Should I drop $1100 on this Keller Maple Bonham kit?

Xero Talent

Silver Member
Make sure you check the bearing edges if they're custom shells. If he doesn't let you pop a head off to check them, walk away.

At least that's what I would do.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
One my most favorite set-ups!

Pretty nice looking set. Do you have the ability to check them out in person? If they look nice, offer $900. He'll tell you that there's no way he's going lower than the $1100 asking price because, as he stated, he doesn't really need to sell these drums. Well, he may not need to, but apparently, he wants to; otherwise, they wouldn't be for sale. The guy has to expect people to try and get the best deal they can. He may be willing to meet you somewhere in the middle, I'll bet. But then again, who knows - the world's a whacky place.

Good luck!
 

wsabol

Gold Member
$1100 isn't a horrible deal considering, but I would still offer him something lower and see if he'll come down.

He assembled it himself, but you should ask if he had the bearing edges done by a credible drum shop, or if he did them himself. If he did them himself, definitely inspect them before buying, otherwise you should be ok.

Of course, this is all assuming that you need a "Bonham" style kit. If you just want to find a good deal on something because you have GAS, then I'd pass.


ps. IMO this isn't a Bonham kit because some of the depths are wrong. I'm pretty sure its supposed to be 26x14 and 14x10.. not 26x16 and 14x11. So you could get on his case about that during the negotiations and make him feel insecure :) he may come down some more.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
If you have $1100 (or close to it) to burn on a kit like that, then you probably have enough money to throw down for the real deal (Ludwig, green sparkle or Vistalite). Two gigs and you'll be tired of moving those big drums around. Then you'll get into a different group whose sound doesn't work with huge drums, and they'll sit until you sell them for $500. So, you'll be burning $5-600 or so for the sake of a few gigs, and some "oohs" from your friends and fans.

If you are fortunate enough to have room for a big kit in your living space or studio, then go for something with more mojo. Maybe vintage, or a cooler finish, whatever. Unless you really love red, I guess.

It looks like the quality is quite good. The hoops might be thin and cheap. Obviously the guy took care of them. Good idea to check the bearing edges. I would also check the diameters with a tape measure, to make sure everything is in round (especially the kick).
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
There are a few things that go against it being a Bonham kit. Small tom and bass depth are incorrect as well as using a snare stand instead of a rail consolette for the small tom. His were also 3 ply maple not 8 ply. ( no one makes 3ply anymore, 6 is the thinnest i think). However, if it has the sound you like...its a pretty good deal. Having just re-built a ludwig kit, I can tell you he is not making money at that price. adding up the shell cost as well as the lugs and wrap he is into it for more than that. Pretty good deal if you like the sound, thats the important thing. I know he had the stand mounted tom on the maple kit but only for a short time early in his carear. it bugs me that every Zep kit has it and it just shouldnt imo but that me.
 

Soupy

Silver Member
Overpriced. Unbranded drums go for peanuts on eBay. And while he may not be making money at that price, the simple fact is that drums like that have very poor resale value.

Find out how he did the wrap as well... contact cement is the right way, tape is the cheesy way. Inspect the seams in the wrap.

And you may want to inspect all the bearing edges, not just one or two.

Things that go against it being a Bonham kit? It's not Ludwig.

no one makes 3ply anymore, 6 is the thinnest i think
Not true at all.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
I think I'm gonna pass on this. Every few months I find myself dying for these sizes, and talking myself out of it (with the help of my contemporaries here on the forum).

I was browsing craigslist this morning and found myself with an awful bout of GAS. But I found a 13 x 7 ddrum Dominion Ash snare, same sized Roadrunner gig bag and an extra fresh Evans Coated G2 for 70 bucks, which is a lot more alluring than spending a huge wad on drums that would turn out to be novelties (as I have been reminded of time and time again).
 
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tamadrm

Platinum Member
+1.Although you can get Keller shells with the edges done by Keller,some drum supply houses do the edges themselves to save money,with varying degrees of results.Ask where he got the shells,if he bought them with the edges pre cut.If he did them himself,I would be very concerned.It's not rocket science,but the're a lot of shoemakers out there,who think they know everything.

Un branded as well as "custom made" Keller shelled kits really don't hold any resale value,so I would also offer less money.Bonhams thermogloss maple kit had a 12x14 tom,while the rest of his wood kits,and vistalites usually had 10x14 toms,but he mixed things up occasionally.So the 10x14 tom size is NOT cast in stone ,but the 14" deep bass drum is.11x14 is just wierd,and I believe it would have to be custom made.

I also agree with the tape vs glue concerning the wrap.Tape MAY work sometimes,but most builders,and drum companies use contact cement.

Steve B
 

Soupy

Silver Member
Also, I have seen genuine Ludwig Classic Maple 3-piece Bonhamesque sets selling for under $1000 used , and 4-pieces for a little over that. You can get the real thing for a simile price with a little patience.
 

larryz

Platinum Member
If John Bonham's estate got a nickel for every time someone referred their kit setup as "Bonham"...well, anyway isn't the current Ludwig Centennial's a cheaper option? I think they just discontinued the line but they can be had for a good price and one could possibly do a Bonham configuration?

Even though we usually think we'll never sell a certain kit down the road they comes a time when you may have to so resale value is always an important issue. Good luck.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
I think it's overstated, "how little Bonham knew about drums"... People have gone as far as to say he didn't know how to tune.
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
I guess I'm guilty of being a "Bonham set geek". It took me a while to get it but man, was it worth it. Here it is: 1970 3 ply with re-rings, clear maple ludwig kit in green sparkle with 26x14 bass drum (with rail consollette), 14x10/16x16/16x18 toms. Incredibly powerful. Sorry for hijacking the thread :)
 

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tamadrm

Platinum Member
Wow...beautiful kit.You don't see Ludwigs in those sizes in green sparkle 70's 3 ply every day.Nobody except a few guys were playing 26" bass drums,and even fewer were playing green sparkle.They must have cost at least one lung,but the're worth it.:)

Steve B
 

markdrum

Silver Member
Bonham was known for being rough on drums. One time he just rolled his kit down a flight of stairs because he was tired of carrying them. He did know how to get the right sound out of them though. Tuning will only take you so far. After that, technique takes over.
 

RickP

Gold Member
Bonham was known for being rough on drums. One time he just rolled his kit down a flight of stairs because he was tired of carrying them. He did know how to get the right sound out of them though. Tuning will only take you so far. After that, technique takes over.
I find this post very surprising as everything I have read states the opposite.
 

markdrum

Silver Member
Yeah, I was surprised when I read that as well. I think that it was in an interview with Jimmy Page. Bonham pretty much took rock drumming to an entirely different level. Heaven knows he has sold more LM402s than any marketing/sales type that Ludwig has ever produced.
 
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