Best Approach to re-build kit

Hewitt2

Senior Member
I've been out of the game for a few years and looking for the optimal and most cost-conscious way to re-build a good sounding and practical kit. My approach is to prioritize my spend to the most critical items first and work downwards from there.

There is obviously some subjectivity to it, but my approach has been to prioritize as follows (ensuring to buy everything used).

- Cymbals (good all-arounders like the Sabian AA/HH). Start with hats, ride, crash.
- Snare (something aluminum like the Acro)
- Shell pack (bass drum, rack/floor tom)
- Hardware
- Drum heads *forgot to add in my original post*

Cheers or jeers? Thanks for the advice!
 
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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
When I got back into playing, I did the same basic thing. Did a TON of research for reviews of kits/manufacturers in my price range. I bought used vintage Zildjian cymbals. Used cymbals will save you a lot if you're willing and that's something you'd entertain. I bought a shell pack with hardware--did NOT cost me $525. With that said, I wish I went about it a little differently. I've pieced together a set of orphan Tama drums that sound great! It's extra work to do that. But that's also something you might consider--piecing together a kit. You obviously have to get hardware.

Heads: Man, SO MANY choices. Can't go wrong with Remo or Evans (Evans has many choices--be aware of what you're buying).

Good luck.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
A second hand mid level kit, good stands, and second hand cymbals.
If you’re lucky you can get a good kit for cheap on which you’ll only need to change the skins.
 

beatdat

Senior Member
Don't skimp on the throne, get the best throne you can afford - your body and your playing will both benefit from it.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
It would help if you start with a budget.

A 3 piece used pro kit (rack, floor, bass) can be had for $500-1000. A good used intermediate/mid level kit ..... probably more like $500. Top line kits from around 76/78 and thru the 80's can be scored for pretty cheap. Before that time period, you run into "vintage" pricing.

Aluminum Snare Drum probably $150-250.

Hardware ..... besides a snare stand, hi hat, and two (minimum) cymbals stands ..... you're gonna need a bass pedal and a throne. Going with generic, no name stuff .... you could probably get away for $150 ..... but I'd at least go with a solid name brand. Personally, I'm partial to Yamaha 600 and 700 series hardware.

Cymbals ..... I'd figure a good set of hats $150-200. A good ride $150-200. A good crash $100-150.
 
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Lennytoons

Senior Member

Here's a start on a shell pack. Outstanding value for these drums. I agree on buying used cymbals. I have an arsenal of vintage Zildjian, Paiste and Sabian cymbals I got for half of new prices. You can't go wrong with Zildjian A's, Sabian AA or HH or HHX and Paiste 602 or 2002s. Plus they hold their value if you decide to sell later. Yamaha, Pearl, Tama and Gibraltar all make good hardware, just look for it on sale. As for the snare, Acros are always a good choice. Check out shopgoodwill.com. Pearl Sensitones are great as well and are usually inexpensive either new or used. Good luck with your search!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I agree with your list in order of priority. The shells are after the snare and cymbals, very wise indeed.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Great feedback everyone - thanks so much! Good to know I’m on the right trAck. It’s an exciting time but also a little nerve wracking; always worried to be pulling the trigger before a better deal comes along. Got a set of used AA sabian hats for 100. I’ve got another 900 left over so I think I should be ok! Will let you know what the kit looks like once it’s all put together.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Hewitt, I think you're making wise choices, too. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (probably too late), may I make a suggestion or two?

* Drum set (used, of course): I say without fear of contradiction that the best drums available for incredibly low prices are the Pacific CX, LX, or LXE (and a couple of others) kits that were made in DW's then-new Encenada, Mexico plant. These kits were made from American Hard Rock Maple, sound fantastic, and are available for embarrassingly low prices. It's not hard to find a nice five-piece kit with hardware in the $200-400 range. Listen to these drums (I have the same kit in the video as one of my kits):
Pacific CX Maple kit - Very Early Production
The important thing to remember: stick to the Pacific drums MADE IN MEXICO. Those are the gems.

* Cymbals: You are on your way with the Sabian hats. You should be able to find other bargains if you stick to the very popular cymbal lines, especially from Sabian and Zildjian.
- Ride cymbal: it's easy to pick up 20" Sabian AA or Zildjian A rides for $100 or even less.
- Crash cymbals: Sabian AA/Zildjian A 18" crash: $90 or less; the same in a 16" crash: $80 or less.

Thanks for sharing your re-entry into the drum world with us. It's as exciting to us as it is to you! Please keep us updated with your purchases and progress.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Jasta 11

Active member
all great choices, i will only suggest that if you see a used Zildjain ZBT ride for cheap, do not be afraid to buy it. I use one at the rehearsal space in my guitar players house and the same one on a house kit i use at a gig. very good, heavy weight all around ride that is inexpensive.
 

gish

Senior Member
Lots of great advice here (as always on Drummerworld). Now, where can you find all of this reasonably priced gear? You have Craigslist, Facebook marketplace. Also, while I’m not a fan of guitar center in general, they have a fantastic selection of used gear at reasonable prices. I’ve been watching their used section online like a hawk the last few years and have scored some outstanding deals.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
You guys are awesome - as much as I missed playing drums I think not being part of the forum community these past few years cut deeper!
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Hewitt, I think you're making wise choices, too. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (probably too late), may I make a suggestion or two?

* Drum set (used, of course): I say without fear of contradiction that the best drums available for incredibly low prices are the Pacific CX, LX, or LXE (and a couple of others) kits that were made in DW's then-new Encenada, Mexico plant. These kits were made from American Hard Rock Maple, sound fantastic, and are available for embarrassingly low prices. It's not hard to find a nice five-piece kit with hardware in the $200-400 range. Listen to these drums (I have the same kit in the video as one of my kits):
Pacific CX Maple kit - Very Early Production
The important thing to remember: stick to the Pacific drums MADE IN MEXICO. Those are the gems.

* Cymbals: You are on your way with the Sabian hats. You should be able to find other bargains if you stick to the very popular cymbal lines, especially from Sabian and Zildjian.
- Ride cymbal: it's easy to pick up 20" Sabian AA or Zildjian A rides for $100 or even less.
- Crash cymbals: Sabian AA/Zildjian A 18" crash: $90 or less; the same in a 16" crash: $80 or less.

Thanks for sharing your re-entry into the drum world with us. It's as exciting to us as it is to you! Please keep us updated with your purchases and progress.

GeeDeeEmm
Gotta say those pacific drums really seem to be punching above their weight👍
 

V-Four

Senior Member
I've been out of the game for a few years and looking for the optimal and most cost-conscious way to re-build a good sounding and practical kit. My approach is to prioritize my spend to the most critical items first and work downwards from there.

There is obviously some subjectivity to it, but my approach has been to prioritize as follows (ensuring to buy everything used).

- Cymbals (good all-arounders like the Sabian AA/HH). Start with hats, ride, crash.
- Snare (something aluminum like the Acro)
- Shell pack (bass drum, rack/floor tom)
- Hardware
- Drum heads *forgot to add in my original post*

Cheers or jeers? Thanks for the advice!
Sounds like you're on a pretty good path here..


all great choices, i will only suggest that if you see a used Zildjain ZBT ride for cheap, do not be afraid to buy it. I use one at the rehearsal space in my guitar players house and the same one on a house kit i use at a gig. very good, heavy weight all around ride that is inexpensive.
I know that sound is a matter of opinion. But, I'm going to have to disagree on the ZBT ride. DO be afraid. I own one, yes, it is in the furnace room, far away from my kit, so it doesn't get hit by accident. ;)

If you are seriously interested, I will let it go for cheap. I'm sure it has less than 30 min of playing time on it. (Probably cost more to ship than it's worth though.)

T.
 
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trickg

Silver Member
I'll jump on the "you're on the right path" bandwagon.

I'll also jump on the bandwagon about used cymbals - if you just gotta have new, that's cool, but I've found some awesome value in buying used cymbals. I'd picked up a used Sabian 20" El Sabor ride that I wish like heck at this point that I hadn't sold - it was a nice alternative sound to the AAX Stage Ride I'd had (and still have) and it was crashable. But, I also picked up a 1983/84 vintage Sabian AA Rock Ride for cheap, and that's my current go-to ride. Lastly, I picked up a set of barely used Zildjian New Beats a few months ago for less than $200 - $180 maybe? Can't remember off of the top of my head, but I love them - they sound great and they are currently my gigging cymbals, replacing a set of AAX Stage hats I'd been using for years.

As for kits, man, where to even start!? There are a lot of awesome drums that are marketed in the step-up/mid level range. I've said before that if something were to happen to my current kit that I'd have no issues picking up a set of Yamaha Stage Custom birch drums. They are well made, they look good, and they sound killer. All for $650, or maybe less if you can catch a sale or promotion.

What are you looking to budget for this? Just curious. I want to see where this all winds up - you may wind up with a really awesome setup, and with some careful shopping and patience, you'll probably save a bundle too.
 

Hewitt2

Senior Member
Thread update - purchase a used Sabian 21” AAX Memphis Ride today to supplement my Sabian 14” regular hi-hats (pre-AA) and couldn’t be more thrilled. Got it for only $130 and to me it is a total jack of all trades. Owned it previously and it was one of my faves; glad it’s back in my loving arms. I was also looking at the Sabian 20” HH medium ride but I couldn’t justify the price gap when the Memphis Ride is capable of covering similar ground.

Next up in my priority list are a primary crash (big fan of the Sabian 18” HHX xplosion crash) and snare (Acrolite or something along those lines, although I noticed these are getting more expensive in the resale market).

Cheers!
 
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Hewitt2

Senior Member
All right gang - here’s an update from yours truly. The project is coming along nicely and I’m about 90% of the way there;

Cymbals (all used Sabian)
- 14” Regular hi-hats (pre-AA): $100
- 18” AA Medium Thin Crash: $70
- 21” AAX Memphis Ride: $130

Drums
- PDP CX 5-piece Maple kit in a beautiful red sparkle - $300. This was a great purchase for me, as I also got a nice double-braced Pearl snare stand, a Tama Iron cobra jr. bass drum pedal, a really solid PDP hi-hat stand and some 13” Zildjian K Custom Dark hi-hats. The drums were also outfitted with new heads (Evans G2). Awesome deal!

Big shout-out to gdmoore23 for turning me on to these awesome drums and his helpful advice on our chats!

Hardware and accessories next! 73E6CBE1-2F3C-4538-9B47-BB6D36AD4CCF.jpeg
 
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