C&C Maple Gum Drumset
by Nate Bauman
Classic Jasper-style 6-ply shells with a contemporary twist.
I sat down behind a C&C kit for the first time about three years ago. It was a beautiful luan mahogany Player Date setup, and it was one of the warmest and best-sounding drumkits I’ve ever played. If I were blindfolded, I would have sworn that the floor tom was a 16″ rather than a 14″. After going to the company’s website, I was equally impressed by its artist roster, which included drummers from the bands Death From Above 1979, Mumford & Sons, Grizzly Bear, Of Montreal, Cold War Kids, Valient Thorr, the National, Flaming Lips, Coheed and Cambria, Interpol, Local Natives, Arcade Fire, and many others.
This past spring C&C released its Maple Gum kit, which previously had only been available as a custom order for select artists and retailers. Company founder and master builder Bill Cardwell, who described the Maple Gum kit’s sound to MD as “maple-poplar-maple on steroids,” said that the inspiration for its shell design was the highly coveted 6-ply shells made in the 1960s by Jasper. There is a major difference between C&C’s shell and Jasper’s, however: on the C&C Maple Gum, the interior ply runs horizontally, while the older Jasper shell’s inner ply runs vertically. According to C&C, the horizontal ply makes the shell stronger and adds brightness. The result is a consistently warm yet bright tone from each drum of the kit.
The bearing edges used on the Maple Gum shells contribute to the kit’s warm yet articulate tones. The toms come standard with proprietary Full Contact edges top and bottom, which are said to provide warm, round tones with lots of body, control, and a subdued attack. The snare has a Full Contact edge on the batter side and a Bread and Butter edge on the resonant side, which uses a back cut on the outer two plies and an inside cut starting on the fifth ply, and the bass drum has Bread and Butter edges on both sides.
Maple Gum kick drums come in 18″, 20″, 22″, and 24″ diameters and 12″ and 14″ depths. They feature C&C’s single-ended deco lugs, deco claws, and either vintage-style or modern spurs. The snares come in a 14″ diameter and 5.5″, 6.5″, and 8″ depths and feature single-ended deco lugs, stick-saver hoops, and a Deluxe Classic throw-off. Rack tom sizes are 8×12, 9×13, and 10×14, and floor toms are available in 14×14, 16×16, and 16×18 sizes.
With inspiration from a classic shell, C&C has created something timeless with the new Maple Gum kit. It’s simple, consistent, durable, and downright tasty. And the finishes, which include Bright Tangerine, Sole Yellow, Sky Blue, Menta Green, Dark Olive, Eggshell White, and Dark Chocolate, are inspired by the colors used on Fiat coupes in the 1950s, which contribute to the Maple Gum being a true gentleman’s kit. And although it sounds and looks like a million bucks, it’s reasonably priced between $2,700 and $2,900 for a three-piece setup (minus snare).