What's your litmus / pet peeve / must-have / dealbreaker feature about any certain single piece of gear (other than premature wear/breakage)?


Silver Member
My ride cymbals must have a great bell sound from striking the base of the bell with the TIP of the stick. Most sound thin & tinny like this, but I own two Sabians (AA Meduim and AAX Studio) that sound GREAT when struck on the base of the bell with the tip. I've also played a Zildjian A of mysterious origin (graphics were long gone) and a Stagg SH that performed like this. I don't mind using the shoulder of the stick for an even beefier bell sound, but why settle for having to do that for a usable bell sound, when you can have two very usable bell sounds?

I prefer a parallel strainer over a lateral one, but I particularly dislike the 180° degree lateral throw lever on Taye snare drums. It made me decide against buying one about 15 years ago.

Any snare strainer that doesn't move the wires away from the head vertically enough to not still rattle against the head when playing with the snares off.

I always loosen wing nuts before adjusting a tom/cymbal holder, yet I always get wiggly top sections (they start to wobble horizontally a little over time).

Cymbal wing nuts that rotate up/down due to the vibration of the cymbal.

Snare stands that, in addition to the center of the basket being offset to the center of the stand, have the... uh, I don't know what it's called- the bit that sticks out sideways and has the angle adjustment- doesn't stick out straight from the stand, but angled a bit, so that the arms of the basket can't ever be pointed in the same horizontal direction that the stand's legs are.

The resin balls on ball/socket mounts, particularly on tom mounts, that get slightly squished over time, so that minor adjustments to the tom positions get forced back to where it previously was as you tighten the wing nut.

Pearl's tom mount arm style, albeit pretty stable, has always annoyed me. Also, any suspension mount variant that covers too much of the shell finish, especially when the company makes such a big deal about nice fin
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Staff member
I have many, but quality of materials / truthful description is an overriding peeve . The moment I sniff a material quality copout on something purporting to be of high quality, or something it's not, I'm out.

My "favourite" offenders on so called "high end" stuff:

* Cheap shell lug fixings (screws / washers).

* Pot metal anything.

* Marketing spin / misleading classification of materials i.e.
Bell brass (no such defined material classification exists).
(insert exotic veneer here) when it's actually ALPI or similar (nothing wrong with ALPI, just market it accurately & stand proudly behind the decision / benefits).


Platinum Member
I do not like Pearl tom arms. I always use a snare basket for my rack tom, but I simply don't like those arms. I've sold every set I've every owned that had tom arms like the Pearl ones.

I've been spoiled by my gear, so I don't ever plan on buying another ride cymbal that doesn't crash well.


Well-known member
I don't like any ball and socket type tom holders. They are the best idea, but after time, they stop gripping, no matter what.

I also do not like bass drum mounted tom holders. Through the shell type. They are very limiting.

I agree with those who mentioned a quality level of equipment that is falsely advertised...


Silver Member
* Marketing spin / misleading classification of materials i.e.
Bell brass (no such defined material classification exists).
I don't know the origin of the term, but doesn't it refer to a thicker, cast metal (as is the method actual bells are made, I think), rather than a bent & welded sheet? I'm not sure it's intended to be a name for a different *kind* of brass.


Gold Member
The snare throw-off must be smooth and easy to use.

The throne seat must easily spin on its spindle.

The bass drum must sound good in the house.


Senior Member
I don't buy stands with gear tilters anymore.

Different drums with different heads and hoops require different angles position-wise for me to hit them at the same angle stick-wise. For instance, my Yamahas can be less angled because the hoops are lower than my Gretsches, which need to be angled a bit more. I've got a bunch of snares that are chosen depending on the playing situation, so I need to have the fine angle adjustment to feel the same on drums with different getups. Same goes for cymbals; higher-profile cymbals can be flatter than lower-profile cymbals.

With all the hardware options out there, there's no reason to compromise on the tilters.

And lately I've started testing snare drums by how well they work with a black dot; if I can tune them up easily with a black dot, they'll tune up great with anything else, but if I can't tune it with a CS on there, it's just going to give me trouble in the future. Worked out great with my BB.