Choosing a Used kit: best value? ($1000 budget)

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Gretsch Renown or Saturn Tour. Both good kits. I'll be the contrarian regarding the Stage Custom. IMHO, they're terrible and yes I've owned one. If you're gonna go birch, get the Premier Genista.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Don't forget to look at Gretsch Renown. My kit is from 2007 and is in perfect condition and sounds fantastic.
Agreed. It's not often, but once in a while a Gretsch Renown in near perfect condition will show up on Reverb for under $1000.

My choice will partly be decided by what's available locally, because I don't want to pay shipping for an un-inspected kit.
Sellers on Reverb tend to be musicians, or music stores, not random people who found a kit in the basement or at an estate sale. So there are usually lots of photos and the kits are well-described. If such a listing showed up, post it here and we can guide you on what questions to ask, and point out missing parts, condition, etc.

Consider this another vote for the Stage Customs, but if a used Renown pops up, that's worth considering. Renowns are very, very nice kits (comparable in sound to USA Customs): good shells, bearing edges, hoops, mounting hardware, and the finishes are on the classier side.
 

Hoigle

Junior Member
I wasn't going to use Reverb, but that makes sense. That should broaden my options.

Darth Vater: thanks for the offer. I'm in Portland, OR, so not exactly convenient :)
 

TK-421

Senior Member
You can get these at my house. :) $900 out the door. Right in your price range. Excellent condition with like new Evans G2s on them. Emad on the kick.

https://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/msg/d/pittsburgh-mapex-saturn-tour-4-pc/6890679621.html
Nice kit! Love the finish and those sizes.

Quick question: Are you certain that bass drum isn't 22x18? (you have it listed as 22x16). I've gotten good at judging shell sizes/depths just from photos, and I'd bet money that bass drum is 18" deep.

As for the OP, hands-down, spend your money on good cymbals first, then a good snare. Only then take what's left and see what drums you can buy. After all, good heads and tuning can make any of those kits sound good or great. But a clunky cymbal is a clunky cymbal.
 

williamsbclontz

Silver Member
honestly, $300 worth of drums and $700 worth of cymbals will sound better with your budget

Dream makes good cheap cymbals though...
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Nice kit! Love the finish and those sizes.

Quick question: Are you certain that bass drum isn't 22x18? (you have it listed as 22x16). I've gotten good at judging shell sizes/depths just from photos, and I'd bet money that bass drum is 18" deep.
Haha, you would lose that bet. That is a 22x16.
 

Hoigle

Junior Member
I haven't heard of Dream, I'll check that out, thanks. To clarify, I don't have a fixed budget. I was allowing $1000 for the shells, and maybe $600 for cymbals . If my total budget was $1000, I would be approaching it differently. If my hypothetical budget was $1600, it seems that most people would recommend around 40% kit, 60% cymbals. I already own a nice hi-hat. I'm confident that I'll be able to add cymbals piece-meal over time, while the shells I choose I'll be stuck with, so I don't want to go too cheap on the shells. I've been using the term 'kit' to mean the shells, which might not be right in this context.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Haha, you would lose that bet. That is a 22x16.
Darn it! Good thing we didn't shake on it then. Now I'm wondering if the smaller lugs on your Mapex (compared to the larger lugs on my 22x18 Gretsch) makes it look like there's comparable space between the lugs, even though the depths are different. Which (at least to me) makes them look like they're the same size.

Here's the best side shot I have of my 22x18 kick. If I didn't know better, I'd still say they were both the same size.
 

Attachments

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Price out good cymbals and a good, solid snare drum first. Take what's left and buy your drums.
As for the OP, hands-down, spend your money on good cymbals first, then a good snare. Only then take what's left and see what drums you can buy. After all, good heads and tuning can make any of those kits sound good or great. But a clunky cymbal is a clunky cymbal.
Another vote for the above.

A great snare, great hi hat cymbals and a great ride cymbal are first priority. The drums next. And sticks :) I'm assuming you have all the hardware you need. Yes? No?

Crashes, splashes, another tom or 2 an the rest of the cymbals last would be my suggestion.

It's good you're not in a hurry.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Darn it! Good thing we didn't shake on it then. Now I'm wondering if the smaller lugs on your Mapex (compared to the larger lugs on my 22x18 Gretsch) makes it look like there's comparable space between the lugs, even though the depths are different. Which (at least to me) makes them look like they're the same size.

Here's the best side shot I have of my 22x18 kick. If I didn't know better, I'd still say they were both the same size.
I just measured it at halftime of the NBA finals game here. It's 22x16. Here's the part # of the kit STVE528X.

Go here........ 3rd kit down.
http://mapexdrums.com/us/products/drum-sets/

LOL
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I just measured it at halftime of the NBA finals game here. It's 22x16. Here's the part # of the kit STVE528X.

Go here........ 3rd kit down.
http://mapexdrums.com/us/products/drum-sets/

LOL
I didn't say I didn't believe you, I just thought they looked remarkably similar in size. But thanks for checking! I even pulled mine out and measured, and yup, it's definitely 18".

Is it just me, or do they look the same size in the pics?
 

VitalTransformation

Silver Member
If my hypothetical budget was $1600, it seems that most people would recommend around 40% kit, 60% cymbals. I already own a nice hi-hat. I'm confident that I'll be able to add cymbals piece-meal over time, while the shells I choose I'll be stuck with, so I don't want to go too cheap on the shells. I've been using the term 'kit' to mean the shells, which might not be right in this context.
Yeah, don't skimp on the drums, get a set you'll be 100% pleased with in terms of both looks and sound. Don't buy something you know you'll be wanting to upgrade from in a couple years.

You already have the hats which are the most expensive cymbal. You should be able to get a nice used Zildjian A ride or similar for not much money (provided you live somewhere civilized, unlike me). Get a couple of cheap placeholder crashes and upgrade those one by one when you can spare the change.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I didn't say I didn't believe you, I just thought they looked remarkably similar in size. But thanks for checking! I even pulled mine out and measured, and yup, it's definitely 18".

Is it just me, or do they look the same size in the pics?
They look the same size to me, too.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Without hesitation I would get a used Renown. It's by far the best quality and best sounding kit for the price IMO.

You can't go wrong with a Saturn kit though, they're also nice, but I prefer the sound of the Renowns. Pure tone and amazing resonance.

A used Stage Custom for $400 is also a good option, like others have said. (If it's the newer model, that is).
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I wasn't going to use Reverb, but that makes sense. That should broaden my options.

Darth Vater: thanks for the offer. I'm in Portland, OR, so not exactly convenient :)
Ask Darth about shipping, I would for the price it's going for!

My main kit is a Saturn V Tour (same finish as this) and even my small config is over £1000 (pounds) to buy, roughly $1600ish.

That's a lot of kit for the money.
 
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