How do you decide on an upper range kit...

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savage8190

Guest
when no one keeps any of them in stock to try?!? I see lots of people ordering new kits; how do you know what you want?

I think I have an idea of what I might consider ideal sizes, but how does one decide what kind of kit to buy when there just isn't any around? This was never an issue for me with guitars; if I wanted to test something out it would be around somewhere...not so much with drums. It seems that everything above midrange kits is a special order, and I'm in a major city.

TBH I'm pretty happy with my Meridians, but being that they are discontinued I can't expand; it's pretty annoying.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
when no one keeps any of them in stock to try?!? I see lots of people ordering new kits; how do you know what you want?

My advice is to keep your current kit, and simply listen to as many different kits as you can until one of them speaks to you.

Go to GC and annoy the staff. Go to a local music store. Hit one of the drum stores like DrumcenterNH or MemphisDS.

Keep playing and exposing yourself as many sounds as you can until you can describe the attributes you like and those you dislike.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
... if you don't know what you want, we sure as ell don't know what you want either.

Ppl usually hear kits live, or even on the web, like them, then delve deeper. YAMAHA has a sound, GRETSCH, LUDWIG and so on. 'Upper range' means that sound will be more defined than a budget offering.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Wait until you know.

My desire for a US Custom started at a Karizma show in 2000. Keeping listening and observing other kits for many years. Then I started playing drums myself and now I know.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Go to some drum Shows.

Or, get yourself into the NAMM Show. It ain't easy buts it's doable.

People who can get into NAMM:

>Independent retailers

>Major retail chain representatives

>Global distributors

>Buyer groups

>Buyers from some of the largest national entertainment companies, entertainment venues, sports stadiums/arenas, amusement parks, casinos, hotels/resorts, cruise lines, college/university theaters and auditoriums, performing arts centers and sports/fitness clubs

>Audio technical directors, facility managers and entertainment directors representing a variety of venues

>House of worship directors, pastors, and sound and lighting directors

>Tour managers

>Technology directors, installers and purchasing agents
Music educators


.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I have written this many times and to me the order of importance should be Budget, Sound, details, finish. Do not rush because the next kit may be your last and you want it to be exactly what you want. Go to clinics, try all stores, talk to friends, etc. and don't put a lot of trust in videos, or Youtube where all of the recorded sounds can certainly be manipulated.
 
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savage8190

Guest
Just to be clear, I'm not rushing out and buying anything, nor am I seeking advice on what to buy; it's not a need, it's a want right now, but the time will come when i want to upgrade to a serious "forever" kind of kit that has everything I want. Honestly, next purchase will be some new hats and hat stand...maybe a second crash; new kit is easily a year off.

It's just weird to me that there is a serious lack of higher end kits available in my area. I have seen a couple (the only ones being a black panther kit and a recording custom), but I find it mystifying as a guitar player...I could walk into any long and mcquade and they would have at LEAST 40 high end guitars; some well over 100.

The other thing that is bothersome is that all the nicer kits are stacked away on a shelf...you'd have to get them to clear space and set them up to try it out. Heck, I saw a recording custom in a Tom Lee all setup and ready to go, I went to try it out, and it was plastered with signs saying no playing aloud, I guess a salesman has to babysit me?..seriously?

I asked about a couple different kits I'd like to give a whirl and was told theres nothing nearby and it would be a custom order. I just find it crazy...how do they sell drums?
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
My local ma and pa store has over 100 guitars hanging on the wall that can be played at will and not one drum set up to play. It's primarily a space problem I'm sure. Drums don't hang on walls flat and out of the way unfortunately. And then the constant tuning to satisfy customers would take a full time employee to satisfy all lookers.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
It's just weird to me that there is a serious lack of higher end kits available in my area.
I asked about a couple different kits I'd like to give a whirl and was told there is nothing nearby and it would be a custom order.
I just find it crazy...how do they sell drums?
I know exactly what you mean. I agree 100%. No place to try upper range kits.

.
 
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savage8190

Guest
My local ma and pa store has over 100 guitars hanging on the wall that can be played at will and not one drum set up to play. It's primarily a space problem I'm sure. Drums don't hang on walls flat and out of the way unfortunately. And then the constant tuning to satisfy customers would take a full time employee to satisfy all lookers.
Well, my closest store is a perfect example of my confusion and is representative of every store near me. They have room for about 5 set up kits, and then they have about a dozen stacked up on the wall. The wall is filled with midrange kits like the Select Force and Armory, the 5 on the floor are the cheapest garbage they sell, and there is not 1 higher end kit to be seen. Why do you need 5 junkers set up? The people buying them can't play the things anyway!
 

Skyking

Senior Member
Gruntersdad...You can try out a guitar without leaving marks, try that with a drum set. Now, try selling a scuffed up high end drum set for big bucks.
 
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savage8190

Guest
Gruntersdad...You can try out a guitar without leaving marks, try that with a drum set. Now, try selling a scuffed up high end drum set for big bucks.
Its just a head though...they can't throw a new head on when they sell a kit for thousands? Anyone looking to drop that kind of money on a drum kit knows heads get worn....
 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Gruntersdad...You can try out a guitar without leaving marks, try that with a drum set. Now, try selling a scuffed up high end drum set for big bucks.
I understand that as well. As my mentioning space, they are walked into tapped on by everyone walking by, so yes that can get beat up. But at least you can look at and play, and then order a new one and not take a floor model. It's too bad they we can't walk into a drum store and have high end models available.
 

trynberg

Senior Member
In the whole San Francisco bay area, the only place to bang on some actual quality kits was... Guitar Center. Seriously. I was extremely disappointed by the few remaining independent music stores. One store had a few nice kits stacked up against the wall but wouldn't let a respectable looking 40 year old guy with stated budget and desires even set them up. Ridiculous.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Just to be clear, I'm not rushing out and buying anything, nor am I seeking advice on what to buy; it's not a need, it's a want right now, but the time will come when i want to upgrade to a serious "forever" kind of kit that has everything I want. Honestly, next purchase will be some new hats and hat stand...maybe a second crash; new kit is easily a year off.

It's just weird to me that there is a serious lack of higher end kits available in my area. I have seen a couple (the only ones being a black panther kit and a recording custom), but I find it mystifying as a guitar player...I could walk into any long and mcquade and they would have at LEAST 40 high end guitars; some well over 100.

The other thing that is bothersome is that all the nicer kits are stacked away on a shelf...you'd have to get them to clear space and set them up to try it out. Heck, I saw a recording custom in a Tom Lee all setup and ready to go, I went to try it out, and it was plastered with signs saying no playing aloud, I guess a salesman has to babysit me?..seriously?

I asked about a couple different kits I'd like to give a whirl and was told theres nothing nearby and it would be a custom order. I just find it crazy...how do they sell drums?
Long and McQuade is the exclusive distributor for Mapex and make every effort to push this brand . Go to any L&M store and the largest amount of one brand on the floor is always Mapex. Mapex makes fine drums but they first surfaced quite a number of years ago in Canada and they had just awful hardware at that time and most of the retailers dropped the line because of the large amount of returns. They are much better now but drummers and retailers have long memories. Too bad because the Saturn series are nice sounding drums,

Yamaha is the most universal brand in stock at Canadian retailers ( and many US Retailers) and the reason is excellent, consistent quality. They have manufactured well designed great sounding drums for decades.

Back to the original poster - it is far easier to do your due diligence in the selection of a new kit. Multiple YouTube reviews on just about any kit made these days. Tons of reviews both online and in drum magazines ( though most of these are very careful to focus on the good qualities). Listen to some of your favourite players, read up on what gear they use if you like the sound. Narrow your choices down till you find something that you love with a price you can afford.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
There henerally isn't much of a market.

Collecting hobbyists order what they want and people that actually gig, both pros and amateurs gig lesser expensive gear or whatever their local store seems to be most impressed with.

I'm sure if you look around, though.

Here in Norway I defnetly have to look around, but if I go to Oslo I'll find most top stuff except the Yamaha PHX, which noone has in stock, and if no store has it I know a drummer who does.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
You going to buy a car without driving it? So really salesmen cut themselves short because sure plenty of people may look but whose is going to buy without touching? I don't even by grapes without pulling one out to taste before I buy the bag. No one in my area carries many high end kits either-and only one store I've been to will let you play any kit-they didn't have high ends though. Now one store did first acoustic then later I noted it was an electric kit with a shield. Suddenly it dawns on me-not everyone thinks they can play guitar (and most appreciate it's an expensive musical instrument), but everyone thinks they can play drums (and many think it is an indestructible toy to be banged on) so probably it's problematic to have one set up.
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
I have trouble seeing what the point in trying a brand new drum kit in a store will do for you.

They aren't using heads you probably like, or are tuned the way you want. The room is probably a disaster acoustically, and you will get sympathetic resonation from drums all around the room.

Pretty much you won't hear the drums sounding anything like they could or do sound like, and the music store is looking at replacing $200 worth of heads and hoping that no moron is going to damage anything on the drums by tuning them, or knocking one over or damaging the finish from when they are set up until someone buys them.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Yeah.

The top of the line stuff, unless you have tons of disposable income has to come from experience. Something you'll probably get over time.

As said, trying something with your preferred heads, tuning and so on is not very likely in a store anyway.

A store is a business, and though some drum enthusiastic employee might do something to have a couple of high end kits around, that's not how they make most of their money. Stage Customs, Live Customs, Accent, Catalinas, maybe a Renown and various travel kits is where it's at.

Signature snares is gonna be Hawkins, Jordison, maybe the Greb one... Benny's drum is not cheap, but it's versatile and he's sort of the guy now.
 
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