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  #1  
Old 07-18-2013, 04:11 AM
Rod Kimble Rod Kimble is offline
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Default Kit Configurations

Hey everyone I'm looking for some advice.

Im going to be buying a new kit soon and I am in between a 12x9,14x14,16x16,24x16 setup or a 13x10,16x16,18x16,24x16 setup. I play in a rock band, and my main influences are Rush, Led Zeppelin, anything Dave Grohl is in, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Rival Sons, Sam Roberts.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks.

May I add that im looking at Pearl Reference and DW drumsets, if that helps at all.

Last edited by Rod Kimble; 04-04-2014 at 05:13 AM.
  #2  
Old 07-18-2013, 04:52 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

I had an 18" floor tom for many years, which was a Gretsch from the 70s. I never got a good sound from it because if I tuned it to sound good on its own, it was too low for the sound to carry. If I tuned it to sound good with the other drums, Slingerland 12" and 13" also from the 70s, it sounded a bit choked. I would go 12/14/16 with the toms, but someone else may say that 18" floor toms are the bomb, and that 14" floor toms suck. Peace and goodwill.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2013, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

I'm not a fan of 13's or 18's.... so I guess 12/14/16 is what I would go with.
I have a friend who swears by his 18" floor tom with his 24" kick though.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumolator View Post
I had an 18" floor tom for many years, which was a Gretsch from the 70s. I never got a good sound from it because if I tuned it to sound good on its own, it was too low for the sound to carry. If I tuned it to sound good with the other drums, Slingerland 12" and 13" also from the 70s, it sounded a bit choked. I would go 12/14/16 with the toms, but someone else may say that 18" floor toms are the bomb, and that 14" floor toms suck. Peace and goodwill.
And that would be me. You can always make bigger drums sound small, but to make a smaller drum sound big when you need it is something else. My advice: get all those sizes and use what you want depending on the music and the gig.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
I would love to get all those sizes but I don't have the money. Thanks for the advice though.
Really? You're only talking about two more drums though. That really pushes the price through the roof?

Here's what I see with my friends who work alot, they eventually end up with at least two different kits and drums of varying sizes to cover anything they might have to cover. If you can't afford it now, I get that. But eventually you'll have to if you plan on being able to fill the bill for a number of people willing to hire you.
  #6  
Old 07-18-2013, 05:43 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
I know but Im only 16 and I only have a limited amount of cash to spend.
In that case, roll with the 12, 14, 16 config. It's the most "generic" tom set up for a reason and it'll cover the vast majority of applications a 16 to 20 year old will call on it for. There's really nothing you won't be able to do with that lot. Look to get a little more specific as you get a little older and get some money under you belt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch View Post
What's an "oozing"? Do I have one too, or are they a Northern-hemisphere thing?
Yeah mate, we still ooze Downunder.
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Old 07-18-2013, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
I know but Im only 16 and I only have a limited amount of cash to spend.
Ah. Understood. Get what you want, and go off and get better as a player. As you get older your needs will be determined by what you need to get done, or you'll learn how to work with what you have and make it sound great for everything. This usually happens in college when you're playing with lots of different people, provided you get good enough to be able to be in that position. Good luck!
  #8  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
I know but Im only 16 and I only have a limited amount of cash to spend.
16 and looking at DW and Pearl Reference? Nice. High school must pay better than it used to, lol.

Seriously though, I'm gonna go totally mercenary here and say someone is probably helping you pay for these, right? If so, get the bigger sizes. That way the smaller drums will be cheaper to add on later. Plus I like the bigger sizes. I use 13, 16, 24 myself.

If you've been able to earn enough to buy that kit on your own - kudos. You rock. :)
  #9  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
I know but Im only 16 and I only have a limited amount of cash to spend.
...and you're looking at DW and Pearl Reference kits? Wow. That's quite a lot of "limited amount of cash" you've earned yourself. Nice work!

For that amount of cash, I would look at getting 3 used pro-level kits, or 2 used pro-level kits and some nice cymbals and a couple of snares. And cases. And a nice throne.
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
I have enough for the kit, but not for the hardware and cymbals. And I know most think I don't deserve that high end of a kit because of my age but I spend almost all my time practicing, and when I cant practice watching my "heroes" playing, and its time for me to try to make it in the industry so good equipment would be amazing.
Oh, I didn't mean you don't deserve the kit. I meant what I said - as someone who went from a fairly privileged childhood to an adulthood of relative poverty, I only wish I had taken better advantage of my privilege. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
...and you're looking at DW and Pearl Reference kits? Wow. That's quite a lot of "limited amount of cash" you've earned yourself. Nice work!

For that amount of cash, I would look at getting 3 used pro-level kits, or 2 used pro-level kits and some nice cymbals and a couple of snares. And cases. And a nice throne.
Caddy gives good advice.

Last edited by Bernhard; 07-18-2013 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Edited by Arky: merging consecutive posts
  #11  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

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Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
Oh my bad, I must have read it wrong. Thanks for your advice :)
Yeah, I didn't mean to come across snarky. Doesn't matter to me whether you earned the cash or it was given to you or whatever. Being young and without the responsibilities of an adult is a special time you won't see again, so take good advantage of it. That's all I really meant.
  #12  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

I would go with a 14x24, 8x12, 9x13, 14x14, 16x16. config because I feel that the kit would "ooze" with sound. I would buy Gretsch USA customs in those sizes.
My rubber ducky friend agrees too.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
Where is a good place online to buy used? Judging by what Im seeing on ebay my local dealer is giving me a better deal brand new
Believe it or not, GC can be a good place to get good used drumsets.

Also in my opinion, I would rather have a lesser kit but better cymbals. So if your saying you have money for the kit but not anything else, I would suggest maybe putting the money into the cymbals. You can still get a good quality kit for a lot less than what it'd cost you for the two sets your looking at.
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  #14  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

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Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
Thanks but I am getting help with paying, speaking of lesser kits that are good quality how are the pearl MCX? If I end up not having enough for everything I will have to do like you said.
I'm not a big Pearl guy so I don't really look around for them so I can't comment much. However, I was at GC and they had the new Pearl Sessions and they were pretty nice. 12 x 8", 13 x 9",16 x 14", 24 x 15" Bass drum and they were doing a deal to include a 14x14 floor or 10x 7, 12x8, 16x14", 22 x 16" with a 14 x 14" floor tom included. If those are nice I would assume that the MCXs would be as nice if not nicer.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
Thanks for the advice! And I feel confident enough to play with lots of different people, it's that the music scene where I live isn't great. And the limited amount of musicians here are too caught up in competition rather than collaboration.
Well, try not to think that the music scene any where else will be any better, or that musicians aren't caught up in something. It's tough for everybody.

If you want different advice, learn how to play piano. Those guys are always working irregardless of any music scene ;)
  #16  
Old 07-18-2013, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
Well, try not to think that the music scene any where else will be any better, or that musicians aren't caught up in something. It's tough for everybody.

If you want different advice, learn how to play piano. Those guys are always working irregardless of any music scene ;)
Or pedal steel in anywhere in the south.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

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Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
Where is a good place online to buy used? Judging by what Im seeing on ebay my local dealer is giving me a better deal brand new
Oh, I wouldn't buy online. I find it's best to try out a drum set IN PERSON. That way, you know how the kit you're buying sounds. I would suggest craigslist, the local want ads, music stores, pawn shops, garage sales. I would definitely recommend against eBay.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
...Those guys are always working irregardless of any music scene ;)
Bo, I know these discussions can get emotional for you but that is no excuse for making up words. For God's sakes man, there are ladies present.

Jay, with your permission I'd like to use your advise as my new signature.
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
Bo, I know these discussions can get emotional for you but that is no excuse for making up words. For God's sakes man, there are ladies present.

Jay, with your permission I'd like to use your advise as my new signature.
Just sayin'

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:53 AM
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Just sayin'

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Irregardless of the ladies, right?
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Go with Caddy's advice... when I got my first kit I didn't think about cases which I regret. They are high up on my purchase list. Check Craigslist and local shops for kits, try before you buy! If you really want to buy new, I think you would be happier with something closer in price to a Ludwig Keystone, and investing the rest on lessons, snares, cymbals, and heads. You might even be able to get an extra tom for that price range. Remember, lower end drums (relatively in your case) can sound much better with good head choice and tuning, but bad cymbals always sound bad. Snares... you'll get a good idea of what you want after playing one long enough, then you can branch out. Hardware - you didn't ask, but it sounds like you might need some... you don't need triple braced forty pound stands for one crash cymbal. You can easily mount a tom and large cymbal on a single braced lightweight Yamaha stand, and your back will thank you after lugging light stands from gig to gig as opposed to heavy ones.
Don't be afraid to take your time and really get what you want... instant gratification soothes the burning hole from a behemoth pile of money in your pocket, but hardly ever really leaves you happy. You seem like a smart kid, I'm sure you'll make a great investment - with a little help from this forum, of course ;).

As far as sizes go, I have 12", 14", 16", 18", toms and a 24" kick on my kit, and they all get equal use as a one up and one or two down. The 12" 14" 16" set up is way more versatile, but what Bo said about it being easier to make big drums sound smaller as opposed to the other way is very true. Plus, the big sizes are sooo much fun to play... all that being said, my music tastes have changed. I would now opt for the smaller sizes, though I planned only using the huge sizes. Or perhaps now even smaller sizes and less drums so I could get a Guru kit!

Summary - be patient, shop smart (used), and please ask us if you have any questions!
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:36 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

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Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
Jay, with your permission I'd like to use your advise as my new signature.
It's not original with me, Red, and I don't remember where I got it from, so I'd say you're free to do so with impunity.
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:49 AM
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[quote=Racc018;1161749]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
Im going to be buying a new kit soon and I am in between a 12x9,14x14,16x16,24x16 setup or a 13x10,16x16,18x16,24x16 setup.
When pairing toms to kicks, I pretty much pair the 12 rack/14 floor to 20 and 22 inch kicks. 24 and 26 inch kicks get the 13/14 rack sizes ..... and the 18/18 floor tom sizes. So, if you're solid on getting a 24" kick .... I'd go the 13, 16, 18 route.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
May I add that im looking at Pearl Reference and DW drumsets, if that helps at all.
Now I'm wondering right here, what makes you pick these two? And I might add which DW series? Have you actually heard these drums played, or are you just shooting for a well known, high end kit? Nothing wrong with either, just wondering the motivation.
That said, I'd shop used, as others have mentioned. There are plenty of deals out there, and if you "buy smart" used, you will lose little or none of your money when you move on .... if you move on.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

I'd go with the 12/14/16 for longevity. The larger sizes might sound fantastic in the current band you're in, but in 5 years you might be wanting to do something completely different, and perhaps ditch the larger floor tom all together.

Somebody mentioned you can make a larger drum sound small....I've always heard and believed it was the other way around. You can make a smaller drum sound bigger. But if you try to make a larger drum sound smaller, you get the "basketball effect". Or at least that's been what's happened to me when trying to make toms sound smaller.
  #25  
Old 07-18-2013, 09:58 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

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Originally Posted by Drumolator View Post
I had an 18" floor tom for many years, which was a Gretsch from the 70s. I never got a good sound from it because if I tuned it to sound good on its own, it was too low for the sound to carry.
Yes, an 18" FT can be a bit of trouble to get useful if you're not mic'd, but a good one won't choke if tuned up, & tuned up (at least the reso head) is the way to go if acoustic only.

We're starting to build kits for our series launch at the London Drum Show soon. One kit is 24" x 14" bass drum, 18" x 14" floor tom, 14" x 9" tom. Projection, tone, & pure thunder in one package. Note the shallow floor tom. That depth gives it a clear fundamental that helps it cut through by distinction at low tuning.

By comparison, the sizes on the other show kit are just plain weird ;)
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
Somebody mentioned you can make a larger drum sound small....I've always heard and believed it was the other way around. You can make a smaller drum sound bigger. But if you try to make a larger drum sound smaller, you get the "basketball effect". Or at least that's been what's happened to me when trying to make toms sound smaller.
The "basketball effect" can certainly come into play if you're cranking the thing really tight. But as a broad stroke, it's fair to say that larger drums can still be pitched up to get a sound that more closely resembles a smaller drum. But a smaller drum can only be tuned down so far before the head is not tight enough to give it any tone at all.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:27 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

I would go with 16" and 18" floor toms, for sure - I like that a lot better than using a 14" floor.

For a rack tom (put it in a snare basket, not on the kick) I like 10"x14" best with 16 and 18 floors. 9x13 can be ok, too, if you need the tom smaller for more of a pitch difference.

For bass drum, 16x24 and 14x24 are both great - I use both. Not a great deal of difference, maybe a little more punch on the 14 deep and a little more boom on the 16 deep. Heads make a bigger difference than the depth does.

1 up 2 down with a 24" kick is a great set-up you will love for years, regardless of the details. I've learned I'm always happier if I wait, earn a little more money, and buy the better of the options I'm considering - just a thought to consider :-) Have fun!
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Yes, an 18" FT can be a bit of trouble to get useful if you're not mic'd, but a good one won't choke if tuned up, & tuned up (at least the reso head) is the way to go if acoustic only.

We're starting to build kits for our series launch at the London Drum Show soon. One kit is 24" x 14" bass drum, 18" x 14" floor tom, 14" x 9" tom. Projection, tone, & pure thunder in one package. Note the shallow floor tom. That depth gives it a clear fundamental that helps it cut through by distinction at low tuning.

By comparison, the sizes on the other show kit are just plain weird ;)
You didn't go with the 10" tom for the "thunder kit"? :) Still, that sounds really awesome... wish I could be there.

Anyways, my vote is for the 12/14/16, but it seems like the OP has made his mind up.

And on the "making smaller drums sound bigger"/"bigger drums sound smaller"- both are correct IMO. That's why we have tuning ranges. You can put Hydraulic heads on and tune JAW, or put Diplomats on and crank until the lugs are stretching- and they still sound like drums! Obviously the bigger sizes have a lower range of tones, and the smaller ones have a higher range. It's up to your opinion which range is more valuable to you.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:47 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

To keep with a smaller size kit, at least piece wise, I like my 22, 16, 14, 12 and 14" snare. In this configuration I don't miss my 8" and 13" toms at all and when I have had the opportunity to play an 18" x 16" floor tom, I used its voice very rarely.



Dennis
  #30  
Old 07-19-2013, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

If I had to have a 5 piece I'd go with 10, 12 and 14 toms personally.

Call me lazy but I like my drums to be nice and close together and nicely positioned. To me a 2nd rack Tom makes much more sense than 2 floors ergonomically. Add a 16 if you really need a lower note.
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Old 07-19-2013, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Dre25 View Post
If I had to have a 5 piece I'd go with 10, 12 and 14 toms personally.

Call me lazy but I like my drums to be nice and close together and nicely positioned. To me a 2nd rack Tom makes much more sense than 2 floors ergonomically. Add a 16 if you really need a lower note.
Lazy.

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Old 07-19-2013, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Racc018 View Post
Thanks but I am getting help with paying, speaking of lesser kits that are good quality how are the pearl MCX? If I end up not having enough for everything I will have to do like you said.
I played an MCX in a rehersal room just the other night. It sounded brilliant, even with less than pristine heads. As someone else said, a mid range (although MCX are pretty good stuff) kit can be made to sound awesome, a mid range cymbal will always be that. I would spend less from a fixed budget on drums than cymbals. My previous kit was a Tama Rockstar Custom, tuned well and paired with a set of Zildjian K and A customs. The cymbals made all the difference to what is in effect a near entry level kit. Get good cymbals, and if you have to, compromise on the drums.
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Kit Configurations

I'd have to say, if you're gonna be playing strictly rock, stick with the bigger sizes. You'll be able to cut through the music, especially heavier music. The only draw back I see, with bigger size drums, a little more awkward to transport...
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