Drum Workshop Pure Oak Drum Kit
DW is venturing into new territory. Aside from the recent Timeless Timber Romanian Oak kit, this is the first time DW has produced anything in oak. And, after spending a little time with this kit, its obvious they’ve done a good job with it.
The review kit was a six-piece set – four toms, kick and snare - with nickel plated hardware.
The important stuff:
Sizes – 10x8 & 12x9” mounted toms, 14x12 & 16x14” floor toms (on legs), 14x6.5” snare drum, 22x18” bass drum
Plies – mounted toms, 7 ply; floor toms, 8 ply; snare, 11 ply; kick, 8 ply
Finish – hard satin
Bearing edges – 45’
AA Smooth White double ply batter heads feature on all of the drums except for the snare, which had a coated head on it. All of the bottom heads were clears, with the bass drum front head being a black logo head with small air holes but no main porting.
I don’t know if it was just the way the drum was tuned when it came out the box or what, but I wanted to buy this drum for myself. I did talk myself out of it though. It sounded lovely - lots of body and a really nice tone as well.
The drum had DW’s Magsafe throwoff, adjustable 3P butt plate and 20-strand TrueTone snare wires. The butt plate, if you’ve not come across it before, allows you to choose where you have the snare wires in relation to the bottom head, i.e. tight, medium or lose, therefore giving you an instant change in the drum’s sonic character. It’s really quite cool and gives definite practical options.
The 10 and 12” drums were mounted on a floor stand and the 14 and 16” were on legs. The smaller toms feature Suspension Tom Mounts (STM), and all four had True Hoops and True-Pitch 50 tension rods (something all of the drums overall have) which allow for really fine tuning.
This came with a full front head (with six small venting holes equally spaced around the head) and fairly heavy internal muffling, which I have to honestly say isn’t my kind of set up. It did give a punchy sound but that’s just not my thing. That’s not a reflection of the drums though. I have no doubt that without so much padding, it would be deep and full of deep character. Despite being 8 ply and 22x18, this drum was actually really light in weight; lighter than my acrylic 22x16 bass drum, and that surprised me.
The hardware on and with DW drums is solid and very much built to last. Compared to the stuff I gig with (which admittedly was intentionally low end and lightweight), it’s both chunky and heavy, although that’s not particularly a bad thing. Unless you’re a touring pro doing hundreds of gigs a year, then this stuff will probably never need replacing.
The toms and snare have DW’s triple flanged True Hoops on them and I have to admit to having liked these before I played this kit. I think they give a solidity to a drum in terms of how they feel when you play it.
I love the visual appeal of oak. It’s a very expressive wood because the grain is very clear and defined. You don’t need to cover it to make the drums look pretty. In this instance, this is possibly one of the most stunning natural finish kits I’ve both come across or played. I’m sure of that.
The drums themselves are beautifully made and the oak is visually stunning. The only thing I would change if these drums were mine would be to put some coated heads on them as I just prefer that sound. That would have made them almost perfect to me. I do understand why these are shipped with the smooth white heads though.
Sound-wise, I would describe the snare as strong and versatile, the kick as punchy and the toms, thick and creamy but with definition and attack. All of the drums were easy to tune.
The floor toms, or more precisely, the 16” was one of the best floor toms I have ever struck.
All of the toms sounded one size bigger than they actually were, however, the 16 sounded so big and fat, it sounded like an 18 and I loved that. It’s the kind of drum you just want to hit for no reason, just to keep hearing it. It was the stand-out drum of the kit for me.
I’m not a sound engineer, but I hope I managed to capture enough of the full sonic picture and low end this kit has in the video. Due to the way the bass drum was set up and time constraints when filming, I didn’t have a good chance play around with the setup and I did struggle to get a good mixture of attack and body. If you notice the blanket over the bass drum, that was simply to get a bit more isolation due to there being no front hole.
These are fabulous drums in pretty much every way, however, rather sadly for most of us, this includes the price too. But, boy, are they pretty. The whole experience of unboxing the drums, and it was an experience, was very cool, right down to finding the DW cleaning cloth in a little separate box.
If you want some more background on how this kit design came to be, or you just want to be overly nerdy, check out – here
Otherwise, check out dwdrums for all the options available with this kit.
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