Are overpriced drums worth it ? A Defence of mapex

dale w miller

Silver Member
Most people think companies make about 6x more profit than they really do.
They also don’t realize that even the biggest drum companies are considered a small business in the eyes of corporate America. Just because the name is extremely common to us drummers, I would be surprised if the average non musician knows more than a couple drum companies’ names.

Companies such as Dunnett, Brady, Pork Pie, GMS, SJC, Craviotto etc. have just a few employees. Besides, they outsource so much. They even do work for each other.

Do you really think they are making millions on their drums? And some of you drummers think these things should practically given to you.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
They also don’t realize that even the biggest drum companies are considered a small business in the eyes of corporate America. Just because the name is extremely common to us drummers, I would be surprised if the average non musician knows more than a couple drum companies’ names.

Companies such as Dunnett, Brady, Pork Pie, GMS, SJC, Craviotto etc. have just a few employees. Besides, they outsource so much. They even do work for each other.

Do you really think they are making millions on their drums? And some of you drummers think these things should practically given to you.
Kind of related to your post, I saw someone on YouTube commenting on a video and one of their remarks was that they "think all music should be free". Yes I know, YouTube, so I wasn't going to steam in all Keyboard Warrior and dissect his argument (not that he mentioned anything to back his stance), but perhaps the ready availability of "free" music is something else chipping away at the way musicians and in this thread instrument suppliers are being devalued.
 

J-W

Well-known member
I think more than anything what pisses me off is people don’t really have a clue what they are talking about.
I agree. But sadly, it's on both sides of the argument. Someone said "When we talk profit margins, it doesn't say anything about operating costs otherwise." WHAT?? Sure, if you're only talking about gross profit margins, and ignoring the other 2, but more specifically operating profit margins (hence the name).

What I found is if a company goes out of business it’s caused by a rare hardship like this pandemic we are going through or the owner is just not making enough for the time, headache, and risk they are putting out or themselves through. If a company goes out purely because their product was not competitive, they simply didn’t research enough before starting the business in the first place or didn’t adapt after they did.
Exactly. I'll add to that, financial mismanagement or under capitalization. I've seen business owners that think they've hit the jackpot when they start their business thinking since they have all these write-offs that they can spend money like it's coming in the door by the truckload and/or they pay themselves handsomely, before being even close to turning a profit, leaving the company cash poor.

What these smaller companies need to show us drummers is “look at this thing we have that no one else does“ and then make us really want it.
That's exactly the slick marketing hype that DW used to get where they are now.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
Kind of related to your post, I saw someone on YouTube commenting on a video and one of their remarks was that they "think all music should be free". Yes I know, YouTube, so I wasn't going to steam in all Keyboard Warrior and dissect his argument (not that he mentioned anything to back his stance), but perhaps the ready availability of "free" music is something else chipping away at the way musicians and in this thread instrument suppliers are being devalued.
Devalued indeed. To think I’ve heard it actually come out of musicians’ mouths, good players. Granted, they never left their bedroom to play other than a high school battle of the bands, but they still say it.

These are the type of guys as well as your average cheapskate that says the things we are talking about. I’m sorry, but they need to pull their head out of their asses.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
Devalued indeed. To think I’ve heard it actually come out of musicians’ mouths, good players. Granted, they never left their bedroom to play other than a high school battle of the bands, but they still say it.

These are the type of guys as well as your average cheapskate that says the things we are talking about. I’m sorry, but they need to pull their head out of their asses.
I think the "problem" we have is that musicians come in all shapes and sizes. Terrible to amazing, amateur to professional, committed to carefree etc. etc. On top of that everyone can be motivated by different things and the same person can have different motivations at different times and under different circumstances. So you get your bedroom players voicing views that they believe in but that have no relevance to someone like me who only just qualifies as being semi-pro (& trust me I'm pushing it when I say that :) ). As an outsider looking in I can imagine that a forum for plumbers or bricklayers would have more harmonised viewpoints and opinions because there are far fewer amateurs doing these activities and everyone who is pipe fitting or laying bricks will be doing so for their living and will have a minimum standard of ability otherwise they wouldn't be able to do the job. It's all well and good being a drummer with a weak left hand, you can still get the job done. But a bricklayer can't explain away a wall that's tilting over.
 

J-W

Well-known member
Devalued indeed. To think I’ve heard it actually come out of musicians’ mouths, good players. Granted, they never left their bedroom to play other than a high school battle of the bands, but they still say it.
Wait a minute........I should get an endorsement deal because I rocked the shit out of the 1986 battle of the bands AND the talent show! :p

These are the type of guys as well as your average cheapskate that says the things we are talking about.
I think one of the biggest challenges that a musical instrument company faces is that a good majority of their potential clientele are broke. They are either young beginners that scrounged up enough money from birthday, Christmas, allowance, etc... or they are musicians desperately trying to make a living at it. Neither of which can afford the "over priced kits".
 

Trigger

Senior Member
With high end drums you're paying for the finish and the hardware quality. The sound differs very little from intermediate kits (they will sound different obviously, but not $4000 better) and nobody except other drummers will ever notice any of the differences. The one place I'd imagine it actually matters is when you're recording and trying to get a very specific tone. Everything else is just marketing.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Perhaps buy a high end expensive (at one time) kit that's used in good condition that you really like the sound and look of?

That way the "overpriced drums" now are average priced, you get great sounding, well built drums that should last a lifetime if taken care of.

For example:, Ludwig legacy maple, Tama Star, Yamaha recording custom, Sonor Prolite. It's a buyer's market with this pandemic economy.
 
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dale w miller

Silver Member
I think one of the biggest challenges that a musical instrument company faces is that a good majority of their potential clientele are broke. They are either young beginners that scrounged up enough money from birthday, Christmas, allowance, etc... or they are musicians desperately trying to make a living at it. Neither of which can afford the "over priced kits".
The problem I have is I was one of those kids & starving artists. I used my lifesavings as a kid and instead of buying a car I bought a brand new Premier Resonator kit and a moped.

I never had a problem working, down to picking orders as a 12 year old kid any day off I could in my mom’s warehouse. I didn’t buy cigarettes or beer when I was a teenager. Even as a young adult I lived in the crappiest places with 3-4 roommates that cost me not even $300 in today’s money. Sacrifices is what it took.

All of these things add up and these kids/young adults can do the same.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
With high end drums you're paying for the finish and the hardware quality. The sound differs very little from intermediate kits (they will sound different obviously, but not $4000 better) and nobody except other drummers will ever notice any of the differences. The one place I'd imagine it actually matters is when you're recording and trying to get a very specific tone. Everything else is just marketing.
Some people are just cheapskates and don't mind playing trash kits.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I think one of the biggest challenges that a musical instrument company faces is that a good majority of their potential clientele are broke. They are either young beginners that scrounged up enough money from birthday, Christmas, allowance, etc... or they are musicians desperately trying to make a living at it. Neither of which can afford the "over priced kits".
Never mind instrument companies, have you ever tried to sell anything and seen some of the insult offers you get from the something for nothing brigade out there. I'd hate to be an independent builder and be bombarded with people asking for free stuff promising payment in 'exposure dollars'.

My folks always taught me to work my way up from the bottom and make my gear pay for itself through gigging. It's a really simple yet effective thing, the better gigs you do the better gear you can afford. Never accept clicks, views, likes or exposure as a form of payment just cold hard cash. Progress happens faster than you think. Gotta be willing to put the work in though!

Kinda defeats the object being a skint arteest with a finance deal on a £5000 kit and the thing that's supposed to make you money puts you further in debt?!??! But it looks nice ;)

Don't think there's such a thing as overpriced, just gear envy and people living beyond their means.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Never mind instrument companies, have you ever tried to sell anything and seen some of the insult offers you get from the something for nothing brigade out there. I'd hate to be an independent builder and be bombarded with people asking for free stuff promising payment in 'exposure dollars'.

My folks always taught me to work my way up from the bottom and make my gear pay for itself through gigging. It's a really simple yet effective thing, the better gigs you do the better gear you can afford. Never accept clicks, views, likes or exposure as a form of payment just cold hard cash. Progress happens faster than you think. Gotta be willing to put the work in though!

Kinda defeats the object being a skint arteest with a finance deal on a £5000 kit and the thing that's supposed to make you money puts you further in debt?!??! But it looks nice ;)

Don't think there's such a thing as overpriced, just gear envy and people living beyond their means.
This can be applied to literally everything, but we always want it free, more of it and so long as someone else is footing the bill, it's all good. Really unusual to hear such things on DW or any forum.
 

dale w miller

Silver Member
And some people are poor and just want a decent kit to play. Sorry if we dont all hold to your lofty standards.
I think you need to take it easy there. Unless you are supporting a family on a measly income, then I know what it's like to be "poor". I was a starving artist for years on end living in the crappiest places with 3-4 roommates in the crappiest of neighborhoods. I road a moped instead of a car. I ate Ramen pretty every other meal. Doing that I was able to save easily $500/month by simply being a lifeguard, teaching swimming, or delivering pizza or Chinese food. It can be done. Sacrifices is what it took.
 

acsunda

Junior Member
In my experience, most kits by most brands past the $300-$400 mark (or past the "beginner" level) are fine for most applications. It's all about heads and tuning.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I think you need to take it easy there. Unless you are supporting a family on a measly income, then I know what it's like to be "poor". I was a starving artist for years on end living in the crappiest places with 3-4 roommates in the crappiest of neighborhoods. I road a moped instead of a car. I ate Ramen pretty every other meal. Doing that I was able to save easily $500/month by simply being a lifeguard, teaching swimming, or delivering pizza or Chinese food. It can be done. Sacrifices is what it took.
Well since you assume you know me, my household income is less than $20,000 a year. Yet my house is paid. So is my wife's and my car. I have no credit card debt. Would you like to continue on down this road or no?
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Well since you assume you know me, my household income is less than $20,000 a year. Yet my house is paid. So is my wife's and my car. I have no credit card debt. Would you like to continue on down this road or no?
I don't know you, or your ages, but I'm trying to think what kind of job(s) you and your wife have where that's the extent of your income. Have you set any goals to improve your situation? $20K doesn't go very far these days. Especially for two people. I would think Arkansas cost of living helps though.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I don't know you, or your ages, but I'm trying to think what kind of job(s) you and your wife have where that's the extent of your income. Have you set any goals to improve your situation? $20K doesn't go very far these days. Especially for two people. I would think Arkansas cost of living helps though.
I dont work anymore. My wife has a part time job (her choice, not mine). See, here is the thing: we are happy. My wife works 1/2 day friday, all Saturday and Sunday. That's it. Family and being together is more important than money or stuff. We have what we want and need. There is no necessity for financial improvement.

One of us has to stay home. We have 5 dogs, and the biggest one has separation anxiety. She will destroy the house. It's my turn right now, and I'm good with that. I'm 44 if it matters.

$20,000 goes a long way if you know how to budget. My outgoing a year is way less than half of our incoming.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
I dont work anymore. My wife has a part time job (her choice, not mine). See, here is the thing: we are happy. My wife works 1/2 day friday, all Saturday and Sunday. That's it. Family and being together is more important than money or stuff. We have what we want and need. There is no necessity for financial improvement.

One of us has to stay home. We have 5 dogs, and the biggest one has separation anxiety. She will destroy the house. It's my turn right now, and I'm good with that. I'm 44 if it matters.

$20,000 goes a long way if you know how to budget. My outgoing a year is way less than half of our incoming.
Ok then. So you choose to be poor (in a financial sense). In my initial reply you seemed to take umbrage with me saying "some people are just cheapskates...... etc". Notice the word "some". Being poor isn't being a cheapskate but I got some snide vibes with the "lofty standards" remark. My wife and I both started at the bottom of our professions and worked our way up through the years to a couple decent management slots all the while raising 2 daughters, one of whom is autistic. There were years when we worked different shifts and had different days off. Attending various therapy sesssions between work days for my daughter and countless autism seminars. We sacrificed in that regard. I'm not looking for a medal. My daughter did the tough sledding. We just helped her.

My point is that everybody makes choices during the course of their lives and must live with the consequences. The fact that we were able to save for retirement and take care of kids along the way (dance school, special needs therapy, college) doesn't constitute lofty standards. They're just standards we set for ourselves along the way of this thing called life. We've arrived at our retirement age recently and lo and behold we have a couple extra bucks to show for it. We feel fortunate and are happy with both our kids' lives and ours.
 
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