Which kit? Renowns vs. Recording Customs vs. Collectors vs. Starclassics

moxman

Silver Member
Looking at a couple of kits. Both have awesome looking finishes... so it comes down to sound and configuration.
The Gretsch Renowns are 10 x7,12 x8,16 x14 with 22 x18"kick - 7 ply maple with “302” hoops
The Yamaha Recording Customs are 8,10,12,14 with 20" kick - including hard cases (about $600 more for the RCs)

I already have RCs which are awesome, but they are too big so I don't gig with them much anymore.
If you had to choose which would you pick?
 

dmacc_2

Well-known member
Two completely different set's of drums. Personal choice. You need to decide which vibe you are after most. I owned/played both.

Looking back, if I had to choose, I would take the RC's. That's not your situation though since you already have a set of RC's.

What's too big... Just the bass drum? If so, can you just go buy a 20 and call it a day?? Or - do you have the desire for the maple sound/feel after spending all the time with the birch?
 

moxman

Silver Member
THe RC toms I'm looking at have shallower depths which is what I'm after.. but I also have a set of Mapex maple shells that are awwesome - they are warmer but also have a really nice distinct decay. In the past I found the bigger RC toms could get too resonant on stage and bleed into each other.. and dampening them killed the sound. But.. thinking back on it, it could also have been a mic'ing / sound tech issue as I have played them live in other situations where that wasn't an issue.. Ah.. I'm torn! - I love the live maple sound but also love the sound of the RCs..

I'm going to try out both kits and see if the smaller RCs approach the punchier resonant sound I get from my maple kit - with a smaller footprint - if that makes any sense - not!
Also curious about the Gretsch - one of the few brands I've never tried.
 
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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Recording Customs are purpose built for the studio with a pre-EQ'd sound and quick decay. That means minimal fuss with muffling and moongels, etc.

I have RN2 Renowns and I love them. They are bursting with resonance...they're sonorous, like they're having trouble containing all that resonance. To give you an idea of how resonant they are, I have dampening rings on the toms AND puffed up cotton balls inside the toms to dampen the resonant side.....and they STILL have an amazingly rich, full, resonant sound. All that muffling does NOT kill the tone at all. It's unbelievable (in a good way).

That's a fantastic thing for most people, but for recording it could be a headache depending on what sound you're going for, and what heads and muffling methods you're using. Having said all that, I can't say enough about the Renowns, and I think you totally should get them. They're amazing.

Edit: Speak of the devil, this was posted today as well.
https://www.drummerworld.com/forums/index.php?threads/wow-renowns-record-so-nicely.168207/
 

dnt

Member
Looking at a couple of kits. Both have awesome looking finishes... so it comes down to sound and configuration.
The Gretsch Renowns are 10 x7,12 x8,16 x14 with 22 x18"kick - 7 ply maple with “302” hoops
The Yamaha Recording Customs are 8,10,12,14 with 20" kick - including hard cases (about $600 more for the RCs)

I already have RCs which are awesome, but they are too big so I don't gig with them much anymore.
If you had to choose which would you pick?
Recording Customs are the only kit I’ve ever heard that might make me step away from Gretsch. Still, I think I’m going with G, because of their warmth and the tone in the Renown 20” kick - just add a basic EMAD and it’s gorgeous sounding bass drum. Would love to have both, tho!
 

moxman

Silver Member
I think I'm after something different (not just a smaller version of the RCs I already have..) so am going to check out the Gretsch today.
I'm going to just keep looking until I find a kit that blows me away..
I've been looking at Sonors as well, like the German made SQs - but are really expensive and don't come up often for resale..
 

notvinnie

Senior Member
Are the Recording Customs the new version, or the original version? If they're not the most recently released Recording Customs, I would pass on them. Otherwise, definitely go for the Yamahas.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Yeah I checked.. the RCs are 1989 vintage - so made in England by Premier during that brief time they partnered with Yamaha.. apparently same level of Yamaha quality from what I've read. But, as I already have RCs and Premiers which are excellent drums.. I'm going to look for something different.
I checked out the Renowns, (10,12,14TT and 22"BD) and, although they have a beautiful vintage marine finish and sound pretty good.. the 10" tom didn't make the cut for me..
I didn't have time, but for not too much more, they had a new-ish set of USA DW Performance shells with the configuration I'm looking for - 20BD, 12,14,16 TT ( I already have a 14x6x DW Performance snare). I'll have to go back and give them a try. From briefly tapping them they sounded great.
 
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moxman

Silver Member
Ah yes I remember now.. it had to do with avoiding all the import duties by building them in the UK.
"in 1987, Yamaha acquired the Premier Percussion factory in England in an attempt to establish the Yamaha name in the tougher European market. Yamaha placed machinery and trained the Premier craftsmen in the "Yamaha-way" of making drums, resulting in Premier producing a large number of Yamaha drums "made in England". In 1992, Yamaha withdrew and sold their stock shares back to Premier.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
I checked out the Renowns, (10,12,14TT and 22"BD) and, although they have a beautiful vintage marine finish and sound pretty good.. the 10" tom didn't make the cut for me..

I didn't have time, but for not too much more, they had a new-ish set of USA DW Performance shells with the configuration I'm looking for - 20BD, 12,14,16 TT ( I already have a 14x6x DW Performance snare). I'll have to go back and give them a try. From briefly tapping them they sounded great.
That's very puzzling. My 10" Renown tom is a perfect 10/10. Maybe the one you played was not tuned properly or needed new heads? Seriously, my 2 rack toms 10"/12" are by far the best sounding rack toms I've ever played!

I recently played a DW Performance kit again, and they are basically DW Collector's without the extra finish options. They have that DW sound, love it or hate it depending on your preferences. Very well-built like the Renowns, but the only negative in my book is the price. They're like $500-700 more than the competition...and I see no improvement in quality for that extra money.

The dirty little secret on why they cost so much? They're made in USA. The high cost of doing business in America vs countries in Asia is where that extra money is going. Some will gladly pay more for USA made products. Despite being greatly patriotic myself, I can't help but find the best deal for the money, haha.

My Renowns are build to a very high standard, equal to that of the DW Performance series. The bearing edges are pristine and the quality of the wood plies is fantastic.

If you already have a DW Performance snare, and you like how the kit sounds, get it! Whatever your gut is telling you, go with it. You'll be happy with the Performance series, or the Renowns...they're both great. You just may have to pay a little more for the DWs.
 

moxman

Silver Member
Yes the Renowns were a demo model and in pristine shape; gorgeous finish. My only issue with the 10" (yes the tuning was horrible) was a concern about the volume it produced. It seemed choked. Could also be that that one tom was a clunker or maybe it was demo'ed to death..
I'll take another look next time and bring a key to check.. the other toms compared favourably with the DWs.. but the DWs were tuned and had a great overall sound.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I don’t know how the DW hardware impacts the smaller toms, but on my PDPs, the 8” was super chocked, followed by the 10”. The 12, 14 and 16 were fine. I couldn’t ever get the 8 or 10 to sound like they belonged to the same kit. Very limited tuning range. I had the bearing edges reworked and while that did help even up the tuning between lugs, it wasn’t enough to open them up.

when I was considering the Starclassicand Renowns, one of the first things I noticed is how complementary the smaller toms. sounded. Maybe the DW was having the same issue??? IDK! 😐
 

moxman

Silver Member
when I was considering the Starclassicand Renowns, one of the first things I noticed is how complementary the smaller toms. sounded. Maybe the DW was having the same issue??? IDK! 😐
It was the Renown 10" that sounded choked and they weren't set up, so nothing to do with the hardware.. but good point - some drums sound great until you mount them and the hardware mount kills the sound... and sometimes you just get a lemon in the bunch. I'll take a closer look next time i"m in.. could be the heads and/or tuning.. but it did remind me of a PDP set I checked out a few months ago - the 10" sounded the same. That's one thing about the RC 10" i have - it just rocks - perfect tone and decay.
 
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moxman

Silver Member
After a long search I finally pulled the trigger and decided to go for...
- drum roll please -
- a 6 piece Tama Starclassic Birch/Bubinga
- 22, 16, 14, 12, 10, 14 snare
- finish is awesome - cherry red laquer with dark streaks and sparkle
- sound is awesome - and that's with poor heads - once I'm done with replacing heads and tuning - look out!
Never played Tamas before so I was looking for something different..
- low profile toms which was one of my key req's.
- dark zinc Finish on Die-Cast hoops
- virgin kick but I might try out one of those 'no holes' tom holder attachments.. or maybe on a spike stand.. I'll have to see how it goes with the cymbal stand suspension mount. Seems sturdy enough.
I was going to sell off one of my kits to justify this - but now I'm in a dilemma - I love all my kits! They are all great.. I don't if I can part with any of them
In any case here's my new addition:
1_59.JPG5_59.JPG
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
This was a fantastic choice. Love that finish, all those die-cast hoops, and the shallow toms. Those should be a lot of fun!
 

moxman

Silver Member
Thanks.. looking forward to taking them apart and putting on new heads. I'll probably end up just using the 10,12,16 for most gigs. They also came with protection racket bag/cases..
Now I need to unload one of my 4 other kits now to make space.. I'm leaning to the one with the oldest creakiest hardware - my 6 piece Premier XPKs from the 90s - all birch.. but they sound so good I hate to part with them. I use them in a practice space as they are a pain to tear down for gigs.. but they sound so good! I think this is why you see ads on Kijij where some guy has a basement full of 20 drum kits and his wife is making him get rid of them :)
 
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