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  #1  
Old 12-16-2009, 04:02 PM
wothomas wothomas is offline
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Default My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Hi everyone. Here are pictures of my gear (if I've linked to Photobucket properly). Here's the rundown:

Allegra Mastercraft 6-piece kit, 10 (not shown) and 12 mounted toms, 14 and 16 floor toms, 14X7 snare, 20X18 BD, all with wood hoops. Evans heads all around (with Remo Ambassador resos), Genera on the snare, EC2 coated on toms, EMAD on BD. Zlidjian K 15 hats, 18 K Custom Session crash, 20 K Constantinople Medium ride, 19 K Thin Dark crash. DW 5000 and 9000 hardware.

Roland TD-20 expanded kit. Tama Iron Cobra hardware.

Yes, those are some of my guitars in the pictures as well. I took a little detour there for a few years to learn the guitar, turned out it also helps the study of drumming. Logically, I find I'm much better at rhythm guitar than lead.













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  #2  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:13 PM
Bram Bram is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Wow, that are some really nice drums
Is Allegra a custom drum maker??

Bram
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

I really dig the natural look of the Allegra. I agree with Bram: tell us a little more about that brand!
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2009, 07:51 PM
wothomas wothomas is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Hey Bram and Big Philly,

Interesting you should ask. After a few years on the TD's, I was itching for an acoustic kit and had a very clear idea in my mind of what I wanted (thin maple shells, natural finish, the precise sizes, wood hoops, etc.). Started doing some research both here on the Drummerworld forums as well as a variety of on-line resources and I narrowed it down to a handful of makers based on materials, approach, reputation. Ideally, if money were no object, I would perhaps lean towards stave or solid shells (like Craviotto) but didn't want to try to get that past my wife for approval (particularly after my recent GAS with the guitars).

Allegra is a custom manufacturer based in Oregon that seemed fairly well-regarded. Like a lot of current custom drum makers, they use Keller shells but a couple of things stood out. First, they fabricate their own lugs out of aluminum, reducing mass and weight while improving overall resonance. Other nice touches included insides of the shells finished with the same care as outside, no metal hardware in direct contact with the wood, great care taken in the prep of the bearing edges, etc., and all at a reasonable price point.

So, Allegra was already on my list, which also included Phattie and a small handful of others. I started looking to eBay to find hardware and other items when I ran across a guy selling the actual kit that I was looking for (with the addition of the 10 tom, which I generally don't use - but who knows?), two years old, and at about 50% of the original direct price. It arrived in perfect shape, as promised, and with a little of my own tweaking has become the best kit I've ever played.

Here's a link to their site: http://www.allegradrums.com/. Frankly, not the greatest or most informative site out there but call them on the phone and they are very responsive and informative. In spite of the fact that I am the second owner, they spent a lot of time on the phone with me clarifying things - like why the 16 floor tom hoop doesn't cover the metal hoop of the head, so it can also be used as a bass! - and generally making recommendations as to tuning and heads. It was very comforting to know that there are some great folks also backing the insturments in case you need it.

I play mostly rock and blues but appreciate the jazz aesthetic as well and so like to have a kit that's versatile, resonant, responsive, dynamic. Coupled with the K's, this seems to fit the bill incrediby well. Musical would be the best most concise adjective to describe this thing.

Any other questions, please let me know.

Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2009, 12:11 AM
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junglelord junglelord is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Nice gear and how cool you got the kit you wanted on ebay for half price.
God loves you.
Merry Christmas.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2009, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Some top notch equipment for sure!! Those Allegra's are very elegant! Beautiful drums! I would love to hear some sound clips of them. Top of the line Rolands and top quality brass! Man! I wish I had your jam room!!
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2009, 12:38 AM
wothomas wothomas is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Thanks to everyone for the comments. It's been suggested that I am blessed for having this stuff and I certainly feel that way. I will also see if I can record some sounds that do it all justice, just need more gear to do that properly. Uh oh. More gear.

In general, I am always most impressed by the player who can get great tones and lay down solid grooves without great equipment, that seems to be the true mark of excellence in playing. That said, I also know from 30+ years of playing that only a few few things inspire you to play better and practice more than great gear. I can't tell you how many kits I've had since I first started. We didn't even know what bearing edges were back then.

So, my advice to new players is always the same: Get the best gear you can afford. Always try to play with guys/gals who are better than you. Understand that what you get out of it is at least somewhat proportional to what you put into it. If you make a mistake, make it loud. Confidence in what you are playing is a big part of how the audience perceives you. Learn from the greats but become an individual, try not to copy.

I could go on and on......

Thanks, again, to all. You're really a great group and have made me feel quite welcome to the forum.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2009, 03:34 AM
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zephead19 zephead19 is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Wow man that Allegra kit blows me away. I love the natural finish with the wood hoops, completely awesome. You have some really nice pies there too. One question for ya though: How do the K's stand up in your rock setting, and would you recommend your 19" K Dark Thin for a heavier rock setting?
Once again really amazing, and I like the electric kit as well!,
Best Regards, Zep
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2009, 09:50 AM
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sacco sacco is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

The Allegra kit is really a beauty! And those cymbals! Good taste, definitely.
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2009, 11:18 AM
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jim_gregory jim_gregory is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

After seeing the big bulky wood hoops with the rods through them I didn't like them at all. I wondered why not do them bass drum style. There they are! Elegant beyond words man.
Hmm..now I'm wondering about metal counterparts. Would give them a whole different sound I recon.
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:18 PM
wothomas wothomas is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Quote:
Originally Posted by zephead19 View Post
Wow man that Allegra kit blows me away. I love the natural finish with the wood hoops, completely awesome. You have some really nice pies there too. One question for ya though: How do the K's stand up in your rock setting, and would you recommend your 19" K Dark Thin for a heavier rock setting?
Once again really amazing, and I like the electric kit as well!,
Best Regards, Zep
Hey Zep,

I took a bit of a gamble on the K's with regard to rock but I also noticed that quite a lot of players across genres use K's and suspected there was a reason. Once I had the cymbals in my possession, I "tested" them against 60's standards (Hendrix, Cream, even Beatles) and they seemed right in place. By "tested", I mean that I plugged the iPod into the PA, cranked it, and jammed along, listening for how well the cymbals integrated with the tunes, if they sounded in or out of place. Wokrked like a charm for the 60's stuff. Also tried some Bonham, worked great there as well.

The 19" Thin Dark has is indeed somewhat dark in tone but also has a very fast decay. The 18" K Custom Session is designed to sound like Steve Gadd's cymbals, a little brighter but also with a fast decay. Gadd is, of course, the ultimate chameleon, and so his cymbals need to cover a wide range of styles. These two cymbals are very close in tone and character, the 18" just a little lighter. I am still amazed at how well they all work together, in spite of the fact that they are all in different series within the K range. I typically shlep all my cymbals down to the music store when buying a new one to make sure they all work together. In this case I just ordered them up and hoped for the best and it turned out better than I could have imagined.

I can't say enough about the 15" K Light high hats, as well. A great, defined stick sound, great foot splash, and they can get very washy if you need. These seem ideally suited to heavy rock. They also make 16's of the same set, if you want to go whole-hog. The K Constantinople ride is definitely the most jazzy in character of all the cymbals but still cuts it well for most styles.

I don't think I would try these with metal but would with just about everything else. So much of the heavy rock we dig is originally blues-based and the darkness works great there.

Thanks!
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  #12  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:19 PM
wothomas wothomas is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Quote:
Originally Posted by sacco View Post
The Allegra kit is really a beauty! And those cymbals! Good taste, definitely.
Hi Sacco,

Thanks. I'm just amazed at how well it all works together and how many styles I can cover. As I told Zep, seems good for just about everything except metal.

Have a great day.
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:36 PM
wothomas wothomas is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_gregory View Post
After seeing the big bulky wood hoops with the rods through them I didn't like them at all. I wondered why not do them bass drum style. There they are! Elegant beyond words man.
Hmm..now I'm wondering about metal counterparts. Would give them a whole different sound I recon.
Hi Jim,

Thanks!

Same here. I wanted wooden hoops but wasn't sure I'd like the claws and the tension rods sticking up but since the claws are practically flush against the top of the hoops and the rods are not higher than the hoops, they are totally unobtrusive.

I entertained the idea of getting the thicker hoops with counter-sunk rods and without the claws (like these, from Stellar: http://www.stellardrum.com/2b32plyhoops.html) but consulted Allegra and learned that it would mean getting new lugs for the drums since the claw approach pushes the rod out a bit more. These hoops are hard maple and actually stand up to hard rim shots very well. I think you can break most sticks across them.

Still, they should be rotated to even out the wear and eventually they must be replaced. But they give the drum a very warm sound and I can't tell you how cool and cutting the cross-stick sound is - like a shot! Hoop construction and material actually has a big impact on sound, since the hoop is what is holding the head against the shell and plays a key role in transferring vibrations.
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:39 PM
wothomas wothomas is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Quote:
Originally Posted by zephead19 View Post
Wow man that Allegra kit blows me away. I love the natural finish with the wood hoops, completely awesome. You have some really nice pies there too. One question for ya though: How do the K's stand up in your rock setting, and would you recommend your 19" K Dark Thin for a heavier rock setting?
Once again really amazing, and I like the electric kit as well!,
Best Regards, Zep
By the way, huge props to Rob Crockett at Memphis Drum Shop for putting together the cymbals and hardware. Terrific service and lots of great advice.
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2009, 03:46 PM
Matt JMC Matt JMC is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

WOW!!
That is truly the most natural looking natural finish kit that I have ever seen. The lugs do not, IMO, detract from the natural look at all. They look the way that I imagine drums should have looked since the dawn of drums themselves.
I have to say the word natural just once more.
Wow, naturally, just wow.
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  #16  
Old 12-18-2009, 08:15 PM
wothomas wothomas is offline
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Default Re: My Gear - Allegra & Roland

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt JMC View Post
WOW!!
That is truly the most natural looking natural finish kit that I have ever seen. The lugs do not, IMO, detract from the natural look at all. They look the way that I imagine drums should have looked since the dawn of drums themselves.
I have to say the word natural just once more.
Wow, naturally, just wow.
Thanks, Matt. Definitely a nice finish. At first, I was concerned that I'd be afraid to take them out of the house but the natural satin finish is much easier to deal with than a high-gloss, though I do appreciate gloss, especially on the guitars.

The thinness of the shells and the aluminum lugs really keep things lightweight, for both resonance as well as moving the kit. What's also cool is that the floor tom legs mount through holes in the lugs vs. having their own brackets. This also cuts down on weight and the amount of hardware attached to the drums.
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