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Drum Center Portsmouth News Hub

Events, Cool Products and Videos from Drum Center of Portsmouth

  • DW Collectors Series Drum Set Shootout!

    Does The Type Of Wood Used Actually Affect The Sound Of A DW Collectors Series Drum Set?

    DW (Drum Workshop) offers a lot of options when it comes to drum shells.  This is great, in that there's an endless amount of options in the DW Collectors series.  For someone who's looking to get a drum set, however, it can seem a little daunting – especially when it comes to selecting a wood type.  Maple, Birch, Cherry, Oak, Spruce, Mahogany…which choice is right for you?  Does the type of wood you choose even have an effect on what it will sound like?  If you browse your favorite drum forum, you’ll find many differing opinions on this particular subject.

    Here at the Drum Center of Portsmouth, we were fortunate enough to be able to conduct a pretty cool experiment to determine what (if any) impact wood type has on a drum’s overall sound.  We took three identically (and exceptionally) finished Collectors Series kits with three completely different shell compositions.  DW “Pure Cherry”, DW “Cherry/Mahogany”, and DW “Pure Purpleheart.”  It’s these moments where we truly love our job.  Seriously…who else gets to do this kind of stuff?

    Before we get into detail, here's an overview of what happened:

    1. Sizes and Finish. A list of what we were working with.
    2. Drum Head Selection. Remo's specially made heads designed for DW Collectors series drum kits.
    3. Tune Bot. The great tuning equalizer.
    4. Microphones Used. A list of what was used to obtain the sound.
    5. Detailed Impressions. C'mon, tell us how you really feel.
    6. The Verdict. The jury concludes after some intense deliberation.

    Dw Collectors Series Drum Set Dw Collectors Series Drum Set

    The Drum Sizes and Finish

    The exotic shells are finished in what DW calls, “Exotic Tangerine Burst over Candy Stripe Padouk” with nickel hardware.  We were absolutely blown away by the quality of the finish.  These are really gorgeous drums – something we’ve all come to expect from DW.  Once we composed ourselves, we were able to focus on the task at hand – the sound.

    The three kits we tested are shell packs that share the exact same sizes: a 22x18 bass drum, 10x8 and 12x9 mounted rack toms, a 14x12 floor tom, a 16x14 floor tom, and a 14x6.5 matching snare with triple flanged True Hoops and True Tone Snare Wires.  It’s worth mentioning that the attention to detail and consistency of production techniques make these three kits nearly indistinguishable from a distance.  DW does an amazing job when it comes to their aesthetics and tightness of tolerance.  You probably already knew this.

    Something else about these kits – no reinforcement rings.  These are different than your traditional DW Collector’s Series Maple shells in that they are a little thicker, as well.

    Drum Heads on DW Collectors Series Drum Sets

    For the tom heads we used DW’s Smooth AA that are made by Remo USA and came standard on 2 of the 3 kits.  These AA heads are manufactured solely for DW, and are not a normal offering from Remo.  We decided to leave the stock, industry standard Remo single-ply resonant heads on the toms.  Additionally, we used DW’s stock snare drum heads – a Coated AA batter and Standard Snare Side resonant.  We replaced the bass drum heads to a Smooth White Power Stroke 3 on the batter side, and an Ebony Power Stroke 3 on the resonant side.  This was merely out of personal preference.  If you haven’t tried out Remo PS3’s, we highly recommend it.  We added a 4” port for a more convenient kick drum mic setup.

    Tune Bot Gig A Drummers Best friend

    The Tune Bot put to the Test!

    Regarding the tuning of the drums, we wanted to keep it as scientific and objective as possible, so we used the TuneBot Gig version.  This gave us complete control and consistency from kit to kit.  With these controls in place, any noticeable difference in sound between the different kits could only be attributed to their shell composition.  On a side note, we highly recommend the TuneBot for ease and consistency of tuning your drums.  This made the process MUCH more efficient for our purposes.  In case you’re curious of the EXACT TuneBot settings for this experiment (we know you’re out there), you can find them in our In-Depth Video Review here.

    Miking the Drum Set

     

    For the video of the recording, we used the following microphone setup:

    Kick drum – Audix D6 microphone through the 4” port and a Shure KSM 32 about 6” in front of the resonant head.

    Snare drum – Earthworks SR20LS, which is a great all-around microphone.

    Toms – Earthworks DM20

    Overhead – Single Earthworks SR25

     

    For the purposes of this experiment, we wanted to make sure that the mixing of the audio was quick and clean.  We used no EQ’ing on the individual channels.  We only applied a high-pass filter on the toms to get rid of some of the low-end rumble.  Then we adjusted the L/R balance…and BOOM.  Done.

    Which Drum Workshop Kit is the best?

     

    Kit #1 –Cherry/Mahogany

    DW Collectors Series Cherry Mahogany Drum Set DW Collectors Series Cherry Mahogany Drum Set

    These gorgeous shells consist of a Cherry-ply base, sandwiched between an inner and outer ply of Mahogany.  We know cherry to be very bright wood, with a lot of attack and really pronounce mids, whereas Mahogany is going to give you some extra low end with lots of boom.  This DW Cherry/Mahogany kit gave us both of those properties in spades.  This was especially apparent with the 12-inch tom.  Playing that particular drum was like dribbling a 90-pound basketball…just a big, fat booming sound!  The snare drum fit right in with the kit.  We can't say that there was anything about it that that made it different from the kit, which is good. It seemed to blend well.

     

    Overall, this was a big sounding kit with substantial complexity to the tone.  We feel this is a kit well suited for the “big note” type drummer…you know, the “Pat Boone Debbie Boone” type fills that have that real big sound.

     

    Kit #2 - Purpleheart

     

    Next up…Pure Purpleheart.  This was our first experience with a 100% Purpleheart-shelled kit.  We were aware that the wood was very dense, so we expected them to be somewhat vibrant.

     

    The first thought that comes to you when sitting behind this kit is, “Wow, these drums are ALIVE!”  All the drums projected.  Substantially.  This was a significantly different experience than driving the Cherry Mahogany kit.  The Purpleheart shells have a sharper note, which we found very appealing.  They deliver that fundamentally low note, along with clean stick articulation.

     

    Before offering Pure Purpleheart as an entire kit, DW offered it as a base for snare drums, and now we can see why. The Purpleheart snare drum checked all the boxes we look for in a snare and was hands-down the winner of the day.  Sharp, loud articulate punch with plenty of sensitivity.  The bass drum also had a nice blend of low end thump and attack that stood out.

     

    Kit #3 -  Pure Cherry

     

    Last up was the 100% Pure Cherry DW Collectors series kit.  We were especially excited to play this kit, as we’ve had other DW Cherry kits in the shop in the past that did not disappoint.  Cherry makes a great shell material for drums, although it’s not all that commonly used.  In our experience, Cherry is not far off from that of birch in tonal characteristics – big attack with pronounced mids and lows.  This particular kit, however, had a smoother, more balanced vibe to it – which really impressed us!  It was like the difference between a 12-year and 18-year old scotch; both are delicious, but one is a little smoother in finish.  That was this Pure Cherry kit.

    The Verdict

    So, does the type of wood used in a drum shell influence what the drum will sound like?  After conducting a relatively controlled experiment on 3 extremely high-end drum sets, our answer is a resounding, “yes!”

    The degree to which the sound will differ, of course, varies on many factors.  Choice of heads, your ability to properly tune a drum, bearing edge quality, the thickness of the shell, environment, etc.  All of these factors being equal, we feel like you will have a different experience based on the shell material you choose.

    And which DW Collectors kit sounded the best?  If you ask 3 different people at the Drum Center of Portsmouth, you’ll probably get 3 different answers.  If you’re looking for deep, boomy thud, you may favor the Cherry/Mahogany shells.  Want to project loud, sharp articulation?  Maybe Purpleheart is the way to go.  If you are looking for total tonal balance, the Pure Cherry is an excellent option.

    Each one of these ultra-high-end kits exceeded expectation and opened the eyes of a few people here who never really considered DW to be “their sound”.  Be sure to check out our video to hear the results for yourself and let us know what you think!

    Looking For Your Own DW Collectors Series Kit?

     

    At Drum Center of Portsmouth, we specialize in helping you achieve YOUR perfect drum sound. Give us a call at (603) 319-8109 to speak with a professional about that sound you hear in your head.  We are legit sound freaks and look forward to helping you navigate your way to the DW kit of your dreams.  We carry a huge selection of DW Drums and Hardware in stock.  If DW isn’t your thing, we can help with many other fine manufacturers as well.

    Keep your eyes peeled to our YouTube Page for more exciting and slightly eccentric drum-related content!

  • Shane is in the new Drumhead Magazine!

    Drumhead Magazine has published a very special issue entitled "Ensnared, A Tribute to Snare Drums".  This is an incredibly in depth issue with over 40 of the top drummers around the globe discussing the tools of their trade, what they've used them on, and other tales surrounding them.

    Shane has had the luxury of playing more snare drums than the average drummer, and he  was asked to supply an editorial on snare drums.  This is about as in depth as he has gotten in print discussing snare drums, there may be a thing or two that you'll learn about him and the drums at Drum Center of Portsmouth.

    This is a limited release, so get your copy now!

    We have them available here!

     

  • Drum Center of Portsmouth 9th Anniversary Celebration!

    Our Biggest Sale of the Year - Free Food - Giveaways - Celebrity Guests and More!

    Those who have been before know: This is probably the greatest day of the year when it comes to the drum store experience.   We have THOUSANDS of dollars of free giveaways, food, our biggest sale of the year, and we will have some group lessons too!
    YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS! 

     Saturday, June 9th from 10-5
    Drum Center of Portsmouth
    144 Lafayette Road
    North Hampton NH
    03862

     

  • Meet Simon Phillips!

    Simon Phillips and Protocol are coming to Portsmouth, New Hampshire!

    Drum Center of Portsmouth is thrilled to give you a chance to say hello to one of the greatest drummers of all time!

     

     

    Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Modern Drummer Hall of Fame ) will be here at DCP on Wednesday, May 30th signing autographs.
    This event is FREE to the public, and it happens from 5:30-7. Simon's band Protocol will be playing 3S Artspace the following night (which you really attend, tix are available here)

     

     

  • Remembering Roy Burns

    (November 30, 1935-May 2, 2018)

    A note from Shane:

    Roy Burns was one of the first guys that was truly nice to me when I was brand new in this business. He loved to pick up the phone and talk about the latest breakthrough he'd had with Aquarian Drumheads.   And he always had them.  He never stopped trying to better his craft or himself.  Over the years, the phone calls never slowed down. I'm not that special, Roy was like this with everyone. He worked his tail off and truly valued relationships. He understood how powerful they are, and because of it, he was able to carve out a niche in a nearly impenetrable Drum Head market. This all happened when he was supposed to retire! After being the very first drum clinician, and making a living as a professional drummer, he found himself starting Aquarian in 1980 and never looked back.
    Our industry is full of extraordinary people. Roy was at the top of this list. I am so grateful to have had a relationship with him. I learned a lot. Thank you Roy.

  • So Mellow. So Good.

    2194 grams of pure bliss! This Paiste Masters 'Blue Bird' Mellow ride is a joy to play. The stick sound is crisp and articulate, but it's far from "pingy". The wash is always there but never in the way. The medium pitch is pleasant and balanced, without any stray overtones.

    I'll be honest: if you're playing metal, this isn't the cymbal for you ... but if you're playing basically anything else, this will fit right in!

    -Tom

    https://www.drumcenternh.com/paiste-masters-blue-bird-mellow-ride-cymbal-20-2g.html

  •  Drum Center of Portsmouth Masterclass with Simon Phillips!

    Simon Phillips

    We have a very special opportunity: Simon Phillips (Toto, The Who, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Modern Drummer Hall of Fame ) will be here at DCP on Wednesday, May 30th.  He will be hosting a small masterclass that we're limiting to 25 people only.  Simon will have his full set up and attendees will be able to get a rare opportunity to learn from one of the greats!

    The Masterclass is from 3pm-5pm on Wednesday, May 30th, here at Drum Center of Portsmouth.

    There will be a meet and greet from 5:30-7 that is free to the public.

    You can reserve your seat by clicking the link here.

     

  • How a VK Magnesium Swept Me Off My Feet

    Words cannot accurately describe how much I love this drum. With so many amazing drums out there, it is rare that one will jump out in such a way that I think about it all weekend; but that is exactly what happened with this VK Magnesium. This drum speaks for itself, but I felt compelled to attempt to put into words what it produces sonically.

    This is a drum that invites you in, offers you a home-cooked meal and a glass of single malt scotch. It rewards you, flatters you, makes you feel like you can play anything. Depending on where you tune it, it sounds like a totally different drum. It's almost as if it has multiple personalities. Tuned low, it's fat, dry, transparent and sounds like a finished record. As you bring it to a medium tension, a smooth mid-range character begins to appear. When it's tuned up higher, there is a "smack" characteristic to the attack, rather than a "pop". I found this to be more microphone friendly because of that.

    This drum just speaks to me. If you are looking for the perfect studio drum, this is it. Put it on the stand, tune it, mic it, play it and you're done.

    - Tony

    Here is what all this excellence sounds like:

    Source: VK Drums Magnesium Snare Drum 14x5 w/ Titanium Hardware | Drum Center of Portsmouth

  • New Paiste Masters! // Walkthrough Wednesday

    This week on Walkthrough Wednesday... Tom goes through the new editions to Paiste's Masters line of cymbals. The Masters have become a favorite of ours here at DCP and these new models only strengthen our love for them, just listen to these beauties!

     

    For more info on the whole line up of Paiste Masters Cymbals, follow this link: https://www.drumcenternh.com/masters

  • It Did Get Loud // Walkthrough Wednesday

    This week on Walkthrough Wednesday... Tony gets LOUD as we take a look at two ridiculous Dunnett 2n brass snares and some appropriately named Yamaha Loud Series drums at a killer price. Enjoy!

     

    For more info on the two Dunnett snare drums featured in this video, click the links below!

    Dunnett Classic 2N Chrome Over Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5 w/ Raw Brass Lugs

    https://www.drumcenternh.com/dunnett-classic-2n-chrome-over-brass-snare-drum-14x6-5-w-raw-brass-lugs.html

    Dunnett Classic 2N Triple Brass Snare Drum 14x6.5

    https://www.drumcenternh.com/dunnett-classic-2n-triple-brass-snare-drum-14x6-5.html

     

    To learn more about the Yamaha Loud Series Snare Drums, check out the following links.

    Temple Silver

     

     

    Solid Silver

     

     

     

     

    Blue Sparkle Sunburst

     

     

     

     

    Habanero Sparkle Sunburst

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