DW's new Purple Core drum shells offer its "lowest note timbre shells to-date”

Few drum companies like to experiment with different wood types, orientations and lay-ups as DW, and now the Californian drum giant has introduced its latest innovation: Purple Core drum shell technology. 

At the centre of the new shell option sits a 3-ply core of Purpleheart, which can be combined with North American hard rock maple, cherry or mahogany to create a custom sonic flavour from a hybrid shell. But the big news here is that DW says Purple Core Technology allows for the lowest-pitch timbre ever offered on a DW drum shell.

The new Purple Core technology sees DW head designer and “wood whisperer”, John Good realise “a big breakthrough” after years of research into acheiving a lower fundamental pitch from a drum, while maintaining shell strength and integrity. 

DW Purple Core shell technology

(Image credit: DW)

While drum shells featuring plies with a vertically-aligned grain offer a lower pitch than the same plies aligned horizontally, a vertical alignment can lack strength when placed under tension. However, thanks to Purpleheart’s dense make-up, Good has been able to create the new Purple Core shells utilising only one horizontally-aligned ply. The result, according to DW: shell strength and a low pitch.   

John Good says, “This is a big breakthrough for us. We’ve been searching for a way to make a shell from mostly short grain veneers for a long time, but wanted it to be something that would stand the test of time.”  

“The nature of Purpleheart allows us to do this.  With only one horizontal ply throughout the shell, we’ve created a drum with really low frequency, but with all of the attack and presence we wanted.  Can’t wait for drummers and engineers to hear it for themselves!”

For more information on Purple Core shell dimensions, hardware and finish options, visit DW’s website.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.