A deliberately more aggressive-sounding option from Japan’s premier boutique brand.


Canopus started in 1977 primarily as a custom shop specializing in remaking some of the most coveted American drums of the twentieth century. The company went on to develop innovative ideas that provide drummers with fresh sounds and more efficient hardware to better serve contemporary playing applications. The recently introduced Type-R series drumset and snares, which are designed to support more aggressive rock styles, represent Canopus’s boldest offerings yet. For review this month we were sent a five-piece Type-R drumkit with a matching snare, all in Corona Metallic finish.


Type-R drums are available in a limited range of sizes. Bass drums come in 17×22 and 14×24, rack toms are 8×10, 8×12, 9×13, and 10×14, and floor toms are offered as 13×14 or 15×16. We received a 12/13/16/22 shell pack.

All of the toms and bass drums are built with 8 mm hybrid 10-ply maple/birch shells. The small tube lugs used for this series are machined from solid brass and are plated in black nickel or chrome. (Our kit had black-nickel hardware.) The rack toms come with removable suspension mounts, and all toms are outfitted with standard 2.3 mm triple-flange hoops. The floor toms have traditional shell-mounted brackets and legs. The bass drums have sturdy telescoping spurs, drum-key-operated claws, and matching wood hoops.

Type-R snare drums are available in three models. The Bullet drums have 10-ply maple shells, in 5.5×14 or 6.5×14 sizes, with either triple-flange or die-cast hoops. The Type-R Magnum snare features a 6.5×14, 3 mm solid-brass shell with triple-flange or die-cast hoops. The Cannon model has a 6.5×14, 2 mm carbon-fiber shell with triple-flange or die-cast hoops. All of the snares are offered with chrome or black-nickel hardware plating on all parts, including the throw-off and tension rods. We received a Bullet snare in matching Corona Metallic finish and black-nickel hardware.

Exclusive to Type-R drums are Canopus’s 2-ply black-coated ASPR batter heads. The toms and snare are finished with single-ply clear bottoms, and the bass drum has a solid ASPR black-coated front.

These Type-R drums are designed for maximum projection and presence, and they achieve that—at any tension—without sacrificing Canopus’s trademark clean, focused, pure tone. They were easy to get in tune with themselves as well as in concert with one another, from the quicker, snappier attack of the 12″ tom down to the punchier thump of the 16″ floor tom and the chest-shaking boom of the 22″ bass drum.
The maple in the shells helps open up the resonance, while the birch introduces cleaner articulation and shorter sustain. As a result, no muffling was required on any of the toms, and only minimal internal dampening was needed in the kick to create a tight, focused punch.

The snare had a dense, thick tone that helped support the quick, chunky attack with a nice balance of focused low-end, even when tuned super tight. Overtones were minimal, so no dampening was required, which served to maximize the drum’s power and projection. My favorite tuning for the snare was high and tight, while the toms had the most usefulness for me when tuned lower, especially when I was going for a big, punchy Dave Grohl–type vibe. The bass drum had some serious wall-shaking low-end when tuned fairly high, but I found that it sounded best for most modern rock situations when both heads were tensioned just above the wrinkle point. That tuning had a shorter decay, the deepest pitch, and a bit of guttural growl that blended well with distorted guitars and overdriven bass.