Dial It In Series Chapter 4: Tops & Bottoms

Whoops! The kit is finished or refinished if you want to get technical. Looking at it, Tim can easily spot his mistakes but to the natural eye, it looks great at almost any angle. The secret ingredient turned out to be the coconut oil which revitalized the wood shell. Tim chose the coconut oil over a varnish or lacquer to avoid running into a complicated application method. The coconut oil was and can be applied to a completely assembled shell using a lint free cloth. As a bonus, it also smells great.

4pc Drum Kit Shells Only

22" Bass Drum


16" Floor Tom


12" Rack Tom


10" Rack Tom


As mentioned before, Tim went with 3ply Prism Mesh on the kick drum on both sides for ridiculous muting action. The loudest part of the kick drum may now be the pedal. When the rack and floor toms were finished, Tim quickly unboxed the tom arms from Sound Percussion and mounted the floor tom with the new legs from Gibraltar courtesy of some fast shipping via Casico Interstate Music. It was a good deal. One tom leg was going for essentially the price of three so Tim posted his two extra legs for sale.


The real trouble arose when it came to selecting a resonant drum head. Known as a reso head, this under side drum head controls sustain and tone. Per this modern drummer article, thinner reso heads have a shorter sustain and a brighter tone whereas thicker heads extend the sustain and have a deeper tone. In theory, this should allow a plethora of options for drummers as each looks for that perfect tone.


We went over to YouTube for help and comparison testing scrutinizing Evans, Remo, and Aquarian offerings. After hours of listening, we came to an abrupt conclusion. We looked back at what we set out to do which was to turn a cheap drum set into a great sounding kit and improve the look. We walked out on a Pearl $400+ kit to keep costs down. The minor upgrade to reso heads would have shot the final cost of ownership past the $150.00 mark which is inexpensive but then again, this set is for practice. Instead, he decided to pop the reso heads that came with the set back on and tune them. Tightening reso heads increases the pitch of the entire drum. Experiment with this when you have a chance. 


Prism donated the Reflective Response 3ply mesh drum heads for the tops. Tim went for durability over the slightly better tonal characteristics of the Prism 2ply heads. 


To review, the set was purchased for $60.00 at a local pawn shop. A snare was later purchased that needed a couple of lugs for $16.00. More on that later. Refinishing materials probably cost around $30.00 total. The tom arms and legs added an additional $40.00. Tim lost $26 or so dollars on a FedEx shipping error when he sold the kit's drum throne and is hoping to recoup some of that cost if the tom legs sell. This set did not come with cymbals or stands.


Next Reworking the Snare + Full Set Photo Shoot