One of the key factors that determine the quality of sound produced by a wooden drum set is the type of wood used in making the set. Depending on the wood type used, a drum set can produce varying tones ranging from warm, resonant ones to short sustains.
There are several varieties of woods used in making drum shells today with the most popular ones being birch and maple. In this post, we look at top five best wood types from which you can choose for your drum.
This is perhaps the most common wood type used in making drums today. Birch trees are readily available which means their wood is slightly cheaper on the current markets compared to other rarer woods.
As such, you can find both cheap and expensive drum sets made using birch wood on the market.The best thing about birch drums is that they produce considerably good tonal qualities with peaks in both high and low-end frequencies. For this reason, drums made using birch tend to have plenty of projection and a brighter tone.
This is another common wood type that serves as an ideal alternative to birch. Similar to birch, maple trees are also easy to find although they can be a little pricier, thanks to their more durable and harder wood. Maple is popularly used in making most high-end wood drums largely due to qualities such as its maximum resonance and production of a more even sound.
Besides, drums made using this wood produce warmer tones, even distribution of middle, higher sound frequencies and enhanced lower frequencies. Maple drums are also known to produce clear sounds while supporting a wide tuning range.
Poplar trees grow incredibly fast which means their woods are readily available and thus more affordable. Poplar woods are quite soft although they offer medium strength for drum making. When not used to make drums shells entirely on their own, poplar can be used as filler wood in designing more aesthetically appealing and expensive drums. Drums made using poplar produce sound quality similar to pricier woods such as birch and mahogany.
A while back, most wood drums were made using mahogany. However, this trend has since changed considering that mahogany trees are now less common and thus more expensive.
There are many types of mahogany woods today, although the African Mahogany is by far the best one for drum making. As such, it is important for you to take extra caution when buying drums made using mahogany as you could be duped into purchasing low-quality mahogany woods at the price of the African mahogany. In terms of sound quality, mahogany drums produce very rich, warm and soft tones and with less projection. Besides, they have an enhanced mid-range that gives an extra punch.
Beech wood is known to produce very heavy drums due to its relatively denser material. The wood is widely used as an alternative to both maple and birch although its sound is more closely related to birch. Drums made using beech produce a heavier tone and have slightly less lows compared to birch.
Your choice of the best drum wood is largely a personal one. However, it’s important to understand that some woods offer unique tonal qualities than others which can make all the difference in the sound produced by your preferred drum set.