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  #1  
Old 12-08-2009, 11:01 AM
buddhasmash buddhasmash is offline
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Default Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

As the subject line indicates, I'm in the midst of planning my next major drum set purchase. I wanted to post the current specs here and get any advice from you guys that I can. I need to get a kit that's well suited for playing small venues un-mic'd, and with enough versatility to be applicable in both heavy rock settings and jazz. I also need it to be durable enough to last me through four years of music school. Anyways, here's what I have planned out so far.

Gretsch Catalina Maple Fusion shell pack
18x22" bass
8x10" and 9x12" mounted toms
14x14" and 16x16" floor toms
6x14" snare.
suspension tom mounts
(I'm considering getting the ash version of this kit instead of maple. Thoughts?)

Paiste Alpha cymbals
20" full ride
14" thin crash
18" medium crash
14" sound edge hats

Evans Hydraulic Glass batter heads on all the toms
Evans G1 resonant heads on all the toms
Evans EMAD2 batter head on the bass drum (stock resonant head)
Evans EC2 Reversed Dot batter head on snare
Evans Hazy snare side head
Puresound Blaster snare wire

PDP 8.155 hardware pack + 1 extra straight cymbal stand
Stagg cow bell (for shits and giggles)
Vater 5A Nylon tip sticks
Road Runner drum rug
Moongels (just in case)


So, if anyone thinks any of these parts are just plain horrible choices, I'd like to hear your opinion. :-) I plan on buying all of this new from Guitar Center. Final price tag comes out to $2125. I'm not too keen on buying used parts, but if anyone knows of places where I can get new parts cheaper than Guitar Center I'd be interested in that. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2009, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Is this a custom ordered kit (like you have specified dimensions and whatnot) or a ready-to-buy kit?

...and considering you play jazz and heavy rock and your buying from Guitar Center I would go with an LP ridge rider cowbell (6.5" or 6" preferrably), great multi-style cowbell, loud enough to be heard unmic'ed, great for latin, jazz and because of the plastic ridge it is great for hard rock if you want that woody "clonk" sound. Stuff it with newspaper and gaff-tape the paper inside and you can shorten the sound.

The whole kit seems proffesional, maple goes well with jazz because it has warm mellow tones, not sure about ash, never heard what a kit sound like with ash...wouldn't mind that kit myself actually, sure beats my 5 pc. Tama Superstar with Paiste PST 3 cymbals.

...and will you ever use a double bass pedal for heavy rock?

A lot of things to consider, but you seem to have organised this quite well.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2009, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

I understand you wanting to avoid used gear. I like my gear to be in great condition too but I've picked up some superb bargains in the used market. Ok, you need a bit of time on your hands but be picky and you'll get some great stuff. Either save yourself a bucket of money or get that top end stuff you thought you'd never be able to afford. Go with the maple BTW.
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:17 PM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddhasmash View Post
(I'm considering getting the ash version of this kit instead of maple. Thoughts?)
Got the same kit mate. I have no major complaints and for the price I think it offers good value for money. You may well be able to pick up a better used kit though. Especially if you're in the States. As for maple or ash.....I went maple, but I've attached a link to both wood types for you.

Whilst there are better kits available, for the price I've been really happy with it. I swapped out all heads immediately and I don't use the snare at all. It's not horrible, just not brilliant.........and I have too many others I prefer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BassDriver View Post
Is this a custom ordered kit.........or a ready-to-buy kit?..........................not sure about ash, never heard what a kit sound like with ash.........
Intermediate level kit BD. Only comes in that config. with 3 or 4 finishes.

Here ya go men.....

Cat Maple: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJBzpy3Xd38

Cat Ash: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xeyj...eature=related
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:13 PM
buddhasmash buddhasmash is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

BassDriver: The kit I'm getting is a pre-configured ready to buy kit from Gretsch. The maple and ash versions of the kit are identical except for the types of wood used and the tom configuration. The maple kit comes with 10/12/14/16 toms. The ash is 8/10/12/14. I listened to a clip involving that cowbell. It is really great. :-) And only $50, as it turns out. The Stagg cowbell I listed below actually only made it on the list because it comes free with the Vater sticks. :-P I think I'll be buying this Ridge Rider too, though. No harm in having multiple bells. You can always use more cowbell! Oh, and no, I never ever intend to touch a double bass pedal. They seem too overwhelming to me, and since I don't intend to play any death metal, I feel that my left foot would be put to better use wearing out the hats.

keep it simple: I may glance at ebay and craigslist when buying time comes around. Going to stick with the current plan, though.

Pocket-full-of-gold: Those videos sealed the deal for me on wood type. I'm a big fan of Bonham, and the boomy qualities of the maple kit are too good to pass up. :-) Thanks for that. And I had heard some similar comments about the snares on these kits, which is why I'm revamping it so much. I'm hoping that between top of the line heads, one of the best snare wires on the market, and the moongels for overtone control I can get a good sound out of it. I'll let everyone know how it turns out. :-)
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:44 PM
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bonzolead bonzolead is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

I just got a Ludwig "EPIC" kit in the "Downbeat" Configuration (20,12,14 w/14 x 5 sd) I've jam everything from Beatles too Godsmack in my band and it holds up quite nicely.

The main reason why I got them was too have a small tuck-away cheap gig kit. The shells are 6 ply_ 2 ply Birch(Outer),2 ply Maple(Core),2 ply Birch(Inner) the sound qualities are really nice for the $600 I paid for the shell pack.

The only mic I use besides a vocal mic is a Beta 52 for the bass drum. If you're dead set on a Gretsch kit that's cool but if you're just looking then I'd look at the Epic's for sure.

Keep Swattin'
Bonzolead
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  #7  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:55 PM
Gretsch09 Gretsch09 is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

I would skip on the hydaulic heads. They make drums sound like cardboard boxes! If you want something with a little more control that will still provide good tone, I would grab the EC2's. I use those on my maple porkpie kit and they sound killer!
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  #8  
Old 12-08-2009, 07:23 PM
buddhasmash buddhasmash is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

bonzolead: I looked up a video for that Epic kit, and wow! I didn't think mostly birch shells could sound like that. Very full, great presence and sustain. My only concern is that, since it is mostly birch, would it project well in a live setting? Hard to tell from watching a video. Have you been playing yours live or using it for practice sessions? I may actually switch to this. I'm going to Guitar Center tonight. With any luck there will be floor models of these two that I can test out.

Gretsch09: You know, the only reason I was set on hydraulic glass heads was because they're the only heads I have experience with. My last kit was an entry level PDP standard kit. I hated the sound of it with the stock heads, and when I replaced them with hydraulic glass it was like a whole new kit. I'll look into the EC tom heads, though.

Once again, thanks for the suggestions. :-)
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  #9  
Old 12-08-2009, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddhasmash View Post
bonzolead: I looked up a video for that Epic kit, and wow! I didn't think mostly birch shells could sound like that. Very full, great presence and sustain. My only concern is that, since it is mostly birch, would it project well in a live setting? Hard to tell from watching a video. Have you been playing yours live or using it for practice sessions? I may actually switch to this. I'm going to Guitar Center tonight. With any luck there will be floor models of these two that I can test out.

Gretsch09: You know, the only reason I was set on hydraulic glass heads was because they're the only heads I have experience with. My last kit was an entry level PDP standard kit. I hated the sound of it with the stock heads, and when I replaced them with hydraulic glass it was like a whole new kit. I'll look into the EC tom heads, though.

Once again, thanks for the suggestions. :-)
I've played out with them live since August and get nothing but compliments about the sound & looks I went with the natural to black fade & I've already made the money back I payed for them which is a rarity in today's world.

They project great and have a nice resonant,warm tone. the heads they come with are junk IMO but that happens with a lot of drum companies out there.

I put coated ambassadors on the toms when I first got them but later switched too coated emperor's later on. IMO the ambassadors were too ringy-dingy LOL the emperor's gave them a more warm tone which is what I was after, one thing I did noticed is that they don't. choke out like some drums I've played @ twice the price, IMO Ludwig is back in a big way.

The brass hardware looks sweet IMO & it doesn't. show fingerprints which is also a plus in my book.

I have no regrets what so ever in buying them.
But that my opinion of course LMAO.

Good luck in whatever you purchase,
Bonzolead
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2009, 09:16 PM
buddhasmash buddhasmash is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Ok, I'm about to ask a question that's going to reveal my amateur nature. :-P I'm seriously considering this Ludwig Epic kit Bonzo suggested. However, the only kit I've ever owned came with tom arms and had the tom mount system built into the bass drum. This is the same case with the Gretsch kit I was considering. The Ludwig kit, however, is only a shell pack and doesn't come with any of that stuff. So what else specifically do I need to buy to mount the toms? I know they're commonly mounted on the cymbal stands, I just don't know what precisely I'm looking for.
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  #11  
Old 12-08-2009, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

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Originally Posted by buddhasmash View Post
Ok, I'm about to ask a question that's going to reveal my amateur nature. :-P I'm seriously considering this Ludwig Epic kit Bonzo suggested. However, the only kit I've ever owned came with tom arms and had the tom mount system built into the bass drum. This is the same case with the Gretsch kit I was considering. The Ludwig kit, however, is only a shell pack and doesn't come with any of that stuff. So what else specifically do I need to buy to mount the toms? I know they're commonly mounted on the cymbal stands, I just don't know what precisely I'm looking for.
No the shell pack has a virgin bass drum(no tom mounts) the tom mount which is included in the shell pack is a rim-style mount which mounts off a cymbal stand and the floor-tom has legs which is included you just need you're snare,hi-hat & cymbal stands bass drum pedal & cymbals of course. I'll try too post pic's next week. I would sooner but I don't. have a camera i've seen the downbeat kit like mine on ebay with hardware for $799.

Just a heads up,
Bonzolead
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  #12  
Old 12-08-2009, 10:34 PM
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volvoguy volvoguy is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Quote:
So what else specifically do I need to buy to mount the toms? I know they're commonly mounted on the cymbal stands, I just don't know what precisely I'm looking for.
You'll want some good cymbal stands to hang those toms off of. If you go the Ludwig route, just get Ludwig hardware (great bang for the buck). The 800-series cymbal stands work nice for holding toms.

-Ryan
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  #13  
Old 12-08-2009, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

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Originally Posted by volvoguy View Post
You'll want some good cymbal stands to hang those toms off of. If you go the Ludwig route, just get Ludwig hardware (great bang for the buck). The 800-series cymbal stands work nice for holding toms.

-Ryan
Just curious how do you like the SE Ludwigs? Gotta love those retro wraps.

Bonzolead
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  #14  
Old 12-09-2009, 02:18 AM
buddhasmash buddhasmash is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Just to update: I've decided to go with the Ludwig Epic Pro Beat. 10/12/14/16 toms and a 24" kick drum on this setup, and the wood is birch/maple/birch as Bonzo indicated. Going with the mahogany burst finish. Replacing the PDP hardware with the Gibraltar 6600 series hardware. It's a little pricier, but it will be more stable. I don't want my rack toms to go crashing to the ground because I was using a PDP cymbal stand.

Just so I'm clear here: shell packs generally will come with all the auxiliary hardware I need right? When I say auxiliary hardware I mean tom mounts, floor tom legs and bass drum spurs.
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:36 PM
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bonzolead bonzolead is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

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Originally Posted by buddhasmash View Post
Just to update: I've decided to go with the Ludwig Epic Pro Beat. 10/12/14/16 toms and a 24" kick drum on this setup, and the wood is birch/maple/birch as Bonzo indicated. Going with the mahogany burst finish. Replacing the PDP hardware with the Gibraltar 6600 series hardware. It's a little pricier, but it will be more stable. I don't want my rack toms to go crashing to the ground because I was using a PDP cymbal stand.

Just so I'm clear here: shell packs generally will come with all the auxiliary hardware I need right? When I say auxiliary hardware I mean tom mounts, floor tom legs and bass drum spurs.
Congratulations,
I was going to go with the mahogany burst at first I think it's the best finish with just white lights on, but the natural to black fade IMO looks better under stage lights & since this was a gig kit that's why I went with it.

And yes you will have the mounts for the toms & the legs for the floor-toms.

I really like that Ludwig is going back to the retro sizes(14" deep bass drums) & also modern sizes(20" deep bass drums) I'm sure you will be happy with the little extra $ you paid I know the drummer from REO Speedwagon is playing the EPIC series Ludwig's
Gotta love the custom sizes & woofer bass drums how nice it would be too be endorsed by Ludwig.

Congrats & Keep Swattin'
Bonzolead
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  #16  
Old 12-09-2009, 07:41 PM
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

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Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
Just curious how do you like the SE Ludwigs? Gotta love those retro wraps.

Bonzolead
They're pretty awesome, and the price is perfect to get something in what's basically a crazy finish. My Classic Maples have been sitting in the corner since September.

The cherry/gum shells with the rounded edges have a really nice warm, vintage sound. The 12" tom has a really nice, high tuning. The bass drum sounds really cool with a Fiberskyn PS3. The 14" floor tom, has a really nice tuning for a "bop" setup.

If they offered some downbeat configs in "classy" finishes, like a vintage marine or sky blue pearl, they'd really give Gretsch a major run for their money.

-Ryan
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  #17  
Old 12-10-2009, 11:40 AM
buddhasmash buddhasmash is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Sorry to keep bumping this thread, but I have another question for Bonzo regarding his Epics. I've read a review which stated that the diameter of the snare shell on Epics is a tad bit smaller than standard, and that the hoops for the snare are a bit over-sized. He said that these two factors put together caused his Evans head to slip to one side, thereby causing it to catastrophically de-tune after 20 minutes of play. He said switching to Remo heads, which have slightly larger rims, solved the slippage problem and all is well. My issue is this: I'm a shameless Evans fanatic. If I can't use my EC2 Reversed Dot head, I simply don't want the kit. So my question for Bonzo is this: Have you ever used Evans heads on your snare? If not, would you be at all willing to test one out for me and see if you have the same problem? I would be endlessly grateful.
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddhasmash View Post
Sorry to keep bumping this thread, but I have another question for Bonzo regarding his Epics. I've read a review which stated that the diameter of the snare shell on Epics is a tad bit smaller than standard, and that the hoops for the snare are a bit over-sized. He said that these two factors put together caused his Evans head to slip to one side, thereby causing it to catastrophically de-tune after 20 minutes of play. He said switching to Remo heads, which have slightly larger rims, solved the slippage problem and all is well. My issue is this: I'm a shameless Evans fanatic. If I can't use my EC2 Reversed Dot head, I simply don't want the kit. So my question for Bonzo is this: Have you ever used Evans heads on your snare? If not, would you be at all willing to test one out for me and see if you have the same problem? I would be endlessly grateful.
I'm thinking of trying a Evans "Genera-Dry" on the snare instead of my stand-by Coated-Ambassador I love the snare but I think the Evans head will make it a little more controlled and not as ringy than the ambassador. I've heard of the fitting issue also but I didn't. consider it at the time because i'm mostly a Remo guy. but now that I've had them for a while I want too experiment too get the best sound possible IMO.
There's a fine line of not enough to too much ring on a snare IMO hopefully the Genera-Dry will solve that problem.......I let you know what I think.

I appreciate you trust my opinion,
Bonzolead
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Old 12-14-2009, 05:09 PM
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bonzolead bonzolead is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Quote:
Originally Posted by volvoguy View Post
They're pretty awesome, and the price is perfect to get something in what's basically a crazy finish. My Classic Maples have been sitting in the corner since September.

The cherry/gum shells with the rounded edges have a really nice warm, vintage sound. The 12" tom has a really nice, high tuning. The bass drum sounds really cool with a Fiberskyn PS3. The 14" floor tom, has a really nice tuning for a "bop" setup.

If they offered some downbeat configs in "classy" finishes, like a vintage marine or sky blue pearl, they'd really give Gretsch a major run for their money.

-Ryan
Thanks for the insight and yes i think if they offered more classic wraps like you mentioned or a black diamond pearl or even a clear lacquer finish too bring out the Cherry Wood would be a plus.IMO Ludwig is giving Gretsch a run for their money now more than ever I'm sure the Gretsch boy's are hard at work as we speak. Nothing taking away from Gretsch there great drums period.

Keep Swattin'
Bonzolead

Bonzolead
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:00 PM
buddhasmash buddhasmash is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

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Originally Posted by bonzolead View Post
I'm thinking of trying a Evans "Genera-Dry" on the snare instead of my stand-by Coated-Ambassador I love the snare but I think the Evans head will make it a little more controlled and not as ringy than the ambassador. I've heard of the fitting issue also but I didn't. consider it at the time because i'm mostly a Remo guy. but now that I've had them for a while I want too experiment too get the best sound possible IMO.
There's a fine line of not enough to too much ring on a snare IMO hopefully the Genera-Dry will solve that problem.......I let you know what I think.

I appreciate you trust my opinion,
Bonzolead
Thanks. I await the results with baited breath. :-) By the way, if you are having problems with ringy overtones, I know of a pretty great solution. My old kit was an entry level PDP set (did I mention this already?) and the snare sounded absolutely wretched. Like a big tin peach can with a snare wire on it. Ringy as hell. I replaced the stock heads with an Evans EC2 Reversed Dot on the batter side and an Evans Hazy 300 on the snare side. Then I replaced the stock snare wire with a Puresound Blaster, and to top it all off I put two moon gels on it at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions. When all was said and done it sounded like a $300 snare drum. No overtones at all, just a really tight, abrupt sound with great attack. I was pretty pleased with myself. :-D And this is why I'm such an Evans loyalist.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

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Originally Posted by buddhasmash View Post
Thanks. I await the results with baited breath. :-) By the way, if you are having problems with ringy overtones, I know of a pretty great solution. My old kit was an entry level PDP set (did I mention this already?) and the snare sounded absolutely wretched. Like a big tin peach can with a snare wire on it. Ringy as hell. I replaced the stock heads with an Evans EC2 Reversed Dot on the batter side and an Evans Hazy 300 on the snare side. Then I replaced the stock snare wire with a Puresound Blaster, and to top it all off I put two moon gels on it at the 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock positions. When all was said and done it sounded like a $300 snare drum. No overtones at all, just a really tight, abrupt sound with great attack. I was pretty pleased with myself. :-D And this is why I'm such an Evans loyalist.
I've already put Puresound Vintage wires on the snare im sure the heads made a difference but the moongels helped a lot i'm sure.I want the snare to have a ring just not too much i'm thinking the Genera head will take the ringy overtones and just give the drum a nice overall resonant ring I may try the moongels but i can get the same results with tape and make a tiny muffler I've had a lot of practice LOL.

Thanks for input,
Bonzolead
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  #22  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:51 PM
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Makedrums1 Makedrums1 is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Build your own!
You might find cheaper drum parts at www.drummaker.com or maybe even musiciansfriend.com - although they now own guitar center - or maybe it's the other way around.
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  #23  
Old 12-15-2009, 01:11 AM
buddhasmash buddhasmash is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

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Build your own!
You might find cheaper drum parts at www.drummaker.com or maybe even musiciansfriend.com - although they now own guitar center - or maybe it's the other way around.
You know, I looked into this and I'd really only be saving about $150 or so by making my own kit vs getting this Ludwig kit. I'm willing to pay the extra money for someone else to do the assembly work. :-) I'm confident that the guys at Ludwig are better at it than I am. They've been doing this for a few years. :-D
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Old 12-15-2009, 05:11 PM
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Makedrums1 Makedrums1 is offline
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Default Re: Planning my next kit, looking for feedback

Very true, Ludwig has a great record as far as making kits goes, although after I made my first drum, I knew I couldn't go back to buying other drum companies kits...there is something special about taking raw materials and make them come alive to look and sound exactly the way you want them to!
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