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Thread: Tips for drum shopping?

  1. #1

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    Default Tips for drum shopping?

    Okay, so after fooling with my kit and changing out the snare head, I finally succumbed to the idea that there is no hope for my kit and I just need to get a new one. (for more info on that subject: http://www.drumchat.com/showthread.p...923#post575923)

    So I found a used store that I didn't realize was there when I originally bought my drums. Hopefully I can get a chance to go look soon, but I was wondering if there were things I need to look for or avoid. I know I need to find something with a sound I like, but what else? I made a stupid rookie mistake the first time I bought drums, and although Jason is pretty understanding about it this time I don't think I'll get a third chance.

    BTW, this is the sound I am looking for

    Last edited by BlueSky; 01-14-2014 at 05:37 PM.
    "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
    -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 1976

  2. #2

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    Examine all the different Tom mounting systems, virgin kick issues, FT: legs vs hanging; kick hoop types: metal/plastic vs wood and Tom hoops: die cast vs flanged 2.3 mm vs "normal." Wood shell choices usually go hand in hand with kit prices.
    These seem like minor, nit-picky things but forum members have actually regretted kit purchases based on some of these issues. When you're a newbie kit buyer these things are usually overlooked, colors and finishes being bigger influences.
    So do your homework and good luck!
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
    The Almighty Speed King pedal, Speed Cobra, Sonor Single

    http://www.screaminmelinas.com
    http://www.facebook.com/DerailedRockers/

  3. #3

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    Look at the heads; both condition, age and style. Beat up up heads can really add up in price if they need replaced....especially if all the batter AND reso heads need replaced. That can cost as much or more as the original purchase price. Beat up, dented and trashed heads are also a good indicator that the drums were not properly taken care of. The most important things to look for would be damaged bearing edges, out of round shells and separating shell plies. Unfortunately, those issue are very hard if not impossible to identify on a used kit unless you can pull the heads off to inspect. However, if the kit looks like its been well taken care of and sounds good, odds are the shells are in hood shape.
    Lastly, PATIENCE is your best friend. If you're willing to wait for it, eventually you WILL find a nice set at a price you can afford. Try to to avoid settling for something that doesn't meet your standards just because the price is cheap or you can't find anything better. Remember, you already have a set, so you can afford to hold out for the right one to come along.
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  4. #4

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    BlueSky, is there anyone that has any experience with drums that can go with you? If so, it would serve you well in 2 ways: 1) you'll get good advice on what to consider, and 2) another person can help you when you start thinking emotionally about the kit - and we all do it, just like when we buy cars.

    Also, don't be afraid to ask them to take off the heads, so that you can inspect the bearing edges. You never know why a used kit might have been traded in, so be prepared to inspect the kit.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  5. #5

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    You don't have any tape on your drum heads.

    Before you spend a lot of money -

    "Sound Of Madness" sounds to me like a lot of tom and bass drums struck together, heads dampened for more "thud" and with some reverb. Have you tried dampening your drum heads with a towel, pillow or duct tape? Try taping a piece of cardboard to your bass drum batter head, listen to the sound.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    These seem like minor, nit-picky things but forum members have actually regretted kit purchases based on some of these issues. When you're a newbie kit buyer these things are usually overlooked, colors and finishes being bigger influences.
    So do your homework and good luck!
    Size was my main concern the first time around, but had I been able to buy a larger kit, I totally would have went with something sparkly. Now I'm just looking for something that is good quality...and sparkly.

    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    Lastly, PATIENCE is your best friend. If you're willing to wait for it, eventually you WILL find a nice set at a price you can afford. Try to to avoid settling for something that doesn't meet your standards just because the price is cheap or you can't find anything better. Remember, you already have a set, so you can afford to hold out for the right one to come along.
    I haven't really played in a couple of months, so waiting for the right deal (hopefully) won't be too tough. Plus, this is probably going to be one of those tax return purchases, and Jason needs a car first...

    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    BlueSky, is there anyone that has any experience with drums that can go with you? If so, it would serve you well in 2 ways: 1) you'll get good advice on what to consider, and 2) another person can help you when you start thinking emotionally about the kit - and we all do it, just like when we buy cars.
    I wish there was. I just don't know any drummers around here. I am supposed to go see a local band Friday night and the guys have told me to be sure and introduce myself. (They followed me on twitter and we've been "talking" since then). If I get up the nerve maybe I can talk to the drummer and ask him where he buys his gear and what he might suggest.

    Quote Originally Posted by 8beat View Post
    You don't have any tape on your drum heads.

    Before you spend a lot of money -

    "Sound Of Madness" sounds to me like a lot of tom and bass drums struck together, heads dampened for more "thud" and with some reverb. Have you tried dampening your drum heads with a towel, pillow or duct tape? Try taping a piece of cardboard to your bass drum batter head, listen to the sound.
    Tried pretty much everything. The picture from the other thread is the one I put on CL, so I took off the tape and moon gels, etc. The thing is just poorly designed, and without expert knowledge its never going to sound the way I want it to...especially with the toms only having the batter head.

    Thanks for all the advice, guys...and please keep it coming!
    "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
    -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 1976

  7. #7

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    Blue, don't be afraid to go talk to the drummer. You've been playing long enough to know drummers love to talk shop.

  8. #8

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    "If I get up the nerve maybe I can talk to the drummer and ask him where he buys his gear and what he might suggest."
    As Marko suggested, talk to the drummer and maybe ask to play his drums, then take a good, hard look at his kit- how it's put together, how to make adjustments, etc.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
    The Almighty Speed King pedal, Speed Cobra, Sonor Single

    http://www.screaminmelinas.com
    http://www.facebook.com/DerailedRockers/

  9. #9

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    I wish there was. I just don't know any drummers around here.
    Gosh, Don't tempt me. I could use a trip to Florida right about now!

    all the best...

  10. #10

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    Kay-gee I could use a trip to the Bahamas. lol I'm really not an outgoing person but when I get a chance to talk to other drummers I go for it. Drummers love to talk about drumming and are very helpful to pass knowledge along .I just went for it and got to get an autograph from Willie Wilcox from America. So go for it and do research on different drum brands and watch a lot of videos you'll hear something you like.

  11. #11

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    BlueSky, the drums on that video are processed out the hooha so don't be skewed by what you hear on a recording. I can take the raw tracks on a kit and post process it to sound like multiple different kits very easily and if you were to stand in the room of the actual kit being played you would be shocked. It can be very tough to get the sound you here on recording in a room live some times due to the acoustic "tricks" that are done to the ear like bass guitar ducking triggered by the slap of the kick drum in post processing.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
    Blue, don't be afraid to go talk to the drummer. You've been playing long enough to know drummers love to talk shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    "If I get up the nerve maybe I can talk to the drummer and ask him where he buys his gear and what he might suggest."
    As Marko suggested, talk to the drummer and maybe ask to play his drums, then take a good, hard look at his kit- how it's put together, how to make adjustments, etc.
    You would think that after my encounter with the drummer from Open Air Stereo, I wouldn't have any problem talking to other drummers. I even talked with the drummer from Saving Abel after their show...so talking to this guy should be par for the course by now. I really don't know why I'm hesitant...

    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Gosh, Don't tempt me. I could use a trip to Florida right about now!

    all the best...
    I bet its a lot warmer where you are Kay-gee. Of course, some of our northern brothers and sisters would laugh that I think its cold here. I'll come visit you if you come visit me!

    Quote Originally Posted by dabdrums View Post
    Kay-gee I could use a trip to the Bahamas. lol I'm really not an outgoing person but when I get a chance to talk to other drummers I go for it. Drummers love to talk about drumming and are very helpful to pass knowledge along .I just went for it and got to get an autograph from Willie Wilcox from America.
    see above...love getting those autographs.

    Quote Originally Posted by nucjd View Post
    BlueSky, the drums on that video are processed out the hooha so don't be skewed by what you hear on a recording.
    I know anything I hear is processed...I was just trying to give you guys a vague idea of what kind of sound I was looking for. I did learn some words today from the guy at the drum store that helps, but that will have to be explained another time...I have to be at work in about 6 hours.
    "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
    -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 1976

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSky View Post


    I wish there was. I just don't know any drummers around here. I am supposed to go see a local band Friday night and the guys have told me to be sure and introduce myself. (They followed me on twitter and we've been "talking" since then). If I get up the nerve maybe I can talk to the drummer and ask him where he buys his gear and what he might suggest.


    People love to talk about themselves and their stuff. If you ask, he will talk. It's human nature.
    "The chances of being attacked and killed by a terrorist are less than the chances of being attacked and killed by your own heart"
    Carrying the message to Garcia. Today and everyday.
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  14. #14

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    As mentioned earlier, I went to a used music store yesterday and played around with a few sets. I don't know many drumming terms, and I don't know any drummers around here that can help out. From what the guy at the shop said, The sound I like is "dry", and not "bright". I also found out that I don't think I like metal snares. The set that I actually liked the best were Pearl Exports, but the snare was terrible. Of course, the DWs set up out front sounded amazing, but out of the price range!

    I did find a set of Mapex V (does the V mean Venus?) for $250 with hardware. Guy had them for 6 months, has another set he prefers.

    And I saw a posting for an e-kit, but I just don't know. I love the idea of volume control, especially living in a small house with small children. I would probably get more time to play. And there would be no question of them fitting in the space I have. But there is just something about an e-kit that just doesn't seem like "real" drums to me. I don't know if I would regret buying an e-kit instead of an acoustic... and my pretty Zildjians would just be sitting in their case....Then again, I don't know how I would feel if I wanted to go play at 8 o'clock at night, and could have if I had only bought an e-kit.

    I thought drum shopping was going to be fun...now I'm more frustrated than when I started. I thought I could go into a shop and play a few kits and figure out what I liked...not so much.
    "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
    -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 1976

  15. #15

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    Have you checked out E-Bay yet? There are a ton of awesome deals going on as we speak. Don't be afraid of buying something sight unseen. If you ask the right questions, and request more pictures if needed, there should be no issues. Most people treat drum gear like fine furniture. It's very rare when you come across a set that has been trashed. And even if you do it's usually readily apparent. There are way better deals on the bay than on the list depending on where you live. I've been buying and selling on E-Bay for over 15 years with one bad transaction in all that time. In fact, 85% of my drumming gear has been purchased on E-Bay. Check it out. BTW, what is your budget?
    Last edited by wolvie56; 01-16-2014 at 11:28 AM.
    Custom Classic Pro Maple 6
    8",10",12",13" Mounted Toms
    (2)14",16" Floor Toms
    22" x 18" Kick
    6",8",10" Roto Toms
    14" x 6.5" Mapex Black Panther Snare
    13" x 3" Pearl Piccolo Snare
    Sabian: 13" Paragon Hats
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    22" Paragon Ride
    (2) 16" Paragon Crashes
    20" Paragon Crash
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    Tambourine
    Cowbell
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  16. #16

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    Are electronic drums too fragile to be in a house with little kids?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by 8beat View Post
    Are electronic drums too fragile to be in a house with little kids?
    Depends on what you mean. If you mean that the kids are taking sledge hammers and chainsaws to them, any drums are going to be too fragile.

    If you think about it, what do you do to drums? Hit them! I think they can take a little abuse.
    Stolen from EddieV:
    Boom, ching, boom boom ching, fuggadugga fuggadugga fuggadugga crash. Rinse, Repeat ad-nauseum.

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Come on Mark. You steal copy. Just look at your signature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    Nothing says 'tough' like a drummer with ducklings on his drums. Ha!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Markadiddle View Post
    Depends on what you mean. If you mean that the kids are taking sledge hammers and chainsaws to them, any drums are going to be too fragile.

    If you think about it, what do you do to drums? Hit them! I think they can take a little abuse.
    While I mostly agree with that, I must disagree to an extent. Drums are designed to be hit with a blunt object, in a certain area, and in a controlled manner. There are plenty of things kids could do to snare wires for instance. And there's also the possibility of knocking over a cymbal stand if it's not balanced well enough.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheznug View Post
    While I mostly agree with that, I must disagree to an extent. Drums are designed to be hit with a blunt object, in a certain area, and in a controlled manner. There are plenty of things kids could do to snare wires for instance. And there's also the possibility of knocking over a cymbal stand if it's not balanced well enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Markadiddle View Post
    I think they can take a little abuse.
    Thus my key words.... a little.
    Stolen from EddieV:
    Boom, ching, boom boom ching, fuggadugga fuggadugga fuggadugga crash. Rinse, Repeat ad-nauseum.

    Quote Originally Posted by drummer View Post
    Come on Mark. You steal copy. Just look at your signature.
    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    Nothing says 'tough' like a drummer with ducklings on his drums. Ha!

  20. #20

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    Okay, so looking at the kits on CL, I have a couple of new questions...

    Since I chose poorly the first time, I want to make sure this kit will last. I don't see myself ever in a band, so these are just for my enjoyment and therapy. That being said, I don't really want the low-end of the line, but certainly not top range either!

    So can somebody please list for me from top end to low end the range of the Tama line? It seems to be pretty popular around here.

    For some reason my heart is drawn to Gretsch, but those are few and far between...what is the line in those?

    And how are PDP's...I know they are a cousin of DW, but that's all I know.

    I've seen some 4pc sets, how often is that second small tom used? (Even though I've been here awhile, my drumming journey has had some stutters...I am still an absolute newbie.)

    And I see a lot of "jazz kits" or "bop" kits...what are those?

    Thanks ya'll.
    Last edited by BlueSky; 01-18-2014 at 10:16 AM. Reason: More questions
    "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
    -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 1976

  21. #21

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    Blue sky ...baby....answer is simple,,,buy an ekit
    if yer only playin @ home & for yer own amusement ,,,that way...
    Ekit,,,you may invest,,,but,,,cost=options you've got it all
    put on headphones & knock yerself out,,,,get wif a band,,,eventually,,,,
    splurge abit & upgrade to da speaker options to add to pa /monitor options...dr phrogge is here for yer therapy needs sista...
    Ever sell yer rhythm traveller...if not,,,,,,ya know who to call.....
    "FEEL DA GROOVE & PLAY IT FORWARD..."

    "BEAUTY IS IN THE EARS OF THE BEHOLDER ,
    ENJOY IT ALL,,, MY BROTHERS & SISTERS"

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    "PHX AZ LEGEND OF DA ZYDECO TIE"
    (AND OTHER TOYZ)

  22. #22

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    Sorta read through what has happened and even though it seems like you may have not made the best decision on your first drum buy, IMHO I think that you really may be over thinking this.

    With ebay, online sellers, etc.........it doesn't really matter where you are, what your budget is, what your space requirements are...............it really isn't too difficult to find a quality kit at a good price point.

    Just define what you want........get it.

    It really is that simple.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Sorta read through what has happened and even though it seems like you may have not made the best decision on your first drum buy, IMHO I think that you really may be over thinking this.

    With ebay, online sellers, etc.........it doesn't really matter where you are, what your budget is, what your space requirements are...............it really isn't too difficult to find a quality kit at a good price point.

    Just define what you want........get it.

    It really is that simple.
    This.
    Custom Classic Pro Maple 6
    8",10",12",13" Mounted Toms
    (2)14",16" Floor Toms
    22" x 18" Kick
    6",8",10" Roto Toms
    14" x 6.5" Mapex Black Panther Snare
    13" x 3" Pearl Piccolo Snare
    Sabian: 13" Paragon Hats
    14" HH X Hats
    22" Paragon Ride
    (2) 16" Paragon Crashes
    20" Paragon Crash
    18" Paragon Crash
    20" Paragon Small Flange China
    19" Paragon China
    Wuhan:20"with gingles
    8",10" Splash
    Roc N Soc Lunar
    DW 8002B Pedals
    Tambourine
    Cowbell
    Sabian Squad






    C C Militia

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    ..........it really isn't too difficult to find a quality kit at a good price point.

    Just define what you want......

    It really is that simple.
    Problem is, I don't know what a good quality kit is. Once I figure that out I can figure out the price thing.

    I don't know how to define what I want, and with so few stores around here**, trying to figure out what kit may have the soundI like is the biggest problem. Once I figure that part out, combined with the quality issue, then it will be easy.

    The sound issue I have to figure out for myself...the quality issue is where you guys come in. I can read reviews online until my eyes cross, but I don't know who is writing them. You guys I can trust.

    **Since I've started playing, I've had the opportunity to play on maybe 8 kits...3 of them were Pearl Exports, 1 was a Pearl Forum, one was my 2nd teacher's Gretsch Customs, and one of them the DWs ($3000) at the shop this week. Now, if I wanted to play guitar, I'd have no trouble finding one of those.
    "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
    -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 1976

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Tips for drum shopping?

    Listen to music find the sounds you like and find out what kits they are playing. High end is in the eye of the beholder. Every drum company has a high end line and your going to be splitting hairs to really tell them apart. It's sounds like you played to higher end kits the Gretsch customs and the dw's what did you think of those ? Exports are great kits for the $ but are not high end at all.

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