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Drum Workshop Collector’s Birch Series Drums

Many percussion companies manufacture excellent-sounding drums, but often the hardware is not always up to par, or vice-versa. With Drum Workshop’s Collector’s Birch Series kit, the drums and the hardware both measure up in a big way.

While setting up the seven-piece Candy Black Burst Birch kit, I was struck by the beauty of its exotic finish, which allows the wood grain to show through in the center of the shell, gradually darkening to solid black near the lugs and up to the bearing edge.

Attention to detail is what you should be willing to pay for if you’re interested in a high-end item, and this kit delivers from all angles. The craftsmanship on these drums is second to none. From the precision bearing edges to the rubber lug gaskets, nylon washers and felt-lined bass-drum hoop claws that work together to protect the shell and keep hardware noise from occurring, Drum Workshop has done its homework in producing a high-quality product. The thin birch shells resonate beautifully at any tuning range, although each drum is tuned and stamped to specify that each shell resonates most true at its marked pitch. The true pitch of each drum is warm and fat with a full-bodied tone.

This seven-piece kit includes an 18 x 22-inch bass drum, a 5 x 14-inch snare and 7 x 8, 8 x 10, 9 x 12, 11 x 14 and 13 x 16-inch toms. The snare drum is articulate and sounds great tuned down for a fat backbeat or tuned up for jazz and funk. All toms come with coated, clear top heads and clear bottom heads. A coated ring sprayed around the outer perimeter of the clear top head knocks out unwanted overtones and still allows plenty of sustain and tone from the drum. The bass drum features the same coated, clear-head design on the batter side and an ebony front head with small port holes around the outer edge of the head to help push the air. The Drum Workshop pillow is also included and comes with Velcro straps to keep it in place. The bummer is that you have to remove the front head to change your sound by eliminating or repositioning the pillow. Toms are stand-mounted with Drum Workshop’s suspended mounting system that surrounds the lug (also protected by rubber gaskets) instead of the tension rod. This makes for a much easier head-changing procedure than that of traditional suspended mounting systems.

As impressive as the look, sound and versatility in tones, I was even more impressed with the hardware. The most important feature of any hardware is its ease of use and durability. For as many features as Drum Workshop offers on its hardware, I found them all very simple to figure out and easy to adjust. Every adjustable area has a durable memory lock (if not several) so that nothing moves once it’s locked.

This kit comes with the Heavy Duty 9000 Series hardware. Stands include the 9999 single tom and cymbal stand, 9901 low double-tom stand, 9934 double-tom stand with 934 cymbal boom arm, 9300 snare stand and 9700 straight-boom cymbal stand. This is heavyweight stuff. Make sure you have sturdy cases with wheels or a strong dolly (or a roadie) if you plan to transport this kit.

The rotating ball-joint tom arms are ultraversatile. I really dug the single tom- and-cymbal stand because of being able to place the cymbal stand in typically hard-to-adjust places. I also like the fact that most of the locking features use wing nuts instead of tension rods, so it’s quick and easy without having to reach for a drum key. The cymbal stand adjustments are many and offer strength in areas that you won’t find it offered in by most other companies.

My favorite piece of hardware is the Delta II Accelerator double-bass-drum pedal. There are countless features, including an adjustable-height heel plate, beater memory lock and an adjustable weight system that allows maximization of the footboard momentum by increasing or decreasing the weight at the front of the footboard. If you can’t get comfortable with this pedal, there’s a major problem with your technique.

The Heavy Duty Delta II two-leg hi-hat stand is also very hip. It has a solid, one-piece, fold-down, metal-pedal plate that locks into place by tension rods. The two legs rotate in any direction for easy adjustments and multiple pedal setups. It also comes with a short and long hi-hat rod so you can switch out one for the other if you want to mount a small tambourine on the long rod or keep it short so it doesn’t interfere in reaching for any other items mounted to the left of your hi-hat. There are many more features in this highly versatile line of hardware that are too numerous to mention, but they are all well worth the investment.

If you’re looking for a visually stunning acoustic drum kit that sounds great in any tuning range and comes with the most versatile and durable hardware on the market, then look no further.

Originally Published