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  #41  
Old 11-16-2015, 09:21 PM
Skrivarna Skrivarna is offline
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
That video actually made me want to buy a Spongebob kit for an upcoming gig...
(no, Sting is not playing bass on this one)
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  #42  
Old 11-16-2015, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by dmacc View Post

Is spending the money to play a Craviotto going to make you a better player - get a better gig - or sound better than playing a Ludwig Legacy or a Gretsch Renown?? Doubt it...
I was with you on the first two points, but not on the last. Depends on situation of course, but is there a difference? Hell yes. Does it make a difference in a bar gig - almost certainly not.
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  #43  
Old 11-16-2015, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
Methinks this thread has now devolved into a "cheap gear vs expensive gear" pissing contest. That wasn't my intention. Marketing will always exist, people buying stuff will always exist. You can play what you want. I'm just saying that eventually, the gear matters, and if your art demands gear that stands up to everything you throw at it, you will eventually get what you need. All it's going to take is when you do a gig and everything breaks down. I've already been through that years ago, and I'm not going to go through that again. If the gear you have works, then it works. Stick with it.

This could be why my house is a revolving door of drumsets - I no longer gives kit the chance to break down ;) But, that could change.



Maybe.
You have done a gig where "everything" broke down? What were you playing, a kit made from glass?

I have done hundreds of gigs and the only breakage I have had was a BD batter head, and that was a Powerstroke 3. Gigged everything from an old Rodgers kit,a 1970s Premier and a cheap Mapex M with no problems. Currently gigging a Yamaha stage custom and its bulletproof.

Decent hardware is the key but that need not be expensive. The flat base Premier stands were not too stable but never let me down.
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  #44  
Old 11-16-2015, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Who cares if other people hear the difference? If you do, then you do what makes you happy.

In certain situations priorities change, like how water, or rather beer proof is it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew1sSznDcWA
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  #45  
Old 11-16-2015, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I've been playing the same kit for 15 years and they've never seen the inside of a case (except snares). It's a maple Keller-based kit that's not qualitatively any better than the Renowns, PDPs, etc, but it sounds good enough for me, and far better that any kit I had before it, including two '80s Tama Superstar kits, '90s Ludwig Classics, and a Tama Starclassic maple from 1999.

All I care about are thin straight shells with sharp bearing edges, and looks that aren't butt-ugly.

The only thing that really matters to me are the sizes. Not that I can't make other configurations work, but my particular sizes just feel like home.

When I bought them, I could have bought anything I wanted, including a DW for double what I paid. I'm really not much of a cheapskate and would have bought the DWs if I thought they had any advantage, but I just couldn't see that they did. So I didn't.

For cymbals, I've given up on going for the holy grail there, too. I almost don't believe there is such a thing. Off the shelf As and Ks are good enough, though I could be just as happy with the meat and potato offerings from Sabian or Paiste too. I dont' know much about Meinl but I assume they have some fairly basic cymbals that I could be happy with.

So yeah, gear matters, but just to the point where things are good enough. Anything past that quickly gets into incremental gain territory when set to the context of most music and not worth the hassle. Not for me, anyway.
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  #46  
Old 11-16-2015, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
You have done a gig where "everything" broke down? What were you playing, a kit made from glass?
Perhaps an exaggeration, but you play out enough, and experience something breaking down, over time, you figure it out. My gig situation is very different from yours.
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  #47  
Old 11-16-2015, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I know I have the right gear for the gig when I don't have to think about gear and can just concentrate on music and people. So bearing this in mind, gear doesn't matter once you have your set-up dialled in. Conversely, gear does matter when it fails either sound wise or mechanically.
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  #48  
Old 11-17-2015, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I don't disagree with the premise at all. I think people are getting hung up on the wording and overlooking the spirit of them.

At some point, if you're taking this craft seriously, you're going to be sinking some real money into it. We all know that there's diminishing returns in quality for you money. Quit nitpicking it. It's a given that at some price point, things are just made better. Drums have better edges, more useful tuning ranges, hold tuning better, and have hardware that supports a more general ease of use. You know that isn't happening on a 93 CB700. Of course you don't need absolute top dollar everything. We also all know that we're in a golden age of manufacturing quality.

That being said, I have had a very small amount of gear fail on me. A leather strap on an ancient pedal broke on me once. I had a bolt on a rail consolette round out. I don't think anything has been an issue outside of that, other than maybe replacing the occasional set screw. Invariably when I go to a jam, or play on multi band bills, there are multiple items on the kits that don't work. Wingnuts that no longer turn, lugs where screws have backed out, Tom mounts that slip, etc. I don't understand. I often have stuff of comparable quality, if not the exact same stuff.
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  #49  
Old 11-17-2015, 02:58 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

As you said it's about the tools for the job. If you're out there busting your butt trying to make a living playing, subbing, recording, teaching, etc, you need good gear that's up to the task. The Indian/arrow thing only stretches so far. Imagine hiring a hot session cat to play on your album and he comes in with a 1990 Pearl Export. Not what you'd expect and not acceptable.

I have the gear that fits my needs and my budget. That's all it has to do. If I was the above mentioned guy my gear would probably be different. I do think there are diminishing returns after a certain price point but that's another discussion.
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  #50  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

O.K. Gear doesn't matter, because pissing the furtherest is way more important, and the best pissers are the ones with cheap ass gear. got it. Having cheaper gear doesn't make you a better player either. Seems the conversation goes like it doesn't matter coz the sound guy is a screw ball and they are all drunks anyway and i don't want to scratch my good kit. Screw all that i have Devolved into a very self centred drummer who only digs great sound and the comfort that comes with a well crafted kit. F'n Sorry.
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  #51  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:20 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Back in the day all I knew is that the fittings on my second hand kits kept failing at gigs so I decided to spend up and go for quality. Everyone was talking about Ludwig and Rogers as the best brands, and back then Pearl and Tama were thought of as cheap rubbish (they've come a long way). Since most people I know had Ludwigs, I went for Rogers so I would wouldn't sound like everyone else. I felt like a guitarist who chooses a Strat over a Les Paul - using a somewhat less fashionable instrument that's more refined and with less of a huge, fat sound.

The kit copped a beating over the years - many rough gigs that would disgust today's pros - but the kit sounded good and its solid hardware with Memori-lock always worked. These days, at least based on the Pearl RT I bought some years ago, the standards of fittings for cheap kits has improved. The Pearl never gave me problems with collapsing or spinning toms or floor toms falling, and 21st century bass drum spurs seem to grip floors better than in the old kits. So, when it comes to hardware, buying "the best" seems less important today than in the times of dinosaurs and boring old farts.

In truth, gear matters to different people to a different extent in different times of their drumming lives. Some of those old jazz players didn't care - they were expected to be able make any kit sing with their skill and taste. It depends on your needs.
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  #52  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I don't take my expensive professional kit to local night club gigs.
I'm saving it for when I go on tour with a band that plays for large stadium audiences.


.
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  #53  
Old 11-17-2015, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I'm just saying that eventually, the gear matters, and if your art demands gear that stands up to everything you throw at it, you will eventually get what you need. All it's going to take is when you do a gig and everything breaks down.

I've realized if you're humping your own stuff, lighter is better, and cheaper is usually lighter when it comes to drums.

Stuff breaking down? We need to make a list of parts most likely to break down at a gig (excluding any drumheads).



Drum gear most likely to break down at a gig:

1. Stripped threads on stands. Monkey metal threads in stands cannot hold up to steel threads of mating wing screws. A lot of wing nuts are actually monkey metal (pot metal) too. Lubing monkey metal threads IMO will weaken them over time, or if you lube, less 'is' more, as my theory being too much lube acts with a hydraulic effect weakening the threads and eventually blowing them apart bc lube doesn't compress.

2.
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  #54  
Old 11-17-2015, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
I don't take my expensive professional kit to local night club gigs.
I'm saving it for when I go on tour with a band that plays for large stadium audiences.


.
Yeah Jim! You save those drums!
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  #55  
Old 11-19-2015, 08:37 PM
Skrivarna Skrivarna is offline
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
The flat base Premier stands were not too stable but never let me down.
Premier's old flat base stands (with the oval base tubing) is my all time favorites, and I buy all I can find. Beautiful design, good chrome quality and sturdy enough for my needs. I even enjoy the hihat, though it's not the most comfortable to play...

And they have never failed on me, after all these years of gigging.
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  #56  
Old 11-20-2015, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I have entered the stage of my musical development where I have learned to get to know all of my drums as old friends. I treat them all as I would individual people. Each one of them has its own personality. You play the instrument, the instrument doesn't play you!
The cost doesn't matter!
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  #57  
Old 11-20-2015, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by Skrivarna View Post
Premier's old flat base stands (with the oval base tubing) is my all time favorites, and I buy all I can find. Beautiful design, good chrome quality and sturdy enough for my needs.
Premier Lokfast! I love that era of Premier drums and hardware. Beautiful entirely original design.

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  #58  
Old 11-20-2015, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by eclipseownzu View Post
This proverbial drummer with amazing chops playing on an old beat up kit does not exist. If it does, somebody please post a video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7zdOy4hiXU
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  #59  
Old 11-20-2015, 04:27 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I have entered the stage of my musical development where I have learned to get to know all of my drums as old friends. I treat them all as I would individual people. Each one of them has its own personality. You play the instrument, the instrument doesn't play you!
The cost doesn't matter!
This just sounds crazy, Bob ;)
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  #60  
Old 11-21-2015, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I would argue that the room, sound man and PA matter more than the drums. I have heard Pearl Export kits sound killer when mic'ed up. One of the best live drum sounds I ever heard at a gig was a mid-level Tour Custom kit with Pinstripes that were so pitted out that they buzzed when you hit them. All sound man and PA.
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  #61  
Old 11-21-2015, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by Ghostnote View Post
I would argue that the room, sound man and PA matter more than the drums. I have heard Pearl Export kits sound killer when mic'ed up. One of the best live drum sounds I ever heard at a gig was a mid-level Tour Custom kit with Pinstripes that were so pitted out that they buzzed when you hit them. All sound man and PA.
You are absolutely correct.

But it is also very sad.


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  #62  
Old 11-21-2015, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I think if you are a really good drummer then you will sound great on a great kit and likely awesome to at least good on a poor kit, however if you suck well then it really doesn't matter does it-you can suck on a high end, mid-range, or low-end kit. Hey I'm talking from experience LOL. Yes I've sucked on high end, mid-range, and low end kits.
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  #63  
Old 11-21-2015, 08:15 PM
Skrivarna Skrivarna is offline
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by Ghostnote View Post
One of the best live drum sounds I ever heard at a gig was a mid-level Tour Custom kit with Pinstripes that were so pitted out that they buzzed when you hit them. All sound man and PA.
And the drummer! Steve Gadd always sound killer, and he doesn't swap heads if he doesn't have to...
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  #64  
Old 11-21-2015, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
Premier Lokfast! I love that era of Premier drums and hardware. Beautiful entirely original design.

Oh yeah! Droooool...
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  #65  
Old 11-21-2015, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

All things being equal, ie. good heads, tuned well, played competently....good gear makes a difference. All this "i've heard a Pearl Export blow away a (insert brand here)" is nonsense and it flies out the window fast in the real world. I don't doubt the sincerity of these statements, but if you can't hear the difference between a Brady, Guru, Craviotto, DW, etc, etc, and a Pearl Export, then maybe drums, and by proxy, you're opinions about drums, are not your strong suit.
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  #66  
Old 11-21-2015, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by The SunDog View Post
All things being equal, ie. good heads, tuned well, played competently....good gear makes a difference. All this "i've heard a Pearl Export blow away a (insert brand here)" is nonsense and it flies out the window fast in the real world. I don't doubt the sincerity of these statements, but if you can't hear the difference between a Brady, Guru, Craviotto, DW, etc, etc, and a Pearl Export, then maybe drums, and by proxy, you're opinions about drums, are not your strong suit.
I take your point, up to a point. Why, if high end modern drums are the only thing a true pro would use, let alone a good semi pro, do a lot of top drummers in big name bands answer when asked what kit did they use on the new album? "There was an old Gretch kit lying around in the studio, it sounded great, and they had a bunch of old snares".

I don't dispute good gear is essential if you gig. As far as I am concerned a mid range Yamaha with the same hardware sounds good, is reliable and durable and perfectly up to the job. A big name high end kit? why not if you have the cash, but not essential.

Also, the huge amount of sound processing used at large venue gigs probably makes the brand of kit immaterial.
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  #67  
Old 11-21-2015, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

U
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikel View Post
I take your point, up to a point. Why, if high end modern drums are the only thing a true pro would use, let alone a good semi pro, do a lot of top drummers in big name bands answer when asked what kit did they use on the new album? "There was an old Gretch kit lying around in the studio, it sounded great, and they had a bunch of old snares".

I don't dispute good gear is essential if you gig. As far as I am concerned a mid range Yamaha with the same hardware sounds good, is reliable and durable and perfectly up to the job. A big name high end kit? why not if you have the cash, but not essential.

Also, the huge amount of sound processing used at large venue gigs probably makes the brand of kit immaterial.
Wait a minute. Big name recording drummers don't all say that. And a lot of big recordings are made with rental gear, or if the artist is endorsed, what he normally uses. I've yet to see a rental company provide mid-level stuff. And if he says something like "old Gretsch lying around", you really think he's talking about a crap Gretsch kit? He's talking about the vintage pro stuff Gretsch made when that was all they made.

You are right in implying that, yes, the gear doesn't matter, I get that. But as I've said before, this thread is devolving into one of those "gear vs talent" cycles, again.

I've said if you're on the road, you need good stuff. Studio stuff probably doesn't count because you're in a studio. Those drums aren't being subjected to abuse. Same thing on my gigs, I'm not playing in my house where's there's no pressure, I'm in front of an audience and I don't have time to deal with a breakage on a gig, no matter how little I'm getting paid. Put your best face forward every time and people notice. Having things break in a gig is not putting your best forward.
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  #68  
Old 11-22-2015, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
I take your point, up to a point. Why, if high end modern drums are the only thing a true pro would use, let alone a good semi pro, do a lot of top drummers in big name bands answer when asked what kit did they use on the new album? "There was an old Gretch kit lying around in the studio, it sounded great, and they had a bunch of old snares".

I don't dispute good gear is essential if you gig. As far as I am concerned a mid range Yamaha with the same hardware sounds good, is reliable and durable and perfectly up to the job. A big name high end kit? why not if you have the cash, but not essential.

Also, the huge amount of sound processing used at large venue gigs probably makes the brand of kit immaterial.
My point stands, or better, I stand behind my point. Huge sound processing on my DW sounds better than huge processing on a cheap kit. Apples to apples. People keep trying to make this an apples to oranges thing. No one asked whether it was essential to your situation and therefore necessary or justifiable. The topic is simply high end gear trumps, and I agree. I'll go one further and say I know it and I challenge anyone who disagrees to bring proof. I want to see this unicorn of a drum set, that features a bargain price and slays high end drums.
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  #69  
Old 11-22-2015, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Why not buy the best drums and gear that you can afford, i do, like anything else i buy. Im no professional and i dont gig but drums have been my hobby for 30 years. I have worked for 25 so now my kids are grown and i just spent $5000 on a new Saturn V studioease all new hardware and Zildjian K's all around. That dont make me a better drummer but damn if it dont make me more comfortable and they are really sweet to the eyes.
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  #70  
Old 11-22-2015, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Good for you Destroyer,way to go. By the way look at these cheap ass hacks with there cheesy smiles , cheap suits and low end kit, what a hoot!
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  #71  
Old 11-22-2015, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by The SunDog View Post
My point stands, or better, I stand behind my point. Huge sound processing on my DW sounds better than huge processing on a cheap kit. Apples to apples. People keep trying to make this an apples to oranges thing. No one asked whether it was essential to your situation and therefore necessary or justifiable. The topic is simply high end gear trumps, and I agree. I'll go one further and say I know it and I challenge anyone who disagrees to bring proof. I want to see this unicorn of a drum set, that features a bargain price and slays high end drums.


Who said anything about bargain price or cheap drums? I said "Decent" kit.

The issue, from what Bo posted, is mid gig "Breakages" and no one wants that. So that would be a hardware issue, as drums tend not to break. As I say I have been practicing and gigging mid range Yamaha hardware and pedals for years with no breaks or stripped threads. If you are heavy handed, often enough, you can strip any thread, but that's another issue and hardly the fault of the gear.

The OP was " Gear DOES matter" and I am not arguing with that. My take is "Decent" fit for purpose gear is essential if you gig. Top of the range no expense spared would be great and if I had the money I would probably treat myself, but its not essential, especially not the hardware.
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  #72  
Old 11-22-2015, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I certainly won't buy gear simply because the consensus is that it is "better" than what I have. It has to actually sound better to me.

Usually when someone says gear doesn't matter, it seems it is with regards to how well you play. I don't buy that either. The quality may not matter per se, but I know for certain that I play better on better sounding drums. I can't explain it but when the kit sounds better, it feels better. And it's just plain more FUN. Everything improves from there, from speed to creativity.
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  #73  
Old 11-22-2015, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

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Originally Posted by paradiddle pete View Post
Good for you Destroyer,way to go. By the way look at these cheap ass hacks with there cheesy smiles , cheap suits and low end kit, what a hoot!
Not for sure what to make of that Paradiddle Pete , but thats a great crew of artist there. Notice i said artist the greats are artist and i cant even think on there level. I guess what I was trying to say I agree that it is a good Idea to buy the best quality of anything even if you have to wait for several years like I did. Before I got this I had an old Pearl Forum that someone gave me and it suited me fine. But when I was in a better position I bought the best I could afford I have been on both sides. Possessions don't make the man but when possible it can make life easier. Buying better gear doesn't make me a better drummer just a better consumer. I hope I did not offend you or anyone in any way, was not my intent. This was my first set and I was very proud, and what I have now is nowhere near the best but its a big step up and that is what I have worked all my life for to step up. I think we all agree that everyone plays better with DW5000 then we would with a $59 Gibralter pedal, but yet i own a lot of Gibralter boom arms they do the trick.
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  #74  
Old 11-22-2015, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Interesting thread.

I agree gear certainly matters.

I'll also say that today more than ever we have unlimited possibilities for affordable, gig worthy equipment.


- Different gigs require different types of good gear. [Not everyone needs hardware that can survive a sledge hammer.]

- For the weekend warrior with no crew support, playing in non sledge hammer situations, light hardware is more desirable.

- In a live, non-studio situation, great heads, cymbals, and mics are far more important than "great" shells.

- Being inexpensive shouldn't disqualify gear from being valid / good.

- I accept that I can't bring my Chock Full O'Nuts kit to a gig.
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  #75  
Old 11-22-2015, 03:24 PM
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STXBob STXBob is offline
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Who cares about gear? Get the sound you like and be done. If you can get "your" sound from a Sound Percussion kit, wonderful. If you can only get "your" sound from a Craviotto, also wonderful. It's your money, not mine.

At the same time, I agree with you, Bo. If you're working, playing out, you need a level of fit, finish, and build quality that isn't often found on entry-level (or some intermediate - I'm looking at you, Gretsch Catalina) kits.

I'm one of the "shells don't really matter" camp. It's true: unless you have the power (or gumption) to dictate to the engineer, the guy on the board will obviate your painstaking wood-species selection. To argue otherwise is folly.

What's on the shells does matter. Cheap hardware and crappy tension rods make tuning difficult if not impossible.

That's why I don't recommend cheap, crappy entry-level gear to beginners, regardless of the hobby. There's no faster road to frustration and quitting than trying to make a shitty instrument sound acceptable, much less good, when you lack the skillset to do that.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:22 PM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Of course it does and the correct gear for a beginning practicing drummer is a kit with cheap cymbals that won't give them tinnitus playing without ear protection, and drums with so so bearing edges muffled to within an inch of cardboard. No concussion based hearing loss while practicing. A practice pad would work too. It's the correct gear for the job.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:35 PM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I wish when I was learning guitar that I had a guitar then that was as easy to play as my Gibson Les Paul Jr.

Plus, if you have good gear, you can trade it for other people's desirable gear. You got stuff that other people want.
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The SunDog View Post
All things being equal, ie. good heads, tuned well, played competently....good gear makes a difference. All this "i've heard a Pearl Export blow away a (insert brand here)" is nonsense and it flies out the window fast in the real world. I don't doubt the sincerity of these statements, but if you can't hear the difference between a Brady, Guru, Craviotto, DW, etc, etc, and a Pearl Export, then maybe drums, and by proxy, you're opinions about drums, are not your strong suit.
Yah, well, you know...that's just like, uh...you're opinion man.

I'm not talking about what one kit sounds like acoustically next to another. What I said was that in a live setting the sound man and PA trumps the quality of the kit. Sure, a high quality kit would sound better than an entry level kit if both were running through the same system with the same guy behind the board, but an entry level kit with a good system and sound man beats a great kit with a crappy system and sound man everytime.

I don't doubt the sincerity of your statements, but if you can't differentiate what is actually said from what you think is being said, then maybe logic and objectivity, and by proxy, your opinions about anything, aren't your strong suit.
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:56 PM
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Bigdumbdrums Bigdumbdrums is offline
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

I play a lot of gigs where only my kick is mic'd. So for me, I want my gear to sound as good as possible acoustically. I don't have entry level drums either. After 4 decades of playing I don't have time to waste on inferior sounding shells.
I typically play my early '80s Yamaha RCs with any one of 5 snares depending on the acoustics and my mood. My RCs are tuned to perfection (for my discerning ears) and for that reason, they are a joy to play.

I have been asked to sit in on many gigs with other drummer's gear and I'm always disappointed at how poor the gear is and in the event the gear is nice, how poorly they are tuned. It's always amazing to me how many drummers have no idea how to tune their drums.

So yeah, gear does matter but you don't need to break the bank with the most top shelf shell pack either. I also play a Yamaha Vintage Maple I got on Craigslist for $900. Most of my snares I built myself or bought used. I also have another smaller kit based on Keller maple shells where I cut the bearing edges and hardware etc. for what was half the price of a major label kit. They sound awesome.

I think I'm the example of great sounding gear without breaking the bank either.
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Old 11-23-2015, 05:25 AM
ZLeyba ZLeyba is offline
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Default Re: Gear DOES matter.

Alright, big rant incoming.

I think a lot of this debate boils down to a few things.

The first issue is values, that is, what is important to you the player. Is having a bunch of drums, cymbals, and other things to hit in front of you more important than the quality of those items? I know players who opted for a big shell pack and buy cheaper cymbals because they know it's the best way to put what they feel they need in front of them. On the other end I've known players who will spend 2000 on three drums because having the best quality instrument is more important to them than having a bunch of things to hit. There isn't a problem with either way, it's just that both parties had to decide what was more important to them when they went to buy gear.

The next issue is the semantics, mainly the definition of what "high end" or "pro" really means. Honestly I consider anything that cost more than 1000 for three drums to be, at the very least, acceptable in virtually any circumstance. That being said, there are still benefits to spending more money, although some of the benefits may not matter in the context of a given player's values. So by that measure alone, most of us fall in the "Gear Matters" camp by virtue of using high/higher end equipment.

It is true that a well founded argument could made about the diminishing returns as you go higher up the price scale, but the reality of the matter is that all of the little benefits start to add up, especially if you are a working drummer. While a Gretsch Renown is perfectly fine for recording and playing out live, rigorous gigging, and tour, it's still a product mass produced in an overseas facility and it looks, sounds, and plays like every other drum off that line. There isn' much of an issue with that, but at a certain point many dedicated and professional players begin to want that "something special". The unique finishes, sizes, manufacturing techniques, and shell specifications produced by artisan drum makers from first world countries is a lot more than just some commodity piece you pick up from GC after work one day.

At the high end of the price scale, its not necessarily that the drums sound or play "better", rather it is that they become a unique piece of art unto themselves. They represent more than just a drum kit, they are the manifestation of years of dedication and sacrifice of time and money into the thing you love. Its the sort of purchase made by players who treat drumming and music as a lifestyle. If you're going to be spending between 2-8 hours a day 5 days-a-week behind the drums, better to make sure every aspect of that kit is comfortable and enjoyable than let anything frustrating seep in to your playing from the gear end.
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