Type of Wood Used to Make Drum Shells

I was wondering if the type of wood used to make drum shells matters. Like is oak better than maple or what.


In general, the harder the wood, the better it sounds. The harder and more dense a material, the more evenly it will vibrate. Most drum shells are made of Maple, Birch, or Lauan.

Lauan is the softest of these three woods and is also the least attractive. It is used in the production of low-end drums and is usually covered with plastic rather than a spray finish. This is the type of wood that most companies use for their "Mahogany" shells.

Maple and Birch: These are harder woods and are used to make the more expensive high-end drums. Both are attractive and produce a good sound.

Birch tends to boosted high frequencies, slightly reduce mids, and a have a good low end punch for applications requiring extra presence and cut.

Maple slightly boosts lows with smooth mid and high frequencies for all around applications.

Many people describe Maple as being "warm" and even in its frequency response. Birch is often described as "bright," because it produces more high end than Maple. If you have certain preferences about the frequency response for your drums, choose accordingly.

Best wishes!


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