Fielding opinions / recommendations for new "last kit"

steverok

Silver Member
Hello Everyone,

I was hesitant about starting a thread like this, as I could see myself getting confused, but I am in the market for a new “last kit”, and I am interested in hearing peoples’ opinions. I am turning 50 next year, and would like to, again, experience that thrill of getting some new and great sounding tubs. In addition, my Chicago Cubs are playing in the World Series for the first time in my lifetime, so I want to celebrate this previously-unattainable plateau with an awesome gift for myself. If they win this thing, then this purchase will most definitely happen. I mostly play at home for enjoyment, but also record drums for my own original music. I play occasional gigs or shows, but do not play regularly in a group right now. I have two kits I will be keeping : (1) 1992 Premier Projector 7-piece Birch, and (2) 2013 Ludwig Vistalite 5-piece Big-Beat Shell Pack. I also have some good snare drums that I plan on keeping : (1) The Premier Projector 14x6.5 birch snare (great drum), (2) 1988 Ludwig 14x6.5 LM402 Supraphonic , (3) 2011 14x6.5 Ludwig LM402 Supraphonic, (4) 2012 Ludwig 14x6.5 LB417 Black Beauty, (5) Ludwig 14x6.5 LB552 Bronze Supraphonic, and (6) 1990s Premier 14x6.5 Steel Snare Drum. I consider myself a versatile rock drummer, and I also enjoy playing R&B, funk, and a little swing. I may take a trip, primarily to visit some drum shops, if I can find a few within driving distance of each other, so that I can try as much as possible.

I am planning on a maple kit, and will, hopefully, be getting a maple snare drum, as well. My wishes are what most drummers would be seeking : (1) Deep, punchy kick, (2) Great resonance, warmth, and sustain from toms, (3) Ease and versatility of tuning, (4) Sizes that are agreeable (5) Functional, agreeable, and no-fuss hardware, (6) Snare optional. Price is not really an issue, although I, by no means, want to overpay for something, if I could obtain everything I want by spending less. In addition, I am envisioning this as a large kit, capable of the following configurations : 1-up-1-down, 1-up-2-down, 2-up-1-down, 2-up-2-down, and 3-up-2-down. I will, likely, be custom ordering the kit, so I want to know what I’m getting, in terms of sound and feel. In addition, I prefer to order from a builder we all know. Finally, and importantly for me, I am rather fussy about a couple of topics related to the bass drum. I have fit a 22x17 in my car (it’s a 4-door sedan), however, 22x18 is seriously pushing it. I don’t think I can make that happen, and I insist the bass drum fit inside whatever car I choose to own. In addition, aside from a single high drum, I do not like mounting rack toms on cymbal stands. I simply hate fussing with it. I would like to be able to mount two rack toms on the bass drum.

The first one on my radar has been the Ludwig Classic Maples. I love Ludwig, I like that I can custom order any sizes, and I like the new Atlas mounts. I have only played them once in a store, briefly. My experience was the bass drum and rack tom were truly great, however, I could not get enough out of the 16x16 floor tom. I feel like I need to try them a second time, as I have watched some videos where all the drums really hit the spot. I am also considering the Legacy Maple, although I would need to feel like the extra money was for a reason.

Some others I have considered are Gretsch USA Custom, Gretsch Renown, Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute, Pearl Masters, and Sonor (not sure which line), although I imagine most of these are not customize-able like the Ludwigs.

I am certainly interested and eager to hear what you fine people have to say !

Regards,
Steve
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
If you are looking for a maple kit that you can customize, then that really only leaves you with DW Collectors (tons of customization), Sonor SQ2 (tons of customization), Ludwig Legacy Maple (pretty good customization), Ludwig Classic Maple (pretty good customization), Gretsch USA Custom (some customization). The rest of the top tier maple kits have set sizes and finishes that you can choose from, but you also don't really get any choice in the hardware color, style or the tom mounting.

Out of the above choices, the Classic Maples are going to give you the most bang for the buck.

You could try a custom builder, but you didnt mention any custom builders in your original post, so I didn't mention any.

P.S. Go Cubs!
 

mandrew

Gold Member
I wanted a "last snare." Bought a Ludwig LM-400T. I can die in peace. Sounds like you are going in that direction too! Of the ones that you mentioned, most bang for the buck, good customization, and something you love anyway, the Ludwig CM's get my vote without hesitation. But, you are the one who has to live with them. Try some out!
 

Thunder 42

Silver Member
Should be a good thread, looking forward to reading here.

Almost pulled the trigger on my last/dream kit a year ago, it is still out there... was a cherry DW Collectors with the same configuration requirements that you outline: 1, 2 or 3 up and 2 down, 22x14 kick.

Will stay tuned. Good luck.

Go Cubbies!
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
You're turning 50 and this is considered your "last" kit? What kind of talk is that? I've been 50 for most of the year now and although I do acknowledge getting older, I don't think I'll ever be done getting new stuff, or new old stuff, and enjoying it into my post-retirement years.

Get what you want. If there's something else you want when you turn 60, then get that too. You deserve it.
 

poppies

Senior Member
I just purchased my "last kit" from INDe. Couldn't be happier with the process so far, I'm dying to unbox the drums next week!



 

Groov-E

Silver Member
You're turning 50 and this is considered your "last" kit? What kind of talk is that? I've been 50 for most of the year now and although I do acknowledge getting older, I don't think I'll ever be done getting new stuff, or new old stuff, and enjoying it into my post-retirement years.

Get what you want. If there's something else you want when you turn 60, then get that too. You deserve it.
Best advice so far.

I have gotten 5 last kits in the last 4 years.

Heck I just got one today !

Edit : Yeah so really six...
 

steverok

Silver Member
Best advice so far.

I have gotten 5 last kits in the last 4 years.

Heck I just got one today !

Edit : Yeah so really six...
Thank you guys for the wise words. It's just the way I am approaching it at this time. I want to make a great purchase and be so satisfied that I don't want anything else, is all. I only have so much room for drums, so space is precious.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
If you like Ludwig go for a Legacy kit, you will find a like new kit pre loved in great con dish for the price of a CM. no brainer really.
 

Superman

Gold Member
It sounds from your post like you want the Classic Maples..and I don't imagine anyone here is going to second guess that choice. I say go for it. If you still aren't satisfied, you can always sell them and get a "last last kit". Spoil yourself, you can't take it with you.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Personal opinion. USA Custom and then Absolute Hybrids.

I think the only thing that matters is getting the sound you like. Other little clever things we can usually live with/without or modify.

If you go TOL then I think all the major brands sound fabulous. Sonor being my least favourite. I'm such a Gretsch guy, but appreciate the modern functional sound of something like the Absolute Hybrids, too. I'll eventually get both myself.

I'm satisfied by the standard stuff, but with that amount of money there are a lot of custom builders and smaller companies out there.

From your wishlist soundwise though, I don't think you could go wrong with Absolute Hybrids.

Then again, if Ludwigs make you happy, who's to argue that.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hi Stevork, have you taken a look at vintage kits? You like Ludwig's, try finding one that's made before the 80's. Same with Slingerland before the 80's. Also look at Yamaha kit from the late 70's to today. Anything buy Sonor that's made in Germany is well built. Just a thought, same with snares. Have fun looking and let us know how your adventure goes.
 

poppies

Senior Member
I don't really undestand what I'm looking at in the bottom pic! Some sort of cocktail kit? What are the diameters?
Yes, the kit converts into a cocktail set up, with a 10x14 mini-bass, 8x14 snare and 8x12 tom. I can use the mini-bass horizontally in a cradle as well for a bop set up.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Interesting thread, I was in the same boat as you and I ended up purchasing two kits since I could not choose between them . I went with a Yamaha PHX kit and a Noble and Cooley Horizon kit.

I purchased the PHX kit and I was thrilled with the kit. Supreme quality, smoothest bearing edges in the business. Incredible sounding drums, can be a bit tricky to dial in for neophyte tuners. Once dialed in they are very impressive.The bass drums while heavy are really incredible. Uber resonant drums with a huge tuning range.

My local shop got a reissue Noble and Cooley Horizon set in. I had jonesed for one of the original Horizon kits back in the late eighties. The new reissues were even better. After playing the set and really giving it a thorough inspection. They had to come home with me. These are by far the easiest drums I have owned to tune. I have tried a number of different head combinations and they all sound great ! Incredibly warm, punchy drums. Great quality.

If I had to keep only one of these kits. It would be such an incredibly hard decision, but I would lean towards the Noble and Cooley.
 

steverok

Silver Member
The clips I heard of the Yamaha PHX do sound great. I briefly owned a Stage Custom kit with the YESS mounts, and I had trouble with them choking a couple of the toms. Supposedly the YESS II system is better. One recent movement in drum sets which I do not like at all are those burst finishes ... hate 'em. But my experience with Yamaha has always been they make wonderful sounding drums.
 
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