Anyone regret buying a compact mini kit?

thebarak

Senior Member
My shiny new Yamaha Stage custom (20X17 bass,14 snare,10,12,14 toms) is sounding too huge for me, too rock'n'roll for my jazzy style, and I am hankering for the tight, high, snappy sound of something like a DW mini-pro. They just make me happy for some reason. Those small shells are like turning the lights on in my ears, and the ideas on in my brain.

So I am considering the DW Mini-Pro, either the one with the 18" bass and 13" snare, or even more extreme, the one with the 16" bass and 12" snare.

I wonder if anyone here did this and then got bored with it, or found it insufficiently versatile?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
As long as a kit is appropriate for the music, there shouldn't be any regrets. But because different sizes tend to favor different genres, you could certainly keep both kits. :)

I've got kits with 18/20/22/24/26" kicks, and toms from 8-18". Not much I can't do with those, and no regrets about any of them!

Bermuda
 

thebarak

Senior Member
As long as a kit is appropriate for the music, there shouldn't be any regrets. But because different sizes tend to favor different genres, you could certainly keep both kits. :)

I've got kits with 18/20/22/24/26" kicks, and toms from 8-18". Not much I can't do with those, and no regrets about any of them!

Bermuda
You have basically everything!
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Bought a 10/13/18 set three years ago, for home practice. I use it for 75% of my gigs now, sometimes tuned high with coated heads, sometimes tuned low with clears.

But when I do play my 10/12/14/20 kit, it sounds great - fuller, deeper, warmer, louder - so I still use that for the bigger shows.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
I agree that if it's appropriate for the music you're playing, then you should be good.

OTOH - I've tried a few small kits like the Sonor Safari (and Bop), the Gretsch Catalina Jazz a few years ago, and the Ludwig Breakbeats, and in every case I did not keep them. The attraction for me was that the whole kit would fit in the cab of my truck (a Ford F-150 without an extra cab) and I'd be able to schlep quite easily from rehearsal to rehearsal. I much prefer to use regular-sized drums for everything (I have two kits one based around a 16x22 bass, and the other a 16x26 bass) because then sonically I have the extra horsepower when I need it. I don't have a problem playing softly. And I've always liked my bass drums to sound like bass drums.

I've solved my transportation issues by getting a Ford Flex instead.
 

thebarak

Senior Member
Thanks. This is not really about transportation because the larger kit is fairly easy to transport around also. It is the sound. I think I respond more favorably to the melodic little bass drum and the clear little snare drum more than my more normal sized kit components. They carve out a space in the mix when a large kit gets buried amongst similar frequencies.

My concern is, this preference may wear off. I don't really want to have two shell packs, so the Yamaha would be gone if I got the DW Mini-Pro.So I am encouraged to hear that Morrisman uses his small kit 75% of the time.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
I would not give up the Stage Custom for that configuration-"ever".

You already have a 10" and 14" tom. Pick up an 18" Stage Custom bass drum or 16" floor tom to convert and you are set. Probably could find one with matching laquer or wrap too.

I have Tama kit that runs 8" to 16" with both a 20" and 22" bass drum (I have an 18" Stagestar bass drum I can also use). The flexibility is great and depending on the situation I am pretty much covered.

Now, if you are just hankering for DWs because you want DWs that's different, and an entirely different question imo.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Yep - getting a matching 18" Stage Custom bass drum
and some kind of 13" snare sounds like the best solution to me too.

Yamaha makes it easy to mix and match stuff, with bass drums of 18, 20, 22, and 24.

If you want a mini kit, you could convert a matching 16" or 14" floor tom to a bass drum.
You'd have to mount your tom(s) differently though, or get another mounting system.
And if you go too hog wild with the mods, it might be easier to get a pre-configured
small kit.

I wouldn't give up up what you've already for it got though.

.
 
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lsits

Gold Member
What heads are you using? The first thing I would do is put some coated Ambassador heads all around, and tune everything nice and tight. A 10, 14, 20 configuration should get you close to the sound you're looking for.
 

thebarak

Senior Member
Thanks Everyone.

I am using Evans G1 heads and I can tune well, so the drums sound fine. Even the standard 14" Stage Custom snare is very nice since the recent redesign.

The bass drum however, is 20" X 17", or 340 cubic inches. Compared to a bop sized 18" X 12" or 18" x 14" or 16" X 12" etc, it seems about 50% too big for me and produces a sound about an octave down, (that's an approximate guess).

So with there being an extra tom, and a too-big bass, and a questionably too big snare, that is why I am feeling it is the wrong kit, despite it's legendary versatility.

The Stage Custom bop bass drum is actually 18" X 15" deep, rather than 12" or 14" so it is still quite voluminous for the diameter. When you go up the Absolutes, the depth drops to 14" and the price climbs up a lot.

If I had patiently waited to order the Stage Custom Bop shell pack instead of taking the Stage Custom Fusion that was already on this island, I might never have shared my remorse with this fine forum.

With it being very new and still looking new, I may talk to the store and see if they'll take it back so I can spend more at the same store to order something else. If they don't fancy that, I may just stick with this new shell set and sell it at a loss after a year or two.

Not that there is anything bad about Stage Customs. They are so good and so fairly priced.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Bought a 10/13/18 set three years ago, for home practice. I use it for 75% of my gigs now, sometimes tuned high with coated heads, sometimes tuned low with clears.

But when I do play my 10/12/14/20 kit, it sounds great - fuller, deeper, warmer, louder - so I still use that for the bigger shows.

Same for me. I have a Ludwig Breakbeats kit (10/13/16) which I got for playing small rooms. I have probably gigged it more in the last year than my regular kit. It's so much fun to play, and it always surprises people with how good it sounds.
I still use the regular kit (22/10/12/14/16) for big gigs.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Like some of the other posts, I think you should set up your current kit for the sound you want. The new SC toms are very shallow - the same as the bop sizes, so the only drum which is wrong is the 20, and 20's can be very versatile. I find the SC 20" bass sounds much smaller than the 22 (we have both versions at the school where I teach) so it shouldn't be out of place.

If it really doesn't work, get the matching 18 bass drum, but keep the 20 for bigger/louder shows.
 

thebarak

Senior Member
I really appreciate each and every response. If I had not yet bought the Stage Custom 20/14/10/12/14, I would not be buying it today, and would be risking all on the tiny kit.

But here it is. So I have asked the local store owner to consider taking it back (it is basically still new and was in stock there already) and allowing me to spend more money to order the Mini-Pro.

And that is what will decide it. I will update this thread. I may just be making the bigger kit work and concentrating more on the music and less on the gear.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I may just be making the bigger kit work and concentrating more on the music and less on the gear.
I like that. The additional 18 bass drum would be nice, but what about a 16 floor tom? You could convert it to be a small kick, or use it as a second floor tom for the full kit.
 

PHIL2016

Senior Member
I have a Ludwig Break beats that has a Kick port installed in the resonant side of the kick drum, being that I mostly play in tight spaces, I have no regrets!
 

thebarak

Senior Member
Indeed. All good ideas. Buying a whole second shell set would likely be easier and less costly than altering the brand new Stage Custom in any way. Being on an island complicates the reselling process, which would have been dead easy when I lived in L.A. But I have not heard back from the owner of the store where I bought it. He may yet help me out.
 
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drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Would this be your only kit? I wouldn't want my only kit to be that small but that's me.
Far be it for me to ruin your GAS but 10-12-14-20 is not what I would call big sizes. They can be tuned up to give the sound you want quite easily. Just adding a smaller bass drum and maybe an 8" tom would give you a shell bank to choose from. You'd have the tools to cover a lot.
 

thebarak

Senior Member
No desire for a shell bank, and for me 20" diameter X 17" depth is too big. Compared to an 18" X 14" it is much larger, and the 16" kicks sound nice and punchy. I don't like having spare stuff hanging around. I am a minimalist. I already shelved one of the hanging toms, which ironically was the 10", simply because it still has the Remo UT batter head on it.
 
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