Acrylic Drums

wacker

Junior Member
So I've been lookin at acrylic drums for a bit and was wondering if it would be cheaper to buy the drum shell and build my own set. But what work would that entail and how risky would it be for someone who's never done anything like that before? If that's out of the question, what's a good acrylic drum seller that keep it cheap?
 

tbmills

Gold Member
So I've been lookin at acrylic drums for a bit and was wondering if it would be cheaper to buy the drum shell and build my own set. But what work would that entail and how risky would it be for someone who's never done anything like that before? If that's out of the question, what's a good acrylic drum seller that keep it cheap?
building your own drums can get REALLY expensive. a guy on here "somedrummer" made a bop hip-gig style kit shells up and it cost him somewhere around 2 grand... if your wanting to build a set with acrylic no less be prepared to shell out some big $. plus building drums isnt too terribly difficult to do, but it is easy to mess up.

by the way, what do you mean by wanting to "buy the drum shell and build [your] own set?" do you want to buy all drum parts?

you could by a set and replace the shells with acrylic. use all of the hardware from one set for another. its been done.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Check out eBay. There are 43 Ludwig vistalite listings right now. Blue was/is the most plentiful color, hence the most affordable. Green is the rarest of the solid colors, hence the $4000 price on the green kit (probably sold for $500 new). A new acrylic kit will only de-value as soon as you take it home. The Luddies (vintage) are going the "other" way.
 

tbmills

Gold Member
Check out eBay. There are 43 Ludwig vistalite listings right now. Blue was/is the most plentiful color, hence the most affordable. Green is the rarest of the solid colors, hence the $4000 price on the green kit (probably sold for $500 new). A new acrylic kit will only de-value as soon as you take it home. The Luddies (vintage) are going the "other" way.
i dont know much about the sound of acrylic.
i have been wanting to convert a floor tom to a bop kick drum.
how, specifically, would an old vistalite luddy sound?
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Acrylic shells are loud. With lots of overtone. Very live sounding. The total opposite of that "warm, maple tone" people always talk about. Great stage drums. Not what I would choose to record with. At one time, I had 14 clear Vistalite pieces, all 70's era. Sold them for waaay more than I paid for them. 25+ years of driving Vista's, I thought it was time for a change. A Vista 18" floor, with the right heads, would make a killer kick. For bop, probably clear Powerstroke 3 batter and reso. That would give you a lot of punch, with very little overtone. That would be where I would start my head selection, anyways.
 

thesilentnoise

Senior Member
Acrylic shells are loud. With lots of overtone. Very live sounding. The total opposite of that "warm, maple tone" people always talk about. Great stage drums. Not what I would choose to record with. At one time, I had 14 clear Vistalite pieces, all 70's era. Sold them for waaay more than I paid for them. 25+ years of driving Vista's, I thought it was time for a change. A Vista 18" floor, with the right heads, would make a killer kick. For bop, probably clear Powerstroke 3 batter and reso. That would give you a lot of punch, with very little overtone. That would be where I would start my head selection, anyways.

Dang harry.

you shouldve saved some of those vistalites and sold em to me...lol
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
can you put any power behind your kick with an upright bass drum?
Plenty enough to do "what needs to be done". Keep in mind, the pedal is attached to a bar that runs from one tom leg to another. Everything is bolted together, not just a kick pedal thrown underneath a floor tom. But you are talking about making a "bop kit", right?
 

tbmills

Gold Member
yeah a "bop" kit, but i dont play to much straight jazz. itll be more for a small funk trio im doing with my brother this fall. something kinda like john mayer trio except not as many yuppie love songs...
 
Last edited:

criz p. critter

Silver Member
So I've been lookin at acrylic drums for a bit and was wondering if it would be cheaper to buy the drum shell and build my own set. But what work would that entail and how risky would it be for someone who's never done anything like that before? If that's out of the question, what's a good acrylic drum seller that keep it cheap?
Just gently bringing this thread back on-topic....

First: If price is your main consideration, definitely do NOT try building your own. As tbmills said, it can get really expensive. I was considering going that route, but after pricing all the shells plus hardware, it was much more than I wanted to spend. (Check out www.rcistarlite.com, www.goldntimesdrums.com, and www.precisiondrum.com for prices.)

Second: If you've never done anything like this, it will be quite a challenge. First you have to precision measure all around each shell and mark all the holes for hardware. Then drill all those holes, which is a real tricky business cuz it's very easy to crack the acrylic. Then cut the snare beds. Finally, the easy part: putting on all the hardware. Sound like a lot of work?

So, I'm with Harry. Check out ebay or craigslist for a nice used vintage '70s Ludwig Vistalite kit. That's what I did. Found a 6-piece blue Vista with all the hardware for only $900. It was filthy from sitting in a garage for years, so I removed all the hardware and gave everything a nice clean and polish. Great kit for a great price, and worth more now than what I paid for it!

Just be careful and ask lots of questions about the condition. You want to avoid any drums that have anything but the most minor cracks. Small cracks are easily repaired with a special solvent, but larger cracks in the shell, seam or edges will weaken the drum and screw up the sound. Minor scuffs and scratches in the shell can often be buffed out with a special polish. Might be best to buy locally so you can actually inspect before you buy. Check out this link for restoration info: http://www.vintagedrum.com/restoration_tips.htm

Good luck!
 
Top