Dale's Drum Shop in PA

SpinaDude

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Long story short, the music store I had been doing pretty much all of my business with is making a major change to their store, which favors internet sales over foot traffic. I understand their position, they need to survive in a shifting economy. As I think is common in this type of thing, one of the first department's to lose floor space is the drum dept. Sucks for me, because I used to love going there and trying out gear. I don't think I will be welcome to do that anymore. That was pretty much my one and only outlet to take a stick to anything for a test drive.

I've seen Dale's mentioned on here a few times. It's about 2 and a half hours for me to drive there. It's been hard for me to gauge just how big their inventory is because their online presence is pretty mall. Trying to shop from their website...well it doesn't match video walkthroughs of the store. Granted those were from many years ago and the variety and quantity of their stock looked amazing in those videos. From what I saw it rivaled DCP, and is a helluva lot closer to me.

The question is, for anyone who's been there lately, do they still have that amazing inventory? Or have things scaled back? Given the chance, I would really like to give my business to a local shop as opposed to a monster online dealer.
 
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JDA

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one of the first department's to lose floor space is the drum dept
did they have other departments besides drums?
dale's Drum Shop from the title---would think it was a drums only type operation?
 

Mayan

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I grew up in York, PA and I am surprised to hear that Dale’s is still around! In 1998, it was a drum shop, 100%. No other instruments. And it was a full shop, at least a 15 or 20 brand new kits sitting on the floor, plenty of cymbals to choose from. If I remember, it was two floors. Sorry I can’t tell you what it is like these days!

edit: I just looked at their site and the address is the same. And the shop looks the same too. It is as big and full of equipment as the Sam Ash drum store on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. I would say it is worth the drive.
 

tillerva

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I went there last summer. It was pretty awesome.
 

Neal Pert

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It's not massive in the way DCP is massive, but I like it a lot. There are some great guys working there, especially Rej Troup, who's got to be "my drum guy" to thousands of drummers. Love that guy. And it's very well stocked, prices are reasonable, there are always some head-shaking amazing deals to be found, and there's a pretty terrific Mexican place where no one speaks English right up the road. I'm a big fan.

So yeah-- it'd be a great place to set up as your local store. It's like four hours from me but I still depend on them for lots of things and their service has been impeccable.
 
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Hazelwood7

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I don’t know exactly how to respond since you are all over the place on this one. I have been shopping at Dales for 20 years. They are wonderful people and I have bought many sets from and everything and everything else drum related. They only sell drums.
As for the changes, it makes perfect sense to me. They still allow people to come in and shop. They are trying to survive like every other business in America. They had to move to more online sales. As for not having as much high end gear as before, well that’s an easy one. They buy kits and they sit on the floor and they blow a lot of it out because people don’t buy that stuff anymore. The people that do custom order. They still are great and have amazing pricing on most everything. I have ordered 4 custom kits through then and it was flawless. Two Sq2 kits , 2 USA Ludwig kits. Don’t throw shade on a business near to my heart. They should not be punished for trying to survive. There are jobs at stake.
 
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ctomasel

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Good timing - I was just there for the first time last week. Very impressed. They had many (I’d estimate 30+) kits from entry level to pro. They were more than willing to take a Ludwig kit off the shelf, tune it up, and let me try it out. They had at least 4 Ludwig Classic Maple kits in stock which included a couple very cool Ludwig “stingray” kits with 20x12(!) bass drums, a really nice mahogany stain downbeat kit, and at least one 22/13/16. Quite a few pro level DW and Tama kits. Lots of cymbals. Shelves of snare drums. A room full of hardware.

I probably spent 90 minutes there and was not pressured at all. Really cool guys. They also seem to be very well versed in custom ordering from Ludwig and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them if I was going that route.
 

SpinaDude

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Good timing - I was just there for the first time last week. Very impressed. They had many (I’d estimate 30+) kits from entry level to pro. They were more than willing to take a Ludwig kit off the shelf, tune it up, and let me try it out. They had at least 4 Ludwig Classic Maple kits in stock which included a couple very cool Ludwig “stingray” kits with 20x12(!) bass drums, a really nice mahogany stain downbeat kit, and at least one 22/13/16. Quite a few pro level DW and Tama kits. Lots of cymbals. Shelves of snare drums. A room full of hardware.

I probably spent 90 minutes there and was not pressured at all. Really cool guys. They also seem to be very well versed in custom ordering from Ludwig and I wouldn’t hesitate to use them if I was going that route.
Thank you! That is exactly what I wanted to hear! Thank you very much!
 

premierplayer

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Looks PFC to me.
A lot closer than Forks
 

SpinaDude

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I don’t know exactly how to respond since you are all over the place on this one. I have been shopping at Dales for 20 years. They are wonderful people and I have bought many sets from and everything and everything else drum related. They only sell drums.
As for the changes, it makes perfect sense to me. They still allow people to come in and shop. They are trying to survive like every other business in America. They had to move to more online sales. As for not having as much high end gear as before, well that’s an easy one. They buy kits and they sit on the floor and they blow a lot of it out because people don’t buy that stuff anymore. The people that do custom order. They still are great and have amazing pricing on most everything. I have ordered 4 custom kits through then and it was flawless. Two Sq2 kits , 2 USA Ludwig kits. Don’t throw shade on a business near to my heart. They should not be punished for trying to survive. There are jobs at stake.
Dude, I'm sorry if the post came off as scattershot.

To answer both you and JDA, The shop I used to go to, sells everything. I'm not throwing shade on them. As I said in my OP, I understand why they have to make the shift. I hope they do well. But for me, I want to try something out before I even think of buying it. That's where my disappointment comes from, and I'll admit, it's purely selfish. I'm specifically not mentioning the store because I don't want this to come off as a rant about them. Again, I want them to continue to prosper.

I also want a place to try stuff out. Because Dale's doesn't seem to make the majority of their inventory available for online shoppers, and because there are no recent videos, I was concerned they may have hit problems, either from Covid or anything else.

No slamming intended on anyone here. I simply wanted to know if it's worth the drive. From what ctomasel says, it definitely is. That's great! I'm eager to go out and see them.
 
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nylontip

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do they still have that amazing inventory
Yes, my buddies and I take the 2:45 trip out there twice a year. (Couldn't go this summer for obvious reasons) However, they always have a well stocked inventory and rotate gear quite often.
Dale, Rej, Brian, Kevin and the staff are wonderful honest guys and drummers who know the gear. Their customer service is outstanding too. They offer a lot of in-store specials that make the trip worth it every time and they also have a second floor full of new and used kits and drum gear in all price ranges. They have a fantastic cymbal and hardware inventory as well. A few days throughout the year, they feature a specific company for a "cymbal day". For example, Paiste Day, Sabian Day, Zildjian Day etc, where an endorser of those company's will play a wide varity of that company's cymbals and offer big discounts along with a mini clinic. Excellent selection of snare drums and good deals on cases too. Dales also offers a lot of Tama specials, (demos, and one of a kind Tama products)
They are predominately a drum store and offer some drum related electronics (pads, in-ears, headphones, clicks, etc)
Btw, for you guys in Florida, a former member of the Dales team, Danny, recently founded and opened Daytona Bench Drum Center which is another fantastic shop!
 
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RogersLudwig

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They bought lots of Rogers stuff,NOS, and i was able to find a plastic cup for myRogers Supreme hihat a few years ago. Great service and people
 

m_anderson

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Been dealing with Dale's for 13 years. Top notch. Found Dale's on eBay in 2007 when they were selling their 25th Anniversary TAMA Bubinga snare drum. Only 25 made, one for each year. Just so happened my company had me in Harrisburg for some stupid seminar. I zipped over to Dale's on a lunch break and picked up the drum in person. My first 13 inch snare drum. One of the best purchases I have ever made. Not only one of the best looking drums I have ever seen, but also one of the best playing. Been dealing with Dale's ever since. About a three hour drive for me. They sell INDe parts, but they don't stock INDE kits. Last time I spoke with them was to see if they had an INDe kit I could sit behind. No dice.



 

PressRoll

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My first snare drum was bought at Dale's in 1996 when I was in 5th grade. A nice used 70's Acro with stand, practice pad and the Ludwig UFO hard case. I still have it and I've been a Dale's customer ever since.
 

hector48

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Dale's is local for me. I go there all the time, and have been going there since the early 90's. They are really nice people. Eager to help, but no pressure to buy. Prices are good and the inventory is good. And there's almost always some gear at blowout prices that can't be beat. I think it's worth the trip, even if it's a few hours away. Just make sure to check on the open hours before you start driving. Their in-store hours are less, due to the Covid thing.
 

73Rogers

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Another thumbs-up for Dale's here! It's a 2 hour drive for me and I find a reason to get out there a couple times a year. Pretty much what everybody else says above is true. Great stock, no pressure, good advice. They also take trades on certain stuff. Always great "unadvertised" deals in the store. My one recommendation would be to try to get there on a weekday when it's less busy.
 

redbeard

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Dale's is right down the street from my in-laws (great people, BTW) and their drum stock is fantastic. I have noticed over the past decade that their cymbal selection has diminished slightly but still worth the trek. They usually have a nice selection of demo gear at great prices as well.
If you're a history buff Gettysburg is only another hour drive away from Dale's so you can hit up both and make a nice little trip out of it.
 

jaymandude

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clicks, etc)
Btw, for you guys in Florida, a former member of the Dales team, Danny, recently founded and opened Daytona Bench Drum Center which is another fantastic shop!
I’ve seen that shop name. Good to know it’s legit
 

Hemant

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Dale's is fantastic. Great store. I have been going there since the mid-90's. Dale used to be part of Buddy Rich's road crew. If I am not mistaken - they are the largest Tama dealer in the US. That being said they carry a big stock of Ludwig, DW, Pearl, Mapex, Gretsch and others. I believe they also have one of the few DW Almond kits.

I have family in Central PA so I get to stop in a few times a year.
 


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