SJC Custom Kit

Macdeezy

Junior Member
I recently got a quote from SJC for a custom kit. I requested a 4 piece Birch kit with the following specs:
8x13" mounted tom
16x16" floor
16x18" floor
18x22" kick drum
White glitter finish with flat black stripe and wooden kick hoops. 2.3 metal tom hoops. Black hardware and chrome SJC badges.



SJC quoted me $4050 for it shipped to my door! I have no idea why they want so much for the kit when they are keller shells, not even custom made shells like DW and it's around the same price as a custom made DW Collector's Series kit. Do you guys think that $4050 is a fair price for the kit? The attached picture is the kit I got quoted on, looks amazing but I don't know about $4,000 amazing.
Screenshot_20171016-012947.png
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
Custom kits, especially ones made in the USA are always really expensive.

Not being something mass produced where everyone can go to a local drum shop and get the same thing drives the labor cost in making it go up.
Labor costs overseas is also much less than here in the states, so that again drives prices up.

It's really your call on if you want to pay the extra price tag for a custom job or not. One of the groups I'm in, Street Drum Corps, endorses them, so I use their great on those gigs. The don't sound bad at all, and do make some really cool stuff, but given the choice I would rather play a bigger name brand that has a well established past. Look what happened to OCDP...

Years ago I was selling an old kit of mine and a guy I knew offered me a trade. He had a 4 pc SJC and a 5pc Yamaha Recording Custom. I took the RC's and have used them on almost every recording session I've done since them.
 

Macdeezy

Junior Member
Well I know it's going to be pretty expensive for a custom kit but SJC is using Keller shells so the cost should be much lower. I am pretty sure I could get a custom made DW Collector's Series kit for less than $4000 and it will hold much more value than the SJC kit. I would probably only be able to resell the SJC kit for 1000-1500 if I ever decided to get rid of it. A DW on the other hand, if I paid $3000 for a 4 piece I could probably sell it for $2000 at least, might even be able to sell it for the same price I got it for as long as I took care of it.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Just for reference, I ordered a custom Geo Way kit which was assembled in the Pork Pie factory here in the USA, and it was well under $3k.

Personally, I'd budget for a 2K kit, and spend the other 2k on cymbals and cabaret.

If I wanted a kit with a specific look for gigging, I'd look at a Stage Custom and BumWraps.
 

Macdeezy

Junior Member
Thanks for the tip but I am already set on cymbals man. I recently got a job at Guitar Center so I have been taking advantage of my discount. I get cymbals for cost + 10%. Currently I have

13" Zildjian A Custom Mastersound hats
14" Meinl Classics Custom hats
14" Meinl Soundcaster Fusion hats
14" Meinl Byzance Serpent hats
10" Meinl Soundcaster Fusion Splash
8" Zildjian A Series Splash
16" Meinl Classics Custom Crash
18" Meinl Classics Custom Crash
18" Meinl Soundcaster Fusion Crash
19" Meinl Byzance Brilliant Med-Thin Crash
20" Meinl Classics Custom Med Ride
20" Meinl Byzance Extra Dry Dual Crash/Ride
18" Meinl Byzance Brilliant China

I am looking at getting a 4 piece DW Collectors through Guitar Center so hopefully I will get a nice discount and not have to pay $3,000+
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I think that's rather expensive, and you should also consider their resale value down the line. You'll be lucky to get $1000 for them.

I'd stick with a name company, save some money up front, and recover more of it later.

Bermuda
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
That sounds like a lot of money for a kit that is basically in standard sizes and with a finish that's easily repeatable with a wrap.
 
A few thoughts:

1. Not all Keller shells are created equally. Grestch and Noble & Cooley, for instance, use premium Keller shells manufactured to their own specific formulas. These shells are different than the standard Keller shells and that is reflected in the price Gretsch and Noble & Cooley pays for them.

2. Value is in the eye of the beholder. Even for a custom drum company $4,000 sounds like a lot of money for three drums in standard sizes. However, if these drums represent a certain intangible or aesthetic value to you -- maybe an image you and your band are going for, than more power to you. Just keep in mind, your value may not jive with "market" value - so to piggy back on what Bermuda stated, the resale value may differ greatly from how you value them.

3. It never hurts to present a reasonable counter offer to SJC if you really want them but think they are just too costly. Do your home work and find out out apples-to-apples comparisons on prices and ask them what they can do. They need to sell drums, your in the market for a drum kit -- if they're not willing to work with you, than its their loss. Just don't expect them to go down too much as they are in business to earn a profit (and therefore, have margins they have to deal with).
 
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Groov-E

Silver Member
About resale value and nothing else : we do not get a lot of used custom kits on kijiji -equivalent of craigslist- here in Qc.

The usual suspects (yamaha and tama and dw) usually sell fast, but a spaun kit and an sjc kit have been listed for as long as I can remember.

So the perceived value of custom drums to their owner vs value on the pre-owned market should be taken into account here, unless one plans to keep the kit basically forever.

I did not check out reverb, that may change the game but packing and expediting a drum set across the border is quite a hassle !
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
That price from that manufacturer is way too much. Look at what you can get for $4 grand from Craviotto or C&C or even DW Ludwig or Gretsch. Think a bit less custom and enjoy your money in the bank. Reach out to INDe for Keller shell kit with that finish and see what they can do.
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
Well, if you were ordering all the pieces and parts yourself to build that kit, its about $1800, maybe ~$100 more if you go with thicker shells (I looked up 6 ply birch shells). If you have the tools and the skills to build it yourself, you could save yourself a lot of money.

If you don't have the tools, that will cost you probably another $750-1000 (minimum) for a good router, router bits, a high speed drill, drill bits, a nice stepped bit, a makeshift router table, etc. Then comes your skills to do the work. Do you have the confidence that you will be able to build this kit yourself? I have wrapped a number of drums, but even I get nervous thinking about trying to get those 3 layers of wrap to line up perfectly at the seams.

Yes, $4000 is a lot of money to spend on 4 drums. Is it worth it for this kit? I would say no. You could probably have Precision drum build you that same kit (different lugs of course) for half the price.

http://precisiondrum.com/index.php/high-quality-musical-drum-products/custom-drums-hand-crafted/
 

crispycritters

Senior Member
Well, if you were ordering all the pieces and parts yourself to build that kit, its about $1800, maybe ~$100 more if you go with thicker shells (I looked up 6 ply birch shells). If you have the tools and the skills to build it yourself, you could save yourself a lot of money.

If you don't have the tools, that will cost you probably another $750-1000 (minimum) for a good router, router bits, a high speed drill, drill bits, a nice stepped bit, a makeshift router table, etc. Then comes your skills to do the work. Do you have the confidence that you will be able to build this kit yourself? I have wrapped a number of drums, but even I get nervous thinking about trying to get those 3 layers of wrap to line up perfectly at the seams.

Yes, $4000 is a lot of money to spend on 4 drums. Is it worth it for this kit? I would say no. You could probably have Precision drum build you that same kit (different lugs of course) for half the price.


^ This. The only thing I'd do differently is investigate how much it would cost to have someone cut the edges for me instead of buying the tooling.

The low resale value of those SJCs drums would be too much to overlook for me - if I knew I'd keep them for life, and had to have them in that finish I'd consider it, but I'd have to be really, really sure.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
Not knocking SJC, but that's insanely expensive for what it is. I don't know that I'd spend $4k for a 4 piece set from any maker/builder...unless I was going for something truly special. I wouldn't spend 4k on a wrapped kit with coated hardware.

Are there other drum makers that interest you?
 

Tommy_D

Platinum Member
You could get that kit made by Mapex in their MyDentity line with birch shells for probably $1500-1800. Maybe less, I don't know. It would have to be a black to gunmetal sparkle fade, not the white/black striped version, but the hardware can stay black and look pretty much the same.
 

Blisco

Senior Member
Four grand should be an exotic finish ply and not a wrap. Way too much. You could do so much better.

Forget the name for a moment and concentrate on the specs you are after. Thin shells or thick? Diecast of triple? finish type?
 

Dj magic d

Senior Member
Just curious, why SJC...? I've noticed over the last decade with the smaller "custom" builders...its all trend based. SJC now is positioned like Spaun ,Truth, and OCDP were in years past. Young fans of bands/drummers on the Vans Warped tour immediately gravitate toward these brands(or whatever is hip at the time). Not to knock any drums that they make because a lot are awesome products...but it really seems like the name is what you are paying for.$4k for a birch shell kit in standard sizes is very steep. You could get a Yamaha RC birch, Tama Starclassic B/B etc for less...and have plenty left over for cymbals. Maybe even look at the used custom kits on ebay.
 

River19

Senior Member
What everyone else said....

For $4050..... if that was the kit and finish I had my heart set on, the only way I would pay that price is if they stashed $1700 in $20 bills in the bass drum for muffling.....

Not crapping on SJC.....but that is like paying Ferrari prices for an Acura.....nice car and all but....just buy the Ferrari
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I saw a similar Ludwig classic maple set on Reverb for $2,600. Granted it's not birch and a different finish, but that's an idea of what kind of amazing drums you can get for much less.
 
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