Solid shell vs Ply
Ply Shell drums are made of several thin ply’s of wood that have been glued together. A solid shell drum is typically made up of one piece of solid wood. Solid wood shells are made with much less glue than a ply drum. The idea is that the solid shell drum will resonate much more freely than the ply drum with more glue and provide the fullest dynamic capability and response.
Maple is the ideal choice for a concert snare drum due to its range of frequency response and warmth in sound quality.
Aluminum has a full bodied tone, with a higher overall pitch response than traditional maple.
Brass has a bright and fast response that will cut through any ensemble.
Mahogany is generally used on most concert bass drums and concert toms. Mahogany is known for is softness that brings out the lower frequencies in the drum.
Steel offers a bright projecting tone, used on a lot of entry level student models.
Exotic woods offer a lot of different sound characteristics. Some examples of these are Purpleheart, Cocobolo, Rosewood, Zebrawood, Titanium, and Carbon Fiber.