The ultimate light kit

moxman

Silver Member
I use different kits for different purposes.. different sized kits with less or more components depending on the type of gig (indoors on a big stage vs. small venue stage, or outdoors etc.). Moving high end kits around by DW, Yamaha, Tama or Sonor - can break my back esp. the hardware and kick drums.

So it got me thinking.. what if I had one kit that did it all.. My criteria is 3 toms, 3 cymbals (ride + 2 crashes), kick, snare, hats and throne.
So what is the best kit that hit's that sweet spot - where it's lightweight but solid in construction, reasonably sized (not too small or big) and has high end sound?
Bonus points if you can move it all in one trip on a dolly! (in lightweight cases of course)
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Here’s a thing : the drums you already have. I’d swap all your hardware out for Yamaha Crosstown stuff. That’s where all the weight is. The drums, unless their Pearl Reference series, all weigh about the same. Get the light hardware, and nice lightweight throne )I use one of those old ones that used a nut and bolt to lock the height while using a thinner and smaller seat too. That’s where all the weight is. I’d suggest a bass drum pedal without a bottom plate, but I do like the extra stability under my bass drum foot.

I’ve also been known to just use a crash/ride and the hi hats as my only cymbals to cut down on how many stands I carry, and use no more than two toms. Some guys argue they need a lot of stuff to really cover the music well, and that’s good, but let’s face it, nobody really cares - they just to hear drums, it doesn’t have to be note-for-note perfect unless you’re doing a tribute band thing.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I have a shell pack of ludwig club dates from 2019 the kickdrum 14 x 20 is extremely light it is 6 ply I believe so it's still a sturdy drum. The other two 8 by 12 and 14 by 14 the lightweight is not as noticeable however they are lighter than some of my other drums.
 

Griener

Member
Inde and Oriollo both have extremely light aliminum kits. If you’re willing to go with shallow concert toms, an aluminum kit can be EXTREMELY light.
I have never seen any concrete numbers on these drums.
I have a 14" x 4" Highwood Snare with Woodhoops that weighs 1908 grams.
Would an aluminum snare of the same size be lighter?

IMG_9668.jpeg
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
It's all in the hardware. I got a Tama single brace hardware pack years ago and never had any problems. Comes in a soft hardware bag to which means one trip to the car.

Soft cases too will save a lot of weight. Obviously, this is only if it's your gear being carefully loaded in/out your car.

If I'm doing a cramped stage or really awkward load in I'll just use bass drum, snare and floor tom with hats and ride that crashes.
 

KenDoken

Junior Member
I have never seen any concrete numbers on these drums.
I have a 14" x 4" Highwood Snare with Woodhoops that weighs 1908 grams.
Would an aluminum snare of the same size be lighter?

View attachment 125310
That's pretty light for a snare. My Beverly 21 14x5 aluminium weighs 3kg. It's got 2.3mm hoops which certainly adds to the weight
 

jda

Gold Member
diameter 18/12/10/14/14snare
bass/tom/tom/tom/ snare
any make model
depth optional

that's where I'm down to and staying.
Part of me would like a hard rock set but I haven't made the room for one and I been getting away without one (oh I've had em in the past but not now
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
The only drum that is ever difficult for me to carry would be the bass drum, I don’t think the problem is simply down to the weight of the drum but your ability to get your hands around it. I love my 18” kicks but they can’t compete with the amps my regular band uses, so I guess if I had to compromise it would have to be a 20x14. You can always learn to kick it really hard when you need more volume.

Ideally it would have a Tom mount that I could hang a 10 and 12 from and I would use a 14” floor Tom.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
Carbon fiber rack... You said ultimate.


96f037_7123957a3f78441baa823c21107573d3~mv2_d_1800_2301_s_2.png
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I have to agree most of the weight of a drum kit is in the hardware. Then the cymbals. Drums themselves are mostly fairly light (with some exceptions).

My DW bass drum is lighter than my Premier Signia bass drum, but it's not a huge difference. The toms? Pretty much weigh the same.
Sometimes I help Livingdeadrummer move his Yamaha kits around town. They all weigh the same as my DW.

Hardware is the difference maker. And then cymbals are heavy, no matter which brand you use.
 

ottog1979

Senior Member
I’d swap all your hardware out for Yamaha Crosstown stuff. That’s where all the weight is.

Second this. I just did this for one of my two kits. Couldn't believe how much difference it made for load-in/out and set up.

But, I'll also toss in a contrarian alternative thought: I look at my gear transport and loading as exercise. Yes, it's tiring, but it doesn't kill me. I'm still able to do it all and play a 4-hour gig. I'm so busy I don't have time for a regular gym routine right now. I look at my 5-7 gigs a month and all the gear hauling as part of my exercise routine. None of us really need LESS exercise. When you look at it that way, the lightest, least-work gear transport isn't the end-all and the lifting isn't the worst thing you could be doing.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I generally get by with my three headlamps most of the time. One of them so small that there's no excuse to not carry it all the time.


When it comes to drums I think it's been mentioned. Shallower toms, size of bass drums, lighter hardware.

A rack wouldn't generally work for me, but if you stick to the same setup all the time, above a certain size there's both weight and volume to save there.

Unless you mount a lot of other stuff on your cymbals stands they don't really need to be heavy duty. Well, outside in wind it helps.
 

Houndog1964

Active Member
Here’s a thing : the drums you already have. I’d swap all your hardware out for Yamaha Crosstown stuff. That’s where all the weight is. The drums, unless their Pearl Reference series, all weigh about the same. Get the light hardware, and nice lightweight throne )I use one of those old ones that used a nut and bolt to lock the height while using a thinner and smaller seat too. That’s where all the weight is. I’d suggest a bass drum pedal without a bottom plate, but I do like the extra stability under my bass drum foot.

I’ve also been known to just use a crash/ride and the hi hats as my only cymbals to cut down on how many stands I carry, and use no more than two toms. Some guys argue they need a lot of stuff to really cover the music well, and that’s good, but let’s face it, nobody really cares - they just to hear drums, it doesn’t have to be note-for-note perfect unless you’re doing a tribute band thing.
My 3ply Slingerlands are considerably lighter than my 6 ply Fibes ….at least half …
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I don't currently own one, but I've been envisioning a 4-piece nesting kit that could serve every type of music I play. MY ideal lightweight gigging kit would be a 16x20 bass drum, 8x12 tom and 14x15 floor tom, plus a 5.5x14 snare. The 12" tom would fit inside the 15" floor tom, which would all then fit inside the 20" bass drum. And the drums themselves would be lightweight, like INDe drums.

Ideally, I'd create custom drum bags as well. The bass drum bag would have a cymbal bag incorporated into the lid AND a dolly built into the side of the bag so you can easily wheel it from your car to the venue. The 12" and 15" toms wouldn't need much protection since they'd be nested inside the bass drum, so those bags would be thin to allow them to nest inside the other drums, but would protect the insides of the larger shells encasing the smaller ones. And the snare bag would have straps that securely attach it to the top of the bass drum/cymbal hybrid bag/dolly. That plus a small wheeled hardware bag carrying lightweight stands would be relatively easy to transport.

As far as playing the kit, a 12/15/20 kit can be tuned up for jazz gigs or tuned down for rock, and would work well for either.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I don't currently own one, but I've been envisioning a 4-piece nesting kit that could serve every type of music I play. MY ideal lightweight gigging kit would be a 16x20 bass drum, 8x12 tom and 14x15 floor tom, plus a 5.5x14 snare. The 12" tom would fit inside the 15" floor tom, which would all then fit inside the 20" bass drum. And the drums themselves would be lightweight, like INDe drums.

Ideally, I'd create custom drum bags as well. The bass drum bag would have a cymbal bag incorporated into the lid AND a dolly built into the side of the bag so you can easily wheel it from your car to the venue. The 12" and 15" toms wouldn't need much protection since they'd be nested inside the bass drum, so those bags would be thin to allow them to nest inside the other drums, but would protect the insides of the larger shells encasing the smaller ones. And the snare bag would have straps that securely attach it to the top of the bass drum/cymbal hybrid bag/dolly. That plus a small wheeled hardware bag carrying lightweight stands would be relatively easy to transport.

As far as playing the kit, a 12/15/20 kit can be tuned up for jazz gigs or tuned down for rock, and would work well for either.

It would sound like crap in many venues/gigs unless it were miked. A Jenkins-Martin kit could work like that, it would need to be a very resonant material, regardless, just saying
 

TK-421

Senior Member
It would sound like crap in many venues/gigs unless it were miked. A Jenkins-Martin kit could work like that, it would need to be a very resonant material, regardless, just saying
And why do you say that? Do INDe drums sound like crap in most venues? I've played an INDe kit, and it sounded VERY good. That's what I would want to base this idea off of.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
And why do you say that? Do INDe drums sound like crap in most venues? I've played an INDe kit, and it sounded VERY good. That's what I would want to base this idea off of.

I’m not personally fond of concert toms unless they’re quite large. And a bass drum with no reso head hasn’t got much boom. But in a fairly live room, it’s not a problem.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I’m not personally fond of concert toms unless they’re quite large. And a bass drum with no reso head hasn’t got much boom. But in a fairly live room, it’s not a problem.
Who said anything about concert toms?

What I meant by nesting drums were normal double-headed drums that were essentially sawed in half across the middle of the shell, so they can be opened up and nest the smaller drum(s) inside. A few companies already make kits like this, but I'd want to make a much better version of it, with some sort of gasket material in between the two halves of the shell and high quality hardware holding the two halves together. I suppose I should have made that clearer from the get-go.

BTW, the non-concert-tom types of nesting kits I've seen don't use gaskets between the shell halves, and use cheap clamps to hold the shells together. I'd want to use something more like what DW uses to attach a woofer bass drum to the main bass drum.

(BTW, I'm not a fan of woofer bass drums, but I think that hardware would work great for my idea).

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