New Cleland carbon snare drum debuts at Toronto Indoor

Published: April 30, 2009
(Page 1 of 1)
A new carbon-fibre snare drum that promises a “louder, richer sound” and is 20 per cent lighter than other pipe band snare drums on the market made its public debut at the Toronto Indoor Games on April 4th when the Grade 3 400 Squadron mini-band competed with the new instruments manufactured by Cleland Instruments of Beeton, Ontario.
 
The new drum is actually designed by the Pipe-Major of the band, Terry Cleland, whose career as an inventor with Magna International led to the carbon-fibre concept.
 
The high-tech drums will come at a price, with a suggested retail of $2,995 each – “approximately the cost of a reasonable set of bagpipes,” according to Cleland.
 
The drums biggest value in addition to sound quality is durability, with the strength of the carbon-fibre construction preventing the drum from breaking down over time. Carbon-fibre, he says, is “the strongest, stiffest material per unit weight, with the highest sonic response characteristics.”
 
Because of the instruments responsiveness, Cleland suggests that the player can concentrate better on music, undistracted by a heavy instrument. Increased musical dynamics are promised because of the drum’s louder volume, so softer playing will be rewarded.
 
“The cost drivers are the materials and the technology,’ Cleland said. ‘It won’t be the drum for everyone; it is a professional musical instrument that is a worthwhile long-term investment for the serious player. The drums are manufactured in Canada at our facility just north of Toronto with all proprietary components sourced within North America.’
 
Cleland added that he has been able to identify carbon-fibre suppliers and craftsmen because of his work with Magna International. Each shell is molded with a monocoque process.
 
Another differentiator with the new drums are the snare mechanisms. The custom designed upper-snare supports slide on bearing material over the mechanism support tube, promising more accurate tensioning, promoting contact of all snare strands and reducing rattle. The lower snare mechanism acts in a similar fashion inside the drum. Other drums’ lower-snares are typically external, with a bed carved to accommodate the mechanism.

Cleland said, “
Over time our product line will encompass both tenor and bass drums. We have prototypes of both that we are currently testing. Our initial focus has been on the snare drum  as it represents the highest level of technical content with the high specific tension loads and the addition of the snare mechanism. We also know that the lessons learned in the manufacturing of the snare shell would be directly applicable to the other sizes of drum shells. We may have bass and tenors available as early as the middle of this summer.”
 
He said that he is currently in discussion with potential authorized dealers, and that some drums are on loan to gain feedback, which, Cleland said, has been “exceptionally positive.” The drums will be sold only through dealers.
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  1. Doc

    Other then the price, the big question here as noted before, is the sound. Andrew, will you be able to get a review/critique of this new product? Many of the lead tips of Grade 1 bands have personal services” contracts with the manufacturers that supply drums to their bands. I would worry that that kind of limits the field of available quality “evaluators”. cheers

  2. Doc

    Words are funny things. The original comment said the new drum had a loud and rich” sound. If you change that to “full and rich”

  3. Bagpipermann

    Yes. Perception even more so. To me, being of Scottish birth, the major concern isn’t the volume of the drum, it is the price tag. I believe in value and will pay IF there is a perceived or true benefit to do so. Take golf clubs as an example. Would you pay $200.00 or $2,000.00 for a set of irons? Is the $2,000.00 set 10x better than the $200.00 set/ 5x? 2x? the same? There is only one way to know. Compare them yourself with a live demo. I recently put my money where my mouth was and spent an hour or so choosing between a set of irons priced at $200.00, regularly on for $300. and another set priced at $250.00, regularly $790.00. I bought the $200.00 set NOT BECAUSE they were less expensive, BUT because I was hitting more consistently with the cheaper” set. The reason that it took an hour to decide was that I had to give the more expensive set a chance. I couldn’t believe that $300.00 beat $790.00 every series of alternating 3 ball volleys. Before making a judgement

  4. Doc

    BPMann, good insights, I don’t call what I do golf. I can use about 3o clubs, and it often doesn’t much matter which ones I chose to bring along! I spent an unacceptable amount of $$$ on my pipes, many years ago. In the hands of you, Bill or Andrew it would make a difference. In my hands, it’s pure vanity. But my wife accepts that and is cool with it. There is an interesting program on cable in America called Tank Overhaul”. It follows guys who exhume WW2 tanks and rebuild them to full working order. Certainly not an average man’s hobby. Anyway

  5. Doc

    Other then the price, the big question here as noted before, is the sound. Andrew, will you be able to get a review/critique of this new product? Many of the lead tips of Grade 1 bands have personal services” contracts with the manufacturers that supply drums to their bands. I would worry that that kind of limits the field of available quality “evaluators”. cheers

  6. Doc

    Words are funny things. The original comment said the new drum had a loud and rich” sound. If you change that to “full and rich”

  7. Bagpipermann

    Yes. Perception even more so. To me, being of Scottish birth, the major concern isn’t the volume of the drum, it is the price tag. I believe in value and will pay IF there is a perceived or true benefit to do so. Take golf clubs as an example. Would you pay $200.00 or $2,000.00 for a set of irons? Is the $2,000.00 set 10x better than the $200.00 set/ 5x? 2x? the same? There is only one way to know. Compare them yourself with a live demo. I recently put my money where my mouth was and spent an hour or so choosing between a set of irons priced at $200.00, regularly on for $300. and another set priced at $250.00, regularly $790.00. I bought the $200.00 set NOT BECAUSE they were less expensive, BUT because I was hitting more consistently with the cheaper” set. The reason that it took an hour to decide was that I had to give the more expensive set a chance. I couldn’t believe that $300.00 beat $790.00 every series of alternating 3 ball volleys. Before making a judgement

  8. Doc

    BPMann, good insights, I don’t call what I do golf. I can use about 3o clubs, and it often doesn’t much matter which ones I chose to bring along! I spent an unacceptable amount of $$$ on my pipes, many years ago. In the hands of you, Bill or Andrew it would make a difference. In my hands, it’s pure vanity. But my wife accepts that and is cool with it. There is an interesting program on cable in America called Tank Overhaul”. It follows guys who exhume WW2 tanks and rebuild them to full working order. Certainly not an average man’s hobby. Anyway

  9. JamieDE

    Wow, it always amazes me to read about the people we have in our community of pipers and drummers, astronaughts, carbon wizards, musical genius’s…..awesome.

  10. scott

    Bravo to the innovation but the price is absurd. ‘Half the cost of bagpipes’ tells me this business doesn’t understand its target audience.

  11. scott

    Botched the quote – not half of, but equal to a decent set of bagpipes. Still not a valid frame of reference. The better question is why is this 6x better than Pearl, Andante, Premier, etc. — your actual competitors.

  12. Lugnuts

    Aye. But isn’t that what they said when plastic drone reeds and syntehtic pipebags started to come out? People will never pay three times as much for them they said. If the quality is there it is like cost is not even an issue for alot of people. Thing is these drums won’t be bought by drummers they will be bought by bands and bands don’t have that kind of coin.

  13. Doc

    We’ll see if they’ve priced themselves out of their target market. If they have, they’ll go bankrupt…..oh, they’re to big to fail, so their managers will get $$$M bonuses and and the company will be bailed out with Obamabucks! Looks like the rest of us are just thinking way to small! Cheers, Doc

  14. Robbie

    The price does not seem unreasonable for a quality instrument. I am not currently in a band but I could never understand why I supply my own pipes and then work at a bake sale to pay for instruments for the other half of the band.

  15. Bagpipermann

    $3K. Hmm, with 12 drummers drumming that’s $36K + taxes. This Band game is getting awfully expensive. Perhaps drummers should have to put a deposit = value of their band drum when they join a band, which would be cheerfully refunded if/when they left. Otherwise they would be the proud owner of the drum in question. That would help defer the cost to the band and put all musicians in the band on an even financial footing (more or less). Oh, who am I kidding? As if anyone would actually do that…….

  16. Lugnuts

    Should all pipers have to buy their band chanter and reeds? No. When a band buys a matched set of anything they belong to the band so when the guy leaves the next guy starts playing the drum or chanter from the set. Get real.

  17. Bagpipermann

    I thought about that. Reeds = Drumsticks & Heads + replacement snares = chanters over a 2-3 year period. Hows that for real?

  18. PMT

    Published: April 07, 2009 Author: JimMcGillivray (report inappropriate content) Neat. A louder drum. I was hoping someone would come up with one of those. ” We are on the same page Jim! “

  19. DrewDuthart

    Strange to see so many comments about the drum but really strange to see that not one person actually talked or commented about the sound of the instrument”. “

  20. JamieDE

    I have yet to hear it, and don’t feel an audio recording would be the best way to judge it. As far as cost and pipers paying for pipes and bands paying for drums (I’m a piper) it’s really a mute point. If you want your band to be competitive then you upgrade your equipment. Every few years we upgrade chanters at a cost of $200-$300 times what 15-40 qty. more if you have three bands. We upgrade our drums every 3-4 years because you can’t just go and buy a better head for your old HTS 500 and get new sound. They cost about $800 now and multiply that buy 8-12, and you have similar cost. So lets drop that battle and get back to that bake sale.

  21. JamieDE

    I hope it sounds so amazing that they get interest enough to lower the price. I think you won’t get much review on sound if no one can afford to hear it. And if the only person that can afford to play it is the retired 70 yr old drummer from OshKosh Elks lodge, then will we get much of a review? (All apologies to Elks lodge members 70 yrs older and up.)

  22. Bagpipermann

    Interesting point about quantity of new drums vs new chanters and the costing. With current tecnology ithe costing does more or less come out even. The problem here is that the new drum in question is 4 times the price of the current offer (roughly). That being the case, to bhe successfully marketed and sold, it had better last 4 times as long or be quite an amazing sounding Worlds Winner” instrument. Especially in this economy.”

  23. Hunter

    Re: comment from Jim McGillivray … and pipers wouldn’t dare try to get more volume from their bagpipes.

  24. JimMcGillivray

    Re: comment from Hunter … of course we want more volume from our bagpipes: pipes are not the accompaniment.

  25. Hunter

    A good balanced accompanyment was not mentioned in your original post. Your comment was aloof and as sarcastic as usual.

  26. JamieDE

    Soooo, I just sat through a work shop with pipes being played at A 440, and then it started a conversation about why we are not trying to having this more instrument, and ear friendly pitch (which conciquently was a little quieter) on the field. I suppose we can now blame the new loud drum for that.(jk) Would this drum maybe not be suitable for top players for there solos? as higher level pipers typically shell out some good coin for their own chanter, and in the start thier pipes to get great individual sound. Why not sit back and allow this to become the new Mc2 or something, before we start trying to refinance the band hall for new drums.

  27. JimMcGillivray

    Not only will I sign my name to everything, I’ll take ownership for bad sarcasm when I cross the line. Hunter, whoever you are: I apologize for my ‘accompaniment’ comment. It was uncalled for and disrespectful. I’d best stick to the piping threads. jm

  28. Hunter

    Jim Sorry to say I didn’t enjoy the humour in your original post – neither did a piper who works next to me. I guess I’m sensitive about these kind of comments. I absolutely agree that having the loudest drum sound is not be all and end all. Hopefully we won’t clash again – but you never know. Michael Hunter.

  29. Bagpipermann

    Oh, you boys! Play nice now. There is one other consideration about all of this loudness talk. With the present volume in db coming off of snares and pipes, we are already permanently damaging our hearing (unless of course earplugs are worn). Do we really want to play even louder? Also, it is important to maintain a balanced sound between pipe chanters, drones, and snares. I was a proponent of loud chanters until one day I stood back and listened to the overall sound of the band I was playing in and wondered what had happened to the drones (faintly droning on…). Similarly, it isn’t much fun listening to 12 drummers pounding throughout. Perhaps a little more finesse would be in order.

  30. GrahamB

    I’ve had a chance to play one of these drums, and as far as volume statement goes I think it needs to be explained a little more. I wouldn’t say the drums are neccesarily louder overall from what I heard, but it seemed like they didn’t really have any dead spots where the volume dipped (as you moved around someone playing it, and heard it fro different spots). I think this could be beneficial to a corps. I would put the straight up volume at comparible with a Premier, which I think is louder than a Pearl or Andante. Fear not pipers. It is not going to drown you out. But a corps of 6 on these drums could potentially have the same volume as 8 or 9 on Pearl or Andante. That’s my early feeling. I’m going to play the drum some more to get a better feel for it. Graham Brown

  31. JamieGreen

    I think Graham’s hit the nail on the head. For corps not blessed with a drum corps of 8+ (e.g. most corps outside of grades 1 & 2!) the increased volume could be very useful. Unless of course they also have a smaller pipe corps, in which case, you’re back to square one. However, this drum, and every other drum, has volume control – it’s called the drummer. Just cos it ‘can’ be loud, doesn’t mean it ‘has’ to be loud.

  32. duncanmillar

    I’m pretty sure that volume is more related to the dimensions and pitch than the shell material, at least in any discernible way during an outdoor performance. Pearl offers carbon fiber shells and we would already use them if they were better, I imagine. This man invented the predecessor to the HTS200 and sparked a major change in the whole pipe band game, so instead of criticizing his hard work we should encourage experimentation and give him some decent feedback. Just a thought. Duncan Millar

  33. Doc

    That was supposed to be 3 clubs! Andrew, how about an edit function? My typos are terrible. Cheers, Kent Argubright

  34. Kel

    I just think it is positive that people with technical expertise are transfering it into our relatively small pipe band market. Unfortunately the cost of this experimentation is seen in the price of Terry’s drum. Now if he could break into the DCI market that could be a profitable venture. Either way I wish Terry luck and encourage people to give it a try. Kelly

  35. Bagpipermann

    I’m sure that we can all agree that Panther tank is definitely much more expensive and without a doubt much, much louder than the new drum…….

  36. JamieDE

    Thank god for Grahams comment other wise we may have provided some of the most useless feed back ever. With that being said, has anyone thought of using the very thin lightweight side of a panther tank for bass drum shells?

  37. Bagpipermann

    Maybe consider using firing the main 75mm cannon for the strong bass pulses? Could use the MG34 for open snare sticking and an MG42 for closed rolls?

  38. Doc

    I must admit this comment string has gotten far out of hand and I am the responsible party. But, closed rolls at 1200-1500 beats per minute (~20-25beats/sec) ala an MG 42 would be any drummers dream! With that I will close and attempt to get my thoughts under control. Cheers, Kent Argubright

  39. Bagpipermann

    You’re not alone….but it is fun….anyway, next step should be an evaluation of the new drum by an accredited expert or experts giving us all the low down on how it shapes up.

  40. JamieDE

    Wow, it always amazes me to read about the people we have in our community of pipers and drummers, astronaughts, carbon wizards, musical genius’s…..awesome.

  41. scott

    Bravo to the innovation but the price is absurd. ‘Half the cost of bagpipes’ tells me this business doesn’t understand its target audience.

  42. scott

    Botched the quote – not half of, but equal to a decent set of bagpipes. Still not a valid frame of reference. The better question is why is this 6x better than Pearl, Andante, Premier, etc. — your actual competitors.

  43. Lugnuts

    Aye. But isn’t that what they said when plastic drone reeds and syntehtic pipebags started to come out? People will never pay three times as much for them they said. If the quality is there it is like cost is not even an issue for alot of people. Thing is these drums won’t be bought by drummers they will be bought by bands and bands don’t have that kind of coin.

  44. Doc

    We’ll see if they’ve priced themselves out of their target market. If they have, they’ll go bankrupt…..oh, they’re to big to fail, so their managers will get $$$M bonuses and and the company will be bailed out with Obamabucks! Looks like the rest of us are just thinking way to small! Cheers, Doc

  45. Robbie

    The price does not seem unreasonable for a quality instrument. I am not currently in a band but I could never understand why I supply my own pipes and then work at a bake sale to pay for instruments for the other half of the band.

  46. Bagpipermann

    $3K. Hmm, with 12 drummers drumming that’s $36K + taxes. This Band game is getting awfully expensive. Perhaps drummers should have to put a deposit = value of their band drum when they join a band, which would be cheerfully refunded if/when they left. Otherwise they would be the proud owner of the drum in question. That would help defer the cost to the band and put all musicians in the band on an even financial footing (more or less). Oh, who am I kidding? As if anyone would actually do that…….

  47. Lugnuts

    Should all pipers have to buy their band chanter and reeds? No. When a band buys a matched set of anything they belong to the band so when the guy leaves the next guy starts playing the drum or chanter from the set. Get real.

  48. Bagpipermann

    I thought about that. Reeds = Drumsticks & Heads + replacement snares = chanters over a 2-3 year period. Hows that for real?

  49. PMT

    Published: April 07, 2009 Author: JimMcGillivray (report inappropriate content) Neat. A louder drum. I was hoping someone would come up with one of those. ” We are on the same page Jim! “

  50. DrewDuthart

    Strange to see so many comments about the drum but really strange to see that not one person actually talked or commented about the sound of the instrument”. “

  51. JamieDE

    I have yet to hear it, and don’t feel an audio recording would be the best way to judge it. As far as cost and pipers paying for pipes and bands paying for drums (I’m a piper) it’s really a mute point. If you want your band to be competitive then you upgrade your equipment. Every few years we upgrade chanters at a cost of $200-$300 times what 15-40 qty. more if you have three bands. We upgrade our drums every 3-4 years because you can’t just go and buy a better head for your old HTS 500 and get new sound. They cost about $800 now and multiply that buy 8-12, and you have similar cost. So lets drop that battle and get back to that bake sale.

  52. JamieDE

    I hope it sounds so amazing that they get interest enough to lower the price. I think you won’t get much review on sound if no one can afford to hear it. And if the only person that can afford to play it is the retired 70 yr old drummer from OshKosh Elks lodge, then will we get much of a review? (All apologies to Elks lodge members 70 yrs older and up.)

  53. Bagpipermann

    Interesting point about quantity of new drums vs new chanters and the costing. With current tecnology ithe costing does more or less come out even. The problem here is that the new drum in question is 4 times the price of the current offer (roughly). That being the case, to bhe successfully marketed and sold, it had better last 4 times as long or be quite an amazing sounding Worlds Winner” instrument. Especially in this economy.”

  54. Hunter

    Re: comment from Jim McGillivray … and pipers wouldn’t dare try to get more volume from their bagpipes.

  55. JimMcGillivray

    Re: comment from Hunter … of course we want more volume from our bagpipes: pipes are not the accompaniment.

  56. Hunter

    A good balanced accompanyment was not mentioned in your original post. Your comment was aloof and as sarcastic as usual.

  57. JamieDE

    Soooo, I just sat through a work shop with pipes being played at A 440, and then it started a conversation about why we are not trying to having this more instrument, and ear friendly pitch (which conciquently was a little quieter) on the field. I suppose we can now blame the new loud drum for that.(jk) Would this drum maybe not be suitable for top players for there solos? as higher level pipers typically shell out some good coin for their own chanter, and in the start thier pipes to get great individual sound. Why not sit back and allow this to become the new Mc2 or something, before we start trying to refinance the band hall for new drums.

  58. JimMcGillivray

    Not only will I sign my name to everything, I’ll take ownership for bad sarcasm when I cross the line. Hunter, whoever you are: I apologize for my ‘accompaniment’ comment. It was uncalled for and disrespectful. I’d best stick to the piping threads. jm

  59. Hunter

    Jim Sorry to say I didn’t enjoy the humour in your original post – neither did a piper who works next to me. I guess I’m sensitive about these kind of comments. I absolutely agree that having the loudest drum sound is not be all and end all. Hopefully we won’t clash again – but you never know. Michael Hunter.

  60. Bagpipermann

    Oh, you boys! Play nice now. There is one other consideration about all of this loudness talk. With the present volume in db coming off of snares and pipes, we are already permanently damaging our hearing (unless of course earplugs are worn). Do we really want to play even louder? Also, it is important to maintain a balanced sound between pipe chanters, drones, and snares. I was a proponent of loud chanters until one day I stood back and listened to the overall sound of the band I was playing in and wondered what had happened to the drones (faintly droning on…). Similarly, it isn’t much fun listening to 12 drummers pounding throughout. Perhaps a little more finesse would be in order.

  61. GrahamB

    I’ve had a chance to play one of these drums, and as far as volume statement goes I think it needs to be explained a little more. I wouldn’t say the drums are neccesarily louder overall from what I heard, but it seemed like they didn’t really have any dead spots where the volume dipped (as you moved around someone playing it, and heard it fro different spots). I think this could be beneficial to a corps. I would put the straight up volume at comparible with a Premier, which I think is louder than a Pearl or Andante. Fear not pipers. It is not going to drown you out. But a corps of 6 on these drums could potentially have the same volume as 8 or 9 on Pearl or Andante. That’s my early feeling. I’m going to play the drum some more to get a better feel for it. Graham Brown

  62. JamieGreen

    I think Graham’s hit the nail on the head. For corps not blessed with a drum corps of 8+ (e.g. most corps outside of grades 1 & 2!) the increased volume could be very useful. Unless of course they also have a smaller pipe corps, in which case, you’re back to square one. However, this drum, and every other drum, has volume control – it’s called the drummer. Just cos it ‘can’ be loud, doesn’t mean it ‘has’ to be loud.

  63. duncanmillar

    I’m pretty sure that volume is more related to the dimensions and pitch than the shell material, at least in any discernible way during an outdoor performance. Pearl offers carbon fiber shells and we would already use them if they were better, I imagine. This man invented the predecessor to the HTS200 and sparked a major change in the whole pipe band game, so instead of criticizing his hard work we should encourage experimentation and give him some decent feedback. Just a thought. Duncan Millar

  64. Doc

    That was supposed to be 3 clubs! Andrew, how about an edit function? My typos are terrible. Cheers, Kent Argubright

  65. Kel

    I just think it is positive that people with technical expertise are transfering it into our relatively small pipe band market. Unfortunately the cost of this experimentation is seen in the price of Terry’s drum. Now if he could break into the DCI market that could be a profitable venture. Either way I wish Terry luck and encourage people to give it a try. Kelly

  66. Bagpipermann

    I’m sure that we can all agree that Panther tank is definitely much more expensive and without a doubt much, much louder than the new drum…….

  67. JamieDE

    Thank god for Grahams comment other wise we may have provided some of the most useless feed back ever. With that being said, has anyone thought of using the very thin lightweight side of a panther tank for bass drum shells?

  68. Bagpipermann

    Maybe consider using firing the main 75mm cannon for the strong bass pulses? Could use the MG34 for open snare sticking and an MG42 for closed rolls?

  69. Doc

    I must admit this comment string has gotten far out of hand and I am the responsible party. But, closed rolls at 1200-1500 beats per minute (~20-25beats/sec) ala an MG 42 would be any drummers dream! With that I will close and attempt to get my thoughts under control. Cheers, Kent Argubright

  70. Bagpipermann

    You’re not alone….but it is fun….anyway, next step should be an evaluation of the new drum by an accredited expert or experts giving us all the low down on how it shapes up.

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