BY BRAD SCHLUETER | FROM THE SUMMER 2019 ISSUE OF DRUM!
INDe Drum Lab’s latest innovation is its RESoArmor finish. It looks like a high-end lacquer or psychedelic wrap, but is much stronger and doesn’t dampen resonance like a wrap will. The name suggests a medieval suit of armor, doesn’t it? Well, like a suit of armor, the unique finish on these drums will also help protect it from the rigors of the road—and then some.
As a torture test, I played cascara patterns directly on the floor tom shell with a stick, and it didn’t leave a mark. Wow!
All INDe’s maple drum shells employ a remarkably thin 4.3mm, 5-ply design that maximizes tone and low-end. Until now, they’ve only been offered in satin finishes to reveal their grain, but these new glossy finishes are stunning and completely unique to each drum. For this reason, it’s best to order an entire drum set at once rather than try to match add-on drums later.
Our kit’s finish (pictured above) had several shades of gray and blue swirling together like beautiful storm clouds. The snare was made with a custom finish of stunning blue and black tiger stripe sparkle that was unlike any other drum I can recall. Satin maple bass drum hoops with a matching inlay complete the kit.
Designer Josh Allen is well regarded for his minimalistic yet utterly functional hardware creations, and this kit included one of his most ingenious ideas: The BR3 low-profile “no drill” tom suspension/accessory bracket. Our mounted tom came with this bracket, which includes adjustments to dial in your desired amount of sustain.
The bass drum has gullwing spurs with retractable spikes that held the drum exactly in place throughout this review. The snare drum has a retro looking throw-off and die-cast butt plate that would look great on a vintage drum. Due to its no-drill design and opening for a center bead (as on a metal snare), this throw-off is often used as a replacement on older drums.
Finally, the bridge lugs, badges, and bass drum claws offer classy touches to what are often mundane overlooked items.
The bass drum packed a solid low-end thud that implied more size than its dimensions would indicate. Our snare was fantastic, with a crisp snare response, singing rimshots and a wide tuning range. Rim clicks were loud and clear thanks to the 2.3mm hoops. The toms on our kit had clear pitches and reasonable sustain. The kit came with Aquarian single-ply, coated heads on toms, coated reverse dot on the snare drum, and pre-muffled bass drum heads (clear batter and smooth white logo head).
The tough, virtually indestructible RESoArmor finish is a game-changer that even in the hands of careless roadies should remain looking great for decades. With superb, handmade craftsmanship, innovative hardware, and solid sound, these drums are a great value.