So... why *has* equipment gotten so expensive?

Km6543

Senior Member
I remember about ten years ago many high-end double pedals ran about 270 dollars, and now the exact same models cost about 400. Also some of the high-end cymbals seem to have gone up by as much as a hundred dollars. Why the price increases? Is it inflation, materials costs, tariffs?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I remember about ten years ago many high-end double pedals ran about 270 dollars, and now the exact same models cost about 400. Also some of the high-end cymbals seem to have gone up by as much as a hundred dollars. Why the price increases? Is it inflation, materials costs, tariffs?
It's all of those things. And technically, from ten years ago, those wouldn't be the exact same models, they would've been improved in some way, but even if it didn't (like in the case of the venerable Ludwig Speed King pedal), materials cost more, labor cost more, shipping and warehousing, all that stuff goes up.

Here at Disneyland, the corporation does this thing where they'll keep upping the price until people stop coming, and even then the price doesn't come down, it just stays in one place for a while. Gas does the same thing. If everybody stopped coming, or if everyone stopped buying gas, the price goes down. It's just economics.
 

tracer

Senior Member
My take: Artificially low interest rates, produced by endless quantitative easing have in fact forced increased prices in virtually everything.
I was working on a land development deal which was engineered and bid in 2006. Nothing whatsoever changed in materials quantities and skilled labor, as the plat for the subdivision was unchanged. We bid it about 6 months ago, with very aggressive paving, grading and utility contractor bidding, and the price increased 32%. When we questioned the civil engineer, he commented that the labor cost was very similar, but the materials cost had, in some cases doubled.

For ten years approximately, I went into Costco, and could predict the prices of everything I routinely purchased. In the last 18 months to two years, everytime I go in the place, one of the prices has increased on the things I buy.

One of the best investments you could have made in the last ten years was ammunition (which incidentally has at least a 30 year shelf life.) if you bought 9mm straight off the shelf at Walmart or Academy about 7 years ago, you would have paid as low as $3.88/box. It's $15 a box, minimum at either of those two places.

This bubble will burst, at some point, and we will have runaway inflation, or much higher interest rates.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQdlifGg7eI

Sorry for the rant - you struck a chord with me....
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Compared to just about any other instrument in the same quality bracket, drums are very cheap.

If you're looking for cost increase drivers, applicable to almost all drum companies, look to changes in the Asian economies.
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
Meh. Come to Australia, mate. New Gretsch Catalina jazz kits for $1300....New Classic 4 piece for $3500 plus. Bonham Vistalite shell pack for $5600. Tama Superstar at $2000 for shell pack fer criminy's sake.

Disgustipating.
 

Ham

Member
I bought a pair of 5000 double kicks from america last Christmas for $300 (including postage), here in Australia they retail in shop for $700. A pair of Paiste Signature Reflector Heavy Hats are $600 in America, here in Oz, just under 1k.
 

whiteknightx

Silver Member
yeah, I don't find things are expensive at all actually. I'm in Canada, so keep that in mind, and our dollar used to be 65 cents to a US dollar. Now it's almost on par to the US dollar, so it's almost 30% more buying power.

I paid 800 for my 5 piece pearl Exports back in 88. I paid 900 for a 7 piece set of Gretsch Catalina shells last year. No comparison in quality.

Cymbals are probably 50% more now than they were back in the early 90's. I used to get a 18" Sabian AA crash for around 100-120 bucks when they were on sale once or twice a year. Now they are around 180. Thats not bad for 20 years.

In 94 I paid 200 bucks for a pearl add on double bass pedal that attached to my main pedal, and it was terrible compared to anything you can buy now.

Now high end stuff is always going to be expensive, they just don't sell that many compared to the lower end items, so they can't make up profit with volume. But I really don't think a price for a DW kit now is much different than it was back in the early 90's.
 

longgun

Gold Member
Meh. Come to Australia, mate. New Gretsch Catalina jazz kits for $1300....New Classic 4 piece for $3500 plus. Bonham Vistalite shell pack for $5600. Tama Superstar at $2000 for shell pack fer criminy's sake.

Disgustipating.
I bought a pair of 5000 double kicks from america last Christmas for $300 (including postage), here in Australia they retail in shop for $700. A pair of Paiste Signature Reflector Heavy Hats are $600 in America, here in Oz, just under 1k.
Makes me realize how blessed we are here in the states, we can definitely get quality gear at a reasonable price....................is everything in Australia that much more expensive, or just certain things?
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
EVERYTHING is more expensive.

And some companies COUGHADOBE deliberately inflate the cost of their products to "suit the market". I think, last I heard, Photoshop had a DELIBERATE >50% cost in Australia compared to what it has in the States. Then the same companies complain about piracy :rolleyes:


When I bought my Pearl Eliminator, RRP was AU$1000, and when my Demon Drives arrived I was fortunate to have 30% off the RRP of $1299 and got them for a bit over $900 with wooden beaters, from memory. If I were to order a 16" Gretsch USA Maple floor tom the price was $2300, compared to $900 for the Renown Maple drum (guess which one I bought).

I think there are a few exceptions, but generally everything over here costs way more. We even got to the point where retail video game stores whinged enough that Steam had to artificially inflate their prices for Australian customers. I think I recall some games on release being priced at >$110 for a 'standard' release, although they seem to have settled back down to the $90 mark. Personally, I've never paid more than AU$50 for any game with three exceptions: Fallout 3 Collector's edition, Bioshock 2 Special Edition, and a whole bunch of planes for the Rise of Flight games :).


Interestingly though, in the last couple of years when the Australian dollar reached and exceeded parity with the USD, I was able to pick up a whole bunch of new cymbals (18" Paiste Alpha Swiss, Paiste 16" Dark Energy, 6" UFIP Class Splash) for less than $1000 - less than $400 for the Dark Energy crash, and later on a 19" Paiste Sig. Reflector Heavy Crash for under $500. Whereas back in 2009, RRP on my 18" Sig. Full Crash was closer to $900.

Unfortunately, we're well back below parity again and so I imagine prices have gone back up. Good thing I've run out of stuff to buy*.


* How many times have I said this before?
 

Anon La Ply

Renegade
I keep wondering about that free trade agreement Australia has with the US. Does it mean that American sellers are free to mark up anything to Australians? The best laid plans of mice and men ...
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
It's not so much the free trade agreement as it is Australian retailers and middle-men. An example would be Brady drums. To buy a Brady in Perth, (where it's made), costs about AU$1400 to $1650, yet in the States, for the same drum, they are about $US1000. According to Brady they offer the drums at a flat rate, i.e. the same price to all retailers regardless of location.

But at any rate, regardless of whether it's fuel, food, housing or drums, everything is way more expensive in Australia.
 

dmacc

Platinum Member
Meh. Come to Australia, mate. New Gretsch Catalina jazz kits for $1300....New Classic 4 piece for $3500 plus. Bonham Vistalite shell pack for $5600. Tama Superstar at $2000 for shell pack fer criminy's sake.

Disgustipating.

Disgustipating.... to say the very least...

Holy smokes.....
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
Compared to just about any other instrument in the same quality bracket, drums are very cheap.

If you're looking for cost increase drivers, applicable to almost all drum companies, look to changes in the Asian economies.
Add to that the increasing cost of copper and other metals due to demand for cellular technology all over Asia and the third world and you will see cymbal prices continue to rise.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I keep wondering about that free trade agreement Australia has with the US. Does it mean that American sellers are free to mark up anything to Australians? The best laid plans of mice and men ...
Meh. Come to Australia, mate. New Gretsch Catalina jazz kits for $1300....New Classic 4 piece for $3500 plus. Bonham Vistalite shell pack for $5600. Tama Superstar at $2000 for shell pack fer criminy's sake.

Disgustipating.
Mmmmh... Looks like your Guru drumkit sounds like a bargain buy Grea :)
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
This thread explains exactly why I buy used. The only thing I buy new are sticks. I have recently picked up a cymbal and stand that look brand new. I paid $200 for what would have been $375 worth of gear if I bought it new.

The only way I can understand buying new is if you are getting something custom made. Then I can understand spending the extra money.
 

iwearnohats

Silver Member
I wouldn't be buying used crashes or chinas, you don't know how much abuse they've copped.

But hats and rides, absolutely, if you find the right one at the right price.
 
D

DamoSyzygy

Guest
Actually, a lot of drum gear in Australia has come DOWN, with the value of the dollar.
I couldnt believe how relatively cheap some of the dw hardware is now, compared to where it was 5 years ago.
 

Derek Roddy

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I remember about ten years ago many high-end double pedals ran about 270 dollars, and now the exact same models cost about 400. Also some of the high-end cymbals seem to have gone up by as much as a hundred dollars. Why the price increases? Is it inflation, materials costs, tariffs?
GAS.

It's the reason a box of rice that was .89 cents 12 years ago..... is now 2.69

It's also the reason that touring artist aren't seeing the profits they were 10 years ago...(coupled with lower guarantees)

Everything travels by Gas.....we need "everything" therefore....cost more.

That said...to get a 5pc kit that had suspension mounts, double braced hardware and wood kick rims... was minimal 2250.00 15 years ago....

Now you can get those features for 450

D
 
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