Solid Stave Shells
Drum shells are simple. The less hindered they are, the more freely they can vibrate, resonate, and produce a true tone/pitch. Our stave shells are designed specifically to resonate and vibrate as naturally and as unhindered as possible.
The modern ply drum shell is constructed of multiple plies of wood that are glued together and formed into a cylinder. Each ply of wood is completely covered in glue in order to bond the plies together. As you could imagine, glue does not resonate very well and distorts wood's natural tone. Our stave shells are constructed from solid pieces or "staves" of wood and require exponentially less glue than a ply shell. For instance our 14"x8" stave snare shell has only 1.5% of the glue that our 14"x8" ply snare shell has! The resulting tone and pitch is much clearer than that of a ply drum.
Thin Stave Shells - The HD Difference
Historically one of the biggest problems with stave drums is that they had to be quite thick in order to maintain strength. Thick drum shells have a naturally higher pitch and do not resonate as well as thin shells. Resulting in a smaller tuning range and a less open sound than ply drums, even though they still had superior tone. Our stave shells are as thin as ply drum shells! By leaving an integrated reinforcement ring during the milling process, our shells stay very strong and rigid, and have all the benefits of thin shells. Our drums have an incredibly wide tuning range, excellent resonance, and the great tone that comes with a solid wood drum. This is the sound you have been searching for.
Almost all ply drum shells have alternating grain patterns from ply to ply. This is necessary in order for the shells to be strong enough to stay in round and handle the tension of tuning. This also hinders the drum from resonating freely. Steam bent shells have horizontal oriented grain. Our stave shells always have vertically oriented grain patterns. Energy and vibration passes much easier traveling with the grain (vertically) rather than against it (horizontally). This results in a more resonant and fundamentally lower pitched drum.
Vertical grain orientation also causes the drums bearing edge to be located on the much stronger end grain of the wood. This enables your bearing edges to stay truer for longer no matter how high the tension.
The wood used in our stave shells is in its natural unstressed state. Whereas ply shells and steam bent shells are literally bent and stressed in order to form the cylindrical shape of a drum shell. Our shells will always stay in round, because they are not constantly fighting to "unstress" themselves. Being unaltered also gives the drum a wider tuning range, because stressed shells naturally produce a higher pitch. Our stave drums are able to project and produce much lower tones than ply or steam bent ones.
Below are pictures that show the stages of building our stave drums from raw planks of wood to the finished product.