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View Full Version : Bop Kits - Your Recommendations


Mighty_Joker
05-11-2012, 05:23 PM
I was looking quite seriously at a Gretsch New Classic until I found out that they're made in Asia, not the USA. I've read reviews which have said they lack "that Gretsch sound" because of this, and suddenly their pedigree seems compromised.

Can any recommend any top like (pro level) bop kits, preferably with pedigree/made in the states. I'm especially interested in Gretsch and Ludwig, bop sizes and set up.

Thanks

PeteN
05-11-2012, 05:46 PM
I have the New Classics... and yes they are made in Taiwan but the build quality is excellent in my opinion and they have a great sound to them with a wide tuning range. They don't choke out too soon at higher tunings which is what you want for jazz/bop.

BigSteve
05-11-2012, 06:02 PM
I second that on the Gretsch New Classics. I love mine and yes the build quality is super. Johnathan, I don't know what reviews you read, but I'll say that is bs. I would suggest you go check them out for yourself. Peten is right on the money. The drums have a wide tuning range, don't choke at higher tensions, and again are very well built.

Mighty_Joker
05-11-2012, 06:44 PM
That's good to hear. Is the New Classic a pro level kit? Looking through the Gretsch catalogue, they seem to be the only pro level kit (if you exclude the USA custom), yet they are made in Asia. Why is that?

BradGunnerSGT
05-11-2012, 07:09 PM
That's good to hear. Is the New Classic a pro level kit? Looking through the Gretsch catalogue, they seem to be the only pro level kit (if you exclude the USA custom), yet they are made in Asia. Why is that?

The New Classic and the Renowns are assembled in Asia and/or Mexico, but they use 99% of the same parts as the USA Customs. Same wood in the shells, same hardware, and most importantly, the same quality assurance process. "Made in Asia" doesn't have to mean "cheap and crappy build quality". Yamaha, Mapex, Pearl, etc... are all Asian companies and they make some of the best instruments in the world.

I have the Renowns and they sound great. Some day, I'll save up enough for a USA Custom set, but for me the Renowns hit the sweet spot for price, features, and build quality.

Mighty_Joker
05-11-2012, 07:11 PM
The New Classic and the Renowns are assembled in Asia and/or Mexico, but they use 99% of the same parts as the USA Customs. Same wood in the shells, same hardware, and most importantly, the same quality assurance process..


Really? What differentiates a USA Custom from a New Classic then? A lug nut?

double_G
05-11-2012, 07:15 PM
late last year i bought a Sonor Bop kit for my church / gig. the shells were $400 & i added hardware to bring it up to $750 out-the-door. overall the Sonor was bang for the buck...good BD sound, toms & floor pretty good. snare "ok" but got an passable sound. FUN to play & neat hardware. bass drum pedal was impressive for so cheap (400 series - about $50)

however, the Ludwig EPIC jazz kit in 18, 12, 14, 14 sounded SICK. i almost got it knowing it would break my hardware budget. i still think about this kit. just out of the box, the toms were AMAZING, world-class tone...snare was AMAZING, studio ready & kick was "ok" (i think not tuned up). other more expensive Ludwigs were equally bad-ass.

the Gretsch where i bought didnt really sway me. however, at other stores the Gretsch catalina in 18, 12, 14, 14, was very very good. just wan't fully ready to buy, still browsing. Yamaha in other stores didn't sway me & i spent some time trying tuning ranges. more of a rock sound.

Mighty_Joker
05-11-2012, 07:16 PM
STOP PRESS!

I've just found out that for us in Europe, we can buy the Gretsch USA Standard, which are stock USA Customs, essentially. They are exactly the same as a set of USA Customs, except not made to order. You buy set sizes and finishes. All the info here: http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/drums/usa-standard-kit-503719/review

larryz
05-11-2012, 07:53 PM
Really? What differentiates a USA Custom from a New Classic then? A lug nut?

Cheaper labor. Much cheaper. But the Renowns are really really nice and solid for the money.

Soupy
05-11-2012, 07:56 PM
Really? What differentiates a USA Custom from a New Classic then? A lug nut?

Different shell configuration, and the USA customs have tons of options for sizes, finishes, hardware, etc. New Classics are only available in a small number of standard configurations with only a couple component options.

pieplaysdrums
05-11-2012, 09:10 PM
If you wanna spring for a little more, I have the Brooklyn series and they are awesome. Made in the USA plant.
p.s. when you're looking, the satin finished kits are cheaper than the wrapped kits. fyi

BradGunnerSGT
05-11-2012, 09:16 PM
STOP PRESS!

I've just found out that for us in Europe, we can buy the Gretsch USA Standard, which are stock USA Customs, essentially. They are exactly the same as a set of USA Customs, except not made to order. You buy set sizes and finishes. All the info here: http://www.musicradar.com/gear/all/drums/usa-standard-kit-503719/review

They have those here, too. USA Customs in "pre-configured" shell packs.

To answer your other post, what differentiates the Renowns from the USA Customs is the same thing that differentiates the mass market mid-level kits from the top-tier kits from any manufacturer -- customization and shell composition.

Gretsch can lay out 2-3 configurations for a kit using a single shell type as a base, in 4-5 finishes, and tell their plant in Asia to crank out 10,000 units every 3 months. These kits look and feel like the "pro" kits, at 1/3 of the cost to manufacture. They then justify the price of a USA Custom kit by allowing choices in wood type, finish, sizes, etc. and these kits take 6 months each to build.

Are the shells exactly the same? No, but they are still North American Rock Maple (maybe with a ply or 2 of a cheaper maple mixed in there). Is that enough of a difference to keep costs down while maintaining "That Great Gretsch Sound"?? To my ears, yes, it's a good trade-off.

Are the die-cast hoops and the other mounting hardware the same?
Yes, probably. They use the same Gibraltar hardware made in Asia that they use on the USA Customs (probably from a factory in the same town).

Do they paint the interior with Gretsch Silver Sealer? Yes, although just like the 5-lug toms this is arguably a marketing thing. They claim that this is still part of "That Great Gretsch Sound". They know more about making drums than I do. I just know that my Renowns sound great and I love playing them.

TTNW
05-11-2012, 09:21 PM
You should check out the Gretsch Brooklyn series.

This thread shows a nice satin walnut finish in all the sizes you might need.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=89636&highlight=New+Gretsch+Brooklyn+Series

Another thread with some more info

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83126&highlight=Gretsch+Brooklyn

dmacc
05-12-2012, 01:15 PM
You've been given all the same info I'd of shared.

I own a set of New Classics and USA Customs. Both are equally Gretsch and are equally incredible!

Saving the buck, I'd have no issue going with New Classics or Brooklyns (which I've never played but seen clips of).

Not sure if it matters or not to you but unless things have changed since I last looked, Brooklyn's do not have the traditional 14x18 Bop sized bass drum. New Classics & USA Customs do.

Stixnergard2
05-12-2012, 04:09 PM
The is nothing wrong with the Gretsch kits made over seas. I have a Renown kit and previously owned a set of NC's. The Renowns kits use the identical hardware as the USA customs although you can't get an 18" kick in the US, only Europe. The New Classics are wonderful drums but getting up there in price, about the same as Brooklyns. I feel the NC's are one of the best sounding in the Gretsch line. The new Brooklyn series drums are US built and very fairly priced. Got to Justdrums.com and see their Gretsch pricing after you place a kit in your cart, Of course the USA Customs are top line and top dollar. Otherwise if you are hell bent on USA only drums. Ludwig Classic Maple and Legacy series are built to order right here in the USA. Download their build file from the website and design your kit. Then you send it to your dealer for pricing. I have a 20,12,14,14sn red glass glitter Legacy kit and have been very pleased.

paistepower92
05-12-2012, 04:27 PM
Really? What differentiates a USA Custom from a New Classic then? A lug nut?

USA Customs are made in the US (obviously), the New Classics have shells with the same Maple/Gum formula, but they get thicker as the size increases, unlike USA Customs which are 6 ply. They also have more limited sizes and very different hardware. The Renown, as has been mentioned before, is 100% Maple. And the Brooklyn series is USA made and Maple/poplar shells (similar to Ludwig Legacy and the vintage 70's Ludwig kits).

GRUNTERSDAD
05-12-2012, 04:43 PM
NC-S483 14" x 18" 8" x 12" 14" x 14"

This configuration is available in the new Classic.

dmacc
05-12-2012, 05:16 PM
USA Customs are made in the US (obviously), the New Classics have shells with the same Maple/Gum formula, but they get thicker as the size increases, unlike USA Customs which are 6 ply. They also have more limited sizes and very different hardware. The Renown, as has been mentioned before, is 100% Maple. And the Brooklyn series is USA made and Maple/poplar shells (similar to Ludwig Legacy and the vintage 70's Ludwig kits).

I don't mean to cause confusion or controversy because I in know way claim to know the answer, but I have heard the New Classics are actually Maple/Poplar/Maple.

Does not matter to me either way because they are ridiculously fabulous drums to own, tune and play.

NC-S483 14" x 18" 8" x 12" 14" x 14"

This configuration is available in the new Classic.

This is the configuration of what I own.

drumdevil9
05-13-2012, 01:06 AM
Just thought I'd throw this out there, The Renown groove set comes with a 20" bass drum (great for jazz and more versatile than 18") and an "extra" tom than the bop kits. Way less expensive than the NC or Brooklyn with equal or close build quality.

wildbill
05-13-2012, 02:10 AM
Just thought I'd throw this out there, The Renown groove set comes with a 20" bass drum (great for jazz and more versatile than 18") and an "extra" tom than the bop kits. Way less expensive than the NC or Brooklyn with equal or close build quality.


That's probably the way I'd go if I just had to have Gretsch. I could always add an 18" kick later, if I still felt it necessary. Lots of flexibility that way.

Stixnergard2
05-13-2012, 04:44 AM
Just thought I'd throw this out there, The Renown groove set comes with a 20" bass drum (great for jazz and more versatile than 18") and an "extra" tom than the bop kits. Way less expensive than the NC or Brooklyn with equal or close build quality.

I own a Renown 20" bass drum Groove kit and love them. Personally I have messed around with a few bass drum heads, PS3, Emad, Fiberskyn, coated Amb. And bottom line is the kick sounds huge, more like a 22". Great kit but it really doesn't give me the jazz vibe. My jazz kits have 16" and 18" kicks. Steve Maxwells has a special issue Seafoam Green bop kit tha has my interest.

jackie k
05-13-2012, 08:00 AM
Yamaha has a nice bebop kit. Shell pack for $550, birsch wood, made in china.
I have a yamaha kit made in indonesia and it sounds great and I will never sell it. I have another yamaha kit made in china, excellent quality, they sound great. What are you going to do, American companies are making their drums in other countries, thats what they call a global economy. My gretsch if I remember correctly was made in taiwan, my mapex i belive was made in china, The manufacturing process of all these drum companies are all excellent. The wood selections they use in different combinations make all the drums sound pretty good. Bass wood, birsch, maple, gumwood, mahogney and you can go on forever, most any intermiate level kit and better can be played professionally.

wildbill
05-13-2012, 03:38 PM
I just got the Yamaha Bop Kit last week. I'm really happy with it, and it'll be sticking around for sure.
I didn't bring it up earlier because he seemed to specifically want Gretsch, and 'made in the USA'.
Those are great objectives if you can pay the price for them.

The Yamaha kit sounds good, has an excellent finish, and average hardware (stamped claws, etc.), and is reasonably priced.
Probably not good to try and compare them to the other kits in this thread, given the big differences in price, and wood types, and so on.

But if the question would have been 'a good quality Bop kit for a reasonable price', the Yamaha Bop would have been the first I'd mention.

jfarrell
05-15-2012, 08:33 PM
Did anyone play the gretsch renown 57 bop kit yet? They look great!
I'm thinking of getting one but i want to hear what you guys think first.

8Mile
05-15-2012, 09:52 PM
Well, I went through a similar decision-making process recently and I settled on Ludwig Classic Maples in an 8x12/14x14/14x18 configuration. I'm thrilled with the result. I have the sound I wanted and the drums look great, too. The drums have a broad tuning range and when I put a set of coated Ambassadors over clears, they just sing.

I can appreciate the Gretsch sound. My favorite drum sounds ever were made on the classic Gretsch kits from the 50s and 60s. I've also heard a set of DW Jazz Series drums up-close and they are fantastic. Of course, they are a shameless copy of vintage Gretsch drums but they pull it off completely.

Anthony Amodeo
05-15-2012, 09:57 PM
I was looking quite seriously at a Gretsch New Classic until I found out that they're made in Asia, not the USA. I've read reviews which have said they lack "that Gretsch sound" because of this, and suddenly their pedigree seems compromised.

Can any recommend any top like (pro level) bop kits, preferably with pedigree/made in the states. I'm especially interested in Gretsch and Ludwig, bop sizes and set up.

Thanks

I have a set of New Classics and they are amazing

the "Gretsch sound" is extremely prominent in these drums

Garvin
05-15-2012, 10:18 PM
Awesome looking kit....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ludwig-USA-Vistalite-3-pc-Bop-Drum-Set-Clear-Acrylic-New-w-Warranty-USA-Made-/260967362647?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc2ddf057#ht_1469wt_1242

wildbill
05-15-2012, 11:19 PM
Did anyone play the gretsch renown 57 bop kit yet? They look great!
I'm thinking of getting one but i want to hear what you guys think first.


I haven't played it, but I think this one looks fantastic:

http://cachepe.zzounds.com/media/quality,85/agda-f467d6b6933cb665b5b2ea70c87ea67f.jpg

http://www.zzounds.com/item--GRERN57J4 ^^^^

What do I think? - Go For It.

jfarrell
05-16-2012, 12:25 AM
Lovely looking kit, It's really between the blue and red, don't really like the black.

Stixnergard2
05-16-2012, 02:37 AM
Well, I went through a similar decision-making process recently and I settled on Ludwig Classic Maples in an 8x12/14x14/14x18 configuration. I'm thrilled with the result. I have the sound I wanted and the drums look great, too. The drums have a broad tuning range and when I put a set of coated Ambassadors over clears, they just sing.

I can appreciate the Gretsch sound. My favorite drum sounds ever were made on the classic Gretsch kits from the 50s and 60s. I've also heard a set of DW Jazz Series drums up-close and they are fantastic. Of course, they are a shameless copy of vintage Gretsch drums but they pull it off completely.

Let hear more about your CM bop kit, pics too. I own a 20,12,14 14sn Ludwig Legacy kit and have been considering doing a CM bop kit in Sky Blue Pearl. I also own a Fibes 16,10,13 micro kit and I feel the CM's are going to be the kit that would sound close my Fibes.

8Mile
05-16-2012, 06:28 AM
Let hear more about your CM bop kit, pics too. I own a 20,12,14 14sn Ludwig Legacy kit and have been considering doing a CM bop kit in Sky Blue Pearl. I also own a Fibes 16,10,13 micro kit and I feel the CM's are going to be the kit that would sound close my Fibes.

Okay!

Picture is very poor quality, but here you go.

I originally purchased the Big Beat configuration, with 8x12, 9x13, 16x16 and 16x22. I mostly play the 13/16/22 as a four-piece for rock. I added the 14x14 and 14x18 bass drum later and now I have the 12/14/18 four-piece for jazz.

I love the warmth and the resonance of the drums. The drums complement each other so well, each one sounding the way I want it to. It's probably one of the few things I've purchased where it was everything I'd hoped it would be. The sound in my head that I wanted matches the sound these drums make.

People probably don't immediately associate Ludwig Classic Maple with jazz, but I think they're perfectly suited to the music.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7091/7207265252_d1d1474fb4_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60097317@N08/7207265252/)
IMG-20111225-00035 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60097317@N08/7207265252/) by 8MileRoad (http://www.flickr.com/people/60097317@N08/), on Flickr

Stixnergard2
05-16-2012, 05:05 PM
Okay!

Picture is very poor quality, but here you go.

I originally purchased the Big Beat configuration, with 8x12, 9x13, 16x16 and 16x22. I mostly play the 13/16/22 as a four-piece for rock. I added the 14x14 and 14x18 bass drum later and now I have the 12/14/18 four-piece for jazz.

I love the warmth and the resonance of the drums. The drums complement each other so well, each one sounding the way I want it to. It's probably one of the few things I've purchased where it was everything I'd hoped it would be. The sound in my head that I wanted matches the sound these drums make.

People probably don't immediately associate Ludwig Classic Maple with jazz, but I think they're perfectly suited to the music.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7091/7207265252_d1d1474fb4_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60097317@N08/7207265252/)
IMG-20111225-00035 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60097317@N08/7207265252/) by 8MileRoad (http://www.flickr.com/people/60097317@N08/), on Flickr

Nice kit, love the WMP!

AJ3000
05-16-2012, 06:09 PM
I know it's not American, but the Sonor SQ2 bop sets are killer. There are a few dealers in the UK and Europe who have some in stock. They ain't cheap (circa 2500) but they're all gonna kick it super hard!

wildbill
05-21-2012, 01:54 AM
Awesome looking kit....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ludwig-USA-Vistalite-3-pc-Bop-Drum-Set-Clear-Acrylic-New-w-Warranty-USA-Made-/260967362647?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cc2ddf057#ht_1469wt_1242


They say 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. Personally, I'd take any other kit in this thread over that one for looks. - but that's just me.

I'll admit that it's kind of unique though. Must feel kind of funny playing it at first too - ha ha.

RickP
05-21-2012, 07:00 AM
I have three aets that could be considered Bop kits and each has their own unique qualities that make them nice kts. The one that gets the most use these days is my DW Jazz series kit in Champagne Glass glitter 18/12/14 , very Gretsch like , diecast hoops, maple/gum shells ( albeit 7 ply instead of 6). Just a great sounding really well made drum set.They aren't cheap , but less money than a Gretsch U.S.A. custom and they don't have that ugly aluminum fence paint interior :).

My Ludwig Element SE kis in Citrus mod is 20/12/14 and has cherry/gum shells and was very reasonably priced.it was a limited edition, but Ludwig has used a similar shell composition for the new Clubdates. These are very warm fat sounding drums, easy to tune and just sound great.


I recently picked up a Tempus Fibreglass set in Black 20/12/14 and it is nice too. Very Loud !
Warmer than you would expect and nearly bullet proof.

Alesi
05-23-2012, 03:08 AM
Hi, Im kinda in the same trouble, the difference is that I have a different budget ($2000 top)

Which one do you reccomend me ,the Sonor Ascent Beech or the Gretsch Renown '57? Or should I look for an used kit of the higher series (Recording Custom or DW Collectors)

Garvin
05-23-2012, 03:15 AM
They say 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. Personally, I'd take any other kit in this thread over that one for looks. - but that's just me.

I'll admit that it's kind of unique though. Must feel kind of funny playing it at first too - ha ha.

Right on... I agree. I've just been obsessed with acrylics for some reason lately. I think this would definitely be a conversation starter.