FAQ

Do you have any dealers or distributors?

Sorry, no. Whitney Drums are handmade here in my California shop. We sell only direct to the customer. In order to keep prices as low as possible, we’ve cut out all possible costs, such as dealer or endorsement discounts and advertising.

Do you sell and ship outside of the US?

Yes, we can ship virtually anywhere.

What drum sizes can nest?

The laws of “nesting physics” state that you must have a minimum 3″ difference in diameter. And the combined depths of two nested drums (i.e. snare and low tom) must be a minimum 2″ less than the drum they are nested into, and 1′.5″ less for a single nested drum.

How are the drum shells constructed?

From one end to the other there are basically five parts glued together,

  1. 6-ply birch bearing edge ring the diameter of the head size and 1″-2″ in depth (depending on the type of drum).
  2. 9-ply birch collar (like a Saturn ring) 1/2″ thick with outer diameter approx. 2″ larger than head size (2.5” on bass drums). T-nuts on the inside receive the tension rods (no lugs).
  3. 3-ply birch “Maxi-shell” 1/8 thick (the “fat in the middle” part).
  4. Resonant side collar (on nesting drums there is a second collar here that is not glued to the other but held in place by 4 thumb screws, no change to tuning occurs when removed to pack other drums inside.
  5. Resonant side bearing edge ring.

What are the advantages of your drum shell design?

  1. Greater airspace inside the shell means that a shallower drum will play “effectively deeper” than the same depth/diameter in a conventional shell.
  2. Through most of it’s depth, the drum shell is 1/8” (3 mm) thick. Thinner than any other all-wood drum shell. This emphasizes the lower frequencies in the drum’s overtone structure.
  3. Combining our thin shells with their absence of lugs, Whitney drums are lighter in weight than any other brand.

So the drum shells are thin and lightweight, but are they durable?

The shells are thin in areas where there is no inherent stress from head tension and mounting. The 1/2”, 9-ply collars receive these stresses. One does need to be careful not to allow heavy or sharp objects, such as a sousaphone mouthpiece travelling at high velocity, to impact the shells.

Are your drums really durable for frequent gigging?

In 17 years, no drum has ever come apart from frequent use or even misuse. I have repaired or replaced only a few drum shells that have been damaged by baggage handlers or shippers but none have been rendered unusable. Most drummers know from experience to only let other people handle your drums if they are well protected.

What are the snare drum types available with the nesting kits?

With 18” and larger bass, all of the below are available. The nesting 16 requires #3.
  1. 14-8 “shamrock” shape. Warm, open sound
  2. 14-10 with “cutaways” for strainer and butt. Slightly brighter.
  3. 13-8 “shamrock” shape. Brighter still.
  4. 14-10 “conventional” shell (9-ply, 9 mm thick all birch) with black tube lugs. Much brighter, more focused sound.
 

Regarding the thumbscrews that hold the removable collar: What keeps them from vibrating loose or falling out when packing the drums?

The thumbscrews are captive and can only be removed with purposeful effort. You can’t over-tighten them with just your fingers, a rubber pressure washer keeps them from vibrating loose, and they thread into embedded steel t-nuts.

What type of tension rods do you use?

The tension rods are 5 mm (M5) as used by DW/PDP. They are widely available from stores that sell drum gear. In a pinch, you can substitute a M5 or even 10-32 machine screw of the appropriate length. The “standard” tension rod as used on most drums is a virtually obsolete 12-24 size. As a machine screw, you will find this size only at specialty hardware outlets.

What do you recommend for transporting the hardware?

Our nesting kits do not include a hardware bag but I have some recommendations: The Protection Racket 5036 is a good hardware bag. For more money several companies, including Ahead, make rolling bags. Or you can get a generic rolling duffel at Ross or other discount stores. My favorite is a large tennis bag which features multiple compartments. These can be found on eBay, Amazon or sometimes at a thrift store.

Does any of the hardware need extra protection when being packed?

The quickstand is made of birch plywood and painted black. I recommend wrapping it in an old towel or suchlike to protect it from being scratched by the metal parts, unless you use a tennis bag which will have a compartment for just the quickstand.

What type of heads are fitted?

Your kit comes with Aquarian heads: The toms and snare have single-ply coated on top, clear on bottom. The bass has uncoated “Force” (similar to Remo powerstroke) on front and back. This combination provides a lively sound and, I think, a good all-around setup. When it’s time to replace the heads, all brands of heads can be fitted. If you prefer a more “bassy”, focused sound, you can try two-ply heads. And/or on the bass, something with more muffling such as Aquarian superkick.

Can you describe the “Penguin sound”?

I can try, but describing sound reminds me of what Elvis Costello said about music critics: “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”.  Anyway… The penguin style drums, pretty much across the board, emphasize the fundamental frequency produced by the head. Many people describe the sound as “warm”. In the case of our 16″, 18″, and 20″ bass drums, this trait, combined with the drum being raised off of the floor so that the beater can hit center-head, make the bass sound, to most people, like a larger drum. And with it’s own unique sound.  That said, a 16″ or 18″ bass head will not move as much air as a 22″ head and so you may find it to be not as “loud” as another brand’s 22″.

How can I mic the bass?

Your bass front head (Aquarian “Force”) will come with a porting ring that you can install yourself. A port will subtract some bottom end and add some attack. If you want to place a mic inside the bass, you don’t have to port the head. You’ll find a groove for a mic cable where the shell comes apart. We have found that placing just a common vocal mic inside yields a sound suitable for most situations.

How do I place an order?

I will personally process all orders. Contact me by email and we will start a conversation that will, 1) Work out the details and, 2) Provide you with a quote/invoice. Most domestic orders are paid by old-fashioned “check-in-the-mail”. Due to the fees associated, I do not accept credit cards.  JT Whitney