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  #41  
Old 04-19-2018, 03:57 AM
Jml Jml is offline
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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If youre talking about spending $1,000, then I recommend this...

https://www.drumcenternh.com/gretsch...ano-black.html

Beautiful piano black laquer birch drums. Ive seen these in person and theyll knock your socks off soundwise.
Looks beautiful. But its literally $999, so out of my price range. For now....
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  #42  
Old 04-19-2018, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Any info on what heads and mic you used on your Safari BD?
I believe at the time I was using an Evans EMAD.
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  #43  
Old 04-19-2018, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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I gigged with a 16" Sonor Safari bass drum for several years, and I got nothing but massive complements on the tone. A decently tuned 16" bass drum, a well placed decent BD mic, and a good PA can create Any bass drum tone. Any.
I used to have a Sonor Bop kit (18" kick, 12" rack, 14" floor, and steaming pile of dog excrement for a snare drum).

That set sounded awesome out front, but sounded like garbage sitting behind it. I could never get used to it, so I ended up trading it for a set of Pearl Sessions in bigger sizes. I felt more "at home" with the Pearl.
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  #44  
Old 04-20-2018, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by Frank View Post
I wonder how many people who diss 16" bass drums actually gigged with one with PA support.

I gigged with a 16" Sonor Safari bass drum for several years, and I got nothing but massive complements on the tone. A decently tuned 16" bass drum, a well placed decent BD mic, and a good PA can create Any bass drum tone. Any.
Agreed. I play more gigs with a Breakbeats kit than anything else lately, and the BD tone sounds great.
Check it out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juGzheC2NLY
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  #45  
Old 04-20-2018, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Agreed. I play more gigs with a Breakbeats kit than anything else lately, and the BD tone sounds great.
Check it out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juGzheC2NLY
Nice job! Thats a bigger crowd than I would ever play in front of, and the 16 BD and whole kit seem to be holding their own. I guess the lesson is - a 16 BD can do what a larger BD can do, but depending on the venue, it may need to be miked.
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  #46  
Old 04-21-2018, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by Bonzo_CR View Post
Agreed. I play more gigs with a Breakbeats kit than anything else lately, and the BD tone sounds great.
Check it out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juGzheC2NLY
Your kit sounds great in that clip. I've heard plenty of small bass drums mic'd at larger venues, so I know how punchy they can sound. Yours had a thickness to the tone; care to share your head choice/ tuning? Also, these little kicks can obviously sound much larger mic'd through a big PA, but was wondering what your take is on the throne tone from a small kick in a large room and what your setup is to hear that kick better in a big room.
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  #47  
Old 04-21-2018, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by Jml View Post
Nice job! That’s a bigger crowd than I would ever play in front of, and the 16” BD and whole kit seem to be holding their own. I guess the lesson is - a 16” BD can do what a larger BD can do, but depending on the venue, it may need to be miked.
Thanks! Yes, I was impressed from the start the sound of with this little kit, and the 16" kick can hold its own if miked - it's needed with this rock band.

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Originally Posted by gish View Post
Your kit sounds great in that clip. I've heard plenty of small bass drums mic'd at larger venues, so I know how punchy they can sound. Yours had a thickness to the tone; care to share your head choice/ tuning? Also, these little kicks can obviously sound much larger mic'd through a big PA, but was wondering what your take is on the throne tone from a small kick in a large room and what your setup is to hear that kick better in a big room.
Thanks! This is the stock batter head (which is a Remo UT PS3 - I have a 'real' PS3 waiting for when it wears out) and an Aquarian Regulator reso. I tried a few combinations but this was my favourite. Reso is JAW, batter is a little higher.
The kick sounds pretty good from the throne in my practice room, but when gigging with a PA the monitor does help to hear the kick a little better - but this is the case for my other kick too (22"), not just the 16".

Last edited by Bonzo_CR; 04-21-2018 at 08:28 PM.
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  #48  
Old 04-23-2018, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

It's an upgrade if it makes you want to play it more or if it matches the sound in your head.

Personally, I'd probably be more interested to play the Sonor. Stage Customs are well made, but I see them everywhere.
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  #49  
Old 04-23-2018, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by el roso View Post
It's an upgrade if it makes you want to play it more or if it matches the sound in your head.

Personally, I'd probably be more interested to play the Sonor. Stage Customs are well made, but I see them everywhere.
Just curious - why Sonor over the Yamaha? Do you have a small bop kit?
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  #50  
Old 04-23-2018, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

Two other things Ive thought of while ruminating about my decision - one which is usually discussed and one that isnt. The more discussed issue is size and transporting these drums. A 16 is generally going to be lighter (and obviously smaller) which makes it easier to move around and fit in your car. The less discussed issue is tom placement with relation to the bass drum. I have my 10 inch tom right over my bass drum and its level with my snare. A tom over a 20 BD will be higher and harder to get to, ergonomically speaking.
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  #51  
Old 04-23-2018, 01:18 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by Jml View Post
Just curious - why Sonor over the Yamaha? Do you have a small bop kit?
Hey man, thanks for the question.

The smallest kick I have is a 20x14 and there are times I prefer that over a 22 or 24. Depends on the room, the gig and how many stairs I need to climb.

I've had a Yamaha SC and thought it was well made, well priced, and sounded great. I just found it a little boring. I don't mean to insult anyone as they are excellent drums and will do 95% of what you need but I like the feeling of being excited to play the instrument when I sit on the stool.

I would pick the Sonor mostly because it's different and less common. Are you really asking if I'd pick an 18 over a 16?
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  #52  
Old 04-23-2018, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by el roso View Post
Hey man, thanks for the question.

The smallest kick I have is a 20x14 and there are times I prefer that over a 22 or 24. Depends on the room, the gig and how many stairs I need to climb.

I've had a Yamaha SC and thought it was well made, well priced, and sounded great. I just found it a little boring. I don't mean to insult anyone as they are excellent drums and will do 95% of what you need but I like the feeling of being excited to play the instrument when I sit on the stool.

I would pick the Sonor mostly because it's different and less common. Are you really asking if I'd pick an 18 over a 16?
Yeah I guess Im asking if youd pick the 16 or the 18. Because the smallest BD you have is a 20, so now Im really curious. I would have assumed youd say skip the 18 Yammy and get a real kit with a 20 BD or bigger.
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  #53  
Old 04-23-2018, 01:51 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

I have kind of had both recently. I had a new Yamaha Stage Custom in 2016, and the quality was exceptional, but for me the sound of this birch kit was just too loud and too rock 'n roll. Mine was the five piece with the 20" bass.

Then I had a Sonor Jungle kit, (16" diameter bass as long as a tunnel), which is like a much older version of a Safari.

The modern Sonor Safari is in my opinion a lower quality kit than the Yamaha Stage Custom. You could probably break or damage the Sonor easier. The Yamaha is very strong, and has top notch hardware, and is therefore an upgrade in that sense, but an important part of the answer depends on your intended musical genre and desired volume level.

These two kits do not make a good direct comparison because they are just so different.
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  #54  
Old 04-23-2018, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Yeah I guess I’m asking if you’d pick the 16 or the 18. Because the smallest BD you have is a 20, so now I’m really curious. I would have assumed you’d say skip the 18” Yammy and get a “real” kit with a 20” BD or bigger.
I'm not sure but I think if I made the decision to go with a smaller bass drum, I would think that once you get down to those sizes, the difference between a 16 or an 18 would be minimal especially if you mic it. With tuning, damping and playing I can make my 20 sound pretty close to my 22 and vice versa. Are they the same depth cos that can make a difference too.

I'm certain there would be a difference but I think you'd be talking small variances to the ear of someone at a gig once you add the sounds of the rest of the kit and the band.

The only way to tell is sit behind it and play it!
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  #55  
Old 04-23-2018, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Yeah I guess Im asking if youd pick the 16 or the 18. Because the smallest BD you have is a 20, so now Im really curious. I would have assumed youd say skip the 18 Yammy and get a real kit with a 20 BD or bigger.
I don't think the diameter of the bass drum defines whether it's a real kit or not. For me it comes down to feel first, if it feels good I can usually get it to sound good but it the feel is off I can't get in the pocket.

I would not want to suggest that this is not a REAL kit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SRlVsDGtMU
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  #56  
Old 04-23-2018, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

I don't know if this was mentioned, but the Sonor Player kit has a 20 x 12 BD and has gotten the job done on gigs for me with and without mics (w/out, small gigs). Good balance between compact and traditional sizing and is inexpensive.

I also use it for practice, since the shallow BD depth allows a more compact space. The 8 x 10 mount tom and 14 x 12 floor tom also produce plenty of sound when needed, with the right heads added from stock.

Nothing's broken on it, hardware is very sturdy- I even bought it used, just replaced the heads w/Remos, mostly single ply. BD needed a PS3 to get the deep sound, the Evans Emad clear didn't quite resonate as well as the PS3 did.
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  #57  
Old 04-23-2018, 02:31 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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I also use it for practice, since the shallow BD depth allows a more compact space.
Agree with this. A 24x14 would take up less space on stage than an 18x16
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  #58  
Old 04-23-2018, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by el roso View Post
I'm not sure but I think if I made the decision to go with a smaller bass drum, I would think that once you get down to those sizes, the difference between a 16 or an 18 would be minimal especially if you mic it. With tuning, damping and playing I can make my 20 sound pretty close to my 22 and vice versa. Are they the same depth cos that can make a difference too.

I'm certain there would be a difference but I think you'd be talking small variances to the ear of someone at a gig once you add the sounds of the rest of the kit and the band.

The only way to tell is sit behind it and play it!
Thats what Im thinking. So is there any advantage to having an 18 over a 16 bass drum? Seems Id likely have to mic either one except for small venues.
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  #59  
Old 04-23-2018, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by newoldie View Post
I don't know if this was mentioned, but the Sonor Player kit has a 20 x 12 BD and has gotten the job done on gigs for me with and without mics (w/out, small gigs). Good balance between compact and traditional sizing and is inexpensive.

I also use it for practice, since the shallow BD depth allows a more compact space. The 8 x 10 mount tom and 14 x 12 floor tom also produce plenty of sound when needed, with the right heads added from stock.

Nothing's broken on it, hardware is very sturdy- I even bought it used, just replaced the heads w/Remos, mostly single ply. BD needed a PS3 to get the deep sound, the Evans Emad clear didn't quite resonate as well as the PS3 did.
Yeah sometimes I kick myself for not getting the Players Kit. Same as Safari except for the BD. Cant find just the BD for sale.
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  #60  
Old 04-23-2018, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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I have kind of had both recently. I had a new Yamaha Stage Custom in 2016, and the quality was exceptional, but for me the sound of this birch kit was just too loud and too rock 'n roll. Mine was the five piece with the 20" bass.

Then I had a Sonor Jungle kit, (16" diameter bass as long as a tunnel), which is like a much older version of a Safari.

The modern Sonor Safari is in my opinion a lower quality kit than the Yamaha Stage Custom. You could probably break or damage the Sonor easier. The Yamaha is very strong, and has top notch hardware, and is therefore an upgrade in that sense, but an important part of the answer depends on your intended musical genre and desired volume level.

These two kits do not make a good direct comparison because they are just so different.
Hmmm. The SC with 20” bass drum “too loud and rock and roll”? Interesting.

Last edited by Jml; 04-23-2018 at 03:01 AM. Reason: Too long
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  #61  
Old 04-23-2018, 03:46 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Thats what Im thinking. So is there any advantage to having an 18 over a 16 bass drum? Seems Id likely have to mic either one except for small venues.
Maybe? I don't know what sound or feel you're going for. Is there something specific you don't like about the 16?
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  #62  
Old 04-23-2018, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Maybe? I don't know what sound or feel you're going for. Is there something specific you don't like about the 16?
Up to now, Ive only used the kit to jam with a buddy in my garage. Sounds fine. My issue is were supposed to play outdoors (someones backyard jam) on July 4 and Im concerned how it will sound (as is, unmicd) in that environment. Assuming things go well, there may be more gigs in the future. So Im trying to figure out the best solution to any future issues now. Oh, and having two kits, at this point, doesnt appear to be an option - hence the potential trade in of my Safari.
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  #63  
Old 04-23-2018, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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I’m concerned how it will sound (as is, unmic’d) in that environment. Assuming things go well, there may be more gigs in the future. .
If you're concerned that a 16" won't cut it un-mic'd volume wise then I can't imagine that an 18" would be much better. Maybe think about moving up to a 20 or 22 if you want to play un-mic'd and cut through the PA?

That said a bass drum mic is one of the better investments I've made, either one of these two will do the job.

http://www.shure.com/americas/produc...rum-microphone

https://www.akg.com/Microphones/Dyna.../D112MkII.html

Sooner or later, you'll probably need one anyway and if the 16" works for everything else a mic is cheaper than a new kit .... I have the Beta 52 and it's solid, I wouldn't be worried about getting used one for cheap either if I could find it.

Good luck!
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  #64  
Old 04-23-2018, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

The poor lil Safari 16 in "kick" gets little respect. I know it's some delusional 16 in tom that wants to be a kick drum-like the little ant that could-but I support such a valiant effort. I have a Safari and I love the lil thing-it's great for small room practice or small venue gigs (I use to leave it in our orchestra practice room)-yeah the kick is "thumpy" with no tone (and the snare is nothing to write home about) but I just can't part with the little fella (it still gets compliments). I bought to leave for practice (got tired of lugging kits around) and I still think it has the original heads LOL.
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  #65  
Old 04-23-2018, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by Frank View Post
I wonder how many people who diss 16" bass drums actually gigged with one with PA support.

I gigged with a 16" Sonor Safari bass drum for several years, and I got nothing but massive complements on the tone. A decently tuned 16" bass drum, a well placed decent BD mic, and a good PA can create Any bass drum tone. Any.
Good point.

With that said, I'm the drummer AND the PA guy in my band. I think I'd rather carry around a 20" kick as opposed to a 16" kick and a set of subs.

If I played a lot of places where there was already a PA in place and we got to mic the kick all the time, I might change my mind though.
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  #66  
Old 04-23-2018, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by el roso View Post

Personally, I'd probably be more interested to play the Sonor. Stage Customs are well made, but I see them everywhere.

I see Toyota Camry's everywhere too. It doesn't mean they are bad cars (and I know this is not your point, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyways). Are you saying you'd be interested in the Sonors simple because you don't see them as often? If so, I get it. I enjoy playing a brand that's a little off the beaten path in these parts. :)
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  #67  
Old 04-23-2018, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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I see Toyota Camry's everywhere too. It doesn't mean they are bad cars (and I know this is not your point, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyways). Are you saying you'd be interested in the Sonors simple because you don't see them as often? If so, I get it. I enjoy playing a brand that's a little off the beaten path in these parts. :)
Yeah, that's what I was saying. Camry's are good, solid, reliable cars. They just don't inspire me to make me want to drive one.
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  #68  
Old 04-23-2018, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

Interesting how this thread has developed. It seems like the vast majority don't think there is an appreciable difference between a 16" and 18". At least not worth trading in one for another. So the question then becomes a 16" vs. 20". The 20" appears to be the smallest most people will go for a BD they gig with. And I've seen on other threads the 20" x 14" seems to get the universal thumbs up from the drumming community. I wonder how many use a 20" or bigger because they are rock/heavy metal guys, and how many use a 16 or 18 inch kick because they play jazz/funk etc. Is it venue that determines size, or is it the type of music you play when buying???
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  #69  
Old 04-23-2018, 07:44 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

I don't think there are any hard and fast rules. I've seen heavy drummers play little bass drums and jazz drummers play 28's. The right kit for you will be the one that makes you want to play it more.

I will tell you this from experience though. In general, lower priced kits will depreciate worse than premium line ones.

For example: If I could handle the upfront cost, I would rather buy a $2000 kit and sell it for $1500 than buy a $800 kit and sell it for $300. At the end of the day, it still costs you $500 but you will have a nicer kit during the time you have it and you'll be less likely to want to go through the whole 'upgrade' cycle again in a few years.

Another option is to look at quality used kits that have already done their depreciating.
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  #70  
Old 04-29-2018, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

oh, there's no doubt there's a difference between the 16 and 18. I've played both in the same room, (both made from the same wood), and the 18 just has better tone, volume, and presence. One important thing though, if you're gonna play a kick smaller than a 20 you gotta have a lift for it. My 18 is just a floor tom, but I made a lift for it where it hit dead center, and it sounds killer. However, if I put it on the floor it sounds like crap- much thinner sounding, and less low end. If you wanna go with a 20 check out the Pearl decade maples, too- 699$ for a 5 piece shell kit, cool finishes, and they're MAPLE. I've got one with the 20, and I'm loving it- great tone, and they're light. Another cool thing with those is you can order additional drums for them, (I ordered a 24, which I also love), so if you don't like the 20 you can get an 18, 22, or a 24 in the same exact finish, along with extra tom sizes, or gong drum, lol.
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Old 04-29-2018, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by Jml View Post
Interesting how this thread has developed. It seems like the vast majority don't think there is an appreciable difference between a 16" and 18". At least not worth trading in one for another. So the question then becomes a 16" vs. 20". The 20" appears to be the smallest most people will go for a BD they gig with. And I've seen on other threads the 20" x 14" seems to get the universal thumbs up from the drumming community. I wonder how many use a 20" or bigger because they are rock/heavy metal guys, and how many use a 16 or 18 inch kick because they play jazz/funk etc. Is it venue that determines size, or is it the type of music you play when buying???
For me it's the venue. I have a kit with a 22 kick but the whole kit is too much for some smaller gigs I play, so I got the smaller kit with the 16 kick (breakbeats) for those places, and it works really well.
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  #72  
Old 04-29-2018, 11:47 PM
Jml Jml is offline
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Default Re: Is Yamaha Stage Custom an upgrade over Sonor Safari?

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Originally Posted by Bonzo_CR View Post
For me it's the venue. I have a kit with a 22 kick but the whole kit is too much for some smaller gigs I play, so I got the smaller kit with the 16 kick (breakbeats) for those places, and it works really well.
Thanks for all the responses. Seems like the best thing to do might be keep my Sonor Safari for small gigs/venues, and buy a second kit at some point for bigger gigs/venues. Regardless, Ill probably have to get mics at some point.
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