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  • Maple.. or Birch...?

    Okay, so in the next two to three weeks I've decided to order a kit, and after a lot of thought, I've decided to go with Sessions rather than a Masters kit. Less money, no 4 to 6 month wait, I don't need a professional level kit right now, etc.

    My sizes are 20x16, 12x9 (wanted 12x8 but that'd be another 4-6 month wait) and 14x14. I think I'm going to go ahead and get the shell pack that comes with the 10x8 so I can get the $200 massmusic gift card.

    I'm thinking about going with birch, it's cheaper, I love the blue burst finish, and I've heard a few guys with birch kits (in person) that sound amazing. But I'm not all together sure about which way to go. I play a bunch of styles. I play a lot of screamo, hardcore, punk, and metal. But I also play a little jazz and swing. And I think I'm about to start a band inspired by a Goo Goo Dolls type of sound (and not their punk stuff).

    So I guess I'm asking if anyone thinks birch shells would be good for some low drum sounds (I've heard different opinions) and if they'd cut well in live situations for heavy music as well as softer music.

    Also, if anyone knows about the masscash gift cards, do you have to wait until you get your original order to use them? Or could I use the money as I order the set to add hardware to the order?

    Okay, I think that's it. Thanks to anyone, and I mean anyone, who is able to help me out a little bit!
    Ludwig '76 Classic - 24, 14, 16, 18
    Ludwig 14x8 Supralite

    My band: Horseburner

  • #2
    You can't go wrong with birch! I have an SBX Studio, and they sound amazing! They have a high end cut, reduced midrange, and a very nice low end punch! They are very versitale in any situation & styles of music, whether you're in the studio or live the SBX birch kit will perform.

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    • #3
      Personally I am a maple guy. The reason is, that i love when the toms and bass drum sound deep. Birch is a great quality of wood and sounds great too. Birch does have a higher tone than maple and is also louder. Maybe for live if you cant afford mics, you can use birch. But with maple you cant go wrong. But its all preference on sounds.
      Pearl Export Red Wine
      Zildjian A Custom cymbals
      Vic Firth sticks
      Pearl and PDP Hardware

      Savin' for a Maple Drumset

      Fat Drummer's Army
      PM to join, only FAT people.

      Drum Fund: $900.

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      • #4
        With the masscash, it works on any of your future orders. email them when you are getting something new. So I'd say, order your set, then buy hardware with the masscash.

        About buying birch or maple, I'd have to say that you would have to just try them out before you buy it. It is all a personal preference. Birch guys will say birch, maple guys will say maple. The best thing to do is try it out yourself.
        Seriously

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        • #5
          Hm.. thanks for the help guys.

          So you've said maple has better lower tones.. but is it still possible to get good low tones out of birch? The birch sets I've heard sounded pretty good, but I'm just curious about others' experiences.
          Ludwig '76 Classic - 24, 14, 16, 18
          Ludwig 14x8 Supralite

          My band: Horseburner

          Comment


          • #6
            I think there is way too much focus on this, I bet many people on this forum could'nt tell the difference if they had to identify the wood type simply by sound.

            Whilst the current 'fashion' is for maple kits to be favoured, it should not be forgotten that the Yamaha Recording Custom, arguably the most recorded drums ever, are made of birch and that many, many professional drummers prefer birch to maple.

            It is all down to personal choice, don't be pressured in to buying maple just because someone says it's better, there is no better, only preference, and it's your preference that matters.

            I am lucky enough to own two kits, one maple and one birch. I love them both for their different sounds, the maple gives me a more 'mellow' sound, it gives me the 'Mike Portnoy' sound that I really like. My birch kit is easy to tune, always sounds great and, I would imagine, would cut through guitar 'noise' better than maple. This is just my view and not necesarily 'fact'.

            My son has a high end birch kit and a pearl export - basswood I believe. When he tunes that Export up it sounds fantastic...but of course it's basswood, so it can't be good..Yamaha use beech quite bit and that sounds almost in the middle between maple and birch to my ears. This is simply another choice, as are mahogony and oak, and now also bubinga. Don't get caught up in the marketing hype - go out and listen to some decently tuned drums and make a decision based on what you like.

            Don't forget that your sound will depend on a whole range of different things, not just the wood type. Shell thickness, head choice, rim choice and tuning will all affect the end sound, I'm sure there are even more factors that I havn't highlighted that will also affect the overall sound.

            Good luck!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hongkong
              I think there is way too much focus on this, I bet many people on this forum could'nt tell the difference if they had to identify the wood type simply by sound.

              Whilst the current 'fashion' is for maple kits to be favoured, it should not be forgotten that the Yamaha Recording Custom, arguably the most recorded drums ever, are made of birch and that many, many professional drummers prefer birch to maple.

              It is all down to personal choice, don't be pressured in to buying maple just because someone says it's better, there is no better, only preference, and it's your preference that matters.

              I am lucky enough to own two kits, one maple and one birch. I love them both for their different sounds, the maple gives me a more 'mellow' sound, it gives me the 'Mike Portnoy' sound that I really like. My birch kit is easy to tune, always sounds great and, I would imagine, would cut through guitar 'noise' better than maple. This is just my view and not necesarily 'fact'.

              My son has a high end birch kit and a pearl export - basswood I believe. When he tunes that Export up it sounds fantastic...but of course it's basswood, so it can't be good..Yamaha use beech quite bit and that sounds almost in the middle between maple and birch to my ears. This is simply another choice, as are mahogony and oak, and now also bubinga. Don't get caught up in the marketing hype - go out and listen to some decently tuned drums and make a decision based on what you like.

              Don't forget that your sound will depend on a whole range of different things, not just the wood type. Shell thickness, head choice, rim choice and tuning will all affect the end sound, I'm sure there are even more factors that I havn't highlighted that will also affect the overall sound.

              Good luck!
              AMEN. Exports were philippine mahogany. My old ELX 22" bass sounds so good that im afraid my new SBX" 22 wont measure up to it... (Havent set up the SBX yet).
              Cheers.
              Pearl/Dixon/Paiste/LP/Remo/Pro-Mark 5ABN

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MattKeaton
                AMEN. Exports were philippine mahogany. My old ELX 22" bass sounds so good that im afraid my new SBX" 22 wont measure up to it... (Havent set up the SBX yet).
                Cheers.
                my forum bass drum does sound amazing. ill be comparing it to a mmx soon so ill give everyone the low-down
                7-Piece Double Bass BRX!
                The critics are raving: "Pure hotness. One of the nicest kits on here."-Fran, "F*ckin Beautiful"-NevDRUM, "Amazing!!! HOLY SHINIKES!"-rushofblood2112, "Gorgeous kit and setup"-DeadSkinMask, "Beautiful!"-drmrman, "absolutely awesome!"-AL PERCIVAL

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                • #9
                  i have an SBX and i think birch is the way to go. i was thinking about getting a maple set, but they are a little more expensive, and with an SBX you get so much for your money.
                  "sammoth69 (2 hours ago)

                  Yeah Neil Peart Is awsome nd yeah buddy rich is a ledgend nd yeah mike portney is cool,

                  But this guy is an awsome drummer hes snare stuff is insane and his blink 182 nd +44 is just so hard to play perfect".
                  ANYONE LOOKING TO SELL CYMBALS, PM ME!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks a lot everyone. I appreciate the help. At this point, I think I'll end up with the SBX for sure. I'm super excited to order it, I just have to sell my kits first.

                    Thanks again everyone!
                    Ludwig '76 Classic - 24, 14, 16, 18
                    Ludwig 14x8 Supralite

                    My band: Horseburner

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I tried a birch kit right next to a maple kit and I have to say the birch just sounded better. they had a more "natural" tone. anyway either way you can't go wrong. I went with birch and couldn't be more satisfied :-)
                      I have been punished by the sushinator

                      MAPEX MAFIA
                      my kit, updated

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                      • #12
                        I thought Pearl Exports were made out of poplar.

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                        • #13
                          they are, well at least now they are, and i thought they have been for awhile.
                          sbx blue burst...toms-10 12 14, floor toms-16, snare-14, bass-22. 3 pearl racks. 2 aax 18" xplosion crash's, 17" vault crash, 16" pro sonic crash, aax 20" china, aa 21" dry ride, aa rock hats.

                          pearl forum. ey who cares about the specs on that.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Son of Shub-Niggurath
                            I thought Pearl Exports were made out of poplar.
                            Only since the year 2002
                            Pearl/Dixon/Paiste/LP/Remo/Pro-Mark 5ABN

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                            • #15
                              Sbx

                              Originally posted by antiviolent
                              My sizes are 20x16, 12x9 (wanted 12x8 but that'd be another 4-6 month wait) and 14x14. I think I'm going to go ahead and get the shell pack that comes with the 10x8 so I can get the $200 massmusic gift card.
                              I just ordered a SBX set from Massmusic. It took a few days to get it ordered but they
                              were very helpful. A couple things to note: the new 10/12/16 tom kit is backordered in any
                              color through September. Other sizes you may be able to get right away. Second, there's
                              a variation in prices/Masscash etc based on what you really want. They can only advertise
                              a certain minimum price allowed by Pearl, so they throw in extra stuff to make the deal
                              more attractive than other online places, but if you really don't want the extra stuff call
                              them and ask for rock bottom prices instead.

                              I went through the same Maple/Birch thing (it wasn't a matter of price in this case). Even
                              though Maple seems to be more popular now I really have liked the birch sets I've heard
                              and so made up my mind not to go with the flow. Honestly, everyone has their own
                              personal prejudices but I think no matter which you get you'll be thrilled with it. The only
                              bummer is I think with Maple being in vogue the better colors go to that set.

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