What to look for when buying a used kit?

Frosticles

Silver Member
I have no reason to doubt that.

Take a peek at your hardware. It is more than likely that your hardware does not use the defective design. In the pic below, you will see an example of the break.

While I can personally validate that the currently sold 800 series hardware doesn't have this defect, please understand that this affected two of our house kits, and was the cause of a number of highly inconvenient moments for our businesses in the 2000's.


View attachment 88528
My stands up until 2015 all came with the Export I bought new in 1988. Never one single problem. Now I have all 900 Series & they are exceptional :) This break would be a result of over tightening by those with little experience :)
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
This break would be a result of over tightening by those with little experience :)
Exactly. There are people who simply have a compulsive need to over-tighten everything. I used to do the same thing back in the 1960s/1970s when there were no plastic inserts in stands, and every connection was metal-to-metal. When I come across nice, unabused stands from that period, I just shake my head at the ignorance that compelled me to simply ruin my old Ludwig stands by always overdoing it with the wing screws.

Modern hardware feels luxurious compared to the old stuff, but that smooth, solid adjustment that we enjoy so much is achieved by the liberal use of plastic liners and inserts - and they are not made for the ham-fisted kind of obsessive over-tightener that I used to be.

GeeDeeEmm
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
This break would be a result of over tightening by those with little experience :)
The stand in my example pic will break regardless of whether it's tight or not. All you have to do is give the top of the stand a good shake (Move it without breaking it down, toss it into the van wrong, etc, and it will break. It's both a material and design defect that thankfully Pearl has addressed. Those of us that were in retail/rental had our asses handed to us by this issue.

The question earlier was why Pearl got a bad reputation, and with the possible exception of the proliferation of KISS tribute bands, Grommet-gate is the number one reason.
 

alex10167

Member
Nothing wrong with Pearl. They get a bad rap because people don't like/can't figure out the tom mounts.

You want to check the shell for roundness. Take the hoops off. If you can measure, that's the best way. If you can't, see how easily the heads go on and off. If they go easily and you can spin them without any effort, they are within spec. If the head is stuck in the hoop, it is bent and will need replacing. The head should fall right out.

Check the bearing edges. That's the pointed part that runs the perimeter of the shell at the top and bottom. They should be smooth and not bumpy at the edge (the part the head sits on). If they aren't, it will be harder to tune the drum.

While you have the heads off and are looking at the bearing edges, check to see if any of the plys are delaminating. If they are, it's pretty obvious. The wood will be separating.

Look at the screws inside the drum. Are they all there? Have any fallen out?

Check the hardware. Makes sure it is solid, and that everything tightens well. Look for stripped or missing wingnuts. Make sure the snare throwoff operates properly, the lever should open and close smoothly. Check the pedal for side to side movement in the footboard, and smoothness in it's operation.

Make sure the stands, bass drum spurs, floor tom, and throne have their rubber feet.

Lastly, if you can, check your local Craigslist and link any kits in your budget here. We can help you weed through the crap. Happy hunting.
Hey its been a while but what do you think about this listing the just came up?

 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Hey its been a while but what do you think about this listing the just came up?

That's a fantastic deal. For $650 you are basically buying cymbals and a snare and getting everything else for free. If I was you, I would jump on that immediately.

I would make sure the Tama SLP snare is included. While it's shown in the pic, it's not mentioned in the ad. Still a good deal regardless.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If I were y'all, I'd do what MrInsane says and jump on that.

Seriously, you could turn that set for a profit.

Mapex drums sound wonderful like all the rest, so as long as the shells are round and the edges are true....it's a bargain.

With all those AAX's...AND a double pedal....on 2nd thought it sounds to good to be true ha ha.

If you decide to check them out, watch out for a scam.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
If I were y'all, I'd do what MrInsane says and jump on that.

Seriously, you could turn that set for a profit.

Mapex drums sound wonderful like all the rest, so as long as the shells are round and the edges are true....it's a bargain.

With all those AAX's...AND a double pedal....on 2nd thought it sounds to good to be true ha ha.

If you decide to check them out, watch out for a scam.
$350 or less would definitely be a scam. I bet this is somebody who needs to unload it quick for money or because they’re moving cross-country.
 

Frank

Gold Member
I probably shouldn't post, because any advice is probably lost on the fact that this thread was opened two month ago. :)

But, when I see these threads, I have to offer my version of public service:

- You will always hear a chorus of Buy Used. But, it's old, nearly a cliche, and not necessarily valid anymore.

- In the old days, there were Big differences between low end drums and high end drums. Low end was truly junk, and it took big bucks to get something that sounded good.

- These days, the difference between low end and high end is often more in the cosmetic, or in the details only to be perceived in a studio.

- Most low end kits can be made to sound great - with good tuning - and most important - Great heads.

- I will contend, that, outside of the studio, Any low end shell can be made to sound Great - with a proper bearing edge cut, good tuning, and great heads.

- Consider a low end, NEW kit - not somebody's old junk.

Commence the throwing of the rotten fruit. :)
 

alex10167

Member
That's a fantastic deal. For $650 you are basically buying cymbals and a snare and getting everything else for free. If I was you, I would jump on that immediately.

I would make sure the Tama SLP snare is included. While it's shown in the pic, it's not mentioned in the ad. Still a good deal regardless.
I wasn't able to get that $650 kit, but I did come across this small kit but it says its shells Mapex Saturn Pro so I'm wondering what you thought for the price? I have $500 to spend so part of me is saying wait to find something better but I've read really good things about Mapex Saturn Pro kits

 
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alex10167

Member
I probably shouldn't post, because any advice is probably lost on the fact that this thread was opened two month ago. :)

But, when I see these threads, I have to offer my version of public service:

- You will always hear a chorus of Buy Used. But, it's old, nearly a cliche, and not necessarily valid anymore.

- In the old days, there were Big differences between low end drums and high end drums. Low end was truly junk, and it took big bucks to get something that sounded good.

- These days, the difference between low end and high end is often more in the cosmetic, or in the details only to be perceived in a studio.

- Most low end kits can be made to sound great - with good tuning - and most important - Great heads.

- I will contend, that, outside of the studio, Any low end shell can be made to sound Great - with a proper bearing edge cut, good tuning, and great heads.

- Consider a low end, NEW kit - not somebody's old junk.

Commence the throwing of the rotten fruit. :)
I have a $500 budget for a kit. What would you recommend buying new if I were to go down that path?
 

alex10167

Member
Oh and I do hope so too. Can't have too much Caveat Emptor-ing going on.
The $650 kit fell through what do you think about this little kit. It caught my eye because they are Mapex Saturn Pro Shells. I asked the seller and she confirmed that the snare was also from Mapex and both high hats and Crash/Ridecombo are Zildjian Planet Z.

 

brentcn

Platinum Member
The biggest thing to watch out for is that the drum set is complete. No missing rods, lugs, stands, springs, hi hat clutch, wingnuts, etc. Check that the tom mounts actually work, and can hold the drum solidly. You’d be surprised at how often they get stripped or broken. Set the kit up so you can see and test everything; don’t buy a “stack” of drums that someone promises is a great deal.

Get a used Yamaha Stage Custom, or used Gretsch Renown, if you can find them. The hardware will hold up, the drums sound good, and you won’t be embarrassed by a gaudy finish in 3 years. Expect that you’ll replace the top heads when you’re able. Bottom heads should not have been played already.

Expect that you’ll replace Planet Z cymbals, or similar models, ASAP. The sound quality here is atrocious, and decent used cymbals are out there. Go to a shop, respectfully test every cymbal they have, and acclimate your ears to what real cymbals sound like.

To check a cymbal for cracks, run your fingertip around the edge. Some cracks are just starting and are more easily felt than seen.
 

alex10167

Member
The biggest thing to watch out for is that the drum set is complete. No missing rods, lugs, stands, springs, hi hat clutch, wingnuts, etc. Check that the tom mounts actually work, and can hold the drum solidly. You’d be surprised at how often they get stripped or broken. Set the kit up so you can see and test everything; don’t buy a “stack” of drums that someone promises is a great deal.

Get a used Yamaha Stage Custom, or used Gretsch Renown, if you can find them. The hardware will hold up, the drums sound good, and you won’t be embarrassed by a gaudy finish in 3 years. Expect that you’ll replace the top heads when you’re able. Bottom heads should not have been played already.

Expect that you’ll replace Planet Z cymbals, or similar models, ASAP. The sound quality here is atrocious, and decent used cymbals are out there. Go to a shop, respectfully test every cymbal they have, and acclimate your ears to what real cymbals sound like.

To check a cymbal for cracks, run your fingertip around the edge. Some cracks are just starting and are more easily felt than seen.
Thank you so much for the insight I am new to this and I want to make sure I get an okay first kit.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
The Mapex kit is missing the front bass hoop, head and tension rods/claws. And the floor tom also appears to have no bottom head, rim, tension rods. If the seller HAS those items .... and you're fine with a kick, snare, floor tom combo .... it might be do-able. If the seller HAS those missing items, think about proceeding.

Add a rack tom and you're got a nice 4 piece kit. A Saturn is a heck of a lot better than a Pearl Export or (most entry/mid level drums). But, if having matching drums is an important "thing" for you .... you may be searching a while for a Mapex rack tom that matches.

If the Iron Cobra pedal is in decent shape .... that's a good pedal (if you don't have one). If you already have a good pedal, sell the pedal, and the drums just got a lot cheaper. Invest in cymbals.

The cymbals are pretty much for crap, so you'll need to upgrade .....

Up to you whether you wanna take on a "project" like this.

I just realized you're in Pensacola ...... check out used gear at Guitar Center. The one we have here in Pasadena has some crazy cheap drum kits.
 
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harryconway

Platinum Member
I think you'd be better off getting just one kit, in the $250 range (rather than two $250 kits). You're probably gonna need to upgrade cymbals and get new drum heads. And re-heading a 9 piece kit ain't cheap.

You can get a SPL kit new, for $300. https://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums-percussion/sound-percussion-labs-unity-5-piece-drum-set-with-hardware-cymbals-and-throne/j08439000003000?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsfvWn7Lk5gIVFtRkCh0_LQneEAQYASABEgJmQfD_BwE

A 4 piece shell pack for $130. https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/Sound-Percussion-Labs/Unity-Drum-Kit-115591335.gc?source=4WWRWXGP&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIsfvWn7Lk5gIVFtRkCh0_LQneEAQYBCABEgJ7_fD_BwE
 

alex10167

Member
Gretsch Catalina Birch ..... $500 ..... and you could always offer less. New, it's a $800 kit. https://okaloosa.craigslist.org/msg/d/destin-gretch-catalina-birch-drum-set/7046429280.html
I'm going to have to check those out then. What do you think about this, since someone in here mentioned Yamaha Stage Custom's being pretty good and sturdy. If I had to choose one which one would you get and why?

 
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