Premier APK 12 / 14 / 20

MadJazz

Silver Member
Having sold my yamaha beech custom a few years ago, I am ready for a new set. It's a drumset for casual play as I don't have the time anymore to dedicate myself to drumming.

Because of that, I don't want to break the bank and want to keep the drumset small. I was used to play a 22 kick but want to try something more contained.

So I've tracked down this Premier APK in sizes 12x9 14x14 20x18 and a 14x6 steel snare I won't be using. I still have a yamaha brass 13 snare which is here to stay. The wrapped shells are 6 ply 7.5mm birch according to the website.

I hope these drums will fit on Tama hardware I have left over; I guess both premier and tama use 10mm L rods?

What do you think of these drums? How do they sound?


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Morrisman

Platinum Member
This kit looks great. They briefly did them in White Marine Pearl, but not many were made. I've heard an 18" version and it sounds great. 20" would be more versatile. I like birch for smaller drums, it seems to have a deeper, clear tone.

Regarding the tom arms - I have an XPK and mine are 10mm - these look similar.
 

MadJazz

Silver Member
Any advice one appropriate heads? I was thinking either coated single heads or clear double heads.


Also wondering if the floor tom needs extra taming; I used to seat floor toms with double clears on the bottom.

Which reminds me, why does the picture above show a pinstripe on the bottom of the 12"??
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
The tom arm looks Tama actually ; the memory lock too, Premier Mem'locks are flushed design with the bracket and the bass mount.
With Birch kit, I don't know why, I like coated head (G1 or G2).
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Tama arms are slightly thinner than Premier ones. I use all Tama arms on my Artist Maple gig kit with no problems :)
 

Peedy

Senior Member
I have an early set of the XPKs (1990) that I used to play live in 2014/15. Mine has the deeper power toms (10/12/13). Much higher quality for the money as it was used when I got it.

Don't know what Premier is using now but mine are Birch over Eucalyptus. Digital copies of the early catalogs are available if you want a link.

Excellent kit. Back in 1990 the APK and XPK were the low end (XPK had painted interiors and slightly upgraded hardware) and yet were $1000 for a 5-pc. Premier just didn't sell junk like some other companies at the entry level.

Pete
 
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Peedy

Senior Member
Those are used shells. I didn't see the point in buying new. Sparkles are wrapped.
Agreed. Do you know what year or years they were made. Premier did/does have a habit of changing the wood used to make their drums. Those look fairly recent though early ones were made of Mahogany if memory serves.

Pete
 

MadJazz

Silver Member
Agreed. Do you know what year or years they were made. Premier did/does have a habit of changing the wood used to make their drums. Those look fairly recent though early ones were made of Mahogany if memory serves.

Pete
Those are the most recent, the ones on Premier website.

100% birch it says.

I dont really care. Dimensions, condition and price are all right.
 

mpthomson

Senior Member
Excellent kit. Back in 1990 the APK and XPK were the low end (XPK had painted interiors and slightly upgraded hardware) and yet were $1000 for a 5-pc. Premier just didn't sell junk like some other companies at the entry level.

Pete
Hardware was identical on the A and XPKs originally (certainly in 1990) and both had black interiors as the wood they used was a version of luan called merranti.

The only difference was that the XPKs had a veneer of birch on the outside instead of the wrap of the APK so they could stain the wood, everything else was identical
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Hardware was identical on the A and XPKs originally (certainly in 1990) and both had black interiors as the wood they used was a version of luan called merranti.

The only difference was that the XPKs had a veneer of birch on the outside instead of the wrap of the APK so they could stain the wood, everything else was identical
Yep, knew most of that. Things were a bit fuzzy in the beginning, though. The were called "Royale APK when they came out around 1985ish. Then name changed to just APK (1988?) while the XPK came out as the slightly more expensive brother a year or two later. Wood changed from Mahogany to Luan / Birch when XPK was added if memory serves.

Pete
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Meant to upload a pic or two from the early APK years. Don't have any recent Premier catalogs and haven't played on or owned any of the newer APK/XPK drums. Sorry to drone on, but there just aren't enough Premier guys rep-ing the brand around here!

Single pages from the 1985, 1987 and 1990 catalogs.

Pete
 

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Premierdrummer1967

Junior Member
Wood changed from Mahogany to Luan / Birch when XPK was added if memory serves.
I wanted to chime in although I'm about a month late on this. I'm new to the forums, having started drumming again after a twenty nine year hiatus. I have recently purchased an early 90's XPK in Black Shadow finish and I love it. I had to do a ton of research with some hardcore entrenched Premier drummers because so of much of the 90's Premier drums really confused the hell out of me. I came up with some pretty interesting stuff, and I thought it might be at least pretty interesting so I'll share it.
The biggest item is the term "luan". In the United States, we consider luan to be a cheap type of thin plywood. In reality, luan is an actual type of wood, and has a real spelling of lauan. It is a tropical hardwood. Luan in the case of Premier drums comes from the Meranti tree in the Philippines, hence Philippine Mahogany.
The second interesting note is that the wood is only "cheap" in the financial sense and not the application sense. It is extremely common in an around the Philipines, Thailand, Vietnam, and etc..
So the XPK shells are "luan", but not in the terms that we Americans know it to be. The luan is actually an Asian hardwood. So it is birch / luan, Meranti, Philipine Mahogany / birch. Each of the woods is the exact same wood.
 
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