Looking for advice on picking a drum set

Islandjimmy

New member
Hi All,

New guy here. I am looking to buy a drum kit. I have played drums in the past but nothing serious. I am the type who does a ton of research when I am getting into something, and so far, as far as drums go, I am looking for a 4 or 5 piece kit, lacquer finish, not a laminate, preferably maple, and I would like toms that are not shallow, but rather deep. So far, I am down to Mapex, Yamaha, or Tama. Again, I am new to this and this is where I am up to this point of my research. My budget is not that high. I am looking for used drums and I would like to stay under $1000 for the entire kit including cymbals and sturdy robust hardware. Ultimately my question is this: is there a particular year, model, a "sweet spot" that I should be looking for that fits my search criteria? I have seen a Mapex kit from the past,that was all maple with a lacquer finish but I haven't found any used. I just missed one though on Craigslist. I was too late and it got purchased within a couple days after it was posted. I think it was a Mapex M series Maple. Thank you for any input you have.

Jimmy
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Spend about $500 on drums and hardware together, and the rest on cymbals. You’ll get way better value used. Keep an eye on Craigslist and eBay. Post anything that seems like a really good deal here, we’ll let you know if it’s worth it.
 
Also check out Facebook Marketplace -- some amazing deals on there, along with a ton of not amazing deals -- and maybe OfferUp.
 

EricT43

Senior Member
No maple, but one of the better inexpensive kits is the Yamaha Stage Custom. They have a very nice lacquer finish for the money, and they sound quite good when fitted with good heads and tuned properly. You can get used kits easily for <$500, or pay $650 and get a new one. I agree with Push pull stroke, save half of your budget for good cymbals. Inexpensive drums can be made to sound good, but inexpensive cymbals cannot. $500 on decent used drums leaves $500 for cymbals, and with that you can at least get high hats, ride, and at least one crash if not two. Zildjian A and Sabian AA cymbals can be found pretty cheaply on the used market, and they are used by pros every day. If all my stuff burned up and I only had $1000 for a drum set, this is what I would do.
 

Islandjimmy

New member
No maple, but one of the better inexpensive kits is the Yamaha Stage Custom. They have a very nice lacquer finish for the money, and they sound quite good when fitted with good heads and tuned properly. You can get used kits easily for <$500, or pay $650 and get a new one. I agree with Push pull stroke, save half of your budget for good cymbals. Inexpensive drums can be made to sound good, but inexpensive cymbals cannot. $500 on decent used drums leaves $500 for cymbals, and with that you can at least get high hats, ride, and at least one crash if not two. Zildjian A and Sabian AA cymbals can be found pretty cheaply on the used market, and they are used by pros every day. If all my stuff burned up and I only had $1000 for a drum set, this is what I would do.
I have looked at the stage custom and they look very nice. I also found a Yamaha Tour Custom Maple kit on Craigslist for around $550. It’s a beautiful looking kit, and well built.
 

Islandjimmy

New member
Spend about $500 on drums and hardware together, and the rest on cymbals. You’ll get way better value used. Keep an eye on Craigslist and eBay. Post anything that seems like a really good deal here, we’ll let you know if it’s worth it.
Can you give me some recommendations for cymbals I should be looking for used? Let’s say I have $400 to spend on used cymbals. Can you tell me which hi-hat, crash, and ride brands/models I should look for? I play mostly rock and alternative stuff. Thank you!
 
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Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Can you give me some recommendations for cymbals I should be looking for used? Let’s say I have $400 to spend on used cymbals. Can you tell me which hi-hat, crash, and ride brands/models I should look for? I play mostly rock and alternative stuff. Thank you!
There are a lot of good cymbals out there. A lot of it comes down to taste. The easiest thing is to see what pops up on your local Craigslist or eBay, then listen to clips of those models on YouTube, to see if you like them. Scimitars or most other B8 bronze cymbals are usually not great, but Paiste makes some good B8 cymbals, so even that’s not always a good guide.

A lot of times your best deal will come from someone selling everything at once because they’re moving cross country or some such. If you post stuff from your local Craigslist, we’ll tell you if they are a good deal.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
No, I do not want a laminate. I prefer the stained maple with a lacquer finish.
I think Jimmy means he doesn't want a wrapped kit. He wants a natural finish with possibly lacquer.

I totally understand not wanting short-stack toms or what's called "fast" sizes. If you like deeper toms, look for a drum set made in the mid-to-early 1990s if not earlier. You should be able get a kit like that cheaper than newer one because not a lot of people need or want deep toms. Also, you are going to be better off buying used, and try to find someone who wants to get "out of the game" completely and sells everything for a low price. Also, spring is a great time to buy drums because after about 3-4 months after Christmas, those who received sets for Christmas may have already lost interest, and wives and moms want the space back in their houses, so they start to sell because sets haven't been played in weeks.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I think Jimmy means he doesn't want a wrapped kit. He wants a natural finish with possibly lacquer.

I totally understand not wanting short-stack toms or what's called "fast" sizes. If you like deeper toms, look for a drum set made in the mid-to-early 1990s if not earlier. You should be able get a kit like that cheaper than newer one because not a lot of people need or want deep toms. Also, you are going to be better off buying used, and try to find someone who wants to get "out of the game" completely and sells everything for a low price. Also, spring is a great time to buy drums because after about 3-4 months after Christmas, those who received sets for Christmas may have already lost interest, and wives and moms want the space back in their houses, so they start to sell because sets haven't been played in weeks.
All of this is true. Power toms from Yamaha and Tama from the late 80s and early 90s, made in Japan, with suspension mounts, are often fairly reasonably priced on the used market.
 

airbus172

Well-known member
I saw maybe a stage custom 5pc power toms thing used for about £500, or whatever that is in trump-money. I would look into cymbals more than drums, when I bought my first acoustic kit after playing some old Alesis kit for 5 years, I bought B8X cymbals with it and only recently did I replace them. They sound so much better. So buy something like a Mapex Mars or equivalent, and some used Sabian XSR or XS20 or equivalent used. Mapex kits can be found for pretty cheap. So can pearl export kits, however they don’t have a lacquer finish. I found a Mapex meridian (replaces by the armory series), lacquer finish, but it is birch, for £250 (or trump money alternative). I’ll look into it more and tell you what I’ve found. since craigslist isn’t a thing here in boris land, it is harder to find pre owned stuff. Do you have a local shop, like a guitar center or something?




oh, and welcome to the forum.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
This question is surely the most repeated question on drum forums. The answers should be a sticky.

Here is what I would buy, all used:

*Drumset: year 2000-2005 Pacific LX maple. One of the best sounding maple kits ever. $400 or less.

*Cymbals:
- Zildjian A series 20" medium ride. $100.
- Zildjian A series 14" hi hats, any model, but likely New Beats, Quick Beats. $100 - 125 for the pair.
- Zildjian A series 16, 17, or 18” crash. $85 - 100.

There you go. Professional qualities that can last a lifetime, below budget with enough left over for heads and a little hardware, if needed.

Welcome to the forum!

GeeDeeEmm
 

Peedy

Senior Member
If you eBay, just go with all in one kits that includes all of it (drums, brass, hardware). You should be able to score a nice Yamaha of Tama kit that meets your needs for 1 grand. And with B80 brass you'll be proud to own the next 40 years.

Pete
 

airbus172

Well-known member
Can you give me some recommendations for cymbals I should be looking for used? Let’s say I have $400 to spend on used cymbals. Can you tell me which hi-hat, crash, and ride brands/models I should look for? I play mostly rock and alternative stuff. Thank you!
there’s a bunch of old XS20 and zildjian a cymbals that you can find used. If you’re buying them new, maybe PST7.
 

airbus172

Well-known member
Can you give me some recommendations for cymbals I should be looking for used? Let’s say I have $400 to spend on used cymbals. Can you tell me which hi-hat, crash, and ride brands/models I should look for? I play mostly rock and alternative stuff. Thank you!
I’ve looked into it more, and a website called Thomann has its own cymbal brand and it’s F5 series is for the sort of stuff that you’d play, same with the rock beat series. They’re B20 bronze and I have played them before, they’re the best value for cymbals you can buy new.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I'm going to stick with my usual answer...

Yamaha Stage Custom
Zildjian A's, like an A390 boxed set.
Yamaha 700 series hardware.

It's all about $1400 new, $800 used.
Check out GuitarCenter's used inventory if you need to find all the used stuff in one place.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I'm going to stick with my usual answer...

Yamaha Stage Custom
Zildjian A's, like an A390 boxed set.
Yamaha 700 series hardware.

It's all about $1400 new, $800 used.
Check out GuitarCenter's used inventory if you need to find all the used stuff in one place.
Solid recommendation unless the OP is adamant about maple shells. You can't go wrong with any of this (y)
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Solid recommendation unless the OP is adamant about maple shells. You can't go wrong with any of this (y)
Indeed,

@Islandjimmy

At the ~$500 price range, the species of wood is largely inconsequential when compared to other attributes. Things like "quality of construction", hardware quality/durability, bearing edge cut, etc. Yamaha has been fairly consistently "not horrible" in these areas, to the extent that I can sleep at night after giving blind recommendations.
 
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