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Are High-End Drums a Giant Waste of Money?

langmick

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"So yes, you can use a less expensive drum to get the job done."

My point, perhaps I wasn't being clear, I am sarcastic and snarky.

High end drums of the time were used to record songs with dead drums gaffed like crazy. I personally like that sound.

Spend money on snares and cymbals, hi hats and rides. An $8K drumset is a marginal improvement where nice crashes and a versatile snare get more mileage.
 

Polska

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I just saw Porcupine Tree , Gavin plays what I’m sure are the best Sonors you can get .
They might as well have been AQ2s …

What an awful mix …..
That's too bad. The times I've seen him live as well as on any of the live DVD/online footage, it seems he never has a bad sound.
 

Houndog

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That's too bad. The times I've seen him live as well as on any of the live DVD/online footage, it seems he never has a bad sound.
I know , I was very disappointed.
I decided no more concerts unless I can at least score great tickets …
And even then , what a hassle ..

I’ll enjoy the DVD far more than being forced to stand the entire show as well .
 

wayne

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Depends on "how high end" you need...or want. Remember, most players are weekenders, some are Sunday only worship players, some never move thier kit once its home or traded, etc etc. I think the players that have the funds need high end kits to help the image. Some of the high enders are incredible players, and a lot of players that play mid line kits who dont have a lot of money are very accomplished players.......Champagne taste and beer wages tell a story, but my point is.........play what you want and can afford, but high end drums are never a waste of money...no one is right and no one is wrong
 

Pylot

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If you can afford them then by all means go for it. But there is a point at which you will never get out what you put in.

I fantasized about of custom set of African Mahogany drums for a couple of years. Never acted on the notion.

At a more practical level I do have great vintage Ludwig's (and a couple of Slingerlands') and they all tune and play great. So I would start at a point of getting a good tunable kit and then go up because as you know sky is the limit with customs or seriously high end drums.
 

EDL

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If you are serious..just buy good or.. even the best stuff... 1x only..you will cry some tears at purchase..but will own em for the rest of your life..
And if you need to sell..you wont take a bath on them..and with inflation..probably make a profit...or at least break even... years later.
If you are gonna trash em in clubs..or on the road..just get the cheaper stuff..or watch em like a hawk..
There isnt really much difference between drums when you come down to it though sonically...but for the little differences..this may make a big difference..
It does to me..
Funny thing happened to me..back in the day..
I played Sonors..I liked em because they were well built..
But got a chance to use Gretsch on a gig and someone said..you play a lot better on the G's than the S's..
I had to agree..so yes..some things really matter in music..as in not to fight with your instrument..
So even though the G's were cheaper..they worked better for me as they were just plain faster in response...and different in tonality.
 

Houndog

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If you are serious..just buy good or.. even the best stuff... 1x only..you will cry some tears at purchase..but will own em for the rest of your life..
And if you need to sell..you wont take a bath on them..and with inflation..probably make a profit...or at least break even... years later.
If you are gonna trash em in clubs..or on the road..just get the cheaper stuff..or watch em like a hawk..
There isnt really much difference between drums when you come down to it though sonically...but for the little differences..this may make a big difference..
It does to me..
Funny thing happened to me..back in the day..
I played Sonors..I liked em because they were well built..
But got a chance to use Gretsch on a gig and someone said..you play a lot better on the G's than the S's..
I had to agree..so yes..some things really matter in music..as in not to fight with your instrument..
So even though the G's were cheaper..they worked better for me as they were just plain faster in response...and different in tonality.
Well that’s odd , someone told me you play better on the S’s than the G’s ???

This is quite the quandary huh ?
 

Whitten

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the whole drum biz is in trouble for one simple reason - they introduced cheaper drums, counting on drummers who have money to keep buying the professional drums still.
No, it's because there are many fewer professional drummers and most professional drummers have a lot less money than they had in the 70's and 80's. Live venues have closed and the two year pandemic ended a lot of people's careers.
V-Drums far outsell acoustic drums and they are equally expensive, often more expensive. $5000 for a top of the range electronic set? That's because most of the buyers are playing them at home.
 
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Whitten

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the thing is, when you turn a drum set into a recording, they sound a lot better than acoustic. The sound difference might be huge when you hear them first hand, but especially when recording with close mikes, you pretty much only mike the heads, not the drum.
The main sound in any drum recording is the room. An acoustic kit makes a loud and recognisable sound. An electric guitar (unplugged) makes very little sound.
No drummer should accept a poor sounding drum kit thinking that microphones will fix the issues.
 

Madmarian

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No, it's because there are many fewer professional drummers and most professional drummers have a lot less money than they had in the 70's and 80's. Live venues have closed and the two year pandemic ended a lot of people's careers.
V-Drums far outsell acoustic drums and they are equally expensive, often more expensive. $5000 for a top of the range electronic set?
lol. So you think when I started playing drums I had more money than the average drummer today who has a phone in his pocket that cost 1000$? I challange this thought. In fact, drums worth dropped by 70% the last 20 years. While an entry level kit used to cost about 1500$, it now costs 600$ and less, despite inflation. This happened for one simple reason: Gewa & Ludwig built a huge factory in china with 500 employees making cheap drums, 50.000 sets per month, for as low as 60$ each kit, and pushed them in the market which usually only has 300.000 sales a year. They flooded us with cheap drums, starting 2002. This started to devalue all used drums, since now you could get a new kit for the price of a used one, and since drummers spend less on drums simply because the gear got so cheap.

This whole stunt was so crazy. They thought if drums were cheaper drummers would buy more sets, but since you need a lot of space for each drum set, drummers still in average only own 1.2 drum kits.
Trust me, this is not because "drummers have less money". GEWA bragged about their stunt, now they had to lay off 100 employees or more as they could not hold up the high production, even though they now forced 60-70% of all manufacturers to build with them (or rather, 60-70% of all drums built today come from that one factory).
 

Whitten

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lol. So you think when I started playing drums I had more money than the average drummer today who has a phone in his pocket that cost 1000$? I challange this thought.
No, we were talking about high-end drums primarily aimed at working drummers. Not 'average' drummers. Average drummers have probably spent money on electronic drums, especially since the two years of on and off lockdowns, and fewer places to play.
The latest trends in pop music are all electronic. There's hardly any acoustic drums heard in the top 40 releases.
 

Madmarian

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I just know his 1st name , Noah ..
He’s Noah Drum on FB …..

Noah Taylor ……


View attachment 585004
oh Noah. He loved our drums. He played two kits, a walnut and a maple kit, and made plenty videos with this playing all acoustic, awesome. But he wanted to keep the drums for free, and was upset that I wanted to still have some money for them (As I recall we offered him a 50% deal). Yamaha gave him a free drum kit (or at least an endorsement, I do not know the deal) so off he went. As I said, drummers love our drums, but they do not feel like sound is that important. Sigh.
 

Whitten

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Firstly, I wouldn't deal with a company that published our business discussions online.
Secondly, his website says he endorses Trick Drums.
I looked at his bio page and all it said was what he does (Musician, Educator), no mention of any notable band or recordings. So on the face of it it seems he's more of a social media, YouTuber guy trying to get ahead, than a serious working musician.
I endorsed N&C in the late 80's. One of the major considerations was what would happen if a shell was dropped and damaged in Japan, or Australia. I decided to go with it anyway. But one of the main reasons pro drummers go with mainstream drum companies is that they offer, swift and international support.
 

Jay-Dee

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Ha, forgot to add it.


I have seen the Dead and I know what they used.

Gaffing up the entire kit doesn't mean it matters that it's high end or not.
I think Mr Gadd's toms actually sound pretty open for the era on this track.
 

Houndog

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oh Noah. He loved our drums. He played two kits, a walnut and a maple kit, and made plenty videos with this playing all acoustic, awesome. But he wanted to keep the drums for free, and was upset that I wanted to still have some money for them (As I recall we offered him a 50% deal). Yamaha gave him a free drum kit (or at least an endorsement, I do not know the deal) so off he went. As I said, drummers love our drums, but they do not feel like sound is that important. Sigh.
Not cool ….not at all ..
 
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Houndog

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Firstly, I wouldn't deal with a company that published our business discussions online.
Secondly, his website says he endorses Trick Drums.
I looked at his bio page and all it said was what he does (Musician, Educator), no mention of any notable band or recordings. So on the face of it it seems he's more of a social media, YouTuber guy trying to get ahead, than a serious working musician.
I endorsed N&C in the late 80's. One of the major considerations was what would happen if a shell was dropped and damaged in Japan, or Australia. I decided to go with it anyway. But one of the main reasons pro drummers go with mainstream drum companies is that they offer, swift and international support.
You’re not a serious musician if you aren’t on any notable records ?
That’s quite a judgement .
I know lots of guys making a living with music that no one has ever heard of ..
 

Whitten

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You’re not a serious musician if you aren’t on any notable records ?
That’s quite a judgement .
I know lots of guys making a living with music that no one has ever heard of ..
UNDERSTAND my point....
In terms of demanding endorsement deals - the musician must demonstrate they have something to offer the manufacturer. In the past that was notoriety through popular albums, well attended live shows. In the past 10-15 years add in an active and well supported social media presence.
You won't be treated 'seriously' if you just think you are good, with no independent evidence to back it up.
 


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