NAMM 2018 The best of the rest
We couldn’t cram all the drum-y goodness from NAMM 2018 into last issue, so here’s a few more gear highlights from the biggest music trade show on the planet!
01 05 Pearl Decade Maple Bop special order
We loved the thin all-maple shells of the Decade Maple when we laid our hands on a kit in the Rhythm review lab last year. If you’ve been been on the fence about whether to invest, perhaps these two new configurations will help you decide: the Bop special order shell pack comes in 18"x14", 12"x8", 14"x14" and 14"x5½" sizes; while a new rock-tastic two-up two-down configuration features 22"x18" bass drum, 12"x8" and 10"x7" toms, 14"x14" and 16"x16" floor toms and a 14"x5½" snare drum.
02 Zildjian Uptown ride
In addition to forming part of Zildjian’s new City Pack (see last issue’s NAM round-up), the 18" Uptown ride is available as a standalone pie. The sound of the unlathed, extensively hammered cymbal is controlled, dry and with minimal overtones or sustain, but still delivers plenty of power and excitement. Ideal for hip-hop and breakbeat styles.
03 13 Latin Percussion Mona Tavakoli and Tony Succar artist cajons
Eschewing the usually conservative look of most cajons, these two new signature models from LP were a real standout at NAM 2018. The first, designed in conjunction with percussionist, producer and multi-instrumentalist Tony Succar features a solid pine body and a cedar soundboard embellished with Succar’s signature Unity graphic. The Peruvian-made cajon omits the usual internal snares wires, delivering a crisp, punchy sound most associated with traditional Peruvian-style cajons. The second model is a collaboration with young percussionist Mona Tavakoli. Made in LP’s California wood shop, the cajon features dual playing surfaces crafted from Baltic birch and a cross-laminated pine body, plus four factory-tuned phosphor bronze strings with a unique, graduated three-soundhole design.
04 Paiste Masters Dry and Extra Dry rides
If you’re looking for drier cymbal sounds Paiste has you covered. Their new 20", 21" and 22" Dry rides are easily controlled cymbals with short decay, responsive stick sound and a dark, warm wash. And if they’re not quite dry enough, try the 20", 21" and 22" Extra Dry rides for size. An even shorter decay and earthy character takes the concept of cymbal dryness to a whole other level.
06 Meinl Pure Alloy add-ons
Last year’s clean and focused Pure Alloy series from Meinl was well-received and, as such, they’ve seen fit to add a few more options to the range for 2018. You can now get your hands on a 10" splash, 18" china and 22" Medium crash, all crafted to be compatible with everything from arena rock to studio sessions where crisp tones and clarity are a must.
07 Zildjian re-designed 5A and 5B sticks
People often say you can’t reinvent the wheel, but Zildjian disagrees. Their perennial 5A and 5B
drumstick models have been re-designed from the ground-up to improve style, durability and response. All new models now feature a reduced tip size, increased neck size, longer tapers and improved balance and durability. Sticks also feature a new graphic design and stick sleeve that brings a fresh look to these firm favourites.
08 Vic Firth VicKick Wood Shaft Beater
Give your shoddy old beater the shaft with Vic Firth’s unique new bass drum accessory. The VicKick Wood Shaft beater, designed with the input of Peter Erskine, features a maple shaft with small 1¾" felt head to create an even distribution of weight from top to bottom for improved control and dynamic range. The new beater is ideal for kit or cajon players.
09 Sonor One Of A Kind snares
Sonor continues to add to its premium One Of A Kind snare series, featuring hand-built drums with unique, naturally grown veneers. For the first time they have built hybrid shells using combinations of maple and birch and maple and beech.The 14"x6½" maple/birch model comes with an Etimoe veneer on the inside and outside of the 18-ply shell, along with chrome hardware. The 13"x7" maple/beech drum features Mango veneers over a 9-ply shell with black chrome hardware.
10 British Drum Company Tomsprings
If you prefer to mount your single rack tom on a snare-drum stand but suffer with choked resonance as a result, then the British Drum Company has a cool new innovation just for you. BDC reckons the moulded rubber ends of your snare stand arms aren’t sufficient enough to isolate the drum’s resonance and can seriously impact your tone. However, slip their lightweight, flexible Tomsprings over the end of each arm and the resulting isolation and freedom of movement leaves your drum to resonate freely. Simple but effective. Whilst we’re on the subject of the British Drum Company, during NAM the team changed the name of their new Copafeira kit (announced in last issue) to Wild Etimoe.
11 Remo Aric Improta ArtBeat Artist Collection
Remo’s latest artist-meets-art collaboration is with back-flipping Night Verses drummer Aric Improta. The drummer’s unique moon and sun-inspired designs can be found on a cajon complete with Baltic birch tapa, 12" and 14" Acousticon-shelled djembes, 10" tambourine and 10", 12", 14" and 16" drumheads. Now your gear can stand out as much as your beats.
12 Gon Bops Timbale snare
Give your kit or percussion set-up some added ‘pop’ with Gon Bops’ new 8" timbale snare. Blending the sounds of a traditional Latin timbale with a sensitive, long-range snare throw-off, the drum enables you to play high-tuned timbale accents or cracking snare backbeats with ease. What’s more, the lightweight aluminium shell makes transportation a breeze.
14 Dixon Fuse limited edition kit
Dixon’s Fuse range has been upgraded to include a new Swiss Ebony exotic finish. The Fuse Swiss Ebony kit features 6-ply hybrid 7.3mm shells, 45° bearing edges and chrome hardware. The four-piece shell pack comes complete with 10"x8" and 12"x9" toms, a 16"x14" floor tom and a 22"x18" bass drum.
15 Ludwig Mod Orange finish
Fifty years on from its launch, Ludwig has reissued its celebrated Mod Orange finish for all USA series drums, including Legacy, Classic Maple, Keystone X and Club Date. Just like Ludwig’s other Oyster finishes, Mod Orange is blended by hand to create that unique look.