Help deciding on maple kit...

Jasta 11

Active member
I played on a Catalina maple, very nice sound. the others i cant vouch for. i will say, when you buy a kit, as soon as you bring it home its "used" so don't overlook the used market. Its not all abused and the price is usually top level gear for mid level price. when someone pays a lot of money for a new higher end kit, they usually take care.I have bought both new and used and honestly, no one knows what it was when you acquired it so it shouldn't matter. Just my opinion though, if you are set on new, that's your choice ( someone has to buy them new at some point.).
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Used gear, 5 minutes or 5 years is still worth at most 60% of its original value, sometimes less depending on brand, color, etc. if there’s nothing local, but a GC or equivalent store near by, then ask the selling store for more info. If they arrive at any less than advertised, take them back. GC will fight you for the shipping charges, but if you can prove the gear wasn’t as advertised, they will usually give in. Had a store deny me shipping twice, so I contacted their online customer service and was refunded the difference. The only way you could tell my Brooklyns weren’t new was the generic boxes they arrived in. Even the original heads were unused.
 

john352050

Well-known member
Thanks guys! Taking in to consideration that I haven't owned a kit or played in awhile, I'm going with the Pearl, mainly to save some money and meet in the middle as far as quality goes. Most say that all of the three choices i narrowed it down to are great kits, with some downsides for all, but I love the Galaxy wrap option on the Pearl Decade and save a couple hundred.

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions!

Now if i can figure out which double pedal...sucks that its too far of a drive to try em out! Living in the boonies sucks sometimes...
 

john352050

Well-known member
Buddy is selling me his used Decade 5pc for $150!!!!
He was on the fence about letting it go, but hes been thinking about upgrading to another kit! Sweeeeet. Thanks for pushing me to look into buying used!
Just saved $350 bucks.
He's kept it really nice, looks awesome!
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hey John. You are going to like the kit. I played on one and you will like the kick drum and toms. Good sounding and you can get a good phat sound rock sound out of them. The snare is a nice sounding snare when dialed in. Congratulation's on your new kit. Can you write us a little review?
 

V-Four

Senior Member
Buddy is selling me his used Decade 5pc for $150!!!!
He was on the fence about letting it go, but hes been thinking about upgrading to another kit! Sweeeeet. Thanks for pushing me to look into buying used!
Just saved $350 bucks.
He's kept it really nice, looks awesome!
Sweet. Now you got more to spend on cymbals.
Post some pics when you get your mits on it. ;)

T.
 

john352050

Well-known member
Will do!

Still trying to save a little money on a cymbal pack, if i do end up buying completely new, looking at the Paiste PST5's.
 

force3005

Silver Member
Hey John. Go with PST7 pack. They sound like first cousins to the 2002 series. The medium set is IMO sounds the best. If you buy individually need to go a size bigger in the PST7 to get close to 2002 sound. ( if you like 16" 2002 the try 17" PST7 ) The HH sound really good.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
I'll jump in, and suggest the Yamaha Tour Custom Maple. If you're looking for an "heirloom" kinda kit (and you want maple), I think it's a better fit. It IS a bit more, but as you said, you get what you pay for.

One thing you'll notice is the kits you listed have 8 lugs on the 22" bass drum. The Yamaha has a 10 lug bass drum. A feature usually found on upper tier kits. Counting lugs, the Yamaha and Tama give you 8 lugs on the floor toms. The Pearls are 6 luggers. So, while that might not throw it out of the running, when you're comparing X/Y/Z drum sets, you gotta start noting where the different brands are cutting corners to stay within a certain price point.

On the Tama's plus side ..... it has really thin shells. 5mm. Pearl 5.4mm and Yamaha 5.6mm.

In getting a 7 pc. kit ..... you won't find an 8" tom in the Yamaha line up, But you can add a 13". So your 7 pc. would have 10, 12, 13, 14, 16 toms. The Tama and Pearl have 2" spacing, with a lot of people like. 8, 10, 12, 14, 16.

Another contender, you might want to look at, is the Mapex Armory. It has a birch/maple/birch shell. It's in the price range you're looking at, and while it usually seems to sell as a 6 piece (two up, two down) .... I've seen add on 8" toms for it on eBay. So if you really want a three up, two down kit, that's can be had.
I was just looking at 8" stage custom toms on musicians friend
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
My 2¢...

1: Don't get hung up on the material for entry level kits. (Consider a Stage Custom).
2: Scratch "Catalina Maple" off your list and replace with "Used Renown Maple".
Gretsch Catalina are used by some Pro's. Have no fear . The Renown is one step up and what I play with no issues.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Gretsch Catalina are used by some Pro's. Have no fear . The Renown is one step up and what I play with no issues.
From my "investigating" the Renown's are well worth the extra bucks. I keep eyeing them cause I got a bad case of GAS. Gretsch Acquistion Syndrome. LOL
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
From my "investigating" the Renown's are well worth the extra bucks. I keep eyeing them cause I got a bad case of GAS. Gretsch Acquistion Syndrome. LOL
I like my Renown so much that I’m tempted to turn it into a shell pack. It’s that good.

I already bought an additional 16x16 floor tom. So I currently have 20/10/12/14/16 and I’m seriously considering another bass drum that will compliment the 20x16, possibly a 24x14? Although I wouldn’t mind having an 18x14...or a 22x18.

I’m also looking for excuses to need an 8x7 and 18x16 too, haha.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
"possibly a 24x14? Although I wouldn’t mind having an 18x14...or a 22x18.
Man I hear ya-both the 24 or 18 would entice me-if you mic an 18 it can sound huge. But I love the 24 in just behind the kit personally-it really moves some air and you can feel it-I like that. The Renown 13/16/24 would replace the Pearl Decades I have now-which are fine drums-I just got the GAS. Do the 302 hoops on the newer Renown change it much?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Do the 302 hoops on the newer Renown change it much?
No and yes.

You used to have the Renown RN and RN1, which IMHO was a Gretsch branded Taiwanese knockoff of the Gretsch USA Custom.... And It was really close to the real thing. Almost indistinguishable outside the tame/lackluster finish options... I think there were some A/B comparisons on Youtube if you dig a bit.

At the same time, they had the Marquee out, which was basically a Renown with no silver sealer and 302 hoops. They sounded great, and initially came in several fairly-undesirable finishes until GC ordered a run of black ones, which apparently sold really well. Gretsch appears to have taken notice, because a year later they released the new Renown, which is a lot like a mix of the RN1 and Marquee.

If you're looking for a poor-man's USA Custom, get a used RN1. If you're simply looking for a great and reliable kit with the Gretsch aesthetic and sonic disposition, grab an RN2.

Regarding the Catalina... I don't want to bash it, as it can carry it's own weight, but when new Catalina's costs more than a used Renown, it's a no-brainer.
 
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Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Buddy is selling me his used Decade 5pc for $150!!!!
He was on the fence about letting it go, but hes been thinking about upgrading to another kit! Sweeeeet. Thanks for pushing me to look into buying used!
Just saved $350 bucks.
He's kept it really nice, looks awesome!
Well it looks like that made the choice easier!
I played some drums in a music shop the other day while trying out cymbals. I liked the sound of the drums a lot and then checked the nameplate - Pearl Decade. Surprisingly nice, especially for the price.
Hope you enjoy them!
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Do the 302 hoops on the newer Renown change it much?
I played the RN1s at a gig recently, and I liked them.....but honestly if someone offered to trade all my 302 hoops for brand new die-cast hoops, I'd say "no thanks!"

I really like the 302s. I don't consider die-cast hoops to be superior at all, just slightly different.

Probably the best way to describe the difference between the two: 302s control the overtones just as well as die-cast, but they do it while allowing more resonance.

The resonance of the RN2s is INSANE. On my 12" tom I have cotton balls inside to dampen the resonant head AND I have a plastic ring on the batter head and yet it STILL has lots of tone and resonance. It's like the drums glow with resonance, I don't know how else to describe it. You can sometimes feel it vibrating your clothes.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
So apparently the kit of your dreams is an intermediate level stencil kit made in China?

I say you’re not dreaming big enough. Look at Gretsch USA, or Pearls Masterworks. Save your pennies and purchase when you can. Between what you have now and these is a well-spent world of difference. Decade Maples? They’re good but nothing to write home about.
 

john352050

Well-known member
Much better than my old Pearl Exports poplar kit, completely stock, straight outta the store, built up by employees at Guitar center...
I hope!!!

I saved all the pennies i could find, this kit is a little over $2,400. The rack and stands/hardware are all top quality...so my old poplar shell's vs new Maple shell's is what it comes down too, hopefully its good 'nuff!

Havent played in years, so couldnt wrap my head around paying anymore than that! Got a good deal on the Decade shells anyhow. The Gretsch Catalina was the other option for me, but that wouldve been more for shells.

Thanks!
 
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