DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > General Discussion

General Discussion General discussion forum for all drum related topics. Use this forum to exchange ideas and information with your fellow drummers.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 01-28-2015, 02:26 AM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 14,472
Default The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

While all the vendors had gorgeous stuff at NAMM, the best sounding drums I heard....had no real vendor booth. Let me explain.

The SoulTone cymbal display...I am in love with SoulTone cymbals. (BTW, I confirmed that they are indeed all made at the Masterworks foundry, according to the rep there)

ANYWAY!

The Soultone booth had 2 sets of drums set up. Called DC drums. To my ear, the best sounding drums that I heard there, including that vintage Sonor set that was discussed in another thread, the Star drums, all of them. Even Q drums, the metal shelled drums. I looked at the NAMM map and saw no listing in the index for DC drums. So I asked the Soultone guy, what are these drums? He told me that they are made for Soultone. Almost like an afterthought, like that's not the main reason he's here. That's all I know.
He was busy and I didn't want to eat up his time. I figured I'd research them on my own because I was already sold on the sound.

These drums had the thinnest straight shell I ever saw, with no rings. I don't know how they did it. Luckily, they had clear heads so I could see. It looked like 3 mm to me they looked so thin. If you stack 2 American quarters on top of one another, yea about that thin. Man did they have a crisp tone. Tuned beautifully as well, in contrast to the majority of the drums I heard.

So many drums....Bradys included....were tuned in such a way as to make the most "meh" sounding tone possible. I mean there's a lot of different tones to shoot for while tuning, but most drums didn't seem to be tuned for any specific tone, just get a head on it, makes sure the snares touch the bottom head and that's good enough lol. No pride taken in tuning for a specific goal of a tone. That completely drives me bananas. You're there to show off your product. Is it too much to ask for a nice tuning? All the guitars are tuned lol.

The other product that I saw was a Carmichael type split seat... the difference being that the split seat was mounted on a sturdy metal plate, that accepted the spindle of the throne base. But the seat top itself was supported by heavy duty springs...about an inch and a half tall, thick sturdy metal...so the seat top has "independent suspension". It's firm. Not sloppy. But will adapt to your body's shifting weight when necessary....if that's what you want of course.

So not only do you get the split seat, floating coccyx bone benefit, you also get this "independent suspension" thing going on too.

For myself, I'm happy with my Roc and Soc spindle "fixed in place" seat, but I thought some people might really like this. They're called Motion-Pro Drum Thrones.
__________________
The best way to do art, is to dispense with good and bad...and just get on with it.

Last edited by larryace; 01-28-2015 at 04:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-28-2015, 03:50 AM
Skyking's Avatar
Skyking Skyking is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 218
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Thanks for the review! I Googled then went to U Tube for the mentioned drum throne. Looks great if you can afford it and never have to lug it. However, I get a back-ache just thinking about moving it. My Tama First Chair is already heavy enough.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms6W6zT-2OM
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-28-2015, 04:24 AM
bermuda's Avatar
bermuda bermuda is online now
Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 6,305
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Long story about the cymbals, and drums.

Not a secret about Masterwork making the cymbals, that's how they started when they were Buzin and being sold through a shop in L.A. called Drum Connection. They also had drums with Yossi Buzin's name (he was co-partner in the shop with Iki Levy) and they were pretty bad Keller shells, poorly finished, and at premium prices. Buzin and Levy split, the cymbals became Soultone and the drums became DC California (for Drum Connection.) The shop closed within a few years of it opening, but the product lives on.

I think the drums are there to facilitate the cymbals at the booth, I'm not sure they're actually marketing them.

Bermuda

Last edited by bermuda; 01-28-2015 at 05:28 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-28-2015, 06:48 AM
Hollywood Jim's Avatar
Hollywood Jim Hollywood Jim is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 1,375
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Larry:
Were you not watching where you were walking and you ran into something?

It happened twice?

Oh, I know, they probably had those female models for hire in some of the displays.
And you were not paying attention to where you were walking. Right?


.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-28-2015, 07:32 AM
porter's Avatar
porter porter is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,925
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Long story about the cymbals, and drums.

Not a secret about Masterwork making the cymbals, that's how they started when they were Buzin and being sold through a shop in L.A. called Drum Connection. They also had drums with Yossi Buzin's name (he was co-partner in the shop with Iki Levy) and they were pretty bad Keller shells, poorly finished, and at premium prices. Buzin and Levy split, the cymbals became Soultone and the drums became DC California (for Drum Connection.) The shop closed within a few years of it opening, but the product lives on.

I think the drums are there to facilitate the cymbals at the booth, I'm not sure they're actually marketing them.

Bermuda
Soultone also have the DC drums all over their promotional videos. DC's website says their drums are 5 plies, no mention of thickness... tbh that says "Keller" to me. It is nice that they had well-tuned drums though I can't imagine they get as much attention/bashing as the big names or "prestigious" names ;)
__________________
Check out my Youtube channel!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-28-2015, 08:15 AM
Matt Bo Eder's Avatar
Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 661
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

I'm sure this has been going on at NAMM for a while now, but for some reason I really noticed how many vendors were there hawking products to get kids into playing musical instruments, or packages to get adults started, and Remo even was promoting getting people with disabilities to play. It was kind of heartwarming. The influx of instruments made out of plastics, like trombones, trumpets, woodwinds (bot really saxes though) and even ukuleles was kind of cool.

I remember being a child in the early 70s and it was a big deal for mom and dad to get me my first snare drum, because it was such a gamble for them not knowing if their kid really wanted to play. I can imagine what a parent would think if their kid said, "I want to play trumpet" or "I want to play trombone" when a half-decent one would cost thousands. Now you can get a plastic horn that actually plays for under $200.

So my NAMM was cool because it was evident people are trying to get the young ones into music, and we need that. Heck, the "Books for Dummies" people had packages of guitars, basses, other small instruments, with the familiar yellow and black book covers to get people started. I don't agree with the "for dummies" moniker, but it's cool that there's such an obvious package to buy for a complete beginner.

I figure with school districts always cutting back on school music programs, at least maybe the private sector is taking up the slack by offering these low cost packages to get started. It's a win-win all the way around if you can get people playing musical instruments. NAMM isn't always about rock 'n' roll for a change ;)
__________________
YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/boeder101
Photoblog: mattederblog.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-28-2015, 08:30 AM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 3,531
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Larry, what was it you liked about the Soultone cymbals? Can you make any comparisons to more common cymbals to give me an idea of what you appreciated about them?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-28-2015, 09:03 AM
Matt Bo Eder's Avatar
Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 661
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Larry, what was it you liked about the Soultone cymbals? Can you make any comparisons to more common cymbals to give me an idea of what you appreciated about them?
To me, they're just another Turkish cymbal. They didn't sound too different from Bosphorus or any other Turkish made pie. In fact I got the whole spiel from the Bosphorus guy and thought was pretty cool. I think of all these Turkish cymbals as trashier K's 😳

Sorry Larry!
__________________
YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/boeder101
Photoblog: mattederblog.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-28-2015, 10:36 AM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 17,633
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post

So many drums....Bradys included....were tuned in such a way as to make the most "meh" sounding tone possible. I mean there's a lot of different tones to shoot for while tuning, but most drums didn't seem to be tuned for any specific tone, just get a head on it, makes sure the snares touch the bottom head and that's good enough lol. No pride taken in tuning for a specific goal of a tone. That completely drives me bananas. You're there to show off your product. Is it too much to ask for a nice tuning? All the guitars are tuned lol.
This is a fairly typical exhibition experience IMO Larry, & one I've mini ranted about before. We always tune our drums well, but if we've only got 2 or 3 kits on display, it's difficult to cover the bases. For us, tuning rather depends on the sizes & series being displayed, but I'll usually shoot for something high, something low, & something in between. Even in the bigger shows, try finding a kit displayed with a bop tuning, they're few & far between.

I know you like a fairly specific tuning Larry, one that's personal to you, so don't expect to find many examples at shows. Most companies go for the thud thud approach, either by design, laziness, or due to their own staff tuning skills limitations. I'll always remember a line delivered to me by a rep of a certain large drum manufacturer at a show a couple of years ago. The drums sounded horrible, & when I asked him why they hadn't bothered to spend some time tuning them up, he replied "well they (the customers) don't care what they sound like, so why should we. When you've been in this game a while, you'll realise they buy with their eyes, by brand, & with the spec's we tell them are important. Why do you think we put shit heads on them?" You can imagine my reaction (silent) to that, but from a business perspective, he's right. Disappointing eh!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-28-2015, 04:29 PM
Matt Bo Eder's Avatar
Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 661
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
This is a fairly typical exhibition experience IMO Larry, & one I've mini ranted about before. We always tune our drums well, but if we've only got 2 or 3 kits on display, it's difficult to cover the bases. For us, tuning rather depends on the sizes & series being displayed, but I'll usually shoot for something high, something low, & something in between. Even in the bigger shows, try finding a kit displayed with a bop tuning, they're few & far between.

I know you like a fairly specific tuning Larry, one that's personal to you, so don't expect to find many examples at shows. Most companies go for the thud thud approach, either by design, laziness, or due to their own staff tuning skills limitations. I'll always remember a line delivered to me by a rep of a certain large drum manufacturer at a show a couple of years ago. The drums sounded horrible, & when I asked him why they hadn't bothered to spend some time tuning them up, he replied "well they (the customers) don't care what they sound like, so why should we. When you've been in this game a while, you'll realise they buy with their eyes, by brand, & with the spec's we tell them are important. Why do you think we put shit heads on them?" You can imagine my reaction (silent) to that, but from a business perspective, he's right. Disappointing eh!
Also, on the main show floor at NAMM, you can't really hear anything because of the ambient noise level. You are reduced to shopping with your eyes. However, certain companies like DW, Fender, Pearl, etc., had their own rooms and experiencing the drums was a bit better but for everybody else, it's hard to tell how great the instrument can be.

Funny you say "the guitars are in tune", Larry. Are you sure? Most of the people I heard making attempts to play....well, let's just say tuning is a guideline 😉
__________________
YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/boeder101
Photoblog: mattederblog.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-28-2015, 05:00 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 14,472
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyking View Post
Thanks for the review! I Googled then went to U Tube for the mentioned drum throne. Looks great if you can afford it and never have to lug it. However, I get a back-ache just thinking about moving it. My Tama First Chair is already heavy enough.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ms6W6zT-2OM
They only sell the spring mounted seat tops which they say will fit on any throne base, just FYI.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Long story about the cymbals, and drums.

Not a secret about Masterwork making the cymbals, that's how they started when they were Buzin and being sold through a shop in L.A. called Drum Connection. They also had drums with Yossi Buzin's name (he was co-partner in the shop with Iki Levy) and they were pretty bad Keller shells, poorly finished, and at premium prices. Buzin and Levy split, the cymbals became Soultone and the drums became DC California (for Drum Connection.) The shop closed within a few years of it opening, but the product lives on.

I think the drums are there to facilitate the cymbals at the booth, I'm not sure they're actually marketing them.

Bermuda
Are you saying that DC drums aren't being made anymore? They really stood out to me and the thinness of the shells were surprising to me. That's the impression I got too, that he wasn't there to push the drums. He didn't have to, they pushed themselves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Larry:
Were you not watching where you were walking and you ran into something?

It happened twice?

Oh, I know, they probably had those female models for hire in some of the displays.
And you were not paying attention to where you were walking. Right?


.
Something like that lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by porter View Post
Soultone also have the DC drums all over their promotional videos. DC's website says their drums are 5 plies, no mention of thickness... tbh that says "Keller" to me. It is nice that they had well-tuned drums though I can't imagine they get as much attention/bashing as the big names or "prestigious" names ;)
I LOVE the tone of the drums on the promotional videos! I didn't make that connection, thanks Porter. Their tone really impressed me. If they are Keller shells, then color me a fan. Great tone, for what I go for anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Larry, what was it you liked about the Soultone cymbals? Can you make any comparisons to more common cymbals to give me an idea of what you appreciated about them?
Soultones just make the freqs I like. Take Bosphorus for example...they don't do a thing for me. Not that they're a bad cymbal, they're a fine cymbal. Stanton Moore loves them. But they don't attract me. I like Istanbuls too, both Mehmet and Agop, easily as much as the Soultones. It's just my own personal opinion, nothing more. They are no different from any other good cymbal other than they make my ears happier than most others. I'd say that Soultone cymbals resemble the tones that Zildjains and Sabians make, but more complex, and classier....like their better looking, more successful, better performing older sibling. They are more shimmery than trashy, generally speaking. I was in heaven there with a giant wall of all kinds of Soultones. There is no place around me where I live that I can sample a selection of any size, let alone all they had there. I'd have taken everything they had if I could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
To me, they're just another Turkish cymbal. They didn't sound too different from Bosphorus or any other Turkish made pie. In fact I got the whole spiel from the Bosphorus guy and thought was pretty cool. I think of all these Turkish cymbals as trashier K's ��

Sorry Larry!
No sorrys necessary! Cymbals are like food. Some I like, some you like. I'm not a big trashiness fan, and the Bosphorus lean more towards trashy (to my ear) where the Soultones lean more toward shimmery...IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
This is a fairly typical exhibition experience IMO Larry, & one I've mini ranted about before. We always tune our drums well, but if we've only got 2 or 3 kits on display, it's difficult to cover the bases. For us, tuning rather depends on the sizes & series being displayed, but I'll usually shoot for something high, something low, & something in between. Even in the bigger shows, try finding a kit displayed with a bop tuning, they're few & far between.

I know you like a fairly specific tuning Larry, one that's personal to you, so don't expect to find many examples at shows. Most companies go for the thud thud approach, either by design, laziness, or due to their own staff tuning skills limitations. I'll always remember a line delivered to me by a rep of a certain large drum manufacturer at a show a couple of years ago. The drums sounded horrible, & when I asked him why they hadn't bothered to spend some time tuning them up, he replied "well they (the customers) don't care what they sound like, so why should we. When you've been in this game a while, you'll realise they buy with their eyes, by brand, & with the spec's we tell them are important. Why do you think we put shit heads on them?" You can imagine my reaction (silent) to that, but from a business perspective, he's right. Disappointing eh!
I do like a specific tuning for myself when playing live, but I can definitely appreciate many alternative tunings. I tune many different ways in my studio. What I don't appreciate is the attitude you described above by the guy that stated customers don't care what the drums sound like. I'd have fired that guy on the spot if I could. That's about the laziest, worst work ethic attitude I ever heard. I find it completely bizarre that someone selling a drum would have the shortsightedness to not only NOT tune the drum...but to even say that to anyone. Completely unacceptable, and just the worst person to be in his position.

Most snares I tapped had noticeably loose-ish reso heads. The snare wires were mostly pretty slack too, lots of buzz, and the top heads were about as crisp as a stretched dish rag. Really no care whatsoever taken into tuning for any specific tone. Unless you like the tone of a drum that no one cared enough to do anything with. I just don't get it. Had anyone said that to me that people don't care what the drums sound like, I think I might have had to subject that person to a rant about that particular attitude that I find so appalling.
__________________
The best way to do art, is to dispense with good and bad...and just get on with it.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-28-2015, 06:45 PM
motleyh's Avatar
motleyh motleyh is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 334
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Larry, keep in mind that The NAMM Show is (ostensibly) a trade show, not a retail event. The primary purpose, even though plenty of the public actually gets in to see it, is for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to get together and conduct trade. So the actual sound of the demo instruments is secondary to the appearance, marketability, and pricing structures of them. Frankly, this is one of the troubling sides of the music instrument industry, but to be honest it's no different from automobiles, electronic gadgets, home furnishings, etc., etc., in that regard. Mass production, mass marketing, and mass consumption lead to all the attention on curb appeal and price, and very little on longevity, performance, craftsmanship, or other indications of substance.

There are a few outcomes of this mindset. One is that preference is given to things that sell quickly on the retail floor, that provide fast turnover of investment without too much actual exploration of details. Another is the ongoing "race to zero" for how inexpensively a product can be made and marketed -- clearly seen in the extremely low-end (in all senses of the term) lines being offered by almost every major brand. And a third is the practice of innovation for innovation's sake, focusing on what's new and different for each year -- which produces not only planned obsolescence but also an awful lot of solutions for non-existent problems, and very few significant improvements overall.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but it disturbs me that so much of the music instrument industry is focused on churning the dollars instead of advancing the actual quality of the products. The fact that exhibitors didn't bother to tune their instruments well is just an indicator of the priorities in play.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-28-2015, 06:58 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is online now
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 8,104
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Long story about the cymbals, and drums.

Not a secret about Masterwork making the cymbals, that's how they started when they were Buzin and being sold through a shop in L.A. called Drum Connection. They also had drums with Yossi Buzin's name (he was co-partner in the shop with Iki Levy) and they were pretty bad Keller shells, poorly finished, and at premium prices. Buzin and Levy split, the cymbals became Soultone and the drums became DC California (for Drum Connection.) The shop closed within a few years of it opening, but the product lives on.

I think the drums are there to facilitate the cymbals at the booth, I'm not sure they're actually marketing them.

Bermuda
That was the place on Ventura, right? I went in there once. The sales man kept telling me how great the rides where and proceeded to show me all his Vinnie/Weckl fusion licks, even though I made it clear I had no interest in a jazz sounding ride at the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
To me, they're just another Turkish cymbal. They didn't sound too different from Bosphorus or any other Turkish made pie. In fact I got the whole spiel from the Bosphorus guy and thought was pretty cool. I think of all these Turkish cymbals as trashier K's 😳

Sorry Larry!
I tend to agree.

At NAMM there are dozens (and growing every year) of brands selling Turkish cymbals.

On one hand, they all sound great.

But on the other, they all more or less sound the same, because they're all sourced from the same place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motleyh View Post
Larry, keep in mind that The NAMM Show is (ostensibly) a trade show, not a retail event. The primary purpose, even though plenty of the public actually gets in to see it, is for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to get together and conduct trade.
^ This.

And you notice, the name professional drummers and the retailers actually making purchases don't play the drums on the sales floor.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-28-2015, 08:07 PM
Matt Bo Eder's Avatar
Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 661
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

But if you focused on the quality of the products, you would sell less and less every year, right? Wouldn't it be wild if, by building really quality instruments, NAMM participation woyld slow, everybody would keep what they have and there would be no demand for new things.
__________________
YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/boeder101
Photoblog: mattederblog.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-28-2015, 08:20 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 14,472
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by motleyh View Post
Larry, keep in mind that The NAMM Show is (ostensibly) a trade show, not a retail event. The primary purpose, even though plenty of the public actually gets in to see it, is for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to get together and conduct trade. So the actual sound of the demo instruments is secondary to the appearance, marketability, and pricing structures of them. Frankly, this is one of the troubling sides of the music instrument industry, but to be honest it's no different from automobiles, electronic gadgets, home furnishings, etc., etc., in that regard. Mass production, mass marketing, and mass consumption lead to all the attention on curb appeal and price, and very little on longevity, performance, craftsmanship, or other indications of substance.

There are a few outcomes of this mindset. One is that preference is given to things that sell quickly on the retail floor, that provide fast turnover of investment without too much actual exploration of details. Another is the ongoing "race to zero" for how inexpensively a product can be made and marketed -- clearly seen in the extremely low-end (in all senses of the term) lines being offered by almost every major brand. And a third is the practice of innovation for innovation's sake, focusing on what's new and different for each year -- which produces not only planned obsolescence but also an awful lot of solutions for non-existent problems, and very few significant improvements overall.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but it disturbs me that so much of the music instrument industry is focused on churning the dollars instead of advancing the actual quality of the products. The fact that exhibitors didn't bother to tune their instruments well is just an indicator of the priorities in play.
OK this is true it's not a retail event, and I'm just a nobody outsider looking in. It's just that if I was working the booth I'd want my instruments to sound great, because, to guys who care, and I believe there are more than is being given credit for, that's the whole reason that the end customers spend the dollars, sound. Tune them up killer, get someone good to play them, and crowds gather. Buzz. Dollars. The whole point of being there is buzz.

I think drums are different than cars and furniture, in that they exist to make sound. That whole concept seems like it didn't even matter, which to me is completely idiotic. I want to hear a product that is the best it can sound. Who better to demonstrate that than the manufacturer rep with a great player? A lot of things like brass, fixed percussion, keyboards...you don't have to touch. Drums are different.

So the better they sound, the easier it would be to get excited over, and the easier they would be to sell, which is obviously their goal. So why are they not doing a stupid easy thing to help them to their own goal? Tuning is free. If they don't have a passion for their instruments, why should I? They might as well be selling filing cabinets with that attitude. Even Brady. I wanted to hear what their fabled snares could do.
__________________
The best way to do art, is to dispense with good and bad...and just get on with it.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-28-2015, 08:33 PM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 3,531
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
So the better they sound, the easier it would be to get excited over, and the easier they would be to sell, which is obviously their goal.
I think this might be a false assumption. The vast majority of drummers I've come across wouldn't know a good sound if it hit them in the ear, and they choose based on features, "innovation," and advertising.

It would be easier for YOU to get excited over, Larry, but you aren't the mainstream buying public. A business exists to make money, not better the world of musical instruments. Or the world, for that matter.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-28-2015, 08:44 PM
BacteriumFendYoke's Avatar
BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 4,706
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Example. Gibson guitars sell well. They look nice, they play well, they sound good but the build quality of the 2013/14 models was questionable at best. They're not inexpensive instruments either. The average guy in the guitar shop will generally give a guitar a once over, play a few licks on it and see how it looks. If they have the disposable income and like it they'll buy it.

The truth is, that most instrument purchases are made within 15 minutes of sitting down with that instrument. That's nowhere near long enough to really assess how the instrument is made. That takes at least a couple of hours of playing and rigorous assessment. Case in point, I have a Squier Jazzmaster that is well made save for a slightly high fret at the 3rd on the high 'E'. I spent over half an hour trying it out and didn't pick up that issue at all until I got it home.

Can I rectify it? Absolutely. Would it cost me much to do so? No, just a fret levelling file (I've already got the rest of the tools) - so I feel I got good value from the purchase, especially seeing as it was on sale. What drew me in though was the first five minutes with the instrument. I liked the look of it, I plugged it in, played a couple of songs that I know and a few scales, listened and I'd made my mind up. The other 25 minutes were assessment and I still missed a couple of things.

How instruments look plays a huge part in the appeal. How they're made takes a lot longer to assess and most of the time, a buyer won't pick up on small QC errors until they take it home. So it's all about that first impression.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-28-2015, 08:56 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is online now
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 8,104
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
OK this is true it's not a retail event, and I'm just a nobody outsider looking in. It's just that if I was working the booth I'd want my instruments to sound great, because, to guys who care, and I believe there are more than is being given credit for, that's the whole reason that the end customers spend the dollars, sound. Tune them up killer, get someone good to play them, and crowds gather. Buzz. Dollars. The whole point of being there is buzz.

I think drums are different than cars and furniture, in that they exist to make sound. That whole concept seems like it didn't even matter, which to me is completely idiotic. I want to hear a product that is the best it can sound. Who better to demonstrate that than the manufacturer rep with a great player? A lot of things like brass, fixed percussion, keyboards...you don't have to touch. Drums are different.

So the better they sound, the easier it would be to get excited over, and the easier they would be to sell, which is obviously their goal. So why are they not doing a stupid easy thing to help them to their own goal? Tuning is free. If they don't have a passion for their instruments, why should I? They might as well be selling filing cabinets with that attitude. Even Brady. I wanted to hear what their fabled snares could do.
Yes, and no.

Most drum kits sold are low to mid range kits. Good sounding high end kits comprise very little of over all drum sales.

The average kid or guy playing in basement afterwork isn't buying a Pearl Export or Yamaha Stage Custom because it's the best sounding kit, but because it's a good value.

To the retailer, a store owner/manager wants a good cross section of drums in the store. The best sounding is subjective as it is.

And really, if you've been in the business long enough, the rep says this drum has x-plies of x-wood, and you can look at the shell, bearing edge, etc, you know approximately how it's going to sound without a full on demonstration.

And of course, as Andy mentioned, once you switch out the heads, the sound is going to change anyway.

And quite frankly, it's too darn noisy on the NAMM floor to hear the differences between most drums anyway.

Buzz and sales don't always go hand in hand. Several years ago, Ddrum had the busiest booth with the most buzz. They had major rock stars, girls wearing not much, and a constant party going at their booth. But that didn't translate into stores buying Ddrum kits in droves. Two years ago Pearl had a big buzz with Tommy Lee's roller coaster drum kit, and Tommy Lee himself making an appearance. Where as the last two years, Pearl has gone for a much more under stated approach. Too much buzz kills sales because the buyers can't get into the booth to place an order.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-28-2015, 09:02 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is online now
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 8,104
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
Example. Gibson guitars sell well. They look nice, they play well, they sound good
Speaking of Gibson, they don't even let people into their booth unless you are an established dealer.

If you're a new dealer who wants to carry Gibson, they'll tell you to go *bleep* yourself.

Yet they are one of the top companies in terms of guitar sales.

And over the last few years, we've seen a few of the drum companies starting to follow in Gibson's footsteps in regards to how they handle having a NAMM booth.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-28-2015, 10:15 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 14,472
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
I think this might be a false assumption. The vast majority of drummers I've come across wouldn't know a good sound if it hit them in the ear, and they choose based on features, "innovation," and advertising.

It would be easier for YOU to get excited over, Larry, but you aren't the mainstream buying public. A business exists to make money, not better the world of musical instruments. Or the world, for that matter.
It's obvious I don't know squat about the business, and am way too idealistic. The thing is, I don't feel I'm asking that much. Would I buy a guitar without hearing it in tune? No way! I want to hear where it's general personality lies. A decent middle of the road tuning would easily accomplish that. A place like GC....I would think....would move more floor model drumsets quicker if they were tuned to really sound good. What's the first thing people do when they are considering a drum, they hit it with a stick. Oooh Mom, I like these! I do believe people can tell a superior tone from a crappy tone if you allow them to hear it. But I guess it doesn't work like that in the real world so I'll leave the business to the ones who know.
__________________
The best way to do art, is to dispense with good and bad...and just get on with it.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 02-01-2015, 10:39 PM
Drumsinhisheart's Avatar
Drumsinhisheart Drumsinhisheart is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: SW VA
Posts: 542
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by motleyh View Post
Larry, keep in mind that The NAMM Show is (ostensibly) a trade show, not a retail event. The primary purpose, even though plenty of the public actually gets in to see it, is for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to get together and conduct trade. So the actual sound of the demo instruments is secondary to the appearance, marketability, and pricing structures of them. Frankly, this is one of the troubling sides of the music instrument industry, but to be honest it's no different from automobiles, electronic gadgets, home furnishings, etc., etc., in that regard. Mass production, mass marketing, and mass consumption lead to all the attention on curb appeal and price, and very little on longevity, performance, craftsmanship, or other indications of substance.

There are a few outcomes of this mindset. One is that preference is given to things that sell quickly on the retail floor, that provide fast turnover of investment without too much actual exploration of details. Another is the ongoing "race to zero" for how inexpensively a product can be made and marketed -- clearly seen in the extremely low-end (in all senses of the term) lines being offered by almost every major brand. And a third is the practice of innovation for innovation's sake, focusing on what's new and different for each year -- which produces not only planned obsolescence but also an awful lot of solutions for non-existent problems, and very few significant improvements overall.

Sorry if this sounds like a rant, but it disturbs me that so much of the music instrument industry is focused on churning the dollars instead of advancing the actual quality of the products. The fact that exhibitors didn't bother to tune their instruments well is just an indicator of the priorities in play.
Well said. The custom makers have a passion generally not found with the majors despite their hype. So many have come and gone, even really great makers of fine instruments. That's a shame. The custom and DIY movement had a lot of influence on the majors and what they had to bring to the table to stay current. It'd sad how things have dwindled down to dollars. Perhaps that is a sign of the times for most manufacturing today.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 02-01-2015, 11:20 PM
b4z b4z is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 44
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

This thread has me thinking about the 2014 namm show with Steve smith playing the sonor cocktail kit. Literally the worst Tom tuning I have heard, sounded like a kids plastic toy. It's on youtube. Then I'm thinking about the ddrum junior sized drumset I bought for my 4 year old Christmas Eve. That little music store tuned that damn thing to perfection. The 13" floor Tom will go down so low it's ridiculous. It just kills.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 02-03-2015, 12:30 AM
bradydrums's Avatar
bradydrums bradydrums is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 189
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

We were sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy some of the tunings on our snare drums, larryace. One complaint I have received last year was that our groups of snare drums, while sounding great, were all tuned within a similar range. It was suggested we get a little diversity on tuning this year, so we did. I personally would have taken 5 of the snares on display up to a much higher tuning, as we tend to tune considerably higher than our American counterparts and that's where I like to hear them for myself.

The drums were each tuned specifically at 5:00am Thursday morning, and re-tuned again around 10:00am on Friday morning, Saturday morning & Sunday morning. However, when large crowds of non-dealers are present, such as at a NAMM show, it is inevitable that the drums can get a little detuned throughout the day by an attendee with a drum key deliberately altering the settings, or an attendee (or child!) turning the knob for the snare strainer so the wires are loose / flabby, or beating the crap out of the gear with a non-musical touch. We try to be vigilant about these things but it does happen.

All of that said, did you get a chance to test all of the snare drums on display? For those that were tuned a little lower than preferred there were equal counterparts that were tuned higher to show off the instrument's tuning parameters (and sounded fabulous).
__________________
Brady Drums
Facebook
Google+
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 02-03-2015, 06:49 AM
Aeolian's Avatar
Aeolian Aeolian is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Posts: 1,949
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

As Bo pointed out, it's about the high volume mass market business. There is a boutique sideshow looking for outlets but most of it is starter packages to a margin. "Little Johnny is coming into the store with Mom so we need to sell them something that won't put Mom into sticker shock and book Johnny into lessons, what kind of margin can I get on this boxed set?" That's what keeps the store open. Next you have the shiny objects, musical instrument jewelry for the doctor/lawyer set. Highly buffed lacquer over fancy veneers. Again sound is secondary. Get an impressive endorser to rave about the sound (or some shills on forums) and they'll move. Most of those customers don't have any tone in their hands anyway so they'll flip it for something else in 6 months. Mark it up as premium so they think it's special and again it's about margin.

It's business. Journeyman musicians aren't going to buy much new gear, they can't afford it. And the ranks of part timers with disposable income who are discerning players is a drop in the bucket to the industry.

I got into NAMM once about 10 years ago. Found myself at my friend Bruce Zinky's booth and spent about 10 minutes noodling through the production version of an amp he sold me the prototype of. Looked up and realized that I'd drawn a crowd, so I handed the guitar to the closest guy with a music store owners badge and called Bruce over.

I used to go to trade shows for the electronics assembly business that's my day job. One high volume SMT line is about a million dollars. When I was putting a proto line in at Dolby I only needed a budget about half that. A lot of reps wouldn't talk to me. Then I moved to a tier one contract manufacturer with 14 high volume lines and suddenly I was everybody's best friend. "Here, lets go into our private booth, have a drink and talk about the future." That's just the way it is.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-03-2015, 07:38 AM
KamaK KamaK is online now
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,463
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
"Little Johnny is coming into the store with Mom so we need to sell them something that won't put Mom into sticker shock and book Johnny into lessons, what kind of margin can I get on this boxed set?" That's what keeps the store open.
This rings true to me. When I was looking to get into this hobby, I was amazed at the amount of misinformation and marketing that were thrown at me. Once I understood the rules of the game, I still had trouble buying what I wanted. I was constantly steered towards ZHTs and an intermediate kit. "Oh, you want Ludwig drums & Ludwig hardware?" GC staff looked at me like I was insane. "Yes, I want a Signet configured exactly like the picture of the Signet on the front page of Ludwig's catalog". I gave up in frustration 2 months later and bought a used Renown.

I wish there were a site for parents of to-be drummers, just so that the time and financial commitments could be clearly communicated up front. A site to tell them what boxes to save for resale. A timeline of expenditures. An explanation of just how much room in the mini-van will be taken up. How and where to resell to recoup costs. Reoccurring costs (heads, sticks, felts, sleeves).
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 02-03-2015, 11:07 AM
Matt Bo Eder's Avatar
Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 661
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post

I wish there were a site for parents of to-be drummers, just so that the time and financial commitments could be clearly communicated up front. A site to tell them what boxes to save for resale. A timeline of expenditures. An explanation of just how much room in the mini-van will be taken up. How and where to resell to recoup costs. Reoccurring costs (heads, sticks, felts, sleeves).
Have them visit this site. We're always talking about how beginners totally blow it when making their first purchases. Heck, have them PM me ;)
__________________
YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/boeder101
Photoblog: mattederblog.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 02-03-2015, 05:55 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 14,472
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradydrums View Post

All of that said, did you get a chance to test all of the snare drums on display? For those that were tuned a little lower than preferred there were equal counterparts that were tuned higher to show off the instrument's tuning parameters (and sounded fabulous).
No, I just tapped on one of the snares, that happened to be tensioned on the low side. Disappointed with the tuning (like every other drum I heard from every other merchant there) so I just moved on. But like everyone says sound doesn't matter at a trade show lol. I still don't agree with that in any way, but whatever.

I hope my post was not construed as me not liking Brady drums, I like them very much. You guys make fine instruments.
__________________
The best way to do art, is to dispense with good and bad...and just get on with it.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 02-03-2015, 08:54 PM
KamaK KamaK is online now
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: East Coast
Posts: 1,463
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
Have them visit this site. We're always talking about how beginners totally blow it when making their first purchases. Heck, have them PM me ;)
We talk about shells and cymbals and drum related stuff. I've seen todd talk about some to the allstate-reqirements and a couple others talk about drumcorp. Non-musical parents need something more, because this is a strange instrument that has a number of non-obvious financial and logistical commitments.

Example: You're not going to get your kid 24/13/16 kit if the family car is a Prius with a booster seat in the rear, no matter how much he/she says it's what they want.

Perhaps we should discuss the parent thing in a "Parents of Drummers" thread or something. I'm getting to a point where my 5yr old is beginning to take an interest.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 02-03-2015, 09:52 PM
JustJames's Avatar
JustJames JustJames is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,119
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
Have them visit this site. We're always talking about how beginners totally blow it when making their first purchases. Heck, have them PM me ;)
Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
...
Perhaps we should discuss the parent thing in a "Parents of Drummers" thread or something. I'm getting to a point where my 5yr old is beginning to take an interest.
Have you PM'd Bo?

__________________________________________________ _________________________________________________
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 02-04-2015, 12:43 AM
Matt Bo Eder's Avatar
Matt Bo Eder Matt Bo Eder is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Disneyland, CA
Posts: 661
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
We talk about shells and cymbals and drum related stuff. I've seen todd talk about some to the allstate-reqirements and a couple others talk about drumcorp. Non-musical parents need something more, because this is a strange instrument that has a number of non-obvious financial and logistical commitments.

Example: You're not going to get your kid 24/13/16 kit if the family car is a Prius with a booster seat in the rear, no matter how much he/she says it's what they want.

Perhaps we should discuss the parent thing in a "Parents of Drummers" thread or something. I'm getting to a point where my 5yr old is beginning to take an interest.
There have been several times in my 10,000+ posts where we talked about people needing to know what they need to know. However, several times we've come to the conclusion that people only learn by making mistakes too, and it's all part of the learning curve. So we try to help as much as we can, but becoming a drummer, or any musician or artist, for that matter, means that there isn't really a methodology of how to go about it no matter how much there should be one.

For starters, people have to want to listen, but part of the fun about becoming a drummer is buying what you like, or what your current hero likes, and then you discover what works for you and what doesn't. I was a huge fan of Stewart Copeland back in the 80s and even attempted to play on a kit like his, and I discovered that what he plays and how he tunes did not work for the work I was doing at the time. I reckon a lot of drummers who show up at weddings with their amber vistalite Bonham kit find out the same thing as well ;)

So I get that people don't want to hear it, and unfortunately, you can get parents to listen, but the kid is the one who's not listening to the parents to begin with, eh?

On the one hand, this is bad for parents doling out the big bucks for their kid, on the other hand, it's good for all of us worker-bee drummers because it creates this huge market of people buying drum stuff that didn't really exist before the 1980s, and thus, keeps the prices reasonable for us.
__________________
YouTube channel: youtube.com/user/boeder101
Photoblog: mattederblog.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 02-04-2015, 02:27 PM
keep it simple's Avatar
keep it simple keep it simple is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Herefordshire, UK.
Posts: 17,633
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradydrums View Post

it is inevitable that the drums can get a little detuned throughout the day by an attendee with a drum key deliberately altering the settings, or an attendee (or child!) turning the knob for the snare strainer so the wires are loose / flabby, or beating the crap out of the gear with a non-musical touch.
A most valid point Kelly, & anyone who's run a booth will experience the same "honour" of watching "not so little Johnny" with his group of captive fans mercilessly wailing the living shit out of that beautiful instrument you poured a lifetime of love into crafting. I have zero tolerance of that, & firmly (but politely) suggest they visit the Mapex booth ;)

Brady, & other companies run with passion by hands on proprietors, tend to approach things more personally than some examples of indifferent reps at these shows. It's just how it rolls.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 02-05-2015, 02:09 AM
steadypocket steadypocket is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 470
Default Re: The 2 products that struck me at NAMM

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
A most valid point Kelly, & anyone who's run a booth will experience the same "honour" of watching "not so little Johnny" with his group of captive fans mercilessly wailing the living shit out of that beautiful instrument you poured a lifetime of love into crafting. I have zero tolerance of that, & firmly (but politely) suggest they visit the Mapex booth ;)

Brady, & other companies run with passion by hands on proprietors, tend to approach things more personally than some examples of indifferent reps at these shows. It's just how it rolls.
Hands on proprietors who are passionate about their craft rule. They just do.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 10:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com