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  #1  
Old 11-28-2008, 05:34 AM
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Default The "versatility" of gear

Is gear really versatile or not?

On this forum, people ask/talk about a particular cymbal/snare/kit, and the question/discussion of its versatility often enters the conversation at some point. I've done some thinking about this for some time, and my question is, "What exactly does it mean for something to be versatile?" Is X pair of hats really better suited for jazz or rock than Y pair? Or, is there a certain pair out there that covers the gamut over all genres? And, what is it about them that makes it so? Plus, does anyone in the audience, or the rest of the band/ensemble, even really care?

When someone comments on a snare and says, "Man, this snare is great for rock, jazz, funk, etc...", part of me says, "Well, what snare ISN'T?" It's a freakin' snare! Obviously, there are sounds more pleasing to some peoples' ears, and those same sounds aren't quite as attractive to others' senses. I'm not talking about personal preference of sound characteristics, but rather defining a genre of music by a set of overtones set off by only certain models of instruments.

Since music and gear preference are such subjective and expressive things, can we really discount some piece of drum equipment as "not being suitable for (insert genre here)!". Are we all just playing some silly imagined game when we do this?

I'm not looking for gear plugs AT ALL, by the way, but WHY we talk about gear in this way, and is it really even necessary???

I would love to hear everyones' thoughts on this...
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2008, 05:44 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

Well, no, some gear is not versatile. My 18" bass drum wouldn't cut it for heavy metal. My ride cymbal is very versatile though, I think it could be great for any type of music, I just happen to use it to play jazz. My snare drum, I don't know. Probably not loud enough for rock music. My 13" K hats? I don't know. My crash cymbal, I think a metal drummer would break it on the first song.
Yes, I do think that some drums and cymbals are better suited for some kinds of music. Isn't that why there are so many to choose from?
I wouldn't want a 22" bass drum, for example. It wouldn't be right for the music I play.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Originally Posted by jay norem View Post
Well, no, some gear is not versatile. My 18" bass drum wouldn't cut it for heavy metal.........
Yes, I do think that some drums and cymbals are better suited for some kinds of music. Isn't that why there are so many to choose from?
I have heard many 18" bass drums in my travels. Tuned right and miked through a PA system, a lot of them have the cajones for metal music. Punchy, thick, resonant and big-sounding.

Wait! What did I just type? Isn't this last paragraph exactly what I was referring to? See, even I do it. I just pigeon-holed a genre and a certain bass drum sound as being linked. Sheesh! Why isn't an 18" bass drum ideal for ANY genre? It's a representation of a bass drum on a drum kit...

I'm starting to think that there are so many sizes of bass drums and genre-specific, or even non-genre-specific (i.e. "versatile") drums and cymbals because we're being fed a huge marketing (and even cultural, within the drumming world) pile of balogna.

Why would someone, for example, say, "I use such-and-such snare for my rock gigs, but I'd never use it for a jazz gig. I have this snare for that..." Why NOT use the jazz snare for rock? It's a snare for crying out loud! Or, how can one person claim that, and then turn around and find a snare that, according to them, "works for both"?

Maybe I'll read this thread tomorrow and say to myself, "What was I thinking?". More thoughts???........
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:33 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

Sound is a very subjective thing first off. What "sounds" you are after are strictly based on a set of personal parameters based on many factors related to the live performance and also the recording of music in the studio. Drums can be altered by head selection and tuning easily enough in most cases unless the sizes or particular character of the drums don't match up for certain different types of musical settings they are needed for. Cymbals are a completely different animal altogether IMO and are best selected more carefully individually for the musical choice of setting and sound/blend with other instruments requirements to be used in since they can't be "tuned" for the music so to speak by the owner.

As far a versatility even in a situation like mine playing acoustic jazz my musical instrument "toolbox" is well equiped for a wide selection of needs for different types of players, instruments and playing situations, rooms etc.. both live and in the studio that cross my path. I just make the selection from the toolbox for each job at hand on a individual bases for what "sounds" are best for the situation.

Reminds me of studio guys I know who are very specific about having a wide selection of snares in particular to choose from for different types of sessions and studio recording projects. Sometimes they show up with 5 or more snares till they hear just the right sound for the artist/project/jingle etc.. at hand well listening and checking the playbacks to zero in on the best fit for each job.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2008, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

I agree with you, Caddy.....mostly.

I've played many many kits over my playing years. These days I play smallish sized maple drums with fast crashes and jazzy rides, but I can also get on to most gigging kits and make them work for me without too much heartburn.

But I have to tell you about a drummer friend of mine who plays for a big rock act. At his home, he has set up a massive 14 piece Tama Starclassic (birch), with the wierdest, heaviest, clangiest Paiste cymbals I've ever heard.

Recently at a small party at his house, he asked me to have a go at his kit... and I have never ever felt more ill at ease on a drum kit!

I couldn't play it.. it made strange sounds, the drums, the cymbals..the heads, the sticks.. Some things we too loud, some too dead, some I had to hit hard some I could play soft even if I wanted to...I felt I was in a very very strange place....

SO yeah, to answer your question, we go way overboard on buying into product sales pitches of the manufacturers, but man,,, is there's a lot of stuff out there ( and Its all on Richard's kit ; ), that would never work for me.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:39 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
I have heard many 18" bass drums in my travels. Tuned right and miked through a PA system, a lot of them have the cajones for metal music. Punchy, thick, resonant and big-sounding.

Wait! What did I just type? Isn't this last paragraph exactly what I was referring to? See, even I do it. I just pigeon-holed a genre and a certain bass drum sound as being linked. Sheesh! Why isn't an 18" bass drum ideal for ANY genre? It's a representation of a bass drum on a drum kit...

I'm starting to think that there are so many sizes of bass drums and genre-specific, or even non-genre-specific (i.e. "versatile") drums and cymbals because we're being fed a huge marketing (and even cultural, within the drumming world) pile of balogna.

Why would someone, for example, say, "I use such-and-such snare for my rock gigs, but I'd never use it for a jazz gig. I have this snare for that..." Why NOT use the jazz snare for rock? It's a snare for crying out loud! Or, how can one person claim that, and then turn around and find a snare that, according to them, "works for both"?

Maybe I'll read this thread tomorrow and say to myself, "What was I thinking?". More thoughts???........
Especially with a mic! With a mic, an 18" kick can = 26" kick. I agree with the principal.

You can use a BOP kit for any genre, especially with today's electronics.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

I think it's more of an association of sounds to what we are accustomed to hearing. When playing big band, i want to sound like Buddy or Gene, how their kits were tuned. When playing metal, i want to sound like Lars Ulrich or Vinnie Paul and I've got a specific sound in my head of what i'm after. To me though, personally, it's in the head selection and tuning. I've got evans genera g2's on my ddrum bubinga kit for a brighter focused attack but i use remo coated ambassadors on my vintage Ludwig maple classics to get a warmer, more organic sound. Am i buying into the hype? maybe, but i'm very finicky in my own preferences
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamer View Post

As far a versatility even in a situation like mine playing acoustic jazz my musical instrument "toolbox" is well equiped for a wide selection of needs for different types of players, instruments and playing situations, rooms etc.. both live and in the studio that cross my path. I just make the selection from the toolbox for each job at hand on a individual bases for what "sounds" are best for the situation.

Reminds me of studio guys I know who are very specific about having a wide selection of snares in particular to choose from for different types of sessions and studio recording projects. Sometimes they show up with 5 or more snares till they hear just the right sound for the artist/project/jingle etc.. at hand well listening and checking the playbacks to zero in on the best fit for each job.
Yeah, but isn't a ride a ride? Who's to say that your wonderful jazz cymbals couldn't find a place on a rock drummer's kit? Who's to say that a 20" Zildjian A Medium Ride wouldn't get the job done just as well as a hand-crafted Turkish cymbal on a jazz gig? Why do we try to claim that certain sounds from certain instruments only "work" with certain genres? It's not the actual instruments that attribute themselves to the specific tasks we use them for. It's all subjective, and I'm wondering why exactly we (myself included) have the audacity to profess that there's anything more to it than an opinion. We present it to each other on this forum and to ourselves as if it were some "fact" that we weren't making up in our own minds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post

SO yeah, to answer your question, we go way overboard on buying into product sales pitches of the manufacturers, but man,,, is there's a lot of stuff out there ( and Its all on Richard's kit ; ), that would never work for me.
There's lots of stuff that I don't like playing on. I'm very finicky about my own gear and what I use specific pieces of my collection for. I'm trying to wax philosophical about WHY we do what we do when, truth be told, we could use any instrument to fill a slot where it's needed--but we somehow in our minds have trained ourselves to think that "this" or "that" instrument simply isn't "good enough" or "appropriate" for a particular application.

I got thinking about this in reference to some recent threads about; orchestral vs. drum kit snares, jazz vs. rock rides, versatile hi hats, the versatility of 18" kick drums, snares for jazz, and some others...

Who's to say that we can't use a drum kit snare as an orchestral snare? (well, me for one, but why do I even bother?) I'm just trying to get to the core of the general consensus about these matters...

More thoughts???
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  #9  
Old 11-28-2008, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

[quote=caddywumpus;507277]Yeah, but isn't a ride a ride? Who's to say that your wonderful jazz cymbals couldn't find a place on a rock drummer's kit? Who's to say that a 20" Zildjian A Medium Ride wouldn't get the job done just as well as a hand-crafted Turkish cymbal on a jazz gig? Why do we try to claim that certain sounds from certain instruments only "work" with certain genres? It's not the actual instruments that attribute themselves to the specific tasks we use them for. It's all subjective, and I'm wondering why exactly we (myself included) have the audacity to profess that there's anything more to it than an opinion. We present it to each other on this forum and to ourselves as if it were some "fact" that we weren't making up in our own minds.


QUOTE]

NO not all rides are created equal :} Some cymbals simply sound "better" or "fit better" with certain kinds of music based on the players musical ideas, touch etc.. based on a certain range of cymbal characteristics and dynamic response for in particular by example in my case acoustically related ensemble jazz music situations to my ear as intended by design and other cymbals certainly do not being designed with a different set of parameters and music in mind to my ears.Your not going to play at a small concert hall playing an intimate evening of subtle piano trio jazz with a set of Zildjian Pitch blacks LOL!

Subjective opinion yes agreed but no gray area for me when I know and have what best fits the character of the music to a tee to my ears for my touch and the music I play. Straight up plain musical common sense the way I see it personally and professionally speaking.

Maybe my pies would be fine for heavier loud music but the dark complex qualities of them probably wouldn't fit {or be heard} and be cutting and bright enough for really loud music and for the players intent of what is desired from them in the first place is my quess on it. Some of them would be played much to hard to try and get the volume required out of them when they were originally designed to best fit well in a mix at softer levels for a blend in a acoustic piano situation by example. Makes sense? Does for me. No right or wrong only the "right" choice of instrument{s} for what the music needs best for each players individual situation.
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Last edited by Steamer; 11-28-2008 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

Caddy, I can certainly relate to your struggle with the contradiction. I find that I like the sound of thinner crashes to give a quicker explosion with a trashy element to them. My HHX studio crash did just that, but I find a far more complex and fuller sound from my Paiste Twenty crashes but they still retain that trashy, quick sound. Superior in sound to my ear.

But to your point, I don't find one more versatile than the other. Period. They are just great sounding cymbals.

Also, to further your point, I commented on another thread many months ago, that I feel there is an EXTREMELY small percentage of us drummers that can pass a Pepsi Challege from one drum brand to another. For example, if someone walked into a bar (no this is not the beginning of every joke you've heard) and the band's drummer had a huge Pearl logo on his black reso head, but every drum in his set was a Yamaha Maple Custom, and someone asked the guy the next day what drums the band played, what do you think he would say?

Hearing a difference in birch or maple is one thing but hearing a difference in Tama's maple or DW's maple? C'mon! It's witchcraft. And like it's been mentioned before, with recording variables and controls, can you really tell if someone is playing Sabian bronze or Zildjian bronze (of course many would argue it's the same bronze, but still). How many of us could identify by ear a brand of cymbal? Would you bet your kit on it?

We like what we like. But more importantly, we like what we think we like. Many of us don't really know. For me, I'll admit that there's a pride in ownership factor that probably carries more weight than it "should" in my gear purchasing. Anyway, who was it that said, "I have the simplist of tastes. I only like the best."

My other obsessive hobby is watches (no surprise by my avatar). And there may not be a more subjective object on the planet than watches. Some only care if tells the time. To me every watch tells the time, I want it to speak to me. There is no limit to what I would spend on a watch or drums. As long as I can afford to part with that amount of money I will have no regrets. Not many people are cool with dropping $4000 on a watch that "all it does is tell time." Just like many people think it's crazy to drop a year's worth of college tuition on "just a set of drums."

Bottom line is that what gear a drummer plays seems to only matter to other drummers (and occasionally other musicians). What a drummer plays never seems to matter to the fans. They just don't care. Ever been asked what kind of cymbal you played by anyone who didn't have a drum key in his/her pocket?
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

yeah, agreed on all. There are certain situations where you need a specific tool for the application that you are after. ie- In an orchestral environment, sensitivity and articulation are requisites for certain arrangements and the snare off of a pdp 805 or pearl export kit just isn't going to match up with a Ludwig COB with a super-sensitive strainer when attempting Evocation #1 for orchestral snare by William J. Schinstine . My popcorn soprano piccolo maple snare just won't cut it when i'm covering "Blood and Thunder" from Mastodon either. I have a k constantinople 22" that has a nice "ping" and a dry sizzle to it that would just turn into an inaudible wash if i tried to play metal with it. My Paiste formula 602 gets that job done easily and cuts through a jackass on my left with a marshall stack jcm 800 and a jackass on my right with a mesa boogie triple rectifier who've called volume war.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Originally Posted by TenPastTen View Post
Caddy, I can certainly relate to your struggle with the contradiction. I find that I like the sound of thinner crashes to give a quicker explosion with a trashy element to them. My HHX studio crash did just that, but I find a far more complex and fuller sound from my Paiste Twenty crashes but they still retain that trashy, quick sound. Superior in sound to my ear.

But to your point, I don't find one more versatile than the other. Period. They are just great sounding cymbals.

Also, to further your point, I commented on another thread many months ago, that I feel there is an EXTREMELY small percentage of us drummers that can pass a Pepsi Challege from one drum brand to another. For example, if someone walked into a bar (no this is not the beginning of every joke you've heard) and the band's drummer had a huge Pearl logo on his black reso head, but every drum in his set was a Yamaha Maple Custom, and someone asked the guy the next day what drums the band played, what do you think he would say?

Hearing a difference in birch or maple is one thing but hearing a difference in Tama's maple or DW's maple? C'mon! It's witchcraft. And like it's been mentioned before, with recording variables and controls, can you really tell if someone is playing Sabian bronze or Zildjian bronze (of course many would argue it's the same bronze, but still). How many of us could identify by ear a brand of cymbal? Would you bet your kit on it?

We like what we like. But more importantly, we like what we think we like. Many of us don't really know. For me, I'll admit that there's a pride in ownership factor that probably carries more weight than it "should" in my gear purchasing. Anyway, who was it that said, "I have the simplist of tastes. I only like the best."

My other obsessive hobby is watches (no surprise by my avatar). And there may not be a more subjective object on the planet than watches. Some only care if tells the time. To me every watch tells the time, I want it to speak to me. There is no limit to what I would spend on a watch or drums. As long as I can afford to part with that amount of money I will have no regrets. Not many people are cool with dropping $4000 on a watch that "all it does is tell time." Just like many people think it's crazy to drop a year's worth of college tuition on "just a set of drums."

Bottom line is that what gear a drummer plays seems to only matter to other drummers (and occasionally other musicians). What a drummer plays never seems to matter to the fans. They just don't care. Ever been asked what kind of cymbal you played by anyone who didn't have a drum key in his/her pocket?
Many of us simply use our ears as our guide to our favorite sounds. I do and know what sounds I like and what sounds don't work for me as a musician and musical instruments just as you and countless others do based on your own individual needs. Pretty simple and it's not a crime to be picky and discerning for any individual regarding going about searching out those certain particular sounds that define our musical stamp or personally that really"do it" just right in the context of the music you play. Sound and character are always #1 with hype being very far down at the bottom of the list at least for me

We are all different with different taste and sound desires based on many factors so it's fine to let our various choices in instruments reflect that in my view.
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Last edited by Steamer; 11-28-2008 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:49 AM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Many of us simply use our ears as our guide to our favorite sounds. I do and know what sounds I like and what sounds don't work for me as a musician and musical instruments just as you and countless others do based on your own individual needs. Pretty simple and it's not a crime to be picky and discerning for any individual regarding going about searching out those certain particular sounds that define our musical stamp or personally that really"do it" just right in the context of the music you play. Sound and character are always #1 with hype being very far down at the bottom of the list at least for me

We are all different with different taste and sound desires based on many factors so it's fine to let our various choices in instruments reflect that in my view.

A very eloquent summation. It will take much more exposure to much more gear to refine my taste as much as yours.

Fact of the matter is, if Stanton Moore played my Mapex M Birch and Paiste Twentys they would sound downright greasy while dripping funk. If Tomas Haake played my Mapex M Birch and Paiste Twentys it would sound like power punches of death with cutting, biting bronze barks.

When I play Stanton's Gretsch USA Customs and Bosphorus gear, I sound...like me. Same with Haake's Sonor Designer Series and HHX's.

I quess to rubberstamp an answer to the question: no. If gear was truly universal, there would not be so much of it. Same as drumming.
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

I didn't read the whole thread, but it all comes down to the drummer I think. I think a lot of great jazz drummers around here can play jazz very well on that 24" Chris Adler ride, even though it's not designed for it.
You have to make the gear work for you, great drummers sound great on cheap drumsets with Stagg cymbals. I you play the beat like you want to hear it, it doesn't matter if you have a Zilbian HHK Custom or something like that, people will probably just hear your beat, and that it's tight (or swingy if that's what you want to play :-)) .

I totally love gear myself though, and I am dreaming of a big set one day, with all the cymbals that sound exactly like I want them, even though I am probably the only one that's going to hear the big difference.
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Old 11-28-2008, 04:04 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

What would you think of led zeppelin if john bonham used a 12" piccolo snare? or how bout an 18" bass drum? or smaller cymbals? I think we would think of him very differently. Why? because his sound was what made him unique, his power, his passion. there's only so much power you can achieve from an 18" bass. Kashmir would have been nothing special.

I think it just comes down to personal preference and what sounds just "fit" in with the music your playing.
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

Thanks for the comments so far. Here's the thing...I agree with ALL of you so far. I know that Steamer and TenPastTen have different viewpoints on this, but I can see both sides of the issue. I guess that's my problem. I'm picky about my gear, I'm very finicky about my sounds that I'm creating, but I also am of the opinion that a lot of the stuff we talk about in regards to gear is all just opinion, and none of it really matters. Historically speaking, a lot of the greatest players never played on the greatest gear. We are more obsessed with the holy grail of kits and cymbals now more than ever.

This sums up exactly what I was thinking when I made the post. Thanks for articulating it so well, TenPastTen...
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But to your point, I don't find one more versatile than the other. Period. They are just great sounding cymbals.
Once you get above the beginner cymbal level, the cymbals are all great. Pingy and bright or trashy and dark--it doesn't matter. One cymbal isn't inherently "better" than all of the others. It's all just personal opinion and taste.
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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I didn't read the whole thread, but it all comes down to the drummer I think. I think a lot of great jazz drummers around here can play jazz very well on that 24" Chris Adler ride, even though it's not designed for it.
You have to make the gear work for you, great drummers sound great on cheap drumsets with Stagg cymbals. I you play the beat like you want to hear it, it doesn't matter if you have a Zilbian HHK Custom or something like that, people will probably just hear your beat, and that it's tight (or swingy if that's what you want to play :-)) .

I totally love gear myself though, and I am dreaming of a big set one day, with all the cymbals that sound exactly like I want them, even though I am probably the only one that's going to hear the big difference.

Yes I understand your point. A good player player can adapt to gear to still try and get their sound out. My point is valid too that why not choose to play an instrument{s} that fit much easier into the mix of the particular music you select to play from the get go. You don't have to work quite so hard to get to the "zone of character" you're after right away which you can achieve on the spot for instruments designed for certain type of musical situations/blend with other instruments in mind. This works just the same for soft acoustic jazz right up to very loud heavy metal about finding what's best needed to suit the player and the music without having to fight to get the sound just"right".

Adapting is fine but having the right tool{s} to begin with sure makes the job a hell of alot easier and just "sounds" more appropriate for each given genre to my ears.
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Old 11-28-2008, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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What would you think of led zeppelin if john bonham used a 12" piccolo snare? or how bout an 18" bass drum? or smaller cymbals? I think we would think of him very differently. Why? because his sound was what made him unique, his power, his passion. there's only so much power you can achieve from an 18" bass. Kashmir would have been nothing special.

I think it just comes down to personal preference and what sounds just "fit" in with the music your playing.
Yeah, and what if Sing Sing Sing were played on the snare drum, or Ringo played on a Gretsch Round Badge in bop sizes on the Ed Sullivan Show? The face of drumming would be waaaayyyyyy different. It would still be here, but the trends would be different...
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:02 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

Just remembered a thread I'd started a while back called " gearsucker" which talked about this dilemma...

he's my 1st post from that thread. This performance is still etched as a riveting musical memory in my head:

Walking down the streets of NYC, this summer, I came across a 3 piece street band that was burning up the street, playing some seriously funky music. The Sax player and bass were hot, but the young drummer…must have been 18-19…was something else. He was smokin'... He was doing the most incredible things I’d ever heard. And I've heard a few...

....On a beat up and torn old No- name bass drum, a snare with a lug missing from the batter head and a hi-hat that kept collapsing. That was it.

The sound and the energy creating by this band was unreal. Even the jaded ol' New Yorkers had to stop sucking on their Starbucks and listen.


Wonder if we sometimes make too big a deal about gear, and heads, cymbals etc, and not enough about the music were making.

I think I am often guilty of this. What do you think?
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:03 PM
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Yes I understand your point. A good player player can adapt to gear to still try and get their sound out. My point is valid too that why not choose to play an instrument{s} that fit much easier into the mix of the particular music you select to play from the get go. You don't have to work quite so hard to get to the "zone of character" you're after right away which you can achieve on the spot for instruments designed for certain type of musical situations/blend with other instruments in mind. This works just the same for soft acoustic jazz right up to very loud heavy metal about finding what's best needed to suit the player and the music without having to fight to get the sound just"right".

Adapting is fine but having the right tool{s} to begin with sure makes the job a hell of alot easier and just "sounds" more appropriate for each given genre to my ears.
Yeah, but aren't we just kidding ourselves by saying that "x" gear is better suited for "y" music than "z" gear? When, how, and why did we learn this--is it because it's what we've heard before and are simply going along with the norm and the pattern already established by players who came before? Or, are we coming up with new and innovative personal opinions and choices that reflect our own ground-breaking innovations to the world of drumming? Anywhere between these two points is just blowing smoke up our own butts and into our inflated drumming egos, I think. No offense to anyone at all. I'm talking mostly to myself here, and trying to stir up more discussion...

Who decided that smaller singing drums were a part of the jazz sound? Where did we get the notion that rock drummers should play on kits that have a big boomy sound?
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Yeah, but aren't we just kidding ourselves by saying that "x" gear is better suited for "y" music than "z" gear? When, how, and why did we learn this--is it because it's what we've heard before and are simply going along with the norm and the pattern already established by players who came before? Or, are we coming up with new and innovative personal opinions and choices that reflect our own ground-breaking innovations to the world of drumming? Anywhere between these two points is just blowing smoke up our own butts and into our inflated drumming egos, I think. No offense to anyone at all. I'm talking mostly to myself here, and trying to stir up more discussion...

Who decided that smaller singing drums were a part of the jazz sound? Where did we get the notion that rock drummers should play on kits that have a big boomy sound?

No. If you've heard the new Pitch Black cymbals in person {like I have} my point of view comes home in spades my friend :}

No ego it's about SOUND and how it fits with your choice of music being the bottom line.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:29 PM
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No. If you've heard the new Pitch Black cymbals in person {like I have} my point of view comes home in spades my friend :}

No ego it's about SOUND and how it fits with your choice of music being the bottom line.
Yes, I have heard the new Pitch Black cymbals. Hold on, I think I just puked a little in my mouth...

...okay, I'm back now. :P

You illustrated the point I'm trying to contest (for discussion purposes). "your choice". There's no rule book written on gear selection for particular gigs. No hard and fast laws pertaining to specific sounds and how they relate to certain genres. It's all just a belief that we drummers, as a "culture", have subscribed to.

So, if Bonham had played on a bop kit, it would be pompous and arrogant of us to say that Led Zeppelin wouldn't have had as big of an impact as they did on the face of rock music. Maybe trends in the drumming world might be a bit different, but the fact is that the songs would have remained the same...
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

[quote=TheGroceryman;507406]What would you think of led zeppelin if john bonham used a 12" piccolo snare? or how bout an 18" bass drum? or smaller cymbals? I think we would think of him very differently. Why? because his sound was what made him unique, his power, his passion. there's only so much power you can achieve from an 18" bass. Kashmir would have been nothing special.

I respectfully disagree with this. In my opinion, if JB did use that piccolo snare and the 18" bass drum, we would have been imprinted with THAT sound, which in no way would have subtracted anything from the conviction we hear when he plays. It always cracks me up when someone says "I play Death Metal (or whatever) what kit is good for that?" It's not the kit, it's how authentic you can play that style of music. Everyone tends to like what they're used to. If our jazz forefathers had used deeply tuned drums and triggered samples, we would have been imprinted with that sound and everyone would have followed suit. Anyone ever hear Bala Fleck play classical music on the banjo? Not at all a "classic" classical instrument, but it sounds AMAZING. We all need to open our minds and realize it's not the sound of the kit, it's how authentic you can execute the style of the music you're playing, no matter WHAT you're playing it on. Styles of music are conceived in the brain, they are not dependent on the instrument it emanates from. Jay I bet if you took a Terry Bozzio sized kit to your next jazz gig and played the gig how you normally do, the end result would be....jazz
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Yes, I have heard the new Pitch Black cymbals. Hold on, I think I just puked a little in my mouth......okay, I'm back now. :P
Thanks for the laugh that was priceless





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the songs would have remained the same...
Pun intended?
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:48 PM
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I respectfully disagree with this. In my opinion, if JB did use that piccolo snare and the 18" bass drum, we would have been imprinted with THAT sound, which in no way would have subtracted anything from the conviction we hear when he plays. It always cracks me up when someone says "I play Death Metal (or whatever) what kit is good for that?" It's not the kit, it's how authentic you can play that style of music. Everyone tends to like what they're used to. If our jazz forefathers had used deeply tuned drums and triggered samples, we would have been imprinted with that sound and everyone would have followed suit. Anyone ever hear Bala Fleck play classical music on the banjo? Not at all a "classic" classical instrument, but it sounds AMAZING. We all need to open our minds and realize it's not the sound of the kit, it's how authentic you can execute the style of the music you're playing, no matter WHAT you're playing it on. Styles of music are conceived in the brain, they are not dependent on the instrument it emanates from. Jay I bet if you took a Terry Bozzio sized kit to your next jazz gig and played the gig how you normally do, the end result would be....jazz
But what about someone's preference for a particular sound within a particular style? Wouldn't it sound weird for somebody to play Kashmir on a Sonor Jungle kit or a Yamaha HipGig? They could play it with the same conviction, but the sound wouldn't portray the attitude of the song.
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Old 11-28-2008, 06:58 PM
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They could play it with the same conviction, but the sound wouldn't portray the attitude of the song.
I agree it would sound different. Better or worse is subjective. Attitude is a human quality that isn't dependent on X sized drum or Y sounding cymbal. Great thread Caddy, very intellectual.
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:02 PM
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Great thread Caddy, very intellectual.
That's how I roll. :P

There are two sides here, both of them absolutely correct, and yet both of them dead-wrong. There, now it's not just intellectual, but philosophical as well, as drumming SHOULD be...
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

What you did here is you've exposed all of our preconceived notions of what we think jazz drums, or rock drums, or hip hop drums SHOULD sound like. If someone came along tomorrow and covered "When The Levee Breaks" with a tight dry hip hop sounding drum kit, it would certainly sound different, and some will definitely think it's cooler that way and others.....well... some puke might creep up into their mouths (still laughing over that)
We all have preconceived notions.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:08 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

I still thinks its important not to dismiss the effect of sound and response in regards to certain instruments used and the music it relates to.

When somebody asked Tony Williams why he didn't use a 18" bass drum anymore switching to a 22" instead for the recording of "Million Dollar Legs" he simply responded to the interviewer that he had to play the 18" bass drum far to hard to get the sound and depth of tone that fell instantly more naturally in place with using a larger 22" drum based for what he wanted to hear out of a bass drum in character for the music at that point in time for him. Musicians choose sound/instruments to best fit the music at hand needed for any given situation by my experience.

Sound related to music and the related effect different instruments used in it and how it changes {the choice of instrument} the overall character and feel of the music IS important and can't be argued against successfully in my view based on the greater picture being the sonic shape of the overall music being played.
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

Do we get obsessive over gear sometimes? I think anyone that is registered on this forum is guilty. And I don't think it's a problem. We want to hear certain sounds in music and we are picky about hearing the sound that we want. If we really thought that it all was the same to the audience or the average listener, we'd all be playing CB700s with pearl cymbals. There's nothing wrong with favoring nice gear that we think sounds good. Gear is versatile when we think the sound it makes sounds good in different types of music. It's as simple as that. I haven't played all the gear in the world but I don't believe that you can say that it's all marketing hype and gear craze and that gear can't really be versatile, or nice. Even in the few drum kits I've played I've noticed a difference between the nice ones and the not-so-nice ones and the same goes for cymbals.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Jay I bet if you took a Terry Bozzio sized kit to your next jazz gig and played the gig how you normally do, the end result would be....jazz
Hah. If I did that, nobody else would be able to fit in the rooms I play.
But I agree, it's more about how you play than what you play it on. My ride cymbal is not a jazz ride cymbal, but it's the one that spoke to me and so it was the one I wanted. But I very much wanted that high singing bop sound from my drums and waited until I found exactly the right kit for the right price, and I knew I'd found it by the way it spoke to me. This is very subjective stuff here.
Who says that you have to have that sound for bebop? It's just a sort of tradition, I guess, isn't it?
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Especially with a mic! With a mic, an 18" kick can = 26" kick. I agree with the principal.

You can use a BOP kit for any genre, especially with today's electronics.
haha and we classify small drums as ideal for playing bebop

as we listen to a lot of music in a single genre, we tend to label those sounds as a "jazz" sound or w.e and we try to recreate it. Even cymbal and drum companies call their gear "jazz rides" or "bop kit" since a lot of ppl played gear with those characteristics in w.e era.

so you're right. one can technically use any kit for whatever genre if music
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:28 PM
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Do we get obsessive over gear sometimes? I think anyone that is registered on this forum is guilty. And I don't think it's a problem. We want to hear certain sounds in music and we are picky about hearing the sound that we want. If we really thought that it all was the same to the audience or the average listener, we'd all be playing CB700s with pearl cymbals. There's nothing wrong with favoring nice gear that we think sounds good. Gear is versatile when we think the sound it makes sounds good in different types of music. It's as simple as that. I haven't played all the gear in the world but I don't believe that you can say that it's all marketing hype and gear craze and that gear can't really be versatile, or nice. Even in the few drum kits I've played I've noticed a difference between the nice ones and the not-so-nice ones and the same goes for cymbals.
Exactly. But, did you ever stop to think that your opinion of what's "nice" and what's "not-so-nice" are completely subjective. They're just your opinions. Even if the drumming community as a whole has a downward look on CB700 drums, maybe they're being too elitist or trying to imagine something about the drums themselves that might sound bad, when in reality, the difference isn't that big? Just a hypothetical question...

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Sound related to music and the related effect different instruments used in it and how it changes {the choice of instrument} the overall character and feel of the music IS important and can't be argued against successfully in my view based on the greater picture being the sonic shape of the overall music being played.
Yes, and different cymbals, drum sets, guitar tones, keyboard patches, vocal ranges, etc. can evoke different moods, and SHOULD be used as such. They are like colors on the palate for us to use to make this art we love called music. Yes, I whole-heartedly agree.

But, did you ever think that maybe we're being arrogant by saying that "such and such" an instrument is better than another, rather than simply stating that it has "such and such" differing sonic characteristics? By saying that an instrument is extremely versatile, we're projecting our pre-conceived idealistic expectations and tastes onto the styles which we're referring to, and stating that this particular instrument has the sonic qualities to cover all of the possible demands of said genres. Or, conversely, we isolate a style of music and commit it to having very specific aural qualities that only certain instruments have the capacity to produce pleasing sounds for. Either way, I feel as though we're being closed minded and opinionated. We're limiting our options, and music may not progress forward with this kind of thinking.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:36 PM
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Either way, I feel as though we're being closed minded and opinionated. We're limiting our options, and music may not progress forward with this kind of thinking.
You may be right, but choosing drum kit is a huge thing, it's expensive, so you're naturally going to go with what you like. Obviously. Why would a 16-year-old who listens to metal not choose a "bop" kit? Because metal drummers don't play bop kits, they play big kits with big drums.
I chose my kit because it sounded the way I like jazz drums to sound. Was I wrong? No, I love my drums, they sound great. And now that I have my drums I can re-think my reasons for choosing them all I want, but they're the drums I have and I just don't have the money to go kit shopping. And the funny thing is, if I did I'd probably choose drums just like the ones I have now!
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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But, did you ever think that maybe we're being arrogant by saying that "such and such" an instrument is better than another, rather than simply stating that it has "such and such" differing sonic characteristics? By saying that an instrument is extremely versatile, we're projecting our pre-conceived idealistic expectations and tastes onto the styles which we're referring to, and stating that this particular instrument has the sonic qualities to cover all of the possible demands of said genres. Or, conversely, we isolate a style of music and commit it to having very specific aural qualities that only certain instruments have the capacity to produce pleasing sounds for. Either way, I feel as though we're being closed minded and opinionated. We're limiting our options, and music may not progress forward with this kind of thinking.
wow, this is like higher philosophy, and I totally agree with you.

I am guilty of the same as everyone though, as I said already. I tend to want warmer, softer high hats for worship music then heavy, clangy, sharp hats. That's why I've changed the Zildjian Edge set to Bosphorus Hihats yesterday for our church, and it does fit the music better.

Did I speak against myself just now??
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: The "versatility" of gear

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Yes, and different cymbals, drum sets, guitar tones, keyboard patches, vocal ranges, etc. can evoke different moods, and SHOULD be used as such. They are like colors on the palate for us to use to make this art we love called music. Yes, I whole-heartedly agree.

But, did you ever think that maybe we're being arrogant by saying that "such and such" an instrument is better than another, rather than simply stating that it has "such and such" differing sonic characteristics? By saying that an instrument is extremely versatile, we're projecting our pre-conceived idealistic expectations and tastes onto the styles which we're referring to, and stating that this particular instrument has the sonic qualities to cover all of the possible demands of said genres. Or, conversely, we isolate a style of music and commit it to having very specific aural qualities that only certain instruments have the capacity to produce pleasing sounds for. Either way, I feel as though we're being closed minded and opinionated. We're limiting our options, and music may not progress forward with this kind of thinking.
Yes we would be but I'm DEAD CLEAR on saying what works for me BEST and the music I play and have always clearly stated that which is not a point of arrogance or a crime simply about how to go about achieving one's personal SOUND within the music. Any misrepresentation of that by others is out of my control reading into what they like and what I have to say about my personal favorite sounds and the clear concise reasons I always give why. Others can choose whatever and play whatever they like as they see fit but that won't stop me talking in specifics about the sounds I enjoy hearing BEST personally speaking and in some detail if needed which is perfectly fine in my view.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:24 PM
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You may be right, but choosing drum kit is a huge thing, it's expensive, so you're naturally going to go with what you like. Obviously. Why would a 16-year-old who listens to metal not choose a "bop" kit? Because metal drummers don't play bop kits, they play big kits with big drums.
I chose my kit because it sounded the way I like jazz drums to sound. Was I wrong? No, I love my drums, they sound great. And now that I have my drums I can re-think my reasons for choosing them all I want, but they're the drums I have and I just don't have the money to go kit shopping. And the funny thing is, if I did I'd probably choose drums just like the ones I have now!
Stick to your convictions, you're 100% on track, my friend...

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Did I speak against myself just now??
No, you didn't. You chose out of personal preference for yourself, and considered the type of musical context you're planning on playing the hats in.

Or, maybe you did, and you're just being a total gear-snob by rejecting clangy cymbals because they don't line up with your silly pre-conceived notions of what "worship hats" should sound like.

Either way, you did it without putting down other gear or raising your gear on a pedestal above others, so kudos!

In my opinion, music gear is all on a level playing field. "Lower-end" gear is not a notch BELOW other cymbals, like on a graph, but rather is PART OF a continuum where B8s, B20s, and pure brass cymbals are all equal, but just have differing sonic characteristics. We can argue which ones we prefer for ourselves, but to start evaluating them as qualitatively better or worse than other cymbals is an exercise in futility. An instrument is not inherently better or worse than any others, it is just different, or rather, it just IS!
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:36 PM
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Stick to your convictions, you're 100% on track, my friend...



No, you didn't. You chose out of personal preference for yourself, and considered the type of musical context you're planning on playing the hats in.

Or, maybe you did, and you're just being a total gear-snob by rejecting clangy cymbals because they don't line up with your silly pre-conceived notions of what "worship hats" should sound like.

Either way, you did it without putting down other gear or raising your gear on a pedestal above others, so kudos!
Choosing the sounds you like and why is not a crime to speak about....

Who does that? I certainly don't but sounds like some seem to think so for their own reasons in my view. Simply stating clearly what you prefer and why over other choices available seems to rub some people the wrong way around here as i've discovered.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:45 PM
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Simply stating clearly what you prefer and why over other choices available seems to rub some people the wrong way around here as i've discovered.
I don't get that impression at all, Stan. And my hat is off to Caddy for this very interesting thread.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:48 PM
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I don't get that impression at all, Stan. And my hat is off to Caddy for this very interesting thread.
Maybe Jay. I'm just stating clearly where i'm at and agreed it an interesting subject to discuss indeed.
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