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Biggest game changer for your kit

hsosdrum

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The most seismic change I ever made in my drumset was to add a second bass drum back in 1969 when I was 17. Doing that completely overhauled my playing style (for the better as far as I'm concerned, and I'm the only one whose opinion counts ;)). I've used two bass drums ever since then.

The recent change in my drumset that's had the biggest effect on my playing was to add a backrest to my Tama Ergo Rider throne. It changed my playing posture, improved my balance while playing, eliminated back pain, and increased my endurance. I'll never use a backless throne again.
 

geoff7877

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I did a complete overhaul on my heads and cymbals. Same drums but achieved a much more focused and balanced sound by upgrading all of my cymbals except the China. Changed out all batters and resos on every drum and achieved a much better sounding kit. The biggest improvement was my monster 8X14 cast brass snare. Could never get it where I wanted it. Tried every batter out there. Finally changed out the Evans 300 for a 500 and WOW! Completely different drum. Absolutely loving how my kit sounds now.
 

michaelg

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I use these as an x-hat to the right of my ride and they have brought a new identity to my playing. Tighten the clutch for an alternate time keeper, loosen them up for a funky efx cymbal. Far and away the best <$200 cymbal purchase I’ve ever made. I wouldn’t hesitate to use them as my primary hats View attachment 578148 in most genres
Are those the 16's ?
 

zeichner

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I really love my Black Hole pads & L80 cymbals. They allow me to practice quietly with a decent sound & feel.
IMG_1567.jpg

If I had to pick a second thing, it's my Yamaha EAD10.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

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Adding in the swish or china. Just gives the extra spice. I get bored with the same crash sounds over and over. That and Ludwig snares most of the time. I’ll switch out kits, but usually come back to those snares.
 

Tornado

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As far as purchases go, I'd have to say my Rock N Soc Nitro was a godsend. Reduced fatigue, and increased stability. When I sit on my old throne, I can't believe how unstable I am. Good luck playing consistently when you're wabbling around.
 

katulu

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For me - my Stagg Traditional chinas. My first china was an XS20 and that thing sounded godawful. I think I first got the Stagg 20" then loved it so much I got the 22" - then all of them, 12", 14', 16", 18". They were the perfect china sound for me. Sadly, I recently bought a new 12" for my bop kit and it was a pure kang. Returned it.
 

CherryClassic

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Some years ago I added a Rush Miller Grove Wedge to my Ludwig Supra, best thing I've ever done. I love the way it sounds and cuts thru the band. Plus I've had many compliments and questions about it. At a gig a couple of months ago a young lady set-in for about three songs and afterwards all she wanted to talk about was the wedge. After telling her the full story she was disappointed but she'll check out the newer style.

sherm
 

WesChilton

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First of all, I absolutely HATE the overused hype term "game changer." It is used so often and for literally everything that it is essentially meaningless...

That out of the way...

When I started playing again after a 10-year hiatus, I took a hard look at my gear and the sound I had been using... and I decided that I really wanted to try something new.

I have been playing Zildian cymbals exclusively since the 70s and Yamaha Recording series drums (and my Eames birch kit that sounds very similar) since the early 80s. I have also always used Remo Ambassador heads and Vic Firth 5A drumsticks. I even played the same snare drum for almost 20 years, even though I owned many others. Very set in my ways, I suppose.

The first thing I did was go out and listen to a bunch of new cymbals... and man is there a LOT of new stuff out there! I had never played Sabian (too much like Zildjians), I had never even seen a Meinl in person... Bosphorus, Istanbul, and some others didn't even exist back then as far as I knew... at least not in America. And every makers offerings have expanded significantly.
The big one for me though, was Paiste. I absolutely HATED them when I was younger, especially in college. But now, for some reason, I feel very different about them. I ended up with a beautiful set of Prototype 2002 crashes (17,18,19), went from 13" K/Z hats to 15" Paiste Sound Edge Protoypes, and from a 20" K Special Dark ride to a KILLER 2002 Bigbeat 21" crash/ride.

I also had been playing exclusively deeper wood-shell snare drums for decades, but I missed the crack of a good metal Ludwig snare. That lead me to re-buying a bunch of snares that I previously owned, but foolishly sold... 5x14 Acrolite, 6 1/2x14 Supraphonic, 5x14 Black Beauty and I even bought my new favorite, a 6 1/2x14 Copperphonic!

I sold my beloved 1983 Yamaha Recording Customs for ridiculous money and went back to my roots... a 1965 Ludwig Super Classic kit, (expanded with an 8x12 and 14x14 toms) the very first kit I owned and yet never appreciated. I also switched to Evans coated UV1 heads and a Calftone bass drum batter! Whoa.

I'm still on the hunt for a 70s Gretsch kit in walnut finish that isn't priced like a Lamborghini. But in the meantime, I also have a very sweet burnt orange sparkle Gretsch Renown kit in shallow tom sizes that really sings.

I'm still trying to get used to these new instruments and sounds, but I have already found it to be so inspiring and it has changed my playing in many ways. not a "game changer" by any measure, but a change for sure.
 

kip

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sizes sure have lots to do w it
was a 22 guy for years, then got a 26 and some 24s
running a 15,18,26 is quite different than running a 13,16,22 or 12,14,20

tuning, texture , feel, touch, all of the above
honestly, the biggest game changer for me was when i invested in a collapsable dolly for gigs!!!!
 

thejohnlec

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Switching from 5As to 5Bs many years ago. I have better control over dynamics and I get a clean, even hit on every surface with nice, full tone at every volume - especially effective in the studio. More of the workload transferred from my hands to the sticks and playing for long periods of time became effortless. An easy change that has proven to be very effective.
 

Fat Drummer

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The game changer for my kit came after 45 years of playing, when 5 years ago I sat on a Porter & Davies tactile throne for the fist time.... I've never looked back!
 

langmick

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15” 2002 Sound Edge hats. They mix themselves. Sit nicely and keep me from playing busy on the hats. A nice roar when opened, but controllable with practice.

Second thing is using a Pearl rack. Makes setup so much easier than using stands and arms and clamps.
 
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donbseattle

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As far as purchases go, I'd have to say my Rock N Soc Nitro was a godsend. Reduced fatigue, and increased stability. When I sit on my old throne, I can't believe how unstable I am. Good luck playing consistently when you're wabbling around.
Thanks for the post, Tornado! When you pack up the kit, does the seat of the nitro come off the rest of the throne. In other words, is this throne easy to transport? Cheers!
 

Tornado

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Thanks for the post, Tornado! When you pack up the kit, does the seat of the nitro come off the rest of the throne. In other words, is this throne easy to transport? Cheers!

Yes, it does. Easy to transport? Well, the base is heavy and I can throw it in my hardware case which is already very heavy. The seat then goes somewhere else. I haven't come up with a good solution for that, it's just kind of loose right now. I wish I could combine it with another item in a bag or case, but it's kind of big. My old throne would all fit in my hardware bag.
 


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