sound.
- 8 strand thick stainless steel cable a very dense tight snare sound
- 6 strand uncoated stainless steel cable, bright lively and slightly ringy snare tone.
The snares can be turned on and off individually, or dropped together.
Feel free to post comments telling us about your snares, or dream snares!
We'd love to hear from you - the geekier the better.
The next blog will be cymbals...
Most of the kit is a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute Nouveau, in blue-purple fade. All of the shells have single point quick release Nouveau lugs, and have the upgraded maple hoops.
The maple shells give a great warmth to the drum sound with a rounded attack that is enhanced with the addition of the wood hoops. They end up sounding larger than they are which is a big bonus - all the tone, but less volume and easier to carry.
The third rack tom is a 12” x 8” and is mounted to the left of the hi hat.
The two floor toms are 13” x 14” and 14” x 14”, the 13” being a very unusual drum deeper than its diameter, only done on this series and only for a brief time.
All toms have Evans G2 clear batter heads and G1 clear resonant heads, with e-rings on the 10”, 12”, 13” and 14”.
I have been asked why I use e-rings rather than moon gel, damped heads or just tuning them open. Well, firstly the band I am in is playing mostly 80’s songs so that wet, slappy sound is what I’m after - if I was doing more modern stuff then they’d probably come off.
Secondly I am really pushing the floor toms to be a bit lower pitched than they would comfortably be so the rings help them sound less flabby. I’ve always loved small drums for the ease of transport, but they need help to sound rocky!
Lastly they do help quieten down the kit a bit - I play a lot of pub venues and always carry mics for bigger gigs, so generally speaking quieter is better.
The main kick is a 20” x 18” (considered extra deep when I bought it!) It is fitted with an Evans EMAD clear batter with a Remo double Falam Slam patch (which I need to replace!), Sonitus kicker and resonant black front head with a custom graphic from the awesome Glenn Grey (pictured below).
Having pre-damped heads AND a kicker is more to reduce onstage volume than tone control, as I always mic the kick.
My second kick is only used for big gigs as a special effect, and I’ll blog about that in a separate geek blog!
My next blog will be the snares...
Drummer, drum geek, reluctant blogger and eater of cheese!
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