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  #1  
Old 12-18-2011, 07:24 PM
Pratt Pratt is offline
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Default 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

Hello,

Had a few questions about 3ply and 6ply shells, specifically Ludwig early to mid 70's. There are many on this board more experienced than me and would appreciate any feedback.

Is there is a major difference in quality between 3ply vs 6ply shells? I know that the 3plys have re-rings and the 6plys don't. 3plys thicker since there are less "layers"? As opposed to the 6plys which are probably thinner, thus needing more layers to make a shell?
I've noticed that the 3plys are usually more in demand and sell for more. Why were the 6lpys not made with re-rings? Is one louder than the other?

I have a bunch of Ludwig drums in both plys and was just wondering the whole history of 3 and 6 ply shells. I want to start putting a kit or two together, but before I did just wanted to ask.

Thanks very much for any info.
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2011, 09:30 AM
Pounder Pounder is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

3 ply shells are thinner. The plies may be thicker, but the shells are thinner. That is why re-rings are needed. They aren't as consistent in the roundness and bearing edge department either. The 3 ply drums have a warmer sound and I love the sound of them. There have been instances of 70s 3 ply shells getting damaged from their being thin, I've seen repairs of spurs that created a cracked shell.

6 ply shells are more modern, they are a more durable shell. They have a more focused powerful sound. The 6 ply bass drums actually have a great kick sound to them. They are usually more consistent, the manufacturing process was probably more automated on them.
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:50 AM
Mike T Mike T is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

I have a 6 ply set and I had a new 3 ply in 1965 I would take the 6 ply's any day, louder, deeper and very very tunable and very resonant I use coated emperors on top and ambassadors on bottom and Felt strips on both batter and reso bass drum.. other than my rogers sets these 6 ply's are the best sounding drums i have ever had... your mileage may very ....
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:22 PM
Pratt Pratt is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

Thank you guys...very interesting.

Like I said, I have both, want to try them out side by side and make a comparison that way.

Just wanted the opinion of you more experienced folks on here.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:29 PM
RogerSling RogerSling is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

My only complaint with the 6 ply layup was the vent hole didn't seem to let out enough air. The drums played very hard and didn't give under the stick. It was for this reason that I parted with that kit. Great sounds, though. Fact is, I've also parted with my 3 ply kits, too. So, you really can't read into my comments.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2011, 10:37 PM
kellyj kellyj is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

3-ply hands down.... Way more resonant, musical, you name it. A six-ply shell simply produces a sound cannon for rock music.

-kellyj
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:00 AM
thisbright14 thisbright14 is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

The edges are sharper on the 6 ply shells as well which takes some of the low end/warmness/roundness away. More focused resonance from that edge, but the shell is way thicker so it is punchier overall. At least thats the way it seems to me. Killer loud rock drums.

I LOVE the Slingerland 5 ply shells. You should check those out sometime! Have yet to own a 6 ply Ludwig kit, but one might be on the horizon.

Adam
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:31 AM
kellyj kellyj is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

Quote:
Originally Posted by thisbright14 View Post
The edges are sharper on the 6 ply shells as well which takes some of the low end/warmness/roundness away. More focused resonance from that edge, but the shell is way thicker so it is punchier overall. At least thats the way it seems to me. Killer loud rock drums.

I LOVE the Slingerland 5 ply shells. You should check those out sometime! Have yet to own a 6 ply Ludwig kit, but one might be on the horizon.

Adam

I owned a 6 ply Ludwig and it weighed a ton! Not easy to transport. Way to loud for dance gigs or smaller venues.
6 ply is an easier, less expensive manufacturing technique which saves a step in the process of manufacture... re-rings. The only drums now with re-rings are the "high-end" offerings from Ludwig and a few others. Even Gretsch, with its "great" sound used 6 ply Jasper shells with a very thin thickness. Most here agree that thin shells with re-rings produce the vintage sound they're after in the music they produce. 6 ply and thicker shells like acrylic were introduced in the 70's for aggressive rock. Classic rock definitely is vintage music requiring vintage 6 ply Ludwigs. Yep, its suit the drum to the genre.
-kellyj

Last edited by kellyj; 12-21-2011 at 09:40 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:55 AM
drums2xs drums2xs is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

I have the 3 ply and the 6 ply. To me there is no winner on the two, it's all about a matter of taste and the volume of sound that you will need for the aplication of the style of music that you will be playing. On the softer side of music i go with the 3 ply and the 6 ply for agressive rock. for the studio 12 ply beech brother. The head's you chose for your drum's will make a big difference in the sound of any of your drums.
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2011, 05:04 PM
Pratt Pratt is offline
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Default Re: 3-Ply vs 6-Ply

Thanks to everyone for their comments, great to hear what everyone has to say.
I'm very surprised that Bonham played a 3ply kit since everyone seems to be saying that the 6ply shells = power, loudness. He liked that huge full sound - you would think he would have gone the 6ply route...
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