Any dealbreakers for you?

beatdat

Senior Member
I've always liked the looks, the sound, and the feel of Pearl drums, but I've never liked their tom arms. At all. I've always had a difficult time getting them set up (they always seem to have limited movement and placement options) - and I just plain don't like the looks of them either. They are a dealbreaker for me.

I suppose second would be the looks of DW lugs. I like the sound and the feel of the drums, but the lugs kill it for me. Picky, I know.

What about you guys? Got any dealbreakers? Something stopping you from getting something you would otherwise buy? Could be anything from unappealing colour choices on kits, to the composition of particular cymbals, to certain lacquer finishes on sticks, to the workings of particular pieces of hardware.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Nylon tipped sticks. Absolutely hate them. The ping is so dead and cold, plus the tips can fall off. I will only buy them if I have zero sticks left and no other options.

I don't know what it's called, but those burst/fade/guitar finishes that made their way on to drums. Don't like em. I'd rather rock pink sparkles with purple chrome hardware any day of the week over those fade finishes. On a guitar I like it, they usually follow the contour. On drums it looks like a poorly painted racing stripe.

Direct drive. I am intrigued by the idea. I do not like an accelerator cam, and the action of DD is geometrically similar. Ergo I can't justify spending DD money on something I'm pretty sure I won't like.

While I'm on pedals, agressively knurled footboards. I play in socks and like my foot to slide. A smooth footboard is a must.

Power toms. Ugh, just no.

No hi hat clutch. I can't use the stand without it. No clutch, no sale.

I'm sure this list will grow. Time has made me somewhat picky about certain things.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Wooden tipped sticks. I absolutely hate them! Way better sounding than nylon for recording, but I literally get 1/20th of play time on them, before the tips chip off and sound mushy and scratch the hell out of everything. Just bought 3 pairs based on someone's recommendations and after the first week, the first set is a no go. Leaving the other two for live or recordings only. Haven't had a nylon tip break off since the late 80s.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Wooden tipped sticks. I absolutely hate them! Way better sounding than nylon for recording, but I literally get 1/20th of play time on them, before the tips chip off and sound mushy and scratch the hell out of everything. Just bought 3 pairs based on someone's recommendations and after the first week, the first set is a no go. Leaving the other two for live or recordings only. Haven't had a nylon tip break off since the late 80s.
We should raid each other's stick supply.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I'd guess the Pearl tom arms are a 'fork in the road' in choice for many people. I'd do Pearl but would need to use a snare stand or something else for the tom.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
No dealbreakers beyond the obvious: I won't buy anything that doesn't sound or feel good, adds inconvenience to moving/storing/playing my gear, or is needlessly expensive for what it does. Things like finish, condition (as long as the item is usable,) and mixing old and new gear are way down the list of being issues for me. I left those notions behind with my youth.

Bermuda
 

HeadForTheSticks

Junior Member
Bright or harsh sounding cymbals. Cymbals that" cut through the mix" just seem to annoy my ears! I like warmer and more musical tones. Not a fan of the "dry" snare heads. They just seem too take away any of the pleasing overtones and character from the drum. I'm beginning to think heavy hardware is a deal breaker. It's definitely a back breaker!
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
What about you guys? Got any deal breakers?
I'm not looking for anything, but there are plenty of "deal breakers" when I am deciding what to buy. That would be why I don't buy them.

First of all, the instrument needs to sound great. Second, the hardware needs to be top quality, easy to adjust, functional, and not ostentatious. Hardware tends to be where I rule many things out. In many cases, it is over engineered or solving a problem that isn't there, or giving something that no one asked for or needs.

I feel the same as you about Pearl's tom mounting hardware. I despise Tama's latest approach as well. And I guess we can add Mapex to the list too.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I am right there with all of you on Pearl's tom arms. Add to that the sheer size of the Optimount, and those rather large rectangular badges, and why even have finish on the drums?

I also can't get into deep bass drums. 14" is optimal, 16" is okay, 18" is flabby and any deeper looks like overcompensation.

Hardware has to work - in other words, it has to stay put where I set it without having to turn wingbolts with pliers to try and get the fitting tight enough. If I pick it up in the music store, finger-tight the wingbolt, and it still turns freely, back to the pile it goes.
 
I also can't get into deep bass drums. 14" is optimal, 16" is okay, 18" is flabby and any deeper looks like overcompensation.
Flabby? I have a 24x18 that is anything but. Aesthectically I'll agree with you, but i have two 18" deep bass drums that absolutely clobber shallower bass drums. I wish my 20x16 and 24x16 sounded as good as my 20x18 and 24x18 because i prefer the look, but sound trumps aesthetics every time. To be fair both of my 16" deep bass drums sound great. The 18" deep drums just sound better. They just don't know or care about their depth or anybody's opinion about it.
 

benthedrum

Senior Member
Hey beatdat........great topic man!

First and foremost, I absolutely loathe hanging floor toms. They are awful to me. Even if they sound good.

Secondly.......black wrap drums.

Thirdly.......I love nylon tip sticks. I play the Vic Firth F1 American Classic. But they don't appear to make them in nylon tip anymore? I can't source them in Australia anyway. Wooden tip sticks?.....ugh!
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Kinda funny when you realize "I am not alone..." lol.

(Please note that the following is all in good fun...)

Pearl-tom arms and mounts
DW-hubcaps...ermm...I mean lugs
Gretsch-ugly, over-engineered, Gibraltar (?) hardware
Sabian-new logo (lol)
Sonor-don't know what it is about them. Just "no".
Expensive bass drum pedals...like $300+ single pedals that don't feel any better or get the job done any better than a 30 year old Camco I can get off of eBay for like $50.
Tractor\motorcycle style throne seats. Nope...give me round please.

In general over-engineered hardware that attempts to do what Tama did in the 80s but using stuff that looks twice as bulky and just plain ugly in comparison. (Mapex tom mounts come to mind).
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
In no particular order:

  • Pearl tom mounts. Such great sounding drums but with a restrictive mounting system.
  • Original RIMS mounts. Huge and ugly.
  • DW lugs. Must they use them simply 'cuz they bought the tooling?
  • Tama Crestar lugs & tom mounts. Star Trek anyone?
  • Black drums. Boring, and don't dare scratch it. There's a gloss black MIJ Starclassic maple kit in my local store. It's been there since Jesus walked on water 'cuz it's a snooze finish.
  • Nylon tip sticks. I used them as a teenager 'cuz they lasted a long time. Now that I have cash, the ping of wood tip on my cymbals is like angels singing.
  • Natural wood finish. Boring, no matter what grainy wood is used. Especially natural maple; it visually defines the term "plain".
  • Powder coated hardware. Paint chips all over my floor, damaged-looking hardware above.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I kinda like the Pearl mount system. It is like an Erector set, but you get used to it. I don’t always use it, though. When I use one rack tom, there’s no Optimount on the drum and it goes in a snare stand.

Same thing with DW lugs - being an old fan of Camco, I’ve always liked that look.

I also don’t like the fade finishes, and wine red wraps. But like everybody else, if it works and sounds great, I’ll use it. I just won’t own it ;)
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I kinda like the Pearl mount system. It is like an Erector set, but you get used to it.
This is a good analogy, and I agree there is a learning curve. One must get used to it. But once you have it figured out, you have not only X, Y, and Z axis adjustments, but also the drum rotates around X, and X can be angled in relation to Y. I find it incredibly simple to put a drum anywhere I want now that I know how it works.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
But once you have it figured out, you have not only X, Y, and Z axis adjustments, but also the drum rotates around X, and X can be angled in relation to Y.
X Y and Z can be limitless and totally independent of one another with a ball mount adjustment ala Tama, Yamaha, Sonor... etc.
What I don't get with Pearl design, is why is the 'tube' going to the tom has remained so large/thick still?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
X Y and Z can be limitless and totally independent of one another with a ball mount adjustment ala Tama, Yamaha, Sonor... etc.
What I don't get with Pearl design, is why is the 'tube' going to the tom has remained so large/thick still?
I have no answer about that, but it isn't something I mind. In the 70s, the tom mount system was basically the same but it was a lot smaller. So Pearl already did the small thing. Now that's it's these 7/8" tubes, it looks like the 70s on steroids. But I think all manufacturers do things that we can get nitpick about. Like DW's double tom mount for the bass drum - who thinks that was a good idea? Or the idea to use thinner spurs on the intermediate drum sets? Or how about....
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
Deal breakers have a way of crumbling when push comes to shove.

I really dislike DW lugs. And yet, two years ago when I was looking for a new kit, I certainly considered a used DW kit, because it was a good kit.

These are my principles.... If you don't like them I have others.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
When looking at used drums, a big deal breaker for me includes major missing pieces. While some of you out there can make the best of out a nice, cheap drum shell, I'm not the kind of person to have a lot of random drum rims, tension rods, etc. lying around the way a lot of folks do. Whenever I've been tempted to buy a nice shell for cheap, I price out what it would cost to actually finish the drum, and I wouldn't be any better off than just buying a completed version.

While I do my best to not be a gear snob, I don't bother looking at drum sets and cymbals that aren't at least mid-to-pro level. Lower-line drum sets are just not for me anymore. I played a set of Tama Rockstars way too long to bother, and I've owned too many crummy cymbals to care anymore.

Here are more short answers:

Cymbals that are painted
Square toms
Kick drums 18" or smaller
Stencil kits
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Cymbals with a "brilliant" finish. I have one that sounds okay (not great) and I've kept it, but it's all I can do to look at that thing. Hideous.
 
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