Product Review: Canopus Drums’ Hybrid Hardware Series
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The subject of this review certainly fits that bill. As expected, the build quality on this drum is outstanding. The shell is fully in round, the edges are level, and all lugs are aligned straight. This is a beautifully crafted instrument.
It was a unique drum in terms of its sound and construction. Canopus has also offered a variety of metal and ply-shell snares for quite a while. But now the company has entered the US market with toms and bass drums to create complete drumkits. Ring Around The Drum In the s and ’70s, reinforcement rings in drumshells were the norm with the exception of Gretsch.
But in the s several drum-makers besides Gretsch started offering shells with no reinforcement rings, claiming that a quality drumshell doesn’t need them. Pretty soon, reinforcement rings became the exception rather than the rule. Canopus has taken a fresh look at the situation and decided that reinforcement rings are desirable in toms and bass drums.
But the rings they use are quite thin. While they do add strength to the shell where it’s most needed, they are also designed to enhance the vibrational capabilities of the shell by addressing a basic conflict in drum-making.
It is generally agreed that the thinner a shell, the more resonance the drum will have and the warmer the tone will be. But if the shell is too thin, the drum won’t have the strength it needs to withstand the tension of the heads and to stand up to forceful playing. Because they use reinforcement rings, Canopus is able to start with a thin shell. Canopus explains all of this by comparing the shell to a guitar string and the reinforcement ring to a guitar bridge.
If you’re curious, read all about it at the company’s Web site, www. Size and thickness of reinforcement rings varies with the size of each drum. The company also matches the bearing edge to the type of drum. Rack toms, floor toms, and bass drums each feature edges with slightly different profiles.
According to the company, this is done to control high-pitched overtones so that no muffling is necessary. This all sounds good in theory, but how do the drums sound to the ears? We’ll discuss them by category. Bass Drums We received bass drums in all four sizes that Canopus makes.
I started with the 15×22 drum, and immediately came to the conclusion that it was everything a bass drum should be. It had plenty of punch, but it also had a warm tone. The sound was dry enough that I didn’t feel the need for any additional muffling, yet it had enough resonance and sustain to make it sound rich and full. Because of its diameter, it favored a slightly higher pitch, but it still had plenty of bottom. And while it understandably didn’t produce quite as much volume as the 22″ drum, it had more power than I expected.
As such it would probably be the best choice for those needing a drum that’s strong enough for rock but that wouldn’t overpower pop or even jazz settings. Having played quite a few jazz gigs over the years, l’ve heard many 18″ bass drums that sound more like large toms.
You might call them “baritone” drums. But the Canopus 14×18 bass drum got a credible bass sound with good punch and a warm tone. In fact, it compared favorably to some 20″ bass drums l’ve worked with. If an 18″ bass drum is a “baritone,” then you’d have to call a 15″ bass drum a “tenor. Tuning it as low as possible without the heads flapping, I was reminded of the way Elvin Jones tunes his 18” bass drum.
So the Canopus 12×15 drum might find favor with drummers who want to keep their “bass” drum above the range of an acoustic bass player. This drum could also work for those who pad their bass drums so as to get a dry “thud” rather than a “boom. I’d suggest a drier batter head than an Emperor, though Floor Toms One of the company’s stated goals is to reduce “undesirable” high-pitched overtones by shaping the bearing edge.
They’ve certainly achieved it with the floor toms, although from prior experience with floor toms on which the shell depth is less than the head diameter, l’m not sure all the credit can be given to the bearing edge. Nevertheless, all three drums had a considerably dry sound. But they also had quite a bit of sustain, which you don’t always get with such a narrow range of overtones.
Of the three drums, the 12×13 had the best tone, with the 13×14 a close second. But try as I might to tune, the 15×16 remained dry to the point of sounding brittle. This is not the drum for those who like boomy floor toms that sound like you’re playing in a bathtub. But for those who prefer a contained sound with strong attack and good sustain, all of the Canopus floor toms are worth investigating.
They shared the basic characteristics of the floor toms in terms of having a dry, focused sound with a lot of sustain. But all four of the rack toms had warmer, rounder tones than any of the floor toms. They also sounded good over a larger pitch range. All Together Now.
It was a unique drum in terms of its sound and construction. Canopus has also offered a variety of metal and ply-shell snares for quite a while. But now the company has entered the US market with toms and bass drums to create complete drumkits. Ring Around The
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