Tama Starclassic Performer (birch/maple) vs. All Maple

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
4 year old heads ..... yikes!!!! Time to re-head that kit. Tired, old heads may be the entire reason you're falling out-of-love with the Silverstar. Kudos on your drum room. Hellofa build. It's small size is surely an obstacle to getting killer sound ..... but we all have to do whatever we have to do to play our instruments.

ineedaclutch mentioned mics, board, and in ears. That would help, a lot. Your headphones are filtering out a ton of frequencies that make your kit sound its best. They're saving your hearing, that's good. But you're not getting the full sound spectrum. Even a Yamaha EAD10 would probably a step in the right direction.

So first, I'd get new heads ..... and get to tuning. Think about mics. And ..... you can still get a new kit if that's what you really want to do. Everything else will help you enjoy that more, it it comes down the road.

Thanks brother, much-appreciated! I’ve learned a ton from this thread. As fun as a project as that drum room has been, it almost seems like I shouldn’t have bothered and just added some insulation to my garage LOL (yikes). Oh well, it ain’t going anywhere anytime soon so I’ll make the nest if my setup.

Can you recommend some good in-ear monitors for less than $200? Will I benefit from monitors even when practicing alone? I’ll replace the heads! Maybe Evans coated G2’s for the batter heads and G1’s for the resonant heads? I’m confused about the purpose of the mics and board. Can you elaborate? Sorry for all the questions!

If I do decide to get the starclassic walnut/birch, I almost forgot that I’ll be able to sell my Silverstar kit to help pay for the new kit. My Silverstar is a 6-piece and in great shape so I should be able to make $400-500 I would think.

Thanks again.
 

brushes

Well-known member
Hey there - your response was extremely helpful and educational for me. I'm definitely not complaining about my Silverstar kit. In fact, it's a gorgeous kit aesthetically. And given that I don't play in a band and won't be moving the drums around much at all, maybe the super fancy hardware upgrades wouldn't benefit me all that much. Once I position my kit the way I like it, it'll pretty much remain that way.

You've given me a lot to think about. I'm embarrassed to say I'm clueless as to how to properly tune a drum kit. I've watched Youtube videos on how to put the heads on and I feel like I've done it correctly but I can just tell that my drums aren't in tune. I just downloaded an app called DrumTunePro but haven't tried it yet. Any recommendations on mastering the art of tuning would be super appreciated. There is also quite a bit of buzzing from the snares but I suppose that's just normal? I put on some of those moon gels but I'm not thrilled about how they look on the heads. The heads that I have are about 4 years old (Evans G2's on the tops & G1's on the bottoms).

I'm still very intrigued by the Starclassic Walnut/Birch kit and may pull the trigger at some point (maybe it's just out of boredom and wanting something new like you mentioned LOL). Sweetwater quoted me $2100 (total) for a 5-piece (2 rack toms, 2 floor toms & a bass drum). My Ludwig suphraphonic is a nice snare, although I may want to go back to a wood snare at some point).

Otherwise, if it were you, what immediate upgrades would you make to the Silverstar to noticeably improve the sound (other than tuning)? You mentioned switching to diecast hoops? I have $2K right now that I've saved up. I guess I just need to decide whether or not to just bite the bullet on the Starclassic Walnut or spend money on upgrades to the Silverstar.

I'm going to post some pics of the drum room I built, along with some pics of my set up. Would love any critique on the kit arrangement.

Thanks again.
Well, the first and most important investment would be - as already pointed out - good new heads with proper tuning. Tuning drums can be made easier using a tension-watch or a tune bot, but those tools are only helping tools. In the end, your ears have the final verdict. It takes some time to learn to tune drums but it is worth the time invested. Slowly tuning your drums by ear helps you to understand your drums, how they react to the tuning key, where the drum starts to choak etc. Maybe you take a drum inside your house with a fresh head and just spend a few days on tuning it again and again. Tune the drum, then remove the head again and start from scratch. Again and again. That way, you get a feel for your drums AND train your ears.

Maybe you get a few different heads for that one drum, so you can find out, which drumhead suits you best and learn how it affects the overall sound. E.g. using a Remo Ambassador, an Emperor or Pinstripe will give you quite different results on your toms. Experiment and find the sound that you love.

Ears... You have a great room for drumming, albeit it is small. Your drums will sound much better and more satisfying if they are mic'd and mixed up in someway. As your room is rather small, I highly recommend using the aforementioned Yamaha EAD10. It does not cost an arm and a leg and will work well with your setup. It allows you to actually hear your drums - together with music mixed in if you want - and record your drumming, so that you can re-evaluate your drumming. You can also adjust the EQ'ing of the headphones, the responsiveness of the mics and the bassdrum-trigger etc. It is really a great tool for not much money and: It won't eat up any space like traditional micing where you need stands for Overheads etc.

Changing the hoops on the silverstar should only be done IF you know that you really want them, because it will cost quite some money to change them all. I would leave the drumset as is for now, equip it with new heads, some micing and you are done. In-ears or overheads, ... that's personal choice. There are good isolating inears from e.g. shure that you can use or you can use isolating Beyerdynamic or Vic Firth Overheads among others. It's personal choice what you prefer.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Can you recommend some good in-ear monitors for less than $200? Will I benefit from monitors even when practicing alone? I’ll replace the heads! Maybe Evans coated G2’s for the batter heads and G1’s for the resonant heads? I’m confused about the purpose of the mics and board. Can you elaborate?
I don't personally use in ears, so I'll leave recommendations to others. I do have a Yamaha EAD10 (bought mine used) .... and I use my standard noise cancelling headphones with it. With that unit, you get a bass drum trigger and a stereo mic in a single unit that attaches to your bass drum hoop. So, it's a real bare minimum of wires. The module has a bunch of built in effects. You can plug a smart phone into it, and really get crazy. And like my smart phone, I use about 1/1000 of it's potential. :LOL:

The reason for this ..... or a board and mics ..... is to get a sound that's better than you just hearing your drums thru shooters earmuffs. But hey, I use those too;)

An EAD alternative .... something like the Sabian Mic kit. One mic on the kick, and two overheads. Pretty straightforward. With an Aux. input channel to bring your tunes into the mix.

From there .... a regular mixer and as many mics as you wanna throw at your kit.

I would think $400-$500 at least. I'd ask higher to start .... give some "wiggle room" for haggling !!!
 
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Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Hey Brushes and Harryconway: Thanks to you both on the great information. So if I'm understanding correctly, the EAD10 would eliminate the need for any additional mics? Sounds like it has its own internal mic that should be good for my setup without any other add-ones. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And I'm not sure if the snare drum trigger is a necessity or not.

I'm thinking of going with Evans G2's for the batter heads & G1's for the resonant heads. Or the Remo Ambassadors. I may need to try both as Brushes suggested. I believe my base drum batter head is the Aquarian SuperKick2 which has the padding. I also have a small pillow/acoustical blanket combo inside the bass drum. I'm thinking that head and setup is fine? I think my bass drum sounds pretty good.

Also, I'm still a bit confused about the earpiece. If I do go with the EAD10, what would you suggest for my ears? As I mentioned, I'm currently using my Sony noise cancelling headphones. But it sounds like some actual monitors would be better? Assuming monitors would be a worthwhile investment, what about the 3 below (if you have other recommendations, please do share!):




As always, thanks for all the feedback!
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
I don't personally use in ears, so I'll leave recommendations to others. I do have a Yamaha EAD10 (bought mine used) .... and I use my standard noise cancelling headphones with it. With that unit, you get a bass drum trigger and a stereo mic in a single unit that attaches to your bass drum hoop. So, it's a real bare minimum of wires. The module has a bunch of built in effects. You can plug a smart phone into it, and really get crazy. And like my smart phone, I use about 1/1000 of it's potential. :LOL:

The reason for this ..... or a board and mics ..... is to get a sound that's better than you just hearing your drums thru shooters earmuffs. But hey, I use those too;)

An EAD alternative .... something like the Sabian Mic kit. One mic on the kick, and two overheads. Pretty straightforward. With an Aux. input channel to bring your tunes into the mix.

From there .... a regular mixer and as many mics as you wanna throw at your kit.

I would think $400-$500 at least. I'd ask higher to start .... give some "wiggle room" for haggling !!!

Awesome - please see the combination response that I sent to you and to Brushes. Thanks!
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
Well, the first and most important investment would be - as already pointed out - good new heads with proper tuning. Tuning drums can be made easier using a tension-watch or a tune bot, but those tools are only helping tools. In the end, your ears have the final verdict. It takes some time to learn to tune drums but it is worth the time invested. Slowly tuning your drums by ear helps you to understand your drums, how they react to the tuning key, where the drum starts to choak etc. Maybe you take a drum inside your house with a fresh head and just spend a few days on tuning it again and again. Tune the drum, then remove the head again and start from scratch. Again and again. That way, you get a feel for your drums AND train your ears.

Maybe you get a few different heads for that one drum, so you can find out, which drumhead suits you best and learn how it affects the overall sound. E.g. using a Remo Ambassador, an Emperor or Pinstripe will give you quite different results on your toms. Experiment and find the sound that you love.

Ears... You have a great room for drumming, albeit it is small. Your drums will sound much better and more satisfying if they are mic'd and mixed up in someway. As your room is rather small, I highly recommend using the aforementioned Yamaha EAD10. It does not cost an arm and a leg and will work well with your setup. It allows you to actually hear your drums - together with music mixed in if you want - and record your drumming, so that you can re-evaluate your drumming. You can also adjust the EQ'ing of the headphones, the responsiveness of the mics and the bassdrum-trigger etc. It is really a great tool for not much money and: It won't eat up any space like traditional micing where you need stands for Overheads etc.

Changing the hoops on the silverstar should only be done IF you know that you really want them, because it will cost quite some money to change them all. I would leave the drumset as is for now, equip it with new heads, some micing and you are done. In-ears or overheads, ... that's personal choice. There are good isolating inears from e.g. shure that you can use or you can use isolating Beyerdynamic or Vic Firth Overheads among others. It's personal choice what you prefer.

Awesome - please see the combination response that I sent to you and to Harryconway. Thanks!
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Also, I'm still a bit confused about the earpiece
You could spend any amount of money you can imagine on iems( in ear monitors), but I would suggest a toe dip first. The MEE M6 Pro or KZ ZST are both $20 and sound better, imo, than the Shure 215. The KZ are a little bass heavy compared to the M6 Pro. Add some foam comply tips for sound isolation and you are in business.

I bought mine as workout/cycling headphones and ended up preferring them over some much more expensive Shure iem I had.
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
You could spend any amount of money you can imagine on iems( in ear monitors), but I would suggest a toe dip first. The MEE M6 Pro or KZ ZST are both $20 and sound better, imo, than the Shure 215. The KZ are a little bass heavy compared to the M6 Pro. Add some foam comply tips for sound isolation and you are in business.

I bought mine as workout/cycling headphones and ended up preferring them over some much more expensive Shure iem I had.

Thanks! Yeah just took a look at both of those and they seem to be less hit on the pocketbook for sure!
 

Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
For sure! They are not the be-all-and-end-all of iems, but they may give you an idea of what you like if you decide to upgrade later on.

That totally makes sense. Damn, it's such an expensive hobby but so addicting at the same time LOL.

I meant to ask everyone if keeping my Ludwig Supraphonic snare makes sense, even if I eventually upgrade my Silverstar to a Starclassic walnut/birch kit. It was a $500 snare but I've started questioning if a metal snare sounds too "marching band-ish" or not if I play mostly rock/metal.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
So if I'm understanding correctly, the EAD10 would eliminate the need for any additional mics? Sounds like it has its own internal mic that should be good for my setup without any other add-ones. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And I'm not sure if the snare drum trigger is a necessity or not.
I use just the one bass drum trigger/mic unit. As you can see, it's pretty small and unobtrusive.

Heads ..... just another fun part of the equation. I use either the SKI or SKII a lot, on my kicks. On toms clear Ambassador is my standard reso. Batter runs the gamut. Coated Ambassador, Emperior, or Powerstroke3 are probably my 3 favs. Mostly I play vintage(ish) kits, and coated heads accentuates their warmth. Exception is my current Slingerland kit ...... Square sized power toms (10x10, 12x12, 16x16) with clear Pinstripe batter and CS (black dot) reso.

Supra is a great snare. An iconic snare. I think everyone should have at least 1 good metal snare, and 1 good wood snare.
 

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Silver’n’Smac

Well-known member
I use just the one bass drum trigger/mic unit. As you can see, it's pretty small and unobtrusive.

Heads ..... just another fun part of the equation. I use either the SKI or SKII a lot, on my kicks. On toms clear Ambassador is my standard reso. Batter runs the gamut. Coated Ambassador, Emperior, or Powerstroke3 are probably my 3 favs. Mostly I play vintage(ish) kits, and coated heads accentuates their warmth. Exception is my current Slingerland kit ...... Square sized power toms (10x10, 12x12, 16x16) with clear Pinstripe batter and CS (black dot) reso.

Supra is a great snare. An iconic snare. I think everyone should have at least 1 good metal snare, and 1 good wood snare.

Cool man - thanks. My heads are currently the clear Evans G2's (4 years old LOL) but I'm getting the sense that coated heads are more suitable to the genre I play most (rock/metal)? I have a lot to learn about drum heads.
 

Elvis

Silver Member
I once heard the term All Maple was legal speak meaning that a shell could be made completely from Maple or it could only contain Maple (along with other types of wood).
100% Maple, however means exactly what it says.
So if you see, or are told, a drum is "all maple", and you're looking for a kit that is "100% Maple", beware. You may not end up with what you wanted.

Elvis
 

someguy01

Well-known member
I once heard the term All Maple was legal speak meaning that a shell could be made completely from Maple or it could only contain Maple (along with other types of wood).
100% Maple, however means exactly what it says.
So if you see, or are told, a drum is "all maple", and you're looking for a kit that is "100% Maple", beware. You may not end up with what you wanted.

Elvis
Same applies to Kona coffee.
 

brushes

Well-known member
So if I'm understanding correctly, the EAD10 would eliminate the need for any additional mics? Sounds like it has its own internal mic that should be good for my setup without any other add-ones. Please correct me if I'm wrong. And I'm not sure if the snare drum trigger is a necessity or not.
The EAD10 has two mics and a trigger connected to a module. All you need. No additional triggers needed.
 

NackAttack

Well-known member
You could spend any amount of money you can imagine on iems( in ear monitors), but I would suggest a toe dip first. The MEE M6 Pro or KZ ZST are both $20 and sound better, imo, than the Shure 215. The KZ are a little bass heavy compared to the M6 Pro. Add some foam comply tips for sound isolation and you are in business.
I have the KZ ZST as well as Shure 215 and an older model of the etymotic you mentioned. The etymotics are my favorites. The KZs are nice, but a little too bass heavy for my taste. They are great when monitoring the bass player live, but playing by myself I like the 215s better.

Nothing like a brand spanking new upgraded kit, but FWIW, miking myself up and monitoring my drums during practice has been one of the things I wished I had done sooner.
 
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