Hierarchy at various manufacturers?

petrez

Senior Member
The Live Custom Hybrid is equally priced with Tama Starclassic Maple here in Europe though (in Germany at least, where I bought mine from), the Absolute Maple Hybrids are just a tad bit more expensive. Still cost more than their previous Live Custom kit though (maybe they justify it with the added bassdrum weights, hybrid shell, and type of specialty finish), but doesn't seem that extreme in comparison. At least not to me :unsure:. But I agree, they should have more choices in the area between the Stage Customs and Oaks. Maybe expand on their Tour Customs a bit more, make it a more desirable kit (compared with the Starclassic Walnut/Birch, Saturns, Masters Maple Complete etc, who really thinks about/knows about the Tour Customs? Seems like they sell nowhere close to these other choices).
 
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Lennytoons

Senior Member
I saw a fabulous live band last week and the drummer was playing a PDP maple concept kit. It sounded great in the mix and looked beautiful with the natural finish. It's a mid priced kit not mid range. Also, there is no such thing as semi-pro. If you get paid you're a professional, if not you're an amateur. Entry level kits made today are as good or better than most of the top vintage kits of yesteryear. What you end up paying for is MOJO.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
"Prosumer" in Yamaha I'd say Tour Custom. Those are some nice drums.

They are better than people know IMO.. I wish Yamaha would go ahead and offer a large amount of colors and additional sizes and put the Pro Yamaha spurs on the kicks.. ... They would be selling like crazy IMO. If I had to guess.. I think the new Oaks' are mostly sitting in inventory because of the pricing.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I wish Yamaha would go ahead and offer a large amount of colors
+1
This is what has kept me from considering a set, the colours are boring.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
As long as the thread is wandering around, let me ask: Ludwig and Gretsch appear to be geared more toward a vintage and/or jazz vibe rather than hard rock or metal. Am I reading that wrong?

And regarding Sonor, I always had a real positive brand association with them, but I think of them as expensive. Are they overpriced?
 

Lennytoons

Senior Member
They are expensive.

Are they overpriced? That depends on your own definition of overpriced, and how you determine it.
If you love them and can't live without them they aren't overpriced. Expensive, yes but so are Gretsch USA Customs and DW Collector's. Still, people continue to buy them.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
I guess what I meant was, if I spend $2500 on Sonor vs. Tama, am I getting less (paying for Sonor name)?
 

wraub

Well-known member
You guys get confused by companies product lines? Imagine seeing them when you're trying to learn anything as a newbie. :D

Part of the reason I chose my drums was, after some research, the maker had a solid record of well made items across product lines, and a good reputation for customer service and parts availability. So, I bought because of brand reputation, not because of product lines. This helped me avoid some confusion at many points.
I wound up with an older kit, classed as mid-level, but solidly built, easy to tune and it stays tuned, sounds and looks good. Accessories have been readily available. Thus, I am satisfied.

A lot of what I see in this thread reminds me of similar discussions on guitar forums- Is Squier as good as Fender? Which Squier model is best? Which Squier model is as good as Fender, etc. Similarly, using pricing to reflect/depict brand quality can be effective, except if you're a certain US maker of expensive guitars currently undergoing yet another in a long list of QC and manufacturing issues in some of your most expensive models...yet still claiming quality and authenticity in the seemingly endless marketing. I honestly wonder sometimes how much of their pricing of their quality actually pays for marketing said quality.

I guess I see the point to different product levels, if only to appeal to more buyers, but past a certain point it almost looks like they're creating things just to market and reinforce their brand identity, or, possibly, using up materials acquired in other deals/tradeouts.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
The Live Custom Hybrid is equally priced with Tama Starclassic Maple here in Europe though (in Germany at least, where I bought mine from), the Absolute Maple Hybrids are just a tad bit more expensive. Still cost more than their previous Live Custom kit though (maybe they justify it with the added bassdrum weights, hybrid shell, and type of specialty finish), but doesn't seem that extreme in comparison. At least not to me :unsure:. But I agree, they should have more choices in the area between the Stage Customs and Oaks. Maybe expand on their Tour Customs a bit more, make it a more desirable kit (compared with the Starclassic Walnut/Birch, Saturns, Masters Maple Complete etc, who really thinks about/knows about the Tour Customs? Seems like they sell nowhere close to these other choices).
i quite like the tour customs, they have good hardware and nice finishes (especially the natural and caramel finishes). obviously not as shiny and “trendy” as the starclassic W/B or other kits in the range but they look like a back to basics kit that gets the job done. a very standard maple kit, i really like it.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
I guess what I meant was, if I spend $2500 on Sonor vs. Tama, am I getting less (paying for Sonor name)?
no, even the kits that ask a big premium for big names (dw for example) make good kits. are they feature packed like competing kits? not really, but you know you’re getting good stuff. to make an example using guitars, you can buy a high end ibanez for a couple thousand that will have the best stuff available, or you can get a base model les paul. is the LP going to be as feature packed as the ibanez? no, but you can’t deny the LP is a very good guitar and there are reasons why you should go for one over the other, even if the value for money isn’t so good.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
As long as the thread is wandering around, let me ask: Ludwig and Gretsch appear to be geared more toward a vintage and/or jazz vibe rather than hard rock or metal. Am I reading that wrong?
those 2 brands seem “jazz or old school rock/r&b” drums because of how old they are and how they market their history as the leading benefit, but they’re not drastically different than other brands. sure there are specialized kits like the club date or broadkaster that don’t do so well with some genres because of round edges and few ply construction, but buy a more usual/common kit like CMs or brooklyns (even USA customs) and you will get a very modern sound if you want. modern ply drums can sound good in any genre, be it metal or bossa nova
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
those 2 brands seem “jazz or old school rock/r&b” drums because of how old they are and how they market their history as the leading benefit, but they’re not drastically different than other brands. sure there are specialized kits like the club date or broadkaster that don’t do so well with some genres because of round edges and few ply construction, but buy a more usual/common kit like CMs or brooklyns (even USA customs) and you will get a very modern sound if you want. modern ply drums can sound good in any genre, be it metal or bossa nova
Thanks, I'll poke around some more. Gretsch in particular it seemed hard to not find references to "vintage sound" and so on. I may have not looked closely enough though.
 

Fritz Frigursson

Senior Member
Thanks, I'll poke around some more. Gretsch in particular it seemed hard to not find references to "vintage sound" and so on. I may have not looked closely enough though.
renowns, brooklyns and USA customs are very versatile, broadkasters have older style shells and mounting hardware so get that only if you know you’ll like that sound and style. i really like them but they’re not for everyone
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Thanks, I'll poke around some more. Gretsch in particular it seemed hard to not find references to "vintage sound" and so on. I may have not looked closely enough though.
Will Calhoun (Living Color) started with Pearl, went to Sonor, then Mapex, and now he's with Gretsch. And Living Color still rocks hard.

But I think your'e right about the "perceived" as vintage or jazz ..... it's kinda a hard title to shake once you get it. Tama, Pearl, and Yamaha landed in the US hard and heavy in the mid/late 70's, and the drum market they were targeting wasn't the vintage or jazz consumer. They came to sell mass amounts of drums ..... and that meant the "rock" crowd.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Tama, Pearl, and Yamaha landed in the US hard and heavy in the mid/late 70's,
It worked on me.

c.1980 I attended a Jeff Beck concert at the open-air theater in Santa Barbara. Yes, it was a perfect setting with sun and mild temperatures all day. By then, I had not played drums in six years due to the college/career “interruption”. Beck’s drummer was Simon Phillips, playing a royal blue Tama kit, open-handed and with a smile on his face like he was walking his dog in the park. I couldn’t believe the level of skill and sounds he brought to the music.

I think that was the day I told myself, “Someday, I’m gonna play Tama.”

SimonPhillipsMDcom00003.jpg
 
So, I have said this before on this forum .... I can't see spending more on a kit than the Tama Imperialstar line. They sound fantastic and the HW seems like it will last forever. I think other more expensive drums look (much) nicer then the wrap on my Poplar shells .... but in a studio or in a live venue I dont think the sound or durability would be an issue. Probably true for most of the "bottom" line of sets from Gretch, Yamaha, PDP/DW and others. Once you pay over $1,000 for a kit ... its really more for the look, right? Not saying that's bad. Just my opinion anyway.
 
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Thanks, I'll poke around some more. Gretsch in particular it seemed hard to not find references to "vintage sound" and so on. I may have not looked closely enough though.
This video might be a bit silly, but since you asked.. :D Interestingly, the "Jazz guy" plays a New Classic and the "Metal guy" a Renown. I believe that the general perception is that they should be used the other way around.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
It worked on me.

c.1980 I attended a Jeff Beck concert at the open-air theater in Santa Barbara. Yes, it was a perfect setting with sun and mild temperatures all day. By then, I had not played drums in six years due to the college/career “interruption”. Beck’s drummer was Simon Phillips ......
I'm sure Simon was responsible for selling more than a few Tama kits;)

He popped up on my radar in 1977, Judas Priests "Sin After Sin". And it was like "Holy F@#& !!!!. Who's this guy" Without the internet, it wasn't easy to find out. Then I got the 801 "Live" album ...... then he pops back up on Michael Schenker's 1st solo album and Jeff Becks "There & Back".

And there was a general exodus from US kits (Ludwig) to Japanese kits. Some of the high profile players ....... Cozy Powell switched to Yamaha in 1977. Ian Paice switched to Pearl in 1982 ...... and Tommy Aldridge switched to Yamaha in 1982.
 
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