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Step-by-step guide for drop-in A2E conversion. Snare and Toms.

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  • Step-by-step guide for drop-in A2E conversion. Snare and Toms.

    Hello all, my first post. I hope to contribute to the great knowledge base of this forum on DIY conversion with this step-by-step guide.

    Design is based on drop-in dual zone trigger collaboration by ChromeBoy/JmanWord.
    https://www.vdrums.com/forum/advance...meboy-jmanword


    Motivation for A2Ep24944h-3bd3248fbb9b9222423ce48523b69d42.jpg

    A2E conversion shopping list
    • Drum top mesh heads.
      Source: Billy Blast
      3-ply heads. For my taste, they provide better feel than Roland (Remo) two-ply. Rebound is very close to the real head. Less expensive than Roland's, and have no logo printed on them for a clean look.
    • Drum bottom mesh heads (Optional). Pearl Muffle Head mesh heads.
      Source: Amazon.
    • Used on the bottom of the drum to seat the hoop properly. Because those heads never get hit, they could be made from window screen using rims from resonant heads. However, resonant heads on my set were in great condition, and it would be a shame to destroy them. Plus, window screen costs some money too. I ended up buying Pearl mesh heads, they are very inexpensive and work great.
    • Rubber rim protector
      Source: Pintech.
    • A bit pricy, but they are purposely made for drum rims, and fit perfectly.
    • Hardware
      Source: Home Depot
    • Triggers
      Source: Quartz Percussions.
    • Quartz sells all pieces as a dual trigger package. I have placed special order for 27 mm triggers.

    What I already hadRoland TD-12 supports rim triggering on toms, and positional triggering on snare, the big reason why I'm doing dual triggers on toms. It also supports VH-12 hi-hat. Best bang for the buck at the moment.

    Step 0. Design01.png

    Let's begin.

    Step 1:
    Apply 3 foam segments around the pan. This would center the pan inside the shell and improve rim triggering sensitivity. I have not used the foam all around because doing so made seal to tight.

    03.jpg


    On my snare, drum lugs screws interfered with the pan, not allowing it to go all the way in.

    04.jpg

    Well, that was not unexpected. Mark the pan and notch holes using drill and file.

    Snare mount was on the way as well. I kept making the holes larger, until they have cleared all the screws. Cake pan is made of aluminum and easy to work with.
    Snare drum required most modifications, toms only needed few holes. No holes were needed in the floor tom's pan.

    08.jpg

    Step 2:09.jpg

    Step 3 (optional). Paint inside the pans black, masking the edges. This step is purely cosmetic, mesh head is a bit see-through, and I did not want to see inside the drum when playing.

    Step 4.10.jpg


    Step 5.11.jpg

    Connector fits nicely in the center of the badge.

    12.jpg

    Step 6.14.jpg

    Fish the cables through the mat and label the Rim cables. Labeling is optional, but trust me you would be glad you did. It saved me a lot of time troubleshooting connection on one of the toms.

    15.jpgStep 7. Assemble the head trigger platform as per design sketch. I have used two layers of firm foam (anti-fatigue foam mat, the kind that hooks together like a puzzle). On top of the plate, under the washer, I have softer foam circle, cut from exercise mat. Same softer foam is glued to the bottom side of the pan to dampen the ringing sound.

    18.jpg20.jpg


    Step 8. Install head piezo trigger and foam cone in the centre of the drum. Again, take your time locating exact center, it should line up with the center of the trigger platform. Adjust platform height using 3 screws at the bottom of the pan. Height adjustment with single nut design was quick and easy.

    I have used a measuring square to make sure all 3 sides of the platform are set at the same height.

    21.jpg

    Trigger height is adjusted to be 1.5 - 3 mm higher than the edges of the pan. Height really depends on the cone firmness, see troubleshooting note below.

    22.jpg


    Step 9. Install top mesh head, adjust to desired tension.

    Step 10.Step 11. Install bottom mesh head

    26.jpg

    Step 12. Install rubber rim protector. I lined-up the rubber with the rack mount, so the seam gets hidden by the rack bracket.

    27.jpg

    NOTE:Pintech ships rim protectors pre-cut to drum hoop size, but they keep them an inch or so longer to accommodate any variation of the hoop. Rubber it tough and hard to cut with a knife, but garden scissors did the job. When cutting to final size, do not stretch the rim protector, or the seam might show when rubber relaxes.



    Final step.End result

    31.jpg
    32.jpg

    Problems and solutions.

    Problem: Foam cone is too high. Quarz foam cones seems to be slightly firmer than Roland ones. Adjusted to be as high as Roland cones, there was a slight bump in the mesh head, and a triggering hot spot.

    Solution: Increase tension of the head, or lower the cone. Increased tension worked well on rack toms and snare. However, I did not want to increase tension of the floor tom to keep it
    closer to the tension and feel of acoustic drum head. I ended up lowering the trigger in the floor tom a bit, so it is 1.5 mm or so above the rim.

    Problem: Rim is triggered when hitting the head.

    Solution: Adjust rim trigger sensitivity and gain

    Other concerns:
    Longevity of the build. Firm foam might lose flexibility and spring-like quality, causing vibration in trigger platform. After two months of daily use, everything still works as on day 1. No issues so far.
    Noise. Set is little louder than Roland, especially 16" floor tom. I guess this is why Roland does not make 16" pads. Noise is still tolerable. Increasing head tension decreases the noise a bit but makes the head "springier". Find a balance between noise and head feel (rebound).


    Conclusions
    1. This conversion took a weekend. It was well worth it. Now I have great-looking and great sounding set. I love it and wish to have done conversion sooner.
    2. Positional sensing on snare works very well.
    3. Rim triggering works great. Cross stick work
    4. I have few Roland mesh head pads for sale. If you in Vancouver area, check the Craigslist
    5. Kick drum conversion deserves its own guide, to be posted soon.

    Cheers,

    Dmitry

    You do not have permission to view this gallery.
    This gallery has 1 photos.
    Roland TD-12, DIY drums (Tama Swingstar), CY-15R, 2x CY-14C, VH-12, CY-5

  • #2
    Very nice

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    • #3
      Awesome !! Really sweet kit.

      Comment


      • #4
        Years ago I played with the pan design and came up with this and then yet later abandon the pan altogether and went with hardboard. The noise level went down and everything triggered nicely not to mention the cost went down as well and overall weight. The rubber grommets isolate your head piezo and give the platform a certain amount of give.

        Nice job on your project it looks great.

        You do not have permission to view this gallery.
        This gallery has 1 photos.
        www.EDrumForum.com Going to be strictly a DIY e Drum Community

        http://www.vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=198

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        • #5
          Thanks.

          Yes, high noise level of the pan is a bit of concern, especially on 16" tom. I have considered the platform design, but went for for pans for consistency - all drums have similar build.

          If you are attaching hardboard to the existing lug screws, would the platform height be different on each drum?
          Are you having any issues with rim triggering when hitting the center of the head?


          .
          Roland TD-12, DIY drums (Tama Swingstar), CY-15R, 2x CY-14C, VH-12, CY-5

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Dmitryse View Post
            Thanks.

            Yes, high noise level of the pan is a bit of concern, especially on 16" tom. I have considered the platform design, but went for for pans for consistency - all drums have similar build.

            If you are attaching hardboard to the existing lug screws, would the platform height be different on each drum?
            Are you having any issues with rim triggering when hitting the center of the head?


            .
            Most of the Toms I convert have the first lug hole drilled at 1 1/2" from the bearing edge, my hardboard platform as well as the lexan platform are all adjustable. I agree with you the look of the pans are really nice, I just hated the tinny sound. I did made a change to my pans, I drilled holes in a pattern design to allow the air to flow through the pan. Check my pic out, maybe this will help. After i drilled the holes I put rubber grommets in to make them look a bit more interesting.

            I never experienced a problem with the rim triggering when hitting the head. The rubber grommets provide plenty of isolation for the head piezo.

            i wanted to ask you, what do you think of the Pintech rim silencer? I may purchase some.
            You do not have permission to view this gallery.
            This gallery has 1 photos.
            www.EDrumForum.com Going to be strictly a DIY e Drum Community

            http://www.vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=198

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            • #7
              What is the purpose of the cake pan as opposed to a simple bar of some kind spanning the head?



              I had pretty much the same motivation for the A2E thing. Tiny pads and a goofy looking kit

              I ended up ditching the rack completely and mounting cymbal pads etc to stands.

              I finally got the setup that is comfortable for me so I built a duplicate kit so I could leave the Sonar packed and ready to gig.



              I LOVE these things! You can hit as hard as you want and simply turn the volume to where you want it
              Last edited by New Tricks; 01-08-17, 07:35 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                It is to center the rim piezo to mimic the Roland plastic basket. Supposedly it gives a more even rim triggering throughout the hoop on the pad.

                You would be amazed at whats out there in the DIY community that works just fine.
                www.EDrumForum.com Going to be strictly a DIY e Drum Community

                http://www.vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=198

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                • #9
                  That makes sense. I didn't bother with rim triggers. I'm a pretty simple guy who plays simple music. If I ever hit the rim, it is an accident

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KnipeDrums View Post


                    i wanted to ask you, what do you think of the Pintech rim silencer? I may purchase some.
                    I do like Pintech rim silencer. They fit very well on most drum hoops, Pintech claims it is custom made specifically for drum hoops. However, on my cheapo Tama Swingstar the hoop is thinner and is not as deep. Rim protector does fit around the rim, but there is a bit of a gap inside the rim silencer. I have to hit harder to activate the rim shot. On the snare, I ended up using different hoop.

                    Also, once rim silencer is installed, it is hard to get to head tensioning bolts with drum key. I usually tension the head before installing the rim silencer. Roland rubber silencer has notches around the bolts (and are one piece)

                    Roland TD-12, DIY drums (Tama Swingstar), CY-15R, 2x CY-14C, VH-12, CY-5

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                    • #11
                      I saw that in the Roland parts store that they are selling the rim rubber with the notches, I am going to pick them up for my kit. They may be worth the investment. Thanks for the heads up. Tom
                      www.EDrumForum.com Going to be strictly a DIY e Drum Community

                      http://www.vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=198

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