Losing my religion ;)

ChrisCirino

Senior Member
Say it ain't so Bo, please keep the faith. I live vicariously through your many drum purchases and I don't know if I can abide such changes. I hope and pray that this is not the end of the journey for us.

The end is nigh....that is until Bo spots a new "insert brand here" kit in the corner of Pro Drum Shop and the cycle starts anew.

Bo don't go changing, just let Bo be Bo.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Likewise, whenever I show up with the modern Pearls or DW kits, other drummers tell me how cool they are (at my last gig with the DW's, I let a guy sit in on my kit and he said he didn't want to beat on them too hard because they're too pretty - go figure that one). But that's where it stops. When I showed up with my Bonham Ludwig kit at a gig a few weeks ago, actual women came up and said things like "I love that bass drum", or "How cool is that?" Actual people who know less about my instruments offer me exciting opinions - maybe because the old vintage stuff no longer looks 'generic'?
Modern kits are comfortable, reliable, and beautiful. Vintage kits are interesting.

Analogy: What's more interesting... A Lexus, or a fully restored Carmen Ghia?

One of the reasons I play a George Way is because I get to have conversations about it that are a full beer in duration.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Modern kits are comfortable, reliable, and beautiful. Vintage kits are interesting.

Analogy: What's more interesting... A Lexus, or a fully restored Carmen Ghia?

One of the reasons I play a George Way is because I get to have conversations about it that are a full beer in duration.
This is sorta what I'm getting at. Not necessarily which is better. Also this thread is about the realization that at this point, it doesn't matter what I play. Nobody really cares. I suppose I've never really cared, hence the jumping around a bit. I'm cursed with sounding familiar on everything.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I understand the sentiment of the original post. I do the same thing, except I go with medium-priced drums rather than vintage. My favorite kit to play now is a 90's Export 22x18 bass drum, an early 2000's Mapex Venus 10x8 tom, a Gretsch Catalina Cub Jazz 14x14 tom, and a Mapex MPX Birch 13x6 snare. Peace and goodwill.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think this sentiment is about being a professional. I can't relate in terms of drums(give me all the bells and whistles), but I have similar feelings about computers and being a data scientist. I prefer commodity hardware, and I really don't need any thing fancy, just give me a chunk of silicon on a circuit. I remininise about the days in grad school working on a laptop in a coffee shop, and would be much happier doing so.

Things do get a little weird when computer hardware is seen as a status symbol, with Doctors walking around with their iPhones and expensive laptops. I request a nice workstation, sure I can log in and use a 3terrabyte main ram computer on our cluster anytime I want, but they don't see that. A fancy work station is sort of a symbol, that I am the one that programs all of the applications that keeps the whole group ticking and interacting. There isn't a person in our group that doesn't use my applications to get their job done better and faster.
 

Groov-E

Silver Member
I'm cursed with sounding familiar on everything.
I think it is the case with most experienced drummers (say 10-15 years and up or equivalent).

Feel, timing and groove will stay the same, and the sound of the instrument itself through a PA might go unnoticed to 98% of the listeners.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think it is the case with most experienced drummers (say 10-15 years and up or equivalent).

Feel, timing and groove will stay the same, and the sound of the instrument itself through a PA might go unnoticed to 98% of the listeners.
With or without the PA all my kits sound the same to 98% of the listeners.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
I don't own a high-end kit, but a "better kit" and two vintage kits...

I find my self straddling the fence between keeping\using my Tama Starclassic Performers (1999 MIJ birch) or keeping\using my two 1960s Rogers kits.

I love the idea of playing out with the Rogers-but my concern is that the original Red Onyx Pearl wraps, which are all tight and uncracked etc. will start to break down destroying the value of the kits...

I have no doubt any of these kits will provide me with a better sound than my playing deserves so for me it is more about "value" than anything else.

"Analysis is paralysis"

*sigh*
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I have a high end (Guru) kit but that's just a personal decision. I play out on house kits all the time.

The reality is that good heads and tuning go a long way in making the drums sound good.

In a live scenario, what the audience hears as a drum sound is more likely due to the sound system and the engineer than your boutique snare.

Even a poorly tuned drum can sound normal if a decent engineer gets his hands on it.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My two kits are an old Yamaha Stage Custom and a rescued/rehabbed Ludwig Standard. There's nothing at all wrong with the Yamahas - they still sound great twenty years later - but the Standards have a great sound and feel. I also have a fair amount of pride vested in them after I brought them back from the dead.

If I got another kit at a high price point, I'd bring it out to play, certainly. But I don't expect anyone but other musicians to appreciate the drums themselves.

The first time I gigged the Ludwigs, a musician friend told me how much he liked them compared to the Yamahas. Later on when I recorded with him, he asked me to bring those drums to the studio. Other drummers, of course, have said appreciative things. But it's no more than a fellow craftsman appreciating a fine tool. Outside of our trade, it's just a tool.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
You should play what feels right for you.

Sadly I'm not so ludky. My pick is expensive and I know it's sorta overpriced. When I get that, there are certain gigs I'd never bring that to, though.

Reasons for additional kits for me would be those types of clubs and also if there's a certain type f weekend band that always has a van or truck packe. Sometimes those bands already have a kit.

Some people also sometimes have to be two places at one time, but house kits are usually pretty decent in my neck of the woods. It's the school kits that usually suck.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
At this point my vintage Ludwig shell bank is complete. Just added a 14x22 to the fray, so along with my mismatched 9x13, I have enough for a regular Ringo four piece, and the big Bonham kit (but I only use one floor tom). Just sold my DW snare (it sold within 10 minutes of posting it - wow). And the rest of the kit may go sooner or later.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I can relate a similarity.

I recently bought a used set of Reference Pure.

Other than using a low end set for practices, I've owned and used one other set for a few decades, a Sonorlite.

The Pures are obviously warmer, due to the differences in wood and edges, but they have a certain inability to be rude (Bo, I think you mentioned in another thread about the refined qualities of modern drums).

The Sonorlites will get more powerful, the harder they're hit. The floor tom can be explosive, contrary to the Pearl floor tom, which sort of tops-out at a certain dynamic, unless it's tuned very low. Maybe it's the wood, or because the Pearl has full roundover edges. I don't know.

The new drums are prettier and more polite, but the old drums are classier and allow a more emotive dynamic.

However, in contrast to most people who agree that they sound the same on different sets, I feel I play differently on other sets. I find no reason to hit a floor tom harder with the Pearl. It doesn't do any difference.

The Sonorlites can sound like movie war drums, but the Pearls can't do that timpany punch as well.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I can relate a similarity.

I recently bought a used set of Reference Pure.

Other than using a low end set for practices, I've owned and used one other set for a few decades, a Sonorlite.

The Pures are obviously warmer, due to the differences in wood and edges, but they have a certain inability to be rude (Bo, I think you mentioned in another thread about the refined qualities of modern drums).

The Sonorlites will get more powerful, the harder they're hit. The floor tom can be explosive, contrary to the Pearl floor tom, which sort of tops-out at a certain dynamic, unless it's tuned very low. Maybe it's the wood, or because the Pearl has full roundover edges. I don't know.

The new drums are prettier and more polite, but the old drums are classier and allow a more emotive dynamic.

However, in contrast to most people who agree that they sound the same on different sets, I feel I play differently on other sets. I find no reason to hit a floor tom harder with the Pearl. It doesn't do any difference.

The Sonorlites can sound like movie war drums, but the Pearls can't do that timpany punch as well.
I do love how the Ref Pure drums are built and it’s certainly pre-Eq’d because of that, it is also aggravating that because of that, they’re kind of a one-trick long as you say. But there’s no denying it’s a very cool concept for people who need that. But yeah, that whole throaty wackiness you get from a basic maple shell is totally lacking in the cool modern drums. I like having to tweak and tweak to get those Ludwig’s where they need to be - it’s like the imperfections are what makes them sound like drums to me.

This could be generational too. Mostly all of the music I grew up on (Motown, Beatles, Hal Blaine, Muscle Shoals, etc.,....) where all made with Ludwig’s, Slingerlands, Gretsch, or Rogers. So the inherent maple wackiness is part of my musical DNA. Kids growing up on Pearls, Tama, and Yamahas will have that sound in their blood as newer better drums come out. But I really like the new stuff that comes out - Pearl is one of the best doing it.

But at the same time, as I’ve said, my boat has sailed. I’ll not be the next Jeff Porcaro or JR Robinson. So being able to go out and play is fun, but I’ll never be under that kind of microscope of musical perfection. Hence my realization that it no longer matters what I play. I applaud our younger cats who continue pushing the boundaries - I’ll just sit and groove the band.
 

T_Weaves

Silver Member
Very valid points here from both the new kit and older kit owners. I played a Ludwig walnut stained thermogloss ( bought new in '72 ) almost the entire time I played pro ('70's/80's). I used black dot heads on them and some kind of 2 ply hydraulic on the BD's, evans maybe? can't remember. They sounded great. I guess I'm kind of a been there, done that regarding drums of that era.

I like the fact that the newer hardware won't fall apart after 2 years and it doesn't take two hours to tune a 16x18 floor tom. To me the kits being made to sell between the $1K and $2K today are a gas to own and play. Sure you can get less expensive but the heads and hoops will most likely not be very good. These days if you have a grand to blow you can get a kit that is ready to go play. Heck, even $800 will get you a nice used Gretsch Renown. I've found many of these will hold different tuning ranges as well.

I guess my bottom line on the issue is, yeah, I loved my old Ludwigs but give me a nice thin shell maple kit with some good 21st century hoops and hardware.
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
I can understand that some people love the old vintage drums. The wood is really dry and does sound amazing on many old-day highend-kits (hello, Slingerland!). But I have also encountered some vintage drumsets whose sound didn't appeal to me (*cough* Sonor). And almost all mid-level vintage drums sound rather poor imo (You hear why they were the cheaper ones).

What I really dislike with old drums is the fact that it is really hard to get replacement parts in case you need them, especially if it's a company like ... say, Leedy or Kent. The other thing that I strongly dislike with almost all vintage drumsets is the hardware. It is mostly sub-par, hard to use, uncomfortable, quirky, unreliable. EDIT: Third thing that I dislike: Vintage drums just don't keep their tuning. You play a ten minute song and quite often, the snare sounds different at the end of the song, compared to the beginning. Ouch. Just not my cup of tea. But I can understand that some people give a sh** about this, because of the superb sound.

I have played vintage drums now and then but - honestly - they just didn't inspire faith in me. But I loved e.g. the oyster finish Ringo had. And I loved the sound of some old snares like a Gretsch Round Badge, Slingerland Radioking, a Supra or a Ludwig Jazz Festival as I have heard so many jazzrecords where those snares were used.

I found my home in some kind of mix. New Tama Starclassic B/B's (that will sound even better the older they get), wrapped in old-school 50's/60's oyster- and satin-wraps. And I love the sound of my SLP Vintage Poplar Maple snare. It sounds pretty much like a hybrid of the old Ludwig Jazz Festival and Gretsch Round Badge. That snare is basically an old-school snare with great up-to-date-hardware. My drums will do it for me for decades I guess. And wherever I have been, people were amazed with the look and sound of those drums so far. Thus there is no need for me to switch to old drums. But to each his own. Play what feels "right" for you. :)

Some people find their "dream drums" rather fast, some will take a long (expensive) journey, some will never reach the finish line. We are all different nerds. Which is great.
 
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