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Old 12-08-2013, 06:43 AM
ahsdrumline2013 ahsdrumline2013 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: AL, USA
Posts: 54
Default Help me make the best drum kit ever

Im 14 and have been drumming for what will be 5 years this christmas day. When i got my first crappy little drumkit i loved it but i think now im finally to the point where i think im ready to upgrade. In small town Alabama i dont have any music stores to go to and compare drums, cymbals, hardware, etc. so im hoping the good people on drummerworld.com can help me with their experience and expertise that i dont have.


Excel Percussion(never heard of this company) drums
Zildjian Medium-thin crash 16 in
sabian B8 20 in ride
pearl hi hats(awful)
tama iron cobra hi hat stand
ludwig picolo snare
sound percussion bass pedal
sizes of drums unknown


DW performance series
(in deep x in diameter)
9x12 rack tom
12x14 floor tom
14x16 floor tom

5.5x14 snare or 6.5x14 snare can't decide
16x20 or 18x20 bass not sure on this either


Zildjian K Special K/Z Hi-Hat Cymbals 13
Zildjian a medium thin crash 18
Zildjian a medium thin crash 16(the one i already have)
Zildjian 16" A CUSTOM EFX
Zildjian Zildjian K Custom Dry Ride 20

Tama Iron Cobra double bass pedals
Tama Iron Cobra hi hat stand
Stands etc. i already have picked out for sure

There you have it if you have read all of this novel i like to play any kind of music i want to be able to use this kit for any type of music i could imagine and a good example of a sound i like is the Zac Brown Band's drummer i love the sound of their drums. If you see anything in my description of my new kit that you think i could do better on please tell me and id love to hear what you think i could do to make this kit better.

I really need the help because i havent been around enough or had my hands on enough drums/cymbals to really make the choice alone so i hope with the help of the awesome people on this site i can build the best drum kit ever, by my standards.

Please please please please leave advice and tips it will be greatly appreciated i plan to keep this same kit for the rest of my life so i want it to be awesome the first time around

-thank you
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Old 12-08-2013, 07:43 AM
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jodgey4 jodgey4 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TX
Posts: 902

Howdy, Chris. I'm going to start off by giving some general guidelines that I share with most drummers looking to buy a whole kit at once.
There is no reason to not consider a set of used drums, for the price of new DW Performances, you could probably get a real DW kit. Check all of your local ads to see what you can find. There are plenty of brands out there - if you're wondering about a kit, use the search function on here and see what you can find, or ask here. As far as depth on drums goes, for the bass drum, there will be a deeper and less punchy sound on the bigger depths - I think the 16" depth would be more versatile. However, you'll hear a much bigger difference by the way you tune and from head selection, so don't worry too much. For snares, there are many threads about depth - 6.5 is a very versatile size. More body and punch than a 5" depth. However, one of the most recommended snares on this forum (if not THE most) is getting a used 5" deep Ludwig Acrolite - they are incredibly valued. Most can be had for around $100.
For cymbals, check out sites like MyCymbal.com or my personal favorite CymbalsOnly.com, they have individual sound files for most cymbals they have in stock. This will help you get an idea of what you want - you could order from them or go and look for the models you like on the used market. I would recommend that you just get a ride and set of hats at first, and then build from there instead of jumping in all at once. That way, as you start to play, you can more easily define what sounds you need from your kit and adjust accordingly for the future. You might decide that you want bigger cymbals, or want to try another brand. Don't let the cash burning a hole in your pocket bring about hasty decisions... buy the right cymbals even if it means waiting a little more.
If you can ever get to a store to try out some gear, do it. It would show to your parents how serious you are about drumming. They need to be involved in your gift if you really want it to be special. Use the search function on the forum to further ideas of what you want. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. Hopefully this can help you to get "THE BEST DRUM KIT OF ALL TIME!!!1!" :)
Support local drum stores!
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Old 12-08-2013, 09:27 AM
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Mikecore Mikecore is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Gladville McHappyland
Posts: 633
Default Re: Help me make the best drum kit ever

Well, I was going to suggest that you get a DW kit and call it a day, but you seem to have arrived there on your own. So much for my snarky response!

I see nothing wrong with your initial approach, but I would second jodgey4's points. There are some real gems out there to be had for a steal, like that Ludwig Acro. I would also add that I didn't arrive at a DW kit myself without considering all of the drum's features and the building style of the maker. All of the major builders make great drums in my mind, so I'm also looking at what kind of mounting system they employ, consistency of certain components, compatibility with my hardware, etc. Ludwig was my basis for good drum design when I was growing up, so these days I'm drawn to drum companies that use the same design theory (the tom bracket is also the floor tom leg bracket, which can also be a cymbal arm holder...modular construction and cross compatibility that allows user customization from standard parts...stuff like that).

It is wise to be more careful when choosing cymbals. They are what they are unless you break one, and you're stuck with it. Good cymbals are almost always worth the money.
My Kit
My Other Kit
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Old 12-08-2013, 01:38 PM
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Duck Tape Duck Tape is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 3,823
Default Re: Help me make the best drum kit ever

Hey Chris, once you get into the high end drums it's all pretty good. People fuss and argue on here all day but being young and moving up from a cheapie, I'm sure any pro kit will sound great once you've got it tuned.

I think cymbals are a different game because there are lots of expensive/pro cymbals that I just don't like. But lots of people do like them, so you might too. I would just listen to all the demos on YouTube and choose carefully. Sometimes you have to live with the wrong cymbals to realize you want something else.
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Old 12-08-2013, 02:23 PM
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keep it simple keep it simple is online now
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Location: Herefordshire, UK.
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Default Re: Help me make the best drum kit ever

Originally Posted by ahsdrumline2013 View Post
i plan to keep this same kit for the rest of my life so i want it to be awesome the first time around

-thank you
Chris, a big welcome to the forum :)

A kit for life is a noble sentiment, but trust me, it's most unlikely to happen. Our tastes evolve, our ears mature (sometimes not for the better), & the music we like to play changes too. All these elements mean we are most likely to make choices through our personal drumming journey.

Ok, so you've been playing for 5 years. That's a great early start & a foundation many here will be envious of. We owe it to you to keep you focussed on what really matters, & what you're going to get the most benefit from.

Your existing gear probably can do with replacing, but don't rush into this. As for your kit, place your concentration on your snare drum. It's not necessary to have a snare that's the same brand or series as your kit. Most drummers use a different brand snare. It's your primary instrument on the kit. Choose one carefully, but don't expect it to be your last :)
your drum shells can be anything from a well regarded manufacturer. Most midrange drums are really very good, & more than capable of satisfying your requirements for many years. Before dropping major coin on the best shell set you can find, remember your tastes will change, & you're likely to want something different eventually. This makes buying a good condition used set a very smart move, as resale value will become a feature. Good heads & acquiring tuning techniques will keep you occupied for quite some time.

As for cymbals, you pretty much get what you pay for. Each style or brand may be for you, or maybe not. Only some playing time will tell you this. Maybe start by buying one or two examples of a major brand higher end cymbal. Play these for a while to get your needs sorted out, then progress from there.

Good luck with the next phase of your journey, but don't be in a hurry to do everything at once, Unless it's a one shot opportunity. If your parents are funding this, explain the advantages of slowly acquiring elements of your instrument.
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:08 PM
ahsdrumline2013 ahsdrumline2013 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: AL, USA
Posts: 54
Default Re: Help me make the best drum kit ever

Thank you so much for the advice guys ill really take into consideration all of this please keep it coming and im sorry for not specifying before that i dont plan to get this all at once, its coming piece by piece, christmas after christmas and iv been doing alot of research on dw drums and im positive theyre the sound i want this christmas/birthday will be the 12 in tom and 14 in tom with the stand that the tom goes on just to see how much i will like these dw's

once again thanks alot
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Old 12-08-2013, 08:56 PM
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Roy E. Munson Roy E. Munson is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 256
Default Re: Help me make the best drum kit ever

How about a prescription for Xanax?
"I like to play"
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