is $1300 to $2000 the sweet spot for most drums?

Drumdame

Silver Member
I love high end things. I like things that are built well, with integrity and good design. But in last 4 years I've owned a lot of drum sets and the more I buy, the more I find that the best Value in drums is in the Mid range.

I think the gap between the sub $1200 drum market and the $1300 to $2000 market is so much greater than the gap between the mid range and the drums that cost $2000 or more.

I had always wanted a USA Ludwig kit, so I bought one 2 years ago ( and sold it) and I always wanted a German Made Sonor kit, so I also bought one (and sold it) but since then I have bought Mid tier kits from Pearl (Session Studio Select), Yamaha (Tour Custom), Sonor (AQ2), and finally Gretsch (RN2) and after comparing my experiences with high end drums Vs Mid tier, Im finding that the sound is similar (and in the Renown's case, better), the hardware is either on Par or Better and the shell construction from drums made in Taiwan is every bit on point as what people are making in the USA and Germany. In fact, I had more issues with the German made Sonor kit than I did with the Chinese made AQ2 kit.

Right now I have a full kit of Pearl Session Studio Selects, Gretsch Renowns and a 10" tom from a Yamaha Stage Custom. To me, these 3 kits could easily hold their own against drums that cost thousands more. The value and craftsmanship that you get from any Pearl Drum made in Taiwan is off the charts and after hearing these Gretsch Renowns, Im blown away and not sure how a USA made Gretsch kit could sound much better.


Any one else think that best value in Drums is in the mid tier ?
I love my Gretch Renown Kit! Although I've had my eye on a Gretch Renown White Marine Pearl Kit but satisfied with what I have for now. I can't wait to put my new heads on to see what it sounds like.

The only other kit that I had a chance to play is the Pearl Decade that I recently purchased and I really don't care for it but my son loves it so we traded... he gave me his Gretch Renown and I gave him the Pearl Decade.

Other than that I would just assume that the middle ground would be the best bang for your buck and of course heads would have a lot to do with what they sound like also. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Below is a picture of my kit.
 

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someguy01

Platinum Member
This is fun.
Some here have 100% proven my point about rhetoric and propaganda.
Some here have no clue how manufacturing works or where a great deal of things are made.
There's a definite disconnect when it comes to the exporting of computer technology from the US and just how much of it isn't actually exported due to governmental controls put in place for national security reasons.
Some here also have a clear disdain for a country and its people.

Thanks again DW for letting me know my $320 and $500 drum kits are beginner crap because they were under $800. Yet another nugget of wisdom from this forum.
Thanks for keeping me from deluding myself further.

Fun facts: Foxconn is a solely Taiwanese electronics manufacturer founded in 1974. At no point were they owned, operated, or funded by any western company. Their success is 100% their own.
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
This is fun.
Some here have 100% proven my point about rhetoric and propaganda.
Some here have no clue how manufacturing works or where a great deal of things are made.
There's a definite disconnect when it comes to the exporting of computer technology from the US and just how much of it isn't actually exported due to governmental controls put in place for national security reasons.
Some here also have a clear disdain for a country and its people.

Thanks again DW for letting me know my $320 and $500 drum kits are beginner crap because they were under $800. Yet another nugget of wisdom from this forum.
Thanks for keeping me from deluding myself further.

Fun facts: Foxconn is a solely Taiwanese electronics manufacturer founded in 1974. At no point were they owned, operated, or funded by any western company. Their success is 100% their own.
To me buying USA or Germany has less to do with quality and more so that the money is going to facilities and shops that pay their employees a fair wage. With decent working conditions.

Foxconn is a Terrible example of stuff like that. It’s what I hate about the high consequences of low cost. Americans want to pay less even if it means someone across the world is working for Pennies to make it happen. Foxconn for example is a 5 trillion dollar company who yet, has a very very ugly record on workers rights.

The reality is… American companies take advantage of the lack of a workers revolution that the US experienced (and yet still lag behind globally) in places like China. It’s messed up.
 

someguy01

Platinum Member
Foxconn for example is a 5 trillion dollar company who yet, has a very very ugly record on workers rights.
At the China facility, in recent years. This is not the case in Taiwan.
As for how workers are treated, America has a nice habit of turning a blind eye to its own backyard while climbing on its high horse.
The reality is… American companies take advantage of the lack of a workers revolution that the US experienced (and yet still lag behind globally) in places like China. It’s messed up.
This is the deal that William Jefferson Clinton struck with China. He allowed corporate profit to take a front seat and now, 30 years after the fact, Americans decided they have morals. It's laughable. Workers are exploited globally but it's only "news" because China isn't our buddy.
If it's about workers and personal morals, toss out everything electronic you own. Including your car.
Look into where the lithium and cobalt come from.
Look into how the minerals for semiconductors are mined and refined.
IMO the entire argument is bs on its face for the convient blind eye that's turned to all sorts of things people use everyday.
Faux interwebs outrage for the cause du jour.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
....
If it's about workers and personal morals, toss out everything electronic you own. Including your car.
....
This ties in to what Rich brought up previously - when a country loses (or chooses to lose) the capacity to produce for itself,
and becomes dependent on the products of another, it can result in domination by the supplier.
An exact stated goal of one of the countries discussed.
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
At the China facility, in recent years. This is not the case in Taiwan.
As for how workers are treated, America has a nice habit of turning a blind eye to its own backyard while climbing on its high horse.

This is the deal that William Jefferson Clinton struck with China. He allowed corporate profit to take a front seat and now, 30 years after the fact, Americans decided they have morals. It's laughable. Workers are exploited globally but it's only "news" because China isn't our buddy.
If it's about workers and personal morals, toss out everything electronic you own. Including your car.
Look into where the lithium and cobalt come from.
Look into how the minerals for semiconductors are mined and refined.
IMO the entire argument is bs on its face for the convient blind eye that's turned to all sorts of things people use everyday.
Faux interwebs outrage for the cause du jour.
I think you miss the points where I call out America for workers rights. My company is headquartered in the Uk, they absolutely do so much better then the US in PTO, family leave, workers rights, healthcare and so many other things. It took my 10 years to get 25 days of vacation, in the Uk they start with that
But as far as the US Is behind the rest of the world, we aren’t seeing companies hanging nets from their facilities to catch people committing suicide.

I think if covid taught every country anything is we should all be focused on being self reliant. I have zero beefs with China, they only do what America & the UK ask of them. My beefs are with corporate greed, a population hell bent on paying low price no matter what it costs. We created the low wage market.



But I have no idea why this getting so serious. I asked if the best value is the mid range and I personally own 2 kits now in the mid range made in Taiwan
 
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someguy01

Platinum Member

s1212z

Silver Member
While we get high quality bargains as mentioned here and Chinese drums can be made at a high end professional level, does it make sense for a top line Chinese Yamaha hybrid maple or RC to cost well over $3-4k considering much cheaper labor cost? No doubt, great instruments and well developed R&D from Yamaha here as well as the reputation demand of the RCs. Same with Pearl masterworks, high quality but does is deserve 5x the price to a Studio Session?

Check out this almost 10 fold difference in price. Again, the China Remo factory for the Armory vs Masterworks Taiwan facility; nothing from Germany, US or Japan. To step back, this is Pearl's best effort and a handcrafted instrument, noting built for quantity and all for quality which can be said for many of the high-end lines. And for lines that have heavy R&D and alot of attention to small details (which I believe add up), the extra can be worth it for those demanding a specific performance as well as an expected consistency. But how does this compare to the craftsmanship of the Armory, which I would assume could be produced faster and in great quantities but that could completely false.


Screen Shot 2022-07-03 at 11.22.56 AM.pngScreen Shot 2022-07-03 at 11.23.03 AM.png
 

Drum Mer

Platinum Member
Because (at least for Yamaha as I don’t know how other brands work with this) making the RC, Hybrid and other lines in China, still cost a lot of money to get them in your house through a shop.

High-end factorie, well trained and paid staff, quality control, importing hardware from Taiwain, import woods from several countries, more R&D, export prices, taxes, dealer earnings, etc etc.

And with the current raw material and transportation prices, and increasing taxes, I won’t expect this to change anytime soon unfortunately.
 

Artstar

Platinum Member
the China Remo factory for the Armory

KHS/Mapex makes the Armory.... unless this has changed ??

Regarding the uber nice stuff from China or Taiwan.. Why should they sell it at a lower price than a USA competitor when the Asian one is usually a higher quality product?? ..... They go off of what the market will bear. ..... With that being said, the REGULAR pro lines out of Taiwan and China ARE usually lower than the regular pro lines out of USA.

Regarding that Masterworks price of 10k.. that is ridiculous IMO.. as the MSRP is around 15k.. so when you buy this from any reasonable dealer , your price would be somewhere around 7.5k, however none of them can advertise this because of MAP.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
That's why I say, since most manufacturers say they moved production off shore to reduce costs,
it can make sense to buy a low cost set from there. Those can serve many purposes.
 

s1212z

Silver Member
KHS/Mapex makes the Armory.... unless this has changed ??
Yeah, I think I made a mistake there, apologies....I'm not sure if made in China or Taiwan. But either way a lower wage derived product.
Regarding the uber nice stuff from China or Taiwan.. Why should they sell it at a lower price than a USA competitor when the Asian one is usually a higher quality product??
Because (at least for Yamaha as I don’t know how other brands work with this) making the RC, Hybrid and other lines in China, still cost a lot of money to get them in your house through a shop.
I know, it's just smart business, right? Yamaha and Pearl found an edge and are taking advantage of it. But could also $1k bottle water to someone dying of thirst too. Everyone likes saving money though, that is probably why the nice quality mid market prices them out for their upper lines.

We know they profit more...otherwise they would not have moved operations from Japan to China. Customer doesn't get a benefit here if prices don't lower, where they get the benefit is in the $1300-2000 mid line kits like mentioned here, made in the same place with access to same expert craftsmanship, essentially pricing out their low-higher end kits regardless where they are made. With lower priced labor and inflation aside, we can enjoy our nicely priced high quality Tama W/B or Renown or AQ or Design or Studio Select or Stage comparatively.

High-end factorie, well trained and paid staff, quality control, importing hardware from Taiwain, import woods from several countries, more R&D, export prices, taxes, dealer earnings, etc etc.

And with the current raw material and transportation prices, and increasing taxes, I won’t expect this to change anytime soon unfortunately.
But when you compare a Session Select price to Masterwork or a Stage Custom to a RC in China, it's moot and subject to similar paid staff, import/export, taxes issues...no mystery that a company saves money by moving their operations to China. Yes, there are nicer materials/components and R&D backup where price do go up, that is expected....but is the expertise going to be any less really? Unless China and Taiwan adjust salaries based on the level line in ratio to the extra charge we have to pay, perhaps possible but I doubt it.
 
Addressing the original post…

INDe Drums has a line of drums that fit the $1300-$2000 target. Great drums. I have the aluminum kit, but they also offer maple drums. Shallow depths and lightweight. I paid $1500 for my kit. Made In Michigan, shipped direct to my door. Various sizes and configurations are available. Drums can also be purchased a la carte. Give them a look and listen.



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8BE18036-4311-4C43-817E-9482EB6677D0.jpeg
 

classikdrummr

Active Member
I love high end things. I like things that are built well, with integrity and good design. But in last 4 years I've owned a lot of drum sets and the more I buy, the more I find that the best Value in drums is in the Mid range.

I think the gap between the sub $1200 drum market and the $1300 to $2000 market is so much greater than the gap between the mid range and the drums that cost $2000 or more.

I had always wanted a USA Ludwig kit, so I bought one 2 years ago ( and sold it) and I always wanted a German Made Sonor kit, so I also bought one (and sold it) but since then I have bought Mid tier kits from Pearl (Session Studio Select), Yamaha (Tour Custom), Sonor (AQ2), and finally Gretsch (RN2) and after comparing my experiences with high end drums Vs Mid tier, Im finding that the sound is similar (and in the Renown's case, better), the hardware is either on Par or Better and the shell construction from drums made in Taiwan is every bit on point as what people are making in the USA and Germany. In fact, I had more issues with the German made Sonor kit than I did with the Chinese made AQ2 kit.

Right now I have a full kit of Pearl Session Studio Selects, Gretsch Renowns and a 10" tom from a Yamaha Stage Custom. To me, these 3 kits could easily hold their own against drums that cost thousands more. The value and craftsmanship that you get from any Pearl Drum made in Taiwan is off the charts and after hearing these Gretsch Renowns, Im blown away and not sure how a USA made Gretsch kit could sound much better.


Any one else think that best value in Drums is in the mid tier ?
I have always believed that. I have an early 2000's era Birch Tama Superstar Kit that sounds amazing. paid $500 (used) for it with all 2002 cymbals, all Tama hardware and a PDP rack and Kick pedal. I have a friend who is a Pro Drummer who was blown away at how Good they sound. And he only plays DW or SJD. I recently bought a Starclassic Walnut Birch Kit , and honestly, if that's good enough for Mike Portnoy and Lars Ulrich, its good enough for me. Tama has the Star Maple Series for twice the price, but im a hobby player so its a waste of money for me.
 

Al Strange

Platinum Member
Some of you may be aware that I own a lovely 7pc Pearl Export EXX…perfect for rehearsal rooms and pub gigs the world over. My snares and cymbals are a little pricier, and I own a top line Prem but that doesn’t make me a bad person…:unsure: Here’s the ad that sealed the deal for me:
 

Justinhub2003

Silver Member
Some observations related to this thread :
The amount of threads with pricing being the main object of discussion is far more prevalent on this site than at Drumforum.org . I am assuming the age dynamic may be the reasoning.

Cad Cam manufacturing and low labour rates offshore has allowed Manufacturers to make mid price drums at a better and more consistent quality aspect than the drums made in the 60’s and 70’a for example . One great advantage the vintage drums have over the current drums is the use of old growth wood in the vintage drums .

We are in a wonderful time with multitudes of boutique and major drum manufacturers . The choices are almost limitless with new builders starting up daily . I feel sorry for new drummers coming into the fold as the choices can be daunting .

Brand loyalty seems to be waning as well . When I was growing up in the 60’s we generally chose a brand and upgraded within the models I. That brand . This still happens but to a much smaller degree . Companies line Pearl and Yamaha really understand this .

I think drum companies are getting to the max out point in pricing . Drums like Tama Star , Sonor SQ2, Yamaha PHX etc are getting obscenely priced . Purchases of these drum models becomes more of a vanity aspect than some huge improvement in sound . Heck these are drums and drum heads are still a huge part of the drums sound . These Uber high end lines have prettier finishes and moderately updated fittings but after all they are still drums . I have fallen for the Uber high end drums . It was nice dallying with them but now I have purged and gone back to what first got me interested in drums Gretsch and Ludwig . They feel like home. Good drums with a unique sound (in the case of Gretsch USA Custom ). Sure there is a sentimental aspect to my choices maybe based On my age ( I am 60).

Forums like this can be a boon or add to the confusion for inexperienced drum buyers .

100% agree on brand loyalty waning. I know when I was kid I told myself if I ever get the means Im going to be a Ludwig loyalist. And when I got into my early 30's (im 38 now), I did just that, I bought every high end Ludwig Snare and really nice Ludwig Classic Oak kit with all Paiste Cymbals.. But I started to realize it was really silly to just limit myself on just the Ludwig & Paiste Sound. I then experimented with Meinl, Sonor, Pearl, Tama, Gretsch and others.

I just buy what sounds good now.

same goes for drum heads. I've come to find that no drum head manufactured is great at all things. For example, I think no one makes coated heads like Remo, No one makes 2 ply clear heads like Evans, No one makes Kick heads as good as the Aquarian Super Kick series. So I just buy what I want and mix & match
 

Jeremy Crockett

Well-known Member
That's how it is in every situation. No manufacturer is going to willingly put out a product that doesnt meet their standards. If workers arent up to standard, they get replaced. People seem to think country of origin or nationality of worker matter. They dont. That's the point I'm trying to convey.
I would counter that it's not the "nationality of the worker" that matters. Rather, it is the Nation in which product X is being made because of the reasons @1 hit wonder cited. To conflate standards and practices with worker nationality misses the point.
 
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