Your personal least favorite set you actually owned.

I used to have a Set of Sonor Lite drums throughout the 90ies that I never really liked. It was my first and only professional kit back in the days, and probably it was just the fact that I didn't have a clue about decent tuning. But I almost never felt like mastering my drum sound. In addition to that, I found it more and more unattractive with its deep shells and the brick-shaped lugs.

After some years of almost not drumming at all, I felt I had to sell the whole thing and bought something new. And what can I say, I got plenty of fun for free with my new stuff ;) And a good reason to improve my tuning skills with DTB and other ressources.


Senior Member
The Osan Runner i had for 10 years or so. Bought it in 2001/2002 and sold in 2014 or 2015. The black PVC wrap was too thick and set too high to set the new Aquarian heads i bought in 2004/2005-ish. Couldn't seat the heads properly and had to cut away some of the wrap so they would seat on the bearing edges. But what did you expect from a €300 kit... Didn't had problems with Remo heads on them, but the tuning range on this kit was limited. The bass drum was amazing though, had an Evans clear G2 on it with a Remo muffler. Great kick sound. Eventually replaced it with a Pearl Vision because it was starting to (literally) fall apart.

Still am amazed with the sound a quality of my Pearl Masters BCX i got in December 2014, so never going back to anything that sounds worse haha


Platinum Member
Still am amazed with the sound a quality of my Pearl Masters BCX i got in December 2014, so never going back to anything that sounds worse haha
The guy who owns a practice space where I play has a BCX kit, and I'd be darned if that thing doesn't sound decent. I wish it had a 12" and 16" floor tom. I just play the 10 and 14.


Senior Member
My 70s Ludwig single side head Power Plus set with a Black Beauty snare. I ordered it custom with a 26 bass and 20 floor tom. The clip mounts left a lot to be desired and the 6 and 8 tom plys were coming apart and warped. The snare sounded like it had no shell, very very wet sounding. In fact, just about everyone who played it didn't care for it. I played it for years.


Junior Member
May this serve as a head up to those who obsess on whatever is vintage. My very first kit was jazz style 1969 Asba (a French brand), which I found in 1979 in a shop where I would not afford a Tama, let alone, Ludwig or Slingerland. The shop had it as a trade in and added a no-name tinplate snare which I eventually turned into a timbale! With the toms and bass, I tried and tried desperately all sorts of settings, single, double, hydraulic heads and back... I never came even close to the sound I would hear on records or live shows. Of course I was listening 70s and 80s music.
Asba had a good reputation in that time, so I thought the problem was me, (and maybe it was). Yet, whenever I found myself on any in-house Tama, Pearl, Yamaha kit, I would finally be happy with my playing and my sound, even for jazz.
In the hindsight, I was unwittingly owning the perfect vintage drums: 3 ply mahogany with reinforcement rings, heavy die cast hoops, impossible tom mounts, spurs that let you run after your bass drum as you play ... Eventually I committed the heresy to have them drilled for a YESS mount kit (unthinkable and shameful by today's standards) and settled for Remo black dots. My point is, there were reasons in the first place why drum makers evolved to 6 plies, triple flanged and modern design. By then Made in Japan was a cheap label, mere copy of the noble US make. It took less than 10 years for the followers to bring down their masters.
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Staff member
An old Pearl made "Maxwinn" drum set. Sounded absolutely awful and somehow looked even worse.
I owned one for about 5 minutes around 1982. Compulsive purchase on the day for a specific gig I'd been booked for. Decided to set it up in the store directly after paying for it to check it all worked. It went back in the boxes in under a minute & a refund was arranged.

Absolutely the worst built drum I've ever encountered was a brand new Gretsch USA custom snare brought to my workshop by a touring artist because he couldn't tune it up. I took the heads & hoops off both sides, & started by putting the shell batter side down on my inspection plate. At first, I thought they'd assembled it upside down with the snare beds on the batter side, but no, the batter edges really were that bad. I then tried the reso side. Edges just as bad, plus snare beds out of alignment. Not only that, the shell was out of round by 3/8". Overall, the shell was super poor quality. Voids everywhere, & really nasty quality inner ply. Considering it's a Keller production, I was surprised. Lugs were cheaply made & inconsistent. Internal fixings were the cheapest possible quality. Given the price paid, I was shocked.

The edges were so bad, there wasn't enough wood left to machine out the issues. I couldn't even conceive how a drum could be built this badly, even if you tried to. I ended up lending the player a snare for the gig, & the Gretsch went back to the store the following day. I can only now tell this story since I can no longer be accused of commercial bias. There's more too, but many would get others into hot water, so I'll wait for them to move endorsement deal ;)


Senior Member
Newest Made in USA Ludwig Club Dates. Very cardboard dull sound. No music they didn't sing.
Isn't that how Club Dates are SUPPOSED to sound? Dull and thuddy? :D

I've always hated the sound, but I guess some people dig it. To me, Club Dates are the exact opposite of drums that "sing."


Platinum Member
Absolutely the worst built drum I've ever encountered was a brand new Gretsch USA custom snare...
People look at me cross-eyed whenever I tell folks to be careful whenever ordering new Gretsch USA drums. Granted, if you get a good set, they are fantastic; however, I've been reading about QC issues for year on their expensive USA drums. If I was to ever get a set, I'd open the box in the store and going over everything with a fine-tooth comb before taking them home.
Ludwig Questlove Breakbeats kit. Simply AWFUL. Stickers instead of badges. Horrible bearing edges on ALL of the shells. Plastic (not real mylar plastic) heads. Sloppy wrap job. I tried replacing all of the heads and went through numerous tunings and the kit always sounded like a cheap kid's toy. Sold it within 3 days of buying it.

All-in-all, I was in shock that Ludwig would put out such a poorly made kit. A kit that is overpriced as well. There are far better compact kits like the Sawtooth bop kits and the SPL bop kit....both of which I have owned personally.

Sonor Martini AQ2 kit... bass drum rattled no matter what heads I used on it. Hours and hors and hours spent tuning it.... never got rid of the rattle. Sold it a week later.

Mapex Rebel kit. Out of round bass drum. The whole kit was very cheaply made. Obviously this is a budget kit, but even so, I've encountered far better sounding and performing drum sets that are in this price range.
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Senior Member
Some well meaning church member bought me an entry level PDP at a garage sale for 50 bucks when we formed a praise band. I set it up and played it one time. The next day I bought my current Premier XPK kit and relegated the PDPs to storage. When I left, they stayed behind.

Tama Superstar Hyperdrive Birch

The short toms were too quiet and the 10" sounded like a toy. The 20" long kick took tons of room yet sounded dead (sounded like there was a big pillow inside when it was empty). The snare was decent.

It was very solid and well built though. Just no life in the tone.