DW Drums from a Non-DW Player's Perspective

Not really. The pros who use them and record them are right. DW drums are a proven, top quality professional instrument.
They are high quality. No argument about that. But, there is another perspective on why "the pros" use this or that manufacturer's product. How many of "the pros" of whom you speak are actually buying the DW drums they play? Even worse, how many of them are being paid to play them because DW (and all the drum companies) know that we'll be more likely to buy their drums if we see our heros playing them? Worse still, how many times have you seen studio Footsge of a drummer who "plays" a certain drum brand only to see them recording on another kit (usually some vintage studio staple that cartage companies hire out specifically for studio sessions?
 

thebarak

Senior Member
Many have used the word overpriced. That may not be the case. Perhaps other good drums are underpriced.

I say this because considering how difficult it is to make an exceptionally good drum set, and how very good DW's attention to detail and quality control are, and the fact that their best drums are actually made by American workers in California, the price is alright, and obviously still low enough for many drummers to pay, enough to keep the factory, the R&D, the designers, and the payroll going, and return a good profit.

I think that a new startup aiming for the same quality, made in USA, might have to charge even more to break even.

Now you could take a stock cheaper set, made in China, improve the bearing edges if necessary, put your ideal heads on, tune it well, and potentially get an even better sound, but that does not mean DW is overpriced. Overpriced means no-one decides to buy any, and DW sells these drums every day.

There is clearly an emotional and subjective response to DW, and part of that may be the look of the old round nut boxes. Some people just don't like the look, and I can understand why. Your eyes may prefer Sonor's hardware, or Yamaha's. There is no way around your visual reaction to a certain design.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
They are high quality. No argument about that. But, there is another perspective on why "the pros"
Professional musicians are not some kind of mythical animal. Repeatedly putting the word in quotes is kind of insulting.

use this or that manufacturer's product. How many of "the pros" of whom you speak are actually buying the DW drums they play? Even worse, how many of them are being paid to play them because DW (and all the drum companies) know that we'll be more likely to buy their drums if we see our heros playing them? Worse still, how many times have you seen studio Footsge of a drummer who "plays" a certain drum brand only to see them recording on another kit (usually some vintage studio staple that cartage companies hire out specifically for studio sessions?
Who cares? You should try playing the drums some time, maybe get off this ridiculous obsession with product and the ordinary workings of the drum business.
 

BenjaminCamelot

Senior Member
Many have used the word overpriced. That may not be the case. Perhaps other good drums are underpriced.
That is most certainly the case. There are beginner lines and semi-professional lines of drum brands that sound phenomenal in almost any case. My suggestion to people that always have a fit or so about the price of a DW Collector's Kit is to just move down a notch, try out the Design series or Performance series.
 
Professional musicians are not some kind of mythical animal. Repeatedly putting the word in quotes is kind of insulting.



Who cares? You should try playing the drums some time, maybe get off this ridiculous obsession with product and the ordinary workings of the drum business.
What's with this obsession about what is insulting, who is insulted etc.? Several people have brought that up. Unless a person on this board is attacking you personally, No one is insulting anyone here. If you feel insulted (for yourself of someone else) then you are missing the point.

We are having a discussion here about the influence marketing and manipulation have on the drummer's choice of equipment. More particularly, how many drummers can be parted with several thousand dollars largely due to marketing hype. DW is not the only company doing this. I just chose to focus on DW in this thread.

I am not talking about drummers who want to own DW (or any high end kit) because they like it and find value in the product at the price being asked. People in this category have the money to spend, and, if owning and playing a DW kit brings value to them, great. I am talking about drummers who spend far more on drums than they need to because the marketing has convinced them that they should. The marketing actually makes it more difficult and more stressful for drummers to make the best choice for them on what gear to purchase and use.

As for "the pros" comment. The fact that some drummers measure the value of a product, at least in part, by what professional drummers play makes my point to some extent. For sure, guys and girls who tour and travel need gear that holds up and sounds good. DW seems to make sturdy drums and whether something sounds good is subjective. But it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that many pro drummers are getting endorsements to play these drums. Why does DW or any other company give away free stuff or even pay drummers to play their gear? Because we the consumers are more likely to think we should buy the drums our favorite drummers play (how many Ludwigs did Ringo Starr sell just by playing them on the Ed Sullivan show, for example?). Why do professional drummers accept endorsements from said companies? Fee stuff and money. It's a relationship that benefits the drum companies and the drummers getting the endorsements. It's a relationship that does not necessarily benefit the average working class drummer who wants to play nice drums that meet his or her needs but may not need to spend top dollar to get those drums.

Who cares? This is a forum about drums. It's not a forum about playing drums, drummers, technique etc. Those forums exist on drummerworld. But we're in the one called "Drums." Isn't obsessing about (i.e. discussing) "product" (i.e. drums) kind of the point of this forum? The ordinary workings of the drum business? Every drummer is a consumer of products from the drum industry, unless they're cutting down maple tress and forging hardware in their backyard foundry. Thus the "workings of the drum business" are kind of something I think we need to pay attention to if we are going to be wise consumers.
 
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Many have used the word overpriced. That may not be the case. Perhaps other good drums are underpriced.

I say this because considering how difficult it is to make an exceptionally good drum set, and how very good DW's attention to detail and quality control are, and the fact that their best drums are actually made by American workers in California, the price is alright, and obviously still low enough for many drummers to pay, enough to keep the factory, the R&D, the designers, and the payroll going, and return a good profit.

I think that a new startup aiming for the same quality, made in USA, might have to charge even more to break even.

Now you could take a stock cheaper set, made in China, improve the bearing edges if necessary, put your ideal heads on, tune it well, and potentially get an even better sound, but that does not mean DW is overpriced. Overpriced means no-one decides to buy any, and DW sells these drums every day.

There is clearly an emotional and subjective response to DW, and part of that may be the look of the old round nut boxes. Some people just don't like the look, and I can understand why. Your eyes may prefer Sonor's hardware, or Yamaha's. There is no way around your visual reaction to a certain design.
I agree with your perspective here. I recently refinished a Gretsch Renown kit and I am in the middle of building a Keller kit (with a lot of help from Precision). My experience has taught me that quality ply drumshells are cheap enough. These days hardware is pretty affordable, mostly because its largely made in Asia (even if it is installed in American factories). The real X factor is the finishing. That requires skill and time. In short, we are paying for labor. Labor oversees is often cheaper, so drums made oversees are often cheaper. Not really a reflection of quality. Just a reality of the global economy.

I think every drummer should build a kit, if for no other reason than to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the instrument. Even better if you have the equipment and the skill (or willingness to learn) to cut your own edges and drill your own lugs holes. Once you go through this, you will never look at even a humble mid-priced kit the same way.

This also begs the question whether it is worth an extra $2k to the average working stiff drummer to have DW, Gretsch or whoever doll up a pair of ply drumshells when anyone with a little initiative can lean how to finish raw drum shells. Again, this gets into the realm of subjective value. Some people will pay $50k for a car. Some people have other priorities. No right or wrong answers here.

And the visual thing. I agree. We buy with our eyes as much as our ears.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Can't tell if this guy is trolling, or just really likes theorizing about conspiracies and creating drama.

Try and be half as interested in playing the drums as you are in this nonsense, MJ. Welcome to the forum.
 
Can't tell if this guy is trolling, or just really likes theorizing about conspiracies and creating drama.

Try and be half as interested in playing the drums as you are in this nonsense, MJ. Welcome to the forum.
Not sure why you are getting so personally involved in this. Why do you care if we discuss DW drums, issues of marketing etc? It is also possible to be interested in playing the drums and interested this "nonsense." Besides, you are the one who came into a forum specifically about drums and decided to criticize others for taking about, well, drums. If you don't like to talk about drums, go hang out in another forum. You can talk about paradiddles all day long in the technique forum. But please don't step into the drum forum and lecture about conspiracy theories and drama. Those of us who are interested in this subject would like to discuss it without getting sidetracked by the things you're posting. If you don't like what I'm saying or don't like the topic, don't read it. Much easier than stepping into a discussion and getting it off on a series of personal insults.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
If you take it to be an insult, it's probably more you than me.

My larger point here is that us drummers have a lot of marketing thrown at us in order to get us to buy the wares of drum makers.
And in this thread, I question the marketing DW is putting out there

Life is short. Do and buy what you like.
If you bothered to read people's posts, you would note I said I don't own DW drums, and never have, so am not personally insulted by any of this. I think beyond my keyboard, and so can appreciate others have and love these drums.

Between the lines you are saying people got snowed by DW's (or now Gretsch's) marketing stategies to sell quality, high-end drums. Again if you can THINK about it, beyond your keyboard, you are basically saying those people were duped to buy their high end products they cherish. If you can think a little beyond that, you might see how that could come off as an insult.

Your last line..... yes yes PLEASE let people "do and buy what they like" without publicly questioning that by starting such negative threads.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Not sure why you are getting so personally involved in this. Why do you care if we discuss DW drums, issues of marketing etc? It is also possible to be interested in playing the drums and interested this "nonsense." Besides, you are the one who came into a forum specifically about drums and decided to criticize others for taking about, well, drums. If you don't like to talk about drums, go hang out in another forum. You can talk about paradiddles all day long in the technique forum. But please don't step into the drum forum and lecture about conspiracy theories and drama. Those of us who are interested in this subject would like to discuss it without getting sidetracked by the things you're posting. If you don't like what I'm saying or don't like the topic, don't read it. Much easier than stepping into a discussion and getting it off on a series of personal insults.
You're in my field, and I reserve the right to comment about the quality of conversation related to it. I don't see where you have any qualification at all to make the claims your making.
 
If you bothered to read people's posts, you would note I said I don't own DW drums, and never have, so am not personally insulted by any of this. I think beyond my keyboard, and so can appreciate others have and love these drums.

Between the lines you are saying people got snowed by DW's (or now Gretsch's) marketing stategies to sell quality, high-end drums. Again if you can THINK about it, beyond your keyboard, you are basically saying those people were duped to buy their high end products they cherish. If you can think a little beyond that, you might see how that could come off as an insult.

Your last line..... yes yes PLEASE let people "do and buy what they like" without publicly questioning that by starting such negative threads.
Play what you want. Buy what you want. If DW or other high end drums bring you joy and bring you value what does some dude on the internet's opinion matter?

Yet, discussions (even about drum gear) are about free exchange of ideas and open debate. You can't have those things if some people want to shut down ideas, for whatever reason, don't sit well. There is no crime in saying I disagree for this or that reason . . . still not understanding why this is becoming so personal.
 

thebarak

Senior Member
Personally I know that anything I ever do with drills, sandpaper etc. comes out terrible. I just have to look at a screwdriver and I start to sweat. I would rather buy something made properly by a real factory. No way I would ever try to make a drum. It would be the worst drum ever made.

I just like to play them.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
All of which brings me back to this:

Do not allow disagreements to become personal. Attacking or insulting another forum member rather than disagreeing with their point of view will not be tolerated. If you do disagree with someone else's opinion, show your intelligence by arguing your position calmly and respectfully. Please do not start a new thread to discuss how much you don't like someone or something. If you have a chip on your shoulder or an ax to grind, this is not the place for you.


Whether it's the drums you don't like, The marketing you don't understand, or the reasons why people buy what they buy, in the end it all come down to the navel again. We all have one, and really don't need to explain why.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
I don't take offence to someone not liking DW's, that's just someone's personal opinion. We all have our opinions and I'm sure many of mine are different than many people's here. I just can't stand the ignorance of people who even after being told reasons why the drums cost what they cost still believe it's some sort of corporate sham full of marketing lies and massive profits.

To those who believe they are overpriced, go start your own drum company and build your own drums for sale to the public. See how much it costs to buy the raw parts of a kit, how much time you spend building it, how much money you spend on equipment, facilities, employees, marketing/advertising, taxes, packaging and shipping and then come back here telling us they are overpriced. I'm pretty sure you will be singing a different tune.
 
I don't take offence to someone not liking DW's, that's just someone's personal opinion. We all have our opinions and I'm sure many of mine are different than many people's here. I just can't stand the ignorance of people who even after being told reasons why the drums cost what they cost still believe it's some sort of corporate sham full of marketing lies and massive profits.

To those who believe they are overpriced, go start your own drum company and build your own drums for sale to the public. See how much it costs to buy the raw parts of a kit, how much time you spend building it, how much money you spend on equipment, facilities, employees, marketing/advertising, taxes, packaging and shipping and then come back here telling us they are overpriced. I'm pretty sure you will be singing a different tune.
Well I thought it was a rule here that we don't personally attack other members.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well my thoughts of Sakae drums are they are pretty pricey too-but they look like they are worth it. Urmmmm changing the subject.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Yet, discussions (even about drum gear) are about free exchange of ideas and open debate. You can't have those things if some people want to shut down ideas, for whatever reason, don't sit well. There is no crime in saying I disagree for this or that reason . . . still not understanding why this is becoming so personal.
Look at your words from your original post:
"I think the lugs on the collectors series are pretty ugly"
"the toms usually sound like cardboard ".
"even when they sound good ...they still sound boring"

Would one call those great 'ideas', or even 'ideas' at all? What is to 'debate'?

Its not about being personal, its about what is the point of your subjective opinions on drum sounds.
 
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