The shape and finishing of a drum's bearing edges --
the top and bottom edges that the heads fit over --
are critical components in determining a drum's
sound and performance. That's because the edge
is where the head and the shell make contact.
The shape of the edge dictates how much head
surface and shell surface touch each other;
the more contact, the more wood tone and the less ring from the drum.
Too much ring gives a drum a bell-like sound
that can interfere with definition and clarity.
Too little ring produces a dead-sounding drum,
flat and boxy. Ring is the product
of overtones, and should not be confused with
sustain, which is more the product of shell
design and wood selection.
In addition, the evenness of the bearing edge
determines how well the head is seated, how
evenly it can be tuned, and how adaptable it
becomes to a range of tuning. In fact, the
edge governs how effectively the head can
do its job. Consistency all the way around
the head makes a drum sound great.
Carolina Drumworks edges are chosen to
complement the shell design and intended use.
The shapes of batter-side and snare-side
edges are selected individually to maximize
control and definition while allowing optimal
snare vibration. Once cut, the edges are
progressively sanded by hand, sealed and
waxed to permit the head to move freely
For drum kits, we cut graduated edge profiles
in order to balance the sustain and harmonics across
the range of each kit.
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Back: Shell materials
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