Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Evolution of my new kit

1/25/08 While this blog is mainly about snare drums, I'll be chronicling my new kit, which is being built by Tim McKenzie of McKenzie Drums. The foundation of the kit will be a set of Keller Vintage Mahogany shells that I've ordered from Precision Drum Company (14x20, 8x12 & 14x14, plus maple bass drum hoops), with the snare drum based on a 5.5x14 steambent mahogany shell by the wizards at Vaughncraft Persussion. The finishing touch for the foundation will be shaped hoops from Stellar Drum. Jody there does amazing work. I have pre-ordered a set of maple shaped hoops for the snare drum and toms.

On the hardware side I originally wanted a rail mount on the bass drum, but, frankly, the modern rails by DW and Gibraltar don't meet my needs. First, both are [in my opinion] over-engineered and ugly. Second, neither of them seem to hold a tom in place any better than the W&A rails from back in the day, and finally, if I were to go with one it would be the DW which is pretty elusive these days. I do have a spare Gibraltar rail, but would have to devote an entire page to cite the reasons why I hate the thing. So - for now - I am going with a center post, single L-rod tom mount. It may not have that 'cool' vintage vibe, but it is a helluva lot more suited to my needs than any rail mount currently on the market.

Lugs will be beavertail style on all drums. Worldmax makes a nice replica and it is one of my favorite lug designs. I am also going to use the Worldmax Slingerland-style bass drum claws and T-handle rods.

I've ordered a Leedy three point strainer and Leedy extended butt for the snare drum, which will round out that Slingerland Radio King look for the entire kit (save for the centerpost bass drum mount, but one must make compromises.)

The finish will be a natural oil on the drums. Since all of the shells are mahogany the kit will have that mahogany red look, which I love. The wood hoops are going to be a natural finish, which will impart a nice contrast to the mahogany shells since all of the hoops are maple.

As I write this I am planning to use Remo Fiberskyn Diplomats top and bottom, front and back on all of the drums, except for the snare where the bottom head will be a clear Diplomat.

As the saga unfolds I will add updates (and photos when possible.) Stay tuned.


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