Drum brands (starting over from scratch)

Rab35

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Like the bass drum pedal thread, I'm looking to start over and get the best of the best. I currently play Tama Starclassic maple (bought original in the late 90's).

This thread is about drum brands who make kick, floor, and rack toms (no snares, that thread will come later). I'm looking for the best sounding and highest quality construction drums. I'm not interested in the finishes, colors, or other visuals.

I understand it's subjective and to one's preference, but I'm looking for drum makers where you just can't go wrong.

Who makes the best drums out there and why?
 

DanRH

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To me, there are several. I've never owned a bad Yamaha kit. Also, my Jenkins-Martin kit has never disappointed. All Gretsch are always winners, except for a Catalina Rock kit which was meh...
 

bongomania

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There are so many, but the Japan-made Tama maple drums are highly regarded still.

If you want something younger and fresher, check out Inde, and like Dan said, Jenkins Martin and Yamaha’s flagship lines are primo.
 

supershifter2

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look for used 1980 tama superstar drums. they are the best sounding highest quality constructed drums ever made. i have 5 kits
 

Tornado

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Can't go wrong with any of the major brands pro level kits. They all make great drums. Even their mid range kits are mostly solid. It's a great time to buy drums.
 

Bri6366

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If you're talking the big names, Tama, Yamaha, Pearl, DW are all great. I would check out Noble and Cooley as well.
 

Rab35

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Thanks all. Something else to mention, I am looking into what is sonically superior to the naked ear but also is something that sound engineers like to work with.

Being a Tama guy for 20+years I've never had an issue with my drums. I'm just looking to see if there's something else out there that I am missing.
 

Tmcfour

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If you are looking for a pinnacle kit look at Noble and Cooley, George Way, J&M, and Craviotto (sp?). I say these over the bigger guys (Tama, Yamaha, Ludwig, DW, Gretsch. Etc.) because it sounds like you are looking for a super trophy kit.
 

Radio King

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Thanks all. Something else to mention, I am looking into what is sonically superior to the naked ear but also is something that sound engineers like to work with.

Being a Tama guy for 20+years I've never had an issue with my drums. I'm just looking to see if there's something else out there that I am missing.
Well, there's always German Sonor, but I'm biased. ;-)
 

drummer5359

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I own and use primarily DW Collector's Series and Gretsch USA Custom kits. They are quite different sonically, but to me that was the point of having both.

There are so many great choices out there today, far more than any time that I can think of. And as others have stated, there are amazing kits available even at mid level price points these days.

The one brand that totally blew me away when I played it, but that I've never personally owned is Craviotto. They are pricey, but sound like nothing else to me. Someday I've got to scratch that itch.
 

Old Dog

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It doesn't appear that anyone has mentioned iNde yet. They don't meet your equipment criteria, but dang they make some nice drums.
 

JDA

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what is sonically superior to the naked ear
That's a little iffy..If you go back to the beginning of drum set and come thru all the decades..and you see the snare drums and bass drums and cymbals and..er hi hats stands... You see it's mostly 'The Person' sitting behind those things (dictating the sound) and extreme jumps into "the drums are making the sound" sorta filters fades blurs into many many many different brands and construction etc.

What I find it comes down to Sizes; how much of a hand full; you want to move (around) from place to place.
And what Size (dimensions) you are very comfortable (reaching) with. Brand is just colors on a Rainbow. My favorite color may not be yours etc. One may like many different colors. Spoiler: Can't own them all at once. Pick one. The Ones that Fit. With All Reputable Brands what sounds come out is You and always will be You. The flavor of the sound is a personal -you make- decision.
 
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RIDDIM

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What makes something the best?

Pretty much every firm makes great gear at the upper end. And a lot of the mid range or lower end gear is an improvement over what we came up with.

What are your musical needs? What sorts of music are you playing in what environments? What sorts of sounds do you want to make? How important is the ability to resist environmental change? Weight? Resale value? Company support if you need parts? Figure those out and you'll have a better idea of what to buy.
 
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Ptrick

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I’ll echo what a couple other posters have said...Starclassic maples are pretty darn good. Not much at most brands upper tier that, sound wise, will be a lot different/better, mostly updated features and hardware.

I’d say a solid shell Noble & Cooley or Craviotto might be the only step up that’ll get you a different sound.
 

Hop

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There is no one "best." Far too subjective a topic to nail down without a boat load of criteria as RIDDIM is pointing out.

However, to echo some of the other comments above, there is no better time to be buying drums than today as there are so many high quality choices.
It would be hard to make a mistake in todays market where even mid-level (and some entry-level kits) can sound great.

Today, even the major drum producers are so responsive to the customer demands that you can practically get any kit manufactured in any number of "dream" configurations, that only a short time ago was open to only the upper-echelon endorsement artist!
 
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