Budget Drums

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
There have been a few threads about the "Quality" of various drums, often described as either cheap or high quality. As far as the various woods are concerned it seems that nothing is cheap sounding, the various woods just produce unique sounds. Hardware makes a big difference however and that is what often suffers in a so called budget kit. That is something though that can be upgraded over time and there are other things you can do to tweak the sound to your liking.
Here is a link describing the various woods

http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/id14.html
 
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trkdrmr

Guest
Professor sound has been pretty common knowledge here for a long time. He makes good points.Softer woods like luuan may mimic maple or birch, but they do not, under any circumstances have the same projection and low end.

For example: you can tune a Yamaha rydeen to mimic the sound of a maple custom, but it will not be as loud. I know, I have done it many times on many kits.

That being said, put some nice mics on a rydeen and it will sound like any kit you want it to after the mix and eq.

My biggest beef are the very entry level kits...wood is not the problem. It's poor hardware that falls apart, and the fact that some of it penetrates the shell. In this cheap setup, the kit lacks the potential of a suspension mounted kit.

And once again, low end drums do not have the unmiced performance of high end drums...period.
 
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trkdrmr

Guest
Point Taken. I wonder if it would be too expensive to correct these imperfections?
Not really expensive. By a few changes, an entry kit can sound worlds better.
Take an entry level "pulse" kit.

Hardware can be made pretty universal.You could get rims mounts for the toms for $40 each. Unbolt the shell mounted tom arm receptacle (in the case of those that go into the shell) and cover the holes. Even if you don't, the drums will sing better. The other thing is to put toms on a stand, and get them off the kick drum. The stock heads are horrible 100% of the time, so they need to all be replace with decent stuff like g2's or emperors.
 

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
Well here is what I did. I bought a set of Sonor Basswood, I replaced the tom heads with Remo coated pinstripe, I upgraded the snare to maple & I have a Black Panther Walnut as well . I replaced the hi-hat with a DW 9500 and the bass pedal with a DW 5000.
I put the Evans Emad 4 combo heads (Matched Reso) on the bass and put maple hoops on as well using the lacquer for the hoops inside the drums, finally put an Evans EQ pad inside. I replaced the snare stand with pearl and the same with the cymbal stands. I have Sabian AAX 20" ride, 18" El Sabor and a 16" B.& 12" AAX Hats. The funny thing is is that live they have the volume and they resonate well but in quieter situations I have to use e-rings etc. I might use a mic 3 feet from the bass in some situations and an overhead as well. I did not make these changes right away it was only after I started to get back in to the swing of things that I would upgrade something every 4 months or so. My most recent purchase was a conversion kit for my floor tom to turn it in to a bass drum (sic) as a go kit but the spurs are so heavy duty I will put them on the real bass drum.

Sort of a back ward way to do things but after I sold my Gretsch I thought that was the end of my playing days, that thought lasted 3 months, previously I owned a set of 1970's Fibes and a 1960's Ludwig Hollywood's, pink champagne sparkle. I had turned 50 and sort of had a momentary lapse of reason Bottom line is that as far as expenditure goes they aren't very budget anymore but the hardware will last and I can always just sell the shells and move to maple if I feel it is necessary
Your thinking, this guy is nuts but what could I do, it was an impulse and the drum store is right on the corner.
 
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trkdrmr

Guest
Well here is what I did. I bought a set of Sonor Basswood, I replaced the tom heads with Remo coated pinstripe, I upgraded the snare to maple & I have a Black Panther Walnut as well . I replaced the hi-hat with a DW 9500 and the bass pedal with a DW 5000.
I put the Evans Emad 4 combo heads (Matched Reso) on the bass and put maple hoops on as well using the lacquer for the hoops inside the drums, finally put an Evans EQ pad inside. I replaced the snare stand with pearl and the same with the cymbal stands. I have Sabian AAX 20" ride, 18" El Sabor and a 16" B.& 12" AAX Hats. The funny thing is is that live they have the volume and they resonate well but in quieter situations I have to use e-rings etc. I might use a mic 3 feet from the bass in some situations and an overhead as well. I did not make these changes right away it was only after I started to get back in to the swing of things that I would upgrade something every 4 months or so. My most recent purchase was a conversion kit for my floor tom to turn it in to a bass drum (sic) as a go kit but the spurs are so heavy duty I will put them on the real bass drum.

Sort of a back ward way to do things but after I sold my Gretsch I thought that was the end of my playing days, that thought lasted 3 months, previously I owned a set of 1970's Fibes and a 1960's Ludwig Hollywood's, pink champagne sparkle. I had turned 50 and sort of had a momentary lapse of reason Bottom line is that as far as expenditure goes they aren't very budget anymore but the hardware will last and I can always just sell the shells and move to maple if I feel it is necessary
Your thinking, this guy is nuts but what could I do, it was an impulse and the drum store is right on the corner.
Heh... I have made far worse spending choices...trust me. I blew serious dough on a custom kit that took about a year to arrive and was still screwed up. Because it was custom, I took a painful loss when I unloaded it. A loss big enough to buy a set of Force 3007 or Gretsch Renown maple. In fact, the "custom" kit didn't sound any better than a Renown maple.

I am not using my Trick kit to gig with, I'd opt for a much less expensive kit for that. I bet with my mics and mixer, I could get a sonor 1007 to sound killer.

Incidentally, I know people like vintage fibes and ludwig, but IMO, modern drums are built much better. The kit I had in the 70's was a top line Luddie. In many respects, it's not as good as a Gretsch Catalina now. Especially the hardware.
 

Bruce M. Thomson

Gold Member
I think you are right about the Ludwig, the Fibes were unique but damned heavy.
Were crazy us drummers, I was thinking about the shell change idea and then I saw a snare outrageously priced but killer and I thought, for a moment that maybe I would buy another snare, just nuts. In the 3 month period between kits I bought an Ashikos hand drum, 10 x 24 to keep my finger in it a bit, killer drum but I sensed that I needed to feel the sense of playing a kit again. I guess I will take your advice about mounting the tom(s) on separate stands and that should be the end of it. I agree with your first statement, in a rehearsal space I played in they had some yamaha's they were older but you could sense that they were speacial and when I played them, even with really worn out, banged up heads they just sang and sort of played them selves in a way and that is when I thought, oh brother, why didn't I think it through more. Anyway, adapt & overcome is the way to approach it now and I'm playing again with 2 bands so als well that ends well (sort of)
Thanks for the input and if I get something decent on tape I will post it.

Cheers
 
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