Consolidating Gear-Opinions Welcomed and Appreciated

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Hello,

I am very lucky. I'll start by saying that. I own a lot of drum kits that I lovingly restored, or polished or cleaned/tuned that I acquired used. I take excellent care of my gear and the drums I have always look and play way better then how I first got them (I buy virtually everything used). I used to really look forward to adding to my collection of kits. I have so many now though, that I am becoming overwhelmed at all the gear I have. I have to spend money on a climate controlled storage unit just to have enough room to store everything.

I own around 35 total kits. Many are vintage MIJ (Made In Japan) with cool and unique wraps, and I also own a lot of Mid-level kits, like Stage Customs, PDP Birch, Gretsch Catalina etc, but I don't own anything real high end, and all my vintage stuff (save a '66 Slingerland Stage Band) is MIJ. Lately, I've really been thinking a lot about simplifying and instead of having 35 "pretty good" kits, what if I have have 4-5 "great" kits? Something really nice, like Gretsch USA Customs, or high end Yamaha, Mapex, Pearl, DW, Ludwig, or some high end vintage stuff, like Rogers, Ludwig or Gretsch Round Badge etc. I do play out several times a month in multiple projects, so I am a "real" working musician, not just a hobbyist.

The kits I have now, although mid-level or MIJ, all sound great, look great, and perform flawlessly. I am experienced enough to make even low quality drums sound decent. Here are my questions to you all:

1). If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Would you hang on to the "collection" or would you do as I described above? Obviously, I would have a TON of gear to sell if went the consolidation route, but all of the proceeds could be used to fund a small collection of premium, high end kits. Honestly, I think the selling/shipping of gear would be much harder and more laborious than deciding what to invest the proceeds in. (That would be the fun part!).

2) If you did decide to go the consolidation route, how would you choose to sell a massive amount of gear? I know Reverb/Ebay is viable, but what about possibly contacting a local drum shop that would have the capacity and knowledge to deal with the gear and maybe do a "bulk sale" (Jim Rupp's place, Columbus Pro Percussion, is less than 2 hours from me). Would you pursue that route?

3) I'm thinking I would probably enjoy the few high end kits more, because it's less to think about and keep track of, and I know in my heart that they are very high end kits that I got to pick out myself. Plus I could display them all, set up, in one room in my house (no way I can do that now!) and save money by getting rid of the storage unit. Do you agree?

4) Do you think I would notice the difference between my mid-level kits I am used to, and a high end kit? Build quality, sound, ease of tuning etc?


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and offer your opinions. I know I will get a TON of great advice on this forum.


Thank you all,

V
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Quality over quantity! You only have 2 arms and 2 legs. Trim down your collection and use the money for a few really nice kits. You'll also save money if you no longer need the storage space.

4) Do you think I would notice the difference between my mid-level kits I am used to, and a high end kit? Build quality, sound, ease of tuning etc?
I probably don't have to tell you that the difference between MIJ kits and modern kits will be night and day. The quality of today's budgets kits are roughly equivalent to mid-level kits from just 20 years ago...so imagine how a 40 year old MIJ kit would compare.

Regarding new kits, I can give you my 2 cents if I know what sound you're going for. Vintage, Modern, clean, thuddy, round, jazzy...etc.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
That's tough. I understand how difficult it can be to get rid of something that you have put hard work into. If it were me, I think I would evaluate the collection and widdle it down to a few that have a special meaning to me and ditch the rest for some high end stuff. I would imagine you should be able to get enough of a return on the rest of the collection to get 4 or 5 kits and be picky about them. Look at it like this: 30 kits sold at and average price of $500 nets you $15,000. If you spend $3000 a piece on new kits, that's 5 kits.

For what to get, that's the kicker. You could go regional, 1 USA kit, 1 Asian kit, 1 European kit. Perhaps some custom shop stuff. Maybe a vintage kit you have always pined over. The possibilities are endless when you have the cash.

If it were me, I would definitely try to get my hands (and feet) on a Guru, no explanation needed. And a Sonor. Never played one, but they seem to have that special something and I just need to experience it for myself. A high end Pearl would be on my list, but I'm a Pearl guy so that's a no brainer. A vintage Slingerland is something I've always wanted, so that box would get checked also. After that, I would probably grow my cymbal selection. This is really fun to think about.

Good luck to you, I'm sure this isn't an easy decision to make.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Only thing I have several of is snare drums and I'l probaly get more.

For kits, I've always known what I wanted. A ful bank of USA Customs and a few select sizes of Broadkasters.

I'm really a minimalist at heart and that goes for everything. One main electric guitar, one nice saxophone, bass etc..

I see situations where I'd be wise to get a cheaper kit, but generally when I don't play my own stuff there's decent enough house kit.

I choose to spend my extra money on other drum stuff like hand percussion, and barious contraptions needed for certain occasions. There's no shortage of shaky rattly things around and they're very useful for various acoustic or low volume situation in particular. Cheap things that generally range from $ 5-100.

In general, if I don't use something I sell, but that rarely happnes these days as I've these days usually thought things through for a long time before I commit to buying something.

Teaching materials is the exception. Tons of that stuff, but with a couple of nice, tall book shelves they're pretty much organized and out of the way.
 

CompactDrums

Silver Member
1 - I would go for it... I probably wouldn't succeed with the entire transition, but maybe start with selling of ten kits and getting one high end instead and take it from there. Kinda' works though 'cause it takes time to find deals on high end used too.

2 - a slow trickle. Reverb, ebay, Craigs, etc. I would perhaps contact a few dealers but they won't offer you any where near the value.

3 - 100% agree!

4 - Yes, to varying degrees. In some cases maybe not so much.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
I'd keep the '66 Slingerland Stage Band, keep the coolest looking MIJ with baddest wrap (bad in a good way), and sell the rest cheap cheap cheap so you turn them quickly. At an average of $200 a kit and, say, 30 kits, that's $6000. Buy a Craviotto kit and Craviotto snare with the $6000. You'd then have 3 kits each different, and one that very high quality kit you're lacking. Well, that Slingerland ain't nothing to sneeze at as far as quality. Thin 3 ply with re-rings is an excellent example of a quality vintage kit.
 

Vintage Old School

Gold Member
Let me ask you this: are you paying money to store all these kits? If you are paying a monthly storage fee then I would be prone to liquidate sooner than later so storage fees could be at least be reduced if not altogether eliminated.

1) If I were in your shoes I would start thinning the herd. Keep the kits that have emotional attachment, but sell the kits you don't care about. Then get one high end kit and see how you feel about things. At that point you'll know whether you'll want to unload everything in favor of all high end kits or keep a few of your older restored kits and be pleased with adding only a few new kits.

2) You can sell through the usual outlets (Reverb, eBay, Craigs List) but other options are joining drum forums on Facebook that deal with your make of drums and list them for sale a set at a time. Don't forget about swap meets and drum shows. Get to know local band teachers at schools who can refer parents to you wanting to buy Junior his/her first drum kit. Or if you want to put in the work and pace yourself for slow sales establish your own website detailing your kits. Get the word out you're open for business.

3) You will definitely appreciate some higher end kits. But once you start down this road you may come to a newfound appreciation for some of your restored kits and their old school vibe.

4) Yes, you will hear and in some cases feel the difference. When I set up my 1960's Stewart kit next to my first Yamaha pro kit (9000 series) it was night and day difference. I sold the Stewart kit immediately and never looked back.
 
I'd keep the Slingerland, your favorite Japanese kit and one of the newer kits like the Stage Customs (for teaching or as a reliable gig set).

You'll probably saturate the local market for MIJ sets with that number of sets, so if you're willing to ship, you could order a palette of shipping boxes online. Or ask at music stores if they have left over boxes.
Also, people on here enjoy pictures. ;)
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
It's good to take inventory and decide what you enjoy playing. Tastes change. I don't get too sentimental about anything. If you're not using it or planning on using it anytime soon, sell it. Try some higher end kits and figure out what you like. Right now I have 4 kits and 3 of them are for sale.

My simple rule is: Cash presents more options than a pile of gear sitting in a corner does.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
35 kits is just too many kits for one man IMO.

I would at the very least gift one of those kits to a deserving kid.

If you appreciate MIJ kits...you should be over the moon with a truly high end kit. The only advice there is I would suggest a solid shell construction. It's the logical next step kit-wise for you IMO.

My thinking is that you are going to go to a lot of effort re-organizing things...so why not go for the gold? It's a new vista.

You had ply drums, been there done that. Time for something you haven't experienced yet.

Solid shell steambent, stave or segmented, whatever trips your trap, is my suggestion.

And yes, downsize. I don't think you will get any other serious comment stating otherwise.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Sell everything you haven't used in the past 5 years.
Re-evaluate
Sell everything you haven't used in the past 3 years.
Re-evaluate
Repeat till you have a manageable collection.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
On a smaller scale I've had to do something similar by moving from a house to an apartment. I've sold off hardware, snares and cymbals and have considered selling my most current high end kit, one of the only three kits I own. Can't do that yet even though I barely gig with it. :)

In your case I would start by making a list and keeping what you use most for the current gigs you do. If a kit or piece of gear hasn't been used in a year (or just a long time) that should be on the auction block first.

I believe it might be tough to follow what Vintage Old School recommends:
"Keep the kits that have emotional attachment, but sell the kits you don't care about"

If you've put loving labor into restores, there may be emotional blocks to selling off these kits. I'm not disagreeing with that course of action. However I believe it's best to approach from the goal of getting rid of all gear that is used infrequently and requires the storage unit (BTW: I used to have to have a storage unit. Not cheap in the Los Angeles area).

I agree with the concept of selling off everything you can and getting high end kits that will cover you professionally and emotionally.

Depending on what your work situations look like, consider this allocation:

1 kit that is an inexpensive "small kit" for low volume/stage real estate or rehearsals. Bop kits, Breakbeats (I own one), Sonor jungle, Tama Club Jam, etc.

1 kit that is a good sounding 'beater' for dives and questionable situations where something could easily happen that would damage a higher end kit and cause personal distress. One of your current kits might work. I agree with some threads out there that most gigs we do live don't have an environment where either audience or even band members can tell the difference between a high end kit and mid-level kit, both with well tuned heads that are changed regularly.

1 high end kit for top drawer gigs and recording situations. If you have the wherewithal, you could even get different sizes of bass drums and toms that can be interchanged for whatever high end gig you have: Ex. Gretsch USA/ Craviotto/Noble & Cooley type brand. Bass Drums 18, 20, 22, 24,. Mounted Toms 10, 12, 13, Floor toms 14, 16, 18. A pricey solution but versatile for most gigs you would have. Snare drums could be limited to 6 but...snare drums and cymbals may be a personal call. With snares I believe you could get a smaller high end collection including the best versions and be happy. Black Beauty 6.5x14, Noble & Cooley Single Ply Maple (or Tulipwood) 14x7, Craviotto Single Ply Maple 6.5x14, Acrolite (for the beater kit) , etc but you get the idea.

None of the above are written in stone but more directions to take.

Jim
 

RickP

Gold Member
I did not have 35 kits , but i did have 7 kits as early as last year and I just found it too untenable. I decided to purchase some extra drums for my favorite working kit ( Noble and Cooley Horizon) so I could cover any potential gig situation I would be asked to do. I also kept a recently purchased Sonor Vintage series 20/12/14 kit. All my other sets were sold off or are up for sale now. I used a variety of methods to sell these sets ( Reverb, Consignment and local sale ).

I also reduced my snare inventory to ten snares and that is more than enough to cover my gigging purposes.

Many older drummers are looking at a similar purge scenario and some fabulous drum sets have been coming up for sale recently. Forever type kits I am talking about. It is a buyers market these days and it won't be changing anytime soon.
 

Peedy

Senior Member
Let me ask you this: are you paying money to store all these kits? If you are paying a monthly storage fee then I would be prone to liquidate sooner than later so storage fees could be at least be reduced if not altogether eliminated.
Excellent question.

A couple more that would cross my mind are. . .

How often / where / what do your play?

Married? Spouse freak out around 35 drum kits?

If it were me, I would probably liquidate the bulk of the kits and then invest the money in the top period kit from each maker you're interested in. You get to stay in the hobby you've invested so much effort in and your pride and joy (s) will still be intact.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about comparing what you have to a modern high end Sonor, DW or whatever. There's so much to love in vintage stuff. It doesn't all have to be about the recording studio.

Pete
 

BertTheDrummer

Gold Member
35 just seems crazy, I don't even know if I'd have space for that. I just downsized from 3 to 2 because of space vs lack of use.

That being said, to each their own. There are a lot of collectors out there as well. However, if you are asking if you should downsize, usually that means you should.

To the question about trading up, that depends on you and what you are looking for. I'd just look at what stuff you are doing, and what the best fit for those things would be.
 

Tamaefx

Silver Member
I believe it might be tough to follow what Vintage Old School recommends:
"Keep the kits that have emotional attachment, but sell the kits you don't care about"

1 high end kit for top drawer gigs and recording situations. If you have the wherewithal, you could even get different sizes of bass drums and toms that can be interchanged for whatever high end gig you have: Ex. Gretsch USA/ Craviotto/Noble & Cooley type brand. Bass Drums 18, 20, 22, 24,. Mounted Toms 10, 12, 13, Floor toms 14, 16, 18. A pricey solution but versatile for most gigs you would have. Snare drums could be limited to 6 but...snare drums and cymbals may be a personal call. With snares I believe you could get a smaller high end collection including the best versions and be happy. Black Beauty 6.5x14, Noble & Cooley Single Ply Maple (or Tulipwood) 14x7, Craviotto Single Ply Maple 6.5x14, Acrolite (for the beater kit) , etc but you get the idea.

None of the above are written in stone but more directions to take.

Jim
I would totally be on this line : a shell bank of a high end kit (Starclassic Maple, Gretsch USA, Lud Maple, DW collector) plus eventually, a beater kit you're sentimental about.

4 to 6 snare drums to choose from, heavy hardware and light hardware, to face any situation.
 
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