TreeHouse Custom Drums’ version of these ethnic East-European rope-tuned drums have a great mix of traditional and modern features. What makes these drums so special is their two very different sounds. If you’ve never been around one, you’d think you’re hearing two different drums being played at the same time. The low side is a full bass boom played with a mallet in the middle of the head while the treble side, played with a long switch, chirps out a bright “tek” as the stick is played across the head. How we get there is by using a rounded bearing edge on the bass side, which is headed with a Remo Ambassador Fiberskyn Powerstroke or Evans EQ4 Calftone, and cutting a sharp bearing edge on the treble side which wears a Remo Ambassador Renaissance or Evans Calftone. All of these heads are stranded/textured to simulate animal skin, but are modern heads that are stable in humidity changes.
The heads are attached to the shell by being roped toward each other with the shell in between. Quarter-inch cold-rolled steel rods are used for the rings securing the rope to the heads. Durable, low-stretch rope with a kernmantle weave is used to pull the heads tight against the shell. An 8-ply maple shell makes up the core of these great drums. The standard finish is oil and hand-rubbed wax over natural or dyed color. Each TreeHouse Tupan ships with a pair of strikers and an optional internally-mounted mic is available as a $100.00 upgrade..
Traditionally, rope-tuned Tupans work where both heads come up in pitch when you tighten the rope. We cut the diamonds (rope tightening parallel to the bearing edges) near the treble edge to try to put most of the pull near the higher head. Now there are options! Check out two new styles of roping, each using a central "belt" of rope: Independently Tuned lets each head tune totally independently of one another to the point that one head can be removed while the other stays in place. Separately Tuned lets each head's tuning only slightly influence the other. It's a hybrid between tradition ropework and totally independent tuning. Either style is available for a $75 surcharge over standard Tupan prices.