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  #1  
Old 10-31-2017, 09:36 PM
WeBeDrummin WeBeDrummin is offline
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Default "cheap" drums

Ok, so I found a groove percussion kit that has the 10x9 12x10 and 14x14 that I really need for 100$. It even has an 18x16 bass which could make a cool third floor Tom. I now have a percussion plus 22x18 bass and 16x16 floor. I have all dw hardware, custom built snare, zildjian a customs and Remo heads. The kit sounds great, people always compliment. So if I buy the groove percussion, put good lugs and hoops and matching remos will it sound bad? What is the difference between a cheap kit and an expensive kit other that terrible hardware. Does poplar sound that bad?
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

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Originally Posted by WeBeDrummin View Post
So if I buy the groove percussion, put good lugs and hoops and matching remos will it sound bad?
I don't know. It may sound great, but it may not. You never know until you try it.

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Originally Posted by WeBeDrummin View Post
What is the difference between a cheap kit and an expensive kit other that terrible hardware.
A lot! Edges, shell material, craftsmanship and construction, finish options, where it's made, etc.

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Originally Posted by WeBeDrummin View Post
Does poplar sound that bad?
I think it depends on the grade of poplar. I have a 9-ply Tama Rockstar kit that doesn't sound that great. However, Gretsch has been using a maple/poplar/maple shell for years and people swear by them. There are a lot of variable. I prefer maple, but my ears are garbage.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:50 PM
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ineedaclutch ineedaclutch is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

Lugs and hoops add up. I would pass.
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

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Originally Posted by ineedaclutch View Post
Lugs and hoops add up. I would pass.
^^Agreed. Going this route will cost you almost as much as just buying a better kit to begin with. Save your pennies and look at a complete Pearl Decade Maple or Exports, or even a Ludwig Club Date. A lot of that Guitar Center brand stuff doesn't last very long, either. So you could spend money on that, then spend more money later when you have to replace it due to things breaking down.

Just to put it into perspective, I spend way more than $100 on a set of heads for my 4-piece kit!
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Old 10-31-2017, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

Your costs have just started if you want to bring it up to the level you state. A set of heads for all those drums will run over $100 alone. Lugs are up to $5 apiece, so quite expensive, unless you pirate them off yet another cheap kit. They can also be a pain to locate, getting exact hole spacings etc.

Wait around and get a better cheap used kit for $300 or $400, which is the total you would invest bringing up that Groove Percussion.

OR just buy one cheap orphan tom for your current 22 and 16 and you have decent 4 piece until you get a better all-around kit.
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:13 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

All new drummers should simply get an SC, 7000 HW kit, and a set of A's... Blah, Blah, and so on.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
All new drummers should simply get an SC, 7000 HW kit, and a set of A's... Blah, Blah, and so on.
You should just have this as a tag line in your signature. Then there's no need to keep re-typing it.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:48 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

There's a couple of sayings I'm thinking of here.

You get what you pay for.

Buy quality, buy once.

Would you buy the price same hardware? Your hardware is worth more than the drums. Never mind the cymbals.

If I had to kit share then yep I'd get the cheapest kit I could buy. If I was after a quality sounding kit on a budget I'd go for PDP, Gretsch Renown.

2nd hand the Pearl MLX and BLX are worth a punt (pre-masters if you don't already know)
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Old 11-01-2017, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

Groove Percussion shells are Mapex/overseas Gretsch factory seconds (KMS?KHS? blanking on the manufacturer name but it's the same factory, Mapex is their flagship brand) as a general rule. Usually the edges are fine and the construction is top notch, shell wise, but there are little cosmetic blemishes. Groove Percussion kits are the Sam Ash proprietary brand so the hardware is what is lacking. That said I've been playing a stock groove percussion kit for the last 7 years without issue. I say stock meaning i didn't change the lugs or hardware. the heads that come with these kits are among the worst i've ever encountered but put some nice Remo or Evans or Aquarians on them and these kits are freaking fantastic assuming you found the sizes you wanted. The problem is that usually these kits are in the hands of beginners who don't know anything yet and beat the hell out of them learning. You could put a high end DW in the same hands and it too would sound awful for the same reason.
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:15 PM
Mozart1220 Mozart1220 is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

My kit is a Ludwig "Accent" 5 piece I found at a garage sale for $100 WITH Rototoms.

A new set of heads,(A drummer friend gave me a great Evans head for the kick) replacement snare and hi hat stands, and two new cymbals and I have about $350 in the entire thing. Granted, I'm a beginner (at age 56) but I think it sounds great. I know I've posted these before, but I'm kinda proud of it. My 8 year old grandson is showing interest AND aptitude, so he gets it in a couple years if he wants it.
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2017, 10:36 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

As a Drumsmith here in AZ I've dealt with my share of cheap drums. My part bins are pretty well stocked from sets I've bought for nothing else than to dismantle them. Then use those parts to refurbish another kit for someone.

Many friends who have kids that want to get into drumming will go the route of Groove or Gannon only to have it come apart in a year as they learn. Then they come to me to "see what I can do". Most often, the lugs I have will fit the hole pattern and I can get them up and running for next to nothing. If not, I send them to Craig's or other selling sites to look for a drum set upgrade.

Bottom line is you do in fact get what you pay for and I assure you cheap kits will come apart in due time as the player hits harder or sets up/tears down often.
Go mid grade if you can and you'll be better off for it.
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Old 11-03-2017, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderRoss View Post
As a Drumsmith here in AZ I've dealt with my share of cheap drums. My part bins are pretty well stocked from sets I've bought for nothing else than to dismantle them. Then use those parts to refurbish another kit for someone.

Many friends who have kids that want to get into drumming will go the route of Groove or Gannon only to have it come apart in a year as they learn. Then they come to me to "see what I can do". Most often, the lugs I have will fit the hole pattern and I can get them up and running for next to nothing. If not, I send them to Craig's or other selling sites to look for a drum set upgrade.

Bottom line is you do in fact get what you pay for and I assure you cheap kits will come apart in due time as the player hits harder or sets up/tears down often.
Go mid grade if you can and you'll be better off for it.
7 years and counting on my current Groove Percussion. I consider it the best $219 I ever spent. Due time is pretty long it seems. It gets broken down a few times a week. I play it the same as i would play any kit. Only things i've had to replace are the heads thus far.(And i'd have to do that with any kit i bought regardless of price) As i said in my first post. If you give any kit to a beginner that doesn't know what they are doing the kit will most likely end up falling apart and sounding terrible as they learn technique etc. I haven't found modern cheap kits to have any higher failure rate than their upscale counterparts for at least the last 15 years.
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2017, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

I have to say, I saw a used Groove Percussion set at a local store not too long ago. It was an Amber Lacquer, it looked and seemed pretty darn nice especially for the price.
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  #14  
Old 11-03-2017, 06:08 PM
LeftySlammer92 LeftySlammer92 is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

I currently own 3 kits, A Tama Starclassic Bubinga, A Pearl Export Series, and a cheap CB junior set.

I love my Tama kit dearly and it's obviously better built, tunes easier, sounds more to what I consider "my sound", and boasts some of the best hardware around. It clearly outclasses my other kits in every way imaginable, but that's not to say that my other drums aren't great either.

That being said, my Pearl Exports sound just as good as any semi-pro or pro kit I've heard, but it's just a different sound. Any kit that's built well, can be made to sound good. Really the only reason I upgraded my drums was because I just started getting a ton of gigs that I needed kits in multiple locations. It's my primary gigging kit for when I'm in a smaller venue where volume control is needed, and I still record with it quite a bit, as it does have a great vintage vibe to it, which is great when the application calls for it.

My CB's are made from only what I can assume is cheap chipboard, but even then, I essentially took the kit apart, refinished them and now use the tiny 8" and 10" toms as concert toms, and the kick is a gong drum, and when tuned properly, they actually sound pretty kick ass for what they are.

Poplar is a great wood honestly, and just because it's dirt cheap, it gets a really bad rap. Hope this helps my friend.
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Old 11-03-2017, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

Poplar is an extremely hard wood. Iíve used it tons to build structure for painted or non visible sections of cabinets/shelves where strength is required. Itís cheap, because it doesnít have much in the way of wood grain. The density would actually and has worked quite well on drums.
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  #16  
Old 11-03-2017, 09:42 PM
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hippy chip hippy chip is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

How many of you Groove Percussion haters have actually taken the time to even play a set, much less put on new heads and tune them properly? I have no problem getting my set sounding great! Cheap cymbals will always sound like cheap cymbals, but cheap drums can get the job done just fine!
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  #17  
Old 11-03-2017, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJD View Post
7 years and counting on my current Groove Percussion. I consider it the best $219 I ever spent. Due time is pretty long it seems. It gets broken down a few times a week. I play it the same as i would play any kit. Only things i've had to replace are the heads thus far.(And i'd have to do that with any kit i bought regardless of price) As i said in my first post. If you give any kit to a beginner that doesn't know what they are doing the kit will most likely end up falling apart and sounding terrible as they learn technique etc. I haven't found modern cheap kits to have any higher failure rate than their upscale counterparts for at least the last 15 years.
By no means was I implying that it's like that for everyone. Drummers who "know how to hit" and take care of their sets are logically exempt from this thread. Figured that was understood.

I had a GP snare drum for over 2 years that sounded great no matter what heads I put on it.
The lug inserts were pot metal that would strip out or outright break if tightened too much, so other than that, it was good to go.
I sold that with a beater kit I refurbished to make it complete and the kid is still playing it today.

I find the wood to be a bit soft for my taste, but I'll buy a used set of these any day to flip for some kid who wants to learn. If they flake out, the parents aren't out a lot of bread.

Win-Win.
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  #18  
Old 11-04-2017, 12:15 AM
iwearnohats iwearnohats is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

I have a poplar Pearl Firecracker and it sounds excellent.

No experience at all with those Groove Percussion kits, just giving poplar the thumbs up
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  #19  
Old 11-04-2017, 08:46 PM
poekoelan poekoelan is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

Sounds to me like the OP doesn't have any toms. And for 100 bucks, this groove percussion would give him plenty. I say go for it IF everything is in good shape. Shells are round, bearing edges fairly sharp and consistent, no broken or damaged hardware. I would not go about replacing all the lugs and hoops. Like others have said, just not worth it. I would only replace something that broke or failed.

Cheap drums can sound good. Type of wood does play a certain role, but heads and tuning are more important to the sound than wood type. Case in pont: I have a Tama Swingstar kit that I bought new in 1985. They've always sounded good and they have held up real well over the years. I did my fair share of gigging with them, most of it without cases or bags. Lots of setting up and tearing down. Even though the hardware is a little lighter duty than their higher lines at the time, nothing ever broke or failed. So years ago when I got a better set, I kept the Swingstars. Just because they sound decent and they are solid and reliable. it is possible for a cheap set to sound good and be well made, but this isn't always the case. Especially when you get into no name or stencil sets. But even then, there are exceptions to the rule.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:01 PM
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STXBob STXBob is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

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Originally Posted by poekoelan View Post
I say go for it IF everything is in good shape. Shells are round, bearing edges fairly sharp and consistent, no broken or damaged hardware.
Yeah, pretty much this. For most drums, if it's round, has good bearing edges, good heads, and good tuning, what it's made from doesn't matter a damn.

Quote:
I would not go about replacing all the lugs and hoops. Like others have said, just not worth it.
Replacing the lugs is not necessary unless they're broken. If there are broken lugs, that'd be a deal-breaker for me. Replacing parts of the lugs is IMO a good idea (more on that in a bit).

If I had some dosh left over, I'd replace the hoops with 2.3mm - eventually. Batters first, if cash was an issue, then reso side.

From there, I often find it beneficial to replace the swivel nuts inside the lugs with new, and at the same time replace the tension rods.

One of the reason cheap drums are a PITA to tune - and keep in tune - is the crappy tension rods and crappy swivel nuts (the things in the lugs into which the tension rods thread). One of the hallmarks of cheap tension rods is poorly-cut threads, with burrs and irregularities and ick and blerg. At least pull them and clean them like a soldier would clean his rifle. You won't remove the burrs, but you'll remove the years of gunk that f*ck up how they're supposed to move.

If it were my money, I'd buy 'em, and budget for 2.3mm hoops to replace the (probably bent) thin trash that came on 'em, as well as new tension rods and swivel nuts/lug inserts. While I'm at it, I'd put nylon washers on the tension rods, because I like 'em. Some don't. YMMV.

You can get all of those things from Drum Factory Direct for not a lot of cash.

I tarted up an old CB Percussion kit with new heads and replacement parts and played it for years.
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  #21  
Old 11-08-2017, 12:49 PM
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belairien belairien is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

I've been playing a Ludwig accent kit I got for free and refinished. Maybe not as cheap of a kit, but they sound great!

Looks like they are a poplar/luan blend. 12 inch tom was poplar outer ply (the rest were luan), and had a busted lug so I ditched it.

The shells was dried out from baking in a storage unit. But that may be why they resonate well. Digging them more than my birch kit.

Cheapo kits can sound great and hold up with care. But not worth putting too much money in to them unless they have sentimental value.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:25 PM
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Mongrel Mongrel is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

My first bass drum head was an old pretzel tin propped up inside a 20" mij bass drum I got as part of a "package" that included a snare and 12" tom for $30. No cymbals, but a hi-hat stand I put "something" on that I could hit. It took my mom MONTHS before she could get me a proper head and a year before I could get a proper kit. This was in 1977... I was 14 and the situation quite literally was food or fun?

So you will have to excuse me if I chuckle a little bit at the "buy quality, buy once" statements or suggestions to "just go buy a set of Yamaha SCs and a Zildjian A cymbal pack". Not sure what economic strata some of you guys and gals may live in, but I guarantee you not everybody is there, and sometimes not even close.

I don't know the OPs situation, but it sure seems like they are looking for a cost effective way of building up their kit. They are off to a good start with what they have, and it probably took some effort to get there. (They made some wise decisions already quality cymbals and snare drum over toms) And if $100 and some new heads ($40 for a 10-12-14 pre-pack on sale?) will get them there whats the problem? A quick look a the 'bay and you will see even beat up 12" Pearl Export toms run over $50 bucks each, so you don't just "find" 3-4 toms for $100 or less...

Check the drums out, check for roundness and bearing edges if you can and go for it.
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
you will have to excuse me if I chuckle a little bit at the "buy quality, buy once" statements or suggestions to "just go buy a set of Yamaha SCs and a Zildjian A cymbal pack". Not sure what economic strata some of you guys and gals may live in, but I guarantee you not everybody is there, and sometimes not even close.
I see it all the time---guitar guys are just as bad---great at spending other people's money!

Spend the $100, and enjoy your new kit!
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:55 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

I was playing a Groove Percussion kit with my cover band at practice for a couple years before I got my Stage Custom kit to replace it. It was a decent sounding kit. I used 1 ply clear heads from Attack with sound control rings. Didn't bother me. My gig kit at the time was a Tama Rockstar that I re-hooped. I upgraded from stock to 2.3 mm. It helped keep them in tune better. I think re-hooping is a good idea, but I wouldn't bother with the lugs.

But if you want a gig kit that you have to set up and tear down over and over, you might be better off with something that has a little beefier hardware, like a Stage Custom or a Ludwig Element/Evolution. But the Groove Percussion is great if you just want to set it up and keep it there in one place for awhile. I don't need to re-hoop the Stage Custom kit. It sounds great just the way it is, but I think a hoop upgrade job would improve my Ludwig Element kit. It really improved the Rockstar kit.
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  #25  
Old 11-10-2017, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: "cheap" drums

Put about 3 coats of fiberglass resin inside the shells up to the bearing edges. It gives them properties more like a hardwood and the kit will sound better. I've done this twice with cheap kits after reading about it in a forum suggestion. Put quality 2 ply heads on there. Knowing what I do now, I would go with Evans hydraulic, and tune them in the sweet spot. Don't try to get fancy. It'll sound nice and punchy with a bit of real tone and a fairly smooth resonance.
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