Vintage Cheap vs New Cheap


Ok, so my Maple Catalinas may not be top o' the line, but I love them and don't want to take them with the band to house parties where there will be the inevitable "sit in". (Also see the Lending thread and concerns about "kit sharing".)

I have my old kit languishing in my Dad's basement which is a mix of early '70s unlabeled (possibly Sears, I'll have to ask him) and late 70's Stewart brand. I have no idea of what wood, etc.

Speaking ONLY of shells and shell-attaching hardware (ie: I might need a tom mount), if I wanted to make an inexpensive kit, would I be better off rebuilding this old cheap, but Vintage set, or buying a cheap $100 or $200 hundred dollar set off the local Kijiji?

"They" always say, they don't make them like they used to.

At worst with my old kit, I'd probably have to buy a new tom mount and new tom & bass hardware for the new tom mount. And drill a hole in the shells for the apparatus. (Is there a cheaper way to set up a new mount? Maybe a cymbal clamp and mount...?)

Unless I can find these parts used, I would probably have to spend $200 anyway.

So, which way to go? New "cheap" kit, or restore the old kit?

It would tally out about the same, so I guess it depends if the Old Adage is true? (Plus some desire to get my old kit back in use, which I will do as a project out of nostalgia anyway, BUT not soon if the price differential is too much.)

Just so you know, I've backed out of a band that wanted to go to random house parties. My gear is too important to me to expose it to a bunch of drunks without and "in and out" time. ...Is that weird?


Platinum Member
You need a beater kit and you already have a beater kit. Seems like a no brainer to me.

If you can't get it up and playable for far less than $200, you're not trying hard enough. Either mount the tom in a used snare stand or buy a used RIMS style mount, mounting arm and clamp and fly it off a cymbal stand.


Thanks, but no, I want to do it decently right. So, no used snare stand.

I looked up the RIMS mount... (Thanks for the idea! duh!) Probably better than drilling holes and a hard mount, though. Still... $32 CAD each, plus new mounting arm and it looks like a lot of hardware is missing from the RIMS mount, like the part the tom mount goes into, etc. ... I googled, but maybe not the right way. Plus another $32+ if I go for a 5pc.

If you got a way to replace tom mounting for "far less" than $200, please explain in more detail than disregard :)

I think I am already committed to fixing whatever on my old drums... I guess I always was, but was checking for expert opinions on the matter.

I guess my unspoken question REALLY is, might my "70s cheap shells" be better than "New cheap shells"? I'm looking for encouragement ('cause it's more work "restoring" and can get some Included crap hardware and sheets for that price). :)
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Platinum Member
RIMS style hoop: = CAD$35.67 (for a 12" 6 lug tom)

Tom mounting bracket: = CAD$12.96

L-arm to cymbal stand mount: = CAD$31.34

Which would have added up to a grand total of CAD$79.97 when I went to school. Prices are new, if you do a little leg work I'm sure you'll find some or all of these items used at cheaper prices. You don't need any extra mount for the bass drum. Just fly the clamp off a cymbal stand.

But if it were me, I'd use the snare stand. You could find a used one for bugger all. It's a beater kit mate, why spend anymore than you absolutely have to? You already have a good kit......keep your dollars for any upkeep needed on that.


Platinum Member
I guess my unspoken question REALLY is, might my "70s cheap shells" be better than "New cheap shells"?
Pictures of your "70s" kit would be helpful. Some of these MIJ kits had reinforcement rings ..... some had straight shells. Most all MIJ kits were made out of Philippine Mahogany (Luan, or such) .... and that's pretty much what modern cheap kits are made out of. So better than ..... that's kinda unanswerable, given the info.​
Personally, my line of attack would be, put the rack tom on a snare stand ..... get the kit set up and play with your band ..... and see how it works out. Don't worry about restoration .... especially if your kits a mix, anyhow. Once you play it, then see what else (if anything) it might need. Usually, the spurs on those kits are not the best. I'd rather put money into upgrading the spurs, if needed, that into tom mounting hardware.​


Silver Member
Thanks, but no, I want to do it decently right. So, no used snare stand.
Some might argue that the snare stand actually is the decently right way to go.
Its definitely cheaper and easier. Put that extra money on new heads or whatever.

And on the plus side it just looks really good.


Maybe Pfog and everyone is on to something with the snare stand. (And I didn't mean to be "flippant", as my mother would say.)

I guess the best thing would be to get the drums in hand and see what really needs to be done. And to be realistic, since my hope of having some obscurely valuable gear seem dashed.

I got a couple good options I didn't think of, anyway. Thanks folks!


Platinum Member
Your old kit will be absoultely fine.
But while you're at it, keep your eye on local c/lists. You can get good sturdy well-made cheap Wetsbury sets for < $100, often.


Finally some encouragement :)

I have been thinking, and I will probably go ahead with reviving my old kit, even if it is less cost effective. I think it's going to nickel-and-dime me just a bit along the way. I recall I left it in 'concert tom mode' with the bottom skins removed. I am not sure I will still have the hoops, let alone all the lugs. Oh well, I posted elsewhere that I like renovation projects just to see what I get in the end.

It looks just like this old Gretsch kit, except the colour, including the bass mounted cymbal stand and the tom mount is almost identical, but mine got wiggly, as I recall. I repeat "looks like", this is NOT my old kit

I won't be able to get my old kit for another week or so, unfortunately. This weekend is all tied up. I will post actual pics when I do.

(If posting this link is inappropriate, I shall replace it with a pic link shortly. I am on break and just taking a minute for this reply.)


Gold Member
A used and very light snare stand is the way to go . Leave it at the same position height-wise and just fold the the 3arm and 3 legs. Perfect way to setup fast. And bonham used a snare stand on the tom , soooooooo..... It must not be that bad!!!!


Ok, ok I stand way corrected on the snare stand idea :) When I said do it right, I meant the toms were originally bass mounted so that was "right". I can be one track minded. I'm kind psyched to get them and get started now.