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  #1  
Old 02-01-2012, 05:24 AM
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Default Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

This is driving me nuts. I am going back and forth between Mapex and Tama. I am staying up at night thinking of all the possibilities, different sounds, tones,etc. This is a really important purchase obviously. I just want to know where to begin.

The sound I want is hard to explain but I feel both can give it to me; it is just a matter if one is better than the other.

So people, any way I should lean. I want something that will really bring out the best in me, but I am completely torn with no good leads. Whenever I think I make my mind up I listen to someone play the other brand and start leaning that way.

I feel helpless with this!
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2012, 05:35 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Relax, Its not the drums, Its the drummer.
Always remember that.

Tama and Mapex make great drums along with all of the other manufacturers.
You have narrowed it down to two manufacturers according to your post.
Which kit do you like best?
Compare the features of both kits and choose that way.
There is no magic perfect kit.
What kits are you considering?
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:41 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

I have no idea on the model type beyond the brand. My friend was telling me about trying to do a custom kit, where I can save money but still get a top notch product, so I am certainly open to that.

For the brands: Mapex Saturn and Tama Starclassic all seem great to me.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

I'm always mentioning this about drum sound, but I think hoops are very important. Mapex's are triple flanged, Tama's are die-cast. The two drums couldn't be further apart in sound, to my ears. Have you played them both in a store?
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Yes, The hoops are important.
I myself like the Mapex thick flanged hoops over the cast ones.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

I have played both brands but not those specific models. I played a Mapex in high school which I have no clue what it was but I loved it and then a Tama rock star.

I want something where the toms resonate but can still strike quick. I want something vibrant yet powerful with the ability to do a good thrash or prog song if need be as well as something ambient, funky,etc.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:50 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Can you find a shop in your area where you can play both kits?
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:52 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

I've played Tama Superstars for a couple years now. Starclassics are top of the line. Don't know much about Mapex. Like all the others have said, it's the drummer, not the drums.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2012, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Can you find a shop in your area where you can play both kits?
I am not seeing things that catch my attention at the music shops. There are several music shops, but nothing is set out that really strikes me. I will go back to each store tomorrow and give the sets another go around.

Of course I am still open to trying a custom build, my worry is that I won't be able to try it out before the purchase and delivery.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Custom drums are made to order so it is best that you know exactly what you want before ordering.
Then you won't be disappointed.
The Starclassic line is a mellower sounding drum that the Saturn line.
Mostly because of the hoops.
Both kits sound great, just different.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2012, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

And therein lies the problem. So many of these kits sound different yet are all great right? Then, you have me. My tastes are a wide variety. I literally like everything. So that leaves me with wide open tastes and drum brands that are all great! And I have to choose one!
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

With me it usually comes down to price.
I find drums that I know that I will like and I wait for the right deal to come along.
That always helps me decide.
I currently have several kits that I have collected over the years that vary in sound.
Some are cast hoops and some are flanged,
Some are maple, etc.
All of these kits were bought when I happened to find the right price.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:32 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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Originally Posted by minor chords View Post
I am not seeing things that catch my attention at the music shops. There are several music shops, but nothing is set out that really strikes me. I will go back to each store tomorrow and give the sets another go around.

Of course I am still open to trying a custom build, my worry is that I won't be able to try it out before the purchase and delivery.
Don't just buy a "custom" kit because of the word custom. You'll have to have a very deliberate idea in mind depending on the brand of the custom drum set. You mentioned Mapex Saturn and Tama Starclassic. To which Tama Starclassic are you referring to? Drum for drum, you'll probably be paying more for the Starclassic kits than you would for the Mapex. The drums you already mentioned are in the semi pro to pro categories and cost a bit more than pure pocket change, so don't make any mistakes and get a case of buyers remorse.

My suggestion would be to get a budget in mind first and then play every drum kit you can get your hands on. There are oodles of manufacturers making drum kits, not just Tama and Mapex. Since it seems as though you don't have much experience in buying drums or actually knowing what good drums should sound like, you'll probably have to go by what feels good to you along with a sound and finish that sparks your creative abilities.

Never rush your purchase, if you can help it. Always sleep on it. This is really the fun part.

Dennis
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Odd question. So you don't actually know what model you'd go for? Which Starclassic?

I own a Saturn. Great drums, for what they are. But I heard a Tama Bubinga Birch at a gig recently and the toms were fantastic, I don't think my Saturn toms would ever slice through a wall of guitars like these Tama's did. However my Saturn kick drum is incredibly satisfying. I smile even just looking at it, playing it it just heavenly. Still, I think my next kit will be something thick shelled, birch or something similar. And I'll probably settle on a brand that has a finish I want, I really want a nice blue kit.

Figure out the sizes and finish you want, and your budget, that'll narrow it down.
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2012, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Buy Ludwig classic's.. they seem to hold their value the older they get.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2012, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

I played a Mapex Saturn Pro kit for 9 years. Great drums. But I have 1 major complaint that made me switch brands, the mounting hardware on the bass drum. The way the hardware is on the bass drum makes you have to put the bass drum in a larger size case. If it's a 22 you will have to use a 24 inch case.

Also, the bass drum was very heavy to carry around. I love Mapex Falcon pedals but I would not play their drums again with the hardware on the bass the way it is.
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2012, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

If you watch Drum Tuning: Sound and Design by Bob Gatzen (link below) he explains a lot about choosing the right drums for you in the first part. I think it's a really good idea for you to check this out before deciding which kit to buy. Drummer's tastes and sounds are different, the right drums for you are not the same as for everyone else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSSPt...eature=related

Good luck
:-)
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  #18  
Old 02-01-2012, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

You have much good advice here.
Take your time and decide when it feels right.
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  #19  
Old 02-01-2012, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

...

Dont kill yourself.

Pick a card, any card. Use a dart if you like. Ok,pick a finish you like and buy anything upwards of a middle level kit, any brand, depending on your budget.

...

Last edited by aydee; 02-01-2012 at 10:44 AM.
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2012, 09:21 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

lol.
202020202020
202020
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  #21  
Old 02-01-2012, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Bob Gatzen really puts it straight in his vid that was linked when he says,
"Don't look at the price or the shell type so much, Listen to the sound that the drum makes and see if you like it. Listen to hear if the drum can do what you want it to do"

I have two inexpensive kits that I love to play because they sound so real to me.
It is also nice to have "Pretty" gear that you like to look at.
The cool thing is that they make gear of all prices that looks great.
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2012, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Also remember...that kit you play in a store will sound different when you get it home. Even moving it around the room will result in different sounds.

Then there is head choice...tuning....etc....
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  #23  
Old 02-01-2012, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kg_lee View Post
Buy Ludwig classic's.. they seem to hold their value the older they get.
+1. Not to mention a unique warm sound that's a part of most everyone's DNA on planet earth.
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2012, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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lol.
202020202020
202020
You said, what I was thinking. Go and try some kits out man. They are all good. Nobody makes a consistently bad kit anymore. It kind of sounds like you don't have enough experience to know the difference between the sound of each kit anyways.

One guy will tell you to buy for re sale. Well you won't be getting rich off of any drum kit you sell, so don't look at it like an investment. One guy tells you he won't buy a brand because of the bass drum spurs, even if it was the best sounding kit in the world to him?

Buddy! Just go and try some out, or look at a bunch of pictures and pic the prettiest one of the bunch. They all sound great, and have little subtle differences in sound, and how they work with hardware.

Heck, why not go give a new company a chance like Crush. They have some really cool looking drums right now.

My point is, just go out and look, touch, try, smell, and buy the one that makes you feel good inside, because all the drums in the shops will have great things about them, and they will all sound similar. By the time you take them home, put your idea of the perfect head on them, tune them, if you are any good at that, put them in a completely different room, than the one at the store, they are going to sound way different anyways.

Heck, one of the reasons I bought my Saturn's is because of the way the bass spurs attached without mounting directly to the drum. Everyone has a different opinion, just like you. So go out and use yours! :)
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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+1. Not to mention a unique warm sound that's a part of most everyone's DNA on planet earth.
:) Damn, I new my drums were missing something!
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  #26  
Old 02-01-2012, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

A better drummer than me can play my inexpensive kit and it blows me away. When I play it, it just blows.

If you get either brand there's so many things that you can do to make both sound better. I just try to learn all I can about what I'm buying then fiddle around with the hardware and see how the two differ.

Then I leave the store because I don't have any money, ftw.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
Heck, why not go give a new company a chance like Crush. They have some really cool looking drums right now.

:)
Good point about Crush. Go with what sounds, looks, smells, feels the best to you that fits in your budget. Give them all a look. The more competition the better. Competition breeds better drum makers.
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  #28  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Yep, you guys got it. I have had three drum sets in total. They were easy buys. I just sort of fell in to them.

This time I am just getting really particular about everything early on. It is a crazy journey. My understanding then is that the finish makes a difference and then the hoops. I will go to the stores and try the major ones mentioned the maple and birch without asking and then the different hoops. Hopefully they have them available.

My thought then is that the brand is not so much important as the technique of the drummer and the actual make of individual drums.

That linked video was something I needed to watch growing up. Wow.
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  #29  
Old 02-01-2012, 06:26 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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Yep, you guys got it. I have had three drum sets in total. They were easy buys. I just sort of fell in to them.

This time I am just getting really particular about everything early on. It is a crazy journey. My understanding then is that the finish makes a difference and then the hoops. I will go to the stores and try the major ones mentioned the maple and birch without asking and then the different hoops. Hopefully they have them available.

My thought then is that the brand is not so much important as the technique of the drummer and the actual make of individual drums.

That linked video was something I needed to watch growing up. Wow.
There is a great store in Virginia, called Greenbrier Percussion. They are set up in a wear house, and if you let them know you are coming, they will let you try out some sets. They have a ton of stuff. Ask for Bradley, and tell him Glen from Canada told you to call.
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

You've picked two great brands - don't sweat it. Choose based on your favourite colour/finish.

Seriously, why not.

Davo
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  #31  
Old 02-01-2012, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
There is a great store in Virginia, called Greenbrier Percussion. They are set up in a wear house, and if you let them know you are coming, they will let you try out some sets. They have a ton of stuff. Ask for Bradley, and tell him Glen from Canada told you to call.
(540) 372-DRUM (3786)
I am way south of them, but I will certainly remember this so that when I travel up there I can see if my dream set is there waiting for me! Thank you for the referral.
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  #32  
Old 02-03-2012, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Today I fell in love with two Tama silverstar birch kits. One was 900 and the other was wood finish 970. Both with snare and hardware. They look like winners. I will probably be deciding between those two. Pretty good price I think as well. What do you guys think?
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  #33  
Old 02-03-2012, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

I wouldn't go silverstar. I would save to buy a starclassic, the silverstars are entry level, the superstars/starclassics are fantastic. You can get a superstar hyperdrive kit on ebay for around 1300. Don't let the little toms fool you, they pack a huge punch. The starclassics are beautiful sounding, i love mine. A b/b starclassic is 1500 new, the maple, bubinga, and bubinga elite are a little more if I remember right. Tama will be great if you like the stuff you mentioned earlier, gordian knot would sound good too! :) (good band, by the way, I like your profile pic!)
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:46 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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I wouldn't go silverstar. I would save to buy a starclassic, the silverstars are entry level, the superstars/starclassics are fantastic. You can get a superstar hyperdrive kit on ebay for around 1300. Don't let the little toms fool you, they pack a huge punch. The starclassics are beautiful sounding, i love mine. A b/b starclassic is 1500 new, the maple, bubinga, and bubinga elite are a little more if I remember right. Tama will be great if you like the stuff you mentioned earlier, gordian knot would sound good too! :) (good band, by the way, I like your profile pic!)
Yep. Gordian Knot are the bomb! New Cynic ain't that bad either. Nice little EP to chill to.

Something about the Silverstars speak to me. I don't know what it is. I also found a new video of Mike Portnoy beating the shit out of them. They sound pretty awesome to me! I really think I am leaning that way. Either them or Meridian Mapex.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minorchords View Post
Today I fell in love with two Tama silverstar birch kits. One was 900 and the other was wood finish 970. Both with snare and hardware. They look like winners. I will probably be deciding between those two. Pretty good price I think as well. What do you guys think?
I think that that will be a fine choice.
See, When the right kit comes along you warm up to it and you don't have to lose sleep ;)
You were all worked up for no good reason.
Compare the Meridian and the Silverstar and simply choose the one that you like best overall.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Not sure how far you are from these but I noticed people suggesting spending 1200 to 1500 on a new kit but given the chance and that amount of money I would buy these considering the maple shells alone were about $5000 when they were new and you could have them shipped by greyhound if they are too far to go get personally. Sound wise it dont get much bigger or fatter.
http://louisville.craigslist.org/msg/2813965467.html

Last edited by tard; 02-04-2012 at 05:49 AM.
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  #37  
Old 02-03-2012, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

I checked out the Silverstar snare and loved it, but based on everything I'm hearing here, my suggestion would be to get the Mapex Meridian in maple. Why? Sounds like you want an upper intermediate kit that can deliver a punch in a variety of situations. Maple is a proven wood for this application, but besides that, the maple kit comes with the thicker 2.3mm hoops. So this is gonna be a keeper set that you won't have to replace in a couple years. I just saw a beautiful kit yesterday at my local Guitar Center in Brea for only $700 (I think). I took a look specifically at the hoops and saw that they were indeed thicker than the rest of the intermediate kits nearby, because you know they only put out intermediate kits anymore. Either that or like the other dude said, keep saving your money and get the Starclassics.

That's my 2 cents if those are your only 2 choices.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:42 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

My vote is the silverstar over the maypex, but i still think used starclassics would be better
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:07 PM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon B View Post
I wouldn't go silverstar. I would save to buy a starclassic, the silverstars are entry level, the superstars/starclassics are fantastic. You can get a superstar hyperdrive kit on ebay for around 1300. Don't let the little toms fool you, they pack a huge punch. The starclassics are beautiful sounding, i love mine. A b/b starclassic is 1500 new, the maple, bubinga, and bubinga elite are a little more if I remember right. Tama will be great if you like the stuff you mentioned earlier, gordian knot would sound good too! :) (good band, by the way, I like your profile pic!)
not even that much (in US anyway). I got my superstar hyperdrive new for $1000 (6pc, 2up, 2dn).
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Having a very hard time picking a drum brand.

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Originally Posted by Jon B View Post
My vote is the silverstar over the maypex, but i still think used starclassics would be better
Haha! You have replanted the seed of doubt! Seriously, this is the fun part. Finding that drum set of my dreams. I am still actively looking around. My idea is get the thing in the spring. It is not exactly imminent or anything.

I just want something that can be powerful but with some snap to it as well.
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