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  #1  
Old 02-23-2019, 07:43 AM
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Default A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

It's a daft idea, I know. You buy your (current) 'forever' kit, and then plot a beater kit for playing out. How stoopid is that?

My kit is a Mapex Saturn, which I like very much indeed. Last night my band played a pub gig, which included the offer of a house kit. The house kit was beaten almost beyond recognition, and was utterly crap. BUT, it did mean that I didn't have to pack a kit, and for that I was grateful.

So today I find myself contemplating a beater kit for occasions when set up time and stage space are limited. Possibly a 1 up, 1 down setup with a 20" bass drum.

Anybody gone down this route? And was it worth owning a backup kit that was miles less good than your main kit?

Have at it...
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Old 02-23-2019, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

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Anybody gone down this route?

Plenty. And plenty on this very forum.

I've never been one of them though. I guess I just enjoy playing my shit too much to leave it at home.

That said, most of my money is in snare drums and cymbals. The newer kits I've dragged all over hell's creation have been intermediate level. I have often gigged vintage kits that have great sentimental value to me though, so it's not a complete case of not practicing what I preach.
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Yes. My main kit is a DW Collectors kit. I play it at most of my gigs. However, I have 2 lesser kits. One is a Sonor Safari kit (16" kick) for when I a) have limited space, or b) Am carpooling w/ band members. The other kit is a 70s stencil kit (20" kick) that actually sounds good but isn't the prettiest.

If I needed a good quality kit but didn't want to take the DWs, I'd take my Tama Granstar kit. I've kept it in great shape and it still sounds awesome -but it's heavy.
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

This is standard practice in my neck of the woods. I myself drag around a kit that is "worse" than my bigger "main" kit. It's nice to not worry about anything.

On rare occasion or for a really good gig where I think it will matter sometimes I still bring out the more expensive kit. But in general literally nobody gives two craps about my drum kit.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

It's not a general thing.

It depends on the band and type of venues. I wouldn't bring the nicest stuff where there's beer being thrown around and little rspect and/or care for gear.

Also, if it's a cover band playing every weekend it's nice to just have one that lives in the band's van.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:54 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I hate using "lesser" drums for a gig. They can be smaller, or there can be less of them, but they cannot be "lesser". All my stuff has to work and sound great - I'm always interested in putting my best foot forward. That's why I buy those things - to play them in front of an audience.

Yes, I can play pretty much any drum set, and have often used whatever was available if my direction was to not bring my own stuff. But if I'm going out on my own and bringing my own gear, I tend to use the best stuff I have.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

A few years ago when I was gigging/touring, I had a 1965 Ludwig set in white marine pearl that was my beater kit. (It was a player's kit to be sure.) While the kit was fine and sounded nice, literally every time I gigged with it, I would find myself longing for my "good" kit. I finally sold the vintage Ludwig and played my C&C kit exclusively for gigs/tours.

I just found that if I wasn't too precious about my gear, I could enjoy just playing and enjoy the sound of the music.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I know the DW Design and Performance series have been popular with guys with Collectors kits not wanting to them out on gigs.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Did it for a year with the midtown. For the price I couldn't fault it.........but you miss the sound and quality of playing good wood. Is it a personal thing yes, does 99.9% of your audience notice or care...heck no!

I sold the midtown and got a saturn v tour kit 20/12/14. Thanks for the recommendation folks! Most bang for buck you can buy full stop, plus easy to transport.

To summarise buy a gigging Saturn, all boxes ticked!
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

When I first saw the thread title I thought you meant this...
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  #11  
Old 02-23-2019, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

The kit I have is a Yamaha Stage Custom. Iíve defilitely played other peopleís kits at shows and also when I practice with my band I either play the bassistís or singerís kit that they have at their houses that sound like absolute garbage.. It really makes me look forward to playing my own, much nicer kit at shows. The times when I do share someone elseís kit, it is honestly a little disappointing that I donít get to use mine because I love them. That said, it is a lot of work packing them up and loading and unloading them. I think if we ever started playing shows like once a week or more, Iím going to get a second kit and probably just keep it packed up all the time and ready to go, to try to make it less work for myself. But, Iíd want my second kit to be at least as nice as the one I already have. I definitely donít want to be playing shows on some beginner tier kit thatís missing lugs or something.
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Old 02-23-2019, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I own two kits - an older Stage Custom and my Ludwig Standards that I rehabbed and updated with Atlas mounts and modern bass drum spurs. I don't take the SCs out hardly at all unless the Standards are already set up somewhere. Last fall they were in the pit for a musical, all miked up and plugged in, so I took the SCs to a side gig. I don't play any places where folks are disrespectful to my drums that I can think of right offhand, so I don't mind taking my nice drums to gigs.

I honestly thought I'd gig the SCs all the time and leave the Ludwigs home, but that hasn't happened at all.
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  #13  
Old 02-23-2019, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I'm of the mindset, if you got it, flaunt it.

I gig my best drums, I just don't care about a ding here or a scratch there. Yes it makes no logical sense, but passion and logic are mutually exclusive in my world. It's worth it to me to share what I really dig, when I gig. Maybe I haven't been exposed to places that are not the kind of place you take a multi thousand dollar kit to. The places I play....I have no reservations about bringing my Sunday best.

Plus my drums are so unique looking, I can't keep them in solitary confinement. That would be just wrong for me. I have to let the world see them. That to me would be a waste of good money, sequestering them. But I do understand wanting to keep them safe. The thing is, nothing is safe. You could gig a beater set and your house could catch on fire. So better to use them publicly IMO. Like I said, logic and passion are mutually exclusive with me.
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2019, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

It depends on what lesser means. A used $300 Gretsch Catalina Maple I'd certainly gig with. Any Sonor. Mapex Saturn heck yeah. They're not much lesser than more expensive kits. Leave something like a Craviotto at home and gig a Catalina Maple.
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  #15  
Old 02-23-2019, 05:03 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I'm thinking about just recording my drums for each song and then play them back as I "air drum" with my invisible drum kit. I'll tell the audience it's a real invisible kit and not some lame lip-sync like issue. You can only see them with the special glasses of which I'm out else I'd be glad to sell you for a mere $500-invisible drums are like 10 grand so you can see that the technology to see them is very expensive. Since you really want it is as more of a back up kit why not something more bop sizes-though small probably sound better than a beat up kit with bad heads. Keep them in the trunk of your car.
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:17 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I play any of my kits at any type of gig. I like playing good sounding instruments regardless of whether they are expensive or not. I gig at least 8 times a month and add in another 4 rehearsals a month , it would be a shame to keep my favourite kits at home to gather dust. If you have a kit you like, gig it!
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Gig the good stuff. Look good, play good, feel good. I use to think it was a good idea to have a cheap kit but in the end, they sound like crap and are a waste of money and space.
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Old 02-23-2019, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

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Originally Posted by Darth Vater View Post
Gig the good stuff. Look good, play good, feel good. I use to think it was a good idea to have a cheap kit but in the end, they sound like crap and are a waste of money and space.
^^^ Iíve been saying this forever! But what do I know?
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I doubt anyone's talking about playing crap, just not always the nicest stuff.


Cymbals and snare will always be good and it will be well tuned goods sounding drums.
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So, kick drum...or...bass drum? I'll tell you what. If it's 18" or less, it's a FOOT TOM.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy Bender View Post
When I first saw the thread title I thought you meant this...

Tell that to Phillips, Mangini or Bozzio.
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So, kick drum...or...bass drum? I'll tell you what. If it's 18" or less, it's a FOOT TOM.
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  #21  
Old 02-23-2019, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I'll never be able to afford a really "nice" kit, so I won't have to worry about taking gear into a venue where I'd have to be concerned about the possibility of it getting damaged would be a grave concern. I like to have nice gear, but I don't think I would ever buy something so expensive that I'd have to put myself through that. I'll want to play it, and play it out.

That's where I am with some of the snares you folks talk about. I look at them, and how much they cost, and I'd be horrified about gigging with them. Then again, I play in bars and clubs. If I were playing concerts and higher end venues, perhaps I'd have a different perspective. (And hopefully more dispensable income to be able to get some of the nicer stuff, as well.)
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Old 02-23-2019, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Personally I don't like seeing a band with nice guitars, amps, mics and then...crummy beater drums. Its fine at a jam or practice space but if its a band, they should bring their decent stuff, and as Bo says 'put their best foot forward'.
Why not just do a '1 up - 1 down' of your nice Mapex Saturns, with just 2 cymbals. Not much to pack. Nice drums want to be taken out on a date!
If anything I leave my 'lesser drums' at home to practice on.
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Old 02-23-2019, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
I doubt anyone's talking about playing crap, just not always the nicest stuff.


Cymbals and snare will always be good and it will be well tuned goods sounding drums.
I guess it always depends on what your main kit is, to determine "lesser" kit.

Someone who's main set is a Tama Star, DW Collectors, Pearl Music City Custom, Craviotto, etc. might decide to run with something similar but not as high end. However, that lesser set that those people might use for gigging is probably the main set for a lot of other people and are still be a higher end kit than some people have.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I tend to always bring the best stuff I have - unless it's an outdoor gig. I used to drag my Recording customs or Premiers around but now keep that at a practice space... they are awesome kits. But... I bought a set of Mapex drums a few years ago - and like them so much, I leave my expensive kits in the practice spaces. The Mapex shells sound and look incredible... and a third of the price of my other kits.
So.. I use the Mapex toms and kick and supplement them with a DW snare and kick pedal plus Yamaha hardware and Paiste Signature cymbals.
So it's a hybrid of sorts... but I always get compliments on how great my kit sounds and looks..
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:30 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

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Originally Posted by BertTheDrummer View Post
I guess it always depends on what your main kit is, to determine "lesser" kit.

Someone who's main set is a Tama Star, DW Collectors, Pearl Music City Custom, Craviotto, etc. might decide to run with something similar but not as high end. However, that lesser set that those people might use for gigging is probably the main set for a lot of other people and are still be a higher end kit than some people have.
About three years ago I decided to do a refinishing project on my Collectors and began looking for a suitable back up for rehearsals. I found a Mapex M series in gold duco 12,16.22 for $150 and used it for about a month when as luck would have it I found a PDP CXR made in Mexico red sparkle 12,14,16,24 for $200. I used it for five shows until my Collectors project was done. It's just a killer kit and I still use it occasionally. Maple shells, great color, looks great, sounds great. A "lesser kit"? Well I won't recommend a garbage instrument when playing music for money and sounding and looking professional very much go hand in hand. However a suitable second kit is a nice thing to have in the arsenal. I get a lot of joy from that PDP. It wins the grins to dollars ratio by a wide margin. It doesn't look or sound as good as my DW, but it does look and sound great. Plus it came with all the scratches and dings already so no worries about fresh ones.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:56 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I have a beater kit (with ever drum a different brand). Some of the shells even have cracks in them. It's stacked in my garage, and and I've lent it out to other drummers for music videos, and tours. Only time I brig it out is when I'm doing some crazy gig that I know it's going to get beat to hell on or kicked over.

My main gig/tour kit is a Yamaha Live Custom, however I've toured many times with Stage Custom's. It's by definition a "lesser" kit, but I really love them and am considering getting one for specific gigs.
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  #27  
Old 02-24-2019, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I sometimes take out a smaller kit - 18Ē bass, etc. But still good quality. Mostly for small stages or small rooms where I donít want loud projection. I keep the small kit set up at home for practising, and the bigger kit lives in cases ready for gigs.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I would pick up a used PDP CX kit for gigging. The ones with the wrap finishes. For one, they are well built kits that sound good. Two, the wrap finishes can take the bumps and bruises better than any lacquer finish. And three, they can be found cheap.

Keep the Saturn's at home. They weigh too damn much to gig with anyway.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:07 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

For most of my life I've only had one kit, and since 1988 it's been what I consider a up scale kit. Now days I have 2 kits. My 88 Yamaha black lacquer power tour custom kit, and a 2003 Tama Starclassic Performer kit. I did have a Yamaha BCAN kit for around 5 yr. I've always taken my best gear to gigs. I just have to be carfull with it. No different than any other instrument. When others are going to use my gear, I ask them to bring their own cymbals. I'm very proud of my kit and I want to use it to preform for others. I use my old yammies at home and the Tamas stay in their cases, ready to load for gigs or rehearsals. It's nice to have a kit set up at home all the time.
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Old 02-24-2019, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I think it's more important to bring the right set up to a gig rather than think in terms of whether to bring out your nice kit or a beater kit. What will make you feel good and confident while playing? Stick with that.
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

As long as i can play with my pedals, throne and cymbals i am not caring too much about the sort of drumset i play or if that set should be considered less or not..I only have 2 drum sets and i am happy to play both..

Also when i have to play a crap house kit, my only concern is if the drum set can be set up in a way that i feel comfortable with and if that set up will stay in place during the time that i play..

If the gig matches those conditions, i am ok..
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:39 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

I'm with ya on house kits. The kick pedal is always my #1 concern, followed by throne, then hi-hat stand. Too many times I've had to deal with hi-hat stand that just cannot be made to work the way I want it to work. Or a crap kick pedal or else one set up such that it won't work for me (like all the way tensioned up and beater right on batter head). or a throne that's way to low and can't be adjusted. So now if using back line I still bring my own kick pedal, throne, snare, and cymbals and I just pray the hi-hat stand is functional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskoolsoul View Post
As long as i can play with my pedals, throne and cymbals i am not caring too much about the sort of drumset i play or if that set should be considered less or not..I only have 2 drum sets and i am happy to play both..

Also when i have to play a crap house kit, my only concern is if the drum set can be set up in a way that i feel comfortable with and if that set up will stay in place during the time that i play..

If the gig matches those conditions, i am ok..

Last edited by Rattlin' Bones; 02-24-2019 at 05:46 PM.
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  #33  
Old 02-24-2019, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

JustJames:

Your idea has an easy solution. Buy a used, well used, Mapex Saturn kit for your beater kit. You can even buy them one drum at a time.
Hey, maybe even different colors, build a Frankenstein Saturn kit !!


.
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:20 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskoolsoul View Post
As long as i can play with my pedals, throne and cymbals i am not caring too much about the sort of drumset i play or if that set should be considered less or not..I only have 2 drum sets and i am happy to play both..

Also when i have to play a crap house kit, my only concern is if the drum set can be set up in a way that i feel comfortable with and if that set up will stay in place during the time that i play..

If the gig matches those conditions, i am ok..
Haha Looks like we do agree on something after all. I actually prefer a house kit to hauling my own stuff as long as I can just get it setup in a comfortable position. I always bring my own throne, pedal, sticks and cymbals. Usually my own snare too, but not really a huge deal to play a house snare as long as it works.

I was also going to say that it might go with the territory of often playing in downtown areas where it's often assumed or even forced that you'll use the provided kit. In SF I know a few places that will roll their eyes at you if you can't make do with the already setup and mic'd house kit off the top of my head. In bigger venues with more room and actual parking spots it makes more sense to bring more stuff sometimes.
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:18 AM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Thanks everybody for your comments, keep 'em coming.

Yes, taking a sub-set of my kit is certainly an option. I'm not precious about my kit, and in my head it would be kind of weird for me to buy a crappy kit (and I do mean a truly crappy kit, please do not interpret this as any kind of snobbery) as a beater kit. I do subscribe to the notion of using as good gear as you have. My only motivation for a beater kit is to buy something with a small BD, so that it is easy to carry and set up for gigs where time and space are limited.

Certainly I have moved away from the idea of a truly cheap kit, because that will end as ordinary as the kit I played on Friday.

What I may do is keep my eyes open for a ridiculous bargain on a mid-tier 1 up, 1 down kit with small BD.

And now I will go and write a gig(gle) report...
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Old 02-25-2019, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

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Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
Thanks everybody for your comments, keep 'em coming.

Yes, taking a sub-set of my kit is certainly an option. I'm not precious about my kit, and in my head it would be kind of weird for me to buy a crappy kit (and I do mean a truly crappy kit, please do not interpret this as any kind of snobbery) as a beater kit. I do subscribe to the notion of using as good gear as you have. My only motivation for a beater kit is to buy something with a small BD, so that it is easy to carry and set up for gigs where time and space are limited.

Certainly I have moved away from the idea of a truly cheap kit, because that will end as ordinary as the kit I played on Friday.

What I may do is keep my eyes open for a ridiculous bargain on a mid-tier 1 up, 1 down kit with small BD.
Nothing wrong with having a beater kit. Since you like your Saturns, I don't think you would be disappointed to have an Armory kit as your beater. Heck, the resale value on those are horrible, but IMO they sound fantastic.

My beater set is a Ludwig Centennial 4-piece. Here's what's funny - I used to use this kit whenever I was playing "tighter" spaces. Well, since this kit has a 16" floor tom, a 12" rack tom, and a 20 x 20 kick, it actually takes up MORE room than my PP kit (not by much though). With that said, it's really nice to have a beater kit. I use my beater kit whenever I'm dealing with the following:

1. Outdoor gigs where there's a chance of rain, covered or not.
2. Gigs where I may have to leave my gear unattended for longer than I would like.
3. Outdoor gigs where we are playing in the blistering sun, uncovered.
4. Gigs where someone else may be playing my kit.
5. Gigs where the surface where we will be playing may be questionable.

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Old 02-26-2019, 10:28 AM
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JustJames JustJames is offline
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

And so the hunt begins.

A small bass drum (18 or 20") with a single rack tom and preferably a 14" floor tom. I can't bring myself to buy a stencil type kit, so I will watch out for an entry to mid level kit of absolutely any brand.

No rush.
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Old 02-26-2019, 01:54 PM
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Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

My prediction is..............
You will end up liking and using your beater kit more that your Saturn kit. :)


.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:44 PM
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mikyok mikyok is offline
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJames View Post
And so the hunt begins.

A small bass drum (18 or 20") with a single rack tom and preferably a 14" floor tom. I can't bring myself to buy a stencil type kit, so I will watch out for an entry to mid level kit of absolutely any brand.

No rush.
Save up and get the Saturn V Tour 20/12/14.

Drums you love in convenient giggable sizes. I realise I've just got my hands on one and it's the best thing since boobies so I may be a tad biased.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:36 PM
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T.Underhill T.Underhill is offline
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Default Re: A Lesser Kit For Gigging?

It depends on the gig. Nightclubs with a multi-band/short set time, I bring the Ludwig Rocker set. Small footprint, light drums, durable wrap in case some rando helper drops it, maple shells, nice heads. When not in use it stays in the garage. I never cheap on the cymbals, snare, pedal, or throne.

All other gigs the vintage Slingerlands come out.
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