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collector's series drums
SSC stands for Specialized Shell Configuration. It's the culmination of more than a decade of DW Custom Shop shell technology and represents the state-of-the-art in sonic customization. So what is SSC? Put simply, it's DW's recommended shell configuration that utilizes X, VLT and VLX shell technologies. Of course, you can custom order a custom DW kit anyway you want it, but we've simplified the process by optimizing a particular type of shell for each drum size. Ask for an SSC Collector's Series kit and one will be factory configured especially for you.
Click here to watch Neil Peart and John Good investigate this exciting new science!

NOW PLAYING! John Good takes you through the evolution of DW's shell-making history, showing you our current offerings and culminating with our newest offering, the Maple/Mahogany shell.
------ Click to Jump to Shell Type ------

STANDARD ALL-MAPLE & ALL-BIRCH | MAPLE/MAHOGANY | ALL-CHERRY

BUILT-IN-BOTTOM | HVLT | VLT | X-SHELLS | VLX

ALL-MAPLE & ALL-BIRCH (horizontal grain)


For years, drum makers have preferred maple and birch for their resonant tonal qualities. Maple is a traditional shell material that provides low-end punch, warmth, and attack.  Available with or without 3-ply reinforcement hoops in a variety of grain configurations, DW custom shop maple shells are more versatile and customizable than ever before. Toms 8-13" are 6-ply, while 14" and bigger are 7-ply. Bass drums are 7-ply and snare drums are 10-ply (with 6-ply reinforcement hoops).  

DW Custom Shop standard birch shells come without reinforcement hoops and provide a bright, high-end fundamental that many drummers prefer. All birch shells are 8-ply except for 8" toms which are 7-ply.  Standard shells come standard with a short grain inner ply to provide added-low end.  All available SSC shell options can also be custom ordered.

Find out more about about Specialized Shell Construction (SSC) here dwdrums.com/ssc



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MAPLE/MAHOGANY


Our newest shell offering is designed to give drummers the best of both worlds, the warmth of vintage drums and the resonance and projection of our state-of-the-art Custom Shop Collector's Series™.  The shells feature North American Hard Rock Maple and African Mahogany construction, combined with VLT (Vertical Low Timbre) shell technology.   The result is a very musical shell that is excellent for just about any genre of music and perfectly suited for studio and live applications.  Offered in all Custom Shop shell sizes.

8" toms use an 8-ply construction, while 10"-18" toms add one more vertical ply of maple to make the 9-ply construction seen on dwdrums.com/ssc
Bass Drums use a 10-ply construction and Snare drums are 12-ply, both adding extra plys of maple. For those interested in color stains and lacquers, we swap the outer 2 plys, putting maple on the outside as it is a much better canvas for transparent color than mahogany.

Watch the complete 10-video Maple Mahogany playlist on YouTube here: http://dwdr.ms/dwmmvids

You can also hear 3 different M&M kits on this video tour of our Showroom YouTube.com/watch?v=UDKUhakxn0A




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ALL-CHERRY


Sonically versatile and visually stunning, we bring you Collector's Series® pure Cherry shells.
This wood is hand-selected by John Good and was previously only reserved for exotic face material. When used to craft these 8-ply shells with HVLT (Vertical Low Timbre™ with a horizontal outer ply), the wood offers a punchy, warm tonality with plenty of resonance and high-end bite. Great for a woodsy snare drum with ample crack, but also as impressive for a round, full bass drum sound. Did we mention the toms? Collector's Cherry is extremely versatile both in its tuning range and musical application. Destined to become an artist and fan favorite, it can be custom ordered in any Custom Shop size or finish.

Find out more about about Specialized Shell Construction (SSC) here dwdrums.com/ssc




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BUILT-IN-BOTTOM™


Built in Bottom™ was our first foray in to grain orientation technology and is still an excellent choice for those that prefer the original Collector’s Series® all-maple shell sound.  For enhanced low end on 14” -18” toms, it adds a rounder fatter tone, while maintaining ample high-end attack and projection.  BIB consists of 7 plies of alternating long and short grain veneers, with vertical inner plies to reduce some of the tension on the shell.  It also comes standard with a 3-ply maple reinforcement hoops.

So, what's the difference between VLT and Built-In Bottom? In a nutshell, the optional VLT feature utilizes vertical plies on the inside and outside of the shell, while Built-In Bottom only has vertical plies inside the shell. It provides a more low-end response. While optional on all Collector's Series drums, Built-In Bottom comes standard on Collector's Series bass drums and tom-toms 14" and greater to add the desired low end for these size shells(14"-24").



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HVLT™ (Horizontal Outside + Vertical Low Timbre Inside)


One of our newest grain orientation technologies, HVLT™ (Horizontal/Vertical Low Timber) is similar to our popular VLT™ (Vertical Low Timbre) shell configuration in that most of the plies within the shell are vertical.  This creates less tension on the shell to provide an overall lower note. The difference with HVLT™ is that the outer poly is horizontal. With more tension on the shell, it offers slightly more low-midrange frequencies.  HVLT™ comes standard on Collector’s Series® Cherry and Design Series™ drums.  

Vertical Low Timbre/Diagonal grain shells are the lowest grain orientation available from the DW Custom Shop. As a result, they are suggested for bass drums and larger floor toms. Of the 8 plies that make up a VLX shell, 6 are diagonal or X and 2 are vertical or short grain. When ordering a factory SSC configuration, all bass drums, 16" & 18" floor toms will be made as VLX. 

Find out more about about Specialized Shell Construction (SSC) here dwdrums.com/ssc




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VLT™ (Vertical Low Timbre)


In experimenting with different exotic woods as alternate shell making materials, DW's Custom Shell Shop discovered that in addition to the different tonal qualities inherent in every unique type of wood, slight alterations in the shell's construction can also greatly influence sound. Some of the woods sampled possessed a vertical grain pattern that when tested, dramatically lowered the pitch of the shell. Thus, VLT (Vertical Low Timbre) was born. For those players who prefer a lower overall tone while still maintaining maximum resonance and attack, VLT can be ordered as an option on all Collector's Series Maple Drums.

VLT consists of arranging the grain pattern of the plies in the shell so the outermost and innermost plies run vertically, and not the traditional horizontal. The vertical grain places less tension on the shell, allowing it to vibrate more freely, resulting in the lowered fundamental pitch.

Find out more about about Specialized Shell Construction (SSC) here dwdrums.com/ssc




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X-SHELLS™


Making drums sound better, at DW it's what we do best. So what exactly is X Shell technology and how does it work? It all started with our foray into VLT™, or Vertical Low Timbre Technology. We found that in experimenting with alternate ways to cross-laminate a shell, the tension on the shell could be greatly decreased if the majority of plies were run vertically, rather than horizontally. Just like a guitar string, the tighter it gets, the higher in pitch it goes.

Shells must be cross-laminated for strength, so the idea of designing a completely vertical shell to achieve optimal low frequencies was never an option. Until now. Enter X Shells. The concept was derived from our popular line of VGE (Vertical Grain Exotics). Sure, we had been laminating veneer in a diagonal orientation for a while, but had never considered the sonic benefits until Master Drum Designer John Good proposed it, "If we can mimic the effect of a complete VLT shell, we'll have created the lowest sounding drum ever." The first prototype was made and the result was a home run. Exactly what Mr. Good had anticipated, big, full sounding drums with a huge fundamental, and all of the warmth, resonance and attack that Collector's Series drums are known for. X Shells are crafted from hand-selected North American Hard Rock Maple in an 8-ply configuration with a 3-ply finger-jointed reinforcement hoop. The shells can be custom ordered in any Collector's Series size, finish, drum hardware color or factory option. It's a giant leap forward in shell technology and everyone wins!

The only way to fully appreciate the massive sound of these drums is to visit your local authorized DW Drums dealer and experience them for yourself.

Find out more about about Specialized Shell Construction (SSC) here dwdrums.com/ssc




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VLX


Vertical Low Timbre/Diagonal grain shells are the lowest grain orientation available from the DW Custom Shop.  As a result, they are suggested for bass drums and larger floor toms.  Of the 8 plies that make up a VLX shell, 6 are diagonal or X and 2 are vertical or short grain.  When ordering a factory SSC configuration, all bass drums, 16" & 18" floor toms will be made as VLX.

Find out more about about Specialized Shell Construction (SSC) here dwdrums.com/ssc




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Choose Wood Type
and Grain Orientation

+sizes

Collector's Series Size Chart

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and Graphics...

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Suspension Mounts & More...

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