Getting a modern workhorse kit, which one should I go with?

Which one should I go with?

  • Stage Custom

    Votes: 31 67.4%
  • Catalina birch LE

    Votes: 3 6.5%
  • Something else, propose!

    Votes: 12 26.1%

  • Total voters
    46
  • This poll will close: .

feelyat

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I know you said you didn't like PDP, but I've been very happy with my PDP Concept Maple kit as a workhorse, especially with the addition of a 10" tom. I will say, though, that PDP really does a terrible job of consistency with their product lines from year to year. My kit is in a beautiful finish (Cherry Stain) which is discontinued; that means I'm unable to find add-ons for my kit if I want to expand the shell bank beyond 20/10/12/14.

The kit itself is great -- sounds great, looks great, very well built.
 

stick2it

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I'm with Murat: On a strict budget, the Yamaha Stage Custom can't be beat; but if you can nudge your budget upwards a little bit, the Sonor AQ2s are far better in quality build, tuning rage, warmth, and in my opinion, looks. I have both kits, in bop sizes. Both are far better than the Gretsch Catalinas.

Better yet, but bringing your budget up quite a bit, is the Canopus Yaiba that was recommended here earlier. The Yamaha SC and Sonor AQ2 are no match for the Canopus Yaiba. The Yaiba is the entry point to great sounding, well built kits.

(Disclosure: I'm a Canopus endorser. because they're great drums.)

Canopus Yaiba - direct mounted tom.jpg
 

Jazzhead

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How is Tama Superstar classic maple kit so cheap?
There is like a 8 piece kit for $950. How are these much cheaper than stage customs? Lower quality?
 
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bassanddrum84

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I def changed my vote to the gretsch. I played a couple birch kits live for roughly 10 years in a top forty country and classic rock and I got nothing but compliments on them. So I’d go with gretsch. I gigged my Yamaha hipgig when I had one and the tom arms stripped out all the time.
 
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Steech

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How is Tama Superstar classic maple kit so cheap?
There is like a 8 piece kit for $950. How are these much cheaper than stage customs? Lower quality?
I’ve heard that the hoops are not that great but you can easily upgrade them.
 

bpaluzzi

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I played a mid-2000s Gretsch Catalina Club Rock (first generation, the 26/14-16-18 config, with a full "RIMS"-style mount on the rack tom) as my main kit for 10 years and they sounded and looked incredible. It's actually the kit in my profile picture - a gorgeous "Black Galaxy Sparkle" lacquer that was a very fine black sparkle lacquer base with some very sparse silver sparkle pieces spread out like stars (similar to a Mardi Gras finish but even more sparse). Played up to 10,000+ seat arenas with them, touring through a dozen countries. The only problem I had was with the spurs -- the bottom adjustable section was only adjustable via drum key, and the left side spur eventually got stripped out so that it wouldn't hold anymore.

I also have a modern Catalina 18" kick that I use with my electronic set (heavily muffled + triggered), and haven't had any problems with it.

Based on my experience with them, I'd never hesitate recommending them to someone. I've played the Stage Customs and they've been "fine". Absolutely no problems with them, and they'll definitely get the job done, but they just don't have any vibe to me.
 
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Jazzhead

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Just a fyi questlove is legit playing the blue neusonic on the tonight show
Interesting you say this. I did watch the late night show last week and I noticed questlove playing a blue ludwig kit which looked like Neusonic to me. You may be right but at one point camera got real close to him and I noticed the kit had the regular ludwig mini classic lugs and not the smaller/shorter neusonic lugs, the badge also didn’t look silver to me. I think questlove plays a CM in heritage blue, and not neusonics. If you find a picture or video with neusonics please share. Regardless, he is a Ludwig endorser and he also plays a $400 kit he designed.


5264C3B4-EFB2-432E-B743-4129F233B1E7.jpeg
 

bassanddrum84

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Interesting you say this. I did watch the late night show last week and I noticed questlove playing a blue ludwig kit which looked like Neusonic to me. You may be right but at one point camera got real close to him and I noticed the kit had the regular ludwig mini classic lugs and not the smaller/shorter neusonic lugs, the badge also didn’t look silver to me. I think questlove plays a CM in heritage blue, and not neusonics. If you find a picture or video with neusonics please share. Regardless, he is a Ludwig endorser and he also plays a $400 kit he designed.


View attachment 537987
True that now I’m curious to which he was playing.
 


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