Cravioto.....why no love here?

wayne

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There is the good, better, best way to judge anything these days but a few years ago, marketing added exceptional to the list. Its hard to think of them all, but Cravs are right up there in that category. I wonder how far it will go?
 

Pink69

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I wonder if the “new” Craviotto line will wind up diluting the brand and bring prices down on the Johnny C’s?
 

RIDDIM

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I just don't see them live and haven't had a chance to gig or record with them, so I'm safe, I guess.

I did hear Marcus Gilmore on a Craviotto kit with Chick Corea, but he'd sound great on a 1969's Zim Gar kit.
 

Jake Gibson

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I think that there is plenty of Craviotto love here. Here's kit #41, possibly the first Black Walnut Kit JohnnyC made that was hand delivered to me by the man himself back in 2007. This kit has some of the prettiest Black Walnut woodgrain I've ever seen and some of the deepest, purest tones I've ever heard in any drum set.
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I think that there is plenty of Craviotto love here. Here's kit #41, possibly the first Black Walnut Kit JohnnyC made that was hand delivered to me by the man himself back in 2007. This kit has some of the prettiest Black Walnut woodgrain I've ever seen and some of the deepest, purest tones I've ever heard in any drum set.
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Spectacular looking!
 

5 Style

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When I was younger, I wanted a snare that captured everyone's attention.

Now I'm older, having played in many different contexts in many different venues, I've come to value what works for the song/band/room much more.

And I've found that while an expensive snare breathed on by artisanal genius may indeed be valued in-and-of-itselfpretent for its distinctive character, a lesser snare, tuned well and played well can be just as effective in terms of sitting in the mix and integrating into the track, if not more so. Sometimes, simple harmonics, short sustain and focused tone work better in the context of the music than complex harmonics, long sustain and abundant tone.

I guess it's why I came to prefer the Acrolite and Black Beauty for their ability to disappear into the music, and why I guess the Supra has ended up on so many albums, despite being much more common, much less exotic and much less expensive than Cravs, Bradys, Keplingers, Ayottes and Dunnetts.

What works in practice should never be confused for what's better in theory.

Best,

853guy
I find the sound of my Acrolite and wood Ludwig Standard snares to be inspiring enough that I don't really jones for expensive, exotic snare drums. For me that's what it's all about: finding gear that is inspiring to play, that tracks all of your dynamics, subtleties, etc and I get all of that from these cheaper drums. Even if I were to treat myself to something a bit fancier, I can ever imagine spending what a Craviatto costs, just because I don't imagine that the sound of it would be anything that really inspire me to play it any more than something that I could buy for far less.

Besides, I don't consider myself to be that great a drummer and I don't like the idea of walking on a stage with a 2k snare drum as I don't want to raise expectations that much. It seems like one runs the risk of looking inferior to ones gear, and therefore kind of pretentious. Better to go out and have a wonderful, smooth tone, great dynamics, etc while playing more ordinary gear... which I would say is defintely possible. Don't get me wrong, gear matters and the cheapest stuff, just doesn't have a great tone. I just believe that beyond a certain level of price, quality workmanship, expensive materials, etc that there isn't much to be gainied.

All that said, I can appreciate how beautiful these things are and maybe even some of their unique (but not necessarily "better") tone. If I hear a performance on thse drums that really speaks to me I will think "cool," but I still won't be coveting that kind of thing. The money that I dont spend on that could go to travel... or if I'm going to buy toys, hi-fi gear!
 
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kevinyarger

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When I first heard about Craviotto it was during their DW partnership. I thought it was a neat idea for a 1 ply shell but when I saw the price in a catalogue I remembering thinking, no drum is worth that much! Years later, I finally got to try a Craviotto out and was blown away on someone else's kit. Had to have one, bought a used DW/Crav and felt I was set for life. No way was I going to spend that much money on a kit. A couple years later, I take a lesson with Jason McGerr, who had his Craviotto kit with him, he plays it and my jaw hits the ground. That was the sound in my head I've been looking for. So I priced a new kit out and started saving up and then all of a sudden a used one showed up on eBay and I pounced. The Craviotto's are like all of my previous drum kits in one. My first pro level kit was a Pearl Masters MMX(4ply, with 4ply rings) lots of attack not much sustain. Then I had a DW Collectors that had this almost extended resonance that I loved. Finally I had a vintage Premier kit that was mahogany with reinforcement rings, that had that vintage warmth. The Crav's just resonate differently with me. I feel the kick drum more in my chest compared to a ply shell of the same size and set up. The tom's have the perfect amount of attack and sustain. The snare's have a throaty attack that I love.
Since the gigs stopped for me in the last year, I almost put these up on the market but I'm glad I didn't. The tough part is I would like to add a couple of drums but I'm not sure I have enough other equipment at the moment I can sell to offset the cost.
As an owner and a fan of the brand, I wish Craviotto would step up their online presence on social media. They lost so much momentum after Johnny's passing when they were locked out of their original instagram account. Obviously customer orders come first and if they are as backed up as I've heard, then maybe they don't need anymore advertisement. I just feel like between not being as active online and other companies offering steam bent drums in some form, they are being talked about less.

Regardless, all I know is I love my drums and will play them until the end.
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Whitten

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A Craviotto Black Cherry is probably the best snare I own. based on the fact it sounds stellar in the recording studio, and I've played it on many live shows in different circumstances, small to large venues, little PA, big PA, compromised sounding spaces etc - and it has always sounded superb.
The Black Cherry was one of the less expensive Craviotto snares. I certainly don't go for the gold hardware, engraving etc. It's all about the sound. And for me, the more standard Craviotto drums are worth the money.
 

bbunks

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So here are a few photos - one that I've posted a few times already - of my Cherry Craviotto kit, and yes, I will play them in the wild (what the heck are drums for?).

I love 'em, but of course, I paid for them, so maybe I'm delusional. But on the first gig - an outdoor show - I was going through sound check and our trombonist's reaction from a block away was "what the h*ll are THOSE drums?!"

I get such good "feedback" from behind the kit. They're a joy to play, as are the other 4 Craviotto snares I own.

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NobleCooleyNut

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So here are a few photos - one that I've posted a few times already - of my Cherry Craviotto kit, and yes, I will play them in the wild (what the heck are drums for?).

I love 'em, but of course, I paid for them, so maybe I'm delusional. But on the first gig - an outdoor show - I was going through sound check and our trombonist's reaction from a block away was "what the h*ll are THOSE drums?!"

I get such good "feedback" from behind the kit. They're a joy to play, as are the other 4 Craviotto snares I own.

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Bill
You have sent me a number of pics of your Craviotto kit and it never gets old . Truly one of the most beautiful looking ( and I am sure sounding ) kits I have seen pictured . Knowing of your discerning taste it must be fantastic .
 

Masecar

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I have a pair of DW Craviottos - a 13 and a 14. The 13 doesn't get used much, but I keep it around because it's my favorite 13" snare I think I've ever played. They both have a top end that a normal ply maple shell doesn't do, and they work great from very low to very high tunings. I wouldn't bring them on a long tour with me, but I have used them on onesie-twosie local gigs, and on plenty of recordings. They record magnificently.

Maybe someday I'll find a kit in my price range, but for now I'm very happy with my Yamaha and Gretsch kits.
 

DanRH

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Since this is a Craviotto thread, I decided to throw up pics of my Craviotto kits I've had in the past. And the one I currently have.

My Mahogany kit in 2014 (22/13/16)
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My Birds Eye Maple kit from 2015 (22/13/16)
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My Maple Crav I purchased in 2020 (24/13/16)
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owr

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owr

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I've shared before but will contribute, I'm a fan, I have a 14x6.5 Cherry snare I bought directly form Johnny (NAMM drum) and a 10/12/14/20 Maple kit I picked up second hand from one of the shop employees. Living in the same town as the original shop we have a bit more exposure to them for obvious reasons. The local jazz club has a house kit, I've heard dozens of drummers play it, many fairly famous non-Craviotto endorsers. I've seen one pro-drummer become a huge fan on the spot playing that kit one night. I stuck around after the show since I knew the sound guy and witnessed him giving the guy info to connect with Johnny. The next time he came to town he had a walnut kit of his own. This was a decade ago but I saw a recent photo of him and he is still playing it.

Are they miles beyond any other high level kit? I don't know, I don't think so. They have a distinctive sound, hard for me to describe it, but I know it when I hear it. I think it probably manifests the most in the dynamic range, a certain way the floor toms open up when laid into. I've heard a lot of modern jazz played on the local club kit, so it's a sound that is very familiar at this point.

Are they worth the price? To me, definitely. I have the luxury of being in a good financial spot at present and have no need (or space) to own 20 kits. So why not own something high end that makes you happy?

Are they the best/the only kit I play? No way, I regularly flip between my Craviotto and my 60s Rogers, there are many days and playing opportunities in which I strongly prefer the latter. I am in the process of selling a 60s Gretsch RB in similar sizes since I know I can tune the Craviotto up to do what the RBs do + a whole lot more. Do they sound like a 60s Blue Note album like the Gretsch? No, not exactly, but neither do I (lol)...

Are they the best of the high end craftsman kits? I think there are a lot of people making beautiful drums these days. If I get another high end boutique kit, it will be a Sugar Percussion kit, not a 2nd Craviotto - I've tasted the kool aid and think they are as nice anything out there, steam bent or otherwise.

To the OP - get your dream kit, as long as you're not putting the family out finances wise, you wont regret it.
 

Pink69

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DanRH, nice looking kits ! Do you notice any difference in build quality between the older cravs and the new set? I am wondering if the newly made ones are any different/better/ or worse. Thanks
 

Jake Gibson

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When I first heard about Craviotto it was during their DW partnership. I thought it was a neat idea for a 1 ply shell but when I saw the price in a catalogue I remembering thinking, no drum is worth that much! Years later, I finally got to try a Craviotto out and was blown away on someone else's kit. Had to have one, bought a used DW/Crav and felt I was set for life. No way was I going to spend that much money on a kit. A couple years later, I take a lesson with Jason McGerr, who had his Craviotto kit with him, he plays it and my jaw hits the ground. That was the sound in my head I've been looking for. So I priced a new kit out and started saving up and then all of a sudden a used one showed up on eBay and I pounced. The Craviotto's are like all of my previous drum kits in one. My first pro level kit was a Pearl Masters MMX(4ply, with 4ply rings) lots of attack not much sustain. Then I had a DW Collectors that had this almost extended resonance that I loved. Finally I had a vintage Premier kit that was mahogany with reinforcement rings, that had that vintage warmth. The Crav's just resonate differently with me. I feel the kick drum more in my chest compared to a ply shell of the same size and set up. The tom's have the perfect amount of attack and sustain. The snare's have a throaty attack that I love.
Since the gigs stopped for me in the last year, I almost put these up on the market but I'm glad I didn't. The tough part is I would like to add a couple of drums but I'm not sure I have enough other equipment at the moment I can sell to offset the cost.
As an owner and a fan of the brand, I wish Craviotto would step up their online presence on social media. They lost so much momentum after Johnny's passing when they were locked out of their original instagram account. Obviously customer orders come first and if they are as backed up as I've heard, then maybe they don't need anymore advertisement. I just feel like between not being as active online and other companies offering steam bent drums in some form, they are being talked about less.

Regardless, all I know is I love my drums and will play them until the end.
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Wonderful looking kit/collection.
 

DavedrumsTX

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I know a few members have had a set or two around here.....but dont hear much.
Are they all that?
Would love love love to hear all about them!
Great drums. After owning Gretsch, Ludwig, Ayotte and Yamaha, I thought they would make me happy. After 7 months they arrived and they were beautiful and sounded great. However, I never wanted to gig with them. I set up my original Ludwigs one day and realized they were what I loved. I sold my Craviottos to a member of this forum and he still has them.
 

c.wulf

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After owning several Craviotto snare drums and the 24,13,16 kit that Dan now owns, I have to say that the bearing edge (baseball bat vs 45) makes a huge difference sonically, so make sure of which Craviotto’s you are hearing. Also, it’s been hit and miss for snare drums for me. My favorite of the bunch has been a 13x6.5 and 14x6.5 that @rculberson now own and is extremely happy with.
As far as SQ2- there have been a couple of kits on here that have been extremely tempting.
All that said- my first and only BRAND NEW kit, will be the Jenkins & Martin that is currently being built!
Go J&M!!! @Mendozart
 

DanRH

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DanRH, nice looking kits ! Do you notice any difference in build quality between the older cravs and the new set? I am wondering if the newly made ones are any different/better/ or worse. Thanks
None whatsoever.
 


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