Kinda miss those 80's kits!!

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Yeah, the Keller shells I used were 5.4mm, and didn't do anything good with any type drumhead. I'd bet those shells you have would respond a lot better, and would suit square sizes.

That's another thing I didn't even think of. Nicko's kit was a heavy shelled sonor, something like 13mm. New shells like those I use would be less rigid.
You're right, thin shells like that will result in mushy sound in deeper toms. Deep shells need thick, heavy material to force the sound into submission. It doesn't surprise McBrain has 13 mm shells - my shells are 12mm (about a half-inch) and sink in water. In a shallower shell, a thick and heavy shell would sound harsh.

Now THESE are deep shells:

 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Damn, no one gets much past you, do they?
To para-phrase Pat Travers..."like a bad river....I been all over this town". This kit was on display at NAMM one year I went. Always cool to see real tour kits "up close". It's amazing how beat some really are. Arena rock 1st row's being 30' or more away, a lot gets hidden with distance, bright lights, etc. And then you get to see the "kust'm" work, first hand.
 
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wy yung

Guest
Back in the 80's I played kits that often had 5 toms, 4 octobans, many cymbals and other assorted items. Never did play a double kick kit. My big thing for a while was two high mounted chinas in front, inspired by Virgil Donati.

If I was touring though it was usually a 5 or 4 piece due to reasons of space.
 

metal overlord

Gold Member
I've always had a soft spot for big kits. I have one now, and always will. It's (to me) worth that extra time to gig it around.
 

drumhedd

Senior Member
Nice pic! I have not seen him on that color sonor. I have seen a zillion pics of his concert/arena kit with single heads from back in the day. I like Nicko, I am listening to DOTR now. You know, if Sonor sponsored him again, I bet he'd get a heavy-shell SQ2 to match what he had back in the day (IIRC signatures?) He used to have them raked toe-out at a steep angle.

Premier must have made him a big offer, unless there was some other reason he left Sonor...which almost *never* happens with any Sonor artist.
Yeah I have no idea why he ever left them, his premier kits sound good but they just don't have the same punch and presence as the Sonors. Oh well, at least he's stil with paiste.
 
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trkdrmr

Guest
Oh well, at least he's stil with paiste.
Trivia: AFAIK Nicko is in posession of the *only* set of cymbals with the Paiste font altered. This was done to match the iron maiden Font.

I'll take his former sonors any day over what he has now.
 

drumhedd

Senior Member
Trivia: AFAIK Nicko is in posession of the *only* set of cymbals with the Paiste font altered. This was done to match the iron maiden Font.
Yeah I always thought that was so cool! And he has his own signature ride cymbal now.
 

diosdude

Silver Member
Uh.....

Okay, no jokes about me having to overcompensate for a certain shortcoming, I'm Asian, ya know, what's a brother gonna do???





I tell my band no way am i going to take this monster ddrum bubinga kit out to a show unless there's a confirmed 2000 people there. Now my "gig" kit is much smaller, a little 6 pc birch kit:





I used to have a massive pearl export 9 pc double bass kit with 2 tier gibraltar cage back in the early 90's. That lasted about 5 bar gigs until the day my buddy who was hauling it all in the back of his pickup truck got t-boned by a bunch of kids in a stolen car. One of the bass drums and one of the floor toms didn't survive the crash. I was forced to downsize and quite frankly, it was probably best for me. At one point back in '04 when i moved to Denver with everything i owned crammed in my fifteen year old honda accord, my primary gig and recording kit was just a 5 pc Pearl rhythm traveller:



I miss the 80's and all of those MULLETS!!!!!!
 
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trkdrmr

Guest
I remember seeing him with that kit (Purple Tama) with Ozzy, and then a few months later, saw him playing those same drums, but as a 5 piece (1 up, 2 down) at an "after hours club. And honestly, I liked his playing on the 5 piece much better. Same thing happened with Jonathan Mover. Saw him with Alice Cooper, behind an "arena" kit (again Tama), and then a few months later, he's with Joe Satriani, and playing only 1/2 his kit.
I have to ask... I made an observation elsewhere but I'll repeat it.

Observation: the industry has come full circle. It's as if it's 1983 all over again. Sonor is again offering the heavy shells. GMS, PEARL and others offer 8mm "stadium" shells. These shells counter the trend started about 1984 of "lighter." Back then, there were limits like intrusive hardware and huge lugs. Now we have smaller lugs, suspension mounts and non-intrusive hardware.

Question: (same as Iasked Rmandelbaum of his tama superstar)
How do you compare the sound of the heavier shells to today's stuff like DW collectors?

I am listening to recordings made in the early 80's using Sonor heavy shells (Steve Smith, nicko McBrain) Tama superstar (Neil Peart) and so on. They sound deep, throaty and powerful. That sound was more cutting and focused, especially in the farfeild of listening (10 feet away or more) I think perhaps too much has been made of attempting to capture the vintage midrange, and when we do that---power is diminished.

If I get another wood kit, I think that the "stadium" shell would be better live and in the studio.

Comments?
 

baz

Silver Member
...I am not a big kit kat.

But I do like these.







Big kits are great when the drummer knows how to use it. I would be lost on a kit like this unless I turned the second bass drum into a beer fridge, used a floor tom as a coffee table, and most of the rack toms as flower pots.

Barry
 

mark-rio

Junior Member
Nice pic! I have not seen him on that color sonor. I have seen a zillion pics of his concert/arena kit with single heads from back in the day. I like Nicko, I am listening to DOTR now. You know, if Sonor sponsored him again, I bet he'd get a heavy-shell SQ2 to match what he had back in the day (IIRC signatures?) He used to have them raked toe-out at a steep angle.

Premier must have made him a big offer, unless there was some other reason he left Sonor...which almost *never* happens with any Sonor artist.
I've had a poster with him on these drums since way before I even played drums!!
The poster was a Sonor ad from the early 80s.
He left Sonor because he felt he was put aside as Sonor got sold and there was a change in management. He didn't get much attention from the company and moved to Premier, where he has or had a friend working there. That's too bad.... I preferred him playing Sonors.
He still has all his Sonor kits in storage, except the white one, which he sold and regrets doing so.
Here's the link to the pic:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-d7s-N1c4WHQ/TqsOGbOBr7I/AAAAAAAAANk/SP2mgHFFzL4/s1600/00de42e0.jpg
 
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Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Holy search feature Batman!!! "Dug up" thread of the year award! :)

While I'm here, & referring to the 80's, it's the era in drum construction where the industry went fashion crazy & hasn't changed that much since. Frankly, with the possible general exception of the Pearl Export, most offerings were ill conceived & fell way short of their "power" promise - except one, the Sonor Phonic. Although weighing slightly more than a small country, it really delivered on live stages without reinforcement.

We used the Phonic as the inspiration for our new Tour series drums. "Phonic on steroids" if you like, but without the silly depths. Quite the opposite of our other series drums, & I'm loving them for it :)
 

mark-rio

Junior Member
Yeah I have no idea why he ever left them, his premier kits sound good but they just don't have the same punch and presence as the Sonors. Oh well, at least he's stil with paiste.

I've been a Maiden hardcore fan since I was introduced to The Number Of The Beast, back in 1983, just before Piece Of Mind came out.
And I try to keep up with some of the history of the band, specially Nicko.
Just a few weeks ago, I was thinking exactly that, and went searching for it. The answer is on the previous post:
He left Sonor because he felt he was put aside as Sonor got sold and there was a change in management. He didn't get much attention from the company and moved to Premier, where he has or had a friend working there.
I don't think his Premier drums get even close to the Sonors he had.
They are thin maple shells, with coated heads, instead of the thick beech shells with clear dot heads he had on the Sonors.
 
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mark-rio

Junior Member
Holy search feature Batman!!! "Dug up" thread of the year award! :)

While I'm here, & referring to the 80's, it's the era in drum construction where the industry went fashion crazy & hasn't changed that much since. Frankly, with the possible general exception of the Pearl Export, most offerings were ill conceived & fell way short of their "power" promise - except one, the Sonor Phonic. Although weighing slightly more than a small country, it really delivered on live stages without reinforcement.

We used the Phonic as the inspiration for our new Tour series drums. "Phonic on steroids" if you like, but without the silly depths. Quite the opposite of our other series drums, & I'm loving them for it :)


I do agree Sonor was the best drum factory back in the 80s/90s. Not only Phonic, but Signature and Hi-Lite. The HLD590 is the best looking snare drum ever made!! Got to try one last week. Extremely heavy, and great sound. Too bad you can't find anything like that anymore...
As for snare sound, I tried hundreds of them, and I don't trade my Premier Heavy Rock 9 for any snare in the world!
But Tama had the Granstar Custom drums, which were very heavy birch shells, that sounded great! I had one back then, and would easily trade my 95/96 Starclassic Birch MIJ for a Granstar Custom of the same configuration!!
The Sonor hardware was also the strongest, but Tama was way more innovative and functional! I have the Power Tower System, and couldn't live without it!
Also, the double bass pedals, like Iron Cobras, were always the best pedals ever made. Now beaten only by the Speed Cobras.
And believe me, I've tried them all!! From DW 5000 and 9000, to Pearl Demon Drive, to Axis...
Nothing beats the Tama pedals!!
And as for durability... My pedals lasted 18 years until I decided to get the newer ones. But they were still in great shape! Never broke! And I had 5 rehearsals a week for a while, with a Speed Metal band.
My Starclassics turn 20 years in 2015, and the shells are still in mint condition!
And I'm not the kind of guy that pampers his kit. But because of the sea air in Rio de Janeiro, the chrome is not looking that great. Even if kept in cases.
And today, if I could chose from any set in the world, I would go with the Tama Granstar Custom. Even though I love the looks of the Sonor Hi-Tech, I do prefer the sound of the Granstar Customs.
 

Midnite Zephyr

Platinum Member
I play a 1988 Tama Rockstar Pro. It's heavy for sure with square size toms. I love the sound with no muffling using good old Emps with Genera resos. But I gig with a light 4-piece Frankenstein kit. I don't plan on selling these babies. This kit is mine!
 
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