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  #1  
Old 02-08-2010, 12:30 AM
matth matth is offline
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Default Best brand of drum set and why

I'm looking into getting a new set of drums. Right now I have some small-company drums that no one's heard of. I don't know which company to go through. What's the best brand and why? Is there a certain line of drum set I should look for with that brand, too? And why?
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

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Originally Posted by matth View Post
I'm looking into getting a new set of drums. Right now I have some small-company drums that no one's heard of. I don't know which company to go through. What's the best brand and why? Is there a certain line of drum set I should look for with that brand, too? And why?
Everybody knows that Ludwig drums are the best there is......perhaps on a par with Gretsch drums. The reason they are the BEST, is b/c they're my favourites!! Easy hey??


In all seriousness mate.........that question is waaaaaaay too subjective. Most of the top of the line models of ALL the drum co's are damn fine instruments. A lot of the intermediate lines are excellent for the money too. This is just not a question that can be answered in a thread, as you'll get more opinions on 'what is best' than you'll have time to try them all.

Can we narrow it down any? Is there anything that has stood out to you in the past? What are your favourite drummers playing? Have you heard a set that had you thinking "Man, I gotta get me a set of these?" How much are you willing to spend? What have you tried already? What sounds are you trying to achieve? etc etc.

I know I've got more questions than answers for you, but you've gotta narrow it down a bit or else you'll end up with a jumbled wealth of information and you'll still be none the wiser.
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

The best brand of drums are the ones that sound the best to you. When you find the drums that you like the best, Buy them, No matter how little of much that they cost.
If someone gives you a drum kit, That is the best kit by far!
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

One more time.

Decide on how much you want to spend.
Then find the features and sound you want.
Then find the color you want in that drum set.

It really is that easy.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:30 AM
nick.bedford nick.bedford is offline
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

TAMA is the best by far... Well maybe. I like 'em anyhow. The Star Cast mounting system, the hardware quality and innovative engineering.

This topic is too subjective, really.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

for the record, GRUNTERSDAD has it right.

me, i'd look at Yamaha, Mapex and Tama, all three make quality a priority...
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:31 AM
matth matth is offline
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Ok, I realize this is a broad question, so I will give more detail.

Right now I have a set where different drums are from different companies, basically. I bought an entry-level set and sold 2 of my toms and bought a different one, my snare's a different company, and my stands are just whatever I could find at a good deal that isn't complete crap. So I'm looking for uniformity, in part.

I've personally played on brand-name sets: Yamaha, Pearl, Slingerland, Tama
but I know that heads can essentially alter the "true" sound of the drums so I don't know that I can really go by that. I feel like I would need the same heads on the same-size drums on different brand-name sets to see what differences the drums give while playing them, but that's where I'm asking this question. What is it about your favorite company of drums that you like in their drumsets?

And I was talking to someone about this a little bit ago, I've been to websites of musical instrument dealers and they have listings for "Beginner" sets, "Intermediate" sets, and "Professional" sets. I don't really know what to look for. I don't know how much different the intermediate set would be from the professional set, for instance. I'd like to not by another "beginner" set, so I want a decent one, but I don't know all of the companies and which sets are lower-end and which are higher-end and why. I could research specs but I still wouldn't have them in front of me to play on. So this is opinion based, I realized, but I want to know why you do or don't like certain sets, certain types of wood shells, etc.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

answer to your question is too broad and subjective to answer.

everybody has different reasons why they like one brand over the other and sometimes it has nothing to do with the sound.

to make things a bit easier, start out by figuring out your budget and next to find out what sound you are looking for. who is your favorite drummer? is your favorite drummer's drum sound what you are after? so on and so forth.

I'll tell you something right now. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BEST BRAND.

only what is best to you.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

i was recently in the same boat as you, granted i went in to it knowing it was going to be a great deal of personal opinion and subjectiveness but here's how i went about coming to a decision.

i decided on a budget first and foremost, can't go dreaming of a 10 grand kit when you only have a few hundred bucks to spend.

then i decide on what i was looking for in a kit, style of music, how many pieces, hardware and such. i also looked at which drummer's sounds i liked the most and looked up their kits to help me figure out what i was looking for.

then i went to 3 or 4 big internet dealers with a vast amount of drum kits, musicians friend, interstate music and so on, and i looked at every drum kit they had for under what i wanted to spend. picked out several that looked like something i would be interested in and made a mental list of all those manufacturers.

next i went to each and every one of those manufactures websites, looked at each drum kit they made. since my personal choices were to look at how many add ons since i use a very large kit, also specific sizes, virgin bass, tom mounting and such.

i slowly narrowed my choices down to around 5 or so. then i came here and started asking people opinions on certain things, reading what others were asking. eliminated a few choices added a couple new choices and went back and forth from posts here back to manufacturers and back again till i had 1 choice left.

this worked very well for me and i'm quite happy with my choice, only thing i would add to my process was to try out your final choices in person which i couldn't do since drum shops around here are lucky to keep around 10 kits at most and their all beginner to lower end intermediate kits and none were my original choices to begin with.

but once you have a couple of ideas of what you want, try asking again about those specific kits. the people here are very very knowledgeable and can school you on any kit under the sun no matter how old and how new and are very willing to help you make an informed decision.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:53 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

There is no one best.

If there was, how could any other brand stay in business?

Besides, they're all round pieces of wood with a plastic head stretched over them. As long as the drum is made well with good materials, it's as good as any other similar drum. From there, what's better/best is purely subjective.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:03 AM
Ian Ian is offline
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Ford and Brady. Next question.

I'm not gonna echo everyone else here, but I will ask a few questions.

What do you play? What are some sounds you like? Are looks important? How long do you want to have the kit?
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Your question is sort of like "what is the best color and why?" You will get lots of opinions.

For me, I like the Gretsch USA Customs (1 up, 2 down). My style of music is roots. One factor that I would consider is how long you intend to keep your drums. A pro quality set will hold its value. If a pro quality set is not within your budget, then save a bit longer and look for a used kit.

Good luck

GJS

p.s. The "best color" would obviously be a Rosewood Gloss Lacquer (Nitro Cellulose Gloss Lacquer Finishes) on a set of USA Customs!
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2010, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Its a brand called Yourdrums.

...
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Mapex, because their drumsets feel like a million bucks without costing a million bucks.

Brought to you by Carl's Junior.

Why do you say that?

Because they pay me everytime I do. Gosh, for a smart guy, you're pretty dumb
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

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Its a brand called Yourdrums.

...
No its a brand called my drums LOL.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:15 PM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Every major drum company has there cheap line. I think when you get to there pro level shell packs they all seem pretty similar. You can choose what wood what type of bearing edge you want and so on. Tama, Yamaha, D.W , Pearl , G.M.S , Ludwig and so on. They all make great drums. You don't choose drums they choose you ha ha.
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2010, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Hi there,The lighting was dim, peering though my night vision gog's I saw that the drumkit consisted of four different colours . I thought...wow, I've never seen or heard a kit like this before. The player had managed to get the best possible tone that each individual drum would allow , and each drum sounded to the core....I caught a quiick glimpse and happen to notice thet the kit was a make up of four separate manufacturer's, nice to see them all getting together ......one for all....and all for one.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Lately, I have been jamming on a 5piece Gretsch Catalina Birch and the drums have so much balls. The toms sound great and the kick is probably the best I have ever used. And the snare? Dial it up really tight and it's a beast, seriously.

Personally I don't think there is a "Best" brand, it's all about player preferance.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

I categorize drums by construction, straight shelled or re ringed.
There's way more choices of straight shells than re ringed shells.
Nothing wrong w/ the straight shell sound whatsoever, I just prefer the thin shell re ring sound. The manufacturer to me is secondary, all the majors make fine shells.

I do hear a difference in the construction types though.
Re ringed drums usually cost more, so if budget is a concern, a straight shell would be more affordable.

Plus, you have all the different woods to consider, then there's acrylic, and stainless steel....all of which sound great....so you really have to know what you want and have definite preferences. I'd say don't pull the trigger until you know EXACTLY what you want.

That being said, cymbals are the area where you shouldn't skimp. You can make a 300.00 drumset sound great, but a crap sounding cymbal will sound like crap forever.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

If i had the money, i'd go straight for custom manufacturers.

DW, Truth, SJC, Shine etc. Then the 'best' kit is the one i choose for myself.

Having said that, i believe (just opinion here) that 70% of a drums sound is down to the heads, mainly the batter head, and the tuning of them. That's just me though.

The other 30% would be the shell. Be it acrylic, wood or hybrid.
The Depth of the drum.
And of course the player, the sticks they're using and genre they're playing etc.

Keeping that in mind, the main reason i'd want a custom kit is because it has custom looks.

xoxo
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

With custom kits, or high-end kits in general for that matter, it's all personal mojo. Stuff has to appeal to you personally, and I'm not too convinced that there's actually a noticeable difference in sound quality between the top series of different brands. Yes, I knowyou can haggle about stave shells being far more responsive than regular ply shells, but other than that, no one's gonna know if you played DW, Yamaha or Sonor on your record if they didn't see. What is different is how drummers view those brands and how they try to conform with the the picture they made for themselves, giving each brand their own characteristics. It's all perception (and no, I'm not immune, not by a longshot).

In the end, it's the same with kits as with clothes: it has to call your name and make you feel good about it.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

i found once you got to a certain point most drums were extremely similar in sound but not in options. i think thats the real difference in the higher end kits is who's got more of what you want.

i found mapex had a better selection of sizes, i liked the finishes more plus their saturn and orion lines had things none of the others did like the suspension floor tom legs and bass spurs. i really liked that idea but realistically i think it was more of an aesthetic choic then an actual sound choice once you get to the higher end of the intermediate scale.

of course your going to have a slight sound difference just in the construction from one company to another and one line to another but it's up to you to decide if those subtle differences are worth the $1000 price difference.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:09 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Yamaha - very good drums and hardware for the money at each model throughout their range. They don't really make a bad drum and the hardware is always good.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:15 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

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Yamaha - very good drums and hardware for the money at each model throughout their range. They don't really make a bad drum and the hardware is always good.

Need I say more? Good stuff all around, just jumped on one a few weeks ago and will not look back...NICE KIT all around.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

Any pro level set is going to be quality. I lean toward Sonor (Delight, SQ2, etc.) or Gretsch USA Custom. That said, all the major companies have high level pro kits.

Now cymbals are a horse of a different color......
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

this is how i narrowed down my choices...

1. price
2. drum sizes
3. drum wood/overall quality

2 days ago i picked up my first kit, a 5-piece tama swingstar w/ hardware for $300, and i love it. I tuned them up and replaced the heads and they sound amazing.

look on craigslist for drum sets (thats where i got mine). Not only are there incredible deals, but you will be able to try out the set for yourself and see if it works for YOU, rather than reading a bunch of online reviews.

good luck! and take your time.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:51 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

I've also always leaned toward Gretsch and Sonor's high end drums along with Yamaha and Premier. Wait, that's 4 brands.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:27 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

I'd start with what kind of sound are you looking for? What kind of music. Does that music have certain conventions that the drummer would be expected to maintain? e.g. double bass, 4 piece, rack of toms, lots of cymbals, etc.

That will help you zero in on the kit basics. How many? What sizes?

Then the reality check of budget. $1K, $3K, $7K????

Remember that you're going to want cymbals and hardware that keep pace with the rest of the drums.

Personally, I look at allocating the budget according to what gets hit the most. Meaning hi-hat and ride cymbal, snare drum, kick drum, and then way further down the list, everything else. The more constrained your budget, the more you're going to have to sacrifice something. I would rather have a set of Cat maples with good cymbals and a good snare than a set of USA Customs and ZBT pies. Or PDP Cx than DW Customs if it meant I couldn't have good bronze and hardware.

With that in mind, I'd look at the sound of the various kick drums in the kits in your budget and find the one that appeals to you the most. Do you want a metal click? Deep thud? Boingy marching bass sound? You can do a lot with tom heads, and there's no reason to use the kit's snare unless you really like it too. Plenty of $250 choices out there in any sound style you are looking for. So for me, it's down to the sound of the kick. I traded in my Pearl Maple Masters Custom for a PDP Cx Maple kit largely because I just was never happy with the sound of the kick, no matter which heads I put on it. The Cx kick just killed it. The Renowns I have now are just another step foward in the sound of the kick (of course, at this level the toms aren't too shabby either). But even with several snares, I still have more money in cymbals than everything else.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Best brand of drum set and why

matth, I've never met a drum that I didn't like. I own and regularly play an array of kits that range from entry level to intermediate. Every drum has its own personality. Just like people, No drum is perfect at everything!
Head types and tuning make the most dramatic difference in the sound of a drum.
The shell composition plays a lesser, but it is a factor just the same.
The thing for you to do is as others have stated.
Pick a realistic budget. Do not spend more than you should on a kit.
Chose the sizes that are correct for you. Most of us don't need a 24 inch bass drum and large deep toms. If that is what you want, It is fine.
A good all around kit has a 16x22 bass, 8x10 and 9x12 rack toms, 14x14 floor, 6.5x14 snare. A 16x16 floor can also be added and/or substituted for the 14x14 floor. Some drummers like shallower floor toms like the 12x14 because of their different tuning range.
Some like a deeper 20x22 bass.
Hardware is also important. Look for good quality tom mounts and lugs.
The average player does not need a pro level kit. A "Regular Guy" kit is fine for most drummers.
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