Founded in 1984 by Finnish builder Pekka Helanen, Kumu started out making acoustic and electric guitars and basses in addition to drums. A decade later, Helanen refocused the business to just drums. The company has its own molds and makes its own shells for its All Birch Custom and Original series drums. Limited series drums, which we have for review, have shells made overseas to Kumu’s specs, but Helanen’s team is responsible for drilling the holes, cleaning up the bearing edges, and assembling the final drums….
Masterwork, an Istanbul-based manufacturer founded in 2002, specializes in making cymbals using ancient Turkish traditions combined with contemporary tools and techniques. The company offers fourteen different series made from B25 bronze (75% copper and 25% tin). We were sent a slew of samples from half a dozen series, but we’re going to take a look at two lines that represent the wide range of sounds Masterwork offers: the dark, warm Jazz Master and the brighter and more aggressive—yet no less expressive—Valena….
We were sent two snare drums for review: a 5.5×13 single-ply elm in “midnight edge” finish ($750) and a 6.5×14 with a shell constructed from three different types of wood (figured narra with bubinga and maple accents) and featuring bubinga wood hoops with bird’s-eye maple inlays. This drum is called the Narra King and sells for $1,250….
Crisp attack, booming tone, and ultra-rich aesthetic.
Specialty/artist-designed models and a ride for all occasions.
A professional-quality microphone kit at consumer-level pricing….
Need extreme power or utmost clarity and control? These have you covered…and then some.
We were delivered a gorgeous bebop kit to review that comprised an 8×12 rack tom, a 12×14 floor tom, a 15×18 bass drum, and a 6.5×14 snare. All of the drums have a satin tung oil finish over a wenge veneer and black-nickel hoops and Gretsch-style lugs. The drums have solid cores of a different species, strategically chosen to make each drum as sonically balanced as possible. Let’s take a look at each piece individually before we test them in action.
The L80 Low Volume series is available in several packs. We were sent the 468 configuration ($500), which includes a pair of 14″ hi-hats, a 16″ crash, and an 18″ crash-ride. There’s also the 348 set, which includes 13″ hi-hats, a 14″ crash, and an 18″ crash-ride, and there’s a two-piece pack, called the 38, that consists of 13″ hi-hats and an 18″ crash-ride.
We were sent two Chicago Drum snares to review: a 6.5×14 5-ply maple/poplar and a 5.5×14 5-ply mahogany/poplar. Both feature 30-degree round-over bearing edges, deeply cut snare beds, solid-maple reinforcement rings, Puresound twenty-strand snare wires, Remo Ambassador drumheads (Coated batter and Hazy bottom), and Slingerland-style inward-flange steel hoops and large-lever throw-off.
So you’ve never considered a cymbal pack before and generally like to purchase cymbals one at a time based on what your needs are at the moment? That’s totally understandable. But could there be some great advantages to buying a handful of cymbals at one time? Like anything that can be purchased in bulk, you’ll often get a better deal.
The last time we checked out Natal, we talked about their vision to offer a range of high-level drumsets. Each kit comes with the same high-quality components, but it was the species of wood that differentiated each model. The company recently expanded on that concept and is now offering entry-level kits, called the Arcadia series. The purpose of this lineup is to provide worthy contenders in the $600 to $800 price range, in both rock- and jazz-size configurations, the latter of which we were sent for review. Let’s take a look.
A few thousand extra hammer strokes later, and the line that launched the brand is better than ever. Check out our video demo of the Sabian HH Remastered Cymbals.
Spawning from one of the metallurgy capitals of the world, these precision-built drums are built to blast. Check out our video demos of the VK Drums – 6×14 Titanium, 7×13 Stainless Stell, and 8×14 Aluminum Snare Drums.