Home Reviews - Drumset Reviews Tempus Orange Glitter Drumset
Tempus Orange Glitter Drumset

tempus orange glitter drum set



tangerine, tangerine, iving reflection from a dream.*

by nick amoroso (c)2002

What''s Hot

  • wide tuning range
  • excellent projection
  • surprisingly warm in tone
  • look great under stage lights


what’s not:

  • insides of bass drum hoops collect lots of grime

  • getting tired of hearing "NICE drums!

Review Tempus Orange Glitter Drumset"fiberglass is great for boats and 'vettes, but not for drums. fiberglass drums have no tone. they sound cold; dead. they have no tuning range to speak of. they have the resonance of a bucket of water. they aren’t up to today’s standards of how a 'professional-quality' drum should sound".

i used to believe all of the above, and truth be told, i used to advise others against the "perils" of buying any drum made of anything but wood. i’d had some experience with the only fiberglass drums i’d ever seen (pearl), and the experience was bad. really bad. since they were SO horrible, but pearl’s other drums sounded decent, i assumed that the problem lie in the shell material. i had heard of tempus, but never had the opportunity to play their drums in person. i just assumed that they couldn’t be much different than the fiberglass drums i’d played before. sure, the recordings i heard of tempus drums sounded great, but that was all studio trickery. or gretsch. :-)

my opinion on all this changed when i saw and heard my first tempus kit in person at the hollywood custom and vintage drum show, and met their builder, paul mason. i spent much of the weekend noodling around on these drums, and by sunday’s end, i decided i couldn’t go home without it. i am now the proud owner of the very same kit.

the tempus company got its start when paul mason purchased the ailing milestone company in 1985, and has become renowned for their fiberglass drums. they have also recently ventured into the carbon-fiber market. paul is the sole builder, and can custom-build a drum in any size from 4.25x8 to 19x24. for more info on the company’s history, go to the Tempus site


-the look-

Review Tempus Orange Glitter Drumsetthe drums (8x12 rack tom, 14x14 floor tom, 14x22 bass drum, 6.5x14 snare) are finished in an absolutely gorgeous orange glass glitter. i myself would probably not have chosen such a color if i ordered a kit from paul, but the finish is beautiful, and i wouldn’t trade it for any other color now. it contrasts nicely with the white shell interiors and insides of the bass drum hoops. the name badges are small and classy, and while it’s been said that the lugs aren’t for everyone, i believe they look really good.

i removed the batter head from the 12" tom, and was surprised to see how remarkably thin the shell is. the fiberglass construction allows for an extremely thin and completely seamless shell. in the words of owner paul mason, "the fiberglass shells are 3/16" thick, while carbon fiber shells tend to be about 30% thinner. with any luck, there's very little variance from drum to drum, allowing for the fact that the construction is carried out by one person." the bearing edges are double-45 on all the drums, and are perfectly smooth, with a *slight* round-over.

the shell interiors and insides of bass drum hoops on tempus drums are usually black, but paul decided to make them white for this kit. a good idea, as a black and orange kit can only be used on halloween. the only problem with the white interiors is that they seem to be prone to collect dirt and grime. by the end of the 2-day drum show, the insides of the front bass drum hoop looked like they were covered in soot, owing in part to the fact that the drums were not on a carpeted surface, and whenever someone played the bass drum, it would slide forward on the cement floor. conscientious types would try to stop the bass drum by putting their feet on the front hoop. how helpful! anyway, a little acetone (yes – acetone), and they look as good as new.

the glass glitter finish is deep and lustrous. i was surprised to discover that the finish is not a covering, but actually a gel coat that is impregnated into the shell itself. it’s part of the shell. according to paul, "basic shell construction is not dissimilar to the building of a car body; gelcoat containing either pigment or glitter particles is sprayed into a mold, after which fiberglass or carbon fiber is hand-laid into place. once it's all cured, the resulting cylinder is removed from the mold, cut to length, drilled for hardware, polished and assembled."


- the sound -

Review Tempus Orange Glitter Drumsetthe drums came to me wearing evans heads - the snare and toms were fitted with coated g1 batters and clear resonants, while the bass drum had a coated eq1 batter (with the "vented" ring), coated g1 resonant, no port hole, and no internal muffling. to describe the sound of the bass drum in 1 word – HUGE. full of depth and punch. punch is usually expected out of a shallow bass drum, but depth? this drum has tons of it. i attribute this to the thin shell, which is thinner than any wood shell on the market today. i used a square felt beater, and this drum gave me tons of body, attack and warmth. warmth: yet another thing i wasn’t expecting from a fiberglass drum. i swapped the eq1 batter for an emad, and while the drum sounded a bit more focused, it never lost its depth or bigness. even with a ported front head (a requirement in l.a. clubs, since the sound engineers here usually can’t find their rears with both hands), the drum still retained lots of fullness and tone.

speaking of fullness and tone - the toms just SING. full of body, warmth and attack. these drums project extremely well, and are quite sensitive. i used them in a high-volume gig, and they didn’t fail to make themselves heard. i also used them on an acoustic "sit back while i sing you my diary" thing, and they’re very responsive and warm at lower volumes, as well. i messed with different tunings, and had no problem getting a clean, pure tone from them. they’re very easy to tune, and have a great tuning range. i was able to crank them up a bit and they didn’t choke. i was also able to achieve a great low tuning from them, without that "boing" you sometimes hear from low toms. they sound quite fat at every tuning, however.

the snare drum had a coated g1 batter and genera hazy snare side, a nickel drumworks throw-off and butt, triple-flanged hoops and generic 20-strand snares. this drum really impresses me. very full and thick. it choked up just a bit only at *exceedingly* high tension, but somewhere in the middle is where this drum is meant to be. tremendously fat, with a woody knock that’s great for backbeat playing, and a crack that cut through 2 screaming guitars. i especially liked that. :-) the drum has a very focused, "centered" type of sound – not too dry, but not too ringy. i had no trouble hearing my ghost notes. the drum seems a great "middle ground," with sonic qualities of both metal and wood.

the true "acid test" with all drums is how they behave under a studio mic. these drums passed that test with flying colors. they were tuned up and ready to go within FIFTEEN MINUTES of being set-up, and the engineer had no trouble at all attaining a great sound from them.


- the numbers -

u.s. "factory-direct" pricing for this kit is $2,364.00. this price includes shipping & handling, and a 16x16 floor tom that was not finished in time for this review. using 40% off "list price" as a guide:

spaun custom series - $2,304.00

tama starclassic maple - $2,370.00

gretsch broadkaster - $2,702.40

pearl mmx/mrx - $2,795.40

pearl masterworks - $4,194.00

gretsch custom gloss - $4,359.00

all of these prices exclude shipping, but some *include* an ENORMOUSLY long wait for custom sizes. something tempus can do for you in a relatively short period of time.

for more info, go to, or contact paul mason directly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

much thanks to paul mason and dan radin for their help in researching for this review

Nick Amoroso

Review Tempus Orange Glitter Drumset

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