More new drums!

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
So I couldn't pass these up. Especially considering the price. These are those DW Design series piano black drums that were a special for 2020, and now dealers that still have them are kinda' blowing them out. So I picked up all the drums you could get - the shell pack which consists of 8x10,9x12,14x16 toms, and 18x22 bass drum, and the add-on 7x8 rack tom, and 12x14 floor tom. I'm using my Collectors 6.5x14 nickel over brass snare with this.

Being new to these Taiwan-made DW drums, I must say I was completely surprised. The piano black gloss lacquer finish is perfectly done. The bearing edges are well-cut, and the wood shells are just pristine. I was always a fan of the bigger Collector's turret lugs, but these little turrets lugs aren't bad - I think the shells sing a little better with less metal on the drum. The one pet peeve that doesn't work right is the memory locks for the floor tom legs. I normally put the locks on the legs down at the bottom, and when I find where I like the drum set, then I slide the memory lock up and clamp it against the bracket. Well, the drag is is that you can't do this. The memory lock doesn't clear the rim when the leg is tightened against in the bracket. After some inspection, the brackets work well without a memory lock, so I just took the memory licks off.

The heads that come on the kit are basically clear ambassadors top and bottom, with a clear Powerstroke 3-type head on the bass drum. I immediately installed some coated Evans G2's and an Aquarian Force I bass drum head head. Another pet peeve is that the little muffling pillows they supplied with the bass drum are WHITE. I know DW makes them in black, so I can't fathom why you wouldn't include black muffling pillows with a piano BLACK lacquer kit.

Here's a thing I LOVE about this kit - the tension rods, although not regular rods still, have less threads than the ones they put on the Collectors kit. So it takes less spinning to tighten or loosen the tension rods. I was beginning to complain about changing heads on my Collectors' kit because if you don't use a drill, it takes FOREVER to remove all the rods. This one doesn't take that long at all - and I did it by hand with two drum keys. So for this improvement alone, it's worth it to check out the Design series.

Over the last day or so, I've been having alot of fun with this kit. I have a gig with it this Friday so that will be the maiden voyage. This kit even made me re-think that "reverse angle" cymbal thing that so many people do. Since I now have three rack toms, I didn't want to position my cymbals higher so I can access the toms, so I tried just angling them up and away from me, and lo and behold, that works for me! I feel like an old dog learning a new trick - it's kinda inspiring.

So after only playing Collector's drums all these years, I think this lower line is great. And of course, knowing these are now discontinued, I'm semi-unique in the DW Design world with a finish that fits everything. My cherry wood Collector's kit doesn't really fit in well with the Devo tribute band, but solid black will - and it's a black that can survive sitting in the sun if it has to.
 

Attachments

  • New-DWs.jpg
    New-DWs.jpg
    82.1 KB · Views: 90

MusiQmaN

Platinum Member
Congratulations!

A tip for the memorylocks, is to hold them at their final spot when sliding the leg in the bracket.

Then check the hight, lock the bracket and then lock the memorylock.

When the memorylock is tightened, it should be possible to take the leg off and on without any problems.
 
Last edited:

Tamaefx

Silver Member
It’s beautiful ! I didn’t know they produced this kit in brilliant black. Was it shipped with a black front skin as well ? I like this shell configuration, can we have a view of the snare ?Since you´re more used to big size, what do you think of the 8x7 ?
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Great kits, huh? I think they're worth much more than what they're charging.

I love those tension rods too. You'll find the drums hold their tuning really well, and tuning them up is easy as you have already discovered.

I picked up the 14" floor tom as well but I know myself and I'll never use the 8" so I'll resist the urge to buy one this time. I'm using a Collectors BNOB snare too. Matches perfectly.

I guess you replaced the bass drum reso with one from a Collectors kit? I was curious to see how the kit would look with a black head instead of the white one that comes with it.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
It’s beautiful ! I didn’t know they produced this kit in brilliant black. Was it shipped with a black front skin as well ? I like this shell configuration, can we have a view of the snare ?Since you´re more used to big size, what do you think of the 8x7 ?
The 8” is cute. The bass drum shipped with a white logo head, so I put one of my black heads on. I should get a black Design logo front head. I kinda like that out-lined DW logo - it's less blatant. The thought had occurred to me to remove all the badges and logos while I was unboxing. I love the drums, but after trying to understand those DW users in their users groups on Facebook, I'm kinda on a disassociation kick with people like that ;)

But here's a better picture of the backside with the snare drum. The 8' tom will sound better once it gets a thicker head - right now with the single-ply Chinese head it only sounds good as a bongo. I'm making a run to my local Guitar Center today.
 

Attachments

  • From-the-back.jpg
    From-the-back.jpg
    65.2 KB · Views: 33
Last edited:

yammyfan

Senior Member
Just an FYI, Bo - your photos are tiny and hard to see. Not sure if that's by design (no pun intended) or not but it has been that way for a little while.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I've been re-sizing them to fit Drummerworld standards (under 100kb). When you click on them they should open up - at least they opened for me when I checked them. Do they not open for you?

I hadn't been clicking to expand them so that's a bit better. Thanks!
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
On the subject of bass drum reso heads.... my kit came with a head that didn't have any of the small holes in it. I emailed DW about it and they're sending me one no charge. I liked the un-ported sound of the original but wasn't crazy about the way it made the pedal feel. It will be interesting to see if this addresses that. The head is ported now and the kick drum sounds awesome.

Great customer service at any rate. I'm as big a fan of DW now as I am of Gretsch and Yamaha.
 

Superman

Gold Member
Great review. I've been considering these as well. Sound wise, how do you feel they compare with Collectors?
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Great review. I've been considering these as well. Sound wise, how do you feel they compare with Collectors?
Since I’m using my regular heads, they don’t “feel” any different. I think going from cherry-mahogany to maple again changes the timbre a bit, but not by much. The build quality feels about the same between the two lines.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I think that the Design Series has a similar relationship to the Collectors Series that the first generation of Gretsch Renowns had to the USA Customs of the day. Build quality and features are similar enough that you would be hard pressed to hear a difference between them all things (heads and tuning) being equal. There is a difference, but it is small.

There are perfectly good reasons for going with any company's top of the line kits but these kits that are within one or two models of the top will give you 80-90% of the performance and features for about 50% of the cost.
 
Last edited:
Top