Tom Tom Drums: Sizing and Other Considerations

Like many drummers, I’ve not given a lot of thought to drum sizes other than small drums have a higher pitch and large drums have a lower pitch. I bought my last kit because its made of Birch and did not pay much attention to the tom tom diameters. After all, It has a small tom, a medium tom and a large tom. What else do I need to know? I’ve looked at some of the big drum companies to see how they dimension their drums. I’d like to make my drums similar to the industry standards. It turns out there are a few different sizing schemes in use by the big manufacturers.

Traditional Tom Tom Drum Measurements Chart
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DIY Drum Shells

Being a woodworker of sorts, I have been itching lately to make my own drum kit. There are several options for making your own kit. You can buy shells already made and add the hardware and finish or you can attempt to make the shells yourself.
A few months ago, I decided to order the shells already made from a drum making supply company. Of course, they still have not arrived and I'm not sure if they actually will arrive. Custom drum stuff seems to take a ridiculously long time. I ordered a custom floor tom from Pearl years ago and it took about 7 months to get it.

Building a DIY Drum From Scratch Using Maple Staves
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Rick Allen and Thoughts on Electronic Drum Kits

On Saturday, my wife and I went up to The Forum in Los Angeles to see the final night of the Journey / Def Leppard tour. As a drummer, I was very interested in the difference between Rick Allen’s (Def Leppard) kit and Steve Smith’s (Journey). As most everyone knows, in 1985, Rick Allen lost his left arm in a very tragic car accident. As a result, he plays a highly modified kit that allows him to use both of his feet and his right arm to compensate. (he does this very well, in fact. His playing today is just as good as it ever was.).

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"Warped Plywood", or "How to Build an Instrument Service Pad From Scrap", Part 2

Here's the 2nd half of our "how to make an instrument work pad from warped plywood" article. Candidly, we think it's a little boring, but we also think the information that's provided in the article, should you retain it(!) will help with your possible future musical performance endeavors. Dealing with warped/bowed plywood is likely going to be something you may have to deal with more than you thought you might... It's happened to us!

Here's the first article if you're coming into this halfway...

Opposite bowed pieces of plywood
Carpet affixed to the plywood slab
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"Warped Plywood", or "How to Build an Instrument Service Pad From Scrap", Part 1

The impetus for this article came about from a scrap piece of shag carpet that I'd collected and the happenstance of some pieces of plywood that were slightly bent but that were workable and that came my way in the past 30 days or so.

"Huh?", is what I hear you saying in your head right now.

Let's take a step back. In the process of building a business that mostly centers around renting out older tube amps, it follows that we also work on our own personal electric instruments. At the end of the day, we don't just love heavy music, we love playing it.

Diagram on how Plywood is made
Diagram on how plies in plywood should be arranged
Demostration of Bowing in Plywood
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Firefox Blocking Twitter Feed

People (mostly us!) have been having a problem with Firefox blocking the Twitter feed on various websites (OURS!) that aren't "Twitter". We ran into a similar problem ourselves. This has to do with the tracking protection feature that's been updated on Firefox. It took some digging but we've figured out how to re-enable the twitter feed if you're using Firefox and have Tracking Protection enabled. You can either take this to heart, or not but we're not tracking you, so please feel free to disable Tracking Protection from this site.

Firefox Disabled Twitter Feed
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Legendary Amps: The Deacy

Every once in a while something comes along - something strange and beautiful - something unexpected. "The Deacy" is just such an amplifier. Now, as you well know, this site is about vacuum-tube or "valve" (as the Brits say it) amplifiers. We love everything tube. We love the sound, we love feel, we love the interactivity and we love the loudness. We also love the renaissance that's occurring with both vacuum tube amps and older style out-of-manufacture pedals where the older schematics and parts are being rediscovered and re-purposed into new, and powerful, heavy music.

As we understand the story, it happened in London. It was 1972 and Queen was just coming together as a band. One night, while walking home from rehearsal carrying his bass, John Deacon walked by a "skip" (in the U.S. we would call this a dumpster) and something brightly colored (coloured?) caught John's eye. In that moment, John's curiosity got the better of him. He paused for a bit, perhaps excited about future possibilities, and went rummaging about in that skip. He found that the bright colored bits were connected to an unidentified circuit board with all the parts still on it.

This is where the pedigree of the Deacy is wonderfully esoteric. The electronics come from a country that no longer exists: Southern Rhodesia.

The parts that John had scrounged that night came from a radio built and manufactured in Southern Rhodesia in Africa. Today that country is called Zimbabwe. In the post-colonial era, Britain still had ties and influence in Southern Rhodesia. In fact, Southern Rhodesia remained a self-governed colony of Britain until 1980 when the last vestiges of British rule were thrown off and Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.

Image of John Deacon Brian May Deacy Amp
Schematic 1 for Deacy Amp

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