Has REFondrums been discussed here?

Old Dog

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He has a channel on YouTube.


There are what, 8 videos in this particular line of discussion. For those that haven't seen any of his vids, he is a builder with 25 years or so of experience. And, to simplify things, he basically says that shell construction and materials DO NOT MATTER. He says "It's ALL about the heads. The heads make the sound."

Some of the vids are long, really long. One is nearly an hour long. He is long-winded IMO. But, I'm not sure he's wrong.

If there is a huge REFondrums thread, please link me. But, I did about 4 searches without finding a thing about him here.

I don't know if I agree with everything. I certainly agree with some of what he says. But, I don't have NEARLY the experience with different types of shell materials as many of you do.

I'm curious what people think.
 

EvEnStEvEn

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Ray is a fantastic drummer and person with an inquiring & creative mind. He's also a friend & DFO member.
 

Tornado

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I'll watch the videos later, but I think we've been down this road before. Here's my take. Materials and construction matter. The only question is, how much? And then, after being mic'd and eq'd, how much? And then, once it's in mix with a band, how much?

I recently saw a band and the drummer was playing a cheap junk gretsch blackhawk kit, only with the bass drum mic'd. He had them cranked up high for projection, and to be honest, they sounded like crap when they were setting up. But you know what? It didn't matter. Once the band was going, they went "boom bap, boom boom bap!" and occasionally "doom doom doom" on a fill. Just like anything else would. It was totally fine. The finer points of nice drums are for the drummer to enjoy.
 

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I watched his first two videos in the series. He's not wrong.
 

SpinaDude

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I knew Ray from the Official Drummer forum. He's a great guy, talented and very insightful. I have a great deal of respect for his opinions, ideas and knowledge.

I saw him take unnecessary heat on Official Drummer for his opinions, which I felt was poor treatment. Our ears and perceptions are all different. We're allowed to have different opinions on sounds. I believe Ray respects that notion.
 

REF

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He has a channel on YouTube.


There are what, 8 videos in this particular line of discussion. For those that haven't seen any of his vids, he is a builder with 25 years or so of experience. And, to simplify things, he basically says that shell construction and materials DO NOT MATTER. He says "It's ALL about the heads. The heads make the sound."

Some of the vids are long, really long. One is nearly an hour long. He is long-winded IMO. But, I'm not sure he's wrong.

If there is a huge REFondrums thread, please link me. But, I did about 4 searches without finding a thing about him here.

I don't know if I agree with everything. I certainly agree with some of what he says. But, I don't have NEARLY the experience with different types of shell materials as many of you do.

I'm curious what people think.
Greetings. Thank you for the interest. I appreciate you taking time to watch the series. To state things factually, though, I do not say shell construction and materials do not matter. What I try to continually get across:

The industry is saturated with super and ultra hype about shells. It's gotten ridiculous.

The sound of a drum is the heads throwing off sound waves trapped in a cylinder. When it comes to plywood cylinders, or any cylinder, the density of the cylinder wall will allow the sound waves to present themselves in more or less excited accuracy within very small ranges of difference. Change the heads. Change the sound of the drum far more easily than changing shells.

It isn't about good or bad hearing capabilities or camera mics, etc. The frequency range of drums, 6"-26" is very small and very few people could not hear details of frequency ranges drums throw out.

As everyone knows, head companies have tried for decades to recreate the sound and tonal characteristics of calf heads. How many drum companies say they try to recreate the sound of drums of that era by virtue of shell walls and are able to prove it with sound files? They may recreate the looks. The sound? That's about heads.

The heads should seat correctly on a bearing edge for proper tension and tuning. The videos on edges shows that subject is made into a fantasy as well.

Based on plywood densities, according to the Janka scale for wood hardness, the general woods used for veneers are so close on the scale, save for Bubinga, or more exotic woods from Australia which are very hard, the sounds of woods are completely over-hyped and when you crank up a whole set, with cymbals, in a band context, and the differences are so subtle and nuanced they are moot, if any exist at all. I'd love to see a blindfold test and someone pick out varying plywood shells by sound, alone.

Where a thicker shell may promote more volume, and a really dense material may promote greater frequency spectrum, whoever is running the PA or recording software can do anything, with anything and many have seen and heard it done. Hype about shells, plies, glues and all the rest is not going to give anyone their own sonic place in the universe. The head tones they use, their tuning, their sticks and their touch will create far more differences than plywood shell construction.

Premier and Gretsch are very honest about things, offer no hype at their web sites, and keep it simple, the way things used to be when I grew up. Other companies, you would think you were purchasing a space shuttle. The day I need graphs and lines from laboratory findings to tell me how a simple drum sounds, is the day I need science to tell me how to eat and how to think.

Nobody should be afraid the kit they purchase is not going to sound as good as any drum set with proper edges, and decent mounting or hardware placement that does not constrict the drum's vibration. If you want the best finishes and best hardware, spend the money. It's your wallet but, do not think those extra dollars give you better sound over lower line drums that also have true edges for head seating and good mounting hardware. I have yet to hear examples to the contrary after watching hundreds of online presentations of drum sets that could make it known in some significant way within the context of a band blaring all around them. Same for in the studio. People have recorded cardboard boxes and made them sound like drums. It is astonishing what software can do today.

The industry is saturated with ultra-hype and marketing ploys that are nonsensical. It makes me sick, so, I made the videos to just show the points.

As far as time, I didn't worry about length. Nobody has to watch anything all at the same time. Info and demonstration were my concerns. How long it took me to get things across ... it is what it is.

What I would love to see is each drum company take a tom from every line they produce, a kick, same heads, same tension, same room, same mics, same software, same everything; strike each drum and let the consumer hear for themselves these great sonic differences that shall speak out over electrified instruments and PA systems because of shell walls, proprietary glues, specialized lugs, etc, etc, etc. They do not do it because they cannot do it. There are no great differences. The gig is up at that moment. There are only nuances and subtleties lost when things are all cranked up.

I get into snare drums and why they are different animals.

If playing a vintage or brand new exotic shelled kit inspires you for whatever esoteric reasons, that's another subject. But, a drum is a drum, with no moving parts, one or two stretching parts, and those stretching parts have almost everything to do with the sound you hear. Drum companies want to sell their drums, not another company's heads. They hype their shells. It gets worse and worse every year and it confuses the younger players and they ask on discussion boards, ad infinitum, what drums they should buy. Buy what you like the looks of, buy what will work for hardware for your needs. Shells? Don't worry about it. Just make sure the heads seat correctly. Really cheap lines of drums place fast and quick edges on the shells; generally a single inner 45 degrees that do not allow the heads to seat correctly at the apex where collar meets flat surface. That creates tuning issues. Once you leave those dead bottom lines, though, anything can be made to sound great, live or in the studio. They're drums, not grand pianos.

I have had builders in the boutique/ custom world corroborate what I share. They know it is all about seating heads correctly, mounting, and tuning. Everything else is a nuance that becomes moot in real world situations. They feel forced to exaggerate claims to stay competitive.

I do not get into where this all started. Plenty of people commenting on the videos know. The history of the hype is there. It has trapped all the companies to compete in flagrantly foolish and disingenuous ways to stay in business. It's a shame. It's a sham. I hope it stops and things get back to normal.

Indeed. Things can get hot when this subject comes up. Some will defend their preferred drum manufacturer to the end. So be it. All I ask for is proof. Let the consumer hear the claimed differences in a dozen or more lines from just one company. It's not going to happen. Would that consumers would hold their feet to the fire and prove what they claim. Then reality would come back down to earth.
 

Drumbumcrumb

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Pretty much agree with all that... The hype is out of hand, and it’s not just drum companies. Drum BUYERS are drinking the kool aid too. I think it’s this more than the marketing that has new drummers sweating what kit to buy. People love to classify, and to perceive themselves as superior, and we love to do it with STUFF.
Drum snobs DO exist, and they like (need?) to perpetuate the myth. We’ve all heard it - There’s nothing even close to these xxxxx drums, everything else is just noise - fill in the xxxxxx with any of the ‘high end’ kit makers, they swear THAT one is the best.

Any mid level or better kit is gonna sound anywhere from good to great depending on heads, tuning, room, etc. In a blindfold test, your spalted knotty burled African wenge is NOT going to win every time. There will always be a market for products that come with snob rights, whether it’s Mercedes (junk), diamonds (old coal), caviar (inedible), or fancy-pants drums. Veblen goods will always exist, and will always have buyers.

Now, while I do believe that they will all sound good (or better) there are some pretty big tonal differences if you’re comparing say a thin mahogany shell with roundover edges and a thick maple shell with 45s - one will sound fat with a big bottom end and one will be brighter and more cutting. Not better or worse, different.
Would that make or break using them for any given application? Nope. But if you prefer a certain kinda sound, your kit can (and probably should) reflect that. Would anyone except you really notice in the mix? Or care? Nah, probably not. But like you said, if it inspires or just plain makes you happy, go for it. Our drums and cymbals are extensions of ourselves, expressions of our style, etc. just like a guitar or a violin or whatever else.

Drum Center Portsmouth (being big enough to stock many manufacturers complete lines) does do just the kind of back-to-back-to-back comparisons you mention. You can definitely hear differences between Ludwigs lines for example, with variations in edge geometry and woods. (Same heads and tuning and Certainly it’s a matter of subtle nuance, not apples and oranges, but just as with snare sounds - we all will have a different preference. The thing to dismiss is the idea that one is superior to another, sound doesn’t work that way. They’re just different sounds.

And Steve Gadd will school you on a Breakbeats, bring your Craviottos or not!
 

Elvis

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Ray's a member here...or was?.....maybe it was DCI?
Either way, Ray's ok. Smart cookie.
 

Old Dog

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Greetings. Thank you for the interest. I appreciate you taking time to watch the series. To state things factually, though, I do not say shell construction and materials do not matter. What I try to continually get across:

The industry is saturated with super and ultra hype about shells. It's gotten ridiculous.

The sound of a drum is the heads throwing off sound waves trapped in a cylinder. When it comes to plywood cylinders, or any cylinder, the density of the cylinder wall will allow the sound waves to present themselves in more or less excited accuracy within very small ranges of difference. Change the heads. Change the sound of the drum far more easily than changing shells.

It isn't about good or bad hearing capabilities or camera mics, etc. The frequency range of drums, 6"-26" is very small and very few people could not hear details of frequency ranges drums throw out.

As everyone knows, head companies have tried for decades to recreate the sound and tonal characteristics of calf heads. How many drum companies say they try to recreate the sound of drums of that era by virtue of shell walls and are able to prove it with sound files? They may recreate the looks. The sound? That's about heads.

The heads should seat correctly on a bearing edge for proper tension and tuning. The videos on edges shows that subject is made into a fantasy as well.

Based on plywood densities, according to the Janka scale for wood hardness, the general woods used for veneers are so close on the scale, save for Bubinga, or more exotic woods from Australia which are very hard, the sounds of woods are completely over-hyped and when you crank up a whole set, with cymbals, in a band context, and the differences are so subtle and nuanced they are moot, if any exist at all. I'd love to see a blindfold test and someone pick out varying plywood shells by sound, alone.

Where a thicker shell may promote more volume, and a really dense material may promote greater frequency spectrum, whoever is running the PA or recording software can do anything, with anything and many have seen and heard it done. Hype about shells, plies, glues and all the rest is not going to give anyone their own sonic place in the universe. The head tones they use, their tuning, their sticks and their touch will create far more differences than plywood shell construction.

Premier and Gretsch are very honest about things, offer no hype at their web sites, and keep it simple, the way things used to be when I grew up. Other companies, you would think you were purchasing a space shuttle. The day I need graphs and lines from laboratory findings to tell me how a simple drum sounds, is the day I need science to tell me how to eat and how to think.

Nobody should be afraid the kit they purchase is not going to sound as good as any drum set with proper edges, and decent mounting or hardware placement that does not constrict the drum's vibration. If you want the best finishes and best hardware, spend the money. It's your wallet but, do not think those extra dollars give you better sound over lower line drums that also have true edges for head seating and good mounting hardware. I have yet to hear examples to the contrary after watching hundreds of online presentations of drum sets that could make it known in some significant way within the context of a band blaring all around them. Same for in the studio. People have recorded cardboard boxes and made them sound like drums. It is astonishing what software can do today.

The industry is saturated with ultra-hype and marketing ploys that are nonsensical. It makes me sick, so, I made the videos to just show the points.

As far as time, I didn't worry about length. Nobody has to watch anything all at the same time. Info and demonstration were my concerns. How long it took me to get things across ... it is what it is.

What I would love to see is each drum company take a tom from every line they produce, a kick, same heads, same tension, same room, same mics, same software, same everything; strike each drum and let the consumer hear for themselves these great sonic differences that shall speak out over electrified instruments and PA systems because of shell walls, proprietary glues, specialized lugs, etc, etc, etc. They do not do it because they cannot do it. There are no great differences. The gig is up at that moment. There are only nuances and subtleties lost when things are all cranked up.

I get into snare drums and why they are different animals.

If playing a vintage or brand new exotic shelled kit inspires you for whatever esoteric reasons, that's another subject. But, a drum is a drum, with no moving parts, one or two stretching parts, and those stretching parts have almost everything to do with the sound you hear. Drum companies want to sell their drums, not another company's heads. They hype their shells. It gets worse and worse every year and it confuses the younger players and they ask on discussion boards, ad infinitum, what drums they should buy. Buy what you like the looks of, buy what will work for hardware for your needs. Shells? Don't worry about it. Just make sure the heads seat correctly. Really cheap lines of drums place fast and quick edges on the shells; generally a single inner 45 degrees that do not allow the heads to seat correctly at the apex where collar meets flat surface. That creates tuning issues. Once you leave those dead bottom lines, though, anything can be made to sound great, live or in the studio. They're drums, not grand pianos.

I have had builders in the boutique/ custom world corroborate what I share. They know it is all about seating heads correctly, mounting, and tuning. Everything else is a nuance that becomes moot in real world situations. They feel forced to exaggerate claims to stay competitive.

I do not get into where this all started. Plenty of people commenting on the videos know. The history of the hype is there. It has trapped all the companies to compete in flagrantly foolish and disingenuous ways to stay in business. It's a shame. It's a sham. I hope it stops and things get back to normal.

Indeed. Things can get hot when this subject comes up. Some will defend their preferred drum manufacturer to the end. So be it. All I ask for is proof. Let the consumer hear the claimed differences in a dozen or more lines from just one company. It's not going to happen. Would that consumers would hold their feet to the fire and prove what they claim. Then reality would come back down to earth.

Well Sir, first off, I hope I didn't offend you by calling you long-winded! I didn't think that you'd be a member here, but the internet sure connects, doesn't it?! And also, I sure did simplify what you were saying. You certainly said more than "shells don't matter". I should have been a bit more clear. But, with that said, I do basically agree. I started drumming in the 80s as a pre-teen. Eventually sold my kit in '02 to pay the rent. Went what, nearly 17 years without playing and picked it back just over a year ago. I did TONS of research. Watched TONS of videos. And ONE thing I found, usually the drums all sounded the same to me. I was a DJ for over 25 years, so I understand recording and manipulation and the abilities of what can be done in a studio. So, I tried to simply, narrow things down to "the best deal", and I went with ddrum. It's not a popular company by any means. In fact, I read quite a few bad reviews about them but that seemed to stop around 2014, so I assumed they started improving their product, or it just wasn't being purchased OR reviewed. I took a chance, they sound great! My point is, I didn't ask "WHAT SHOULD I BUY". I've seen TONS who have. The answers are usually the same.

So, you have confirmed what I was thinking. . .How different can they be? Especially since I wasn't going to spend much over $500 for my first new kit in nearly 2 decades.

Thanks for your reply. You basically have said here the same things I heard in your videos. Which, all makes sense. I think there are some that want to believe the hype. They spent $8,000 on a kit and they want to KNOW, it's better in every way, including sonically. But as you said, you can make a cardboard box sound like a drum. I think I want to believe the hype. I enjoy John Good's videos. He's a great storyteller. And I think that DW puts a lot of effort into doing what they do. I sure as heck won't ever own any top tier kits from DW.

I was curious what others were thinking. Obviously, you have a lot of support, and it's basic science. I hope a big argument doesn't start! I get tired of that.

Ray, it's nice to meet you via the internet. Chet here.
 

REF

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Now, while I do believe that they will all sound good (or better) there are some pretty big tonal differences if you’re comparing say a thin mahogany shell with roundover edges and a thick maple shell with 45s - one will sound fat with a big bottom end and one will be brighter and more cutting. Not better or worse, different.
Would that make or break using them for any given application? Nope. But if you prefer a certain kinda sound, your kit can (and probably should) reflect that. Would anyone except you really notice in the mix? Or care? Nah, probably not. But like you said, if it inspires or just plain makes you happy, go for it. Our drums and cymbals are extensions of ourselves, expressions of our style, etc. just like a guitar or a violin or whatever else.

Drum Center Portsmouth (being big enough to stock many manufacturers complete lines) does do just the kind of back-to-back-to-back comparisons you mention. You can definitely hear differences between Ludwigs lines for example, with variations in edge geometry and woods. (Same heads and tuning and Certainly it’s a matter of subtle nuance, not apples and oranges, but just as with snare sounds - we all will have a different preference. The thing to dismiss is the idea that one is superior to another, sound doesn’t work that way. They’re just different sounds.

And Steve Gadd will school you on a Breakbeats, bring your Craviottos or not!
The thing about shell walls - thick, thin, etc., is that for the most part you are talking about something 1/4" or less. The outside bearing edge on a 1/4" or less surface makes so little discernible difference because the amount of wood touching the head has no great variation to it. There's not enough surface area to create anything dramatic in tonal character that could stick out in the context of a full drum set in a band. I try to show that using six different bearing edges on Maple, Birch, and what Keller calls a Mahogany shell which is actually a Poplar core with a very thin veneer of Mahogany inside and out; basically meaningless to the sound, and the videos show that.

Thin walled shells generally employ a reinforcement ring to keep the shell round and actually have surface area to work with to place an edge on. Any tonal differences have to do with the shell density by virtue of taking material away on thinner shells. The issue for me is simply, are there any dramatic tonal differences hyped by the companies that actually reveal themselves when cymbals are involved and a band is all around you?

The Ludwig shootout from DCP, or any shootout from anybody never seems to just take one drum from each line, strike it, put it down, strike the next, etc, and let's hear the differences. It cannot possibly help to seat three different players with different sticks and touch to compare drum sets. The only differences I hear on that Ludwig video are slight volume levels because of shell wall densities. Low end frequencies of drums are lost so quickly just a few feet away it's moot. You might feel them father away but, they aren't really discerned as anything specific as far as notes like on a grand piano. Add a band and it's meaningless. Add mics and a sound guy or, mics and a sound console and it really becomes meaningless because of the endless options for EQ and within software, etc.

The Drum Center Czech Republic has a great many presentation videos, most of them the same guy playing. I listen and listen and listen and nothing dramatic sticks out from one set to another. Nothing would own a stage ahead of any other product by virtue of its different sound character compared to another plywood drum. Everything is nuances and subtle things eaten up by all the variables beyond the drums, themselves, like environment, especially.

I'd love to see a comparison video done outside where sound dissipates to nothing very quickly. Or in a huge empty building, some old warehouse. I believe any of the slight differences in tonal character would be instantly lost. Plenty of gigs can take place in both those environments. Or, in a sound proof, dead as a pillow room. Do comparisons in that environment for the sake of sound comparison. Those are the kind of things I wish comparisons would be done in because everybody is at total base level at that point and it just does not matter. Nothing would sound dramatically different and the hype hits the floor. Finish and mounting hardware are far more meaningful in those parameters than anything shells can add to the sound waves put out by the heads of choice.

Another matter that comes into play, individual to individual, is how the brain interprets information coming through both eyes and ears at the same time.

You could sit me behind what is considered the most impeccable drum set by any company and if the finish is black oyster pearl, you have lost me in such a way that my brain will interpret sound in a negative way. Shane, at DCP, sits behind some custom Tama kit, he said only five or ten made, and frankly says he isn't really into wood veneer finish. He likes sparkle finishes but, the finish on that Tama set was very impressive to him and effected the way he viewed the totality of its sound, whether he knew that or not. Just the way the brain works. If drums had distinctive odors, that information would also be, yet again, interpreted differently in our brains.

Some people cannot stand screeching chalk on a blackboard. Yet it is proven there is a big difference between how people hear that sound when a not so attractive male or female screech it, and a well formed, very attractive male or female do it. It's crazy but, the brain takes the whole package and the info is really effected. That's why mics are blind. They have no selective hearing.

One of the ways you really see this is how any one player approaches a 4 pc, 5 pc, or more kit. I watch Shane play these various configurations and he plays different licks and beats with different velocities on each one. He is effected both visually and aurally when he sits behind a set. Everybody is. I like those videos I see where the presenter plays the same notes in each comparison. It keeps the "all things being equal" aspect in check.

I really believe mic shootouts are far more important than drum shell shootouts.
 

REF

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Well Sir, first off, I hope I didn't offend you by calling you long-winded! I didn't think that you'd be a member here, but the internet sure connects, doesn't it?! And also, I sure did simplify what you were saying. You certainly said more than "shells don't matter". I should have been a bit more clear. But, with that said, I do basically agree. I started drumming in the 80s as a pre-teen. Eventually sold my kit in '02 to pay the rent. Went what, nearly 17 years without playing and picked it back just over a year ago. I did TONS of research. Watched TONS of videos. And ONE thing I found, usually the drums all sounded the same to me. I was a DJ for over 25 years, so I understand recording and manipulation and the abilities of what can be done in a studio. So, I tried to simply, narrow things down to "the best deal", and I went with ddrum. It's not a popular company by any means. In fact, I read quite a few bad reviews about them but that seemed to stop around 2014, so I assumed they started improving their product, or it just wasn't being purchased OR reviewed. I took a chance, they sound great! My point is, I didn't ask "WHAT SHOULD I BUY". I've seen TONS who have. The answers are usually the same.

So, you have confirmed what I was thinking. . .How different can they be? Especially since I wasn't going to spend much over $500 for my first new kit in nearly 2 decades.

Thanks for your reply. You basically have said here the same things I heard in your videos. Which, all makes sense. I think there are some that want to believe the hype. They spent $8,000 on a kit and they want to KNOW, it's better in every way, including sonically. But as you said, you can make a cardboard box sound like a drum. I think I want to believe the hype. I enjoy John Good's videos. He's a great storyteller. And I think that DW puts a lot of effort into doing what they do. I sure as heck won't ever own any top tier kits from DW.

I was curious what others were thinking. Obviously, you have a lot of support, and it's basic science. I hope a big argument doesn't start! I get tired of that.

Ray, it's nice to meet you via the internet. Chet here.
No offense taken, my friend. I used to be a public speaker. You aren't the first to call me long-winded :)

I have a lot of people comment on my use of hands on objects as I speak. Scientifically, some people are put off by that, others are drawn in by it and most people doing it are following brain patterns for concentration and passion about a subject.

Ddrum. I recently purchased a Ddrum solid link dble pedal. Very nice device. Has some issues and I have been experimenting with pedals the last six months and renovating them. The Ddrum costs quite a bit less than other brands but, it's well made, looks pretty cool, and I've made it into something I'll use. I just need to work out some bugs typical of all solid link pedals.

Dixon was a name associated with fairly cheap products; student, beginner level stuff. Not today. Dixon makes easily competitive products with anybody now. Beautiful drums.

Being a DJ and into sound reproduction for so long, you know what the knobs and sliders can do. I recorded on a 5pc. set of Argent drums for years, owned by the guitarist I recorded with. You can't get any lower than those drums. May as well buy Walmart drums. I did renovate the set with new bearing edges, new heads and isolation mounting, and Mahogany veneer. It all helped aurally and visually but, factually, when Tom got to the boards and software it all became moot. He could adjust so many parameters and make the things sound like tin cans or cannons. In the context of the music nobody would know what I was playing without me telling them. The snare drum was the absolute worst thing I ever laid sticks on. Metal, six lugs, crappy strainer. Gives me shivers just thinking about that thing. Shocks me when I listen to our first recording knowing what that object is. We replaced it with a nice Mapex snare I found for him on ebay. I was happier. There are limits, and construction and materials do make a difference for certain aspects of practical function.

The bottom line for me is passion in the player. You love the instrument, you do your best regardless of what you are sitting behind. The music carries you past the lesser aspects of lesser instruments. When we switched recording environments, his place to mine, his drums to my big set, I may have had more fun because I had more sound options to employ but, my passion for interacting with the music was not really effected because of playing my set compared to his. Of course I did use my cymbals at his place and I tend to be more effected by cymbal sounds than drums.
 

Tornado

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I think what you spend on a kit and what you believe about a kit can be a self fulfilling prophecy. It can affect how much effort you put into tuning it, whether you'll spend the money on replacing all the heads, and how much effort you put into getting a good sound out of the drums when you play them. Some of that is inspiration, some of that is pride. Both of which are 100% valid reasons to buy that DW Collector's in Almond wood. But, people should know that their inexpensive kit CAN be made to sound great too! Don't give up at a barely passable sound just because you think that's all they are capable of.
 

Old Dog

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No offense taken, my friend. I used to be a public speaker. You aren't the first to call me long-winded :)

I have a lot of people comment on my use of hands on objects as I speak. Scientifically, some people are put off by that, others are drawn in by it and most people doing it are following brain patterns for concentration and passion about a subject.

Ddrum. I recently purchased a Ddrum solid link dble pedal. Very nice device. Has some issues and I have been experimenting with pedals the last six months and renovating them. The Ddrum costs quite a bit less than other brands but, it's well made, looks pretty cool, and I've made it into something I'll use. I just need to work out some bugs typical of all solid link pedals.

Dixon was a name associated with fairly cheap products; student, beginner level stuff. Not today. Dixon makes easily competitive products with anybody now. Beautiful drums.

Being a DJ and into sound reproduction for so long, you know what the knobs and sliders can do. I recorded on a 5pc. set of Argent drums for years, owned by the guitarist I recorded with. You can't get any lower than those drums. May as well buy Walmart drums. I did renovate the set with new bearing edges, new heads and isolation mounting, and Mahogany veneer. It all helped aurally and visually but, factually, when Tom got to the boards and software it all became moot. He could adjust so many parameters and make the things sound like tin cans or cannons. In the context of the music nobody would know what I was playing without me telling them. The snare drum was the absolute worst thing I ever laid sticks on. Metal, six lugs, crappy strainer. Gives me shivers just thinking about that thing. Shocks me when I listen to our first recording knowing what that object is. We replaced it with a nice Mapex snare I found for him on ebay. I was happier. There are limits, and construction and materials do make a difference for certain aspects of practical function.

The bottom line for me is passion in the player. You love the instrument, you do your best regardless of what you are sitting behind. The music carries you past the lesser aspects of lesser instruments. When we switched recording environments, his place to mine, his drums to my big set, I may have had more fun because I had more sound options to employ but, my passion for interacting with the music was not really effected because of playing my set compared to his. Of course I did use my cymbals at his place and I tend to be more effected by cymbal sounds than drums.
The hardware quality, the stands is what I noticed first about ddrum. After owning the kit for about 3 months, I wanted a couple more cymbals. Ended up getting a ddrum RX series boom, and a Tama boom from my local store. The Tama cost $15 more, was 1/2 and heavy, puny looking. Name doesn't mean a heckuva lot to me at this point. Although, I do like nice Looking drums as well. Anyway, thanks for your responses.

:thumbup:
 

Old Dog

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I think what you spend on a kit and what you believe about a kit can be a self fulfilling prophecy. It can affect how much effort you put into tuning it, whether you'll spend the money on replacing all the heads, and how much effort you put into getting a good sound out of the drums when you play them. Some of that is inspiration, some of that is pride. Both of which are 100% valid reasons to buy that DW Collector's in Almond wood. But, people should know that their inexpensive kit CAN be made to sound great too! Don't give up at a barely passable sound just because you think that's all they are capable of.
It "feels" like you're saying (I'm not accusing, trying to understand) that people that buy cheap kits, aren't inspired to tune their drums and make them better, because they're cheap to start with??
I'd think, that if I paid $8000 for a kit, it ought to be close to tuning itself! For that price! It's hard for me to completely understand what you're getting at.

And I particularly bought a cheaper kit because I knew adding good heads would make it a completely different monster. Saving $ on the kit itself allowed me to be budget-minded about ALL of my purchases.
 

Tornado

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It "feels" like you're saying (I'm not accusing, trying to understand) that people that buy cheap kits, aren't inspired to tune their drums and make them better, because they're cheap to start with??
I'd think, that if I paid $8000 for a kit, it ought to be close to tuning itself! For that price! It's hard for me to completely understand what you're getting at.

And I particularly bought a cheaper kit because I knew adding good heads would make it a completely different monster. Saving $ on the kit itself allowed me to be budget-minded about ALL of my purchases.
Yes, that's pretty much what I'm getting at. I think some people have a mental blocker that makes them stop once they THINK they have reached the potential of the instrument. If that's not you, you've risen above. :). For the super expensive kit, people realize they don't tune themselves, but they KNOW they CAN sound amazing, and they are damn sure going to sit there and tweak it until it does.
 

Old Dog

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Yes, that's pretty much what I'm getting at. I think some people have a mental blocker that makes them stop once they THINK they have reached the potential of the instrument. If that's not you, you've risen above. :). For the super expensive kit, people realize they don't tune themselves, but they KNOW they CAN sound amazing, and they are damn sure going to sit there and tweak it until it does.
I see. Well, after NOT CARING AT ALL about what makes up a drum (as a youngster up to 20-something), nowadays--I'm more apt to take a drum apart, clean it, check the bearing edges, tighten the lugs, etc. So yeah, I'm not "That" anymore!

And, don't get me wrong. I would love a high end kit. I like immaculate wood grainy lacquer goodness. I just can't afford them. So, I certainly take my less expensive drums and put good heads on them. Take time to tune them nicely. I was without drums for nearly 2 decades. I have a huge new appreciation for them these days. Cheap or not. I have some nice pieces too.

Lack of funds, and lacking passion are quite different.
 

Houndog

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I hear you loud and clear and have always said the drum shell bearing edge deal is hype , but I’ll be danged if my Austin Era jasper shell Fibes don’t have something very special.....
 


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