DW problem

gcon45

Junior Member
Hi guys.

I bought a pre-owned DW collectors kit from a well known distributor in the summer.

I decided to add an 8” tom so contacted the same distributor to order it to be made by DW. I had to supply the serial numbers for the tom to be made.

A few months passed and the tom finally arrived but I noticed that the label inside the tom said ‘Collector’s maple standard’ whereas the rest of my toms are ‘Collector’s maple VLT’ (vertical low timbre) so it wasn’t the same construction as the other toms.

I contacted them explaining the situation and got a reply saying:
“the original kit is standard build and they also said that they wouldn't make an 8" tom in VLT only X Shell.”

I knew this was lies because I have seen 8” x 7” toms in VLT before.

Here is an example:

https://reverb.com/item/11246177-dw-collector-s-series-maple-vlt-7x8-rack-tom-in-black-oyster-glass-finish-w-protection-racket-bag

I contacted them again to show them the above link and they replied requesting proof that the kit is VLT, which I did.

They responded:

The reason the 8” is an X shell (which lowers the tone) and the next bigger toms are VLT, is because, the tonal interval between an 8” and 10” tom are greater than between the 10”, 12”, and 13”. Therefore, John Good Chose to lower the pitch slightly on the 8” tom (X shell) to create more even tonal intervals between all the toms….
Here is a video explaining it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVbLqfGgF6c

It starts on the exact 8” X shell explanation at around 30 seconds to 1 minute in.

Now, the eagle eyed among you may have noticed that in all their correspondence they have said that an X shell is the correct construction for my kit.

The tom I received isn’t an X shell or VLT, it’s a Collector’s maple standard, which is a different construction altogether from either of those.

DW don’t even seem to know what tom they made for me let alone what is the correct construction for my kit.

What should I do?

It might sound like I’m being picky but I have spent the equivalent of almost $1000 on a tom that doesn’t match my kit.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
Hi guys.

I bought a pre-owned DW collectors kit from a well known distributor in the summer.

I decided to add an 8” tom so contacted the same distributor to order it to be made by DW. I had to supply the serial numbers for the tom to be made.

A few months passed and the tom finally arrived but I noticed that the label inside the tom said ‘Collector’s maple standard’ whereas the rest of my toms are ‘Collector’s maple VLT’ (vertical low timbre) so it wasn’t the same construction as the other toms.

I contacted them explaining the situation and got a reply saying:
“the original kit is standard build and they also said that they wouldn't make an 8" tom in VLT only X Shell.”

I knew this was lies because I have seen 8” x 7” toms in VLT before.

Here is an example:

https://reverb.com/item/11246177-dw-collector-s-series-maple-vlt-7x8-rack-tom-in-black-oyster-glass-finish-w-protection-racket-bag

I contacted them again to show them the above link and they replied requesting proof that the kit is VLT, which I did.

They responded:

The reason the 8” is an X shell (which lowers the tone) and the next bigger toms are VLT, is because, the tonal interval between an 8” and 10” tom are greater than between the 10”, 12”, and 13”. Therefore, John Good Chose to lower the pitch slightly on the 8” tom (X shell) to create more even tonal intervals between all the toms….
Here is a video explaining it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVbLqfGgF6c

It starts on the exact 8” X shell explanation at around 30 seconds to 1 minute in.

Now, the eagle eyed among you may have noticed that in all their correspondence they have said that an X shell is the correct construction for my kit.

The tom I received isn’t an X shell or VLT, it’s a Collector’s maple standard, which is a different construction altogether from either of those.

DW don’t even seem to know what tom they made for me let alone what is the correct construction for my kit.

What should I do?

It might sound like I’m being picky but I have spent the equivalent of almost $1000 on a tom that doesn’t match my kit.

Ugh... I hate this kind of stuff. A company screws up, and when you call them on it, they say "oh, yeah, we meant to do that". If you mess up, just admit it and fix the issue. How cheap can they be that they won't replace an 8" shell (I'm assuming all the lugs and such are correct)? Yeah, it's a $1,000 tom to the customer. But their cost for that shell can't be THAT crazy.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The folks at DW take the relationships with their customers pretty seriously. I'd take it up with John Good directly, or Chris Lombardi, and pursue it further.

If you don't get satisfaction from them, you can publicize the problem in the DW Facebook group. I guarantee that someone from DW participates or at least watches the conversations, and they don't like bad publicity. (Who does?)

Bermuda
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
The only question I have, and will admit to not knowing DW's construction theory, is, how does the drum sound. I can't believe one 8 inch tom costs $1000.00
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
Just like GD above, how does the tom sound? Also, does the finish match?

Even if it meets both of these requirements, they messed up.
 

gcon45

Junior Member
Thanks for the replies.

Is there anyone on here who knows DW’s shell constructions inside out and if so, does it sound like they are simply lying to cover their mistake?

PS - yes the finish and hardware matches. The tom hasn’t been played and won’t be until this is resolved.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
Thanks for the replies.

Is there anyone on here who knows DW’s shell constructions inside out and if so, does it sound like they are simply lying to cover their mistake?
It definitely sounds like they're lying. You ordered a VLT shell. They sent you a Standard shell. Then said that it should be an X shell. No matter what, they screwed up.
 

gcon45

Junior Member
Yes the tom has re-rings.

The only visible difference between it and the other rack toms is grain direction.
 

KEEF

Senior Member
I owned a collectors series for over ten years.
I completely understand your position in having spent a ton of money....
I guess it all comes down to how much hassle you are willing to go through.
No-one except you (and now us) is ever going to notice that the construction of your 8 is different to the rest of your kit, as long as it sounds good/right alongside your other drums.With all the other factors affecting sound (head choice, edges,hardware mass etc etc ) wood variations are only discernible to the purists - grain orientations are even further down the list towards the miniscule.
Not condoning DW's response - it does sound like they got it wrong, and you have every right to get exactly what you paid for.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
I owned a collectors series for over ten years.
I completely understand your position in having spent a ton of money....
I guess it all comes down to how much hassle you are willing to go through.
No-one except you (and now us) is ever going to notice that the construction of your 8 is different to the rest of your kit, as long as it sounds good/right alongside your other drums.With all the other factors affecting sound (head choice, edges,hardware mass etc etc ) wood variations are only discernible to the purists - grain orientations are even further down the list towards the miniscule.
Not condoning DW's response - it does sound like they got it wrong, and you have every right to get exactly what you paid for.

Not that OP is necessarily ever going to sell it, but if all the drums are VLT, I feel like any potential future buyer would be at least a little less jazzed to have the one odd drum in the mix. Especially dropping that kind of cash.

But it's all irrelevant. All that matters is that your ordered A, but got B. I don't accept that when it's a $2 cheeseburger. I certainly wouldn't accept that with a $1000 drum. What should've happened is, when DW got the order for an 8" VLT tom, they call OP and explain the whole VLT/X shell situation - "I know you ordered A, but here's what we normally do, and here's why".... You don't just grab any old random (and WRONG) shell off the shelf, send it out, and say "tough titties".

Thumbs down, DW.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
I have experience in dealing w/ DW directly in the past, both as a dealer and as a consumer (post-dealer days).

As Bermuda pointed out, DW addresses issues VERY well. If the DW contact you have is not getting resolution for you, then send a direct message to DW through Facebook. You don't need to put them on blast, just find a way to go around the person you're dealing with.

You can also call them and explain that the person you're interacting with may not seem to understand the issue and you'd like to interact w/ someone else or may have more experience.

Again, they are a solid company for customer service. No one is perfect and if there's an issue, I'm confident they will make it right.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
In the 1980s I managed a bicycle shop in San Diego. We sold every kind of bike: BMX, cruisers, mountain bikes, tandems, 10-speed “college” bikes, etc. and $3,500 custom built bikes.

A custom built bicycle means the bike frame has been constructed according to the rider’s body. The frame height, top-tube length, bottom bracket drop, etc. All these specs are set according to the rider’s body size, leg length, torso length, shoulder width, etc.

Most frame builders had specific body measurements they needed in order to build a custom frame. Some required more measurements than others, and we did whatever necessary to get the correct info to the builder.

The catch was that most of our customers preferred the Italian builders such as Colnago, De Rosa, and Gios Torino. And we communicated via international mail and via the importer (typically some desk jockey in Los Angeles or Newark).

It typically took 3–4 months to get a frame once the order had been “received and accepted”.

If a measurement was wrong, it was a bad day in the shop.

I got a measurement wrong. And the customer was a beautiful young—single—woman who had money (that’s right boys, she was a unicorn). She was ranked and rode in the Category 1-2 USCF races. She knew her stuff; she wasn’t a rich valley girl. She trained every day, rain or shine.

And I ruined her summer training because of 1 centimeter. (I’m still not comfortable running a measuring tape from a woman’s crotch to her foot arch. Properly placing the end of the measuring tape in the crotch area can be awkward).

Ultimately, my mistake meant I re-ordered the custom frame—with the correct measurements—and paid for it out of the shop’s funds. It also meant that she wasn’t 100% satisfied after all was said & done.

My point is: even if DW makes right and get you exactly what you want, the seed of doubt has been planted. The experience of using DW has been diminished.

I hope you get the drum you’ve wanted all along, and the sound of your kit is worth this hassle.
 
DW does not make Collectors maple kits with the same ply configuration across the entire kit (unless you order it). They call it SSC and it mixes the four different shell configurations into one kit in order to get the most optimum separation between the drums notes. A Collectors Standard may be what that kit calls for in the 8" drum. Did you specifically order a VLT? You said you gave them the serial number and they sent you a Standard shell. Are you disappointed because you expected it to be VLT. Put the drum on the kit and play it before you jump to conclusions. It might be the right drum. Having a Standard shell in an SSC kit is normal and does not affect the value.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
DW does not make Collectors maple kits with the same ply configuration across the entire kit (unless you order it). They call it SSC and it mixes the four different shell configurations into one kit in order to get the most optimum separation between the drums notes. A Collectors Standard may be what that kit calls for in the 8" drum. Did you specifically order a VLT? You said you gave them the serial number and they sent you a Standard shell. Are you disappointed because you expected it to be VLT. Put the drum on the kit and play it before you jump to conclusions. It might be the right drum. Having a Standard shell in an SSC kit is normal and does not affect the value.
OP said that when he spoke to DW, they said that the 8" should be an "X" shell (not a standard one). So either way, they screwed up.
 
I have some experience in shop work and production, though not drums. That said, it doesn't have to be drums or percussion to have a pretty good understanding of shop mentality and processes.
To be honest, this incident sounds like someone received the order, took it to a higher up asking about availability, and was directed to use a shell that happened to be already made instead of doing the right thing, busting out some new material, and building the correct shell.
I can't imagine that at 1,000 bucks a pop for such a small tom, that DW couldn't afford to make the correct shell for you, but business can be strange like that sometimes.
I won't lie; I would be infuriated about this. I know from experience how long it takes to get a custom component drum and when it arrives, it damned well better be right.

Please remember; this is all speculation on my part and you could be looking at an honest mistake on the part of the manufacturer. Errors occur in non-automated shops/production more often than you would like to know, believe me.
 

Derek Roddy

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
It seems that you didn't specify which shell construction you wanted when you ordered the drum. You simply ordered an "8 tom" and they made a standard 8 tom. (as they do when not specified)
Using the serials doesn't tell them what construction your kit was, only a base timeline in which they would have been made.

I regards to what DW said about the VLT, X, Etc...is correct.
For instance my kits are
8, 16 X
10,12,14 VLT
KICKS AND 18 VLX,
This ensure's I can get the lowest possible note from each drum and still be relative to each drum in intervals.

They will not normally make anything other than an X tom (within their own configurations) Unless ordered by a customer.
And even then John will talk most out of it. Haha.
When not specified, they make standards.

The standard drum you have is fine and unless you tune really low like me, you'll never hear a difference.

Cheers
D
 
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druski_2k5

Junior Member
I am in a somewhat similar situation, but have had a different experience.

I have a DW Collector's Kit [2016] with all Standard Maple Shells. 10 & 12 Racks, 14 and 16 Floors, & a 20 Kick. Long story short, I decided to purchase an 8" Tom to go with this kit. I put the order in around a month ago.

At first, I wanted to order my 8" Tom exactly like the rest of the kit. I didn't want VLT, X or VLX. I didn't want Cherry or Oak or Purpleheart. I wanted Standard Maple Shells with Horizontal Grain, just like the rest of my kit, so that it matches. Now I am aware of DW's other shell types, and at some-point I plan on getting a second kit different from the Standard Maple Shells.

When I first put in the order for the 8" Tom, I told my music store that I know DW may recommend an X Shell for the 8" Tom and that I would wait to see what they suggest with my request. I wanted my 8" Tom to really pop & be extremely bright. I wanted it to be heard so I wanted to get the brightest sound possible which is why I did not request any other shell types. I did briefly inquire about having Birch used instead of Maple to achieve some really bright tones.

When my music store got back to me, after DW looked up my kit to find what would work best, they reported that DW would not recommend Birch for this Tom with this drum kit, which was fine. DW was recommending me to stick with Maple. Not only was DW recommending me stick with Maple, but they suggested that the 8" Tom be in VLT Maple construction, and not Standard Maple Shells.

The difference with my experience, is even with that recommendation by DW, my music store told me that DW would be willing to build me whatever I wanted them to & that if I really wanted the Standard Maple Shell with Horizontal Grain or Birch, they would build me that no problem.

My music store told me that DW had an 8" VLT on-site and everyone at DW all loved the sound it gave. From my understanding, the staff at DW talked about what I was looking for and they still recommended Maple VLT for my 8" Tom.

So I don't think you're getting the whole story with your 8" Tom. It sounds like someone messed up or they didn't clarify what you really wanted or how it would fit in with the rest of your kit. I know DW has a video on their SSC Configuration that they recommend an X Shell for the 8" Tom, but then the video states that they can build whatever you want, ie: all VLT, all Standard, a mixture, etc.

I guess you could always sell the drum and then place the correct order that matches your set. It's another order that you have to wait on, but I would guess you would be happier in the long run if you don't like the sound it gives you.
 
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