Should I get a thin or thick shell?

The shell is the beating heart of your drums. The number of plies effects how readily energy is transferred from the heads to the shell. This single factor has a profound effect on the tonal characteristics and projection of the drum.

  • Thin shells (4 ply, 5mm) enable relatively easy energy transfer from the heads to the shells thus causing the shells to vibrate. This vibration imparts a very rich "wood" tone to the overall sound that can be most appreciated in near-field applications and especially in recording.
  • Medium shells (6 ply, 7.5mm) have greater stiffness and resist energy transference from the heads. With less shell vibration, a trade-off is achieved: the sound is slightly "cooler" than thinner shells but projection is greater. Drums made to this thickness are ideal for general-purpose applications and / or situations requiring more "horsepower."
  • Thick shells (8 ply, 10mm and 10 ply, 12.5mm) are extremely "efficient" and allow most of the player's energy to be focused to the audience. These drums are ideal for coliseum-type venues and other applications requiring high sound pressure levels. Snare drums made in this thickness rival metal snare drums in intensity and projection.

Click here for more information on shell composition.