Someone educate me on drum sets

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takeittothemall
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Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by takeittothemall » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:43 pm

I'm buying a new house. This new house has a room over the garage where a drum set would fit perfectly. While drums were my first instrument as a teenager, quite contrary to my experience with guitars, I didn't pay any attention to appreciable differences between kits, brands, sizes, vintage vs modern, et cetera. As far as drum sounds go, my general musical tastes (which I think is at least a partial reflection on my taste in drum sounds) would include 50s, 60's, and 70s rock n roll and indie rock generally influenced by 50s, 60s and 70s rock n roll.

Thus, prior to this purchase, I was hoping to get educated on the following or anything else that I should know:

- what brands should I consider?
- should I consider vintage drum sets?
- what should one expect to pay for a solid, intermediate level drum set?
- which online retailers are a good option for drum set purchases? Where's the best place--online or not--to buy?
- what specs might best approximate the types of drum sounds I like?
- where else could I go to learn more?

I know it's a broad topic. Don't feel a need to respond to more than one question, as applicable. Thanks.
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Jonesie
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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by Jonesie » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:37 pm

First real question is what's your budget? The best thing you can do is spend more money on cymbals than drums. You can make cheap drums sound better with decent heads and tuning, but shitty cymbals are just shitty cymbals.
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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by marqueemoon » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:01 pm

Jonesie wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:37 pm
First real question is what's your budget? The best thing you can do is spend more money on cymbals than drums. You can make cheap drums sound better with decent heads and tuning, but shitty cymbals are just shitty cymbals.
I agree 100% on cymbals. Also, paying attention to how cymbals relate to each other sonically is super important. I like darker cymbals generally, but especially hats.

Related to the budget thing, aside from cymbals the snare is the next priority. You can do a lot with tuning and tweaking, but it’s easier if you start with something decent.

For a vintage (50’s/60’s) sound coated batter heads all the way.

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takeittothemall
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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by takeittothemall » Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:12 pm

Thanks, guys. Any idea an reference point for decent cymbals, hi-hat, and snare? I'm probably looking for a middle of the road price point. Not cheap, not expensive.

If this drum set was a Jazzmaster, I'd probably be looking for something nicer than a Blacktop, but less nice than a '65 Reissue.
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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by Futuron » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:51 pm

#1: drums are expensive! (mainly because decent cymbals are very expensive)

All of the big brands have lines at every price point. So pick a brand, any brand, and compare their products & prices on their website or in a big music shop. If you get a chance to physically try out multiple brands you can figure out which hardware you like the best. To me, that is the main difference. All decent makes have decent shells (at varying levels of prestige & different materials both indicated by their cost), but heads, cymbals & accessories are all made by other companies so all you want to know about "which (reputable) brand of drum kit should I choose" is down to the hardware, really. I've played great sounding kits with horrible hardware and so wouldn't touch that brand purely because of it.

For cymbals, if you don't want some cheap crap and want reliable, then pick one of the big 4 (Zildjian, Sabian, Paiste, Meinl) and grab something made of bronze (not brass). If you want half-decent but relatively cheap, then sheet bronze is the go. If you want something beautiful, then cast bronze. But you should always test cymbals out before buying, if at all possible. Look on their websites to see how each model and series compares within each brand.

For heads, you can't go wrong with Remo or Evans. Certain products are supposed to be more suited to certain sounds, so don't just grab whatever.

The main factors dictating your drum sound are the heads you use, the drum shell sizes & material, and how you tune them. But your enjoyment also is affected by how you can place everything, how well the hardware holds up, whether you feel your money was well spent, and the finish!


If it was me, I'd be looking at something as basic as a Pearl Export (nice for entry level as is, great value for money if done up, ie upgraded snare, pedals, cymbals, heads etc). I'd replace all of the heads with the appropriate models for the sound I want, upgrade some hardware perhaps, pick up an A Zildjian pack if I had a bit of money available, if not, something a bit lower in price for now. I would put off the snare upgrade for now and make do with the stock drum to start with. And I would get those drums tuned up well! (Use moon gel if needed)

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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by takeittothemall » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:17 pm

Thanks!
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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by Jonesie » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:11 am

For cymbals keep an eye out for 60's and 70's Zildjians, you can usually get hats, a ride and a crash for like $350 if not a bit less.

If you'd prefer new, you can get a Paiste PST7 set for under $400 (https://reverb.com/item/14684512-paiste ... s-1-dealer) they're getting known as the Poor Man's 2oo2's. They sound and feel fantastic.

As for a kit, keep an eye out and I guarantee you'll be able to find a used set of Yamaha Stage Customs for $250. They're fantastic drums, have the Yamaha quality that you know and expect and they sound great. Throw in a set of heads and you're up to $350ish.
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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:29 am

Pearl Export is always a big seller, so there's tons around and they can be found very cheap. I owned a kit, it was pretty good. You can find them for a few hundred dollars and that's a good place to start.
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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by Futuron » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:58 pm

I completely forgot about used cymbals. :fp:

They usually sound as good if not better than new (assuming they aren't cracked or warped), and cost a lot less. I've bought plenty of great used cymbals from Hazelshould, he makes audio clips for each item which can help you to decide too.

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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:28 pm

+1 on used/vintage cymbals.

I’ve never bought a new kit, but if I was in the market now Gretsch would be high on the list. I prefer smaller kits and vintage bop kits are definitely out of reach, but I feel like even their cheaper kits could get me close enough that I could live with it.

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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by s_mcsleazy » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:52 pm

if your in the uk. 70's premier stuff is always cheap as hell. i found a kick and snare in a skip. most times though, i tell people buy a jazz kit if you are going to just be doing home stuff/small gigs.
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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by clef051 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:37 am

I've been watching this thread, I recently started playing drums. Mainly out of lack of drummers around here.

I'm lucky enough that I have a drum set that my brother wasn't using. A Gretsch blackhawk. Its missing a ride cymbal has a crash sitting on top of the hi hat stand and the heads are beyond beat. I ordered 2 stands, heads for all the toms and snare, and a paiste 24" mega power ride. Next will probably be the kick head then hi hats then crash.

Other then that its working on practicing.

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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by Fuzzbuzz » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:20 am

I started years ago with a 60’s Japanese import kit by Whitehall. It was imported by pearl back in the day. I have since worked my way up to a Ludwig fab 4 Re-issue which I absolutely love, but was not cheap.

For new kits, I will echo what others have said. The cheap gretsch kits are great starter kits for the money. Some of them include cymbal packs from the right e-tailer. Let us know what you end up with.

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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by clef051 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:20 pm

Anyone have a good recommendation on a kick drum pedal.

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Re: Someone educate me on drum sets

Post by marqueemoon » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:29 pm

clef051 wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:20 pm
Anyone have a good recommendation on a kick drum pedal.
I use an older Axis pedal. I prefer the linkage thing to chain or belt drive.

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