Your personal least favorite set you actually owned.

trickg

Silver Member
I built a stave shelled snare out of African Padauk that I thought was going to be the cat's meow. It's an absolutely beautiful drum, but I have never been able to tune it to a point where it doesn't sound boxy and awful. I really went to the lengths for that drum too - it's got a 3-position Trick strainer on it. Ultimately I'm probably going to rob the hardware off of it and use it on another project.

I also had a Pearl Sensitone Elite in phosphor bronze 6.5x14 that I never liked. It looked great, but it was a really dark sounding sounding drum, so if I tried to tune it up to a point where I liked it, invariably it would choke. I ended up selling it to put the proceeds toward the Padauk stave shelled snare. Go figure.
 

motleyh

Senior Member
I built a stave shelled snare out of African Padauk that I thought was going to be the cat's meow. It's an absolutely beautiful drum, but I have never been able to tune it to a point where it doesn't sound boxy and awful.
Man, I love Padauk snares, Patrick. I'm betting it's the edge profiles giving you trouble (or possibly the thickness), not the wood.

Back on topic -- worst for me was a set of Pearl ELX's that I bought for a rehearsal kit because they were were priced low and in good shape. When the rehearsal setup ended, I sold it.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Ah I remember a 14 in tom I disdained so still not a whole kit. I had the first series Pearl Vision kit birch/basswood in 10, 12, and 16 (great kit other than 12 in didn't sing real well). Later I decided to add a 14 in which they carried same finish only all birch (the other discontinued). Now my hearing is for shit but it just sounded odd and didn't blend with other toms (regardless heads, tunings, etc)-so much it's all heads. I gave the kit to my son-in-law and set it up with all toms for him. I note now he has stored the 14 in after the same folly LOL. Really surprised me because I've seen and heard orphan frankenmorph kits that sounded great.
 

trickg

Silver Member
Man, I love Padauk snares, Patrick. I'm betting it's the edge profiles giving you trouble (or possibly the thickness), not the wood.
Maybe - it's pretty thick, so that might be it. Also, I screwed up the drilling, so I had to re-cut one of the bearing edges, which also might have had something to do with it - to explain a bit, I bought the kit pre-edged and with snare beds pre-cut, and I did my typical thing where I buried my decal logos under layers of clear lacquer, only I didn't account for 10 lugs - I placed the logos based on the snare beds, and how it would have been for an 8 lug snare, not a 10 lug snare. The way it was, at least one of the logos would have been directly underneath a lug, so my choices were to strip and refinish the drum, or recut the bearing edge and snare beds. I opted for the latter.

I should send it to you to see if you can do anything with it.
 

T.Underhill

Pioneer 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!)

Bermuda
I've never heard a North set sound remotely good. There's a good reason faddish kits like those went bye bye, though you can't be faulted for giving them a go.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
This one is pretty easy for me. I was still employed at a music store when Mapex first hit the market, and we received a Saturn Pro kit in bleached maple veneer that I thought was lovely. I bought the kit and went thru many, many combinations of heads before realizing that the kit simply sucked. I had no problem tuning it, but once tuned it sounded awful. I don't even know how to describe it. The tom tones were just . . . dissonate. I traded that kit in on a lovely small Maple Custom kit.

A number of years before that purchase, I got a wild hair and purchased a Pearl Export five piece. I stayed with it for about three months. It didn't sound bad, it just sounded ordinary and typical of low-end drums of that era. The only kits of note that I'd owned prior to this was USA Ludwigs, and I suppose that they spoiled me a bit.

GeeDeeEmm
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I've never heard a North set sound remotely good. There's a good reason faddish kits like those went bye bye, though you can't be faulted for giving them a go.
I remember hearing that North drums were used on Heart's "Magic Man". That needs verification.
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
Newb here....i was thinking of selling my Pearl Targets and buying Exports....now I am second guessing buying Pearl Exports after all the negative feedback.
Gonna have to start a thread call, “your personal favorite drum kit”
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I owned a Pearl Masters Studio for a whole decade before I finally concluded that I just didn't like it that much. It was one of those BSX kits with the gorgeous but heavy glass glitter wrap, and it always felt and sounded kind of dead. Had it all throughout college, and it fared me well, and sounded like drums, but it was never anything very inspiring. It got replaced by a Birch Absolute about two years ago and I don't regret it one bit.
 

Skacatz

Senior Member
Aahhh, the Sonor Bop kit. One of the most beautiful finishes I've ever seen on a set of drums. Sounded like trash from behind them but out front they were actually not bad. Very compact, light and easy to carry and store. Hated the 18" bass drum. Used to hurt my leg to play it.
 

TJK

Well-known member
Eh I had a beautiful Yamaha Maple Custom in the vintage finish. My god they were stunning, the toms were the best, mellowest things I have ever heard but the bass drum at 10 ply 22 x 16 was a basketball no matter what I did.
Then the Sonor designers with the ridiculous bass drum mount for the catapult Tom holders. Being an engineering designer I was totally geeking out over how awesome it was but in all reality the damn Tom holders would loosen up. The thing could hold up a Chevy but the nuts would eventually rattle loose.
 
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IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
Thanks! I will see if I can find them for that price here in Canuckistan.
Truth be told, lately, I have been eyeing a set of Yamaha Tour Custom in chocolate satin.
Yamaha Tour Customs are good, but the Gretsch Renowns are much better. They sound as good as kits costing $4,000 IMO.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I've owned them all by now. And I hate to admit it, I think all the DW Collector's kits I've had were the worst. BUT - I think it was just me. I could never tune them as easily or get them to sound really good as others could with theirs. I'd go see someone playing their DW's and they'd sound so good. Then I'd get on mine and I'm "meh" about the sound I was getting. I probably missed some important memo about those drums. But all the others (Ludwigs, Yamahas, Tamas, Pearls, Rogers, Slingerlands, Gretsch...) I could throw any heads on them and make them sound fantastic. This was not my experience with the DWs. Although I do love their pedals.
 

Pootle

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).
Yeah I had a Tama Rockstar DX in standard issue Jet Black around 1990 which never really sounded that good. Heavy gaffer tape usage was all the rage at that time which didn't really help matters going for that 'And Justice For All' sound but I do think the 12x11, 13x12 tom depth had a lot to do with it. For a young whippersnapper like me, that also meant the toms had to be angled at about 80 degrees! I "upgraded" from an 80s Tama Swingstar 10, 13, 16, 22 which had a much better sound, I should have stayed with that really.
 

Woolwich

Silver Member
As I’ve traded up over the years I’ve been struck a couple of times by how much better my new kit is compared to my old kit. A maple Sonor Force 3005 sounded so much better than the luan Premier Cabria I traded up from and the lacquer finish was in a different class to the wrap. And then when I traded that Sonor for a Mapex Saturn it was the first time I found that the wood the drums were made of, in this case walnut, gave the Toms a different sound. But having said all that, none of my kits were so bad that I resented them.
The only drum that I can reluctantly say was bad, even though I still see it as a classic, was a MkII Premier Heavy Rock 9. Lovely looking, well made, but the size of it just wasn’t suited for pub gigs and I never got it to sound as big as it looked.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Least favorite drum was a recent model (but very pretty) Sonor 6x14 Prolite brass snare drum with die cast hoops. Hardware was the best.
The shell wasn't as resonant as I had wished it would've been, I couldn't get the drum to sound right. Tried various head combinations.
I even changed out those mondo hoops to some moderate weight S hoops to let the shell open up a bit.
A bit of a disapointment for an $800.00 drum, so It was sold.

I believe a seamless Ludwig brass will be the cure. 🤔
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've owned them all by now. And I hate to admit it, I think all the DW Collector's kits I've had were the worst. BUT - I think it was just me.
I've only played one DW Collectors kit, and while it sounded good, it wasn't "memorable." The set was absolutely gorgeous to look at though. I swear those DW broken glass finishes they use are different from the normal Delmar wraps (I could be wrong, but I don't feel like I am. I ordered a couple of samples of the broken glass finish wrap from a company years ago, and they just don't compare...even under stage lights, but this is an entirely different conversation.).

A good friend of mine who has, just like you, seems to have "owned them all" as well. He told me that with his experience with DW, he never felt like any head sounded as good as the factory heads that came on DW's. I, personally, like to give a set of DW's another shot.
 
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