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DRUMCRAFT SERIES 8 MAPLE KIT

DRUMCRAFT SERIES 8 MAPLE KIT
March 10, 2010 | Reviewer – Allan Leibowitz
DISTRIBUTOR: DYNAMIC MUSIC www.dynamicmusic.com.au
drumcraftseries8When I was told my review kit was just back from a tour with Swedish band Pain of Salvation, there was a sense of trepidation. Not only would I be deprived of the ceremonial unwrapping of a brand-new kit, but I’d have to deal with the havoc unleashed by a Scandinavian metal drummer and the tribulations of a multi-city tour.
As it turned out, my fears were totally unfounded. The sheer good looks of the drums and the unique hardware more than compensated for the thrill of tearing off the plastic wrapping and it seems that despite their efforts, Leo Margarit and his roadies had little impact on the finish.
The kit up close
Obviously, when you launch a new brand, there’s a back story about uniqueness and DrumCraft is no different. But I’ll fast-forward through the design philosophy and environmental stuff and go straight to the bit where the pedal hits the metal – or in this case, the wood hits the Mylar.
DrumCraft, and especially the Series 8 kit,  just smacks of engineering and design – a bit like Bang & Olufsen meets Porsche. This convergence of high-tech and ergonomics is most evident in the hardware. I was particularly taken with the elegant satin chrome lugs which are quite unlike anything I’ve seen on a mass-produced kit.  And there are lots of them: 10 on the snare; eight on the floor tom and six on the two hanging toms. The design flows through to the bass drum claws which are lined on the inside with nylon inserts to spread the tension and avoid damaging the wooden hoops.
The shells also look fabulous. The review kit was the Venice White version, which was reminiscent of an 80s finish – the lacquer applied lightly enough to allow a glimpse of the woodgrain below.
The soft lines of the lugs are echoed in the mounting hardware, hi-hat stand and cymbal stands, all of which are well proportioned and elegant, their appearance masking their sturdy build quality.
The Series 8 hardware pack consists of a cymbal boom stand and straight stand with almost limitless flexibility due to the versatile tilters with ever-so-stylish adjusters. These stands are essentials because you’ll need somewhere to hang the toms as there’s no mounting hardware on the bass drum (more about that later).
There’s also a solid three-leg double-braced hi-hat stand and a ball-jointed snare stand with heaps of adjustment options including the ability to lengthen or shorten the basket arms to accommodate almost any size drum. The pack also includes a stylish and efficient single-beater, double-chain bass drum pedal which is solid and responsive – and also highly adjustable.
In action
Beautiful as the Series 8 kit is, it is not just an object of art, and owners will expect the drums to perform. And perform they do. Overall, the kit combines subtlety and versatility.
It was easy to tune the Remo heads: Ambassador clears on the toms, Powerstroke 3 for the bass and Controlled Sound coated on the snares. The toms, in particular, have an impressive tuning range which offers plenty of versatility to match playing styles. The drums have ample attack, and sound clean and precise. Even the compact floor tom has a reasonable range and while it won’t shake you in your throne, it does have enough bottom end.
The 14” snare is sublime. It is capable of clear, sharp cracks but also seems to offer a depth which belies its 5” depth. It responds as well to gentle brushing as to the kind of thrashing it no doubt got from its previous user. And the Nickel Drumworks throw-off is silky smooth and effortless.
The drum maker has gone to great lengths to let the timber talk on the bass, avoiding unnecessary shell drilling. Hence the need for external stands to support the toms which, incidentally, are also well isolated thanks to the Zero Gravity Mount system that uses rubber gaskets to avoid metal-on-metal contact.
Personally, I prefer small, tight basses, but the 22×18 DrumCraft was not overpowering. Sure, it is capable of big booming sounds, but it can be tuned quite tightly and can, of course, be muffled. I was impressed with the attack that was not accompanied by that lingering boomy resonance sometimes produced by bigger basses.
The verdict
It’s always good to see a new entrant – even better when it’s a good-looking innovative kit that seems to tick all the boxes. DrumCraft’s Series 8 combines elegance with ergonomics and excellent performance to justify a higher-end price. The bottom line is that these are among the best-looking drums on the market and their sound qualities certainly complement the striking cosmetics.

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