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  #1  
Old 08-24-2015, 06:37 PM
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Default Worst expensive kit you ever played?

My vote goes for the Molecule acrylic drum kit.

Played one at GC and it just sucked big time.
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Old 08-24-2015, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

Sonor Bop kit. Basswood sucks.
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:08 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

Haven't played teat many "expensive " kits, but unlike what seems to be the norm, I've played several DWs and regardless of taste never heard a tom I liked the sound of at all.

Had a DW Collectors standing next to a Catalina kit in a school I worked in last year. Apart from snare which wasn't my kind of thing on either kit the Catalina was way closer to my thing. Luckily that's exactly what I play. :-)

To be fair they had different heads.


Still, apart from some cool aux snares I'm just not a DW guy, I guess.
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

I don't play expensive kits. That way, I'm never unduly disappointed. With a cheap kit that sounds bad, I can just say, "Well, what do you expect? It's basswood and particle board mixed with mystery wood."

</sarcasm>
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I don't play expensive kits. That way, I'm never unduly disappointed. With a cheap kit that sounds bad, I can just say, "Well, what do you expect? It's basswood and particle board mixed with mystery wood."

</sarcasm>
The old Remo "Acousticon" drum shell formula.
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Sonor Bop kit. Basswood sucks.
The thread is worst expensive kit, not worst cheapest kit.
But I agree, basswood sucks.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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The old Remo "Acousticon" drum shell formula.
Oh, you caught that! Good on you.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Oh, you caught that! Good on you.
Some of the Remo stuff was not inexpensive.

I'm scratching my head why Bellson and Bozzio played them though.
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

With all due respect, it's impossible to tell if a drum is good or bad by hitting them a few times. Heads and tuning....you can get 957 different sounds from a drum. A nicely tuned set of drums at a GC? That's a big ask. It's cymbals you can snap judge, not drums.

If it's an expensive kit and it sounds bad, I'd bet hard cash that it's a tuning and head issue. Assuming a round and true enough drum.

I guarantee that I could tune any drum I own and make it sound horrid. That's a piece of cake lol. Any guitar player can tune a guitar. It just isn't like that with drums. I'm pretty sure this is a problem that only drummers have to deal with. Any other instrument, there is an established, repeatable, relatively easy way to tune their instrument. Expensive will NEVER mean great sounding at any old random bad tuning.

Phase cancellation sounds really weird. Other instrument players don't even have to deal with phase cancellation when tuning their instruments. That's just one aspect out of probably 15 that has to be right to get a pleasing tone from a 2 headed membranophone. Again, just another thing that no one can really appreciate. Oh it took 3 years and 1500 dollars in heads before you could learn how to get a good tone, and it's still not easy? Yea, so?
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Some of the Remo stuff was not inexpensive.

I'm scratching my head why Bellson and Bozzio played them though.

Louis was Vice President of REMO
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Old 08-24-2015, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

DW Performance. I was tracking at a studio and it was the house kit. But I can't definitively say it was a product of the instrument, as the heads were knackered (and covered in gaff tape) and the kick was full of laundry. I could have made it sound very nice with new heads and a couple hours with the drum key, but that wasn't in my purview.
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Old 08-24-2015, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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With all due respect, it's impossible to tell if a drum is good or bad by hitting them a few times. Heads and tuning....you can get 957 different sounds from a drum. A nicely tuned set of drums at a GC? That's a big ask. It's cymbals you can snap judge, not drums.

If it's an expensive kit and it sounds bad, I'd bet hard cash that it's a tuning and head issue. Assuming a round and true enough drum.

I guarantee that I could tune any drum I own and make it sound horrid. That's a piece of cake lol. Any guitar player can tune a guitar. It just isn't like that with drums. I'm pretty sure this is a problem that only drummers have to deal with. Any other instrument, there is an established, repeatable, relatively easy way to tune their instrument. Expensive will NEVER mean great sounding at any old random bad tuning.

Phase cancellation sounds really weird. Other instrument players don't even have to deal with phase cancellation when tuning their instruments. That's just one aspect out of probably 15 that has to be right to get a pleasing tone from a 2 headed membranophone. Again, just another thing that no one can really appreciate. Oh it took 3 years and 1500 dollars in heads before you could learn how to get a good tone, and it's still not easy? Yea, so?
I see your point and agree with it to a large extent, Lar. But at some point on a major luxury purchase, whether it's a high-end drumset or a Italian supercar, you should see and feel something intangible that makes it worth the expense; you should also not run into design flaws or poor performance issues that run counter to the idea of a "top shelf" item.

I watch a LOT of "Top Gear", and of course there are quite a few more things you can screw up in making a car than a drumset. But there are any number of times Clarkson et al have reviewed a very expensive designer supercar that any schmoe on the street would be quite happy to own, and dismiss it out of hand for no better reason than for it to be lacking in driving experience. And why should a very expensive drumset be any different? If you have to constantly struggle to tune it to a very limited range of sounds, it only seems to come alive in certain rooms with a specific brand of Finnish drumhead that is .153mm larger than the industry standard and has to be fitted with wax made from puffin gland extracts... Surely there are those who buy such drumsets and relish the challenge of wringing appropriate sounds from them.

Now, are the majority of drumsets going to be that idiosyncratic? Likely not. But for the money one pays for, say, a Guru Origin series, one would expect a certain ease of ability to get a playable sound, a certain level of craftsmanship, very few design flaws (if any), impeccable attention to detail throughout, and some ability for the instrument to adapt to rooms, heads, and playing style, rather than the drummer having to do so.

Obviously you would not expect the poorly-tuned drumset in the constant cacophony of a Guitar Center showroom to be representative of its sound. But to take delivery of a drumset that costs about what an entry-level car might cost, and to constantly encounter tuning issues would be disappointing. Beyond that, I would hope to get a certain experience from playing drums at that price -- the "mojo", so to speak. I don't expect to get "mojo" from entry-level drums (and sometimes I am pleasantly surprised when I do), but I would certainly hope to get it from a very high-end drumset.

Some of this, though, would come from making the proper research into the investment. You wouldn't buy a supercar sight unseen, without a little research into it and reading reviews -- you probably wouldn't buy a car at any price without a test drive. I would tend to do the same sort of research for any drumset I bought, let alone an expensive one.

We've all heard the stories (here and elsewhere) about Monday morning (or Friday afternoon) kits with obvious defects that somehow made it to the consumer. If it's one one kit in a thousand or ten thousand, it's not an issue. But if the manufacturer becomes known for selling mediocre product at astronomical prices, I think the point is valid. I also am not sure how such a manufacturer would stay in business other than surviving on market share and product placement alone.
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Old 08-25-2015, 03:20 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

[quote=alparrott;1374405] Surely there are those who buy such drumsets and relish the challenge of wringing appropriate sounds from them.

Now, are the majority of drumsets going to be that idiosyncratic? Likely not. But for the money one pays for, say, a Guru Origin series, one would expect a certain ease of ability to get a playable sound, a certain level of craftsmanship, very few design flaws (if any), impeccable attention to detail throughout, and some ability for the instrument to adapt to rooms, heads, and playing style, rather than the drummer having to do so./QUOTE]



You need to define (in $) what you feel is a high priced drum set.

Maybe start with snare drums, not the whole kit. A hi-priced snare drum that doesn't seem to be worth it for whatever reason.
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2015, 03:45 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

I think this thread should be titled worst heads on a good kit or I can't be bothered making my drums sound better. Yes let's start with snare drums, I got a second hand Craviotto Birdseye snare drum , had a CS batter a shitty reso and crap wires, sounded like crap. I got replacement Crav heads and wires and really spent time on setting the wires and hey presto an expensive drum that sounds really good. Don't fix it if it ain't broke.
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2015, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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I think this thread should be titled worst heads on a good kit or I can't be bothered making my drums sound better. Yes let's start with snare drums, I got a second hand Craviotto Birdseye snare drum , had a CS batter a shitty reso and crap wires, sounded like crap. I got replacement Crav heads and wires and really spent time on setting the wires and hey presto an expensive drum that sounds really good. Don't fix it if it ain't broke.
But is that how it shipped from the factory?

Molecule with it stock heads sounded sour and had a funny rebound.

That set was I think $3K.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

No it was used and I just put it back to how it shipped from the factory, I now have a coated PS3 batter on it, generally it's not the drums that sound bad it's the bad decisions made to "improve " them.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:17 AM
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No it was used and I just put it back to how it shipped from the factory, I now have a coated PS3 batter on it, generally it's not the drums that sound bad it's the bad decisions made to "improve " them.
I also played a new Premier Resonator that was quite lousy.
It was pretty much untunable.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

[quote=Les Ismore;1374481]
Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
Surely there are those who buy such drumsets and relish the challenge of wringing appropriate sounds from them.

Now, are the majority of drumsets going to be that idiosyncratic? Likely not. But for the money one pays for, say, a Guru Origin series, one would expect a certain ease of ability to get a playable sound, a certain level of craftsmanship, very few design flaws (if any), impeccable attention to detail throughout, and some ability for the instrument to adapt to rooms, heads, and playing style, rather than the drummer having to do so./QUOTE]



You need to define (in $) what you feel is a high priced drum set.

Maybe start with snare drums, not the whole kit. A hi-priced snare drum that doesn't seem to be worth it for whatever reason.
In dollars? Perhaps I should just specify flagship drumset line, or above the average MSRP for flagship lines from mainstream manufacturers. Most of us would expect less than perfection from intermediate or beginner drumsets, but not from something touted as the ne plus ultra of any manufacturer.
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Old 08-25-2015, 10:42 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

I don't know how much they actually sell for but I tried one of the rotodrum kits while I was in the states. It was playable and an interesting concept but jumping back on a regular kit was much nicer.
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  #20  
Old 08-25-2015, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

Worst expensive kit I ever played was a DW Collectors.

Best expensive kit I ever played was a DW Classics.
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Old 08-25-2015, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

My Sonor birch kit.
No wait...that would be the worst player playing an expensive kit. Crap.
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Old 08-25-2015, 03:06 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

I have played good quality Pearl Masters kits in a rehearsal studios, not quite top of the range kits but still very good quality, but because they were in rehearsal rooms, the heads were thick, had tape on them, they were horribly tuned and the drums were dirty. Also the hardware was as you'd expect in a rehearsal space.

I actually do not like Pearl drums at all. Not because I think that they are not good quality, I think they are a great drum company but almost every beat up, horrible, sh**ty, badly tuned, run down kit in a rehearsal space I have used has been Pearl so my perception of them is not good.

I have never played DW but I think they are vastly over priced and have chatted to a few folk who have played and not liked them.
It's all personal tastes tho.
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Old 08-25-2015, 03:52 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

Worst sounding for me was a Pearl Reference kit supplied on an outdoor stage at a festival. It was disappointing, because I'd read all the hype about the shells, and was interested in trying one out.

It wasn't the kit's fault, but the tuning was all wrong, generally too tight and uneven, and I had zero time to fix it. Toms were mounted too high on cymbal stands with clamps and memory locks - again no time to lower them.

Then the snare tension was way too tight, sounding choked, but the strainer needed a drum key to be able to unlock the adjustment knob. By the time I discovered this we'd already started and my drum key was out of reach.
I'd normally bring my snare, cymbals, pedal etc. but it was a charity gig in the middle of an athletics track, and car parking was 1/2 mile away, plus no time allocated for changeovers. Luckily it was only one 45 minute set.

(Ironically there was a long break for speeches after our band, so the next drummer had plenty of time to wrestle with the hardware and memory locks, but still couldn't tune properly because he couldn't make any noise.)
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Originally Posted by Odd-Arne Oseberg View Post
Haven't played teat many "expensive " kits, but unlike what seems to be the norm, I've played several DWs and regardless of taste never heard a tom I liked the sound of at all.

Had a DW Collectors standing next to a Catalina kit in a school I worked in last year. Apart from snare which wasn't my kind of thing on either kit the Catalina was way closer to my thing. Luckily that's exactly what I play. :-)

To be fair they had different heads.


Still, apart from some cool aux snares I'm just not a DW guy, I guess.

Right there with ya... I've played several DW kits, none of them sounded good to me, and I'm forced to play a DW Collectors weekly at my band's rehearsal space. Luckily I have my Gretsch snare with me or it would be a numbing experience.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

I've never played a bad expensive kit. Poorly tuned, yes, but I never found anything lacking in the quality of the kits.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Originally Posted by pgm554 View Post
Some of the Remo stuff was not inexpensive.

I'm scratching my head why Bellson and Bozzio played them though.
Didn't Jeff Hamilton play Remo's acoustic kits as well?

Roland uses (or used to) employ acousticon shells on the E-kits. Perhaps they still do.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Back to the question at hand. Properly tuned kits always sound better. Want to really hear a drum kit. Take all the EQ tricks off and play them for a while and listen to the wood and the tone that you've been missing.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

Worst kit I ever owned was a Pearl Masters MMX in Ocean Sparkle with satin hardware. I got one of the first 20 made and waited 6 months for it.

I tried 5 sets of heads. I even tried RIMS and nothing would get those drums to sound full and rich. Biggest drum disappointment in all my 33 years of playing. I think it was the 4 ply shells and rings along with the diecast hoops and heavy lacquer finish. Just resonance killers.

Being so rare and desirable, I was able to sell it for what I paid.

But that taught me a lot about shells and what I should be looking at in other high-end drums. That lesson has served me well.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Didn't Jeff Hamilton play Remo's acoustic kits as well?
Still does, but I definetly prefered his sound with the Gretsch kit.
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  #29  
Old 08-25-2015, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

Pearl Masters MCX

My drum teacher switched from a Mapex Orion to a Pearl Masters MCX and the change was disgusting. The drums had no character or life to them at all. It's by far the worst expensive kit I've ever heard or played.
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Old 08-26-2015, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

I didn't care much for the original Yamaha Recording drums.
Then again, my preferences lean towards complex and lively sounds.
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  #31  
Old 08-26-2015, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

Hate to pile on the Pearl hate bandwagon but One band had a miked Pearl Birch Studio kit. I much preferred my Sonor 3007s, they had a much better sound for a fraction of the price.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

I was going to say a DW Collector's kit - I owned two back about ten years ago now, nd just couldn't make them do anything I liked.

But I just acquired another one and I'm giving it another shot. So far it sounds decent. Once it's completed this week with all my modifications, we'll see. So far I'm pretty happy with it sound-wise.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Hate to pile on the Pearl hate bandwagon but One band had a miked Pearl Birch Studio kit. I much preferred my Sonor 3007s, they had a much better sound for a fraction of the price.
I'm not getting the Pearl hate - though. I have a Reference Pure kit and that thing rocks. I can understand if it's a backline kit and it's a bit messed up, but that's not the kits' fault. I think mostly all high-end kits have to be given time to adjust to new heads, tunings, the player....they seem more finicky. I've had Tama Rockstars and Pearl Exports that you just slapped pinstripes on 'em and they sounded good - but it was a generic 'good'. High-end kits tend to sound good however you make them sound.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:26 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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I was going to say a DW Collector's kit - I owned two back about ten years ago now, nd just couldn't make them do anything I liked.

But I just acquired another one and I'm giving it another shot. So far it sounds decent. Once it's completed this week with all my modifications, we'll see. So far I'm pretty happy with it sound-wise.
I have no opinion on DW drums.
But I just gotta' know Bo. You had two DW Collector kits that you did not like.
With all of the wonderful sounding kits out there, why on earth would you get another DW Collectors kit??


.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

The DW Collector's I custom ordered was a consistent lemon. 24,13,16

It only liked a very limited tuning range and had some clear manufacturing defects. I sent a rack tom back because it was both out of round and they didn't cut off enough of the wrap for the bearing edge to work functionally. They replaced it graciously, but even then, the whole kit was meh, but with nice hardware.


My Yamaha has even nicer hardware, phenomenal versatility, and beautiful tone.
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  #36  
Old 08-26-2015, 06:38 AM
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I have no opinion on DW drums.
But I just gotta' know Bo. You had two DW Collector kits that you did not like.
With all of the wonderful sounding kits out there, why on earth would you get another DW Collectors kit??


.
I couldn't pass up a good deal, and I wanted something in black oyster, and I've already got that vintage brand covered. And I just have this feeling that maybe I didn't take those two DW kits far enough. It's been irking me that I couldn't make them sound good when every time I heard somebody else play them they sounded great. So I thought I'd re-visit them and see if I had learned anything in the ensuing time I haven't had them, or if I'm still an idiot.

So far the results haven't been bad. When I have the kit complete I'll post a review. I may still get a couple of floor toms for it - since it's DW, I could get a 15x15 and a 16x16. With all the trouble I'm going through with 14 floor toms, I'm becoming convinced there isn't a 14" tom out there I'd like. I've had a couple of 14s now, and they never really do anything for me.
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Worst expensive kit you ever played?

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I couldn't pass up a good deal, and I wanted something in black oyster, and I've already got that vintage brand covered. And I just have this feeling that maybe I didn't take those two DW kits far enough. It's been irking me that I couldn't make them sound good when every time I heard somebody else play them they sounded great. So I thought I'd re-visit them and see if I had learned anything in the ensuing time I haven't had them, or if I'm still an idiot.
OK with all of those reasons, now it make sense to me.
And the black oyster alone could easily seal the deal..........


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Old 08-26-2015, 06:55 AM
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OK with all of those reasons, now it make sense to me.
And the black oyster alone could easily seal the deal..........


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Yeah, it's weird that there's only one other big manufacturer that makes black oyster drums available. I even got a matching snare that shows up tomorrow.

The one thing I hadn't noticed about DW drums before, that I do now, is that the shells are really thin. When I took the heads off the bass drum to drill it, the shell bends quite a bit when you lean on it. It's literally like wood on other musical instruments (acoustic guitars, violins) - it's not thick stuff. Contrast that to a 1980s Sonor ad where they had a rather large man standing on top of a shell that was sideways and it wasn't giving at all. Strange times, eh?
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:29 PM
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...The one thing I hadn't noticed about DW drums before, that I do now, is that the shells are really thin. When I took the heads off the bass drum to drill it, the shell bends quite a bit when you lean on it. It's literally like wood on other musical instruments (acoustic guitars, violins) - it's not thick stuff. Contrast that to a 1980s Sonor ad where they had a rather large man standing on top of a shell that was sideways and it wasn't giving at all. Strange times, eh?
Are thinner shelled basses built because they were intended to be stand alone basses? DW's larger basses use Keller shells but I'm not sure of the ply count.
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Old 08-26-2015, 03:54 PM
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So far the results haven't been bad. When I have the kit complete I'll post a review. I may still get a couple of floor toms for it - since it's DW, I could get a 15x15 and a 16x16. With all the trouble I'm going through with 14 floor toms, I'm becoming convinced there isn't a 14" tom out there I'd like. I've had a couple of 14s now, and they never really do anything for me.
Not to derail the thread but, you aren't alone with 14" floor tom troubles. I cannot get my 14" floor tom to a place where I like it. It's not large enough to hit the lows that I'd like and it doesn't have the feel/sound of a rack tom when tuned higher. I've reached the point of frustration with it as it does not sonically fit my kit.

I'm convinced that 12/15/16 would be a much better setup over 12/14/16.
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