What's the lightest full-size kit?

JimmyM

Silver Member
From my experience: cheap(er) kits are lightweight. Thinner shells and lighter hardware etc.
Maybe a Traps set is an option?
'Normal' sizes, but they're single headed (20"bass, 10/12/14 toms, 12 snare, 8" tom is an option to extend).

View attachment 110526
Would I want them as my only drums? Absolutely not! But I once did a gig on bass with a guy who showed up with a set of these, and they were much better sounding than I expected. Downright good, actually.
 
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Thin Shell

Active Member
I think the only thing that might be lighter than the Inde stuff, would be the old MIJ with the super thin luan shells with pine re-rings. Those shells are really light and the hardware tends to be pretty thin. Inde might still be lighter though. Inde will definitely be better quality for sure. Inde would be my choice for a lightweight, high quality kit. It also supports a very small US company.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Actually it seems like carbon fiber would be the lightest. I don’t know if it works that way in reality. Andyou better like the sound of it too
 
Actually it seems like carbon fiber would be the lightest. I don’t know if it works that way in reality. Andyou better like the sound of it too
I'm starting to think that the shell isn't that big of a deal, it's the hardware on it. Especially the kick since nice adjustable spurs can be surprisingly heavy.

I was comparing my Ludwig Accent 12x10" tom which is 6 or 7 plies of birch, to my Pearl Masters 4-ply maple 12x8 tom and the Pearl is noticeably heavier despite being a shorter and thinner shell. However, the Pearl has the big hinged lugs from the Reference series. Both are 6 lugs a side and have 2.3mm hoops. These big lugs have to make a difference.

And that brings me back to my old Pearl Decade that was a feather weight. 6 ply maple, but small chinesium lugs on it (and 1.6mm hoops with just 6 lugs on the floor tom).

That or the non descript Maple wood on the Decade is much less dense than the north american Maple on the Masters.

So aluminum hardware is where it would be (like the Inde). Although I guess carbon fibre hardware would work too if one is made of money
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I'm starting to think that the shell isn't that big of a deal, it's the hardware on it. Especially the kick since nice adjustable spurs can be surprisingly heavy.

I was comparing my Ludwig Accent 12x10" tom which is 6 or 7 plies of birch, to my Pearl Masters 4-ply maple 12x8 tom and the Pearl is noticeably heavier despite being a shorter and thinner shell. However, the Pearl has the big hinged lugs from the Reference series. Both are 6 lugs a side and have 2.3mm hoops. These big lugs have to make a difference.

And that brings me back to my old Pearl Decade that was a feather weight. 6 ply maple, but small chinesium lugs on it (and 1.6mm hoops with just 6 lugs on the floor tom).

That or the non descript Maple wood on the Decade is much less dense than the north american Maple on the Masters.

So aluminum hardware is where it would be (like the Inde). Although I guess carbon fibre hardware would work too if one is made of money

I think fewer lugs would really help, too. 8 lug bass drum, 6 lug toms.
 

moneydog59

Junior Member
I recently acquired a 2020 Gretsch Catalina Special Edition Kit that I use for gigging...wood hoops...they by far the lightest kit I have ever had. Not sure how much the shells contribute to this, I'd imagine that the wood hoops are the reason it is so light along with the "Catalina level" hardware (Floor Tom legs specifically) Sound wise, they are nice and punchy. Frankly I am more than pleasantly surprised by this kit. Would your friend consider moving to wood hoops?
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
The Ludwig Signet series is/was extremely light, with those tiny pop-in lugs.

Yamaha Stage Customs are way lighter than my Premiers in the same sizes.
 

Neal Pert

Active Member
I think the only thing that might be lighter than the Inde stuff, would be the old MIJ with the super thin luan shells with pine re-rings. Those shells are really light and the hardware tends to be pretty thin. Inde might still be lighter though. Inde will definitely be better quality for sure. Inde would be my choice for a lightweight, high quality kit. It also supports a very small US company.

Yeah, the MIJ drums can be very light. But you have to be careful-- some of those MIJ kits-- even some of the ones with the super-thin tom shells-- have REALLY thick bass drum shells.

I'd be going the Inde route on this one-- talk to them about the lightest possible kit and they'll set you up.
 

Thin Shell

Active Member
One thing that Inde does that is confusing to me. Josh is all about all of the components being as lightweight as possible, yet he uses 2.3mm hoops if I'm not mistaken. Using 1.6mm would shave even more weight off and many people feel that 1.6mm hoops open up the sound.
 

someguy01

Gold Member
One thing that Inde does that is confusing to me. Josh is all about all of the components being as lightweight as possible, yet he uses 2.3mm hoops if I'm not mistaken. Using 1.6mm would shave even more weight off and many people feel that 1.6mm hoops open up the sound.
I would think if you put a 1.6mm hoop on that already super thin and lightweight shell, it would sustain for days. Just a thought as to perhaps why they choose the 2.3mm. 🤷‍♂️
 
One thing that Inde does that is confusing to me. Josh is all about all of the components being as lightweight as possible, yet he uses 2.3mm hoops if I'm not mistaken. Using 1.6mm would shave even more weight off and many people feel that 1.6mm hoops open up the sound.
I guess this is where one has to choose a compromise between what sounds "best" and what is lightest. I typically do not like 1.6mm hoops on toms, but they're great one some snares (especially those with just 6 or 8 lugs).

If weight was the only thing that mattered, then you might start using softer woods, reducing lug count, making the shells shallower, etc. So it's always compromise of some sorts. Using aluminium for the lugs and spurs is mostly a cost thing (probably has a minor impact on tone, but not as much as the hoops)
 

fess

Senior Member
I had a 20-12-14 Inde kit with Yamaha crosstown aluminum hardware. Practically had to tie it down so it wouldn't float away.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
Without getting into brands and models, I would suggest any model that has lighter hardware and hoops on it. Avoid die-cast hoops and big lugs and brackets. My Gretsch Brooklyn kit is heavy with those 3mm hoops and heavy lugs. By contrast my Catalina is much lighter and while being of lesser quality I found myself gigging it much more than the Brooklyn for that reason. My other often used gig kit is a Ludwig Club Date (SE). It is also very light due to the central lugs and relatively light classic brackets.

I want to use my Brooklyn more (when I start gigs again) but it really is heavy. The 14x14 weighs more than the Club Date 22x14!
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
One thing that Inde does that is confusing to me. Josh is all about all of the components being as lightweight as possible, yet he uses 2.3mm hoops if I'm not mistaken. Using 1.6mm would shave even more weight off and many people feel that 1.6mm hoops open up the sound.
I've tried both 1.6mm and 2.3mm hoops on the same drums and while the lighter hoops allowed more overtones, I found the overall sound of the drum was too wild because of those extra overtones. After that experiment I'm a firm believer in 2.3mm hoops or S-Hoops on drums in order to get a clearer fundamental pitch.
 
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