Drummer Matt Flacche, based in Marlton, New Jersey, custom-ordered and built this month’s monster setup, a 2017 Tama Starclassic Bubinga kit in satin natural cordia finish. With previous appearances in the September 2003, July 2007, and January 2009 issues, this marks the fourth time one of Flacche’s sets has been featured as MD’s Kit of the Month. The drummer feels that this particular outfit is his finest creation to date.
The set is composed of fifteen drums: a 6.5×14 snare, three rack toms, three floor toms, four concert toms, a 20″ gong drum, a 13″ timbale, and two 20″ bass drums. An array of Zildjian crashes, rides, and hi-hats, as well as various Sabian effects cymbals such as splashes, a China, and three Max Stax cymbal stacks, round out the kit.
Flacche explains that he still maintains a big sound with two smaller bass drums. “The 17×20 bass drums sound like cannons with Evans EMAD batters and ported resonant heads—there’s no additional muffling needed,” he says. “The rack toms are shallower depths, but they have plenty of punch and resonance as well.”
All of Matt’s previous kits included either 6″ concert toms or Octobans. This time he decided to incorporate four 8″ concert toms instead. “The concert toms are slightly more melodic, louder, and easier to strike, and they have a wider tuning range,” the drummer explains. Tama also made a custom 13×13 floor tom with legs for the kit. “The three floor toms sound so nice together,” Flacche says.
Flacche trimmed the tubes of a Tama Power Tower rack to clean up the assembly. “I was apprehensive about cutting stainless-steel tubing,” he says. “But with a quality hacksaw and bench grinder, cuts were easily made and cleaned.” While positioning each cymbal, the drummer created custom stainless-steel wings on the rack that allow him to avoid oddly positioned boom arms. Tama also removed the legs from an Iron Cobra hi-hat stand so Flacche could fit the stand next to his left kick pedal.
Flacche added a removable tuning station outside his rack as well. “To achieve rich tone, it’s important to tune rack toms while they’re mounted,” he says. “No matter what drum brand or mounting system, rack toms take on stress when positioned. Any tuning done while the drum is on a table or floor will change once the drum is mounted.”
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