Where's all the gear?

DrumDoug

Senior Member
I was thinking about vintage drums and gear the other day. It occurred to me that companies like Zildjian and Ludwig have been around selling drums and cymbals for over 100 years. Even "newer" companies like Yamaha, Pearl and DW have sold thousands if not millions of sets. Where is all this gear? I don't think any one throws drums in the garbage. How many Zildjian cymbals are in attics and basements? How many Slingerland drums are in the garage? I know you can find some of this stuff for sale but if you think about it, there are millions of cymbals and drums sets and bass drum pedals and snare stands, and on and on and on. It's all gone somewhere. I don't think it's in a landfill somewhere. Yet with all this used gear out there, people still buy new stuff by the truckload. At some point isn't the market going to be so saturated that there's no market for new stuff. Anything you want you will be able to find used somewhere. Or are all these collectors exotic kits, longboard pedals and double braced boom stands going to end up in the garbage some day? Next to the Radio Kings and under last weeks take out?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
In many cases, breakage occurs. Sometimes, multiple instruments are cannibalized as donors to create a single working instrument. Many times, instruments are lost or forgotten about in basements, attics, and closets.

In my case, the family maintains a vault that we use to store our pricier vintage gear. We'll occasionally pull a pice when we want to show off or have a dress gig, but for the most part, it just remains there where it's free for any family member to use on occasion. At some point in the next 100-200 years, I'm sure my generation's descendants will have a big shitty fight about it.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Don't know how many of most of them have migrated there but I understand that most of our planet's cymbals belong to Bermuda.
 

Skyking

Senior Member
A while back I had the same thoughts and started a new thread, first post below in blue... But I think the answer is that most people still want the shiny new stuff. So, if the new stuff is cheaper and still built well, what's going to happen to demand and thus prices for the classic stuff?

Do Drumsets Ever Get thrown Away?
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So, 100 threads ago the guys were trying to talk sense to some kid who thought he could sell his barely used kit for retail minus $50 bucks. (The kid never did understand the economics.) But, it got me wondering about used pricing and whether people throw away well used drum sets at some point? And, if not, except for cases of spontaneous combustion and or alien abduction, where do the worst of them go after rejection by Craigslist and Guitar Center? If not to the landfill then there has got to be a lot of bargain basement equipment out there.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Cymbals, I get. Cymbals break. Cymbals are easy to store. Drummers can and will horde cymbals.

Drums, I wonder too.

I just think of all the Pearl Exports and such I sold over the years, and then how many have been sold world wide over a much longer period of years, it seems to be there should never be a reason for anyone to need to buy a new beginner drum kit. Yet that segment is always the biggest selling aspect of drum retail.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Kind of off topic, and just a rumor at that, but a while ago,
when Harley mania was going on, you couldn't buy a new Harley unless
you had one to trade in.

The trade-ins were shipped overseas to keep demand and prices up in the US.

I know that the part about having to have a trade-in was true for sure.
At least in my part of the country.
And we have several Harley dealers here.
There were also waiting lists for new bikes.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
The truth is that most musical instruments are kept by the original owners as they add more musical instruments to their collection.
These kept instruments tend to wind up in storage around the house for years and years. Occasionally some are sold off in the used market but most just sit in a dark area lost and forgotten.
There are far more hoarders than sellers in this world.
When you travel about in your local community you see numerous houses with unused cars in the yard. You see open garage doors with items piled within the confines behind them. The basements of these same houses are filled with unused items. So are the closets and attics of these homes.
As items linger they decay and parts become lost. An estate sale or tag sale may bring them out to light where pickers will select the best items for resale. Eventually the unsold items go to a landfill or some of the parts wind up on eBay.
 
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opentune

Platinum Member
I think it is all a conspiracy. all old sets are being bought up and hidden by these companies. cymbals are bought and Bronze re melted.
 

TopHat

Senior Member
Cymbals, I get. Cymbals break. Cymbals are easy to store. Drummers can and will horde cymbals.

Drums, I wonder too.

I just think of all the Pearl Exports and such I sold over the years, and then how many have been sold world wide over a much longer period of years, it seems to be there should never be a reason for anyone to need to buy a new beginner drum kit. Yet that segment is always the biggest selling aspect of drum retail.
I would be interested to know the breakdown of who is buying the kits though. I started my drum journey in high school, and pretty much anyone my age or younger, our folks were all hooking us up with equipment so we could play at school and better ourselves and what not.

Then I'd go to my job, and I'd work with some folks who were in college or maybe out in the workforce as a part time plumber or whatever and wanted to play punk on the weekends or start like a Foo Fighters cover band or something, and they're buying up all the used stuff the yuppie parents were getting rid of cause their kid quit playing.

Yuppie parents are going to pretty much keep buying new entry level gear, for as long as entry level gear exists as gateway for their children. If Pearl was relying on lower income weekend warriors to subsist, they'd probly be in more trouble.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I would be interested to know the breakdown of who is buying the kits though. I started my drum journey in high school, and pretty much anyone my age or younger, our folks were all hooking us up with equipment so we could play at school and better ourselves and what not.

Then I'd go to my job, and I'd work with some folks who were in college or maybe out in the workforce as a part time plumber or whatever and wanted to play punk on the weekends or start like a Foo Fighters cover band or something, and they're buying up all the used stuff the yuppie parents were getting rid of cause their kid quit playing.

Yuppie parents are going to pretty much keep buying new entry level gear, for as long as entry level gear exists as gateway for their children. If Pearl was relying on lower income weekend warriors to subsist, they'd probly be in more trouble.
Export was (and perhaps still is) the top selling drum kit in the world for many, many years.

Exports, Swingstar/Rockstars, and such far, far, far outsell high end kits in terms of number of kits.

Although I suspect it's the Doctors, Lawyers, CEOs and such who buy high end kits just to have in their basement are what keep the lights on for all the major drum makers.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I think you guys are giving these things more credit than they deserve against the test of time.

I've seen drums that were barely 10 years old, literally falling apart because someone left them in a hot garage. All the fires, all the floods, all the neglected equipment that is really a lot more sensitive than we like to think is probably in various land-fills.

We look at things such as old farming equipment with awe because it's rare to see any examples of it in good condition anymore! When you think about it, these machines really aren't all that old relative to "time" as we let it pass. Stuff breaks, loses it's value, gets forgotten, thrown away or sold in lots and left to rot.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Although I suspect it's the Doctors, Lawyers, CEOs and such who buy high end kits just to have in their basement are what keep the lights on for all the major drum makers.
I don't doubt that theory one bit. I met a software Engineer on a flight to Boston who told me he bought a $5,000 Les Paul guitar because he 'always wanted to play electric guitar when he was younger and now he can afford one'.
Who else is dropping $1.5k on Craviotto snare drums at Steve Maxwell's if not for these guys?
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I think this is an interesting exercise in discovering just how many people there are in the world and how small your place is in it ;)
 

Frosticles

Silver Member
Only recently sold my 26 year old Export. Never failed in any respect over 1000's of gigs. I somehow managed to "Lose" my old World Series.......... All of my old cracked cymbals were either dumped or my wife now has them to become some sort of sculpture.....
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I resemble these remarks. But still being guilty of owning vintage and new gear at the same time I can say that I do use these items. Assuming that because someone seemingly owns too much gear is because they are an overpaid Dufus with no talent is just silly. I remind you that you own some of this stuff as well and what you do with it your business.i can actually play and yet I do meet the description of a poser , so be it. I would think that for the most part stuff gets wrecked when people don't repect it , fix it when it ain't broke. P.S. Mr Craviotto is a Drummer just like you and me and his drums are great IMHO.
 

Mark_S

Silver Member
I still have my first proper drum kit that I bought new in 1997 with my student grant money. A Premier XPK, and I still have the receipt. The owner of the shop drove me down to the famous Premier factory in Wigston in Leicester to pick it up (which is now gone).

Since then I've bought a Premier Signia snare 2nd hand, and bought the Sonors 2nd hand (rescued from a barn where they were going rusty) and that's it, they are the only 2 drum kits I've owned. I don't really count the Hohner I had when I was 14, I'm not even sure what happened to that. I remember sticking my foot through the cheap kick drum pedal and my friend welding it back together for me ...

I will buy another at some point though as both my kits are 6 peice (8, 10, 12, 14) but these days I tend to only have 1 rack tom so I'd like to go 10 (or 12), 14, 16.

I doubt I'll ever sell either of these kits..
 
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