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Thread: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

  1. #1

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    Question Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    If I were to buy a custom drumkit from DW drums, how much should I expect to spend? Also, I've noticed that most of the bigger drummers tend to stick to Pearl, Ludwig, and such brands, despite the fact that they do not build custom drums. Why is that? Is there something wrong with custom drumkits? What are the pros and cons of ordering custom drumkits? Would you recommend buying a custom drumkit?

    I'm quite a new drummer, and I know there's no way I'm gonna have enough money for this sort of thing, but I just want to know. Also, how does getting them work? Do you just got to your local drum superstore and have them order it for you?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    Welcome to Drum Chat vanillamayor!

    There is nothing wrong with custom drums. Usually, the drummers who get them are making money on their drums, so their gigs help pay for the drums. The real question is whether customs are superior to production drums, and the answer is that it depends on who you talk to. Some people find custom drums special enough to lay down the extra money, and others simply find custom drums to be an overpriced alternative.

    As to how you order them, I have never thought about buying custom drums, so I really wouldn't know. I'm sure there are others here that would know though.

    Again, welcome!
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    Not sure what I can add will really be helpful, but I have looked around and listened to kits from DW, GMS, Spaun and a couple of others. It seems to me the advantage to custom drums lies more in the appearance and exclusivity rather then an obvious improvement in sound. The DW's sound wonderful, but not noticeably better (to me) than the better offerings from the major manufacturers. I recently bought a set of Gretsch Renowns which (again, to me) sounded just as good as the customs I heard. However, even though mine is a "limited edition" finish, it is not unique. In my case, I couldn't justify the extra expense. If you think you would enjoy playing a custom set, configured and finished exactly the way you want it, even a little more than a standard kit, perhaps it is the worth the extra cost to you. In a sense, it's like owning an exotic car; you can't drive it legally faster than an everyday car, but maybe it just feels better.
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    With custom drums there isn't necessarily a better sound (although I've heard some pretty good custom drums!). Custom drums are unique and the buyer can choose they way he/she likes it. That includes the sizes of the drums, how many of the drums, and the finish. in the end the set becomes unique for you and it is unlikely there will be an identical set anywhere else.

    It costs a bit more money but it's worth it if you want to be unique One of the reasons why you will see drummers with more well known brands is because those companies are big enough to offer an endorsement for the drummer.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    Quote Originally Posted by vanillamayor View Post
    If I were to buy a custom drumkit from DW drums, how much should I expect to spend? Also, I've noticed that most of the bigger drummers tend to stick to Pearl, Ludwig, and such brands, despite the fact that they do not build custom drums. Why is that? Is there something wrong with custom drumkits? What are the pros and cons of ordering custom drumkits? Would you recommend buying a custom drumkit?

    I'm quite a new drummer, and I know there's no way I'm gonna have enough money for this sort of thing, but I just want to know. Also, how does getting them work? Do you just got to your local drum superstore and have them order it for you?
    first, i'd like to say welcome to drumchat and thanks for joining up to the best place on earth.

    lotta questions, lotta good questions here. as somewhat of a drum builder, lemme try to answer these the best i can. DW drums, they are a humungous name in custom drums, so they do charge more. they do some fantastic work, although they don't do a number of things other companies do but they sound AMAZING. my guess would be for a 5 piece kit in the reaches of 4000-6000 depending on finish type and sizes you desire.

    most shelf-line kit makers like pearl, ludwig, yamaha, etc have kits they consider so high end it might as well be custom. therefore, they don't see a huge need to expand into the world of custom kits. pearl's masterworks and reference series kits should definitely be considered custom because their design is at the very essence of it. differently configured shells to achieve a certain sound on each one- it's smart thinking and innovation. so i would consider pearl a little bit of both actually.

    the reason pros stick with companies is beyond me. maybe they like the people there, admire their work, or grew up playing their drums it could be anything. i think they are in it to win it, whoever they feel has the sweetest deal for endorsements. nothing is wrong with a custom kit anymore than anything is wrong with a shelfline kit. it's just which direction you wanna go sound and aesthetics wise. it depends on your needs.

    the advantages of custom kits is choosing your wood type/plies/thickness. it can be anything you desire. it is the ultimate display of creation because in every sense of the word it was something you created. it can look any way you want, feel any way you want, and DO any thing you want. the parts used to make custom drumsets are also some of the very best, so you won't be getting some chinese import that has gear issues later on down the line. basically this kit is going to own, and you will love playing it.

    the cons of custom kits. number one is price! the price alone is enough to scare most anyone away, and who could blame them. it's rediculous for what it all costs when it's said and done. the waiting time- this is the part i hate the most, especially if you are having it painted. you have to wait and wait months at a time in some cases before it's ready to play. preparation- you have to do a fair bit of research and planning finding the best prices, figuring out what you are gonna use, and checking your finances and planning around them. it's a lot of effort.

    i would recommend it only if it's what you truly seek and nothing else will do. it's an investment for a life in music that's for sure, and not a beater kit to just sell when you don't use it anymore. depending on what kind of custom kit you are having done(d.i.y. or company made) you can go to the shop in question, or you will have to order through an online site. this is where the planning and pricing of everything comes in handy, but in the end it's never something i regretted that's for sure.

    wait till you have been playing a couple years, then decide is it worth it? i'm sure by then you will already know in your heart the right path.
    Last edited by Russ; 01-12-2010 at 05:06 AM.
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    If you are interested in a custom kit, I would highly reccomend that you do as much research as possible. There are tons of "custom drum companies" out there these days. Some are builders, most are merely assemblers. I'd be willing to bet that 90-95% of the custom drum companies are using the same Keller shells, only a small handfull of them actually build the shells themselves. Some offer some amazing finishes that nobody else has, and some are just wrapping in the same old wraps you can get at 20 different online sites.

    First you need to determine exactly what it is you want in a set. Research what companies can do a finish in the way you want, what companies offer what shell materials and sizes, do they offer a lug style that nobody else has, etc. To me a custom kit should be just that, custom. It needs to have something that no other set has, whether it be the finish or type of wood, style of hardware etc. Assembling a keller shell kit and wrapping it in blue sparkle from Jammin Sam is not custom in my eyes, and not worth a high price tag. If you are going to shell out big bucks, it had better be worth it.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    To me, with custom drums its all about the appearence. Sound is all that matters in drums, and amazing sounds are had from production kits, but if the finish is also important to you and you want something that no one else has then you have to shell out the extra moolah.

    Id love a DW kit, but I cant afford it so I bought a Pdp kit. They are made by DW and have some pretty awesome finishes. I played a DW at GC and it sounded almost exactly like my Pdps, and the finish I have is one I would have picked had I ordered DWs.

    Check whats on the market theres pretty amazing mid ranged kits. Also I doubt youll run into someone with the same kit as you.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    I got my custom kit so I can pick the size and color of each shell. Cost me $4000 for the shells alone on my 6 piece Tama. Another $2000 for the hardware.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Woodney View Post
    Not sure what I can add will really be helpful, but I have looked around and listened to kits from DW, GMS, Spaun and a couple of others. It seems to me the advantage to custom drums lies more in the appearance and exclusivity rather then an obvious improvement in sound. The DW's sound wonderful, but not noticeably better (to me) than the better offerings from the major manufacturers. I recently bought a set of Gretsch Renowns which (again, to me) sounded just as good as the customs I heard. However, even though mine is a "limited edition" finish, it is not unique. In my case, I couldn't justify the extra expense. If you think you would enjoy playing a custom set, configured and finished exactly the way you want it, even a little more than a standard kit, perhaps it is the worth the extra cost to you. In a sense, it's like owning an exotic car; you can't drive it legally faster than an everyday car, but maybe it just feels better.
    Exactly.

    But I will say in my experience, the build quality of 99% of the custom drum companies doesnt come close to that of the big names (Tama, Pearl, Sonor ect).

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    Do your research and just stay far far away from a company called chop shop drums.
    to make a long story shorter, Rikki Rockett was originally a partner with Chop Shop until he found out the other guy was embezzling company funds and having a seperate account directly linked to PayPal and his bank account. He was doing business behind Rikki's back unbeknownst to him , and using Rikki's name as bait. He even sold all of the drums from the NAMM booth one year and skated with all the money.

    anyway , Rikki went looking for drummers that had been scammed and they found at least 20 that had put down deposits averaging $3000 only to be left with nothing.
    The same guy showed up at NAMM and was escorted out by the cops when Rikki and 6 of the victimized drummers confronted him.

    anyway just be aware that 99% of companies are great and deliver as promised but do the research, I'd hate to see anyone else get taken. I dont know about you guys but $3000-4000 is a whole lot of money to lose for me.

    if you want to read the whole story just GIS for chop shop drums and you can find it all over the web. it's pretty interesting

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  11. #11

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    I have a dw and had multiple Tama kits. So far Build quality has NOT been an issue whatsoever with my dw's and I beat the dog crap out of them. I also really do not consider dw that custom in that you can by off of the shelf at your local GC. I can't comment on Spaun, etc as I have not owned them and when I play other kits in GC I can't compare sound quality because my recording studio does not have a twenty foot high ceiling with acoustical tiles and oblique angles on the wall like GC and will not translate to my studio.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Redneck View Post
    Exactly.

    But I will say in my experience, the build quality of 99% of the custom drum companies doesnt come close to that of the big names (Tama, Pearl, Sonor ect).
    all these companies only give you the one sound you can get with their configurations. tama is indeed awesome, and sonor makes their own shells, but custom is superior because you are not limited to any one single design of how your kit sounds and looks when finished. it's limited only to your imagination. build quality? these guys live to make stuff that drops jaws and causes drooling. c&c, spaun, precision, gms- all these guys are both innovative and very skilled at what they do. i've yet to hear back from a dissatisfied customer.
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
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  13. #13

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    Default Re: Is buying a custom drumkit recommended?

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    all these companies only give you the one sound you can get with their configurations. tama is indeed awesome, and sonor makes their own shells, but custom is superior because you are not limited to any one single design of how your kit sounds and looks when finished. it's limited only to your imagination. build quality? these guys live to make stuff that drops jaws and causes drooling. c&c, spaun, precision, gms- all these guys are both innovative and very skilled at what they do. i've yet to hear back from a dissatisfied customer.
    Great post Russ. Makes sense.

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