Suggestions for a decent, small footprint kit needed...

rpt50

Member
What are your thoughts for a decent small kit? I would like to get something that is easy for me to transport when my son's band plays gigs at smaller venues (I do the transporting since he is not old enough to drive). That Ludwig "breakbeats" kit they have now at Guitar Center looked and sounded pretty good to me, but I'm not a drummer. I've also seen various Tama "stagestar" kits for sale locally. My son's main kit is mostly Tama, and he really likes that a lot. I would prefer to buy used.

I've already gotten some great advice on this site regarding other drum matters. Please let me know what you think some good choices would be. Thanks.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I like the Ludwigs, those are nice. But there are also the Sonor Safari kits ($389 for a shell pack) and those are great too.

However, the Breakbeats might be your best bet because of the 16x14 bass drum. If you're trying to save space, front-to-back space is often at a premium. And width-wise, they're identical. The Sonor Safari has a 16" deep bass drum. Sonor has the Bop kit which is slightly larger with an 18" bass drum, but I didn't like that one as much as the Safari for some reason.
 

gish

Senior Member
I own a Stagestar, I use it for rehearsals with the various bands I work with. Its a well made little kit that, with good heads and tuning, can sound pretty good. I haven't used it on a gig, but I wouldn't hesitate to. Some other folks might chime in about Gretsch Catalina Jazz kits, or Tama Silverstars, or Yamaha Stage Customs in Bop sizes, which are all nice drums. If you're trying to save a few bucks, the Stagestar will do the job and will most likely be the cheapest.
 
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gish

Senior Member
I like the Ludwigs, those are nice. But there are also the Sonor Safari kits ($389 for a shell pack) and those are great too.

However, the Breakbeats might be your best bet because of the 16x14 bass drum. If you're trying to save space, front-to-back space is often at a premium. And width-wise, they're identical. The Sonor Safari has a 16" deep bass drum. Sonor has the Bop kit which is slightly larger with an 18" bass drum, but I didn't like that one as much as the Safari for some reason.
Bo, I saw a Youtube video with you playing a small Sonor kit. Was that a Safari? Both you and the drums sounded great!
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have a Tama Stagestar and a Sonor Safari kit. They are both excellent.
I also used to use an 8X20 bass drum from a Pearl Rhythm Traveller kit with an 8x10 mounted tom and a 12x14 floor tom. That kit worked great.
The Taye Go kit is also really good.
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
There's just something about those 16" kicks that are just great. A friend of mine has a 3007 Jungle kit and always got laughed at when he brought in the 16" Kick... until they miced it up. That thing was killer.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Bo, I saw a Youtube video with you playing a small Sonor kit. Was that a Safari? Both you and the drums sounded great!
Thanks for watching! I appreciate the kind words. I actually had both the Bop and the Safari, and like the Safari better. The bass drum actually sounded punchier to me because of the lift to get the beater in the center of the drum (the Bop doesn't come with a lift, and if it did, the spurs aren't long enough to accommodate). I sold them both, and now that Sonor makes the Safari in red sparkle, I might get another one, since I love red sparkle.

But how tall is your son? Yamaha has those Gigmaker kits - one is a five-piece with a 20" bass drum. If you're thinking he might be playing this kit for a while, a 20" bass drum is actually more versatile from a playing standpoint. Sometimes the 16" and 18" bass drums can only be so loud before you have to mic them up. A 20" works well for everything and has enough bottom end too.
 

rpt50

Member
Thanks for watching! I appreciate the kind words. I actually had both the Bop and the Safari, and like the Safari better. The bass drum actually sounded punchier to me because of the lift to get the beater in the center of the drum (the Bop doesn't come with a lift, and if it did, the spurs aren't long enough to accommodate). I sold them both, and now that Sonor makes the Safari in red sparkle, I might get another one, since I love red sparkle.

But how tall is your son? Yamaha has those Gigmaker kits - one is a five-piece with a 20" bass drum. If you're thinking he might be playing this kit for a while, a 20" bass drum is actually more versatile from a playing standpoint. Sometimes the 16" and 18" bass drums can only be so loud before you have to mic them up. A 20" works well for everything and has enough bottom end too.
Well, I actually just sold his backup Sonor force kit that had a 20 (it was the first kit we got him). It was definitely smaller that the Tama set he plays now, but I was hoping to get something even smaller, but still with a decent sound.
 
Check out the Gretsch Catalina Club. You can get 4 piece set (including snare) for $599. Great sounding drums, great looking, easy to transport. Excellent value for money.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Well, I actually just sold his backup Sonor force kit that had a 20 (it was the first kit we got him). It was definitely smaller that the Tama set he plays now, but I was hoping to get something even smaller, but still with a decent sound.
Ah. Then either the Safari or the Breakbeats. I'd lean toward the breakbeats winces its smaller and only $10 more.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
Those Ludwig Breakbeats look amazing for the price (...ugh careful Jim.....GAS is lurking).

Looking at the promo YT video ?uestlove did, I really love the package of sound, portability and price. Great rehearsal or gigging kit.

Just sayin'


Jim
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
My plan for a while has been to grab a Safari kit, but man those Breakbeats I think have swayed me. I also think it's interesting that it comes with velvet bags to use as covers/mutes.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Well, I actually just sold his backup Sonor force kit that had a 20 (it was the first kit we got him). It was definitely smaller that the Tama set he plays now, but I was hoping to get something even smaller, but still with a decent sound.

First thing you've got to decide is how small of a bass drum you want. There's a lot more kits with an 18" bass than a 16".

Off the shelf kits with 16's have a more limited selection. But some good ideas have already been tossed.

If you've tried and liked the Breakbeats kit, go for it. It looks like a fun little setup.
 

rpt50

Member
Well, we went with the Sonor Safari kit. When we looked at the Sonor and the Ludwig Breakbeats side-by-side, the sonar appears to me a bit more robust. I would have like to have been able to see the Tama metro jam as well, but nobody had one in stock, or could even give a date for getting one.

So far the Sonor sounds great. As others have noted, the bass drum has surprising punch for such an almost comically small kit (actually, it would be funny to see a 6'4" plus guy play this). My son is also very happy with the way the snare sounds once we tuned it and got the snare wires to a good tension. The heads on the toms are already showing some wear after one day, but that's an easy fix.

Thanks for the advice guys!!!
 
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