Inexpensive Bop Kit Poll

Which one - all 18" bass drum, all under $1k, some with snare and one 5 pc.

  • Pearl Compact Traveler

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • Tama Club Jam

    Votes: 2 3.6%
  • DDrum SE Flyer

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • Sonor AQX Jazz

    Votes: 8 14.5%
  • Yamaha Stage Custom

    Votes: 19 34.5%
  • Pearl Roadshow

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • PDP ConceptMaple

    Votes: 17 30.9%
  • Tama Imperialstar (5 pc.)

    Votes: 1 1.8%
  • Sonor AQ2 Bop

    Votes: 19 34.5%
  • Gretsch Catalin Club CT-1

    Votes: 14 25.5%

  • Total voters
    55

Donkey Boy

Active Member
See that's it for me the drivers seat is where it should sound the best, why compromise all you're time and effort to learn the craft to feel disappointed..
 

roncadillac

Member
Well why not consider them anyway? There’s another two inches saved ;).

I just looked on Ludwig’s website and you have to go pro level to even get an 18 bass. I wonder why that is. You can get 16 or 20, but no 18’s till you get to Classics and Vistas.
I've always wondered this as well. We live in a time where you can get a quality built 'bop' sized kit with 18" bass drum from pretty much every single major manufacturer for under $1k brand new (hell, under $700 in most cases) yet Ludwig, arguably the quintessential 'bop kit' guys outside of maybe gretsch, still do not offer a kit in these sizes in a budget to intermediate price range.

They basically are saying, "You can buy our garbage breakdown, I mean breakbeats, kit for pennies on the dollar OR you can fork over two mortgage payments for something that will still probably be riddled with QC issues.... The choice is yours."
 

roncadillac

Member
If one is simply looking at the most bang for your buck and going into it with the understanding that good heads, tuning, and cymbals make or break your sound then there really is no other answer besides the pearl roadshow 4pc jazz kit. I know, it's an ugly low end poplar budget kit that comes with double braced hardware that weighs a ton however: 4pc proper bop sized drums, full hardware pack, the reliability of the pearl name, and all this for somewhere around $500. All of the other kits are super nice and probably capable of a wider range of tonal response and visual 'cool factor' but I'm looking at this scenario purely from a nuts and bolts point of view. The sizes of the pearl tubes and mounts, albeit ugly and huge, are widely available and easily adaptable to a number of different pieces. Add on drums are plentiful, especially if you get the plain black wrap. Also parts and hardware for these drums, both pearl brand and aftermarket, can be found anywhere from DFD to MF/GC to Amazon. This is a $500 drum kit that your grandkids could be playing. Wrap warps? Who cares, strip and paint it. Rim bends? Who cares, get a new one for $10.

I'll die on this hill and no one will ever convince me otherwise: Good heads, good tuning, good cymbals, and good playing... The drums themselves are merely a vessel by which to transport the above factors.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
I'll die on this hill and no one will ever convince me otherwise: Good heads, good tuning, good cymbals, and good playing... The drums themselves are merely a vessel by which to transport the above factors.
You arent alone on said hill.

I will readily admit that my Premier kit sounds better to me than either of my Pearl kits side by side. Its birch/lacquer vs poplar/wrap vs luan+fiberglass/wrap. That being said, none of the kits sound bad. I can mix and match drums without it sounding weird.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Ludwig did make an Accent bop kit at one time, but I'm pretty sure it was before I got back into drumming.
Must not have sold too well, because I hardly ever run across them. But here's one:

1667663904949.png

I thought they also made an Element SE bop size kit, but I can't find an example. Could be mistaken though.
 

jda

Silver Member
Ludwig would make an 18" bop set in say the Neusonic Series but bar-bashers® .. would disown any allegiance
kidding/
 
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Donkey Boy

Active Member
If one is simply looking at the most bang for your buck and going into it with the understanding that good heads, tuning, and cymbals make or break your sound then there really is no other answer besides the pearl roadshow 4pc jazz kit. I know, it's an ugly low end poplar budget kit that comes with double braced hardware that weighs a ton however: 4pc proper bop sized drums, full hardware pack, the reliability of the pearl name, and all this for somewhere around $500. All of the other kits are super nice and probably capable of a wider range of tonal response and visual 'cool factor' but I'm looking at this scenario purely from a nuts and bolts point of view. The sizes of the pearl tubes and mounts, albeit ugly and huge, are widely available and easily adaptable to a number of different pieces. Add on drums are plentiful, especially if you get the plain black wrap. Also parts and hardware for these drums, both pearl brand and aftermarket, can be found anywhere from DFD to MF/GC to Amazon. This is a $500 drum kit that your grandkids could be playing. Wrap warps? Who cares, strip and paint it. Rim bends? Who cares, get a new one for $10.

I'll die on this hill and no one will ever convince me otherwise: Good heads, good tuning, good cymbals, and good playing... The drums themselves are merely a vessel by which to transport the above factors.
Ugly and Huge, Weighs a Ton, Wrap Warps, Rim Bends ..Any color as long as it's black. Cool! just making myself a box tick list .. to convince myself of the attributes, so far it's looking good.
 

roncadillac

Member
Ugly and Huge, Weighs a Ton, Wrap Warps, Rim Bends ..Any color as long as it's black. Cool! just making myself a box tick list .. to convince myself of the attributes, so far it's looking good.
Hey, it was purely a utilitarian and cost view point lol
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
Of the ones I had in the poll, the Tama Club Jam, the Pearl Compact Traveler, and the Pearl Roadshow appeal to me the least.
Mostly because of looks and sizes. I'm not ragging on them because I'm sure they're exactly what some people are looking for.
But those are definitely not for me.
 

roncadillac

Member
I know just yank; n the chain..
Totally, I understand. I was simultaneously defending my position and also yanking chain lol.

I just recently got the PDP Daru Jones New Yorker and aside from a couple very minor personal preferences (like not using risers on 18s but this one being built in) I absolutely love it. I hesitated to even bring it up on this thread because it's above the original budget but for $1300 you get 18b, 10t, 14ft, 13sn in a very nice sparkle fade lacquer (not wrap) finish, maple & poplar hybrid shells, the classic look of single center mounted lugs, a full set of DW 6000 ultra light flat based hardware (hi hat, snare, 2 cymbal), plus padded soft cases for all drums and hardware. The kit is an absolute joy to look at and play and one of my favorite all around kits I've ever owned.

I know $1300 is pretty high vs the other kits but if you break down cost to what you get:
The DW 600 hardware set and soft case sells separately for $480 which brings you down to $820 for the drums and padded bags, it's safe to assume that bag set would be around $200 +/- on their own so you are looking at $600 +/- for the drums themselves which puts them in the ball park of the other entries. While I personally love that I got an all in one package with drums, hardware, and cases I do honestly feel that if they gave the option to get just the shell pack in the $600-$700 range many more people would be playing these kits.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
DW Design Mini-Pro looks interesting but doesn't quite fit the criteria (18-10-13-SD).

The PDP looks like a winner to me. I wish I owned one. Smallest kick drum I have is 16x20.
 
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jda

Silver Member
it's a long shot but not impossible;

Get three second hand drums; any brand Hi end or lo..
and make a set
16/12/14 or 18/12/14 or 10/13 if you like that
a floor tom a small tom and a tenor drum.
Convert floor tom to bass add the other two
and you're in; Slim pickings post-2020 but..
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Of the ones I had in the poll, the Tama Club Jam, the Pearl Compact Traveler, and the Pearl Roadshow appeal to me the least.
Mostly because of looks and sizes. I'm not ragging on them because I'm sure they're exactly what some people are looking for.
But those are definitely not for me.
The PDP Concept Maple bop actually sounds quite good. The lads at Mostly Bop Drums YouTube channel did a wonderful video demo of the kit, and very well tuned--I was surprised by how good it sounded. Very passable bop kit for under $1K. However, I do think the folks at Mostly Bop may have said that they treated the edges a bit or the inside of the shell? I know they did that to some of the lower-end kits, like Sonor AQX--maybe that was kit, not the PDP.

Regarding the fraught debate over the Pearl drums, I think the lowest level I'd go with on a Pearl bop set would be the Masters Maple Complete or Session Studio Select, and both of those would have to be special orders because both of those series do not offer 18/14/12 configs, sadly. You could get the Sessions with the free 16" floor tom and convert that into a 16 bass. But both of those Pearl series are still pricey (over $1500) and for a few hundred more you could get a Canopus Ash, and the quality and sound there is never suspect.
 

motleyh

Senior Member
Just my own viewpoint, but I've always felt that the two main purposes of a bop kit are portability and high tuning. If you want a deep, beefy sound, don't get a bop kit. If you want thick shells and high volume, don't get a bop kit. If you want ultra-heavy-duty hardware, don't get a bop kit.

So I think of a bop kit as strictly four pieces, with a 16 or 18 kick (although I personally can't stand 16 kicks), 12 & 14 toms, and a snare that might be 14, 13, or possibly 12. All drums moderately shallow. I usually play a 20" kick, and I can state unequivocally that's it's not a bop size.

Warm woods are a plus -- mahogany, poplar, and walnut all have lots of tone and, at the softer end (mahogany and poplar) moderate volume. I would even add basswood to the list, except that it's a little too soft to be durable.

Lightweight hardware helps. From the big manufacturers I see a lot of BD tom mounts that are overkill-heavy on these smaller kick sizes. You want a mount that'll hold a 12 tom securely, and nothing more. You want a sturdy stand for a ride cymbal, especially it's in the 21-22" range.

Most bop kit users are tuning fairly high and open for bop jazz. You can get the same pitch out of a 10 or 12 rack tom, or out of a 13 or 14 floor tom, but it's going to sound more like bop jazz at the higher tensions with the 12 and 14 because of the difference in duration and harmonics.

One other point -- if you're going to get a lower-price kit and then recut the edges, change the hoops, strip and refinish the shells, guess what? It isn't a lower-price kit anymore. The additional parts and labor have changed the effective cost. (Your time counts, too.)

So I think my hypothetical personal bop kit would be an all-walnut ply (for getting knocked around) kit, 14x18, 8.5x12, 12x14, with 2.3mm or wood hoops, maybe with a standard Yamaha tom mount and Crosstown stands. A steambent maple snare, of course, probably 5.5x13 and probably with wood hoops. Not sure where that puts the pricing, but it's well over the $1K limit.

Hmmm. That does sounds like a nice project, though ...
 

jda

Silver Member
Tama Starclassic Walnut Birch offer a 14x18 BD -not in a configuration set-

wonder what those go for 18 with the 12/14
Let's see if I can find one listing
.nope.

Superstar Classic

 
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s1212z

Silver Member
So I think my hypothetical personal bop kit would be an all-walnut ply (for getting knocked around) kit, 14x18, 8.5x12, 12x14, with 2.3mm or wood hoops, maybe with a standard Yamaha tom mount and Crosstown stands. A steambent maple snare, of course, probably 5.5x13 and probably with wood hoops. Not sure where that puts the pricing, but it's well over the $1K limit.

Hmmm. That does sounds like a nice project, though ...
I would like to see that!
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
Tama Starclassic Walnut Birch offer a 14x18 BD -not in a configuration set-

wonder what those go for 18 with the 12/14
Let's see if I can find one listing
.nope.

Superstar Classic

JDA: I looked into an 18/14/12 set of SC Walnut-Birch drums when they first came out, but one dealer quoted me somewhere close to $1800-$2K, if I remember correctly.

I don't know what the environment would be like now. Folks always say if you *call* a store up, you are more likely to get a discount you wouldn't if you straight bought online, and I wonder if the smarter approach for the Starclassic W-Bs would be to get the 20/14/12 config. off the hands of a dealer (help them move product), and then see if they can get you a good deal on a 12x16 bass drum from Tama. That way, you would have a 16/14/12 Elvin jazz setup and the 20/14/12 to handle everything else.

Caveat here is, most folks here seem to think the Starclassic W-B drums won't or don't tune up well for jazz. I have never been able to test drive a kit, so I don't know, and I have yet to find a video demo of the W-Bs tuned high. This is the closest I have found, and I'm not sure how I feel about the tuning in that video.

Motley's Walnut bop kit idea sounds cool. Off the top of my head, only Tama's Star Walnut and Noble & Cooley's Walnut kit are readily available in bop sizes. But both of those kits would most likely be over $3K. A CD Maple 18/14/12 with stain color finish is at least $2900.
 
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RobertM

Platinum Member
To follow up my last post: if the Starclassic Walnut-Birch could sound close to this, when tuned properly, then that would be something:

For those ready to ask, "Just get the Canopus then," the Canopus NV1 bop kits start at roughly $3600, sans a snare (just 18/14/12).
 
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s1212z

Silver Member
To follow up my last post: if the Starclassic Walnut-Birch could sound close to this, when tuned properly, then that would be something:

For those ready to ask, "Just get the Canopus then," the Canopus NV1 bop kits start at roughly $3600, sans a snare (just 18/14/12).
Starclassic WB won't get even close.

Get a Yaiba ll, sounds fantastic, MIJ. I would get before alot of higher price kits and only $200 apart from the Tama WB. Still like my RFMs better but Yaibas sound top notch.



 
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