Your personal least favorite set you actually owned.


"Uncle Larry"
In the spirit of calling them as you see them. This could include single drums too. It's all your opinion.

Everybody is always saying how they love this drum or that drum, and I completely get that and agree. I do it too. Basically, it seems like there's nothing but good stuff out there.

So for the sake of balance, have you ever had some drum(s) that you had first hand, long enough term experience with, that for whatever reason, just didn't do it for you?

Mine would be my first brand new set I paid for myself, 1976 bowling ball blue oyster Ludwigs. Really hilly bearing edges, no iso mounts then, so the mounts choked the crap out of the tone. I just couldn't get along with them, but I really couldn't tune then either. I liked the kick and snare, and hated the toms.

I had a set of Yamaha Gigmasters that were THE most choked drums I ever heard straight out of the box. And the wrap was the cheapest, worst looking wrap on a drum I ever saw. It could be the only bad thing I ever saw from Yamaha. I eventually got a passable tone from them after doing a bunch of mods. Some school has them now.

In the 70's I had one of the original 14 x 6.5 Tama bell brass snares. Yea that one. The bearing edges were so sharp they could literally almost cut my skin. I just didn't like it. Granted, I was even more of an idiot back then. But I still knew what I liked.

For all that it was supposed to be on paper, and I definitely bought it with my eyes, the flagship Canopus Zelkova didn't have long lasting appeal for me. Again, the bearing edges were way too sharp. I wanted to like it, hollowed out construction, arced outer profile, it looked amazing inside..

I wasn't a fan of the 67 Acro I had, or the 14 x 6.5 - 10 lug re-issue Acro. Add the Supra-lite to this list too.

I'm not a fan of my Oriollo snare, I don't like the snare response, I can't get it crisp enough without rattling, no matter how tight I go.

I wanted to like all of these drums, but couldn't lol.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Almost a 3-way tie for kits - my Staccato and North kits were pretty terrible (I got rid of both although they did look good in the living room!) But by far, the worst kit I ever owned and tried to use was a Sonor Phonic II kit from 1985. Simply atrocious. Choked and needlessly heavy (of course they weren't the only company to go that direction during the '80s...) Worst drum purchase I ever made although I did trade them for a new-in-box Syndrum Quad unit which served me much better than the kit!

Snare-wise I've fared much better, and my worst-sounding snare is actually in my top favorite collectible drums: a Pearl Vari-Pitch snare in mint condition. :) Perhaps not as horrible-sounding as the Sonors, but a nice curiosity.

Did I mention that the Sonor steel snare was also miserable? How do you manage to screw up a metal snare??



Platinum Member
I don't like my Dynasonic. It's 5x14 COB without the snare frame. It sucks. The sound is choked as hell. I don't know who decided this drum needed a normal snare setup, but they should be shot. The drum has virtually no snare bed, and I expect this is the reason it has no response what so ever. I wanna like it because of what it is, but no. Eventually I will get a snare frame and maybe my opinion will change, but until then, no.

I traded a bedside table and some golf clubs for a Percussion Plus set because I wanted the cymbals. No matter what I did they just sounded dead. I sold them for $10 more than I paid for the table. Complete crap, but I did give them a full chance to impress me for what they were.

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
For me, Dunnett titanium snare and a Brady stave snare. Didn't like either. Then there's the Ludwig classic maples. Bass drum hoops don't fit non Ludwig heads which are impossible to find. Big ass ugly rims type mounts, and the rest of the hardware on the drums gives me the impression they are toy drums. In fairness they sound OK but my Collectors and Absolutes will do so much more.

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Easy, for me least favourite drum is the legendary LM400 Ludwig Supraphonic never lived up to the hype, in terms of playability and sound delivery, an average drum. Funnily enough my favourites are Dunnett Titanium and Brady Stave which Steady Freddy isn’t so fond of -viva la difference....Another bad buy was a Pearl brass free floater just nasty but not in a good way.

Worst kit I ever had the displeasure of having to play on a regular basis (but actually didn’t own) was a Premier Olympic. Didn’t hold tuning, very narrow tuning range and hardware that just disintegrated at moderate intensity levels, plus bass drum walk.


Senior Member
I owned a set of cheap, cheap Pearl's from 1992 - 2017 that were just dreadful. Mind you, I couldn't tune drums to save my life back then but they were pretty lousy regardless. It was impossible to angle the toms properly.

I liked the finish at the time and they were all I had for many years so I have a soft spot for them, but my entry-level Yamahas crush them in every single category.IMG-20130606-00154.jpg
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Silver Member
1982 Tama Techstars....

It's a heart breaking story about a young man and his Rogers drums living in an apartment...and their frantic search for peace with the neighbors.

When I think of what I paid for them, and what I could have had in their stead....I weep, literally just weep. Lol

Redeeming thought: Also purchased the same day was a wonderful Tama Titan throne which I still sit on to this day.


Platinum Member
I just want to see an Uncle Larry’s dedicated section (maybe call it “Uncle Larry’s Playhouse” or “Larry’s Institute of Higher Thoughts” where all his novel questions will be easy to find-I keep missing some. I bought a Zildjian ZBT cymbal pack to put on an extra kit I left in orchestra practice room however once I tried them I never used them, since added rivets to no avail. But I guess I answered a different question that you didn't ask. Crap.

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
I started out on a set of Crestlines. They were SO thuddy. NO bottom heads, and only because the set was purchased that way without reso hoops, including the bass drum. I put a set or 2 of heads on them. Family picked up a set of Camber cymbals to go with them. Wow, how horrible they were. I was happy as heck to have them though. I believe the kit came from between 68-74 (if I remember that thread correctly that I saw elsewhere).


Platinum Member
Never had a kit I've not liked.

Snares though, had a 14x5 19 ply Birch snare with a big vent that I wasn't fond of. It did cranked and that was it. The biscuit winner was a 70s slingerland metal 14x5 or 5.5. Sound wise it got lost in any mix and detuned so easily if I tried to get a crack out of it


Platinum Member
Probably my least favorite was a set of CB700 concert toms I got in the 70s. I wanted an Octa-Plus SOOOooooo badly and couldn't afford one, so I got the CBs instead - six concert toms. They sounded terrible. I ended up donating them to the high school percussion ensemble. They tuned them tight light marching tenors, and the shells end up pulling themselves square, and then coming apart. Nobody will ever convince me wood type doesn't matter, lol.


Senior Member
Here is my first set breakdown:
5 piece Cb700 kit in silver or gray with no bd reso
13” old vintage hi hats that the bottom bell was cracked around perimeter
2 16” MX crashes

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
Haven't ever gotten rid of any of my drums except the snare that came with my first generation Catalina kit. That one truly sucked, but it was probably made to be cheap. A Catalina kit is impressive for what it is. I'm not alone in thinking that, but anyone using it for real work I think would use a different snare.

My other drums have their place, but seeing me use my Club Custom in the symphony is probably not gonna happen. My infatuation with that whole line has pretty much faded after trying out some Broadkasters.

I have never owned a regular Supra. I do understand why it got it's status, but there are so many other great options that do specific things way better,


Senior Member
For me it would be the 2 Ludwig kits I've had in the past. I can't blame Ludwig for the issues the first kit had, because it was from 1964 and the hardware was just beat to hell. I could never get the toms to tune and they always sounded boingy, again not Ludwig's fault.
The second Ludwig kit was a monster with power toms and modular hardware. Ever since those kits I've never given Ludwig a second thought. Ganted, I got my DW kit after the second Ludwig kit, and haven't thought of getting another kit in the last 20 years.
I had a Tama Superstar snare (original version) that didn't agree with me. That snare was very well built, but I think my issues with it has more to do with me not liking birch snares. I did learn that I love die cast hoops from that snare so it was a positive learning experience.


Senior Member
I owned a set of cheap, cheap Pearl's from 1992 - 2017 that were just dreadful. Mind you, I couldn't tune drums to save my life back then but they were pretty lousy regardless. It was impossible to angle the toms properly under any circumstances.

I liked the finish at the time and they were all I had for many years so I have a soft spot for them, but my entry-level Yamahas crush them in every single category.View attachment 86435
You reminded me of my first kit, so I should probably add to my previous answer.

In 1991 I got an early-80s Pearl Export. I traded my Musser vibraphone to my junior high school in exchange for their old kit. It was a good deal at the time. Although I just now checked what 1970s Musser vibraphones go for these days.....

It looked just like this, except more beat up.

I loved it. It's all I had, so I loved it. In hindsight it sounded terrible. The tom arms went directly into the shells, and positioning the toms where I wanted them was next to impossible. Thus my hatred for Pearl tom arms began.

I'd do it all again though because the trade got me my first drum kit. I never liked playing the vibraphone anyway.


Senior Member
It's all I had, so I loved it. In hindsight it sounded terrible. The tom arms went directly into the shells, and positioning the toms where I wanted them was next to impossible. Thus my hatred for Pearl tom arms began.
Identical experience here. I recently played a rented Pearl Vision kit and it was the same sad story with the tom mounts.

My Pearl kit was even lower in the pecking order than the Exports. Boy, was I glad to have them, though. I only played once or twice per year from 1996 until 2014 but they were there for me when I needed them.


Platinum Member
Worst drum sets? Let's see.

My early 1990's Tama Rockstar RS series. I liked them at the time because it's all I had and it was all I could afford. You see millennials, back then we didn't have YouTube and a Sam Ash/Guitar Center on every corner, you couldn't go and try out drums. Also, I grew up in bluegrass country where used drum sets were nil (except for this one set of yellow Exports that made the rounds for about 15 years). I traveled thousands of miles with these drums, and I had the time of my life with them. Like what was said above, I loved them because it was all I had. However, I went from a set of Tama Rockstars to my Pork Pie USA Customs. It was only then I realized how bad those drums sound(ed).

Basix birch (20" x 20" kick, 10, 12, and 14" toms, no snare). Probably the LOUDEST kick drum I've ever played. Toms sucked.

Sonor Bop kit - In my quest to find a compact kit, I found these. Loved the wrap on them. They sounded absolutely amazing in front of the kit, but sounded like garbage behind them. I hated practicing on them because the sounded so bad.

Honorable mention: A Sabian B8 Pro Chinese splash cymbal. Good lord, why?