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30 years - Same kit

Alobartn

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I've been playing a Pearl MLX kit since 1992. Looking at the Pearl website today, I was gobsmacked at how different their products are. I know; I'm in a time machine. For a while, I wasn't playing much. Raising kids, etc., but now I'm back at it, and although this old kit sounds better now than ever, I'm thinking of new sounds. I practice and sometimes gig on a Roland TD50X, which I hear is about as good as electronics get, but I love acoustic drums. After a career in original fairly hard rock, I'm now playing in classic rock cover bands. I'm looking for suggestions on what's out there with warm tones. Really, that's it. I love the warmth of thin, acoustic drums, but I'm so out of the loop!
 

WesChilton

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Man, the modern drum market is a vast, complex and hugely overpriced landscape. Good luck out there.
All I can say is keep an open mind, listen to and try to play everything. And definitely don't think you need to spend $7k to have a great sounding set of drums.
 

hsosdrum

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The quickest and easiest way to change your sound is to change your drumheads, not your drums. If you want a warmer sound I suggest trying Remo Fiberskyn 3 heads* on your current drums. Start by re-skinning one tom-tom. If the result is what you're after then you can jump in and re-skin the entire kit.

*Fiberskyn head weights work differently than other Remo heads due to the 3ml thickness of the fiber coating. The FD model uses 7ml film, so when you add 3ml for the coating you're at 10ml total thickness, which is equivalent to a coated Ambassador. The FA model uses 10ml film + the 3ml coating, so at 13ml total thickness it's only 1ml shy of a coated Emperor model. So unless you're a heavy hitter I suggest using Fiberskyn FD heads.

Of course, if you just gotta have new drums (and at one time or another we all get to the point where we just gotta...), the choices are nearly limitless.

P.S. And welcome to the forum!
 

multijd

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I’m perpetually surprised by how good most any drum sounds if you play it musically and play within its sound. The quality and durability of new drums is impressive and encouraging. I guess that’s why so many of us have so many drums! Modern stands and cymbals show such versatility and variety that wasn’t available a few decades ago. But there is a character of comfort ability with things that you live with. Whatever it is, hit it like you mean it.
 

equipmentdork

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Pearl MLX are such good shells! But, I totally get why you're looking for something different, and different is good. You can throw a dart and hit a great set of drums for little money now more than ever, including in this economy. I own a bunch of kits, so I'd be a bad person to suggest something, however, I've heard people playing Pearl Session Studio Select(birch/mahogany) and I have to say if I were in the market, those would automatically be a contender.


Dan
 

Rivot

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Your Pearl MLX are really good drums i can tell you they sound better than the newer ones on the market today put new heads on it you will be very pleased with what they give Cheers mate.
 

bpaluzzi

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Your Pearl MLX are really good drums i can tell you they sound better than the newer ones on the market today put new heads on it you will be very pleased with what they give Cheers mate.
While the MLX are great drums, there’s absolutely no truth to saying they sound better than new drums. Where do people come up with this stuff?
 

audiochurch

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Buy new heads, but keep your drums. I hope to stay with my kits for 30 years as well. Have been playing my Slingerland since 1996 and Premiers since 2007. Black Magic Stainless Steel snare since 2010.

Here is my latest gig with Slingerland 22” kick. Premier 12” and 14” toms, and 14x6.5” Ludwig Black Magic Stainless Steel snare. Hoping for 30+ years out of this combo:
 

Seb77

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MLX are fine drums. I would maybe try a kind of suspension mount on the rack toms, and simple isolation rubber feet for the floor tom.
I use an early 6ply maple kit myself quite a bit, basically a MLX without the long lugs. I put die-cast hoops on them (had them around already). I use open 1 ply heads, no muffling on the toms. The triple-flange hoops would sound more twangy, now with die-cast it's more controlled, you could call it warmer sounding.
 

LarryJ

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When I started playing again in 2002, I got the same itch. Tried new Pearls, a couple of Gretsch, several Yamahas. Loved their unique sound at first, but after a while would start trying to get them to sound the way drums sound in my head (like my old Slingerlands).

Ultimately the new ones have gone to my rehearsal spaces or new owners. My Slingerlands, bought new in 1960, accompany me to my blues/rock gigs. I recently bought a 'new' set of '65 Shelbyville Slingerlands for the jazz gigs.

By all means try everything you want. Just don't sell your MLXs. At least not yet.
 

T-Dub

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I've been playing a Pearl MLX kit since 1992. Looking at the Pearl website today, I was gobsmacked at how different their products are. I know; I'm in a time machine. For a while, I wasn't playing much. Raising kids, etc., but now I'm back at it, and although this old kit sounds better now than ever, I'm thinking of new sounds. I practice and sometimes gig on a Roland TD50X, which I hear is about as good as electronics get, but I love acoustic drums. After a career in original fairly hard rock, I'm now playing in classic rock cover bands. I'm looking for suggestions on what's out there with warm tones. Really, that's it. I love the warmth of thin, acoustic drums, but I'm so out of the loop!
Welcome to the forum! I agree with much of the advice given so far. Music Go Round has 13 used kits according to their website... Ludwig, Premier, Sonor, Gretsch, Pearl and Tama. Maybe take some sticks and play around with what they have on the floor and see if anything speaks to you... Good luck with the exploration!
 

cworrick

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MLX are fine drums. I would maybe try a kind of suspension mount on the rack toms, and simple isolation rubber feet for the floor tom.

^^^THIS^^

I've got a mmx kit from the same year! Mine (and probably yours too) came with the Pearl ISS mounts. Those are terrible. Switch them out for the opti-mounts. Get the suspension feet (they didn't have them in '94) on the floor toms.

You have a great set of drums already,. This will make them even better and with all the different heads that are out there, you can get whatever sound you want.


And
WELCOME TO THE FORUM!
 

premierplayer

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I seem to max out at about 5 years before a change, I have a few drum bits I've picked up along the way that are 20+ years. But no kits.
I like Pearl drums, but no recommendations, they've got a LOT of great stuff, and their tom arms are the best :laughing6:

Welcome to DFO
 

Alobartn

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You all have such great suggestions. Thank you!

A bit more info on the MLX. The toms have had RIMS mounts for years. Huge improvement. I was saddened to read that they're not making them anymore, so in the nick of time, I purchased all the rubber grommets I could need, even though the ones from 30 years ago are fine.

After 42 years using Remo's various heads, I recently switched to Evans EC2 clear on the tom batter heads and G2 coated on the bottoms. They are warm and delightful. The kit will stay until I'm carried out. I just want to try new stuff without making silly purchases and having to resell. So any more specific would be welcomed. Thank you for the warm welcome!
 

bob e michael

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i had a set of pearl mlx in the early 90's ... great sounding drums
mine came with a 6.5x14 free float brass snare .... i only had the drums for a couple years , sold them to a friend that still has them
 

Alobartn

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When I got the MLX kit, it was through an endorsement with Pearl, so I got several snares. But the one I use almost exclusively is a 6.5 x 14 free-floating solid maple. Sometimes I put a 6.5 x 12 soprano snare to my right. I still have a free-floating brass snare somewhere, but I love the sound of wood.
 

Matched Gripper

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When I got the MLX kit, it was through an endorsement with Pearl, so I got several snares. But the one I use almost exclusively is a 6.5 x 14 free-floating solid maple. Sometimes I put a 6.5 x 12 soprano snare to my right. I still have a free-floating brass snare somewhere, but I love the sound of wood.
Seems like you’ve got a great drumset! As others have suggested, you might want to try experimenting with new drum heads whether or not you get another set. As for thin shells, Keller has a line of very thin maple shells. A custom builder could make you a set to your specs. Also, Tama Starclassic maple drums are known for their thin shells.
 

MrDrums2112

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The quickest and easiest way to change your sound is to change your drumheads, not your drums. If you want a warmer sound I suggest trying Remo Fiberskyn 3 heads* on your current drums. Start by re-skinning one tom-tom. If the result is what you're after then you can jump in and re-skin the entire kit.

*Fiberskyn head weights work differently than other Remo heads due to the 3ml thickness of the fiber coating. The FD model uses 7ml film, so when you add 3ml for the coating you're at 10ml total thickness, which is equivalent to a coated Ambassador. The FA model uses 10ml film + the 3ml coating, so at 13ml total thickness it's only 1ml shy of a coated Emperor model. So unless you're a heavy hitter I suggest using Fiberskyn FD heads.

Of course, if you just gotta have new drums (and at one time or another we all get to the point where we just gotta...), the choices are nearly limitless.

P.S. And welcome to the forum!
Great point here. I recently started using Aquarian Modern Vintage and American Vintage heads - single ply on the snares and rack toms, double ply on the floor toms. I love the look, the feel and the tones I get from these heads. Try also shifting around your cymbal setup a bit - it may spark new creativity and a love for your current kit.
 


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