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  #1  
Old 08-19-2013, 07:19 AM
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Default Something that got me thinking

I played a gig last night, and afterwards, we were walking to a gas station to pick a few things up, with the drummer of one of the other bands who played that night. My bass player started talking about my snare. Mostly complaining about how loud it is. The drummer we were walking with, quickly chimed in, saying that, while it is one of the loudest snares she's ever heard, it is also one of the best sounding snares she's ever heard. I'd have to say, I do agree, for the most part.

It's a Mapex MPX birch snare, 14 X 5.5. I bought it brand new, for $150 about three years ago. It's considered mid-level snare at best, but when tuned up well, is comparable to a lot of very expensive snares.

So, what do we really pay for? I'm sure all of us can come up with a good answer for that question. Rather, is it truly worth it to spend loads of cash on high end drums which, many times, are only marginally better than others you can get for much less.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:55 AM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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Originally Posted by TColumbia37 View Post
I played a gig last night, and afterwards, we were walking to a gas station to pick a few things up, with the drummer of one of the other bands who played that night. My bass player started talking about my snare. Mostly complaining about how loud it is. The drummer we were walking with, quickly chimed in, saying that, while it is one of the loudest snares she's ever heard, it is also one of the best sounding snares she's ever heard. I'd have to say, I do agree, for the most part.

It's a Mapex MPX birch snare, 14 X 5.5. I bought it brand new, for $150 about three years ago. It's considered mid-level snare at best, but when tuned up well, is comparable to a lot of very expensive snares.

So, what do we really pay for? I'm sure all of us can come up with a good answer for that question. Rather, is it truly worth it to spend loads of cash on high end drums which, many times, are only marginally better than others you can get for much less.
As I played this last gig, I wondered that. My Pearl Sensitone Elite Black-on-Brass, which cost me just south of $400, constantly detuned and had to be corrected, while my vintage Ludwig Standard snare which I picked up for essentially $75 stayed in tune for a whole week of shows (and it's considered a "student" snare). I think that there's a lot of design and gig-quality issues that can only be found out on the job, and not in the drum shop.
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Old 08-19-2013, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

It has been proven that we "listen" with our eyes as well as our ears. I know that I am as guilty as any of buying based upon brand, and asthetics as much as I am sound. There is a reason marketing companies make millions, because it works!

I am also a firm believer that you get what you pay for. While there may be examples of this not always being true, more times than not thats the case. I have found that real value is in paying a little more and being completely satisfied with my purchase.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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As I played this last gig, I wondered that. My Pearl Sensitone Elite Black-on-Brass, which cost me just south of $400, constantly detuned and had to be corrected, while my vintage Ludwig Standard snare which I picked up for essentially $75 stayed in tune for a whole week of shows (and it's considered a "student" snare). I think that there's a lot of design and gig-quality issues that can only be found out on the job, and not in the drum shop.
That is a good point. My new Yamaha kit has been having the same problem with the floor tom, while my Ddrum kit never had that issue.

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It has been proven that we "listen" with our eyes as well as our ears. I know that I am as guilty as any of buying based upon brand, and asthetics as much as I am sound. There is a reason marketing companies make millions, because it works!

I am also a firm believer that you get what you pay for. While there may be examples of this not always being true, more times than not thats the case. I have found that real value is in paying a little more and being completely satisfied with my purchase.
This. I think that once you get into the higher end kits, you get less than what you pay for. You still get a great kit, that will probably never let you down, but is it really worth paying twice the price for something that isn't double the quality? I wouldn't say so. I play a Yamaha Rock Tour, and I know a guy who plays a Pear Masters. I can't find any real difference in build quality or sound quality. I just know that he spent way more than I did. I'm sure there's more to it than that, but it can't be much.

I've never been dissatisfied with the high end stuff that I do own, but I have also been overly satisfied with some of the cheaper gear I own
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:57 PM
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The drummer we were walking with, quickly chimed in, saying that, while it is one of the loudest snares she's ever heard, it is also one of the best sounding snares she's ever heard. I'd have to say, I do agree, for the most part.

.
Its good to have a sound you like, and the other drummer likes it as well. However, does that really make it sound good to the masses? When that snare is compared to a better snare side by side, there will be a big difference in sound as well as tuning range. Its not a bad snare at all, but don't kid yourself, its not a great snare either.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:58 PM
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Its good to have a sound you like, and the other drummer likes it as well. However, does that really make it sound good to the masses? When that snare is compared to a better snare side by side, there will be a big difference in sound as well as tuning range. Its not a bad snare at all, but don't kid yourself, its not a great snare either.
That's where the 'for the most part' comes in. No, I wouldn't say it's an incredible snare, but I do believe that, for the price, you're not going to find much better. Of course, if you compare it to something way up there, you'll notice some differences, but do you think that, in a live music setting, the general public will notice any real difference in quality, given that it's tuned well?

When you're in a live setting, with everything going on at once, drums typically just sound like drums. Given that they're mid-range or better, in the mix, one kit doesn't really sound any better or worse than the next to anybody but a musician. It's always the subtleties that make the big difference to us drummers. If I set my sister down in front of my Mapex and a Black Beauty, gave her a stick, and asked her to tell me which one was the higher end snare, she couldn't give me more than just a shot in the dark guess. If I tried that with any drummer, they would know the answer as soon as they walked in the room, even if they never touched the Ludwig.

Why is that the case? As drummers, we all know that the Ludwig Black Beauty is supposed to be this amazing snare, though many of us have never heard or played one in person. Why? Because that's what we're told. Of course it won't sound the same as a Pearl Export snare, but is it really any better? What makes it better? Your opinion is what makes it better. It doesn't sound any better than the Pearl snare. It just sounds different, and you like the sound that the Ludwig produces more than the sound that the Pearl produces.

Everything is relative. We just pay more for what we are persuaded to believe is better. If I blindfolded any drummer, and lined up some snares for a sound test, I guarantee that many of them would find that, completely unbiased, they would like some cheaper drums more than some of the expensive ones, purely based on tone.
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Old 08-19-2013, 06:58 PM
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That's where the 'for the most part' comes in. No, I wouldn't say it's an incredible snare, but I do believe that, for the price, you're not going to find much better. Of course, if you compare it to something way up there, you'll notice some differences, but do you think that, in a live music setting, the general public will notice any real difference in quality, given that it's tuned well?

When you're in a live setting, with everything going on at once, drums typically just sound like drums. Given that they're mid-range or better, in the mix, one kit doesn't really sound any better or worse than the next to anybody but a musician. It's always the subtleties that make the big difference to us drummers. If I set my sister down in front of my Mapex and a Black Beauty, gave her a stick, and asked her to tell me which one was the higher end snare, she couldn't give me more than just a shot in the dark guess. If I tried that with any drummer, they would know the answer as soon as they walked in the room, even if they never touched the Ludwig.

Why is that the case? As drummers, we all know that the Ludwig Black Beauty is supposed to be this amazing snare, though many of us have never heard or played one in person. Why? Because that's what we're told. Of course it won't sound the same as a Pearl Export snare, but is it really any better? What makes it better? Your opinion is what makes it better. It doesn't sound any better than the Pearl snare. It just sounds different, and you like the sound that the Ludwig produces more than the sound that the Pearl produces.

Everything is relative. We just pay more for what we are persuaded to believe is better. If I blindfolded any drummer, and lined up some snares for a sound test, I guarantee that many of them would find that, completely unbiased, they would like some cheaper drums more than some of the expensive ones, purely based on tone.
I see your point here. A practice kit I use in a studio had a Remo snare. chrome over who knows what really and it actually sounds good. a friend of mine hase a home studio with a Fender drum kit. the sound is good also. Most drummers, myself included wouldnt even think of buying these but they certainly do the job and live, who could tell the difference if tuned properly. I never played a black beauty myself but for some reason "know" they are great?? I blame it MTV
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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Why is that the case? As drummers, we all know that the Ludwig Black Beauty is supposed to be this amazing snare, though many of us have never heard or played one in person. Why? Because that's what we're told. Of course it won't sound the same as a Pearl Export snare, but is it really any better? What makes it better? Your opinion is what makes it better. It doesn't sound any better than the Pearl snare. It just sounds different, and you like the sound that the Ludwig produces more than the sound that the Pearl produces.
You have to look at this on a macro scale. If you had 100 black beauties and 100 Pearl export snares I really believe you would find that the overall quality of the black beauties would be exponentially greater. You would have less bearing edge flaws, less throw off failures, more tuning range, etc. on the black beauties than the Pearls. If you took those 100 snares on tour for a year I think the differences would be even more apparent.

What you are paying for when you buy the Ludwig is the assumption that it is a quality instrument based upon the hundreds of other drummers that have owned and loved them. That reputation is important, and is usually well earned by major drum builders.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:42 PM
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You have to look at this on a macro scale. If you had 100 black beauties and 100 Pearl export snares I really believe you would find that the overall quality of the black beauties would be exponentially greater. You would have less bearing edge flaws, less throw off failures, more tuning range, etc. on the black beauties than the Pearls. If you took those 100 snares on tour for a year I think the differences would be even more apparent.

What you are paying for when you buy the Ludwig is the assumption that it is a quality instrument based upon the hundreds of other drummers that have owned and loved them. That reputation is important, and is usually well earned by major drum builders.
Along those same lines, is it really worth it to drop that kind of money on a Black Beauty or just get a Supra? Only the player can answer that for him/herself.

That was my thinking when I bought my LM400 years ago. Do I drop a crazy amount of money for the "end-all be-all" snare? The Black Beauty. Or do I get the Supra which gets the job done (and has for many years) with a little less flair?
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

Playing live, some of the differences between mid-level and high-end snares are less obvious but when you're recording and processing naturally, they sometimes become obvious. When I got one of Andy's snares last year it made a huge difference to how my snare recordings sounded, even though the Musashi I had been using for years was more than good enough - especially after a couple of modifications.

You're not only paying for the way the drum sounds (which has a huge number of variables - like any other instrument) but you're also paying for how it holds up in the long-term. Better quality of parts can really make a difference if you're using the drum at gigs several times a week over the course of years. That can make a big difference. I will agree though, that for the most part, mid-level gear is generally good enough to compete sound-wise with higher-level gear.

In the same way, I'd put the way my Yamaha BB414 sounds through my setup as up there with a lot of P-basses. It would be easier to get a great sound from a genuine P-bass (a good one!) but also the quality of the component parts would probably be higher. The tuning pegs on my BB414 are adequate but not high-quality and the bride could be better. I've already completely overhauled the electronics. If I had a genuine P-bass, these things would be less of an issue. If I went overboard and got a Warwick (one can dream) then the component quality would be even higher, even though the difference in the quality of sound wouldn't necessarily be huge.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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You have to look at this on a macro scale. If you had 100 black beauties and 100 Pearl export snares I really believe you would find that the overall quality of the black beauties would be exponentially greater. You would have less bearing edge flaws, less throw off failures, more tuning range, etc. on the black beauties than the Pearls. If you took those 100 snares on tour for a year I think the differences would be even more apparent.

What you are paying for when you buy the Ludwig is the assumption that it is a quality instrument based upon the hundreds of other drummers that have owned and loved them. That reputation is important, and is usually well earned by major drum builders.
That is an excellent point, which touches on the REAL reasons why it could be considered a better quality drum.

There's no arguing that Black Beauties have better build quality, because that is based on factual information. However, if they were marketed just for their build quality, they would be much more affordable, while some 'lesser' drums would be more expensive. I would confidently tour with my Mapex snare, knowing that it can stand up to the typical rigors of the road. Heck, I have a 2002 Les Paul Studio that I paid about $1,200 to buy parts and build it to my specifications. I know that it could stand up to a heavy touring schedule just as well as any other Les Paul, but a '59 sunburst will list for over $200,000, because of the hype that's been made over them for so many years.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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I think that once you get into the higher end kits, you get less than what you pay for.
I would agree with that to an extent, the more you pay, the more the sound becomes disproprtionate to the price. But typically what we pay for is not the sound, but specialty hardware, specialty wood, and custom building or finishing that requires more craftsmanship (labor.) Not that such drums aren't beautiful, well-made, and worth every penny to the buyer, does a brand new $10,000 kit inherently sound ten times better than a brand new $1,000 kit? No, of course not.

That applies to snares as well. While a particular $500 snare might sound twice as good as a $250 drum, a $1,000 snare isn't going to sound four times better. The returns diminish as the price gets higher.

Then again, good sound is highly subjective. I have many fairly inexpensive snares that sound great, and several high-end snares that sound on a par with them, some being even slightly temperamental in the process. But a few of those expensive snares are just stellar, and worth every penny to me. It all depends on what we believe sounds good or great.

And price is very subjective as well. Some might view a $1,000 snare as being quite expensive, but there are plenty of mass-produced drums that are higher than that, and also custom drums that are less. Every drum stands on its merits to the potential user, there's not a lot of correlation between the price, and whether that drum sounds like it's worth it.

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As drummers, we all know that the Ludwig Black Beauty is supposed to be this amazing snare, though many of us have never heard or played one in person. Why? Because that's what we're told.
I love my Black Beauty, although I'd hardly call it amazing. I'd say it's great. :)

However certain drums have earned a reputation for being tried & true based on the experience of the users. They're consistent, particularly versatile or specialized, etc., and the Black Beauty is definitely among them. So while it's what we're told, there's a difference between word-of-mouth from those with experience, and marketing on behalf of the manufacturer or seller. We should always consider the source.

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Old 08-19-2013, 08:21 PM
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In the same way, I'd put the way my Yamaha BB414 sounds through my setup as up there with a lot of P-basses. It would be easier to get a great sound from a genuine P-bass (a good one!) but also the quality of the component parts would probably be higher. The tuning pegs on my BB414 are adequate but not high-quality and the bride could be better. I've already completely overhauled the electronics. If I had a genuine P-bass, these things would be less of an issue. If I went overboard and got a Warwick (one can dream) then the component quality would be even higher, even though the difference in the quality of sound wouldn't necessarily be huge.
I know what you mean here. I own two Les Pauls. Both have the same pickups. One of them has higher quality pots, wire, solder, switches, output, and tuning machines. It doesn't make a whole lot of difference on the tone. The biggest noticable difference is that the pots have a smoother taper. Nobody in the audience can tell which one is better, but I know that my 2002's electronics will outlast my 2012's, because I picked all the exact parts I wanted, and wired it all myself, with great care. That doesn't mean anything to someone who isn't a musician, but it means a whole lot to me, even if it sounds the same as my 2012.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:28 PM
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I would agree with that to an extent, the more you pay, the more the sound becomes disproprtionate to the price. But typically what we pay for is not the sound, but specialty hardware, specialty wood, and custom building or finishing that requires more craftsmanship (labor.) Not that such drums aren't beautiful, well-made, and worth every penny to the buyer, does a brand new $10,000 kit inherently sound ten times better than a brand new $1,000 kit? No, of course not.

That applies to snares as well. While a particular $500 snare might sound twice as good as a $250 drum, a $1,000 snare isn't going to sound four times better. The returns diminish as the price gets higher.

Then again, good sound is highly subjective. I have many fairly inexpensive snares that sound great, and several high-end snares that sound on a par with them, some being even slightly temperamental in the process. But a few of those expensive snares are just stellar, and worth every penny to me. It all depends on what we believe sounds good or great.

And price is very subjective as well. Some might view a $1,000 snare as being quite expensive, but there are plenty of mass-produced drums that are higher than that, and also custom drums that are less. Every drum stands on its merits to the potential user, there's not a lot of correlation between the price, and whether that drum sounds like it's worth it.



I love my Black Beauty, although I'd hardly call it amazing. I'd say it's great. :)

However certain drums have earned a reputation for being tried & true based on the experience of the users. They're consistent, particularly versatile or specialized, etc., and the Black Beauty is definitely among them. So while it's what we're told, there's a difference between word-of-mouth from those with experience, and marketing on behalf of the manufacturer or seller. We should always consider the source.

Bermuda
Couldn't have said it better myself.

My biggest qualm here is that we, as people, are easily persuaded. Or opinions are easily swayed by those of others. We tend to take what people tell us as fact, rather than questioning things and trying them out for ourselves with no preconceived notions. We don't allow ourselves to branch out and try new things, because they're different from what we think we know. We tend to take the safe route, so we can't be wrong, if that makes sense.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:31 PM
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On that warrant, I have a low-end Dean that plays fantastically but in terms of the quality of its parts, is much lower. I would still happily gig it but I know that the tuning pegs aren't very good and that the pickup is muddy. The neck feels great though and that's why I bought it - because at the time I was having a crisis of confidence with my Yamaha (which has a substantial neck) and needed something easier to play. Now I play both, depending on how I'm feeling and sometimes swap out the Dean with flatwounds.

Instrument purchasing is all about cost/quality/sound and how it makes you feel. Prestige certainly comes into it too. I'd happily buy a Squier P-bass and swap out parts to make it equivalent to a Mexican but I want the Fender name on it, as petty as that sounds. I'd just feel happier then. Shallow? Absolutely.

Also, I have a tendency to modify my instrument. None of my guitars are stock anymore, not even my Stratocaster. I think only two of my toms on my regular kit are stock. It's a hobby.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:48 PM
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On that warrant, I have a low-end Dean that plays fantastically but in terms of the quality of its parts, is much lower. I would still happily gig it but I know that the tuning pegs aren't very good and that the pickup is muddy. The neck feels great though and that's why I bought it - because at the time I was having a crisis of confidence with my Yamaha (which has a substantial neck) and needed something easier to play. Now I play both, depending on how I'm feeling and sometimes swap out the Dean with flatwounds.

Instrument purchasing is all about cost/quality/sound and how it makes you feel. Prestige certainly comes into it too. I'd happily buy a Squier P-bass and swap out parts to make it equivalent to a Mexican but I want the Fender name on it, as petty as that sounds. I'd just feel happier then. Shallow? Absolutely.

Also, I have a tendency to modify my instrument. None of my guitars are stock anymore, not even my Stratocaster. I think only two of my toms on my regular kit are stock. It's a hobby.
A good friend of mine, has the best bass tone around our local scene right now, and he plays a Squier Jazz Bass. He owns an American made Fender Jazz Bass, but he usually plays the Squier. He likes it more than his American Fender, most of the time. I can definitely vouch that it sounds great, and in a live setting, you can't really tell the difference in tone between the two basses.
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Old 08-19-2013, 08:53 PM
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The new Squiers are really great. I've played a few of them and been really impressed. Sadly, I'm not as logical as I'd like.

I know exactly what I want in a bass and I'm sure a Squier with a few upgrades would be more than adequate. I just want the Fender. Shallow, I know. Currently saving up...
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:12 PM
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The new Squiers are really great. I've played a few of them and been really impressed. Sadly, I'm not as logical as I'd like.

I know exactly what I want in a bass and I'm sure a Squier with a few upgrades would be more than adequate. I just want the Fender. Shallow, I know. Currently saving up...
I think we've all be guilty of that at one point or another. I was convinced that I needed to get a DW 9000 hat stand to match my new kick pedal, but the more I play my Stagg stand, the more I love it. Flawless action, incredibly responsive, very stable. I compared it to one of the newer Iron Cobra Lever Glide stands, and as far as I'm concerned, my Stagg stand is easily every bit as good of a stand, aside from the one stripped clamp. that was easily fixed, though.
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Old 08-19-2013, 09:17 PM
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As drummers, we all know that the Ludwig Black Beauty is supposed to be this amazing snare, though many of us have never heard or played one in person. Why? Because that's what we're told. Of course it won't sound the same as a Pearl Export snare, but is it really any better?
Well, for a lot of drum gear, I would agree with you: hype and marketing can trump facts and sonics.

But back in the day I picked up a used 1960s Ludwig Black Beauty dirt cheap, and once I got it home, cleaned it up, and slapped new heads on it, I was absolutely gobsmacked at how good it was. Is.

Its very hard to quantify, but that drum really is just easier to get a great tone and feel out of. It sounds amazing in pretty much any playing situation.

So when I bought it, its probably true that my decision was based on ooooh boy! A Black Beauty fer cheep!, but I am absolutely convinced that that drum really is worth all the praise it gets.

(On a side note, I bought a Black Panther snare a couple of years ago--new and cheap--and it turned out to be sweeter that I expected. So Im not just blindly going for expensive gear.)
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Anduin View Post
Well, for a lot of drum gear, I would agree with you: hype and marketing can trump facts and sonics.

But back in the day I picked up a used 1960s Ludwig Black Beauty dirt cheap, and once I got it home, cleaned it up, and slapped new heads on it, I was absolutely gobsmacked at how good it was. Is.

Its very hard to quantify, but that drum really is just easier to get a great tone and feel out of. It sounds amazing in pretty much any playing situation.

So when I bought it, its probably true that my decision was based on ooooh boy! A Black Beauty fer cheep!, but I am absolutely convinced that that drum really is worth all the praise it gets.

(On a side note, I bought a Black Panther snare a couple of years ago--new and cheap--and it turned out to be sweeter that I expected. So Im not just blindly going for expensive gear.)
I don't doubt that it's a great snare. If I found one for a good price, I would probably pick one up, but to me, they're just not worth the price they usually go for.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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Originally Posted by eclipseownzu View Post
If you had 100 black beauties and 100 Pearl export snares I really believe you would find that the overall quality of the black beauties would be exponentially greater.
I'll guarantee it. I've only owned one of both, but I don't need a larger sample than that to know that the tonal differences between the two is separated by light years.....despite how good someone may think their Export snare is. My Gretsch Catalina snare can sound pretty damned good too. Far better than most of the online reviews I read will give credit for. But when I put it side by side with something a little more higher end the differences are apparent. It just ain't a patch on the snares I've paid more money for. Using your line of thought someone who loves their cheap snare could question why you'd spend all that money of a Mapex when a CB or First Act snare sounds just as good. Where do you draw the line on the value of something to someone else?

Hell, I've heard people on this forum saying their ZBT's are the best cymbals they've ever heard. To their ear, they probably are.....but by the same measure it doesn't necessarily make it so either.

If you're digging the Mapex that's great. It means you can keep the cash in your pocket for something other than upgrading a snare. But that opinion doesn't necessarily devalue the money spent by reaching a little higher either.....at least not to my ear it doesn't. The snares I've paid more for are worth every penny to me. If the principal of high end = over valued was universal , we'd all be playing CB kits and cheap cymbals. The fact we're not says something I reckon.
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
I'll guarantee it. I've only owned one of both, but I don't need a larger sample than that to know that the tonal differences between the two is separated by light years.....despite how good someone may think their Export snare is. My Gretsch Catalina snare can sound pretty damned good too. Far better than most of the online reviews I read will give credit for. But when I put it side by side with something a little more higher end the differences are apparent. It just ain't a patch on the snares I've paid more money for. Using your line of thought someone who loves their cheap snare could question why you'd spend all that money of a Mapex when a CB or First Act snare sounds just as good. Where do you draw the line on the value of something to someone else?

Hell, I've heard people on this forum saying their ZBT's are the best cymbals they've ever heard. To their ear, they probably are.....but by the same measure it doesn't necessarily make it so either.

If you're digging the Mapex that's great. It means you can keep the cash in your pocket for something other than upgrading a snare. But that opinion doesn't necessarily devalue the money spent by reaching a little higher either.....at least not to my ear it doesn't. The snares I've paid more for are worth every penny to me. If the principal of high end = over valued was universal , we'd all be playing CB kits and cheap cymbals. The fact we're not says something I reckon.
It's just my opinion that you get the most for your money when you buy the mid-range equipment, just based on build quality, as sound quality can be different from one person to another, but the structural integrity of an object isn't opinion-based. I'm sure that most Black Beauty owners swear it's worth every penny. That particular snare is just used as an example of a high end snare, because it's a very popular snare, which many people think is the perfect drum. The fact of the matter is that I've never played a 'professional level' snare which I felt was enough of an improvement over my snare to justify spending the extra money. Maybe I'll find one that is worth it to me eventually, but until then, I'll continue to use the cheaper guys, because I know I can get a good sound out of them, and they won't break the bank.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
Instrument purchasing is all about cost/quality/sound and how it makes you feel. Prestige certainly comes into it too. I'd happily buy a Squier P-bass and swap out parts to make it equivalent to a Mexican but I want the Fender name on it, as petty as that sounds. I'd just feel happier then. Shallow? Absolutely.
Not shallow...human nature I reckon.

I'd spent a while gigging around with me entry level Sonor 503....which whilst I loved, didn't sound great and things were beginning to go wrong with it. Also, I could never quite get the setup right. Couldn't nail why...just couldn't get it quite bob on.

Bought a Gretsch kit...nothing too substantial, just what I could afford....all of a sudden I'm feeling better, and also playing a little better. Undrilled bass so can set it up around me to a far larger extent.

And..

"I play a Gretsch"...it makes me feel goooood about myself.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

I'll weigh in on sets when I get my stave kit. I know that my stave snare has a feel to it that my previous snares just haven't had, no matter the tuning, but I've never tried any non-ply kits so i'm not quite sure of the difference in those lower-tuned settings. As far as ply stuff, I agree with the diminishing returns thing- there's surely not much difference between a Benny Greb signature snare and some $150 OCDP 13x6 in the shell. Bearing edges/heads/tuning/hoops would be the biggest factors, probably. And I know I'll probably never buy a Reference Steel snare when there're Tama Metalworks and Mapex MPXs for so much less. But when it comes to actual drum construction, I will gladly pay the premium of 'solid' constructions for my personal satisfaction :)
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:35 AM
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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Originally Posted by Scopata View Post
I have the exact same snare (Mapex MPX birch snare 14 X 5.5) and after a lil bit of tuning I have also got many good compliments for the way it sounds. I bought it for around 120 (UK) and I'm very impressed with it. So anyone out there that is looking for a cheap good sounding snare the MPX is defiantly one to take into consideration.
I tried out the steel MPX piccolo snare yesterday, as I am in the market for a piccolo. To my surprise, it was very unimpressive.
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Old 08-23-2013, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

a fellow drummer brought some old camber hihats and we played with them for a while and I thought they sounded amazing!
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

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Originally Posted by Numberless View Post
a fellow drummer brought some old camber hihats and we played with them for a while and I thought they sounded amazing!
That's a great example! Sometimes those cheap hats have an awesome 'chik' to 'em
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:50 AM
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:39 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

Some of this is marketing and some of it is sound, but there are many other things that we deal with that do/should factor into what we buy. most of us are our own drum techs, and I can personally say that little details like whether or not the wing nuts are comfortable and easy to deal with, or how easily adjustable the mounting hardware is are big issues for me. For example, I like how DW mounts their toms with the STM and that the mounting brackets are all based on a 1/2" rod. I like that they include these features on all of their lines down to the concept kits, and as a bonus, the smaller rod clamps of the PDPs use the same bolt pattern as the 1/2" DW parts, so I could easily upgrade these parts for whatever they cost. It's all very "no muss, no fuss" for me. The drums themselves can be matched in sound quality by their competitors, sometimes at a lower price, so DW really won me over with their hardware.

So, I bought a DW Collector's kit for ME, because I like the way they put it all together and it always felt good sitting behind a DW kit and playing for a bit. That said, I'd be just as well off gigging around with a PDP Concept kit for whatever it means to my audience (who will later be surprised to learn that I'm even IN the band when they meet me on the smoke patio). I could have built a Bozzio-sized kit for what I paid for a 6-pc. DW, but I figured I'd treat myself to a top-shelf kit after 25 years of banging around on Exports, Rockers and Swingstars.
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

There will always be that guy who insists his gear *is* better because he paid more for it. It's the same for anything where there's branding. The guy with the Vette says his car is 'better' then your Civic (when what he's probably meaning to convey is HE is better than you), when your Civic is AWESOME for you because of the economy, safety, drive quality. The guy with the Rolex insists his watch is 'better' than your Seiko, because 'swiss made' is a buzz-phrase that's supposed to mean 'superior quality', while Japan makes some of the finest watches known to man. There's nothing wrong with those other guys' products at all. But better is subjective. Nothing that hasn't already been said, though. =)

Sometimes the expensive one is better, and some time it's really just brand recognition/hype.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Something that got me thinking

Sticks for drums just ruined Mapex for me. A good drummer can make a set of Maxwin's or CB700's sound good, and the same kit will sound different between different drummers.
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