Do You Feel a Need for Everything to Match?

Out of Round

Well-known member
After mixing stuff when I was younger, I find myself with matching shell pack (Ludwig), cymbals (Paiste) and hardware (Yamaha Crosstown). It just sort of worked out that way. I would have to say that for me, I prefer matching gear both sonically and visually. But I'd rock a Frankenkit if I found some nice sounding tubs that didn't match and I had some money.
 

Trigger

Senior Member
Yeah I try to, except snares can change. I know its silly from an audio-perspective but I just like how it looks.
 
While I always want my toms and bass to match, I prefer that my snare have a different finish, even if it's of the same series as the rest of the set. The snare is the kit's nucleus. I like it to stand out for that reason.
YES. Thank you. When I first started paying attention to drums, sometime in the mid-70s, it seemed like almost every kit I noticed had a metal snare and some sort of wood or wrap finish that was very much not metallic. Meanwhile, the kits I saw in (literally, I think?) the Sears catalog would have a matching snare. So I just got the idea in my head that bass and toms would all match each other, but the snare wouldn't, and if it did, it meant the kit was cheap. Even decades after learning that was not at all true, it still feels true.
 

Supergrobi

Technical Supervisor
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someguy01

Well-known member
Pearl, Mapex, Tama, Gibraltar, PDP, Premier, Zildjian.
I don't care
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I like things to match. I don't usually have a snare that matches the shells/finish as the rest of the kit, but I try to stick with the same brand. All my cymbals are the same brand. All my heads are the same brand. I'm not sponsored by anyone, but I like to look like I am. There's no practical reason for this, I know, it just makes me feel like a big boy ;)
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
For most of my life-- like, from age 5 until two years ago, I rarely had a snare that matched the toms and bass. The cymbals were never all the same brand, all the stands didn't match, etc. But then something happened in my head and I wanted everything to match. There's no really good reason for it except maybe that I'm getting older and have a little more money and I was bored out of my mind at times during the pandemic.

So, now I play Yamaha drums (including snares most of the time), Yamaha hardware, Paiste cymbals, Evans drum heads, Protection Racket cases (except for cymbals and sticks). My throne is a roc n soc but I've thought of switching. I still have some gear that's not from these brands but I don't use it very often.

Back when I was gigging 150-200 gigs a year I NEVER matched and never considered even trying to match. But I DO like it and will probably keep it up for the most part.

How about you?

I like a snare that doesn't match the tom and kick finishes / materials - but everything else absolutely has to match.
Matching heads, matching cymbals, matching stands - unless there is a solid reason for an outlier (like my motion pro throne which is a stand alone piece of hardware) then I need everything to match. I like how it looks, on heads and cymbals - I like the consistency of tone across the instruments - I find that it helps makes the kit feel like a more cohesive instrument.
 

J-W

Well-known member
Like many others, I don't care if the snare matches (although I do have one that I painted to match, but rarely use any more), but toms and bass drum should match and, for the most part, heads.
I have Zildjian, Sabian, and Paiste cymbals in the mix. Hardware is mostly Ludwig, but there are a few others: DW, TAMA, Pearl, Gibraltar, Voelker, etc.....
Other than heads, and a few small items, I've purchased almost everything pre-owned, so I couldn't be too particular.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
My drums have always matched, unless I had specialty drums mixed in. I’ve had matching snares that came with the set, but never liked how they sounded. My current Brookly’s have no matching snare. Was looking for a wood snare a while back and stuml across a matching finish. It’s next to impossible to find one matching because of the custom color. I almost bought it, but realized I was buying it for looks alone, and wasn’t the tone I was going for so past. No regret, but still don’t have a wood snare. I just prefer metal snares I guess. Have had a couple of wood snares of differing brands. Great reviews, highly touted….just couldn’t warm up to them. Strange!

up to last year, my HW never matched. Have always had a mix of at least three brands. No one arrested me for allowing such diversity. Last year I went all in with the Yamaha Crosstowns, so now everything matches. Couldn’t bring myself to not replace every piece, because each weighed as much as three of the crosstowns. Before then, I’d also discovered I loved the cheap Yamaha pedals better than anything I had ever tried and they cost 10x less than most pedals I had tried, so unintentionally, my pedals ended up matching too.

my cymbals have been a mix of one brand or other with different effects cymbal brands thrown in. When I started reducing the number I’d cymbals, I ended up taking off anything secondary and then some. That left me with only my HHX Evolutions. So, for better or worse, right now, most everything except snare matches, but it was more a result of cutbacks and thinning things out than visual appeal. I’m always interested in carefully listening to mismatched stuff someone has on stage. I figure there’s a reason they chose it and at least most of the time, the tone makes it evident. The most unimpressed I’ve been watching someone live has been behind top tier and matching gear. Applying that same experience to my current visual setup and I fail the pre-judgement test!
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
My drums have always matched, unless I had specialty drums mixed in. I’ve had matching snares that came with the set, but never liked how they sounded. My current Brookly’s have no matching snare. Was looking for a wood snare a while back and stuml across a matching finish. It’s next to impossible to find one matching because of the custom color. I almost bought it, but realized I was buying it for looks alone, and wasn’t the tone I was going for so past. No regret, but still don’t have a wood snare. I just prefer metal snares I guess. Have had a couple of wood snares of differing brands. Great reviews, highly touted….just couldn’t warm up to them. Strange!

up to last year, my HW never matched. Have always had a mix of at least three brands. No one arrested me for allowing such diversity. Last year I went all in with the Yamaha Crosstowns, so now everything matches. Couldn’t bring myself to not replace every piece, because each weighed as much as three of the crosstowns. Before then, I’d also discovered I loved the cheap Yamaha pedals better than anything I had ever tried and they cost 10x less than most pedals I had tried, so unintentionally, my pedals ended up matching too.

my cymbals have been a mix of one brand or other with different effects cymbal brands thrown in. When I started reducing the number I’d cymbals, I ended up taking off anything secondary and then some. That left me with only my HHX Evolutions. So, for better or worse, right now, most everything except snare matches, but it was more a result of cutbacks and thinning things out than visual appeal. I’m always interested in carefully listening to mismatched stuff someone has on stage. I figure there’s a reason they chose it and at least most of the time, the tone makes it evident. The most unimpressed I’ve been watching someone live has been behind top tier and matching gear. Applying that same experience to my current visual setup and I fail the pre-judgement test!

Brooklyn / Crosstown Fam : a man of taste.

I did the same with the crosstowns - I picked up the initial pack then I've had to add a few more just to get everything back to where it needs to be - the weight savings is just immense.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Yes.
I used to be all about the Frankenstein kits back in the day, but as I've matured both age wise & musically, I want things to look a certain way on stage.
Having everything all hodge-podge in front of me sets my OCD off & I'm just not happy with it. Cymbals are the exception here as 99% of the time they're mixed brands.
But...they're all gold in color, so that pleases me.😁
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
.. on heads and cymbals - I like the consistency of tone across the instruments - I find that it helps makes the kit feel like a more cohesive instrument.
Absolutely. I don’t so much care that they are different brands, but to open up with the same force and fit in well together. The only exception I’ve had to this was my Wuhan China. That one takes a whopping to open up, but if it’s the right tone for the job, then I’ll make an exception. Also like that I can get it to sound like a stack hitting it one way or explode hitting it another. It’s one place I’ve found absolute junk works better than well made. There just so imperfect they are amazing to explore. Given their imperfections, they tend to stay in the same spot on the stand, so no guessing where to hit. Outside of this exception, cymbal inconsistencies drive me nuts. Just another thing to keep track of when playing.
I’ve used different heads and brands, but usually to gain consistency…at least in my head.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
YES. Thank you. When I first started paying attention to drums, sometime in the mid-70s, it seemed like almost every kit I noticed had a metal snare and some sort of wood or wrap finish that was very much not metallic. Meanwhile, the kits I saw in (literally, I think?) the Sears catalog would have a matching snare. So I just got the idea in my head that bass and toms would all match each other, but the snare wouldn't, and if it did, it meant the kit was cheap. Even decades after learning that was not at all true, it still feels true.

so weird that you mention this, because I started this way as well in the same time period...and went further: If a set did NOT have a metal snare, it was cheap...
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
so weird that you mention this, because I started this way as well in the same time period...and went further: If a set did NOT have a metal snare, it was cheap...
Mike Johnston has made a similar comment about matching snares looking like you bought your set from a catalog. If his wife is like mine, he may have to keep with this narrative to keep expanding his snare collection, or the hammer would come down. That said, I’m down to only two. I’d better get to work!
 

Skrivarna

Senior Member
This kit is my latest project. Does it look like I care? Depending on music and mood I have Zildjian, Agop, Mehmet, Sabian and a few no-name oldies to add in the mix.
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By the way, I really don't get this thing about "getting a consistent sound out of the toms". If I only have two or three, I prefer them to sound drastically different, to get some things to choose from. YMMV.
...but, I can see the point in having a single hardware brand, as that makes it easier to swap tops/bottoms and build new configurations as needed. Most of my stands are Yamaha, and their "system" of pipe dimensions have saved me a few times when the stage or drum riser was not really compatible with the footprint of the kit. Or when I just wanted some extra cymbal or percussion gadget somewhere.
 
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