Kinda miss those 80's kits!!

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Having been a teenager in the 80's, I do get a thrill from seeing all those massive set ups.

And I own enough drums to make a massive set up if I want.

Although I actually prefer to just play a 5 pc.
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
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 :)


Are you referring to the Phonic Plus series or the standard depth Phonics?


Back in the late 80's and early 90's I shared a rehearsal room with my girlfriend who played a set of rosewood Phonics in standard/fast depth and I had a set of SonorLites in their 1" deeper size.

We both played each other's sets and the Lites were louder with more projection and clarity than the Phonics.

I've always heard that the thick Phonic shells project the best, but in the same room with the same heads the Lites carried better.

Behind the drums the Phonics had a much warmer, cleaner tone. Lites were brighter and noisier.

However, comparing her 24x14 Phonic bass drum to my 22x17 Lite, her bass drum really projected.
 

ncc

Silver 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 still have my beloved Sonor Phonics from 1978 in the 'fashionable' Metallic Lilac. 9 Ply beach, 4 concert series shell toms (single head), and as stated, "weighing slightly more than a small country" . Rarely need any reinforcement as they project extremely well. I recall the Rosewood series was also available, which looked great, but did not have the same projection.
 

Road Bull

Silver Member
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.
I recently dragged my beloved Tama Granstar kit out of all the soft cases for fun and at the request of a member here in the Tama appreciation thread. Just because it was a lot of work going up and down stairs and putting it together, I will share it again here. Enjoy.
 

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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The first live concert footage videos I saw as a young kid generally featured large kits.

The Kids are Alight with Keith Moon and his large kits.

Then The Who's farewell concert, with Kenny Jones playing his massive set up.

Journey's Escape concert, with Steve Smith playing the 9pc.

Rush "All the Worlds A Stage" concert with Neil's large kit.

So a large set up was in my early drummer DNA.

Once I started gigging, I quickly realized large kits are a pain to move around, so I ended up scaling down for live purposes, and now I've played the 5pc for so long I feel lost behind a bigger kit.

But, I still think the big kits look cool, because it's just part of how I grew up.
 

GregAlsing

Junior Member
I can't give up playing on a big kit. It is no fun to leave it at home. Here is my 11 piece Sonor Phonic Plus kit with my Iron Maiden tribute band Piece Of Mind out in Denver. It is pre miced and pre mixed and rolls in on a on a three piece rack. With a helper I have it upon stage sound checked and recording audio and video within 15 minutes. I get it off stage in about 8. By the end of the night loading in really sucks though.

http://youtu.be/uildnX4BeMc
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
I think those big kits never really caught on because there is a lack of tuning knowledge and expertise, and most of the bass drums were just duplicates. And drummers don't really know what to do with them.

I kind of wish kits were listed as pentatonic, diatonic, chromatic, etc. or if they are chord based what the chord is Cmaj7 with clearly labeled pitches. Kind of like concert toms or chinese row drums.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
No never again, the 80s monster kit, what a massive waste of time, 5 to toms lots of noise saying nothing at all. Set up and tear down time was so long and at least two band members needed vans or big estate cars. Just daft, never bought into it and just continued with my 4 piece Hayman. However I must confess I did buy some Octobans (oh the shame of it). Often the size of the drum kit is disproportional to ability.
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
The innovator of the furiously-mega-oversized-monster drum kit.

I suppose we can all blame Hal Blaine for the notion of huge drumkits. But remember that Hal went through an evolution too to solve a studio need. And even then it started with him using two timbales in the tom positions first, because producers really dug his sound he got by using those instead of regular tom toms. Then he said he thought about how cool it would be if he had a whole mess of those things, and lo and behold the guys at Pro Drum helped him realize the kit, and it ended up on a lot of studio recordings. Ludwig saw it, and then, you know......
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The innovator of the furiously-mega-oversized-monster drum kit.

I think it started with Sonny Greer, just Sonny did with other percussion items in place of toms.



And then of course Louie Bellson


But Hal certainly had a role in the modern idea of a big drum kit.
 
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