Dugafola wrote:if you're such a great drum builder, why don't you post some pics of your work?
Sorry, no offence meant. I'm simply interested in hearing reasons or explanations that make sense, physically. I'm perfectly OK with someone saying "hey with three rings my djembe sounds a lot better" but if reasons ARE given, I'd like them to make sense. So far I haven't seen anything like that. That is not a criticism on your or anyone else's djembe or playing technique or drum building skills, it only refers to my interest to figure out why (theoretical physical reasons) three rings would be better.
As for my work, so far I have replaced a handful of skins using the normal 2 ring system and normal mali weave. I have found that the greatest variant in sound production is a persons' technique, all other variables are dwarfed in comparison, wood, skin type (apart from the clear difference between goat and cow), too wide or too small rings etc. etc. I play for a weekly dance class and my djembe is used regularly by african players too, who all produce different sounds from each other and from me. The slap is noteably different in pitch and volume. My own slap is usually higher in pitch but of lower volume than the africans' but between them there is a difference in pitch too.
I have considered the three ring system, including a 2.5 ring system where the middle ring is thinner and more flexible. I haven't in fact used it, mainly due to the extra work and fiddle, and because I have never heard any good reason why it should be used, other than subjective comments that the djembe sounds better. Which, given that to my mind most of the variants are in the technique, and a new skin will invariable sound different anyway from the old skin, is interesting to hear, but not a scientific or physical 'reason' which convinces me.
So again, no offence, I hope my extra info will give you some background, and I am truly interested to hear why a three ring system is preferable.