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  #1  
Old 08-25-2011, 09:43 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

....and why I can probably not play a small kit.

So, as most of you here know, I walked into my local music store and saw that cute little Burgundy Sparkle Tama Silverstar bop kit, and just decided to drop the money on it and brought it home.

My close personal internet friends here are thinking Heresy! He had a Sonor Safari! What the heck is he doing now! And all this negative talk about Drum Workshop and going retro with his pedals!

I posted here that the bass drum lift on the Silverstar was in the wrong place, and fixing it shouldn't mean I add $30 to the tab for another piece of hardware to mount the pedal, or spend $30 on a special beater. So there's strike one for Tama. Strike two happened the next day when I discovered the wrap beginning to bubble up from the heat in my patio room - heaven forbid I actually take the drums out in to the sun! It was strange that Tama let this one out of the factory. Could it be possible to purchase a lemon drumset?

I tried new heads on the bass drum and couldn't get it to sound just right - after a while I wondered if I knew what I was doing. Then I concluded at the end of it that maybe little kits with little bass drums just aren't my thing or maybe 18" bass drums are bad, 16" bass drum are good. I normally play a 20" and you'd think I'd be able to get the 18" to sound at least close to my 20", but no.

So I felt a little guilty bringing the kit back to the store and saying "I'd like my money back, please". They were happy to do it - it's not like I kept it for 28 days and then brought it back on the 30th day obviously having used it on a few gigs. I would've worked with the bubbling, and made some kind of compromise about the bass drum sound with or without using the lift. But then again, I thought, this kit is a Tama - I shouldn't have to work with anything for the money spent. If I had bought some second-hand kit for $100 that's seen better days, then yes I'll work with it. But on a new kit?

After telling the store clerk of all these problems, and that yes, I even bought heads that I can no longer use because I don't own another 18" bass drum, they asked me if I wanted to them get me another one. I said no. This whole experience just turned me off of the whole cheap, little kit syndrome. And then I thought about when I go out to play, do I want to play drums that everybody else has? It's an ego thing, right? Like Andy with his Gurus, or Larry with his prized DW's - we as drummers don't want to look like the next guy anyway. Pol's got that woman thing going on so it doesn't matter what she plays - nobody's looking at the drums anyway ;)

So, this week's work-around for traveling easier takes a different slant: I just keep two complete sets of hardware ready to go! When I think about it, the setting up and striking of the hardware is what takes all the life out of me. Why not just keep another set cased up and ready to go, and when it's time to go, just pack up the drums and leave the house hardware in place in the house? That should do the trick! I like the drums, those are easy to move, and I know they sound great. This is like an epiphany - in fact, what if I added a 12" generic tom to that hardware in waiting and then I only had to pack up the snare, floor tom, bass drum, and cymbals to go out and play?

I'm going to try exactly that. Does that sound crazy? I like the sound of my high-end drums. That should be what my audience sees and hears too, don't you think?

And there - I can slam Tama too ;)
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2011, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
I'm going to try exactly that. Does that sound crazy? I like the sound of my high-end drums. That should be what my audience sees and hears too, don't you think?
That's pretty much how I've looked at it, since 1980, or so. After I bought my Luddie Vistalite kit ... I never went back to owning cheaper sets. Multiple sets are cool, indeed, but entry/intermediate level kits don't stir my soul one bit.
Right now, I'm not "playing out" at all ... hell, I'm in a freakin' wheelchair most of the day ... but the master plan is ... after my new titanium hips ... my Yamaha Recording Customs will be my beater kit. Just leave 'em in the wagon, ready to gig with. My Gretsch Round Badge kit, and my Luddies, they stay home. And my RMV's, if I gotta put a kit in someone elses studio/rehearsal space ... they get that assignment.
And if I need a "jungle kit" .... but I've yet to figure out why I'd need one ... I have the Luddie drums to put together a 18, 12, 14 kit, apart from my 26, 13, 16, 18 kit.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

I don't know Bo, I like having lower-end sets. Sure I'd like to own something higher-end than I do but I don't think that the cost/performance benefit is big enough for me with my playing to really justify it. I'm not a great player and I know that the most important thing is that I improve rather than my drums improving. Playing nicer drums isn't going to make me a better player magically. My cymbals are much more important to me than the drums I'm playing as long as the snare sounds right.

Right now my main kit has great shells but slightly dodgy hardware. I'd much rather put a couple of hundred quid into new shell hardware and hoops than buy another shell pack. The only exception I'd make to that is buying something like a Guru kit and what I consider to be 'truly' high-end drums. Between what I have now and the mainstream 'high-end' sound-wise there really isn't much there. I like my intermediate shells and I love the way they sound and I'd rather just work with them. The biggest difference I can make is my own playing and improving that is basically free - I know what I have to work on!

I might go and polish the old girl now...
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

What time is dinner?
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:06 PM
cp84 cp84 is offline
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

why not get single braced hardware. then moving your hardware isn't an issue either.
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2011, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

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Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post


I might go and polish the old girl now...
Way too early for that Duncan!


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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
What time is dinner?
Haha, yes, that was an easy win there Bob. I thought Bo would drag it out beyond your estimated 2 months to avoid paying the dinner tab, but oh no, he exceeded all expectations this time!

Bo, the truth is, you're spoilt by the sound of a focussed quality kit, & it just so happens that the specific sound suits you. You're unlikely to repeat that with a cheap kit, so you'll never be happy with a direct comparison. If you didn't have the bubinga kit to compare it to, you'd probably be very happy with the sound of your budget Tama, just as you were with the Sonor before it.

I daren't deliver a Guru stave or steambent bubinga kit to you on trial, you'd never be the same again!
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2011, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

Well, to be honest, I've always owned high-end kits. I've even had Pro Drum custom build me a 16x24 bass drum that Carlos Vega said he loved when he got to play it as I was putting it together. DW's, Yamahas, Ludwigs, Gretsch, Slingerlands.....everything up until I experienced those Sonor Force 3007s was high-end. Those Sonors gave me the inkling that intermediate drums can and do sound good. It was because of the Sonors that I got into the Safari's. And those sounded great too (a little questionable on the snare, but workable). I made a friend of mines' (new era) Tama Superstars sound great with the right heads. Just for some reason, none of that translated to this little kit.

Yes, I'm spoiled by my high-end gear (which isn't as high-end as Andy's Gurus), and the issue could just be bass drum size. Maybe I just need a 20" and above. I'm convinced the Silverstars were lemons. I've played vintage Gretsch bop kits that sounded great, too, so why this particular 18" bass drum wouldn't behave (with two new heads for it) is a little perplexing.

High end gear is good. I seriously don't want to have to worry about them, or have to do all kinds of tweaking, especially while on a gig. It's not about bragging rights - I'm really too caught up in having to sight-read something or worry about how I'm interacting with the bass player or somebody else in the group to be focusing on what my gear is doing - which is how it should be. This is how my life has been and continues to be. With the exception of the Sonor Safari, I want that bass drum to have enough low end and when I go to change the sound of my snare, it doesn't take me minutes to make it happen. That's why you have high-end stuff.

And the second hardware issue isn't about weight. I already have a second complete set of hardware and I can tell ya', packing just what you need and then when you get home just unpacking three drums and cymbals so you can practice again makes sense. Drums just have to go back into their places in the practice room. Re-setting hardware means readjusting everything again. I just put spike tape down where the bass spurs go and everything is back in it's right place. Those of you with a bunch of hardware oughta' try it - it worked out for me last night great on the trial run.

So sure, I'll buy Bob dinner. It'll be somewhere cheap though ;)
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

Oh man if I had to pack up my home kit to gig and afterwards return it to the practice space..I wouldn't do that. I keep my entire kit, hardware, bronze, sticks, spares, everything, in my vehicle. It's safer there than in my garage, and I never forget anything. Plus no unloading after the gig. I highly recommend this. Just install a kill switch on the vehicle, and when you leave the vehicle for the night, turn your wheels all the way in on direction (that way it's much harder to winch the vehicle up on a flatbed, it will want to roll off. Also a bear trap chained to the vehicle frame and set near the gas pedal will provide instant justice to the scumbag and also retain your perp until you arrive) ;)

As far as not wanting to look like the next guy, that thought never occurred to me. When I see a good tennis player I care not what racket he uses, I care about how he uses the racket.

Like with Letterman's drum solo week, I did not spend 1 millisecond of brain time looking at what they were playing. I was looking in their eyes and how they work the drumsticks and their overall demeanor, the big picture of what they chose to play. Reading comments on the thread the next day about what products they were playing on made me realize that I just don't care, it's what they did with those products that interested me.

That said Bo, it sounds like you got a lemon of a set, that's all. Hey it could have just been a lemon BD head. Did you try other heads on it? I got a bad one the other day that for the life of me, I couldn't get it to sound good on my 14 x 5 Black Beauty. I replaced it with the old head and realized it was a bad head.
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post

As far as not wanting to look like the next guy, that thought never occurred to me. When I see a good tennis player I care not what racket he uses, I care about how he uses the racket.
I think I was playing to some low emotional desire that I know isn't true. On the other hand, with all the musicians I've played with, nobody ever showed up with a toy strat you can buy at Sam's Club or a home Casio keyboard. I think I'm leaning more towards using serious tools to get your sound out. I understand being on a budget and making the most with what you have, but if you're a working pro and your job depends on you sounding your best every time you step out, that's where I was going.

Your reference to David Letterman is curious. I know we're all into what music they're playing, and the gear is secondary, but I'm willing to bet there isn't anything up on stage that says "intermediate gear". Even if it's only broadcast for 4 minutes. To 8 million people at a time ;)

We think that way here at the Happiest Place on Earth, too.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

If Tony, Gavin and Stewart were playing Sound Percussion drums would that have lessened the experience?

I wouldn't even have noticed. Too much focus on gear.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:59 PM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

Too bad about that kit Bo. I also like a lot of the "intermediate" kits out there. (that Sonor 3007 is pretty sweet, or a Centennial, or...etc...).
I've never gone for one because I know deep down I wouldn't be happy with it because it's not "this", which is what I have with the kits I own.

Having 2 (or more) sets of hardware is awesome.

It really depends on what you're doing, available cash after the usual expenses are met, & how much you really want to "put into all this stuff"....

I think "gear head" is a separate hobby from drumming actually haha!...Oooooo, look at that... I know I can....hahah!

I have my regular band, and I also play in a Cheap Trick Tribute (VERY fun!).

I have a full set of stands for each band, set to where I need it for that music, and I don't have to think about anything else.

I'm a "as simple as possible, set it-forget it" type person (hooray for memory locks!).

I just put the hardware for whichever gig in the case and I'm all set.
I REALLY love not having to adjust the stand heights for the different music.

That's also a main reason why I bring 2 BB's to my shows.
I got to where I felt, if I happened to need that back-up "Why should I sacrifice the sound and feel I want with another snare I didn't like as much?"
I didn't have 2 BB's right away, but when I could buy the second one, I did.

If a head failure, or something should happen to one, I can just grab the other one quick and have the same great sound.
Also, since the snares are the same, as far as EQ through a PA is concerned, the FOH doesn't need to adjust anything (which also makes them happy).

I have the kits & snares I do because I want to play them all the time. They sound great and look great.
IMHO, in performing for paying customers, good visuals are just part of the package.

Like I said, it depends on where you're at, or what you want (available space helps too!!). There's no right or wrong, everyone does what works for them.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
If Tony, Gavin and Stewart were playing Sound Percussion drums would that have lessened the experience?

I wouldn't even have noticed. Too much focus on gear.
Says the man who, like the rest of us, loves his DW's and other high-end snares from time-to-time! There's a reason you don't have to worry about your gear while on a gig, Larry! So you're saying that now that you have your high-end gear, you no longer notice if anybody else has high-end gear.

And I think Stewart Copeland said it best in an interview long ago: when you go off and become big and famous and then come home, your hometown crowd would be a little miffed if you pulled up in a Volkswagen...

Of course, if they played sound Percussion stuff, it would be just as great. But when you're at that level, why would you want to? People are paying them to see their best, so let's see the best. Same attitude here: People pay me to give them my best. If I can afford to do that, why do it on the cheap? Why piss off my employers?
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

I have just as much fun and get just as much good tone from my Yamaha Stage Customs.

I guess the drums themselves to me don't matter as much as the bronze and the snare. I couldn't compromise on inexpensive cymbals but I could easily compromise with inexpensive drums.

I'd rather hear Vinnie on an entry level kit than a crap drummer on Andy's Guru's. It's the rhythms of the player that are the real attraction.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

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So sure, I'll buy Bob dinner. It'll be somewhere cheap though ;)
As long as I don't have to talk into a mic to order Im good!
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

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As long as I don't have to talk into a mic to order Im good!
Oh. Well that puts a little crimp into my plans..... ;)
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

If I live through the expected Hurricane this weekend I may not mind talking into a clowns mouth to order food!
According to the latest forecast my area is in direct center path of the storm.
I have begun to batten down the hatches in preparation.
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Old 08-26-2011, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

Stay safe Bob!


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  #18  
Old 08-26-2011, 11:39 AM
mediocrefunkybeat
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
If I live through the expected Hurricane this weekend I may not mind talking into a clowns mouth to order food!
According to the latest forecast my area is in direct center path of the storm.
I have begun to batten down the hatches in preparation.
Good luck Bob. My thoughts are with you and indeed anybody else caught up it this!
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
If I live through the expected Hurricane this weekend I may not mind talking into a clowns mouth to order food!
According to the latest forecast my area is in direct center path of the storm.
I have begun to batten down the hatches in preparation.
Get those drums out of the basement Bob! Good luck mate.
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  #20  
Old 08-26-2011, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Strange happening with that Tama Silverstar

If I have to send a hurricane relief package to Bob after the hurricane rolls through than the deal's off ;)

Be safe out there!
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