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  #1  
Old 07-10-2017, 05:40 AM
sonormapex sonormapex is offline
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Default Custom or Big name?

We,ve all had lots of time to think this over, so as far as drums go, would your next purchase be from a custom builder or one of the big guys?
Personally, I would stick with the large well known builders like Sonor. With over 100 years of experience, I just trust them, and gear is SOOO expensive now, I,d rather spend the extra bucks.. Trust is very important to me.
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:51 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

So you wouldn't think you were spending the big bucks with a custom shop?
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  #3  
Old 07-10-2017, 06:02 AM
sonormapex sonormapex is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Sure, I,d be spending big with the custom bldrs, BUT they [most of them] don't have nearly enough experience. Custom bldrs offer as much as they possibly can, however, years in business means something..to me anyway.

There are a handful of custom builders that are a cut above the rest, but realistically, not many at all.

Two of my faves would be
N&C
GMS

There are exceptions to every rule.
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Old 07-10-2017, 07:10 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonormapex View Post
We,ve all had lots of time to think this over, so as far as drums go, would your next purchase be from a custom builder or one of the big guys?
Personally, I would stick with the large well known builders like Sonor. With over 100 years of experience, I just trust them, and gear is SOOO expensive now, I,d rather spend the extra bucks.. Trust is very important to me.
Why not split the difference and look at a posh kit, like GW, Orilio, iNDE, etc? While they require bit more savings than a Renown/Saturn/LiveCustom, they don't hurt anywhere near as much as a top-of-the-line DW/Yamaha/Guru.
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  #5  
Old 07-10-2017, 07:27 AM
cutaway79 cutaway79 is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

There are some very interesting custom companies out there. But a lot of them just use parts/shells that are available to anyone. What you're really paying for is whatever attention to detail they put into it (bearing edges, finishes, etc.)

I've gone the custom/small builder route a few times in the past, and I've owned many kits by the big guys. At this point, I feel like it's worth going with a company that has had a few decades (or more) to master their product, over someone who's been doing it for like 10 years (or less in a lot of cases). Also, if you ever want to add drums in the future, it will be far easier with the big guys. I've seen a good deal of custom companies come and go rather quickly. And good luck finding add-ons on the used market.

Having said that, if you want something that only a custom company offers (Oriollo aluminum, Guru Origin, Q Drums brass, Unix stave, Molecules, etc.), then go that route. Otherwise, if you just want a regular wood or acrylic kit, I would go with a company that has some hair on their a$$.

Last edited by cutaway79; 07-10-2017 at 07:40 AM.
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2017, 07:38 AM
cutaway79 cutaway79 is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonormapex View Post
Sure, I,d be spending big with the custom bldrs, BUT they [most of them] don't have nearly enough experience. Custom bldrs offer as much as they possibly can, however, years in business means something..to me anyway.

There are a handful of custom builders that are a cut above the rest, but realistically, not many at all.

Two of my faves would be
N&C
GMS

There are exceptions to every rule.
When people say "custom" these days, I always think OCDP, SJC, etc. In my opinion (whatever that's worth), GMS and N&C are in a different category. They use their own proprietary lugs and throw-offs (though the tom mounts, spurs and such are still generic), they've both been around for quite a while (GMS was started in the 80s, and N&C has been around even longer), and have had time to really get it down, and probably aren't going away anytime soon. I've owned a couple GMS kits, and they are top notch. I've only ever owned a N&C solid snare, but it too, was awesome.
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2017, 07:48 AM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

So stick with them if you know what you want. Is this really a reason to start another thread?
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2017, 08:04 AM
Matt Bo Eder
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I disagree. Compared to the quality you get, it's actually cheaper than at any time in history, & compared to almost any other instrument group, the higher quality drums are an absolute bargain. Of course, anything is expensive if you can't afford it - I completely get that too.

Overall, if a major manufacturer offers you something that satisfies your requirements, go with that. If not, go with someone who does.
And also, be mindful of the fact that there are two sets of requirements: what you want and what will do what you need to get the music done. For most of us, a Pearl Export/Yamaha Stage Custom/Tama Rockstar will get the job done ;)
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2017, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Both, Then you will truly know what you are talking about.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2017, 09:27 AM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I disagree. Compared to the quality you get, it's actually cheaper than at any time in history, & compared to almost any other instrument group, the higher quality drums are an absolute bargain. Of course, anything is expensive if you can't afford it - I completely get that too.

Overall, if a major manufacturer offers you something that satisfies your requirements, go with that. If not, go with someone who does.
I disagree with the first paragraph, not the second.

I go by what my Pearl Omar Hakim costs new. It's been around for donkeys and I've seen the price go up and up, without any tangible improvement.

Look at Pearl Masters (or whatever they call em now). They are still essentially the same drum, with pretty much the same mounting system (that I dislike) as when they were first made and they are more expensive.

My Sonor Prolite is way more expensive than my Delite was, despite them being almost exactly the same kit. The Prolite has more "features" in that it has different mounts, but if a gun was put to my head, I' d say the Delite was the better sounding.

They already have the manufacturing process and assembly line in place, so why are the same kits more expensive?

Economics.

I think there is too much emphasis on providing sustain. Every mount now has a tom that rings forever and the emphasis for some reason is getting more sustain and allowing the toms to sing etc etc. ergo better/more expensive

I think that is a job for custom manufacturers, not mass manufacturers.

I like the snares that custom companies produce but the toms/kick are just too ringy/overbearing/unfocussed for my taste. I love the sound of a Guru kit, but only for soloing.

Personally, I have just replaced my Sonor Prolite toms with 2 Rototoms. For me toms have hardly any stick response and don't perform very well within my situation. Despite my changes in heads, sticks everything, I just don't get enough attack from my rack toms as they are too geared to towards sustain rather than attack.

So now I have Sonor Kick (20) and floor (14) with 2 rototoms (8 & 10)

Pics to come

In summary, no kit really satisfies my needs as I have special needs :-D
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2017, 10:14 AM
JohnoWorld
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
My observation was much more looking back over decades rather than comparatively recent increases applied to specific lines.

Head sustain is primarily a product of tuning & edge forms. Our concentration is on maximising resonance - utterly separate (although sometimes symbiotic) to head sustain. A highly resonant drum produces a full tonal delivery, but, depending on tuning, head, & dampening choices, that can also be very short too. An ultra short voiced drum that's readily excited, projects both a satisfying full tone and offers strong articulation.
As does mine, I am 40 years old and have been buying drum kits for 25 of those years.

Also, as we've discussed before, the sustain of a ply tom IS influenced by the mounting. Please take a Sonor Delite tom and a Sonor Prolite tom, put the same heads on them, mount them to a stand, tune to the same and what do you get?

The prolite has much more sustain.

What is the only difference? The mount. The shells are the same, bearing edges are the same, wood is the same, construction the same, number of plies the same, ply thickness the same.

I think you're confusing bespoke boutique kits with mass market ply kits. I was talking about a Sonor of which all are ply construction. Whilst your opinions on drums are very valid, ply drums aren't really your speciality.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2017, 10:37 AM
cutaway79 cutaway79 is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by ineedaclutch View Post
So stick with them if you know what you want. Is this really a reason to start another thread?
Not trying to start a fight, but honestly, was there really a reason for your post?

If a thread/post comes up that doesn't interest you, just move on to one that does. We all do it all the time.

I think it's just supposed to be conversational. Or maybe he's saying "I feel this way. What do YOU folks think?", to see if maybe he should explore the custom options more closely.

You're just being mean for no reason.
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2017, 11:51 AM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Why ask the question if you are obviously more than happy with a big name/Sonor?
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2017, 12:16 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

There are a few custom shops turning out high-end and esoteric drums, and some of the mainstream companies fit there as well (I'd say Canopus is at the top of the list thanks to their Zelkova snare.) If a drum is made the way it's intended and designed, it will probably sound pretty good. That is, no person or company deliberately makes a bad drum. So from a sound perspective, there are hundreds of options.

I'm surprised nobody has touched on the long-term considerations of buying boutique/custom gear. One consideration would be the availability of any proprietary parts and possible add-on drums down the line. And on a more fiscal scale, what will the drums be worth when it's time to eventually sell them? Are there really SJC and OCDP aficionados & collectors out there, and are there likely to be any around in 10 years? Are there even any legendary or super-desirable boutique brands at this point? Solid and Blaemire come to mind, and only to the handful in the know about those drums. I'm, not saying there aren't some great-sounding drums from small, relatively unknown names out there - I was a boutique brand endorser for 22 years. But I can think of only those two that have really stood the test of time in terms of maintaining or increasing in value. I'd venture that Guru will enter that category in time. :)

So unless a custom drum is uniquely amazing in every way and you absolutely love the sound, I'd stick with a mainstream name simply and sensibly to help preserve their value.

Bermuda
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2017, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

If I was going to spend pennies on a brand new kit personally I'd go down the custom route. You can get something that is personal to you. I wouldn't be fussed about the re-sale value, I'd want it for life.

For a big brand I'd go used. The depreciation of brand new drums is crazy. Starclassics seem to be going cheap 2nd hand as do Pearl Masters. Obviously the old Luddys and Slingerlands will always fetch top dollar but I'm talking UK.

I have a big name kit and a custom kit there's pros and cons for each.
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  #16  
Old 07-10-2017, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonormapex View Post
Sure, I,d be spending big with the custom bldrs, BUT they [most of them] don't have nearly enough experience. Custom bldrs offer as much as they possibly can, however, years in business means something..to me anyway.

There are a handful of custom builders that are a cut above the rest, but realistically, not many at all.

Two of my faves would be
N&C
GMS

There are exceptions to every rule.
Just for info, how long would a custom builder have to be in business before you would consider them having enough experience? My opinion would also be a major builder but for reasons of money and availability. I would almost prefer to have something from a major builder and one that was available immediately.
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2017, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by mikyok View Post
If I was going to spend pennies on a brand new kit personally I'd go down the custom route. You can get something that is personal to you. I wouldn't be fussed about the re-sale value, I'd want it for life.

For a big brand I'd go used. The depreciation of brand new drums is crazy. Starclassics seem to be going cheap 2nd hand as do Pearl Masters. Obviously the old Luddys and Slingerlands will always fetch top dollar but I'm talking UK.

I have a big name kit and a custom kit there's pros and cons for each.
There isn't a situation that a big name kit can't handle. There are many that custom kits can't. Like a Hi-fi, the more you spend the more specialist it is.

I've owned top end gear and low end gear and there's really not much difference. The only place you really notice the difference is in the snare (as there are many more things that can be changed) but the toms and kick drum, I just can't be convinced that there is any need to go for custom in this area.

But yes, I would go for second hand mass-market (but top of the line) kits rather than custom.

Just check ebay and see how many odd sized kits are there because people "thought" they knew what they wanted.
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  #18  
Old 07-10-2017, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnoWorld View Post
I disagree with the first paragraph, not the second.

I go by what my Pearl Omar Hakim costs new. It's been around for donkeys and I've seen the price go up and up, without any tangible improvement.
That snare is no longer really available new, but I found one retailer who has stock at $439. That drum was introduced 30 years ago. In 1987, $200 was worth $439 of 2017 USD.

I don't know what that snare went for then. I can't find a price list. So I can't say for sure what the new Omar Hakim sold for in 1987.

I can do a more direct price comparison. I found a 1986 Ludwig price list for their Rocker series. A bog-standard 5-piece kit, with double-braced hardware, listed for $795. That's $1,737 in 2017 dollars.

Ludwig no longer has an equivalent to the Rocker line, but they do have an entry-level (Element) and a new intermediate line (Evolution Maple). So we can get a relatively close comparison.

Let's start with Element, as that line, like the Rocker, comes with hardware. What does our $1737 get us? Holy dang, a LOT. The Element not only comes with all the hardware of the Rocker, it has more - an extra boom cymbal stand and a throne - as well as a complete set of cymbals. For $699. Less than half of what the Rocker cost. More stuff for less than half.

Now, I hear you say, that Rocker was all made in the USA, maple shells, etc. Okay, let's look at the Evolution Maple. 100% North American Maple shells, lacquer finishes (unlike Rockers, which were covered). Guitar Center is advertising a 5-piece kit with a free tom for $999.* If you add the Atlas non-Pro hardware, roughly equivalent to the double-braced Rocker hardware of 1987, you can add what you got for the Rocker hardware for $298. That's a total of $1297 for a six-piece lacquer kit with all-maple shells. You can add a throne, another couple of cymbal stands, and a decent cymbal pack, and maybe even a set of gig bags before you reach the price point of the 1986 Rockers.

So let's consider pro-level. Ludwig's Classic Maple line remains their top. A 4-piece Classic Maple is $2499. Add in a matching snare for another $500 or so; call it $3000 for a 5-piece shell pack. That's three times the price of the Rocker equivalent. So while I can't find a price list for 1987 Ludwig Classics, without evidence to the contrary it's reasonable to assume that kind of price difference between them and the Rockers.

There is harder data for Gretsch, as I could find a 1987 Gretsch price list. A five-piece kit, which they called "Grand Prix", with hardware, was $2340, which translates to $5112 in 2017 dollars. The closest I could find from Gretsch's 2017 catalog (non-custom) was Broadkaster at ~$3000 for a 3-piece shell pack.

When you consider build quality, there's no comparison. I remember the awful bearing edges, wrinkly wrap, and touch-em-and-they-break pot metal lug casings from the Rocker series. No suspension mounts on any drums, pro-level or not; Rocker spurs that collapsed with any kind of enthusiastic kick-drum playing; frankly it was junk, comparatively speaking. You can look at any intermediate-level kit from any manufacturer (because let's face it, they're pretty much all the same "North American Maple" from the same mega-factory with different branding on them) and get miles more quality today than you could 30 or even ten years ago. The differences in pro-level gear are less dramatic in terms of quality, but not in price: You get much more for your dollar in 2017. That's a fact. Hell, for what you'd have paid for an off-the-assembly-line Gretsch kit in 1987 you could get an equivalent hand-made Guru kit and have change to spare.

Having seen the numbers, how you can possibly disagree with "Compared to the quality you get, it's actually cheaper than at any time in history[.]"?

Regards,

Bob

* Ludwig, really? Dudes. Come on. Just call it a 6-piece kit and move on. You're not fooling anyone.
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  #19  
Old 07-10-2017, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

To me, it's no longer a question of custom or big name....it's ply or solid shell.

I never offloaded a kit that I custom ordered, never will. I built it for ME. I have custom DW's, Eames, and 2 Guru kits.

I think the next logical step in the evolution of drum shells is to have more solid shells than ply shells in the market.

I liken it to this: When cars first came out, you didn't get air conditioning. That came later. In the beginning, no cars had A/C. Now, I'm not even sure you can buy a car without A/C. To me, solid shells are like A/C. It's a step up in drums, that eventually, the pack will follow.

That's my prediction, in 50 years, there will be more solid shell offerings...by a large margin.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:01 PM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
And also, be mindful of the fact that there are two sets of requirements: what you want and what will do what you need to get the music done. For most of us, a Pearl Export/Yamaha Stage Custom/Tama Rockstar will get the job done ;)
Now you completely killed the G.A.S.
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  #21  
Old 07-10-2017, 03:07 PM
Wave Deckel Wave Deckel is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

There is a place for custom drums. Whenever you want something really special that the "big ones" do not offer. Most of the time, the drums of the big companies are enough for just about anyone. I mean, what can be really improved on a Starclassic/Star, a Maple Custom, a Saturn, a ProLite/Vintage, Broadcaster, etc.? Those are all top-notch drums that work in a wide variety of musical settings.

I'd stick to the well known brands for three reasons: Resale-value, replacement parts and because I don't know what I'd want to have from a custom drummaker. A copy of my Starclassics? Better buy the original, right?
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  #22  
Old 07-10-2017, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

I like the fact there is an option for name brand or custom. Really now the market caters to about every niche-not much of that decades ago-so it is a much more competitive market which should drive lower costs and better products, which is what I see- then too the beginner drummer market was so large and the competition so stiff I'm amazed at the quality of kit and bang for your buck you get now (thanks to technology)-which has an impact on making and selling higher end drums (they have to offer the high end features with cost/profit margins probably pretty tight because of all the competition and the fact you can get great drums at a lower cost as Johno points out with his Sonors). I've always thought it wise to spend your money on high end cymbals, snare, and good hardware cause kick and toms you can get a great sound from a cheap kit (I didn't hear a big enough difference to warrant it). However after listening to some custom drum kits I've changed my mind and set my eye on a custom kit.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by STXBob View Post

Having seen the numbers, how you can possibly disagree with "Compared to the quality you get, it's actually cheaper than at any time in history[.]"?

Regards,

Bob
Because you can use numbers to prove whatever you want and your numbers are american so they mean sh1t to me

I am speaking from experience of a drummer based in the UK for the last 25 years. The increase of price, not in line with inflation or wages has made the same drums literally more expensive.

I gave the examples of my own experience and you chose not to read them or relate them to what I wrote, so in all honesty, why should I spend even 5 seconds reviewing yours?

It's just an opinion dude, you clearly spent a lot of time researching your reply, what a shame it fell on such deaf ears
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Good posit Larry. I wonder which is more resource saving/ecologically sound- ply or solid? My bet solid. I remember in my home town Weyerhaeuser built a particle board plant ( a huge lumber yard was nearby and they had plenty of saw dust because they could no longer burn it in their huge furnaces) which is quite a process to turn that sawdust into a sheet of wood. All the locals jumped all over it using it for everything till they quickly realized it's crap -it gets wet swells and falls apart. So I vote more wood less glue.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
To me, it's no longer a question of custom or big name....it's ply or solid shell.

I never offloaded a kit that I custom ordered, never will. I built it for ME. I have custom DW's, Eames, and 2 Guru kits.

I think the next logical step in the evolution of drum shells is to have more solid shells than ply shells in the market.

I liken it to this: When cars first came out, you didn't get air conditioning. That came later. In the beginning, no cars had A/C. Now, I'm not even sure you can buy a car without A/C. To me, solid shells are like A/C. It's a step up in drums, that eventually, the pack will follow.

That's my prediction, in 50 years, there will be more solid shell offerings...by a large margin.
By that measure then we will all have to have a 5000% pay rise just to keep up

Larry, you appear to have more money than anyone else on here. I would say you are a special case in that you can afford to spend whatever you want.

However, given the same situation, and the same amount of money, no, I would not.

Also, a more accurate analogy would be:

Solid shells are like carbon fibre. Until there is a cost-effective way to mass produce that level of build quality then it will always be expensive and laborious.

Aircon is an accessory on a car, not part of its construction. Cars are not made out aircon ;-)

We all have our own ideal world, I just think that most of that is in our heads, according to our experiences and financial situations. Also, solid shells have been available for years, why do you think that there aren't more people doing it? That's right, cost.
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  #26  
Old 07-10-2017, 03:33 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Reality is that I know the sound I like and that's the TOTL for a very old and stable brand . Gretscjh.

If I wanted something different to complement it I'd probably find it with Yamaha, which should start making wood hoops and Club Customs again,. Shame on them.

See, even with big brands there's no guarantee. Remo TSS anyone?

Anyway.

With snares I don't really care. Main snares are old White Colaiuta sig, old 6" Grestch hammer brass and Longo Walnut. Nothing unique about the hardware on those at all.

THe BB I use for orchestral does the job. Would I be afraid to get an AK if I could afford it and liked it better? No.


Now keepng things for life is a hard one. As your tastes change, if you buy something from a small custom shop, how would you know? If you ever get sick, broke and can't play anymore, you might change your mind.

Simple for me. I know what kit I want and it's in the works. The 10 snares I got were planned a long time ago. They represent all the options I think I'll ever need and none of them were terribly expensive. I'm never looking for the new hip thing. Nest kit... What's that? I'll buy one if I need it. Not because it would be cool to have. It'll soon enough just be in the way.

Obviously I'd like my financial situation to be and have been better than it has been lately, but there is a quite defined line where the gear thing ends for me.
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  #27  
Old 07-10-2017, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

I remember when LED lights came out the cost of one was like the cost of 6 pack now-so costs of products can change. I wonder how much the market varies per country-because everything else sure as hell sales at different prices. I'm pretty ignorant of the business side of it but do drum makers like pharmaceutical companies sale a drug/drum for a cheaper price in one country and make it up by selling higher in another or is it just local economics that controls it? So if I buy a Pearl export in the US, UK, Japan, Australia, does the cost vary that much?
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
To me, it's no longer a question of custom or big name....it's ply or solid shell.

I never offloaded a kit that I custom ordered, never will. I built it for ME. I have custom DW's, Eames, and 2 Guru kits.

I think the next logical step in the evolution of drum shells is to have more solid shells than ply shells in the market.

I liken it to this: When cars first came out, you didn't get air conditioning. That came later. In the beginning, no cars had A/C. Now, I'm not even sure you can buy a car without A/C. To me, solid shells are like A/C. It's a step up in drums, that eventually, the pack will follow.

That's my prediction, in 50 years, there will be more solid shell offerings...by a large margin.
I think cars with A/C, electric windows, etc all came to be because of speed of build. Put it on all cars and no special orders. When was the last time anyone ordered a car as opposed to buying one off of the lot? Solid shell or one ply shells I don't see becoming the normal because of the build time. Imagine how many ply shells can be put in a mold daily as opposed to the number of stave shells put together by hand. I would agree that the stave, segmented or solid drums may have a better build quality but I don't see them as ever becoming the norm. In 50 years I would see more solid shells being made than today, but not more of the market share.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:57 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Solid and Blaemire come to mind, and only to the handful in the know about those drums
Solid? Tell me more.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:00 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by GetAgrippa View Post
I remember when LED lights came out the cost of one was like the cost of 6 pack now-so costs of products can change. I wonder how much the market varies per country-because everything else sure as hell sales at different prices. I'm pretty ignorant of the business side of it but do drum makers like pharmaceutical companies sale a drug/drum for a cheaper price in one country and make it up by selling higher in another or is it just local economics that controls it? So if I buy a Pearl export in the US, UK, Japan, Australia, does the cost vary that much?
Like most things, light bulbs, stereo equipment, TV sets, computers are all mass produced and costs do go down over time. I don't see stave drums ever being mass produced to the point of assembly line and keeping the standards as high. Pharmaceuticals are ridiculous and difficult to compare prices because of restriction put on by different countries. There are drugs available in Mexico that are still banned in the US. But as in my previous post I don't ever see stave, segmented, or solid drums ever being massed produced. I hope not anyway.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

I'm going Big Name/ Custom Sizes. 20x14, 13x9, 16x14. Either Ludwig or Gretsch. Haven't decided which yet. I know what i'm getting with either of those brands more or less. Not that a custom builder couldn't make me a great kit in those sizes but i doubt it would be any cheaper which would be a motivating factor.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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By that measure then we will all have to have a 5000% pay rise just to keep up

Larry, you appear to have more money than anyone else on here. I would say you are a special case in that you can afford to spend whatever you want.

However, given the same situation, and the same amount of money, no, I would not.

Also, a more accurate analogy would be:

Solid shells are like carbon fibre. Until there is a cost-effective way to mass produce that level of build quality then it will always be expensive and laborious.

Aircon is an accessory on a car, not part of its construction. Cars are not made out aircon ;-)

We all have our own ideal world, I just think that most of that is in our heads, according to our experiences and financial situations. Also, solid shells have been available for years, why do you think that there aren't more people doing it? That's right, cost.
Johno, even though on the surface, it seems like we disagree, you and I are in agreement. When I predicted solid shells would be the mainstream in 50 years, I am definitely counting on some sort of mass production for solid shells, not the way they are built now. Look at computers. Very expensive in the beginning. Companies see where the market is moving to, and fall over themselves trying to capitalize on it. Now computers are very competitive.

Same thing. I think. And I concede that it may never play out that way. I always thought the market gravitated toward the superior product, eventually, so I'm basing my thoughts on that.

On a more personal note, I could make more if I wanted to work harder, but I'm good with about 50,000 a year. No money in the bank either. I only work maybe 3 days a week average, by choice. I'm not monied, like at all. It's foolish to try and predict my income by my expenditures, I'm pretty careless when it comes to money. I just don't give a crap about it beyond what I need to live.

I always thought Bo was the rich dude here. (Apart from the 2 financially well off people I know about on this forum)
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by Push pull stroke View Post
Solid? Tell me more.
They made steam bent snares, but differentiated themselves from N&C by bending seasoned boards.
They also made snares from exotics like cocobolo for Peart.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Solid? Tell me more.
In the '80s, Craviotto (pre-DW) and Bill Gibson from Huey Lewis & the News partnered in the Solid drum company to make 1-ply snares. I don't think the venture lasted very long, but the snares are very nice and very hard to find. I'm not sure resale is even a consideration with them, since the owners tend to hang onto them. But when they do come up, they sell pretty fast.

I would love to have one but have only seen a few in the last 30 years.

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Old 07-10-2017, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

Being in the construction industry, wood is becoming more and more expensive. Any dream of solid stave drums being the norm is highly unlikely as a budgetary consideration in the not too distant future. More and more home construction is changing to engineered wood products, which can be made of wood shavings and sawdust and resins. I'd guess as wood becomes more and more expensive, some day drummers will be arguing over which hardwood resin molded shells have the best properties. lol

Honestly a lot of people seem to gloss over the cost of the drum finish in the price of kits. If you finished a set of Pearl Exports with the same quality of finish as some of the expensive DW's or other custom shops out there, I think the price would be pretty similar. And that's not knocking either brand. But I seriously doubt the cost of materials varies much per drum between the different manufacturers.

Someone else mentioned different shell types, and how some custom shops just use Keller Shells, like that's a bad thing. I wonder if you took a 6 ply maple shell from Keller, from Gretsch, from Yamaha, from Sonor, heck any ply manufacturer you want. Cut the same bearing edges, mounted the same hardware, use the same skins. Use a tunebot to tune them all exactly the same. Would there be any difference at all that is actually audible? I feel skeptical about that.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by Wave Deckel View Post
Now you completely killed the G.A.S.
I know. Sorry ;)

TBH though, I've never owned a Pearl Export.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:46 PM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by whiteknightx View Post
Being in the construction industry, wood is becoming more and more expensive. Any dream of solid stave drums being the norm is highly unlikely as a budgetary consideration in the not too distant future. More and more home construction is changing to engineered wood products, which can be made of wood shavings and sawdust and resins. I'd guess as wood becomes more and more expensive, some day drummers will be arguing over which hardwood resin molded shells have the best properties. lol

Honestly a lot of people seem to gloss over the cost of the drum finish in the price of kits. If you finished a set of Pearl Exports with the same quality of finish as some of the expensive DW's or other custom shops out there, I think the price would be pretty similar. And that's not knocking either brand. But I seriously doubt the cost of materials varies much per drum between the different manufacturers.

Someone else mentioned different shell types, and how some custom shops just use Keller Shells, like that's a bad thing. I wonder if you took a 6 ply maple shell from Keller, from Gretsch, from Yamaha, from Sonor, heck any ply manufacturer you want. Cut the same bearing edges, mounted the same hardware, use the same skins. Use a tunebot to tune them all exactly the same. Would there be any difference at all that is actually audible? I feel skeptical about that.
With the advances in materials science and 3-D printing, I think we'll have mostly moved beyond wood within 20 years, maybe even 15. The spun fiberglass shells are far more resonant than any wood shell, and sound really good. It's just a matter of running computer models that can accurately predict the sound qualities of any proposed material for drum-building, and then making it. I suspect we'll even have shells that can change their overall shape/structure at the small scale too, so that you can have roundovers with a mahogany-type sound on one song, followed by rosewood-type sound with sharp 45s on the next.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

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Originally Posted by sonormapex View Post
We,ve all had lots of time to think this over, so as far as drums go, would your next purchase be from a custom builder or one of the big guys?
I think it really depends on my budget and what I was wanting. I have a hard time arguing if one of the "big guys" is better/worse than one of the "little guys." I think if I was wanting something custom, I'd get a local builder to build it for me because he's VERY reasonable and he does great work. Plus, I'd much rather put money in the pocket of someone who is close by, and I wouldn't have to worry about shipping if there is any warranty work that needs to happen.

I NEVER go into any musical instrument ownership thinking about resale value. Ever. I have sold some stuff, but it's never my intent to buy and resale someday.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

There's a practical argument to this as well in favor of the big names. If you ever get to the point where you're traveling around playing all the time (like most big name artists), the big names will have a network of distribution points for you to get drums when you need them.

Years ago at my first NAMM show visit, I spoke with a rep at Hohner, who distributes Sonor. And he explained to me the issues he had getting Gavin Harrison a kit when he played on David Lettermen's TV show. It was a nightmare for him because Sonor basically ships out exactly what Gavin needs for the performance and has it there waiting for him when he arrives for the show. Only in this instance, FedEx lost the entire kit. The panicked rep then had to scrounge around to find a kit for Gavin and came close to the wire.

I'm sure a small little custom shop would not be able to provide a kit to their artists unless they had that same kind of distribution network (sometimes worldwide) to be able to provide for their endorsees. After this story, I'm fairly certain that no big name drummer is actually carrying his own stuff on planes for a gig. The company is handling all those logistics.

Even with my work at Disneyland, we don't expect drummers to be bringing in their own stuff, we provide drums and amplifiers at least, so all the talent has to do is show up and play. Can you imagine a small custom shop just having to provide drums to a theme park for advertisement? That would probably kill any profit margin they may have had.

I love the work some of the custom shops do, but it's not necessary for me to be able to play. The gear's job for me is to just not break down while I'm playing it and to sound good. I can get that out of a lot of gear, and at the rate I'm going, I'm going to be able to say I've tried everybody's drums before I die ;)
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:11 PM
sonormapex sonormapex is offline
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Default Re: Custom or Big name?

"We provide drums"...I,d be interested to know what you do supply, including hardware, cymbals etc.
A kit like that would be tweaked and tuned more in one month than mine would be in a year..LOL.
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