The paradox of expensive drumsets

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So in the end, you're pay a lot of money for... toms. The most unused part of a drum kit. Unless you're doing tom fills constantly, or you're Danny Carey, toms don't get played nearly as much as the snare or kick, so you're spending a bunch of money on something that barely gets played, comparatively.
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I remember not long ago someone posted a comment and called the Bass and Toms "furniture" instead of essential parts of a drum set.
I have read repeated posts and comments that "it is the cymbals and the snare drum that really make your sound".
There was also a thread not log ago from a fellow drummer who tested two mid-range priced drum sets against a high-end Craviotto. He and his experienced friends could not distinguish much difference in the quality of the sound.

I think your statement has merit for certain group of drummers. From what I have learned so far from reading the posts on this forum I see two trends:
1) The first group is after a certain sound quality for snares and cymbals. They are willing to pay higher prices for those and the Bass and Toms are second priority.

2) The second group are drummers who have a certain sound in their mind for the drum set as a whole. So, they do care about the sound of the Toms and Bass. If they can not get that specific sound in a low to mid-range set, they are willing to pay more and go high-end.
 
To the OP, no I don’t agree……. kick drums can vary as much as snares. My evidence for this is based on owning 3 kits namely Noonan maple stave, Yamaha MCAN and a Gretsch USA custom. They not only sound different but respond differently across the dynamic range.
I agree, however, throw a pillow into the kick, as a lot of people do, and those differences get much much smaller.
 
I agree, however, throw a pillow into the kick, as a lot of people do, and those differences get much much smaller.
No they don't.
I record drums for sample products and variation is the name of the game. We need to find drums that sound different from each other or there is no choice for the sample buyer. I have recorded dozens of different brands, often in the same room, with the same mics. Both kicks and toms vary a lot.
I have recorded mid-priced kits, high priced factory kits and expensive boutique kits. Most of the time I find you get what you pay for, but the percentage increase is not the same as the price increase. Most people can access a great sounding mid-priced kit, especially if you are not involved in critical recording scenarios. Given the choice between a Craviotto and a Yamaha Tour Custom, I'd take the Craviotto every day of the week.
The premise is wrong IMO. Someone claims bass drums and toms are not important, therefore there is no point to high end drum kits. presumably that's why Jeff Porcaro never recorded with his (endorsed) Pearl drums and carted custom modified vintage kits like Camco and Gretsch to every session???
 
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There was also a thread not log ago from a fellow drummer who tested two mid-range priced drum sets against a high-end Craviotto. He and his experienced friends could not distinguish much difference in the quality of the sound.
Yes, but in what context? And everyone has different experiences. Actually playing the drums I'm sure I could hear the difference.
 
Yes, but in what context? And everyone has different experiences. Actually playing the drums I'm sure I could hear the difference.

Do you really like Cravs better? It seems some people seem to struggle tuning them to sound good. What specific difference in tone do they offer to your ears? I love my Jenkins-Martin and my copper kit and my hollow log Luka kit, and they’re not hard to dial in, especially the Jenkins-Martin. And they all have an EXTREMELY distinctive sound, immediately identifiable and unique. But what are the Cravs bringing to the table?
 
The premise is wrong IMO. Someone claims bass drums and toms are not important, therefore there is no point to high end drum kits. presumably that's why Jeff Porcaro never recorded with his (endorsed) Pearl drums and carted custom modified vintage kits like Camco and Gretsch to every session???
I guess it depends on your understanding of important. Do you suppose if Jeff had used his Pearl kit then all of the hit songs he played on would have never been hits? So was it “important”?

I’m betting if you played your 50 favorite artist’s recordings you’ll hear 50 different sounding drums. And the process of recording, different mics and eq gotta make a substantial difference to whatever kit you brought in.

Play whatever makes you happy.
 
My kicks are fairly open. I tune them and dial in an external muffler with position and pressure. I haven't thrown a pillow in a bass drum since my teenage years because I didn't know what I was doing. Kick is a kick to some, not others.

I made my last drumset purchase based on 1) the discontent of a recording prior on the set I was using on what wasn't working 2) it held several check boxes that inspired me to play and what I want to hear.

I subscribe that a musicians brings their tone, so an experience player should be able to make music on anything, low-end kits or whatever. There is a skill to that. There is also a skillset to a higher end kit to get the most out of it and the time taken to understand an instrument how to work it within music. So you if you think low-end and high-end kits sounds sound the same, maybe it's not the drumset.

From the Cravs I played, which isn't much, they carried alot of vintage feel and tone but projected quite a bit better and pretty responsive. I have a theory on the thick re-inforcement ring vintage drums that they demand a specific tuning range to get the most out of them, a bit more stubborn. For many, they just dial in their favorite range or maybe go up/down a bit so may work or not.
 
I say play what delights your heart. If you’re obsessive about tom tone like me, toms matter a lot. If not, then you can get away with cheaper kits.
 
I had a funny thought the other day, bare with me...

When buying a high end drum kit, you can spend a decent amount of money, let's say, 6-10k. Let's imagine you're getting a 5 or 6 piece kit (which are probably the most common)

Now it's likely if you're spending that much money on a kit, you've probably already got a few nice snare drums, so you're just getting a kick and toms

Now, i think we've all figured out that a kick is a kick is a kick. They all sound broadly the same (obviously there are little differences, but again, humour me)

So in the end, you're pay a lot of money for... toms. The most unused part of a drum kit. Unless you're doing tom fills constantly, or you're Danny Carey, toms don't get played nearly as much as the snare or kick, so you're spending a bunch of money on something that barely gets played, comparatively.

Kinda weird when you think about it. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
I dunno. I like good bass drums. I can tell when I’m playing a good one, mic’d or un-mic’d. Considering the cost of the biggest drum relative to the other drums, it’s obvious price-wise 😉. And considering when I buy a kit, I’m only getting two toms anyway, I’m sorta putting my money on the snare and bass drum to begin with. But I appreciate your Ted talk.
 
there's a couple ways to look at this
 
Some bassdrums sound bigger than others - but that is not dependend on the money they cost. ItÄs a thing about tuning and playing - and most times micing. I have heard Sonor SQ2 bassdrums that sounded weak and Yamaha Stage Custom and even Tama Club Jam bassdrums that sounded huge. But as most people mike their drums when on stage, well - you can do so much with mics....

That said, my Tama Staclassic Maple bassdrum sound great. My Starclassic Birch/Bubinga bassdrum sounds great. My Silverstar Birch bassrums sounds great. Does the expensive SC Maple sound three times better than the mid-range Silverstar? Nope.

Boutique drums are waste of money IMHO. Better spend the money elsewehere. Holiday, Food, Family, whatever.
 
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ok your Dream Kit- there's mine- this/week/month/year- there's mine. You->Go!
(lol) Post yours


I may (I know I do) want a Gold Brass snare s̶̷u̶̷b̶̷s̶̷t̶̷i̶̷t̶̷u̶̷t̶̷e̶̷d̶̷ ... Added.
Dream!
(125th Anniversary Progressive (aka Motown ) Gretsch : ) USA Custom 6P die-cast -from 2008.
missed the boat..
 
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They are...killer...Joe.

If you don't mind my candor, for me, the bass drum hoops would need to be something else.

Those BD hoops are exactly like my 1st kit, a gold sparkle Stewart MIJ kit.

So to my eye they don't belong

A lacquered brass strip to match the hardware instead of the gold sparkle strip might look interesting. Or a strip of the green wrap

Aa all maple hoop would work too
 
striker said:
There was also a thread not log ago from a fellow drummer who tested two mid-range priced drum sets against a high-end Craviotto. He and his experienced friends could not distinguish much difference in the quality of the sound.
Yes, but in what context? And everyone has different experiences. Actually playing the drums I'm sure I could hear the difference.

I did not mention that post to start a discussion about the merits of Craviotto drums. Take any high end drum set as an example. Those folks could not feel they are getting twice the sound quality if they pay double the price for a high-end drum set. That was their opinion. At the end of the day the beauty is in the ear of the beholder.

I think each drummer has a certain taste for the sound of the drum set. If a drummer feels that a high-end drum set provides the best overall sound quality that they are looking for (Bass and Toms included), they will choose the high-end drum set. That is their choice and there is nothing wrong with that.
 
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