Noble & Cooley is a custom drum shop. They make the CD (Custom Design) Maple drums to your order, not to fulfill any particular marketing niche or price point. These are pro-level drums and so we use nothing but the finest in materials and workmanship.
Noble & Cooley CD Maple drums have an understated visual and sonic elegance. The foundation of this series is a maple ply shell without reinforcing rings. Unlike most companies, the CD Maple line uses a proportion ply recipe meaning that the smaller drums have thinner shells producing a more resonant drum while the larger drums get a slightly thicker shell. The bass drums being the largest shells have a shell thickness that is roughly 1/4". Warm and nuanced responses can be achieved from the center all the way to the edges. Whether you are playing with sticks, multi-rods, or brushes, these drums counter with breathiness, sensitivity, and articulation. The low-mass solid lugs add focus and balance to the sound by providing a slight compression on the shell and minimizing some overtones. The small footprint of these lugs allows the drum to breathe while adding the solid foundation for the rigors of modern tuning. The CD Maples are versatile enough for use with multiple genres of music and are at home in the studio or in a live playing situation.
Here then is an overview of some of these features and their effect on drum tonality.
PATENTED SUSPENSION SYSTEM: The unique under lug suspension system we offer has a significant impact on the overall sound of our drums. The system creates a "virtual axle" between the two outside mounting lugs. All contact between the mounting hardware and any resonant component of the drum shell or rim is eliminated. This increases both sustain and decay of the drum. The weight of the drum is completely isolated from the tuning rim and head. In addition to the sonic advantages of our suspension method, head changing is greatly simplified and actually convenient. Because the mounting rim is attached to the underside of the lug rather than the tension rod side, drum heads can be changed without complete disassembly of the entire system (very useful if a head needs to be changed on stage or in the studio.)
PLY CONFIGURATION: Unlike most ply shell constructed drums, Noble & Cooley uses different ply configurations for different diameter shells. The vibrational tendencies of a 16" shell are certainly different than those of an 8" shell. In order to maintain a consistent contour of tonal characteristics throughout the wide range of shell diameters we offer, it became obvious that one single ply configuration was not adequate. Extensive research and much trial and error proved the following ply combination to best create the sound we were looking for:
8" - 13" Toms are 5 mm thick
14" - 18" Toms are 6 mm thick
All Bass Drums are 7 mm thick
SYMMETRICAL VENTING: When a drum is hit, the air inside that drum must be able to escape in order to allow the head to resonate. Most drums have a single vent hole placed somewhere on the shell. More often than not, the placement of that hole has more to do with manufacturing convenience than with any tonal considerations. Not so with Noble & Cooley. We researched the impact of venting. We found that multiple venting holes, placed correctly, made a difference not only in the sound of the drum, but also in the feel. Symmetrical venting lends the drum a more consistent rebound at various locations on the head. We also place the vent holes in line with any other holes that need to be drilled in the shell (lug mounting, e.g.). This reduces the inhibiting effect that drilling has on shell vibration. In a nod to aesthetics (and looking good always counts!), we designed our lugs in such a way that allows the vent holes to be completely out of sight.
LUG LOCKING: Noble & Cooley has found a simple, transparent solution to the common and bothersome problem of drum detuning. The lugs are fitted with delrin inserts that create a cold form around the inherent thread imperfections of any given tension rod. This effectively locks the tension rod in place virtually eliminating the usual drum detuning that stick impact creates.
These are a few of the design features of the CD Maples. Of equal significance is the custom nature of the kits themselves. As an artist, you can realize your own voice by specifying the particular drum sizes you want, by choosing our die cast hoops on some drums, flanged on others. It is completely up to you, the player . Your drum kit will ultimately be as unique as your playing style. And that is the point, after all else is said and done!