Here is the story and photos of some new and very creative work by drummer and artisan Ryan Manito Wendel. (with the help of mother nature herself). These drums are not finished yet and will have traditional style stainless steel hardware.
For those of you unfamiliar with Manito Percussion, Ryan is one of the few drum makers who produces solid shell one piece, conga drums and bongos and in the near future cajons.
These drums come from a log vs “normal’ congas which are made from staves or pieces of wood glued together.
The tree drums shown here are made from an exotic american hardwood called Rainbow Poplar. All the colors you see occur naturally. There are actually blues and purples in the wood!
As you can see in the photos, mother nature has really done a beautiful job creating a full plethora of interesting swirls and hues. These shells are made from sustainably harvested wood. The inner dimensions are specifically engineered for sound and they have a built in alma or ring as well so the drums never go out of round
The inlaid outer band is made from Zebrawood and is guarenteed to never split or crack. These inlaid bands are not like the bands on old Gonbops. The times have changed and technology prevails.
The zebrawood/maple/mahogany bands are set into a perfectly sized groove and permanently set in place using state of the art adhesives that retain flexibilty and will never crack.
The clear coat is also engineered to be very tough, yet flexible and it completely seals the band underneath it. The band, the polymers and the shell all move evenly together and will never try to separate.
A unique feature of Manito percussion is the use of integrated wood almas. An alma is the ring that goes on the inside of the drum at the top near the rim eadge.
Usually (or traditionally) in the past the alma is made from a metal ring, which is bolted in and can interfere with the sound.
However, in this case the alma is a part of the shell, not a metal alma. It is carved out of the actual same piece of wood. And according to Manito, the alma has a dual purpose.
It funnels the vibrations into the solid wood shell for extra volume, sustain and wood character as well as prevents the drum from ever warping.
It is also the reason there is never ring in any of the drums.
For more information please contact Ryan Manito Wendel.