Another wood to dwell on is the mahogany. Considered for a long time as the only wood (or almost) with which to build the batteries, with the advent of new woods it has been relegated to cheaper buildings.
However, the sound qualities remain very interesting and this is demonstrated by the great success of some series such as Pearl’s Export, which still uses it in some productions. To get an idea, try hearing an MHX or Reference, also from the Pearl.
Like other woods, mahogany is very different depending on the “type” and origin. Filipino mahogany ( luan ) today is widely used in the cheaper series, while the African one is considered of great value and therefore used in the construction of many instruments, not just batteries.
Very hard and therefore difficult to work, it has unique sound characteristics, with a very high power thanks to the exaltation of the bass. So be very careful when talking about Mahogany and find out what type it is.
We can no longer speak of other woods such as oak (Oak). It is not common to find batteries with this wood, given the difficult processing.
We speak of course of Japanese Oak and not of the common oak.
Yamaha has bet on this wood for some series, even if lately the production turns out to be a bit discontinuous, probably due to the scarce popularity it is getting.
The sound is still very interesting, very clear and powerful with very pronounced bass. Given the particularity, it is not easy to find batteries made of Japanese Oak and in case you find them, they often have a fairly important price.
“The battery as a whole is important, not just the type of wood”
Another wood that is now easy to find is beech (Beech). You can consider it as an alternative to maple or birch. It is a very dense wood and the batteries are often very heavy.
Speaking of sound, it covers the gap between maple and birch (to which it is most similar), with less bass than birch and higher than maple. It is a common wood, easy to process, which makes it cheaper than oak.
It is a great alternative if you are looking for something different from the “great classics”.
Finally, a quote deserves another wood: Bubinga. Lately, it is spreading a lot. Personally I got to play a Tama Star classic made with this African wood, but it’s not the only one to use it.
These batteries have a darker sound with a lot of sustain and a powerful attack. It does not appear to be among the cheapest but it is certainly worth giving it a chance and trying it. It could be the sound for you if you are looking for something different from the usual woods.
The current productions, however, are made with many types of wood and in addition to the already mentioned you could easily bump into linden, oak (similar to maple but with a little more bass), poplar, padouk, iroko (usually used for the percussion, today someone makes us snare drums), walnut, cherry and olive (also this especially for snare drums).
“Not only wood, but also Plexiglas and metal”