Review – Tempus Tangerine Carbon Fibre

I wrote this years ago but never got around to uploading it. But here it is!

The more a drum vibrates the louder it is, and the harder the shell, the more energy it can transfer from the impact into sound (vibration). That’s why people put aftermarket subwoofers in fiberglass enclosures and not tupperware boxes. In the drum world you will see drums touted with phrases like “Canadian hard rock maple” and “free-floating tom suspension” that speaks to this concept.

When you start going down that path, you can find Fiberglass, and since the late 80s, Carbonfibre.

Extreme rigidity compared to wood, and they can be made into drum shells half as think and wood shells (only the thickness of 2 nickels stacked!) carbonfibre stands as the pinnacle of that theory.

According to the builder Paul Mason himself, this is the first Tempus carbonfibre drumset ever built.

In width by depth : 10×8 , 13×9 , 16×15 , 22×16, with my 14×6 Milestone snare that got me started on the whole synthetic world.

I ordered this set back in 2002 , putting in every penny I saved from my then part time job. Back then customers had the choice to purchase bare Tempus shells and put on their own lugs and hardware. However being a broke student I opted for the standard Tempus coffin lugs. They were a bit bulky and visually an acquired taste, but after 10 years they’ve held up perfectly and you can recognize them from a mile away.

So lets get to the sound : The sustain is phenomenal, my 16″ effectively sounds like a tympani. Think a DW tom but even more bass and rumble and louder. Tune it up and you get a smooth round jazz tone, very versatile. I’ve had soundguys coming up to me after shows and ask what kind of drums are they. It never gets old. Currently I have Evans EC2 over Aquarian 1-ply clear heads, the sound is meaty but not overly dead, I have tried coated single ply on both sides and they sounded good too.

A side view of the shell. About 3mm thick. Perfect bearing edges.

Looks : Tempus owners have the choice of ordering their own finish, it came down to a sort of ice glitter and and Tangerine Glitter, and well, the wild side won.

A nice shot that captures the colour spectrum. In person the finish just dances.

Weight : Another benefit of Tempus drums – they are super light. My complete 22×16 bassdrum weights about the same as my Yamaha 18×14 Stage Custom bassdrum. I’ve got a bad back so the weight savings are well appreciated.

Got a show coming up in Feb, can’t wait to take these puppies out again.

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