Better Sizes or Better Kit?

avedisschwinn

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The missing link here is whether we are talking about owning one kit. If I could only own one, size would matter more than brand or perceived quality. And I think the intermediate kits available now are really great. I would rather have the right sized Renown than the wrong sized USA Gretsch for example. Right now my main kit has the choice of a 22 or an 18 bass. But if I had to replace it, i would just get a 20.
 

jim harkins

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I have seen some good prices on ebay for the 24 13 16 Renowns. I have a Fibes jasper kit in 22 10 12 14 and I may get a 24 13 16 renown. I am into the 1 up 1 down kit now anyway. Im 67 and only play for the love of playing The 8 pc kits are now history. Good Luck
 
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Unless it is a complete piece of crap,most drums will tune up fairly well with quality heads.
So if I was in this predicament.I'd choose the preferred sizes to higher quality kit.
Are we talking about just the shells?
Because hardware is a totally different deal and cymbals would be an even tougher decision.
 

fusseltier

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I've had many drum sets. I kinda regret the two sets i got with the extended shells lengths due to the trouble positioning everything. The most recent set i ordered from tama Japan has traditional depths, but I still think I should have gotten the hyperdrive shells just so I could position all four rack toms in the best positions. The 13" tom even with traditional depth is still too long and hits the bass drum.
Previous set i had a great 18" bass and didn't have as much trouble but I got a 20" bass and it definitely is a problem.
I think perhaps all toms at 8" to 10" depth would be a better fit. In the 80s i got a Tama set with extended shells, and was almost impossible to use the 13" tom on the bass mounted tom holder.
Sometimes i ended up just not using the 13" tom. The attached photo shows the best positions I could get to use all four rack toms. So, if you are thinking about using four rack toms, think about the depth of the shells before you order them.
 

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kjdrummer25

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The pork pies are hand built from what I understand and Bill Detamore has been the brains behind other big brand drum company’s lines. His knowledge of drum building is unsurpassed in the industry. I would put his kits up against any gretsch in sound and quality imho.
 

clowndog

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I haven't compared the two, but I would think it quite plausible that the PP Little Squealer to be as good or possibly even better than a Renown kit. They have a bit of stigma to them to some because of Guitar Center blowouts at times, but Bill does not let any garbage through his business!
 

PaulD

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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?
Simple solution, buy a Gretsch Renown kit in 13/16/24 and the same finish and combine the two.

Best of both worlds. Win, win.
 

pwc1141

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Personally for me it's sizes first then the best I can afford in those sizes. As said many times above, most modern drums of mid level can sound great once tuned the way you like. If playing difficult sizes is a pain then it matters little if they sound/look marginally better - they remain a pain.
 

rymivo

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With the general understanding that you are asking, "What's more important to an individual?"... I go with sizes over a few steps up in quality. Definitely a bummer though. I can really feel the difference in quality while playing mid-line kits with live bands. Good question though!
 

musiqman

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With my weird physical build (short upper body, longer legs and really long arms) for sure sizes first.

Still I am glad I found both in one kit.
 

Jawshoeuh

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Theoretically if I had only one kit, sizes would be more important to me. I love a nice 20-12-14 or 18-12-14, but I absolutely can't live without a 16" floor tom.

I have a silver oyster pearl Renown in 20-12-14 and added a 16 to it (and have considered adding a 13, ha), and honestly the quality between that and the pork pie is pretty minimal, especially sound wise; you will absolutely love the pork pie kit, they sound fantastic, and I bet you will be way happier with the bigger sizes.
 

Jawshoeuh

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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.
I have a Renown and a Catalina and would not recommend mixing the two (I mean, beyond just for fun). They 'feel' a lot different to me, although I love both. Different hoops, different hardware, different shells, different sound...
 

Jawshoeuh

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Unless it is a complete piece of crap,most drums will tune up fairly well with quality heads.
So if I was in this predicament.I'd choose the preferred sizes to higher quality kit.
Are we talking about just the shells?
Because hardware is a totally different deal and cymbals would be an even tougher decision.
very true, I sat down behind a back line Percussion Plus kit awhile back that had new emperor heads on the 13-16 toms and they sounded great.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Sizes come first (toms and bass), in my book. And I suppose it can depend on your needs and gigs. Nice to have a few sizes if possible, but depending on your situation, maybe not always necessary. For instance, if I’m “only” playing jazz and that was my life commitment, I’m going to only be considering small sizes first of all. Brand and the other stuff comes next.

I‘m lucky to have some variety, but I know I could skate by with a 20” bass and a few toms.
 


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