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What set should I buy?

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#1
lrod1707

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Hello all,

I am in the market for new set, not used. I am down to 3 possible choices but I am really confused as to which one I should buy. My checklist was: 7 piece shell pack, Maple or Birch, price tag $1200 or less (I can up this some more if need be.) 

I have heard and seen countless videos with reviews for these 3 sets (and everything else that's out there) and love all 3 but I just don't know which one to pick.

 

1. Ludwig Evolution Maple (Great sound that to my ear almost matches the US made classic maples. They are made using North American maple. Included heads are real Remo heads. Big fat toms! Little marketing and reviews on this set. Warranty is OK, 3 years.) 

2. Pearl Decade Maple (Sounds pretty good, they are made with Asian Maple, chinese made Remo heads, super warranty, Lifetime!)

3. Yamaha Stage Custom (Great birch sound, crappy factory heads & crappy thin hoops, good warranty, 5 years. In order to make them what I want, I would need to invest in all new heads and all new s-hoops.)

 

I'm not really interested in other brands. I have played and heard DW, Tama, Gretsch & Mapex and I don't like any of them.

 

Let me know what you think, your experience and recommendations.

 

Thanks,

LRod


Edited by lrod1707, 12 August 2018 - 03:27 PM.

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#2
TheMattJones88

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Have you thought about buying a higher end set from any of those companies used? You can get a lot of drum set for $1200 if you look used. 


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#3
lrod1707

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I know I can get something used but I really don't like buying used. Just a preference thing I guess. I'd rather go a notch down in series but buy it new. Thanks for the suggestion. I have edited my post to reflect that I am looking for a new set. I should have indicated that in the initial post.


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#4
shuffle

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Ive said it many of times,those Stage Customs are great giggi g drums,played my 12,14,20 for both gigs this wknd and no need to tune or anything.
The hoops are no big deal to me,they keep in tune and the YESS mount work wonderful,the tone is to die for. Punchy,projection! Biggest bang for the bucks!

Edited by shuffle, 12 August 2018 - 03:34 PM.

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#5
lrod1707

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Yep The stage customs seem like a good bet. But regardless I would definitely upgrade the hoops. I went to see them at a store and they felt flimsy like something off of a toy drumset. They do have great sound and the rest of the build quality seems great. Tough to choose something out of 3 possibilities :-( I don't want to buy one and then feel regret that I didn't get the other.


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#6
DWSlingerland45

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If you're not sure you want to pony up the cash for the upgraded hoops for the Yamaha, have you looked into a PDP Concept maple or birch kit? They're very well built. I have a 5 pc 8/10/12/14/20 that I have about 600 dollars in. They also have add on drums at very reasonable prices....
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#7
Tigerdrummer

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I'm playing birch stage customs but I'm a newbie who doesnt gig. They are nice drums.  I have access to Oak Customs and  some even older Yamaha Turbo Tours.  Still prefer the birch foir looks and sound


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#8
lrod1707

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Yes I have checked out the PDP's as well. Like I previously posted, I am down to the 3 that I listed. It's definitely gonna be one of those 3. If I keep looking, comparing and adding to the list, I'm gonna go nuts. 


Edited by lrod1707, 12 August 2018 - 04:01 PM.

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#9
DWSlingerland45

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Yes I have checked out the PDP's as well. Like I previously posted, I am down to the 3 that I listed. It's definitely gonna be one of those 3. If I keep looking, comparing and adding to the list, I'm gonna go nuts.


Ha ha! I completely understand. If these are the three I'd say get the Yamahas and upgrade the hoops.
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#10
spctomlin

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Have you ever heard the new Stage Customs with heavier hoops? There’s always the chance you won’t like it as much as how they sound with the factory hoops. Better heads will surely kick them up a notch, but it could go either way with a hoop swap. Some people think lighter hoops sound better.
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#11
lrod1707

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Good point! I didn't think of that. I did not think of the sound change. My issue with the hoops was that they feel flimsy and cheap but I would have to hear them with a hoop change. They do sound good stock. Another issue I don't think I posted with the Yamaha is that the snare doesn't sound that great. Maybe with a head change it would sound better. 

So far I hear a lot of support for the Yamahas. I thought somebody would chime in on the Ludwig's. They sound amazing! The North American maple gives them a deep and fat sound. The Pearl's don't sound nearly as fat. I guess I will keep hearing opinions!


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#12
drummerjohn333

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I would go with the Ludwigs. They are American made and while not vintage - I would predict they would keep very well resale value should you ever decide to sell. 

Meanwhile, seems that I hear alot of people raving about new Ludwigs - especially their higher end models. You already like how they sound, and we all read alot about modern Ludwig hardware - that they don't seem to skimp on. Of course higher end Luddys are always beautiful.


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#13
Gunnellett

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I say go with the Ludwigs for the following reasons:
- I'm guessing you like how they sound the best and that probably trumps just about everything (except for maybe feel)
- American made
- As already mentioned, they will probably retain value down the road better.
- You do not need to do anything to them once you put down your hard earned cash. Just set up and enjoy.

The only thing that would cause me pause, for any set, would be even if they sound great, they don't play great. What I mean is do they feel comfortable to you like an old pair of blue jeans? Do your sticks have the type of rebound off the heads you like, etc? Most of this can depend on sizes, positioning of the drums, head choices, etc. But one set probably feels better right off and brings a smile to your face as soon as you start playing.
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#14
gbow

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The used market is saturated with Stage custom kits. Does that make the resale value of those drums less than the others? I don't know, but I do know there are a lot of used stage custom kits and the prices are very low. They are great drums for the price, but maybe that's just for the price of the used kits. 

 

gabo


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#15
CherryClassic

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Well, I'm a Ludwig Classic type person so my first response would be Ludwig.  Not knowing much about the lower priced drums I'm hesitant to say anything.  But I try not to think about it that way but looking at your first post you are using words like Great Sound, North American Maple, Real Remo Heads and Big Fat Toms.  Plus you didn't mention replacing anything.  It seems to have everything you want.

 

Gunnellett has a good point I never thought about.  Have you had a chance to actually play or even tune then to your liking.  Listen to the lingering tone from a stick strike.

 

sherm


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#16
Rich K.

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I don't think they're American made, but the evolution maples do use N. American maples shells and they are really nicely constructed.
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#17
DanRH

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Have you thought about buying a higher end set from any of those companies used? You can get a lot of drum set for $1200 if you look used.

Huge plus one on this. I’ve had well over 100 kits in my lifetime and well...seems like you’ve made up your mind on buying new.

Yamaha’s then.
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#18
midnightsupperclub

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As someone who played a Stage Custom as my first good drum kit, and as someone who is currently playing 2 different Pearl kits, I'm just going to say that the hardware and construction is top notch and you don't have to worry about a thing when it comes to construction and durability. But still, reading your descriptions of each of your 3 shortlisted kits, I can't help but think that the Ludwigs are the way to go.

 

Perhaps i could offer an alternative way of thinking, based on my own experience when I recently asked for recommendations on DFO for a snare drum.

 

I think sometimes our heart already subconsciously knows which one we want, whether you know it or not. When you read a post from someone recommending the one you subconsciously want, you might feel a little twinge of excitement in your heart and your brain goes "Yesss!". And when you read other posts recommending the other kits, your brain kinda goes "Well, ummm... I guess, but...."

 

So based on your responses to other people's suggestions and recommendations, you might be able to get a good gauge on what you've subconsciously already decided upon. Haha I have found that to be true for my decision making conundrums, perhaps it will be helpful to you too!

 

Either way, buying new drums is such an exciting time. Enjoy the process!


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#19
JazzDrumGuy

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Of your list, I'd go Ludwigs if you want new and 7 pieces.

But I do agree if you look used (GC, MGR, usual other sites), you may come across a better kit.  I don't know about 7 pieces, but I've bought used kits that looked/played new and for killer deals.......

 

I think the best thing is to choose the kit you want, then try to find it used........if you can save some $, why not?  Put it towards other gear you may need (or new heads, etc.)......good luck and let us know what you decide & show pics of your "new" kit......


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#20
AustinFitz

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Hard decision! I would take my time and REALLY research. I've been looking at the 3 of them online all morning, and I did notice a few things. The sites I'm seeing list the Ludwigs as coming stock with the Chinese "Remo UT" heads, and while they do mention sharp 45° bearing edges, and North American Maple, they don't seem to specify ply count, or shell thickness, or much of anything else really... So far I'm leaning towards Pearl with their specified 6 ply, 5.4mm shell thickness, 45° bearing edge with slight outside roundover, and the lifetime warranty, but I'm still researching! It's definitely between the Pearl and the Ludwig for me though I think.
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