Shells and bearing edges

There are a lot of companies out there that put so much of their excellence into the aesthetic of the drum, many lacking the effort or ability to really get you the character and quality of sound you are looking for. We want to help you make the right choices. Picking the right shell is important. Reading through here will give you a better understanding of what to look for. If you haven't already, go look through our series... that can also help paint a picture for you as to what you might be looking for. Whether you go with a series or fully custom, it's good to educate yourself on what is going to best fit your needs.

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Maple

The sound you get from maple has strong projection with a healthy balance of high's, mid's and low's. Usually achieved with a high quality maple. With proper tuning knowledge this kit can reach just about any sound you want and is popular for recording in the studio.

Natural Maple Finish with Beaver Tail Lugs - Hardware Powder Coated in black


Mahogany

This is what many drummers are looking for and don't know it. Most want something like a kanon... "i want a big fat sound" they say and then end up dampening it like crazy just to get rid of the overtones.

With the mahogany and your standard dimensions you can get an incredibly pure and warm sound. It doesn't project like a kanon, but that nice buttery sound records really just as well in the studio when it’s mic'd right. Mahogany is one of our favorite shells around here.

Dark stained Mahogany

Dark stained Mahogany


Birch

Birch is more similar to Maple except it’s high ends are more cutting, the midrange is slightly reduced, and it has a very strong low-end punch. It has a loud and cutting sound.

Natural Birch with Gloss finish

Natural Birch with Gloss finish


metal

With metal shells (most commonly used for snares), you will get a much more loud and cutting sound.

Black Nickel over steel

Black Nickel over steel

Steel

Steel is one of the most versatile metal shells. It has clear highs, an average midrange & low end. All-purpose.

Chrome over steel

Chrome over steel


Brass

Brass will have more open highs, mids, & lows. Sounds very vibrant.

Gold brass

Gold brass

Hand Hammered Brass

Hand Hammered Brass

Black Brass

Black Brass


Aluminum

Aluminum has a much more colorful and sensitive sound, with crisp highs, warm/open midrange and low end.

Aluminum

Aluminum


Bronze

With bronze, you will lose some of the high end but have a much more powerful mid-low end. Very Warm and responsive.

Hand Hammered Bronze

Hand Hammered Bronze


bearing edges

There are multiple ways to do bearing edges but we've found that there are two ways that we recommend sticking with with... "The Double 45°" and "The Roundover".

We'll break it down and show you the differences, including the different variations of 45° cuts...

Double 45°

Double 45°   This adds another 45° angle from the outer wall to make a sharp point well at the center of the rim, as far inward as you can go. By moving the point of contact away from the outer wall and the head’s collar (where it begins to bend), the double 45° increases the sustain.  and allows for a wider tuning range. The disadvantage to this, as opposed to the roundover cut, is that it can be more easily damaged, which can cause unwanted buzzing, deadness, and tuning difficulties.

Double 45°

This adds another 45° angle from the outer wall to make a sharp point well at the center of the rim, as far inward as you can go. By moving the point of contact away from the outer wall and the head’s collar (where it begins to bend), the double 45° increases the sustain.

and allows for a wider tuning range. The disadvantage to this, as opposed to the roundover cut, is that it can be more easily damaged, which can cause unwanted buzzing, deadness, and tuning difficulties.

45°single cut

45° angle, single cut—  Cut into the inside edge of the shell, a single 45° angle will offer minimal shell contact, which allows the drum head to vibrate longer, thus increasing the drum’s sustain. The limited contact with the shell also provides a sharper, more “modern” sound with increased attack.  Because the bearing edge in contact with the head at a single point, more harmonics can develop, giving the drum a brighter tone. The disadvantage is the drum is more difficult to tune and sounds less warm.

45° angle, single cut— Cut into the inside edge of the shell, a single 45° angle will offer minimal shell contact, which allows the drum head to vibrate longer, thus increasing the drum’s sustain. The limited contact with the shell also provides a sharper, more “modern” sound with increased attack.

Because the bearing edge in contact with the head at a single point, more harmonics can develop, giving the drum a brighter tone. The disadvantage is the drum is more difficult to tune and sounds less warm.

45°single cut

with countercut

45° Single Cut with Countercut   Additionally, there are variations on the 45° single cut, with some manufacturers making the cut all the way out through the outermost ply, while others offer a slight countercut in order to bring the apex farther inward.

45° Single Cut with Countercut

Additionally, there are variations on the 45° single cut, with some manufacturers making the cut all the way out through the outermost ply, while others offer a slight countercut in order to bring the apex farther inward.

45°Roundover

45° Roundover   Drummers looking for that “classic vintage sound” should be looking for rounder bearing edges. The 45° roundover creates more contact between the head and the shell, providing more of an opportunity for the woody warmth of the drum to come to through. Many makers still use this style of bearing edge on their jazz and vintage offerings. The disadvantages include less attack, fewer overtones, and less definition.

45° Roundover

Drummers looking for that “classic vintage sound” should be looking for rounder bearing edges. The 45° roundover creates more contact between the head and the shell, providing more of an opportunity for the woody warmth of the drum to come to through. Many makers still use this style of bearing edge on their jazz and vintage offerings. The disadvantages include less attack, fewer overtones, and less definition.

full Roundover

Full roundover  This offers the most shell contact with the head. These drums are easier to tune, offer the most control of overtones, and give that “fat” drum tone. This is closer to the vintage sound you would get from the 45° roundover but loses some of the range of tone. The disadvantages can be a loss of definition, resulting in muddier tones.

Full roundover

This offers the most shell contact with the head. These drums are easier to tune, offer the most control of overtones, and give that “fat” drum tone. This is closer to the vintage sound you would get from the 45° roundover but loses some of the range of tone. The disadvantages can be a loss of definition, resulting in muddier tones.