Sounds/works GREAT … but cheap!

Kenny Allyn

Senior Member
Sounds/works GREAT … but cheap!

This may cover more than just "drums" but hey it's all related, and drums are the core of the kit.

You just gotta love gear that doesn’t cost a bundle but can really work at a pro level.

I know in the guitar/bass world that the old Danelectros are such a phenomenon, I mean they are made of pine and masonite bodies, pickups covered with old lipstick cases, and necks with no trussrods, still cheap as they are (both the originals and reissues) they work, Jimmy Page with Led Zep used one all the time, as have countless others, and recently a good friend of mine landed a great touring gig using a reissue “Dano Longhorn” bass the band leader wanted that sound rather than the sound of his high-buck vintage Fender bass.

In drum-land you see some of the same thing, the new Gretsch Catalina Jazz kit is often mentioned as a best buy these days. What really interests me is the used gear you can pick up that falls into the “sleeper” category. What works for one may not work for others as it's all subjective, but I’ll start with three I have discovered and hope the collective brain trust here can add to the list …

Number one has to be the Ludwig Acrolite snare … I picked up my 90s model for 99.00 on Ebay and it came with a carry bag and decent stand, what a deal, it was in as new condition and although not my all time favorite snare, it certainly can hold its own. I have seen many used by players that could afford a more pricy snare but still used the Acro.

Second is the Pearl P900 kick drum pedal I bought for only 24.99 at GC again in near mint condition… new they are around 70.00 or so, smooth and well made it has a striking resemblance to my Tama IC abet with only one chain on the cam. Maybe not for the ultra hard hitters out there, but a good product none the less, and a super “bang for the buck” IMO.

Last but not least is the Paiste 404 20” ride I grabbed on a whim for under $50.00 … billed as a student level model from “back in the day”, it sounds amazing in certain applications. It has a very musical sound but lacks the complex tone of its 2002 series stable mates, which I find can work to its advantage in some cases, it actually replaced my Zildjian 20” crash/ride that I sold at auction for three times what I paid for the old Paiste and I really like the 404 better!

It might be an interesting exercise to cobble together a list of best buys … who knows maybe a whole kit could be sourced from just such a list?
Interesting thread but surprisingly no response. I am too interested in VALUE-Buys.

Below are what I think and have as VALUE-BUYS:

  • I have a and still using a Gretsch Catalina Club Jazz kit. A Value Buy. Great warm sound at affordable great prices.
  • On my above kit is a Ludwig Acrolite LM404 14x5. Great studio and professional sound at a great cheap price. Shares the kit with a Pearl DC 14x6.5 Solid Maple snare that costs 3 times more.

I am very tempted to say and add the Zildjian Avedis 14" New Beat Hi-Hats. There are tons of them on ebay and at great affordable prices. Sounds very vintage from the 60s. Cats like Buddy Holly and Peter Erskine uses them (still).

I am curious to hear what this forum thinks about the Zildjian Avedis 14" New Beat Hi-Hats as great sounds for a great price.


Silver Member
Im with ya on the acrolite,got mine for 50 bucks,needed snare wire and a bottom head.ITs a best bang for the buck snare.Bought my Yamaha stage custom kit 6 drums for 400 used.Thing gets used and abused but i got to tell ya they are really sweet sounding entry level drums.........