Ever Buy a Kit And Was Just "Not Yours"?

Radio King

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Out of the 30+ messages so far, I count 10 that mention DW sets as not floating the boat. Interesting.
 
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singleordoubleheads

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I was actually thinking about posting a similar thread about this a few weeks ago

Anyway, I have (luckily) never got to the point of selling, but have had a kit or 2 that took me longer to "warm up" to than I ever thought it would. I was thinking more along the lines of "does each kit have it's own personality" and I went thru such a nightmare when I took delivery of my new Vistalites in 2011 that it took me MUCH LONGER to get to know and enjoy them that it should.

My super cheap but ultra cool Groove Percussion kit needed some TLC but actually has better looking wood grain (maple shells) than my Pro M kit and almost feels like a rescued dog, happy to have found a loving home
 

Josh Vibert

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Out of the 30+ messages so far, I count 10 that mention DW sets as not floating the boat. Interesting.
I think it's a combination of heads/tuning and sound expectations. To use an analogy, imagine buying a Black Beauty because it's expensive, is an "industry standard drum," etc. But your preferred snare sound is Steve Jordan's cranked Brady. Using stock heads, wires, etc, you just can't get there. Then you're disappointed because you spent all that money on a "top of the line" drum and were disappointed because it didn't sound like you wanted it to. But, instead of phrasing it that way, you say things like "overpriced" and "sounded like garbage." I think that's what happens with DW most of the time.

Yep, Collector's kits cost a lot of money. They also have a pretty distinctive sound and work best tuned low. In fact, you'll often hear that DW's sound like a size larger drum (for instance, a 14" DW floor tom will get as low as everyone else's 16). But, if you buy a 12/14/20 DW kit and hope it will sound like a mid or high tuned Gretsch or Ludwig, you'll be disappointed. Doesn't mean DW's suck. Just means you picked the wrong kit to achieve that sound. Can DW's sound good at mid-high tunings? Yes. Will it sound like other kits do at those tunings? No.

Finally, I think the clear/coated heads DW's come with contribute to their "wet" "slappy" sound. The problem is, it's almost impossible to find a sample video of a DW kit with heads other than those. In my experience, that is FAR from the most flattering head you can put on a DW kit. Coated Emperors on toms tuned low is my preference. Tone for days.
 

JDA

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I sense it's because they mess with horizontal and vertical (grain) placement. Stiff (horizontal? vertical? I get it confused) ply gives higher timbre. Lower pitch (vertical? Horizontal?) gives low. Seems the tendency at the factory is to build and ship out/sell/ "lo" .
These don't suffer the low.

When someone/anyone says " 6 ply maple shell with 6 ply rings" most think "well I can tune those up". but if the built-in grain orientation is favoring lows and diminishing the highs you're stuck; with a low set, irregardless of dimension, So that is all I can figure about the "rep"..

(I got it.) Vertical is where you get the "wet noodle"..Horizontal is the stiffer (more often found traditionally in a "other" makes set's prior (I'm gonna guess) to wood whispering)
First minute of this tells it all. All you need to know.


Could have an all-maple 6 ply Collector built with 5 Horizontal and 1 vertical and that'd be "normal" (in days past) sound. There's so much shuffling of grain orientation- each shell- should somehow be marked- to know- what you're looking at when buying...used or new. A label that stays with the drum over it's lifetime. (Tony)
 
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Rich K.

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Well, this is "THAT" set for me! I was looking for a new, light weight kit to replace my little Gretsch Catalina's (which had an 18" kick) as I wanted to step back up to my preferred 20" drum. I looked at literally dozens of kits from many brands for several months and made offers on a LOT of them before I worked out a deal with Steve Maxwell for this Japanese made TAMA birch kit. It's a cira 2006 model Starclassic Performer EFX set in a great looking Black Gold Glitter wrap. The kit was originally catalog model SRG40S and came with a 10", 12" 14X14" and 18"X20" but I cut the kick down to my preferred 14"X20" size and I was very pleased with how that turned out (their is a thread on the custom boards outlining that process) so you would think I would be thrilled right... nope, this is just not "my" kit!

The build quality is outstanding and the chrome hardware is impressive but overall the kit is just heavy and not at all what I was looking for as far as a small kit to play local casuals around town with. This was just my lack of experience with TAMA in general. It's a great set, but it just did not connect to me on an emotional level. Goofy right? But I have no regrets as the set needed to be loved back into shape and I was pleased to do that for the next owner!

I am putting this up on the "for sale" thread (with lots of details pics) but I wanted to share how everything turned out with the restoration here as well for fun. Sorry for the all brown practice room photos, I could not get the weather to cooperate with a nice outdoor photo opportunity! But I suppose this is a good example of knowing more about the kit your buying sight unseen, BEFORE you buy it sight unseen!!!!

Has anyone else done this as well, or am I all alone in this experience?

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I think that set is beautiful. Unless you're getting GAS, why not gig with it for a couple of months...you may end up loving it.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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I've probably only owned about 20 pro-level drumsets since 1975 - but I've never sold any due to disappointing tone.
I still have 11 of those sets and I'm satisfied with their tonality.
 

Fat Drummer

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I think that set is beautiful. Unless you're getting GAS, why not gig with it for a couple of months...you may end up loving it.
Well, that's a good question Rich and I think the answer is in two parts. First, I indeed DO have an acute case of GAS! I buy, sell and trade all the time with the only set that seems immune (thus far) being my restored 74' Slingerlands. So I think you are correct, that plays into this decision to some part. I think I might have not really bought into the kit from the start, evidenced by the fact that I cut the kick down to a size I really wanted day one.

Secondly, this kit is just heaver than I want for the purpose I bought it for. That is not to say it's so heavy it cant be carried around as it is just a drum set after all. But it is so well built and solid that it's just physically feels heavy and solid. I know, I know.... weight is subjective, but it just seems heavy to me. So it belongs to someone else.

I have only posted it here with no real expectations of it selling here (we look at a lot of kits on DFO ,but don't buy or sell full sets on the board very often) but I will post it many places now that it is written up. Right now, I am going to leave it as perfect, new heads for selling. But if it does not sell by the summer I will most likely take it out and mess with it then.

But once I decide to sell something it's pretty much gone in my mind. I seldom walk back an offering. We will see what the next few months holds.

W
 

singleordoubleheads

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I sense it's because they mess with horizontal and vertical (grain) placement. Stiff (horizontal? vertical? I get it confused) ply gives higher timbre. Lower pitch (vertical? Horizontal?) gives low. Seems the tendency at the factory is to build and ship out/sell/ "lo" .
These don't suffer the low.

When someone/anyone says " 6 ply maple shell with 6 ply rings" most think "well I can tune those up". but if the built-in grain orientation is favoring lows and diminishing the highs you're stuck; with a low set, irregardless of dimension, So that is all I can figure about the "rep"..

(I got it.) Vertical is where you get the "wet noodle"..Horizontal is the stiffer (more often found traditionally in a "other" makes set's prior (I'm gonna guess) to wood whispering)
First minute of this tells it all. All you need to know.


Could have an all-maple 6 ply Collector built with 5 Horizontal and 1 vertical and that'd be "normal" (in days past) sound. There's so much shuffling of grain orientation- each shell- should somehow be marked- to know- what you're looking at when buying...used or new. A label that stays with the drum over it's lifetime. (Tony)
IMHO that is way overthinking things design-wise. Another attempt to reinvent the wheel...just give me a nice clean maple (or birch or oak) shell with a true bearing edge and let ME go up or down the "tone elevator" with tuning/head options.
 

scottcyp

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I have a trade in the works for my renown’s. They can now be someone else’s lol.
 

Topsy Turvy

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I think it's a combination of heads/tuning and sound expectations. To use an analogy, imagine buying a Black Beauty because it's expensive, is an "industry standard drum," etc. But your preferred snare sound is Steve Jordan's cranked Brady. Using stock heads, wires, etc, you just can't get there. Then you're disappointed because you spent all that money on a "top of the line" drum and were dsoundisappointed because it didn't sound like you wanted it to. But, instead of phrasing it that way, you say things like "overpriced" and "sounded like garbage." I think that's what happens with DW most of the time.

Yep, Collector's kits cost a lot of money. They also have a pretty distinctive sound and work best tuned low. In fact, you'll often hear that DW's sound like a size larger drum (for instance, a 14" DW floor tom will get as low as everyone else's 16). But, if you buy a 12/14/20 DW kit and hope it will sound like a mid or high tuned Gretsch or Ludwig, you'll be disappointed. Doesn't mean DW's suck. Just means you picked the wrong kit to achieve that sound. Can DW's sound good at mid-high tunings? Yes. Will it sound like other kits do at those tunings? No.

Finally, I think the clear/coated heads DW's come with contribute to their "wet" "slappy" sound. The problem is, it's almost impossible to find a sample video of a DW kit with heads other than those. In my experience, that is FAR from the most flattering head you can put on a DW kit. Coated Emperors on toms tuned low is my preference. Tone for days.

For the most part, I agree with your assessment. In my case, however, I was not only disappointed by their lack of tuning flexibility, but by the fact that the drums sounded boxy when they were tuned up - even with coated Emperors. (The snare drum was particularly bad, verging on awful.)

The DWs definitely have their own sound, which I absolutely respect. However, that sound was not as round sounding as I was wanting, regardless of heads and tuning. They did the low rumble quite well, although still a bit boxy. I'm not a jazzer, by any stretch, but I do want a round, full sound, especially when playing unmiced. The DWs sounded fantastic in the studio, but live and unmiced, they just didn't work for me.

Edit- Have to add, I did a recording session with the DWs with an engineer who had worked with some fairly big names (Wilco, Ben Harper, etc..). He LOVED the sound of my DW bass drum and actually asked me about buying the drum. (He commented that it was the "biggest, fattest sounding 22" bass he had recorded.) I didn't want to split up the kit, and he didn't want to buy the entire set so the deal didn't happen. So, there are definitely some people out there who love the DW sound.
 
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richardh253

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Guess we've all been there. Heading into the downsizing stage of life, selling off kits, I thought to buy the Gretsch mini-bop kit - small footprint, cool finish, Gretsch is classic, and all. Did not work for me at all. Drums just too small when I sat behind it. Sold it. I then bought a great 1966 Ludwig BDP from Maxwell Drums - jazz fest snare + 20, 12 + 16 - exact same wrap, sizes and brand as my first kit that I bought new in 1966 (Sam Ash, Hempstead LI). If you're only able to keep one kit at retirement age, might as well be a replica of where you started out :)
 

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Radio King

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For the most part, I agree with your assessment. In my case, however, I was not only disappointed by their lack of tuning flexibility, but by the fact that the drums sounded boxy when they were tuned up - even with coated Emperors. (The snare drum was particularly bad, verging on awful.)

The DWs definitely have their own sound, which I absolutely respect. However, that sound was not as round sounding as I was wanting, regardless of heads and tuning. They did the low rumble quite well, although still a bit boxy. I'm not a jazzer, by any stretch, but I do want a round, full sound, especially when playing unmiced. The DWs sounded fantastic in the studio, but live and unmiced, they just didn't work for me.

Edit- Have to add, I did a recording session with the DWs with an engineer who had worked with some fairly big names (Wilco, Ben Harper, etc..). He LOVED the sound of my DW bass drum and actually asked me about buying the drum. (He commented that it was the "biggest, fattest sounding 22" bass he had recorded.) I didn't want to split up the kit, and he didn't want to buy the entire set so the deal didn't happen. So, there are definitely some people out there who love the DW sound.
And I totally agree with your assessment regarding DWs: my Collectors just didn't inspire me, no matter what heads I put on them (and I spent an inordinate amount of $$ on different heads). They just sounded kinda thumpy and generic to my ears; they seemed comfortable only at low tunings. Frustrating. Once I experienced my first set of Sonor Prolites - which share a quite similar thin shell/re-ring makeup - I knew I had arrived at the sound I was striving for. They could do everything, and were a game-changer for me. The DWs missed the mark in what I was looking for. The Sonors sealed it.
 

Elvis

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*sigh*...as time goes on.....I realize....none of my kits....are really..."me"…...
 
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Jay_M

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When I first got into vintage sets, I bought a red sparkle Slingerland Stage Band Kit at a cheap price and knew it'd be the one, but when I tuned and played it it just didn't feel good. Response, tuning, the toms were choked. I sold it 4 months later, recorded with it once. Tried other Slingerland sets over the years and they all felt that same way. Had Gretsch, Camco, Sonor Teardrops, Trixon, MIJs, Rogers and they all felt good to great to play, but every Slingerland I played - I got no vibe from it. It's a shame because they're usually affordable and have some great wraps, they're just not for me. Snares are killer though.
 

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Well, this is "THAT" set for me! I was looking for a new, light weight kit to replace my little Gretsch Catalina's (which had an 18" kick) as I wanted to step back up to my preferred 20" drum. I looked at literally dozens of kits from many brands for several months and made offers on a LOT of them before I worked out a deal with Steve Maxwell for this Japanese made TAMA birch kit. It's a cira 2006 model Starclassic Performer EFX set in a great looking Black Gold Glitter wrap. The kit was originally catalog model SRG40S and came with a 10", 12" 14X14" and 18"X20" but I cut the kick down to my preferred 14"X20" size and I was very pleased with how that turned out (their is a thread on the custom boards outlining that process) so you would think I would be thrilled right... nope, this is just not "my" kit!

The build quality is outstanding and the chrome hardware is impressive but overall the kit is just heavy and not at all what I was looking for as far as a small kit to play local casuals around town with. This was just my lack of experience with TAMA in general. It's a great set, but it just did not connect to me on an emotional level. Goofy right? But I have no regrets as the set needed to be loved back into shape and I was pleased to do that for the next owner!

I am putting this up on the "for sale" thread (with lots of details pics) but I wanted to share how everything turned out with the restoration here as well for fun. Sorry for the all brown practice room photos, I could not get the weather to cooperate with a nice outdoor photo opportunity! But I suppose this is a good example of knowing more about the kit your buying sight unseen, BEFORE you buy it sight unseen!!!!

Has anyone else done this as well, or am I all alone in this experience?

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I know man, I regretted selling my old set just because the 18 inch bass was one of the best sounding basses I've ever had.
But it wouldn't match my new drums, so I sold them. I probably should have just kept the old set incase i ever decided to play out again or transport the drums to jam elsewhere, because i won't take my 8 piece Tama Star Walnut out of the house for any reason.
That's cool you got an older Starclassic, because that should be a Japanese set. When I was ordering my new drums in 2018 i originally wanted a Starclassic, but I found out that was when they moved production to China, and there was no way I was going to order a Chinese set or pay that kind of money for a Chinese set. So I decided to make a special order from Japan and specify the sizes of all shells and ordered an 8 piece set of Tama Star Walnut and matching 14"x6.5" snare. It's a work of art. Unfortunately the hardware comes from China, but you can't do anything about that.
I didn't like the top of the line tama hihat stand, I thought the spring loaded bottom was a good idea to keep the bottom hat tilted and flatten as iy closed, but it really seemed to change the sound of the hats, so I got a Pearl H1050 because ut has 3 legs. I've never found a 2 leg hihat stand yet that doesn't wobble while playing and I've had 3 different brands. And I got the top of the line tama with 3 legs and didn't like it, but the Pearl H1050 is great.
I also got rid of my two tama single pedals and used my single sonor and double sonor pedals, but I decided to put the double sonor on my Roland set and got a Pearl Eliminator 3002c double pedal, it's really a great double pedal and has dual chain. I myself prefer chain over direct drive and I've never had a situation that the beater couldn't keep up with the pedal yet. But i don't play the fastest thrash death metal going over 320 bpm.
Ok, I'm Ramblin on...
Like I said, great deal getting that Starclassic man. If i came across a nice used one I'd be tempted to get it but having my Star and the Roland, my wife would have something to say about my getting another set, even though I've got so many cymbals i wouldn't need to get any for a second drum set.
Good luck and enjoy your set.
 

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Tama Starclassic Select Walnut. Boring to look at, and not a fan of the high die cast hoops.

 

Fat Drummer

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Apparently my kit (the Tama's for sale in the opening post) are not a few others "kit" as well... in the last day I have received two very kind and generous bids... one each for $200 and $300... delivered! :blink::thumbright:
 


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