How do you feel about drums made in Taiwan?

Hello folks,
I'm a Taiwanese and working in a drum manufacturer in Taiwan.
Sorry for my poor English first, there would have some strange grammar in my post lol.

I started this job as a sales a year ago.
I feel really surprise, because I found so many Taiwan companies are doing the OEM for world famous brand from 80's or earlier.
Like TAMA, DW, Yamaha, SONOR, Sakae etc.. Even Pearl has their own factory in Taiwan.
There are also some Taiwan brand you might know like Dixon and Mapex. (Actually Mapex produce their drums in Mainland China)

I'm a guitarist playing in a semi-pro band and can't play drum.
So I don't really know if drum sounds terrific.
I had seen some guys prefer the USA or Japan made drums more than Taiwan.
I'm wondering how do you guys feel about the drum's quality or craftmanship which made in Taiwan.
The factories here have drum making experience over 20~30 years, and using the same material as USA or Japan factories.
But there isn't any Taiwan brand success like TAMA or DW.
As a Taiwanses, this make me feel really depressed :((
 
Hello folks,
I'm a Taiwanese and working in a drum manufacturer in Taiwan.
Sorry for my poor English first, there would have some strange grammar in my post lol.

I started this job as a sales a year ago.
I feel really surprise, because I found so many Taiwan companies are doing the OEM for world famous brand from 80's or earlier.
Like TAMA, DW, Yamaha, SONOR, Sakae etc.. Even Pearl has their own factory in Taiwan.
There are also some Taiwan brand you might know like Dixon and Mapex. (Actually Mapex produce their drums in Mainland China)

I'm a guitarist playing in a semi-pro band and can't play drum.
So I don't really know if drum sounds terrific.
I had seen some guys prefer the USA or Japan made drums more than Taiwan.
I'm wondering how do you guys feel about the drum's quality or craftmanship which made in Taiwan.
The factories here have drum making experience over 20~30 years, and using the same material as USA or Japan factories.
But there isn't any Taiwan brand success like TAMA or DW.
As a Taiwanses, this make me feel really depressed :((
No need to be depressed. As you stated so well, many of the major drum companies have built their products in Taiwan for at least 40 years now. I myself have played Pearl products for over 30 years now, and they were made in Taiwan. This includes drums as well as very sturdy Hardware. So if you are concerned that there really isn't a homegrown brand of drums and percussion products, then perhaps you and some friends can get together and start your own Drum Company. 😊
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
If they use the same quality components, and best practices in production it shouldn't really matter. Isn't Dixon drums based in Taiwan-I've never played but look like solid quality drums?? Maybe the problem is people "think" inferior (don't take that personal as a diss to your ancestry) in manufacturing because of misinformation-it's often the case.
I live pretty close to the Gretsch South Carolina factory that makes USA customs (I don't think they manufacture the shells or hardwares-just assemble-I stand corrected if wrong??)-but I don't think anything magical happens there-put on my flame suit LOL. I've thought about buying their formula Keller shells , and hardware-then pull up to their parking lot and assemble the knock-off there by myself. So I can later sell it-as produced at the Gretsch Ridgeland SC factory USA Custom drum kit--"honestly" LOL. No I wouldn't but now I've the idea in my head. Crap-it could become an obsession.
 

jornthedrummer

Silver Member
I have 2 Taiwanese Gretsch sets I’m as happy about as my USA Gretsch. so from a quality standpoint I have no problem.


However the new brands, inclusive of Asian brands, have no history, no famous music associated with them, few strong artists., etc So a potential customer have no emotions to connect to Dixon, Mapex, etc. so there’s no point to buy those drums.

it’s like a Stratocaster. Everybody have a similar guitar in their range. But there’s really no point to buy it unless there’s budget constraints. So Fender wins.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I've got no problem with Taiwanese drums. But like you say, Taiwan produces a lot of drums FOR other companies. And a partnership like that leaves all the glory to usually go to the parent company, usually. Also, the parent company usually produces the "flagship" lines, relegating the entry and mid-level drums (which they sell more of).

Secondly ..... partnerships like this usually mean the parent company is fully in charge of design and build specification.

Now, Mapex is 30 years in the game. That's fairly young. Yamaha's been doin' drums for 52 years. Pearl for 73.

Dixon, from what I understand, started in 1979 in St. Louis. And they faced the same battle here .... Ludwig being around since 1909. Gretsch, since 1883. I think the current Dixon line started around 2011. And the Artisan series (top line) get great reviews. Problem is, right now, I've never seen one. I'm not sure where I'd go to buy one. Can I buy one from Sweetwater, or Guitar Center, etc.? I do a google, and I can't find a dealer. I go on the web site, and I can't locate a dealer within 500 km. So they have a lot of work ahead of 'em, if they want to bust into the US drum market.

For depression, I suggest you start playing drums. I'm not a doctor, but it works for me.

:):) Welcome to Drummerworld.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
This is what a very poor Wiki article states about Dixon-so I'm wary.
"Exclusively distributed in the United States by St. Louis Music, Dixon Drums and Hardware is considered a rising star in the acoustic drum business[citation needed]. Established by its Taiwan-based parent company with over 35 years experience in quality drum and hardware manufacturing, Dixon embraces both sound and function in its effort to advance the art of drumming through the craft of drum making.

Playability, reliability and sustainability shape the Dixon vision as a full-line drum brand able to adapt to all styles, deliver at all levels, and stand the test of time" So do they produce lower line overseas and then make some kits here? Or is the info crap?
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Why not just go to the source? https://www.playdixon.com/dealers/

I see 9 dealers in the US.
Interstate used to carry some Dixon stuff, and I've seen a few at a Musicgoround, but they're not that common.

johnny - your English is fine.
I prefer drums sourced and made in the US, but it's probably mostly because I live here.
I've had a lot of drums made in other countries though.
 

trickg

Silver Member
So here's a question: if the place of manufacture wasn't on the label, would anyone be able to tell the difference?

Some people get wrapped around the axle about that kind of thing. Personally, if it's made well and functions well, I'm not inclined to care much about where it was made. These days there's not much of a quality gap in manufacturing based on country of manufacture because manufacturing tools, techniques, and equipment are becoming more and more standardized.

Case in point, my main trumpet, a Jupiter 1600i Roger Ingram model - a medium bore trumpet designed for accuracy towards bright, cutting lead and commercial type playing - is made in Taiwan. I didn't buy it based on where it was made - I bought it because the design suits the kind of playing I primarily do, and when I played it, it played well. It also represented a really good value - from a fit and finish perspective, it seems to be made to a higher level than other pro-level horns made here in the USA.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
I prefer American made so you probably know who I voted for president. That said, I don't go looking for Taiwanese products, but as trickg above said........"So here's a question: if the place of manufacture wasn't on the label, would anyone be able to tell the difference?".......my opinion too. If you put American made next to Taiwan made and I was unaware of where it came from, my judgement would be solely on how the damn thing sounds. Might be made by midgets sequestered somewhere in a tent on the streets of New York. I don't care. Well I would care about the sanitation aspect but that's another thread. Or maybe not.
 

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TK-421

Senior Member
I own two Gretsch Renown kits, both made in Taiwan. The quality is excellent on both. From what I've heard, it seems that the overall quality of the Gretsch drums made in Taiwan exceeds that of their USA-made lines, as there are occasional quality issues I hear about with USA drums (at least there used to be; I'm also hearing that they may have ironed all those out). But I've never heard of quality issues coming out of Taiwan. On both of my kits, the edges are perfect, the hardware is top notch, and the sound is easily comparable to the USA-made stuff.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Asian products suffer from a stigma that's been around from when there were truly inferior products coming from Asia, in the 1950's and 60's. It's just not like that anymore yet the stigma lives on. It's not about the place of manufacture anymore. The bar has been raised to a point where anyone who is viable today is putting out stuff on par with everyone else. The place of manufacture no longer means anything to me. The quality of the product always matters, but the country of origination carries no stigma to well informed purchasers. Like you would find here. You almost can't buy a crappy sounding drum today. These days, if a drum sounds bad, it's user error 99% of the time.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Yeah origin cause that was his issue. Which if Dixon is made in Taipei that appear good drums-supporting his posit- they make good drums . I think Larry nailed the issue is from early years rep. All the inexpensive kits Asian made are mostly good quality now it appears - with exceptions I’m sure.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
If the company that owns the manufacturing plant or system, oversees the production and is strict in the following of the production process, there should be no problem. If they just send raw products and never check on the end product, there would be a problem.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
There's nothing wrong with Taiwanese-made drums whatsoever; Pearl make just about the sturdiest drum I can think of, in Taiwan. A friend of mine has a Masterworks kit, made in Taiwan of course, and those are really great drums.

It just so happens that the Gretsches and Ludwigs that make the sound I'm after are made in the US, and the birch drums I'm after were made in Japan. If someone made a Hokkaido birch shell kit with aluminum die cast hoops anywhere in the world, I'd be interested in learning more.
 

FFFF

Senior Member
There's a brand called Cadeson, which is Taiwanese if I'm not mistaken. They are sold as semi-pro to pro prices here in southeast Asia.
 

Soulfinger

Senior Member
My first kit back in 1981 was a "Champion" made in Taiwan and it was truly bad. I loved it but it had a lot of issues - oversized shells that made changing heads and tuning rather painful, extra cheap hardware (over the years I had three lugs break off the snare due to excessive splay - the rods pulled the lug away from the shell at such an angle that eventually they came off) etc. But it had a decent sound, I have to admit.
Nowadays I have a German made Sonor bass drum, a Gretsch Brooklyn snare - and all my other snare drums, hardware etc. are made in Taiwan, China or even Indonesia. Great products.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I should have used the 'quote' function. Harry was asking about dealers.
Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear enough, I wasn't asking about dealers ..... I was stating my observation.

If I google Yamaha Phoenix drums ..... bam ..... first thing I see is a bass drum for $3119.99. And I use the PHX as an example because the Tama, Pearl, and Mapex flagship drums are more abundant.

I google Dixon Artisan drums ...... two used snares pop up.

Of course I used their web site. Like I said, not a dealer within 500 km (310 miles). That's the farthest distance the Dixon search engine will let me type in. I'm in Los Angeles. And my two closest choices are Seattle, Washington and San Antonio, Texas. I'm in Los Angeles. 2nd largest city in the US. In the 1st largest state (population). With the worlds 5th largest economy (if we were a country).

Much of Tama, Pearl and DW's success comes from very aggressive marketing. In the late 70's/early 80's Tama and Pearl both campaigned relentlessly to get high profile/visible drummers to play their gear. DW's inroad attack was thru their hardware. Guys might play Tama, or Pearl drums ..... but look on the floor. DW5000 pedals.

When Mapex really started to campaign ..... I remember both Terry Bozzio and Mike Portnoy driving Mapex. And I remember seeing the Orion series drums, and being blown away with how beautiful they were. They looked every bit as exotic as some of the DW exotics. Alas, Mapex discontinued that line in 2012.

All this costs money. Lots of it. You have to have a top shelf product, and you have to market the %@$& out of it.
 
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