Topic: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?  (Read 10967 times)

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BigBillInBoston

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So...Chris Whittens beautiful Noble & Cooley single-headed tom set that he is currently touring with got me thinking. Is the drum industry like most other consumer oriented industries... trying to find ways to push "style change" on consumers for the sake of selling more product?

I'm sensing this in the industry "revival" of single-headed toms. If they can get the momentum going we'll all "need" (or think we will) a set of these. It would be hard to believe that the drum industry is not like others who sell to consumers. E.g. clothing..."Ok, let's all do short skirts this year...go from "earth tones" to "pastels"...etc.

Anyone else see an industry pushed trend trying to form here?

Please note...I'm not saying it's a bad thing or unusual. I'm just saying I don't think this is necessarily boiling up directly from the drum consumer.

Plus...they really do look cool... and sound different... and I do need some new drum stuff.............   ;)

BigBill

KEW

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2006, 10:58 AM »
It seems to me most drummers follow what the most successful drummers do rather than what the marketing people at the drum companies advertise.  Four piece kits are still popular even though most big companies push five piece or larger.
My cynical side has been expecting triple/quadruple/quintuple braced hardware (like the five bladed razor).  :D

DRWM

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2006, 11:01 AM »
I see what you're saying BigBill.  I've been wondering about the resurgence of the acrylic shells recently.  

I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case here with the single headed toms.  Once OCDP comes out with a vented-acrylic-single-headed tom, that'll confirm your suspicions.  ;)

Offline KevinD

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2006, 11:16 AM »
Yes, I would say so. As much as we would like to think otherwise, it is still an industry with a bottom line to make. So marketing plays a large part in what they get out to the public. I could see them leaning toward, if not starting trends. I remember when I was a in high school, everyone had to have the square (in dimension, not shape) sized power toms, they were big for a few years, then the "retro" sizes became the trend. The monster sized kit (ala Neil Peart, Jon Panozo and many more) with a set of melodic and double headed toms was big too for a while.

Same with the colors, remember those hot neon colors and wild designs from the 90s? Then it kind of came back to the more traditional colors and finishes.

If the melodic tom things catches on again in the pro circles (maybe Gregg Bissonette will have a set soon?) I'm sure it will filter down to the general drumming public and we can always say we were there when it was reintroduced by Chrisso.
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DRWM

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2006, 11:29 AM »
That's true KevinD, we are at the cutting edge of the trend here.  ;)

Along the same lines, check out the feature on the new Yamaha Tour Custom,
http://www.drummercafe.com/content/view/92/9/

Yamaha says "Reintroducing 60-degree bearing edges gives these drums a truly unique sound."  Is Yamaha trying to bring back 60-degree edges on mid level kits?  Another conspiracy?

Offline James Walker

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2006, 11:34 AM »
So...Chris Whittens beautiful Noble & Cooley single-headed tom set that he is currently touring with got me thinking. Is the drum industry like most other consumer oriented industries... trying to find ways to push "style change" on consumers for the sake of selling more product?

I'm sensing this in the industry "revival" of single-headed toms.

I must be missing something here.  What "industry 'revival?'"  If I'm not mistaken, Chris went to N&C and ordered a kit with concert toms, and they provided what he asked for.  If there are companies currently marketing drum sets with single-headed toms, I haven't seen them.
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline Dave Heim

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2006, 11:38 AM »
Unlike horn players and most other musicians, drummers (and guitar players) tend to be gear junkies.  There's always some hot innovation we just have to have!

So, yeah - if someone says "Hey guys, the full open sound is so last year!  You need to be playing single-headed toms again.", it'll be bad news for case manufacturers since we'll be nesting our toms in a single case!

As for acrylics, I was glad to see them come back.  Ludwig did well by the Vistalite line, but stopped making them when the high and rising price of petroleum in the 70's affected products like plexiglass and bit into the bottom line.  The way things are going, I can see it happening again.

   
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Offline dizz

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2006, 11:48 AM »
I have to agree with you JW

Although I dont have a finger on the pulse of what is and is not hip in the industry, this post is the first I've heard of any kind of revival of single headed concert toms.

On the other hand,  todays sounds seem more double headed as far as I have experienced

PS Hey JW do you have any single headed snares?  ;D
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Offline Joe

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2006, 11:55 AM »
I must be missing something here.  What "industry 'revival?'"  If I'm not mistaken, Chris went to N&C and ordered a kit with concert toms, and they provided what he asked for.  If there are companies currently marketing drum sets with single-headed toms, I haven't seen them.

I think I saw Taye or someone on that order offering them.  Nothing widespread, certainly, and this was maybe a year ago I saw this.  If revival does happen, surely it will be propelled by the likes of Whitten (as well as those inspired by him here and any other forums he may frequent), and the manufacturers will try to get in.
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scottboundy

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2006, 11:57 AM »
Removing the bottom head means less hardware and heads = less drum = less cost

so folks would expect bottomless drums to cost less (right?)

I don't think the drum industry want to go there :)

And JW is right. CW's drums are an isolated situation

Offline chillman4130

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2006, 12:00 PM »
Yeah, would the head companies see their sales cut in half by this?

I for one will never play single headed toms, much in the same way I will never play "trendy" tom sizes unless I love the sound.
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BigBillInBoston

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2006, 12:06 PM »
I must be missing something here.  What "industry 'revival?'"  If I'm not mistaken, Chris went to N&C and ordered a kit with concert toms, and they provided what he asked for.  If there are companies currently marketing drum sets with single-headed toms, I haven't seen them.

Good point...my bad  :(. I re-read Chrisso thread about ordering his set. My incorrect assumption had been that (not with standing he would and should get what he wants) that possibly his choice was influenced by N&C. This does not appear to be the case.

Which leads us to the other version of this...influnetial drummer deecides to try something different, others see it/like it and want similar, manufacturers respond and, voila, we have a new trend.  :)

BigBill

Offline Dave Heim

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2006, 12:07 PM »
Removing the bottom head means less hardware and heads = less drum = less cost

so folks would expect bottomless drums to cost less (right?)

[quote from Airplane. . .]  No, that's just what they'll be expecting us to do!

Oh, I wouldn't count on that.  They'll need to re-tool the drilling machines and re-train the assembly folks and shoot new catalog photos.  That, of course, will bring the cost back.  Then, of course, there will be the issue of a finish ring - or not - on the bottom edge!  :)
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Offline Joe

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2006, 12:08 PM »
I for one will never play single headed toms, much in the same way I will never play "trendy" tom sizes unless I love the sound.

I don't know if you mant to equate "trendy" with concert toms, but I will suggest that concert toms per se aren't so trendy in that they are mainstays in orchestral percussion, no?  We're not necessarily talking Hal Blaine on the Three's Company theme*. ;)  Plus, you never know if the sound will serve a purpose—if nothing else, you could go the common route taken in the seventies and remove a bottom head off a conventional tom.

*though I LOVE that sound he got
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Offline 0007

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2006, 12:43 PM »
Sure, drum makers have to pay attention to their bottom line, but I don't smell a conspiracy here, either.  From a marketing perspective, it wouldn't be in any company's best interest to contrive mass interest in something if genuine interest just isn't there.  Too big a risk for the reward.

N&C may have been "fishing" for interest w/ Chris Whittens' kit...maybe...but it's nothing more than that.  At least for now, though...this thread sure has garnered a lot of attention to the subject...

But the drum market is a miniscule, specialized segment compared to that of other goods, like clothing or shaving blades.  It's very hard to convince an informed audience to change their tastes en mass -- even through effective advertising -- and spend thousands of dollars on a new shell pack.  Only a group of the most influential artists will be able to sway massive public opinion that way, and honestly, in today's rock drumming scene, that's a doubtful prospect.

(if anything, the real "conspiracy" may have occurred 20 years ago when manufacturers all ceased production of concert toms -- so we drummers gotta buy more heads, cases, etc...win/win for everyone involved in the industry.)
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Offline James Walker

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2006, 12:46 PM »
They'll need to re-tool the drilling machines and re-train the assembly folks and shoot new catalog photos.

New photos, perhaps, but as Joe hinted, many companies are already producing concert toms marketed to schools and orchestral percussionists.  It would just be a matter of incorporating them into drum set configurations (which would require the new catalog photos).

 http://www.steveweissmusic.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/405_433]http://www.steveweissmusic.com/catalog/index.php/cPath/405_433

Hey JW do you have any single headed snares?  ;D

No, but they do exist.  Premier used to offer a snare strainer that pushed the wires up against the batter head (part of a two-headed drum, IIRC, but don't quote me on that), and some "cocktail" drum sets incorporate snare drums that use a simpler version of the design.  I've seen some DIY projects, where drummers have taken an old tone control, affixed snare wires (spread out in a fan shape), and with a few turns of the erstwhile tone control's knob, voila - snare sound.  I haven't tried it, but I may give it a whirl one of these days, when I have some money to burn on an experimental project.
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Offline chillman4130

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2006, 12:50 PM »
I don't know if you mant to equate "trendy" with concert toms, but I will suggest that concert toms per se aren't so trendy in that they are mainstays in orchestral percussion, no?  We're not necessarily talking Hal Blaine on the Three's Company theme*. ;)  Plus, you never know if the sound will serve a purpose—if nothing else, you could go the common route taken in the seventies and remove a bottom head off a conventional tom.

*though I LOVE that sound he got

I meant trendy size-wise, like 25" deep kick drums or super shallow toms. I am a young drummer, but I still prefer standard jazz sizes on toms for almost every application.



Doesn't (one of my favorite pop artists of all time) Phil Collins still use concert toms in his setup?
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Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2006, 01:38 PM »
PS Hey JW do you have any single headed snares?  ;D

No, but they do exist.  Premier used to offer a snare strainer that pushed the wires up against the batter head (part of a two-headed drum, IIRC, but don't quote me on that), and some "cocktail" drum sets incorporate snare drums that use a simpler version of the design.  I've seen some DIY projects, where drummers have taken an old tone control, affixed snare wires (spread out in a fan shape), and with a few turns of the erstwhile tone control's knob, voila - snare sound.  I haven't tried it, but I may give it a whirl one of these days, when I have some money to burn on an experimental project.

I use a single-headed snare on my  http://www.keithcronin.com/drumkits/microkit.html]microkit !



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Offline Joe

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2006, 01:42 PM »
Doesn't (one of my favorite pop artists of all time) Phil Collins still use concert toms in his setup?

AFAIK, yes.  I read that he does so for the added volume.
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Offline Mister Acrolite

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Re: The "Revival" of Single-Headed Toms- Drum Industry "Conspiracy"?
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2006, 01:43 PM »
I for one will never play single headed toms, much in the same way I will never play "trendy" tom sizes unless I love the sound.


I submit that you're too young to decide what you'll "never" do on drums.

Good thing Jerry Marotta didn't have an "I'll never play without cymbals" mentality - he'd have never made that groundbreaking Peter Gabriel album. When he showed up for the gig, Peter informed him he'd like him to play without cymbals. Jerry went along with it, and the rest is history

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Hit on 2. Repeat on 4.
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