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  #1  
Old 10-12-2013, 07:49 AM
stellar92010 stellar92010 is offline
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Default What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

I mean, a kit for gigging different styles, and possibly different volume levels. What drums are really needed? Now I have the opinion that a really good drummer will take just about any kit that is in working condition and be able to sound good.

But for the average drummer, how many toms are good, what sizes, snares, cymbals, etc/ What are good compromises. For example, I like heavy music AND easy listening type jazx, among others.

I'm building a kit with a pearl reference 20x18 bass, and I ordered some masters mcx toms, a 14x11 12x10, and 10x9 and want to add a 16x16 in the future. then a fast crash, a full crash a ride, and a high-hat to round it out.

So what would you think a good untility set would be composed of?
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

I think 20" kick (preferably shallower than 18", but hey, whatever floats your boat), 14" and 12" toms, and really most 13" or 14" by 5-7" snares will fit the bill. Just get coated and clear batter heads and know how to tune each for a metal or jazzier sound. I'd recommend coated Ambassadors, clear G12s, and clear G1/Amb./Classic Clear for the reso. Also a clear and coated bass drum head- Powerstroke 3, Force I, or EQ4 should do the trick.

As for cymbals- I generally think you can get more versatility out of thinner cymbals. I think you could get a medium-thin to medium ride with some pretty deep hammering and use it for lots of stuff. I've heard good things about the Byzance Dark Raw Bell Ride, and an AAX (or HHX) Omni could also do really well. Maybe get a hand-hammered 18-19" thin crash (byzance traditional, hhx, k) and a more modern 16-17" crash (aax, hhx evolution, soundcaster, a custom, a). Most hi-hats will fit the bill. Loads of people use New Beats, HHX Evolutions, and Byzance Traditional hats in all kinds of music.

Hopefully this gave you some ideas of cymbals to check out. I recommend mycymbal.com for browsing, they have tremendous soundfiles.
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

20" bass drum is a must IMO.Perhaps a 14" Zildjian New Beats,a 21" Sweet Ride, 17" and 19" Crashes would be good, don't get something specifically for a genre such as anything labeled with Rock or something similar, they tend to be heavier.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:43 PM
drum4fun27302 drum4fun27302 is offline
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

I would think a 22" would be more versatile then a 20".
So , my guess would be 22,12,16 , 14 snare , 14 new beats, 21 sweet ride , 18 medium thin crash , 16 crash and a double bass pedal. And a cowbell on the bd hoops ;) ohh forgot a wind chime as well, for good measure:)
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:24 PM
JSWhaler JSWhaler is offline
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

As for shell sizes 12" and 14" tom diameter as they're more versatile than a 16". For bass 20" is fine for most of us as they're plenty for most club venues and if you need more sound a mic will suffice. Whatever snare floats your boat. As for cymbals, I'd recommend a middle weight 20" ride, a 16" crash, and 14" hi hats. This is about as basic as you can get and it should cover most venues from jazz to rock. Tuning and head selection will be the biggest factor once the drums are taken care of.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

It seems to me if you have already ordered the drum shells, then you have decided what the proper sizes are.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

There's nothing you can't play on 12/14/20. And I would say a 14x6.5 snare. You can tune it up to sound like a tighter snare, and down to sound deep. That is IMO the most versatile sized snare
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

I like the fusion sized toms 10, 12 and 14 but I don't like those tom depths.

My sonors have 10x9 and 12x10 rack toms and I think they're too deep to setup nicely over the bass drum, I'd rather them both be maximum 8" deep.

I also prefer a 14x14. Can't speak for 16's 'cos I only have one but I never got enough out of my 14x12 FT and my 14x14 have more of a kick to them. Pretty sure it's not a heads/tuning thing either, that 2 inches seems to make a big difference.

And I like 20" bass drums just fine.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

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Originally Posted by BrandonXD View Post
There's nothing you can't play on 12/14/20. And I would say a 14x6.5 snare. You can tune it up to sound like a tighter snare, and down to sound deep. That is IMO the most versatile sized snare
+1

If it were me, I might look into a 13" snare, but that's just on preference.

20" kick is the most versatile, I would say. It can be tuned higher to sound appropriate for jazz or bop type settings, and then you can tune it low and throw a Kickport at it, to make it sound like a 22"

A 12" tom is a good middle ground. It won't sound quite as good as a 10" (in my opinion) when you tune it high, but you have to remember that you can tune it low with good results, as well.

You don't want a 16" floor tom if you want a versaitle sound. It sounds good when you tune it low, but they sound awful tuned high. I would go for a 14". They sound great tuned higher, and can still get low and punchy enough for most rock applications.

[quote=porter;1188568]
As for cymbals- I generally think you can get more versatility out of thinner cymbals.QUOTE]

YES. I would get some thin cymbals. Personally, I would go with something like 14" AA hats (vintage bright sound), 16" HHX crash (modern dark), 18" AAX crash (modern bright), and a 20" dry ride of some sort. Something that crashes really well, too. I play a 20" Paiste Sound Formula dry ride. It sounds great, and is quite versatile. Has a great 'tah' type sound, rather than a sharp ping, but still has a cutting bell and a great crash sound. The best part, is that you can usually find them for around $150 used.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

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Originally Posted by TColumbia37 View Post
+1

If it were me, I might look into a 13" snare, but that's just on preference.
Absolutely. You'd be surprised at how similar a 13x6.5" is in versatility and pitch, compared to a 14x6.5". It's mostly a tuning thing. Maybe check out some solid shell options from reputable makers, like a Guru, a Brady block shell, or one of Tama's new Star snares (in order of 'purity' imo). Of course, solid shell can be done wrong, but when it's done right, oh man is it a treat.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:22 PM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

I'd go with a 22/14/12 kit. I like 20" kicks - have a couple - but not as much as I like 22" kicks. I have never heard a 20" that would go as low ( and still have clarity) as my 22" kicks. I tend to think it is a bit easier to tune a 22" up then it is to tune a 20" down, so that's why I prefer 22" over 20".

The 12" tom can do just about anything, and the 14" is very versatile, although I prefer the throatiness of a 16" floor.

I would think a Ludwig Supraphonic or an Acrolite would be great choices if flexibility is your main determining factor.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:35 PM
Bart Hodge Bart Hodge is offline
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

I'd go with the 22" bass drum. It's simply a louder drum when it needs to be (e.g. un-mic'd in a 15pc big band).

Would I like to have an 18" or 20"? Sure! But if I had to pick one, I'd take the 22".

Remember, smaller bass drums gained popularity not because they sounded better than the larger sizes, but because they were easier to transport and stuff into trunks and back seats of cars. They were born out of necessity. They're the equipment version of traditional grip.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:55 PM
Bart Hodge Bart Hodge is offline
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

Oh, I think the tom sizes you selected are good. I switch back and forth between conventional and power depths but they're both very good sounding with the right heads. The power toms can be a little punchier though.

Cymbals? I wouldn't spend the money on exotic or unique cymbals. Regular mainstream line of any manufacturer would do fine. I agree with what everyone said about the 14" New Beats. Great hats for any style. Rides are a matter of taste. I gigged with a Sabian Dry Ride for 20 years. Great cymbal for my ears. Great jazz/big band cymbal. Great bell sound. Great attack. The downside is that it does not crash. Crash cymbals and in this order, 16" - 17" medium thin is a good all-purpose crash and then maybe a heavier or lighter as a 2nd crash, depending on what you like. I'd then add a splash as they are cheap enough. Then perhaps a China as my last addition.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:02 PM
stellar92010 stellar92010 is offline
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

I was referring more to how many toms in the kit aside from the standard 10 and 12.....cymbals, I guess smaller ones from the posts. I love the sound of the 20x18 it really thumps but has a nice tone also, fairly fast decay. I saw some big rides but i dont like them, and i like a ride that doesnt have much wash to it.
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Old 10-12-2013, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

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Originally Posted by stellar92010 View Post
I was referring more to how many toms in the kit aside from the standard 10 and 12.....
As far as toms go, you don't need more than two to have an all around good kit. Any more than that is just based on preference. You don't need the extra toms. They're nice to have here and there, but It just boils down to what you want. Personally, I like the simplicity of two toms, and then I build from there, depending on the situation.

I play in two bands. My setup normally consists of 22"/16"/12" with a 14" snare, hats, a ride, two crashes, and a single pedal. Well, when I play in the ska band, I add in a timbale and a splash. While I don't NEED them, they're good to have around to subtly add a little extra flavor here and there.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

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Originally Posted by stellar92010 View Post
I was referring more to how many toms in the kit aside from the standard 10 and 12.....cymbals, I guess smaller ones from the posts. I love the sound of the 20x18 it really thumps but has a nice tone also, fairly fast decay. I saw some big rides but i dont like them, and i like a ride that doesnt have much wash to it.
Yeah, as long as you have a 14" and a 12", you can do anything really.

Check out the Byzance Dark rides. They make a 19" "Sky Ride" that's basically just a 19" version of their larger ones that will definitely keep the wash down. The Omni, I think, also does a good job of that. As far as heavier rides go, a lot of people like Sabian's AA and HH Raw Bell Dry Rides.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: What sizes of shells and cymbals for an all-around utility kit?

If I was going to put together an all around utility kit I would actually buy two kits;
I would buy two matching finish Ludwig Club Date SE kits in the Fab 4 and the Downbeat configurations. That would give me high toms in 12" and 13" sizes and floor toms in 14" and 16" sizes. Also there would be 20" and 22" bass drums to choose from.
With these options you could pretty much put together a kit for any job.
You could have a really cool 7 piece with two bass drums. A 6 piece with one bass drum and two up and two down. Of course you would have numerous 4 and 5 piece options.

Cymbals; 14" hats that are in between bright and dark sounding.
Same with rides and crashes. You want to be in the middle of the sound spectrum.
16" and 18" crashes along with a 20" ride and a 10" splash will pull off most gigs.

Mapex Mydentity would be another good choice in drums for my "All Around Kit" because you can order as many drums as you want, in just about any sizes that you want without paying a premium for add on drums.
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