Keeping Things Light

KEEF

Senior Member
Bought at Walmart. It's a 4x3 thin rubber backed carpet for a door entrance or the like. Fairly cheap.

I had a Stealth rack for a while a number of years ago. It's a great rack and smaller than a conventional rack but at the end of the day it's still a bunch of [/B]bulky heavy pipes. I wouldn't use it for this kind of light compact setup.


Respectfully disagree - i use stealth racks both sides and i actually weighed them against my multi clamp tripod set up and there is literally nothing in it.
I am a fully paid up member of the 'as light as possible' club. I have no qualms about taking a hacksaw to anything to trim weight off. No point in having 8" of cymbal stand down pipe within the rack leg for example.
I agree that it save you less on smaller setups but if the venues you play are tight for room then the footprint reduction alone is well worth it.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
There’s more to keeping things light than I thought, “carryability” is also an important consideration so shoulder straps, backpacks etc come into play.
I had a Catalina Club 4 piece and now have a Saturn 5 piece. The Saturn is a heavier kit but it’s not so heavy that it’s uncomfortable and the limiting factor is that carryability I mentioned. Whether a bass drum and cymbal bag are as light as a feather or at the heaviest end you’ll ever encounter is not that relevant. I can carry one in one hand and one in the other when loading in as long as the doors are wedged open so weight saving in those isn’t a primary concern.
Hardware is the key, like drumdevil9 I use a sports bag bought for about £15 from a catalogue shop. DW UL stands have made a huge difference to the weight and size of bag I need to carry with a couple of caveats. I’ve gone back to using my old single braced Premier hi hat and snare stands as the UL stands for me were too much of a compromise. Another area that I’m struggling with is my drum stool. The saddle top I have doesn’t fit easily into a bag and the double braced base is heavy. However that’s another compromise area, I like the planted feel of the base sos I’ll put up with it, I may in the long term look for a smaller round top base though, I always used one in the past so I’m not someone who needs the saddle base. As for my bass pedal, I carry one and a spare in a double pedal bag. The bag has a shoulder strap so it’s something I can carry on any trip even if my hands are full.

Strangely while load in is a minimising exercise, load out isn’t. At the end of the night with 4 or 5 of us dismantling our backline and PA I’ll often break down just a few items, bag them and get them off the stage and into the car. A few more trips is a compromise (there’s that word again) that makes sense to clear space on the stage area.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Respectfully disagree - i use stealth racks both sides and i actually weighed them against my multi clamp tripod set up and there is literally nothing in it.
I am a fully paid up member of the 'as light as possible' club. I have no qualms about taking a hacksaw to anything to trim weight off. No point in having 8" of cymbal stand down pipe within the rack leg for example.
I agree that it save you less on smaller setups but if the venues you play are tight for room then the footprint reduction alone is well worth it.
Your comparison is to your other setup not mine. There is no way that a Stealth rack would make my setup lighter or take up less space in my bag or on stage so your disagreement doesn't make much sense. A Stealth is not lighter than a tom holder, snare stand and an Ultralight cymbal stand. Sorry but it just isn't.
 

Nate'sKit

Senior Member
Bear in mind that I am not at the point of playing out yet. More at the point of "What do you do with all of this stuff when you have to move it? Are you all crazy?"

I've only seen rugs that are stiffer and would have to be rolled up in a tube when I have just happened to take a look when I'm in a store. Guess I need to look somewhere else.

Also keep in mind that I am talking about a virgin bass drum with no mounts. I think that the Stealth would be good for that. It would replace a snare stand, tom stand (currently the original Ludwig that holds two toms) and a cymbal stand. But that set of vintage Ludwigs might just stay home so it really wouldn't matter. I don't see it being of as much use for my Rockers that have tom mounts on the kick.

But overall do you think it's a good piece of equipment? Well made and sturdy?
 

calan

Silver Member
Well, I'm in an interesting position to weigh in (unintended pun) on this.

My two primary set ups are a 4pc with lightweight hardware, and 5-6pc with a split rack system (not gibraltar, but I modded my pearl icon into much the same thing).

There is no comparison. The common lightweight stands from the usual suspects (DW, Pearl, Tama, etc) are just unbelievably more wieldy than any kind of rack system. It's hard to beat being able to pick up all of your stands with one hand while experiencing no strain.

It's apples and oranges, and for different purposes entirely. I use the rack for a defined purpose: I'm using a bunch of a stuff, I need to get on and off stage quickly, and I don't have any time to fuss with positioning. I think this set up is as light and moveable as can be under the circumstances, but it's not in the same ball park as a lightweight stand pack. Each of my rack sides is marked up for repeatable set up, and they both hold.... 4 items at a minimum. Each wing can be moved as a piece, fully loaded. If I were to actually disassemble all the pieces and put them in a hardware bag/case (all I do is fold up cymbal arms and such), I'm sure I'd be right back into sore back territory.

If all you are replacing is a snare stand, a tom stand, and a cymbal stand, I doubt you will make much, if any, saving on weight. It's going to take more space to transport. You will have a more consistent and solid setup, and your setup time should decrease, as should your stage footprint. I personally do not see the point of having the snare stand as a part of the rack network, I would just opt to keep a normal snare stand and use their side mount in it's stead. Whether or not it's a worthwhile investment depends on how many pieces you're looking to fly off of it and what your other goals are.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Bear in mind that I am not at the point of playing out yet. More at the point of "What do you do with all of this stuff when you have to move it? Are you all crazy?"

I've only seen rugs that are stiffer and would have to be rolled up in a tube when I have just happened to take a look when I'm in a store. Guess I need to look somewhere else.

Also keep in mind that I am talking about a virgin bass drum with no mounts. I think that the Stealth would be good for that. It would replace a snare stand, tom stand (currently the original Ludwig that holds two toms) and a cymbal stand. But that set of vintage Ludwigs might just stay home so it really wouldn't matter. I don't see it being of as much use for my Rockers that have tom mounts on the kick.

But overall do you think it's a good piece of equipment? Well made and sturdy?
Absolutely yes. Stealth is rock solid, no argument there. And I love the look of it. It's a great option for a virgin kick and a cool alternative to a double tom stand and snare stand.

Understand this all depends on what your gigging (if you eventually do) situation is. I gig a lot in downtown, bad load-in and parking situations. If you're gonna gig in the suburbs or whatever, Stealth rack your heart out. That would totally change my calculus. Or maybe not. Once you go light it's hard to go back. :)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I just recently got a rock and roller cart. That and I already had a rolling upright Protechtor hardware bag. I use 1 bungee on the cart to prevent spillage.

1 trip fellas. Stairs are a pain, but they've always been a pain. I don't have stairs at nearly all of my gigs, I just roll it right in. No longer do I do the pack mule thing.

Why did I not do this sooner?
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
The discussion has shifted slightly from one about lightness of weight to start including convenience and consistency of set up.
I’ve had a rack, if I had a van then I might have kept it because at the end of a gig I could have removed some of the components of the kit and stood the rack on the load bed. But I’ve got a car so I had to break the rack down to its component pipes and load them up. Setting up again was more fiddly and time consuming than using stands but the advantage was that everything was pretty much exactly where I wanted it to be. So in my opinion a rack is neither always the worst option or always the best option, it depends on circumstances.

More subjective are multi clamps. They’re not as heavy as stands, however they aren’t exactly lightweight as there’s often a fair amount of casting on them. Factor in the time it takes attach and detach them and the need to either have memory locks in place or added time to position things just right and perhaps the compromise of using dedicated stands starts to look attractive. In my opinion one or two clamps for auxiliary percussion are something I’m happy with, building a set up around multi clamps where every stand has one or more extra items attached is something that I wouldn’t want to do.

I’d love a cart and I’ve seen bands in hotels using them, pushing their gear into the lift if necessary, it looks a breeze. But I don’t have a van and all of my gigs are in pubs and clubs in the North East of England where split doors, flights of stairs and odd steps are par for the course.

I’m still in agreement with drumdevil9 over the feather weight of DW UL stands. If they were to make a slightly heavier hi hat and snare stand using tripod bases with a slightly wider stance than the flat bases then I’d go back to 100% UL hardware. My “gripe” is that the hi hat has too much of a wobble (the tripod gripping the vertical tube halfway up would eliminate that) and the flat base and reduced contact area of the tightening clamp on the snare stand haven’t instilled confidence in me for the busiest drum on the kit.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
Find myself in a bit of a catch 22 situation here.

Most of my hardware barring my snare stand is double braced, I don't take much (2 cymbal stands/hat stand and snare stand) I mount my ride from my tom post Paice style.

I keep all the stands set up and just unfold the legs to set up, they all fit very nicely into the back footwell of the car. Means a couple extra trips to the car but convenience of set up and pack down it's not too bad.

The DW ultralight pack looks very tasty and I like everything in one case, are the lightweight stands fiddly to get set up/packed down.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Find myself in a bit of a catch 22 situation here.

Most of my hardware barring my snare stand is double braced, I don't take much (2 cymbal stands/hat stand and snare stand) I mount my ride from my tom post Paice style.

I keep all the stands set up and just unfold the legs to set up, they all fit very nicely into the back footwell of the car. Means a couple extra trips to the car but convenience of set up and pack down it's not too bad.

The DW ultralight pack looks very tasty and I like everything in one case, are the lightweight stands fiddly to get set up/packed down.
If I may direct you to a thread I wrote a short while back that addresses my DW Ultralight experience.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141222
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
If I may direct you to a thread I wrote a short while back that addresses my DW Ultralight experience.

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141222
Cheers mate, that kind of confirms the problems I have with them. The snare stands look a bit flimsy. The tama single brace wouldn't be retiring any time soon :)

Nice to see honesty in a review. Most gear reviews now describe a product as the second coming.

This might be a more sensible option:

https://www.gak.co.uk/en/tama-stage-master-hardware-pack/909418
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Cheers mate, that kind of confirms the problems I have with them. The snare stands look a bit flimsy. The tama single brace wouldn't be retiring any time soon :)

Nice to see honesty in a review. Most gear reviews now describe a product as the second coming.

This might be a more sensible option:

https://www.gak.co.uk/en/tama-stage-master-hardware-pack/909418
That's a belting price for what you get, I think the similar DW UL package comes in at double that!!!
I'd need to feel the weight but if it was on the lighter side of most single braced hardware it would have been a contender if I'd known about it. I'm happy with my single braced hi hat and snare but if I suddenly need a replacement I doubt I'd look past these.
 

calan

Silver Member
Cheers mate, that kind of confirms the problems I have with them. The snare stands look a bit flimsy. The tama single brace wouldn't be retiring any time soon :)

Nice to see honesty in a review. Most gear reviews now describe a product as the second coming.

This might be a more sensible option:

https://www.gak.co.uk/en/tama-stage-master-hardware-pack/909418
that's what I use, and it's absolutely brilliant.

On the bathroom scale, the bag is about 41 lbs fully loaded. Bear in mind that I have a Tama tom tree, floor Tom legs, multi clamp, cymbal arm, and a few pairs of sticks tucked away in my bag.
 
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BruceW

Senior Member
I have two kits that I use, depending on the venue. My "big" kit, not really huge, but with the 22" kick, and 4 cymbal stands (3 of which have a second arm on them) its kind of a traditional kit. A few of my cymbal stands are the old Tama double braced heavy ones from when I got the kit in 1981...is my gear box heavy? Yes. I use a SBK 48" rolling case, and it is a beast.

I do have a smaller gear set up for my "small" kit, fewer stands, smaller drums.

I have decided tho, that if I get the chance to play, and I have room for the regular gear, I'm gonna use it. I enjoy playing, and I enjoy it more playing with all my "stuff". I can manage the heavy rolling case well enough. There is a ramp on our band trailer, I can get it there.

I understand and appreciate where you guys are all coming from, and its very likely that at some point I'll likely adopt the same philosophy...
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I’m still in agreement with drumdevil9 over the feather weight of DW UL stands. If they were to make a slightly heavier hi hat and snare stand using tripod bases with a slightly wider stance than the flat bases then I’d go back to 100% UL hardware. My “gripe” is that the hi hat has too much of a wobble (the tripod gripping the vertical tube halfway up would eliminate that) and the flat base and reduced contact area of the tightening clamp on the snare stand haven’t instilled confidence in me for the busiest drum on the kit.
I tried the hi-hat at a store and agree it's wobbly. That's why I opted to just get the cymbal stands and go a different route for the hi-hat and snare stand. I prefer those not to be flat-base anyway and the stands I found are light enough.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I forgot to mention that I recently got the new Tama HP50 pedal which is a real winner. It's light and adjustable for different size bass drums which is great for me as I switch between 18, 20, and 22 quite often. Folds up small too so it fits in the bag with everything else. I put it in a cloth bag to give it some protection.

The Tama classic cymbal stands would have been a contender but they weren't available yet so I got the DW's.
 

gish

Senior Member
This has been a great read; lots of great tips/info being shared about a frequently discussed subject. When I was younger I never thought about the weight of my gear, but at 45 I've been looking to lighten my load like so many others. Depending on the venue, I am now able to get my kit inside with 3 trips. Some of the changes I've made in the last few years:
- Swapped out my heavy Saturn 12-16-22 for a 12-14-20 Stage Custom birch (the 3 SC drums feel lighter combined than my Saturn bass drum)
- Stopped using my heavy molded plastic cymbal case in favor of a bag
- I have a Tama IC pedal; left the plastic case at home, put the pedal in one of my hardware bags
- Purged all of my double braced hardware in favor of Yamaha 700 single braced; not the lightest stuff out there but lighter than what I used to have
- I've always carried a duffle bag for things like my stick bag, a towel, miscellaneous stuff; realized I really don't need it
- I have 2 hardware bags; hardware goes into the bag with wheels; stick bag, seat top, mics and rug go into the other non- wheeled bag.
I can carry the kick and toms in one trip, snare and cymbals are the second trip, and lastly I wheel the heavy bag with one hand and carry the light bag with the other. I have not weighed anything so I don't have numbers for proof, but I'm making less trips in/out than I ever have and it feels like I'm handling half the poundage. Hoping to extend my playing career for a good many more years. Very pleased with my current gigging set up (although Larry does have me thinking about checking out some carts).
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
I own a Stealth rack. It’s too fiddly for gigging if it has to be broken down in parts. Takes a long time to put together.
Pearl racks fold and just works.
 

calan

Silver Member
The Tama classic cymbal stands would have been a contender but they weren't available yet so I got the DW's.
I looked into those, along with virtually every modern lightweight hardware solution. I invariably end up playing on grass a couple of times a year, and that basically makes flat based a non starter.

The pearl convertible flat based stuff probably would have been my best overall solution, but I caught a good deal on the stage master lightweight kit and couldn't pass it up.

Now that more manufacturers are hopping on this train, there are a lot of viable options and ultimately specific situations and deal hunting will determine who wins the day.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Yeah my Saturn Tour V 20" kick is a beast weight-wise. I had no idea. That maple layered up with walnut makes for a very dense & heavy kick. Sounds great, though!

This has been a great read; lots of great tips/info being shared about a frequently discussed subject. When I was younger I never thought about the weight of my gear, but at 45 I've been looking to lighten my load like so many others. Depending on the venue, I am now able to get my kit inside with 3 trips. Some of the changes I've made in the last few years:
- Swapped out my heavy Saturn 12-16-22 for a 12-14-20 Stage Custom birch (the 3 SC drums feel lighter combined than my Saturn bass drum)
- Stopped using my heavy molded plastic cymbal case in favor of a bag
- I have a Tama IC pedal; left the plastic case at home, put the pedal in one of my hardware bags
- Purged all of my double braced hardware in favor of Yamaha 700 single braced; not the lightest stuff out there but lighter than what I used to have
- I've always carried a duffle bag for things like my stick bag, a towel, miscellaneous stuff; realized I really don't need it
- I have 2 hardware bags; hardware goes into the bag with wheels; stick bag, seat top, mics and rug go into the other non- wheeled bag.
I can carry the kick and toms in one trip, snare and cymbals are the second trip, and lastly I wheel the heavy bag with one hand and carry the light bag with the other. I have not weighed anything so I don't have numbers for proof, but I'm making less trips in/out than I ever have and it feels like I'm handling half the poundage. Hoping to extend my playing career for a good many more years. Very pleased with my current gigging set up (although Larry does have me thinking about checking out some carts).
 
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