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!

Rhythm - - BEAT! - Words: chris barnes

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.

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