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 Drum Builders
 BIG changes to BIG Kit
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Captain Bubble
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
19675 Posts

Posted - 23/02/2017 :  20:10:51  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I gradually built my BIG Spacer kit between about 1992-4 until it had two 14" snares, two 24" x 14 BDs, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18" toms. Primarily I wanted to see how the basic design sounded in a range of sizes. I loved the big sound, then once satisfied that they were fun I gradually added six boobams, a Roto Tom, one of my 8" Castrato snares, pedal carousels, then forests of cowbells, crashers, clappers, cymbals and woodblocks.

Life, work, the Universe and Everything gradually led to it being increasingly dusty, neglected and forgotten. Once I have achieved something I tend to move quickly on to the next idea.

Now down in Hastings I have the possibility of getting some paid gigs, and thought it was time to re-visit my old Spacer open frame drums.

I have ended up with a rug with all drum and stand positions marked, a clip in mini-riser for when I use the 18" tom as a BD for smaller gigs, then this quickly removes when I want to use the 24" BD.

I fitted an Evans Calftone head then Puresound Equalizer 16 strand snares to the snare (great advice and service from Footes!), Remo Ambassador batter to the 18" tom/BD and then started tuning the drums and getting all positions figured out and tested.

At first the snare did not sound how I expected or exactly what I wanted, but even though a plastic head cannot really imitate the rich, warm and resonant sound of a really good vellum head it soon started appealing to me and I reckon it is now going to be just fine for the gigs I am expecting to get...slightly more rocky than what I have been up to recently.

My very first kit was a 4 piece, but I always wanted more, and BIG Kit was my ultimate expression of a really major drum and percussion set-up.

Both versions of my new set-up (big and small BD) are pretty much back to basics, BD, SD, two toms, 1 ride, 1 crash, 1 splash and hihats.

BUT...I am adding 2 Clappers, and a Cowbell with a Turbo Crasher mounted above it.

Once I am fully satisfied with it I will probably sell off lots of stuff and BIG Kit will be no more after its over 30 years life. However, I most definitely will not be selling my Busker kits, or my beloved Modular Kit, which will still be kept available for suitable gigs.

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus

Sharklaar
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2776 Posts

Posted - 24/02/2017 :  08:15:05  Show Profile  Visit Sharklaar's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sounds cool Captain, got any pics?

http://www.blackhawkdown.org.uk

NEW VIDEO - MUST WATCH NOW! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnT34aJ5hwE
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moosetication
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United Kingdom
12709 Posts

Posted - 24/02/2017 :  10:30:26  Show Profile  Visit moosetication's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Photos, or it's all fake news. FAKE NEWS.

"It's just a rest, no need to complicate it with monkeys." - sunshinehead
SITMS #31/582 (B'ham) #31/798 (M'cr) | The Blue Road | Bewarethisboy
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Captain Bubble
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
19675 Posts

Posted - 24/02/2017 :  12:23:35  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I plan to do a video or two some time, but can no longer upload photos to Photobucket! The Upload button just starts an endless sequence of ads which open up and extra window, and if you close it Photobucket closes too.
Really enjoying the basic set-up and have found an extra bonus....although I only have two toms, with the extra space around them I actually have four toms. I always tune reso heads higher, so I can now reach in and play the bottom head too, two toms in one!

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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Captain Bubble
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
19675 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2017 :  16:15:31  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Fake news no more, Work-In-Progress photo of the 24" BD set-up, + Large Clapper on hihat stand, Small one to be added, Cowbell and Turbo Crasher on BD; set up in our Home Pub: I have made all the locating blocks for stand feet but not yet glued and screwed them, want to do some testing first. Friend due any minute for a jam.

http://i.imgur.com/PfxTsbi.jpg

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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rollingthunder
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2492 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2017 :  07:43:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That looks fantastic. It looks like you just finished building it.
If that's thirty years old you must have been ahead of the game with the shallow toms. We're the big boys making shallow toms thirty years ago?
I've a lot of love for Perspex and it's only listening to recordings of my eighties smoky grey Meazzi perspex kit that makes me realise what a great sounding kit it was. Sadly it's long gone.
My personal preference in bass drum size was 20 inches, but that was a compromise between versatility of sound and portability, but the less pragmatic side of me preferred 24 inchers for pure sound.
Good luck with the paid work.
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Captain Bubble
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
19675 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2017 :  09:05:47  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Cheers! Actually, there's no perspex there, just an open frame; clear heads make most people assume they are clear! I figured that without a normal shell depth would be much less of an issue, and it works fine for SD and toms. However, that first BD was originally only about 6" deep and did not sound great so I made a new set of spacers to make it about 12" and at last night's jam it was sounding great, so much so that a simplified my playing and made each beat REALLY work!

We also tried it briefly with the 18" tom/BD and we both felt it sounded a bit thin for a BD in all but quiet jazz/acoustic music, so once I have a working workshop I will make a new set of spacers to take it to about 10" deep.

The Evans Calftone head and Puresound EQ 16 snares definitely do mellow down the SD - those Spacer SDs are seriously loud and cutting. For practice, mic'd and quieter work they are great and much more my kind of sound, but sadly I might have to go back to an Ambassador batter if any gigs are louder than we were last night

A bit more testing, a new crash cymbal and I'll be ready to go!

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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rollingthunder
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
2492 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2017 :  10:02:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My goodness they are open. I thought they were Perspex as I seem to remember you working with Perspex at one time. The clue is in the names, 'Spacer' and 'open frame.' Doh! I really must pay more attention.
That only makes them more intriguing. The concept must be unique, or has anyone else done it?
Now I want to hear them. I'm well and truly intrigued.
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Captain Bubble
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
19675 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2017 :  13:35:23  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yup, I make Perspex drums too. Before them Ludwig mad a Coliseum snare drum with a small slot, but I was already rolling angle iron to make counter-hoops for my Tour Timps. I thought of rolling one flange outwards, fitting a tuneable head, hoop and tension rods and basic snares to it to make a practice drum, then though why make it double-headed with a proper snare strainer, then use the threaded spacers to make it all into a complete snare drum, but with an open shell. The idea was that the sound might dissipate quickly and make it quieter and softer, a really nice, fully working practice snare. WRONG .... loud and very cutting!

I wish I still had access to the angle iron bending mill, I would straight away make a 20" BD.

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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Captain Bubble
Advanced Contributer

United Kingdom
19675 Posts

Posted - 07/03/2017 :  07:45:06  Show Profile  Visit Captain Bubble's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I decided to bring my old Premier EDP 300 pedals in from the garage before they got rusty. Like many people, I was very pleased with them when I bought them, but after a while found them hard work. The Elastomer "springs" became work toughened relatively quickly. I retired my ones, and went back to my beloved wobbly, rattling and primitive 250s pedals.

I made my own adaptions to use conventional springs on the EDPs, and other adaptions for the footboards then started using them a few days ago, and they really are excellent again!

Marcus de Mowbray
www.330studios.co.uk/marcus
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