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Thread: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

  1. #1

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    Default Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    Some of today's drum values are remarkable.

    I bought a used Ludwig pro-line maple set in 1973 for $700 cash -- it was an 8-piece with two bass drums............also included were the hats and 3 cymbals with the necessary hardware (including two Speed Kings).
    At that time (almost 41 years ago) I thought this was a good deal......and it was. And believe me -- saving $700 cash in 1973 was no small task.........I think my monthly car payment (for a cool used '67 Mustang) that same year was $39..........how could my drums cost 18 car payments ?????

    In 1977, I traded in that Ludwig set and added enough cash for two more used Ludwig sets when I special-ordered my Gretsch USA Customs...........I still have that kit............still play them...........still love them........will never part with them.

    And even though today you will still pay quite a bit of money to get Ludwig Legacy or Classic Maples..............and you will pay out the nose to order new USA Customs............but you can also find quality drums shells for much less money these days.

    For example :
    Gretsch Maple-Cats.............I got a flyer in the mail this week.........a 4-piece shell pack for less than $800. Not the best drum out there at all; a mid-level kit for sure...........but in 2014, that is a deal. Or how about a Mapex Meridian 5-piece for less than $850 ???
    My USA Custom 18" floor tom MSRP today is $2060.99.............but nobody pays that much...........just making a point.

    Another example :
    Tama Starclassic B/B snare drum or a DW Performance steel snare drum.........either is less than $300.

    In addition, we often see people on this board knocking down some incredible steals from CL or maybe a pawn shop or some used gear elsewhere.

    My entire premise is this...............due to the entry of modern Asian manufacturing, drum shells are being produced for much less comparable cost than in previous years..............today's young drummer can get some awesome deals with just a bit of patient searching. The markets for some of the American made shells are also being affected with stable prices.

    Drums may not be a great investment resource, but you can certainly find competent products out there with terrific value.

    I find it exciting and impressive.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  2. #2

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    Default Re: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    Maybe ya'll have learned to read my mind. Thanks, Ricardo. I needed this today. Drum shopping hasn't been much fun.
    "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
    -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 1976

  3. #3

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    I would agree mid level kits are the best quality and bang for the buck now. But the high end stuff is still very pricy even if it is from Asia or America.

  4. #4

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    I have a Yamaha Maple Custom, been looking for other shells to add on. I found the exact same kit I have in a 5 piece for sale still going for $4-5k

    I'm extremely shocked on how well it's held it's value.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    Quote Originally Posted by drmpunk View Post
    I would agree mid level kits are the best quality and bang for the buck now. But the high end stuff is still very pricy even if it is from Asia or America.
    As it should be............

    But if you want to take a decent mid-level kit and gig with it, you can do that these days.
    I have a Ludwig Epic birch/maple shell pack with top quality heads that sounds awesome in a good (not high-end) PA and outboard reverb unit.

    I prefer to gig with my USA kit but, if all I had was the Epics, I could definitely still sound good for a fraction of the money.

    I'm old so I remember when that was not possible.

    As for BlueSky.............hang in there...........it will be realized at some point.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  6. #6

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    Default Re: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSky View Post
    Maybe ya'll have learned to read my mind. Thanks, Ricardo. I needed this today. Drum shopping hasn't been much fun.
    Why not?

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    its just knowing what to get and get 'em before they are desired.
    Sabian!!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by porkpieguy View Post
    Why not?
    See this thread: http://www.drumchat.com/showthread.p...ing-30560.html

    And this one: http://www.drumchat.com/showthread.p...7.html?t=30567
    "Well-behaved women rarely make history."
    -Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 1976

  9. #9

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    Interesting topic. It is true that there are great values out there to be had. I just picked up a 6pc Meridian Black for $625. Not long ago I picked up a 3pc M Birch shell pack for $300.

    If you're in the market for drums, good deals ain't hard to find. Drum shopping is easy.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    Prices for top-end instruments (calculating for inflation over the time you mentioned - 40+ years) has resulted in an actual decrease in 2014 dollars for top-drawer instruments of most types. However, almost NEVER will a new instrument purchase be an investment. They. Will almost certainly result in substantial depreciation. If you want to break even, get a great deal on used. You may have.
    Steve
    "When I can match Buddy Rich, lick for lick, I will get a rack."
    Ludwig Super Classic

  11. #11

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    Go for mid level kit gretsch cats are a deal. And if we played violin they are an instrument that increase in value over time, if you have a high end one. But then we wouldn't be here talking drums, which is the best instrument of them all.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by inthpktplayer View Post
    Interesting topic. It is true that there are great values out there to be had. I just picked up a 6pc Meridian Black for $625.
    Bingo !
    That is a deal...............
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  13. #13

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    Side question for Ricardo. When you bought your Gretsch set, were they designated as custom? I don't recall that term when I bought Gretsch in 83. They were just simply Gretsch drums. Never expected them to be made anywhere but USA. I suppose they were custom in the sense that I ordered the finish (nat maple) and the sizes of shells I wanted. This was before Catalinas and Renowns etc...etc...at least I hadn't heard of those at that time.

    all the best...

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    Quote Originally Posted by kay-gee View Post
    Side question for Ricardo. When you bought your Gretsch set, were they designated as custom? I don't recall that term when I bought Gretsch in 83. They were just simply Gretsch drums. Never expected them to be made anywhere but USA. I suppose they were custom in the sense that I ordered the finish (nat maple) and the sizes of shells I wanted. This was before Catalinas and Renowns etc...etc...at least I hadn't heard of those at that time.

    all the best...
    Custom, yes..............and I knew they were to be finished in Booneville, Arkansas. Back in that time, when you got Ludwigs, Slingerlands, Rogers and Gretsch they all had their drums for sale as configurations or sets. Some makers also had "student" snares and basses or symphonic instruments.
    I remember looking at the Gretsch catalog (which I still have) and the top-line USA shells at that time were offered as "GRETSCH PROFESSIONAL CUSTOM DRUMS". They also offered "standard" snare drums and timbales. The PRO line was offered as individual custom-ordered drums and you could design your own kit.

    I custom-ordered my shells in February, 1977 and they were delivered in August of '77. Exactly like the USA Custom shells for many, many subsequent years, they have the classic Jasper sugar maple shells with the silver interiors and orange-and-white serial number stickers, and, of course, the famous cast hoops and the most beautiful lugs known to the drum industry.
    This August I will have owned these drums for 37 years..............I gig with them regularly and they sound better with age.
    This photo gives you a good idea............




    We didn't see all the different lines that we see today, as you mentioned
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


  15. #15

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    Default Re: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    Drums, for most of us, are toys. Toys are things which transform a pile of money, into a smaller pile of money. Unless you are gigging. In which case, drums promote cash flow.
    "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.
    Temple Beth Snare Buzz-Head Rabbi

  16. #16

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    Great thread Ricardo and I agree on all points. And to your point, the most fun I've had in quite some time was 'hunting' for my used Gretsch Renown maples. The looking, searching, and scouring of ads, to me, was the fun part. I ended up getting close to $4K worth of gear, including a 6 piece like-new Renown kit, for $1500. Deals are out there.

    Tex

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Economics - Drum Value - Investment

    Quote Originally Posted by Texdrumr View Post
    I ended up getting close to $4K worth of gear, including a 6 piece like-new Renown kit, for $1500. Deals are out there.
    Good for you, Tex.
    That is an excellent example of value.
    Those shells will last longer than both of us and sound great too.
    Gretsch USA & Zildjian
    (What Else Would I Ever Need ?)


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