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Unread 10-06-2011, 02:22 PM   #1
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Build me a drum kit

I'm a bit out of my element here, but I'll ask anyway...

My church is looking to sell their electronic drum set in the immediate future (as in, I have a buyer tonight). We're probably going to have somewhere between $2500 and $3000 to spend on a house drum kit. Given the price range, what cymbals, hardware, snare and shells would you recommend?

Our room seats 400 or so. For a typical service we are running around 150-200 spread all over the room. The worship service is fairly contemporary and drums are typically the limiting factor on volume (as in, everything is turned up to match the drums). Currently our drummers tend to swap kits every week and parts get mixed up/go missing because of it. We're looking to get a kit for the church so we can label all of the parts and have bags/whatever for the parts to go into whenever the kit gets moved from the stage.

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Unread 10-06-2011, 07:07 PM   #2
Arnold Palmers FTW
 
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You don't need to spend that much money to get a really solid kit, but if I was going to attempt to spend the full $3000, this is what I'd do.

DW Performance 4 piece: $1918
Or these Tamas for $600.

Zildjian A Custom pack: $700 (although these can easily be found for $600 on ebay)

PDP Hardware pack: $255


The first set of drums are INCREDIBLE drums. Very high quality. They are the exact same shells as the Collector series, which is the DW set that almost every famous DW player uses. I love those drums. I personally play DW's and could not want anything more.

The Tamas are also some great drums. Not quite as good as the DW's, but if you get a drummer with a good ear to tune them, they will sound astounding. Honestly, the general congregation could probably not tell the difference. Perfect for any style of music. I honestly think I might be getting a set of these Silverstars down the road for a practice kit. Very, very solid drums.

The cymbals are widely accepted as just all around great cymbals. Great for pretty much any application (I've used them for worship, jazz, and pop-punk). It'll be hard to find a better deal for top-of-the-line cymbals. You can go with cheaper cymbals, (Zildjian ZBT, Sabian B8) which aren't terrible, but are generally though of as cheap sounding. To a seasoned drummer, these cymbals compared to high-quality cymbals like the Zildjian A-Customs will sound very, very cheap, but to a congregation, nobody would probably know.

The hardware pack is a bit cheaper, but it covers all of your basics cheaply. I personally don't see having SUPER high quality hardware as a huge need. You would need to get an extra stand for the other crash, but that can be done cheaply. The drummer would also probably want a better bass pedal, as this is a fairly cheap pedal, but on the other hand some people aren't picky in a worship situation (I know I personal am fine with whatever the churches I play at have sitting there).

Hope this helps!

Last edited by jamforchrist123; 10-06-2011 at 07:23 PM.
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Unread 10-06-2011, 11:42 PM   #3
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Definitely helpful. I hadn't thought about the DW Performance line. I'm not sure what we're going to end up going with. I told our main drummer (probably plays 50-75% of services) that I would have the cash, and he's supposed to be putting some thoughts together on what to get, but I don't know where he is on that.

That being , I've seen thinking A Customs since we first started going through this process over a year ago. One of our drummers says that they're prone to cracking. Have you heard anything about this? Any truth to it?
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Unread 10-07-2011, 05:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
Definitely helpful. I hadn't thought about the DW Performance line. I'm not sure what we're going to end up going with. I told our main drummer (probably plays 50-75% of services) that I would have the cash, and he's supposed to be putting some thoughts together on what to get, but I don't know where he is on that.

That being , I've seen thinking A Customs since we first started going through this process over a year ago. One of our drummers says that they're prone to cracking. Have you heard anything about this? Any truth to it?
There are some negative views towards the Performance line, mostly from DW "purists" that hate to see DW making anything but custom drums. Most people that are rational realize that they are the exact some woods, just with smaller lugs and a few other differences, but the biggest thing is the sound is almost exactly the same.

I'd say A Customs are just as prone to cracking as any cymbal that exists is. If you wack the crap out of a cymbal, it'll eventually break. Some people don't mind this if they can easily afford new ones, but I sure as heck can't. The biggest thing you can do is to make sure that you realize that cymbals are freaking loud anyway and you don't have to hit them any harder than you hit everything else. Also, hitting them at a slight angle helps a ton too.

So I guess to straight up answer your question, I would say they are not prone to cracking. They are only prone to cracking when treated poorly.
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Unread 10-07-2011, 08:57 AM   #5
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Yeah...in my experience, A Customs have been louder than most of the cymbals I've heard on the market. My hope is with a cymbal of that caliber our drummers will realize that you don't have to kill it to get volume or to hit that tonal sweet spot.

BTW, sold the V-drums last night...there's $2800 sitting in a jar around here...
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Unread 10-07-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
Yeah...in my experience, A Customs have been louder than most of the cymbals I've heard on the market. My hope is with a cymbal of that caliber our drummers will realize that you don't have to kill it to get volume or to hit that tonal sweet spot.

BTW, sold the V-drums last night...there's $2800 sitting in a jar around here...
I personally haven't noticed them being any louder than any other cymbals, for sure quieter than my old Sabian B8's. But I agree, I find myself really not hitting hard at all, especially on the crashes and they never have trouble being heard!

Congrats on the money! Good luck with the drums. PM if you have any other questions on where to find cheap stuff or anything. I just spend the entire summer researching every single possible aspect of a drumset and invested around $3500 in a kit at the end, so I'm still pretty fresh in the drum-purchasing world
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Unread 10-07-2011, 10:34 PM   #7
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Haha...there's a couple maple kits locally that we might look into. One is a Gretsch Renown. I can't remember the other stuff. I don't play the drums, but I'm a CL master so I was tasked with selling the Roland.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 11:51 PM   #8
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Are you familiar with the Pearl Session Custom line at all? There's a local set for $875 featuring kick, 10, 12 and 14" toms, snare and a line up of Zildjian Ks (hats, crash, ride and splash).
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Unread 10-10-2011, 02:19 AM   #9
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I'm not overly familiar but that can't be a bad deal, especially with those cymbals. Those are some NICE cymbals. If I had a computer I'd do some research but alas my hard drive took a dump.
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Unread 10-10-2011, 09:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamforchrist123 View Post
I'm not overly familiar but that can't be a bad deal, especially with those cymbals. Those are some NICE cymbals. If I had a computer I'd do some research but alas my hard drive took a dump.
Bummer...the small amount of research I was able to do made them sound pretty good. A lot of guys were talking about paying $1000-$1500 for just the shells.

My biggest concern was the lack of a 16 or 18" floor.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 02:25 AM   #11
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So we pulled the trigger on something tonight. We were planning on going to Guitar Center but stopped at a local shop called San Diego Drum Shop. About $2000 later we walked out with the following

Gretsch Catalina Maple 5pc (10, 12, 16, 22" kick and 14"x6 or 6.5" snare)
DW5000 kick
Gibraltar hat stand
Gibraltar cymbal stands (3) and snare stand
Remo Powerstroke Pro head
KickPort (for "Obese" tone...)

Now...this is where it got interesting for us...
This store carries Zildjian, Sabian, Istanbul and Stagg cymbals. Now, as far as I was concerned going in, Stagg was a manufacturer of low end guitar and bass equipment. I figured their cymbals would be the equivalent to what Fender throws on the Squier drum sets. The night, we found out, would feature a visit from the Stagg representative who would talk about their various cymbal lines. I expected it to be some boring sales guy who would pitch us on why Stagg was the best and do a bunch of other cheesy stuff.

Instead, the person who spoke (accompanied by a sales rep who was actually pretty cool) was Dan Barker, President of EMD Music, the company that owns Stagg and REMO. Dan is a long-time player in the cymbal industry having worked as a QA Manager at Zildjian and President/CEO of Sabian prior to this stint at Stagg. He told some great stories and spoke of Avedis Zildjian and his sons Armand and Robert (founder of Zildjian). I believe he said he also knew Kerope Zildjian (of K. Zildjian cymbals back in the day).

As a person who was a former Quality Assurance guy and a cymbal industry insider, Dan shared some really great stories about the industry and different "secret formulas" he had heard about, of course calling it all rubbish. Now, I don't know much about cymbals, but right from the get go he had a bunch of cymbals set up in the room we were in and would occasionally hit one here or there. One of the cymbals he hit particularly caught my drummer's ear. It was a 16" thin crash from Stagg's "Classic Series". My drummer was stuck on that sound for the rest of the night. While we didn't come in thinking about Stagg cymbals before Dan spoke, he was definitely hooked on them afterwards.

So we ended up picking up 14" hats, 16" and 18" crashes and a 20" ride from Stagg's Classic Series (I think they were all Classics...). IIRC, the salesman said that these cymbals were probably most closely comparable to Zildjian's K series in terms of overall tonality. We picked these up for a little over $300 less than what Zildjian Ks would have cost us.

Unfortunately the cymbals won't arrive until sometime next week as the shop didn't have any in stock, but I'm definitely stoked that we found this shop and we both definitely feel like we worked out a good deal with a shop that didn't just see us as another wallet to empty.
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