While I've never come across a house kit that's looked like the lone survivor of a nuclear attack, I have seen some poorly maintained ones in my time. I've never aired complaints though. I think a confident player can sit behind any rig and make it work, as long as it isn't held together by bubble gum and cake icing.
It can be somewhat refreshing, in fact, to strip drummers of their customary status symbols. Remove their elite badges and lofty logos, and you see what they're really made of. Everyone looks good in a brand-new Ferrari, but in a dilapidated Ford Focus, you'd better know how to drive.
I always bring my own breakables, a throne and a couple of cymbal stands when I know I'll be playing a house or a backline kit. I also bring spare cymbal sleeves since they're missing from the house kit 80% of the time.
Further to that, I set my kit up differently on a regular basis so that I never get too comfortable with any one configuration. I don't want to be thrown by a 4 piece setup when I'm used to a 5 piece, and so on.
I once played a house kit in New Orleans that was permanently set up OUTSIDE on the porch of a club. Sure, the porch was covered. But with all that heat and humidity, it looked exactly like a drum kit that was found in Chernobyl, or a set piece from a Mad Max movie.
How did it sound? Well, it sounded as good as it looked.
It looks like the kit in the practice space of the only original band I've been in. They were Sonor as well. One of the worst kits I've played, EVER. I had to put 2 of the floor tom legs in my shoes to get a little sustain from it. When some bass player tells me he has vintage Sonors I could use....the picture I had in mind, and what I actually saw, were light years apart
I heard a guy on a podcast a while back down in Nashville that was a drummer and kept going from house kit to house kit and dealing with all the deferred maintenance etc. on the kits and like everyone else was annoyed. Well he asked a club owner if he could come in off hours and maintain the kit if he would pay for parts or something.....they guy gave him a shot and then all the clubs on the strip started paying him to maintain and tune their house kits. I think he worked a deal with Mapex or something as well for some house kits..........I respected that hustle as it is a huge need .
I've played a few house kits in my day and have lived through all the crap many of us have......the bass drum that will never stay put no matter how large a speaker or amp is in front of it so of course the 2 mounted toms would go with it. Start the song with it in normal position....4 mins later you are playing a "chopper" kit with your leg fully extended to reach the pedal now that the kick drum moved 2' forward.........