Better Sizes or Better Kit?

daveplaydrum

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Which would you prefer? A better drum kit in sizes you’re not crazy about or a drum kit in sizes you really like but it’s a couple notches down in quality?

Specifically, I have a Gretsch renown in 10/12/14/22 but I’m not a huge fan of the sizes of the drums. There is a Pork Pie Lil Squealer kit in 13/16/24 and those are my preferred sizes. I usually play the Gretsch with just one rack tom so the difference there doesn’t mean much to me. They’re both at similar prices because the Gretsch has some cosmetic issues going on. I’m leaning heavily towards keeping the Gretsch since it’s just better quality overall but the smaller floor tom is my biggest issue. I really love the 16” size and they’re hard to come by used in the Renown series.

But how about you? I don’t necessarily mean this particular scenario but in general...would you sacrifice some quality in build and material for preferred sizes?
 

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ConvertedLudwigPlayer

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I prefer quality over sizes, assuming I can always add a "needed" drum to make myself happy. I am biased and own a Renown in Blue Burst, as well as some 80's Gretsch drums. I would love to find a 24" in my finish which was discontinued several years ago just to have something different, but my 22x20 THUMPS. If you have a more common finish than I do, I would think that a 24" bass and 16" FT will pop up eventually. When they do, you will have a great arsenal of sizes to choose from.
 

mpungercar

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But how about you? I don’t necessarily mean this particular scenario but in general...would you sacrifice some quality in build and material for preferred sizes?
Yes, I would sacrifice in build quality to get my preferred sizes. But it would definitely depend on how big the difference is. The key word in your question for me is "some" build quality, because some things have a bigger effect on the sound then others. The perfect example is Gretsch USA Custom vs. their Renown line. From a sound stand point there's little to no difference between the two, but from a price standpoint there's a huge difference.
 

CrashBoomPang

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I think I'd be more inclined toward the kit with the better sizes. If you can put your favorite heads on and tune it the way you like it, the sound will be in some way satisfactory I think. If everytime you go to hit the floor tom the sound is categorically "wrong" (e.g. you wanted a lower pitch), there is little you can do about it other than buy a new drum.
 

Tmcfour

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I guess it kinda depends on how far outside of your sizes the better drums are. If it's the difference between a 20 and a 22 bd... better kit. If it's waaaay different though, say between a 20 and a 26, then I'd go with what I'll likely play.
 

RIDDIM

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I'd go for the one which one sounds better for most of the gigs I do, assuming it fits in my car and on my cart.
 

daveplaydrum

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I guess it kinda depends on how far outside of your sizes the better drums are. If it's the difference between a 20 and a 22 bd... better kit. If it's waaaay different though, say between a 20 and a 26, then I'd go with what I'll likely play.
For the most part I’m okay with a 22”. It gets the job done. But I’d love to have a 24”. Same goes with the floor tom except I could just never get the 14” to sound right to my ears. I just love deeper sounding floor toms.

Its interesting to me to hear a lot of support for going with preferred sizes. I thought for sure the consensus would be keep the better quality drums. The Gretsch is all maple and the Pork Pie is birch/poplar. It’s hard to convince myself to do it but man, I love those larger sizes when I’m playing loud rock music.
 

BennyK

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14" rack tom'll get you places a 12 won't . The interval between a 12 and a 14 , if you like double toms up top,are more robust if you're stepping down to a 16 . Also a 14 x10 is easily cut down to a 14x8 if positioning is a problem and you'll lose nothing in resonance and gain in sustain .
 

TPC

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18" or 20" bass drum is a must, because of ergonomics.

As others have said, most any drum can be made to sound decent. So, size.
 

MntnMan62

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I'm not sure how to answer that question. Frankly, I only buy things I want, no matter what the price is. When it comes to used stuff, even if you get a good deal on something you still have to go through the hassle of reselling it. If I have no choice and have to pick between sizes or quality, I'll pick quality every day. At the end of the day, junk is junk no matter what size that junk is.
 

gbow

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While I would generally pick sizes over quality, as long as the quality is within reason, what I would probably do is...... Be patient and find a kit that is what I want instead of compromising on something.

What you're saying is that with these two kits, you're going to compromise. Either size or quality... Don't do it! Find a kit that is of the quality and sizes you want.

gabo
 

Beefsurgeon

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I wouldn't worry too much about the respective price points of these kits. Which one sounds and feels the best to play? Are there specific quality issues you're concerned about with the Pork Pie?
 

daveplaydrum

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I wouldn't worry too much about the respective price points of these kits. Which one sounds and feels the best to play? Are there specific quality issues you're concerned about with the Pork Pie?
Is the Gretsch that much better than the Pork Pie ?
To be honest I haven’t played the Pork Pie so I don’t even know. I’m basing it off of wood material and price. The Pork Pie is cheaper and uses Poplar which I always associate with budget kits. I had a lil squealer snare drum that I didn’t like but that was also based on size. 12” is too small for a snare drum and I’m not an auxiliary snare kinda guy.
 

Elvis

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Which would you prefer? A better drum kit in sizes you’re not crazy about or a drum kit in sizes you really like but it’s a couple notches down in quality?

Specifically, I have a Gretsch renown in 10/12/14/22 but I’m not a huge fan of the sizes of the drums. There is a Pork Pie Lil Squealer kit in 13/16/24 and those are my preferred sizes. I usually play the Gretsch with just one rack tom so the difference there doesn’t mean much to me. They’re both at similar prices because the Gretsch has some cosmetic issues going on. I’m leaning heavily towards keeping the Gretsch since it’s just better quality overall but the smaller floor tom is my biggest issue. I really love the 16” size and they’re hard to come by used in the Renown series.

But how about you? I don’t necessarily mean this particular scenario but in general...would you sacrifice some quality in build and material for preferred sizes?
If you can, play both kit and let that help you decide which kit to get.
 

Radio King

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If it were me, I'd just add on to the Renown set. Example - add on 16" floor:


Or, if you want to go the shell bank route, you'd have the best of both worlds:

 

Cauldronics

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Which would you prefer? A better drum kit in sizes you’re not crazy about or a drum kit in sizes you really like but it’s a couple notches down in quality?

Specifically, I have a Gretsch renown in 10/12/14/22 but I’m not a huge fan of the sizes of the drums. There is a Pork Pie Lil Squealer kit in 13/16/24 and those are my preferred sizes. I usually play the Gretsch with just one rack tom so the difference there doesn’t mean much to me. They’re both at similar prices because the Gretsch has some cosmetic issues going on. I’m leaning heavily towards keeping the Gretsch since it’s just better quality overall but the smaller floor tom is my biggest issue. I really love the 16” size and they’re hard to come by used in the Renown series.
Why not just get a Gretsch Renown Rock kit? They're 13-16-24 and still made.

I almost got one but went a different direction. Still on my list though.
 

daveplaydrum

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Why not just get a Gretsch Renown Rock kit? They're 13-16-24 and still made.

I almost got one but went a different direction. Still on my list though.
oh man I’d love that. It’s a money thing for me though. I bought my current Renown set for $600 because it has some cosmetic issues. Just scuffs on the finish and I don’t care about that all. The Pork Pie I’m looking at is also $600. I’d have just bought a 16” floor tom for the Renown but they’re like $450 new and they don’t come up used often at all. I’ve been looking though. I even considered grabbing a Catalina maple 16” floor tom but I don’t feel good about that idea.
 


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