[SOLVED!] Maple Vs. Birch Drums: How To Choose

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At the moment, drums incorporate a wide range of materials and different materials have different characteristics. Considering their diverse tastes, it’s only natural for drummists to be at odds while comparing materials and maple vs. birch drums is not an exception. If you appreciate the values of both woods and cannot determine the ideal material for your drums, my article may be of use to you. Down below is everything that you must know about maple and birch in addition to their use in drums.

Read to the end to learn what the woods have in store and make up your mind accordingly.

Insights Into The Woods

In case you don’t know, maple and birch see extensive use in the creation of drum shells. The reason behind the popularity of the woods is their capability to harmonize drum sounds. That being said, quite a few differences exist between the woods:

Sound

Overall, drums made from maple have warm sounds, work best when tuned low-to-medium and tend to blend into mixes if not tuned tightly. In addition to enhanced lower frequencies, maple drums also boast an even distribution of middle and high frequencies as well. As a result, maple drums excel in producing balanced tones that come in handy for nearly every situation.

Meanwhile, birch gives drums a bright tone and brings out great mid as well as high frequencies. The result is a sharp, bright and punchy sound which guarantees to cut through mixes far more easily than other woods. Moreover, in most of the cases, birch drums sound best when tuned medium to tight. Altogether, the crisp tone and tip-top high-ends of birch drums prove well-suited for recording studios.

EQ Balance

As mentioned above, maple drums sound a lot warmer than birch ones which possess sharper and brighter tones. For your information, maple drums contain a lot more bass whereas birch drums massively favor treble frequencies. Furthermore, compared to birch, maple wood offers generous sustain at the cost of less attack. Consequently, maple drums have a reputation for being well-rounded while birch ones gain renown for their aggressive tones.

Price And Availability

To put it plainly, maple and birch drums reach the market at premium prices since neither of the woods can be acquired cheaply. On average, a drum made from birch wood costs less than its maple counterpart but you shouldn’t expect a significant difference in pricing. Of course, don’t forget that the wood isn’t the only factor in the price of a drum. All sorts of things contribute to how expensive a drum can be: the number of plies, the hardware quality, where the drum set was built and so on.

In terms of availability, drums made from birch generally prove more accessible than those made from maple. On the market, the number of options for birch drums is superior to that of maple drums. Noteworthily, it’s not uncommon to come across birch drums made for beginners that cost less than maple ones. Still, it’s important to point out that some of the most expensive drums out there such as the Yamaha Recording Custom Studio make use of birch.

Styles

Both woods can be put to good use in all styles of music. While some styles indeed favor one type of wood over the other, the difference is trifle and only seasoned professionals will be able to notice it.

  • Rock is one of the most popular choices for drummers and both woods work equally well. Owing to their characteristics, maple is good at complimenting warm songs while birch is superior for fast tracks that feature tight drum parts.
  • Jazz is another popular option when it comes to drumming. Here is where maple holds an edge since birch may sound overly aggressive.
  • Metal is by all accounts where birch drums shine. Their punchy tones and ability to cut through the mix effectively and efficiently support the style.

Summary

Maple Drums Birch Drums
Type Dense hardwood Dense hardwood
Sound Warmer, balanced tones Brighter, enhanced mids and highs
EQ Favors bass frequencies Favors treble frequencies
Price More expensive Less expensive
Availability Rare Common
Style Suits Rock and Jazz Suits Rock and Metal

 

Decision

The unique pros and cons of the woods mean there is no clear winner in maple vs. birch drums.

Maple and birch perform admirably in drums which is why both have attracted a great number of fans worldwide. Although maple does have a slight advantage thanks to its versatility, birch can come out on top depending on playstyle, build, etc. All in all, if you desire a high-end drum set and dabble in multiple playstyles, you should go for maple. On the other hand, if you specialize in faster playstyles, a birch drum set is the way to go.