"Beater Kits".... do you really need one?

Eyedrum

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I'm curious about the consensus concerning owning a beater set of drums. You know, either a used or new lower to med level kit. I realize that many members of DFO only have one set of drums and use it for everything (I admire that a lot). I did the same for many years but find that I like variety. Therefore, I currently own 4 really nice sets and don't hesitate to take ANY of them to any gigs I might play. Now, I no longer play frat parties or kegger gigs like back in my college days. And, I'm the only one that transports my gear and it all stays packed up really well.

I've always been of the mind set that; you bought it to play it, right? What am I saving them for... my kids... the next owner... resale? If I were playing a lot of outdoor gigs or dive bars, I might be more hesitant when bringing out the good stuff. I could see the advantage of using a kit you weren't so concerned about getting a few scratches or dings from use.

FWIW, I also play acoustic guitar and I never take out my Taylor 410e on any camping trips or outdoors activities. It's always the 20 year on Washburn for that! ;-)

Thanks!
 

blueshadow

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I never thought about it, always have used cases but had just one kit for years and years of gigging. Threw them in the back of the truck and away I went. Would stop to eat after the gig and would just back in to a parking spot up close so I could keep an eye on them while I grabbed a burger or something. I do now have a beater kick and floor tom and an extra rack tom that didn't come with the original kit that I can take when for instance I'm spending the night and don't want to worry about theft.
 

Polska

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I'm with you completely. I bought all my stuff to play and believe in putting my best foot forward, which would be my best gear. Granted I don't own a Crav. If I did, that may stay home but I'd still take something top-notch out to play.

If you hit a tom in the basement, and no one's there to hear it, does it make a sound?? :)
 

pwc1141

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Never had a "beater kit". I have had some lower end or unconventional "portable" ones but only kept one kit at one time ... for gigging. I have always been wary of letting other drummers play my stuff unless they are friends who I know will respect the gear but will take my brand new custom kit anywhere the gig is and just be mindful when transporting and watch carefully when its on stage.
 

repete

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I wouldn’t call them beater kits but both are older and show signs of use. They are my 2 Tempus kits. I would call them beater kits because I may or may not transfer them around in cases sometimes.
 

RIDDIM

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I think it depends on what you do. How often do you work? What sorts of gigs/venues? Are you likely to be outdoors and uncovered? On a gig where there may be kit sharing - that's not unheard of in, say, a church situation when a guest choir comes in - or on a lower budget multiband gig? Are you renting a kit out to a promoter? If so, it helps to have something bulletproof on hand that you would be less antsy about having others play.

I have a Tempus kit I use for such situations. It's not an inferior kit by any means, but it's weatherproof, light, sounds great and is essentially bulletproof.
 

Eyedrum

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I think it depends on what you do. How often do you work? What sorts of gigs/venues? Are you likely to be outdoors and uncovered? On a gig where there may be kit sharing - that's not unheard of in, say, a church situation when a guest choir comes in - or on a lower budget multiband gig? Are you renting a kit out to a promoter? If so, it helps to have something bulletproof on hand that you would be less antsy about having others play.

I have a Tempus kit I use for such situations. It's not an inferior kit by any means, but it's weatherproof, light, sounds great and is essentially bulletproof.
Yes, thank you! I meant to make that point. Especially if you’re providing back line gear, hosting a blues jam or playing a festival (sharing the kit), I can see the need.
 
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DanRH

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Yup, don't believe in beater kits. The few beater kits I did get, I let them go in short order.Now, if I was providing a kit for a local jam, then maybe yes. Also, I use my "outdoor, in the sun" kits, my JM's. Fiberglass, impervious to sunlight, all that stuff. If I'm not sure what the conditions will be for an outdoor gig are gonna be, it's the JM's, no question. All my kits are nice kits, so.......
 

Eyedrum

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Yup, don't believe in beater kits. The few beater kits I did get, I let them go in short order.Now, if I was providing a kit for a local jam, then maybe yes. Also, I use my "outdoor, in the sun" kits, my JM's. Fiberglass, impervious to sunlight, all that stuff. If I'm not sure what the conditions will be for an outdoor gig are gonna be, it's the JM's, no question. All my kits are nice kits, so.......
Dan, those JM drums REALLY impressed me in Chicago. Holy cow they sounded huge, fat and strong! Crazy great drums.
 

backtodrum

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I have one that my son uses and I play it out for outdoor gigs when the weather is questionable. And thankfully so because it has been completely baptized on 2 different occasions when unpredicted summer monsoons hit mid gig. I would have been pretty upset had my nice maple kit been in the storm.
 

lcondo123

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I always play out with my band using one of my 60's Rogers kits. If I'm ever sharing one of my kits with another drummer, I usually pull them over to the kit while I'm setting it up, show them the drums, and explain that these drums don't like to be smashed. It's a fair thing to lay down a few ground rules if you're letting someone you don't know use your expensive gear, right? I certainly think so. Almost always get a polite response back, and always receive compliments afterwards of how nice the drums sounded. I've actually made a few friends out of doing such, and turned a few drummers on to vintage stuff, so it's a win-win-win in my eyes.

Fast forward to a gig I have Monday night. We're opening for a decently well-known musician in Columbus (I live in Cleveland, go to school at OSU in Columbus) and all I have on me is a 20 year old set of Yamaha Stage Customs - my nice stuff is at home. I never play out with anything less than my nice stuff, and suddenly I'm petrified of bringing a beater kit on stage! I was more relieved than I was expecting when the drummer for this musician offered to share their kit (a really nice set of Ludwigs), which brings us full circle with beater kits.

Speaking of which, anyone looking for a set of Stage Customs?? I know a guy...
 

hefty

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Only to leave at a rehearsal space that multiple bands use. My beater is a Yamaha Stage Customs I got for $200 and thought I'd play out live sometimes but pretty quickly decided smoke em if ya got em with regard to nicer drums. Can't take them with you after all... (although those SCs sound surprisingly good).
 

chollyred

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My one kit most of you would consider a beater (PDP CX). The real beater kit that I had I gave to a young lady that's learning to play. So yeah, I'll take the PDP anywhere.
 

singleordoubleheads

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It seems most posts here are saying "no" to a beater, but I disagree--and "beater" doesn't have to mean "junky" by any means. Of course I love using all 6 of my kits, but I do tend to want to take my nicer kits to nicer gigs/venues. If we are playing an upscale winery or festival I will definately bring out the Vistalites or my Pro M in natural maple gloss. If it's a rougher place or a gig where weather could be an issue, I'll bust out the Accents or my Groove Percussion--Bonzo sized!
However, either of the 2 kits I call "beater" still look nice and sound great, so I don't feel a big drop-off when I can't use my higher-end stuff. It's wonderful to have options, and I got the GPs essentially for free and the Accent kit was 200 bucks off CL 5 years ago, so they have since paid for themselves many times over...
Just last week we were doing an outdoor gig from 8-12 near a riverbank and I didn't want a heavy dew falling on my wood shells so I took the Pearl Crystal Beat concert toms--looked and sounded fine and not bothered by moisture...a win/win!!
 

swarfrat

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Ok, since there were no takers, and it's not just a jib (it seems to be pertinent to discussion):

IIRC, the reason Dan gave for selling his Craviotto's so quickly was that he was afraid to play them out. So maybe not a 'beater' per say, but the concept of not wanting to carry around nice drums appears to be at play, at least to some degree.
 

singleordoubleheads

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Ok, since there were no takers, and it's not just a jib (it seems to be pertinent to discussion):

IIRC, the reason Dan gave for selling his Craviotto's so quickly was that he was afraid to play them out. So maybe not a 'beater' per say, but the concept of not wanting to carry around nice drums appears to be at play, at least to some degree.
well, I knew a guy years ago who had quite a few vintage Ks that NEVER left his house...on the one hand I kinda get it, but then again, if your NEVER gonna play it out....

I guess it's like taking out a Mustang or Corvette to a nice park on a dry sunny day, vs a trip to Lowes or WalMart on a crappy day in February....you COULD do both with either, but that's why we have Escapes and F 150s
 

JDA

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"No one needs one. They follow you home for 50$. And you give em a couple meals to improve their diet. But eventually they wander off in the middle of the night. You wake up with a couple 100$ bills in your jean pocket and never miss them...."

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