Classic kits that sound... horrible.

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I’ve been doing sound at the local pub a few gigs per week lately, and commented recently how every band uses a tiny drum kit.

Anyway, yesterday an old drummer brought in a traditional sized kit, a 1973 Rogers kit, 12 - 13 - 16 - 22 + a Dynasonic snare. These are rare in Australia, so I was looking forward to hearing a quality, classic kit.

Wow, was I disappointed! Terrible tuning, worn out heads, heavily padded kick, loose, uneven snare. Some of the heads (inc. toms) still had Rogers logos, suggesting he hasn’t changed the heads in 44 years! I was polite and respectful, and did my best to make it sound OK.

By contrast, the bass player had a classic old Fender J and he’d clearly replaced the strings regularly and kept it in tune and well maintained. Sounded great.
So why would the drummer think that you can buy a kit then expect it to still sound good without any maintenance for forty years?

Is it just a drummer thing?
That it’s a good kit, so it doesn’t need to be tuned or maintained..
Anyone have any good examples or opinions?
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Sounds like almost every house kit I've played.

Well, not that old, so removal of "muffling"(10 lbs og duct tape) and tuning makes it passable.

30 mins of work and it's a new kit.

I didn't start out on drums and never been a touring pro on the instrument. The consensus from those I know that are is that knowing how to tune one's drums properly is not all that common.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I have an old Pearl kit from the early 70s and it sounds great when properly headed and tuned. The snare I got with it is a Dynasonic and it sounds awesome. Very sensitive, decent amount of ring with no strange overtones or anything. I love that snare.

Sounds like a drummer thing to me.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
The junk keeps the funk :) as James Jameson used to say.

Sounds like this guy's stuck in 1973 when a lot of drum recordings sounded like someone had thrown a duvet over everything.

40 year old heads....wow. I'm never complaining about 5 year old pinstripes on a house kit anymore.

New heads work wonders on drums, after 40 years getting them off could be interesting!
 
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DaleClark

Senior Member
I find, with my almost 50 year old Ludwigs, that using heads that were popular at the time of the drums release works best. I've tried every new fangled head there ever was and my drums sound best with plain old Remo Ambassadors. My drums do not sound great muffled except for minor damping in the bass drum. My drums need to be tuned med to med high to get the most pleasing sound. I'm not big on muffling for live playing, I find good playing technique can cater to any volume with good results.
 

Mongrel

Silver Member
Wait....."Classic kits that sound horrible" or "classic kits that have been abused and neglected to the point that they sound horrible"?
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
I find, with my almost 50 year old Ludwigs, that using heads that were popular at the time of the drums release works best. I've tried every new fangled head there ever was and my drums sound best with plain old Remo Ambassadors. My drums do not sound great muffled except for minor damping in the bass drum. My drums need to be tuned med to med high to get the most pleasing sound. I'm not big on muffling for live playing, I find good playing technique can cater to any volume with good results.

+1 on everything you've said!

Emps/G2s for me. I like coated amb/G1 resos as well that are tuned higher than the batter head you get a massive sound.

I hate muffling too but I have had to play some rooms that have shocking acoustics and/or noise limiters. I had to use O-rings (which I've never used in my life) on a travel kit 2 weeks ago. I'd have cried if I had rocked up with the Ludwig!
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
This Rogers kit had coated ambassadors on the toms (stamped ‘Rogers’) that we’re so worn that the remaining coating was almost translucent yellow and smooth to the touch, like old paper.

The snare had a clear cs black dot - tuned loose and uneven.

As someone said, the fault definitely lies with the drummer, not the drums. He’s around 70, and plays in 2 or 3 bands. You think he could afford new heads once a decade.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
this thread should be titled ... "classic moron who has no clue how to care for drums or just flat doesn't care... horrible"

this has absolutely nothing to do with the drums
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
this thread should be titled ... "classic moron who has no clue how to care for drums or just flat doesn't care... horrible"

this has absolutely nothing to do with the drums

Let's hope they find a more responsible and caring patron next time.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
40+ year old heads!?...on the upside, a true testament to the pure strength and longevity of Mylar. Kudos to the material scientist who invented it. Mind you, perhaps calfskin can last long.
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I’ve been doing sound at the local pub a few gigs per week lately, and commented recently how every band uses a tiny drum kit.

Anyway, yesterday an old drummer brought in a traditional sized kit, a 1973 Rogers kit

I would bring an old kit with old heads for jamming at bars. People broke my gear before. Maybe they were drunk.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Just goes to show that the greatest kits can sound very pukey in the wrong hands.

Hmm, what would sound worse, a great kit tuned bad or a crappy identical kit tuned identically bad?

Neither, it's a bass solo! Trick question!

(I don't really mean that)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I’ve been doing sound at the local pub a few gigs per week lately, and commented recently how every band uses a tiny drum kit.

Anyway, yesterday an old drummer brought in a traditional sized kit, a 1973 Rogers kit, 12 - 13 - 16 - 22 + a Dynasonic snare. These are rare in Australia, so I was looking forward to hearing a quality, classic kit.

Wow, was I disappointed! Terrible tuning, worn out heads, heavily padded kick, loose, uneven snare. Some of the heads (inc. toms) still had Rogers logos, suggesting he hasn’t changed the heads in 44 years! I was polite and respectful, and did my best to make it sound OK.

By contrast, the bass player had a classic old Fender J and he’d clearly replaced the strings regularly and kept it in tune and well maintained. Sounded great.
So why would the drummer think that you can buy a kit then expect it to still sound good without any maintenance for forty years?

Is it just a drummer thing?
That it’s a good kit, so it doesn’t need to be tuned or maintained..
Anyone have any good examples or opinions?

Keeping heads for 40+ years is not a “drummer” thing. More like just a few people out there who are unaware. I try not to rely on anyones’ glowing opinion of how great their “house” kit is, either. If I go into a “house” situation, I still bring my backup box of heads and find I may be able to use the 14”, 16”, and 22” heads, if I really need to.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
What’s ironic here is that there are two house kits at this pub - both well maintained and tuned, good hardware, etc.

But this old guy brought his own pride and joy for this gig with his band. So we moved the house kit out.

My favourite bit was when I said to him “Classic kit, what year is it?” And he replied “1973, and it’s worth more than YOU could ever afford.”

As I said earlier, I remained polite and respectful, but wow the kit sounded awful.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
This is a 1970 kit with original heads that sounds great and you could afford.. although kept in really good nick .. i feel your guys kit is neglected in lots of ways.. it's the man not the kit..after 1970 i think the Rogers kits started to lose the plot anyway.
 

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