Christmas Choices

trickg

Silver Member
So the missus wants to get me something drum related for Christmas, budget level around $150-$200. I've got a couple of things in mind, but I'd love some suggestions, or some help choosing. Right now this is what I'm looking at:

Tama Round Rider XL Drum Throne. $169 (I'd love to get this with a cloth top, but I confirmed after calling Tama that they don't offer it with a cloth top AND a spindle base, which is specifically what I want.)
https://www.amazon.com/Tama-Chair-Round-Rider-Throne/dp/B01K5IE6O2

Tama Round Rider - cloth top, spindle base. $99 This is not the XL model so it has a bit of a different base - it's not as robust as the RR XL, but I decidedly like a cloth top - my butt sweats too much on vinyl.
https://www.amazon.com/Tama-Chair-Round-Rider-Throne-x/dp/B01KALPERW

(Side note, I picked up a Gibraltar 9608 a few weeks back - I love the solid base, but it has the vinyl top. My old tried-and-true throne is a Roc-n-Soc spindle, so I have two good, functional drum thrones.)

Mono M80 22" Cymbal Bag $189 - I've never been too taken with the RoadRunner bag I've had for the last decade or so - it's starting to get tattered and I'd like to replace it with something else good.
https://www.amazon.com/MONO-M80-22-Inch-Cymbal-Case/dp/B002K5LE1M

Reunion Blues RBX Cymbal Bag. $119 - maybe not quite in the same league as the Mono, but it looks like it's made pretty well, although I can't seem to find any real reviews for it, whereas there are TONS of reviews for the Mono.
https://www.amazon.com/Reunion-Blues-RBXCM22-Drum-Cymbal/dp/B00MFBB38U

Or...? Suggestions are welcome. I could probably push the budget up to about $250 max - that would be the upper limit, but realistically I'd like to stay under 2 bills.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Doesn't even come close to using all your budget, but the Roc-n-Soc retrofit seat will fit your 9608 base -- best of both worlds.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Go for the Zildjian P1700 cymbal case - $89. You'll have enough left over to buy a cloth top seat for your throne. Or, if you need wheels and 24" capacity, go for the Zildjian ZVault24.

$169 for a canvas bag is . . . uh . . . stiff.

GeeDeeEmm
 

trickg

Silver Member
Doesn't even come close to using all your budget, but the Roc-n-Soc retrofit seat will fit your 9608 base -- best of both worlds.
I hear what you are saying. Originally I bought the Gibraltar because I wanted a base for the Roc-n-Soc - at only $8 price difference between just buying the base and getting the whole throne, it was a no brainer to just get the whole throne.

Regarding the case vs bag argument for the cymbals, I have never cared for the hard cases. I want a soft bag, but a good soft bag.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I figured I'd update this, not that anyone particularly cares.

After hashing this stuff around in my mind, looking at YouTube videos and reading reviews, I finally settled on the drum-related Christmas gift from my wife. (Or at least I think I did - my wife may have a surprise up her sleeve.)

The Mono 22" M80 cymbal bag.

My throne situation is ok for now - I've got a throne on my practice kit, and a throne in my hardware bag, and although it's not a perfect setup, it's more than adequate.

The one piece of drum related gear that I like least of all from everything I own is my cymbal bag. I bought my current bag - the RoadRunner cymbal bag with wheels - one day in Guitar Center. My other bag was a simple one-pocket Sabian bag, and I wanted something with dividers, but I picked what I felt was the best thing they had in the store that day that fit my budget, and I have never particularly liked it.

The Mono M80 cymbal bag is expensive, but after reading the reviews and watching the videos, it looks like it is very well made, and has some really neat features that were thought out really well.

So what's on YOUR Christmas list?
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
The Mono M80 is a super nice bag. I almost bought that one, but went with the Protection Racket at the last minute. Both are equally nice.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I had thought about getting a new Reunion Blues leather cymbal bag. But the list on those nowadays is $599. When I bought my last one thirty years ago it cost me $350 then. I guess I don't need one. Mine is all beaten in and loved - with no damage after 30 years. It'll make it til I die, I suppose.

But I guess I already have my Christmas kit - that 1972 Gretsch. Maybe a set of Ahead bags for those would be cool so I don't have to use my hard cases all the time.
 

trickg

Silver Member
The Mono M80 is a super nice bag. I almost bought that one, but went with the Protection Racket at the last minute. Both are equally nice.
I was on the fence between 3:

The Mono M80
Protection Racket Deluxe
Ahead Deluxe

There were things about each that I liked, but overall I felt that the Mono provided more of the features that I really liked, although I'm sure I'd have been perfectly happy with any of them. The Mono was $60 more than the other two, but when you step back and consider that I've had my current bag (that I don't even particularly like) for at least 10 years, is the additional $60 even worth quibbling about? I didn't think so - I think that this cymbal bag will really dial in my gear for pretty much exactly what I want.

I had thought about getting a new Reunion Blues leather cymbal bag. But the list on those nowadays is $599. When I bought my last one thirty years ago it cost me $350 then. I guess I don't need one. Mine is all beaten in and loved - with no damage after 30 years. It'll make it til I die, I suppose.

But I guess I already have my Christmas kit - that 1972 Gretsch. Maybe a set of Ahead bags for those would be cool so I don't have to use my hard cases all the time.
Bo, I was on the fence between Protection Racket and Ahead when I picked up a set of bags for my new Gretsch Catalina bop kit, and after going with the Ahead bags, I have no regrets about that choice at all. PR makes good stuff, but the Ahead bags are definitely solid quality, although I've heard that if you truly want "the best" soft bags, Beato is pretty tough to beat.

You mentioned the Reunion Blues cymbal bag. If I'd really had my druthers about it, I would have loved to have gotten the Reunion Blues Continental Midnight bag, but no one seems to have it anymore. I don't know if RB discontinued it because they weren't selling enough of them, or if it's more of a special order kind of thing, but I didn't seem to be able to find any retailers who had them, and I didn't feel like going through the motions when there was so much I liked about the Mono bag, and getting that ordered was a snap.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I've heard that if you truly want "the best" soft bags, Beato is pretty tough to beat.

Not sure if we're talking about the same Beato bags, but I had a set a decade ago and they were nothing special. I have a set of Gators today, that while get better reviews, I dislike even more. They are so tight, you're always fighting to get drums into them. The Protection Racket or Ahead bags will be what I go with if I start gigging again. 3x the protection and zero fighting!
 

trickg

Silver Member
I'm not sure where I heard that about Beato bags - I know that they are supposed to be fully waterproof though, so I suppose there's something to that.

Initially, before I ordered the Ahead bags, I was trying to get RoadRunner Touring series bags, but they didn't have one for an 18x14 kick drum, (or at least not that I could seem to find) and because I wanted them all to match, I went with Ahead, partly because my hardware bag is an Ahead sled.

Those bags are really pretty awesome IMO. They are very well made, the fleece pile lining on top of high impact foam is soft, but firm enough to protect, the tru-form shape gives you plenty of room for mounting brackets and that kind of thing, and the DynaZip setup makes it super easy to get the bags in and out, although it's mainly something I use for the kick drum case.

If that's the route you decide to go, I doubt if you'll be disappointed.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I had to get bags in a pinch for a few gigs I had. At the time, I really didn’t care about the set getting beat up as much as the drums trashing my interior, so the Gator bags made sense. They offer close to zero protection for my Brooklyn set.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
So what's on YOUR Christmas list?

I've use the heavy, old standard double-braced cymbal, snare, and hh stands for a long time, and I've been exploring either the single-braced, flat-based hardware or the Yamaha Crosstown hardware. There's only a one-pound difference between the DW Flatbase hardware pack and the Yamaha crosstown. I do ok with what I have, but like I said, I've just been looking around.

I'm also looking at either a Pearl Masters 14 x 6.5 maple snare or a free-floater of the same size. I absolutely love my Masters 14 x 5.5, but I'd like one that's deeper.

I'd like one of those cymbal tree/stands for the basement so I don't have to keep moving my spare cymbals around from place to place (first-world problems, I know).

I thought a handmade leather stick bag would be super-cool. There's a local leather worker who does amazing work.
 

trickg

Silver Member
I thought I'd post an update to this thread. I had been asked to sit in and play trumpet with the jazz band I used to teach for their holiday concert. Their drummer came rolling in and he has the Mono M80 cymbal bag, so I got a chance to get a good look at it. Flat out, it's pretty awesome It's one thing to look at it through the screen on a video review, and a whole other thing to see and feel the quality of the bag in person. It's a super super nice bag, and is undoubtedly worth the premium price it takes to get one.

I know the missus got me a cymbal bag, because I was home when it got delivered. I mean, what else could come in a box that size and shape, right? I think she got me the Mono bag, so I'm pretty stoked about it.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
So what's on YOUR Christmas list?

The Guru snare that came in last month was pretty much my birthday/anniversary/Christmas/Easter present for the next however long. But I did manage to finagle with the wife to grab a set of microphones because they were on sale dirt cheap - the Digital Reference 4-piece kit (just fine for gigs around town so the nicer mics can stay home). Also picking up a Shure PGA-57 for the snare and a few extra XLR cables. Next year I figure to upgrade to a real audio interface to keep in the rehearsal space, so my personal mixer can stay in the case for gigs.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I thought I'd post an update to this thread. I had been asked to sit in and play trumpet with the jazz band I used to teach for their holiday concert. Their drummer came rolling in and he has the Mono M80 cymbal bag, so I got a chance to get a good look at it. Flat out, it's pretty awesome It's one thing to look at it through the screen on a video review, and a whole other thing to see and feel the quality of the bag in person. It's a super super nice bag, and is undoubtedly worth the premium price it takes to get one.

I know the missus got me a cymbal bag, because I was home when it got delivered. I mean, what else could come in a box that size and shape, right? I think she got me the Mono bag, so I'm pretty stoked about it.

I just got one of these as an upgrade to my tattered garden variety Zildjian backpack bag and yes, it's worth the price tag for sure. Well made and thought out bag, the only real negative being that I can't fit my 16" hats in the hats pocket where I could with the Zildjian. And, a 10" splash fits pretty tight in the splash pocket. But I walked twenty NYC blocks with this on my back carrying a full 10/16/16/18/19/20 set and it wasn't too bad...
 

Up2Speed

Senior Member
You won't regret choosing the Mono bag. The dividers are excellent. In my experience Mono goes for a snug fit. My 22" ride fits but it is tight. Same with my mono snare bag. I only have one of the snare bags because I simply don't like how tight the fit is.
 

trickg

Silver Member
The Guru snare that came in last month was pretty much my birthday/anniversary/Christmas/Easter present for the next however long. But I did manage to finagle with the wife to grab a set of microphones because they were on sale dirt cheap - the Digital Reference 4-piece kit (just fine for gigs around town so the nicer mics can stay home). Also picking up a Shure PGA-57 for the snare and a few extra XLR cables. Next year I figure to upgrade to a real audio interface to keep in the rehearsal space, so my personal mixer can stay in the case for gigs.
Nice! Having some good mics is always a plus. I've got a set of mics, but they are the lowest end CAD drum mics you can get - I think I got the whole set on Stupid Deal of the Day for $100. For now they are ok because I don't gig out, and because I have a couple of other mics I can use in place of the CAD options, specifically a pair of Audix F15 small diaphragm condensers for overhead, a Shure SM57 for snare, and a Shure SM7B that works pretty well as a kick mic in a pinch.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Nice! Having some good mics is always a plus. I've got a set of mics, but they are the lowest end CAD drum mics you can get - I think I got the whole set on Stupid Deal of the Day for $100. For now they are ok because I don't gig out, and because I have a couple of other mics I can use in place of the CAD options, specifically a pair of Audix F15 small diaphragm condensers for overhead, a Shure SM57 for snare, and a Shure SM7B that works pretty well as a kick mic in a pinch.

Exactly. You can do an awful lot with two good overhead condensers, a good kick mike, and (if needed) a good snare mike. I have a Sennheiser E902 inside my kick right now, replacing an old Shure 819 (precursor to the Beta 91) and it sounds incredible; plus a new PGA-57 on the snare and a pair of passable condensers up top. Just with those four it sounds great in the room where I do my stuff. I have access to a set of three Sennheiser e604s but I don't have inputs for them now. Drumming was already a rabbit hole... now adding sound and recording on top...
 
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