DW Collector's fine tuning/setup help


Senior Member
Hey guys, so my new DW Collector's kit arrived last night and I'm very excited. As it was a NOS kit, there are some things it came with and others it didn't. Coming from Pearl, there are some things that are different that I'd like some help/ideas with so I don't have to reinvent the wheel:

- Tom mounting: The kit is 10/12/14(floor)/16(floor)/22(virgin). The FT legs were included but no tom mounts (10 and 12 have STM's) were included. I plan to put the 12" in a snare stand and play 12/16 or 12/14/16 most of the time. However, there are probably sessions where I'll need/want the 10" and so I need to have a way to mount it. I use and prefer Yamaha hardware, so I'm looking for something I can clamp to a cymbal stand and hold a single rack tom. I think DW's are 1/2" arms. There are just a million options from DW and I think some from Gibraltar as well. What's the best/simplest/cheapest way to do this? Also, would you remove the STM from the 12" as it will primarily be in a snare stand, or leave it on?

- Bass drum hoop protection: My Pearl kits had a nifty little metal plate on the kick hoop. This DW hoop already has some rash, presumably from being played in the store. Will the Pearl part (HPP2, I think) fit on the DW hoop? The DW hoop seems thinner than the Pearl.

- Heads: The kit came with clear vintage Emperors on the toms and a clear PS3 on the kick batter with the DW dogbone pillow inside. Kick reso is a black DW logo head with the perimeter venting.

I have an Evans EMAD and a white coated EQ3 reso. I was planning to swap the kick heads to these and put a vinyl DW logo on the EQ3 reso. For the toms, I have a set of coated Emperors and a set of Clear Ambassadors I was planning to use (Emps batters, Ambs resos). Thoughts/experience with tom and/or kick heads?

The SunDog

I like tom stands better than the snare stand. It let's the tom set over the BD a litlle more and it has two brackets so you can put your 10" on when you want. Pedal rash is going to happen. If you already have some then you can stop worrying about if and when it will happen. I clamp my pedal directly to the hoop on my Dubs. It has caused zero structural damage, and my kit is almost 17 years old. Emps up Ambs down is my set up, it just works really well on DW. On the kick I use PS3 batter and Fiberskyn3 reso. I am not a fan of the EMAD, I know I'm just about the only one, but I have a 20" kick tuned to the ground and the EMAD just makes it lifeless. You have a beautiful kit that will sound great set up many different ways. It will be hard to make a mistake.


Silver Member
I'm coming from a jazz players perspective, so take this for what you will, but I did take the time to go through many, many heads before finding what I like on my M/M Collectors. I went with Skyntones on the batter side for toms and bass drum, and I've got one on the snare batter as well (although I'd really like to try something else out in the near future because the brush work I do seems to get lost a bit).

I tune quite high, and would do so even if I wasn't just doing jazz. To me, I'm a big believer in drums that actually sing and carry, vs. drums that just sound like a big cardboard box. Start at the shell pitch and try and tune up a 3rd or 5th higher than the shell pitch. See how it sounds and live with it for a week before you adjust.

As far as rash on the bass drum hoop, I'm a huge fan of the new tri-pivot pedal clamp they have on the 5000 and 9000-series pedals. If you can afford it and feel like switching pedals, it really does prevent rash (at least it has in the 50 times that I've put a pedal on and remove one since I got mine).
Pedal rash.
Take a piece of Dr. Scholls moleskin foot pad and cut it to fit where the pedal will clamp.Go from just to where it doesn't touch the head on "top" to around to the "floor side" of the hoop. I cut this piece a little larger than needed. Unfortunatly it let the pedal move a little so I went another step and purchased Dr. Scholls foot pads that are foam. I cut this piece a little smaller than the moleskin and fitted it over the moleskin. Works perfect and no pedal movement. I haven't removed the pads to inspect the hoop but I doubt that there is any damage. If there is, then I'll live with it. I feel I've done my best to protect the hoop.
Always have used the moleskin pads for the beater patch also. I cut one piece about 2 inches square then put a full piece on top of that. Works great. I just wish the moleskin pads came in white, like the good 'ol days, instead of the flesh color.