header.nohb.html

Help choosing between drums

Discipula

Active Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Messages
34
Reaction score
13
Location
New Zealand
So I've been playing drums for about 5 years now. Still use my beginner Sonor Force 507, but now I'm still to gig more I'm wondering if I should upgrade and if so to what.

I've invested in good quality cymbals so I wonder if I'm better to invest in some good heads and just use my current kit. Or otherwise, I'm looking at a Pearl Export 5pc.

What would you recommend? Improve my current kit or invest in an intermediate/ advice kit?
 

Cauldronics

DFO Star
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
8,216
Reaction score
3,243
Location
SF Bay Area
If you get a used Gretsch Renown or a Yamaha Stage Custom I can almost guarantee you'll be happy with them. The Renown is a step above the Yamaha IMO but both are great. I wouldn't know about availability in NZ.

If you want to stick with Sonor, I'd look for a Force 3000 made in Germany.
 

RyanLovesDrums

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
1,896
Reaction score
1,828
When I was a kid, I started out with a set called Ranger I bought from my neighbor. I “upgraded” to a Pearl Export a few years later and I remember thinking that they weren’t much better than the Ranger. If I were you, save your money up and get a pro-like set.
 

Seb77

DFO Master
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
4,260
Reaction score
3,058
Location
Germany
A new set of quality batter heads is never a mistake. cheap kits use cheap heads, and heads are the main vibrating element. Do the drums tune well (number of lugs, mechanics)? My first kit was a Pearl Export. I learned a lot about tuning trying to get the best sound posdible. That saud, it also made me realize a kit /shell set has a basic sound of its own which stays tge same no matter what.
 

Whitten

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
1,592
Reaction score
4,810
Try new/better heads first.
If you decide to upgrade, I would try and upgrade to second hand professional level drums rather than new 'intermediate'.
There are pro drums from 20 years ago that sound amazing - Pearl, Yamaha, Tama, Canopus, Fibes etc, or older Ludwig, Premier, DW etc
 

waynel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2016
Messages
55
Reaction score
87
Location
San Francicso Bay Area
If you get a used Gretsch Renown or a Yamaha Stage Custom I can almost guarantee you'll be happy with them. The Renown is a step above the Yamaha IMO but both are great. I wouldn't know about availability in NZ.

If you want to stick with Sonor, I'd look for a Force 3000 made in Germany.
I think that Yamaha stage customs are the best built to hold up to gigging in the price range. I’ve have some high end sets and I keep a set of stage customs for gigs where it’s not a good idea to take a high end set. I’m happy playing them and they sound great. Most of all they are reliable.
 

Tony_H

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2022
Messages
95
Reaction score
115
Location
Florida
IMHO, I would find a good combination of decent heads to use on your current kit. If it sounds good then you can take your time and save up for the set you want to grow into whether it be new or used. Like others have said, pro level drums age very well if they are taken care of.

I still take out my Tama Rockstar kit on gigs from time to time. It's usually in places I don't want to chance any damage to my main kit, or smaller venues that I am just setting up a basic 4-piece kit. They perform very well live with a good combination of batters/resos that I found work on them.
 

varatrodder

DFO Veteran
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
1,759
Reaction score
2,315
I would start with new heads. If all else fails and they don’t help and you need to buy new drums, then at least you have an extra set of heads for your new kit.

A friend of mine had a set of inexpensive Sonor drums in his practice space, and they actually sounded good with the right heads.
 

RyanLovesDrums

DFO Veteran
Joined
May 7, 2020
Messages
1,896
Reaction score
1,828
IMHO, I would find a good combination of decent heads to use on your current kit. If it sounds good then you can take your time and save up for the set you want to grow into whether it be new or used. Like others have said, pro level drums age very well if they are taken care of.

I still take out my Tama Rockstar kit on gigs from time to time. It's usually in places I don't want to chance any damage to my main kit, or smaller venues that I am just setting up a basic 4-piece kit. They perform very well live with a good combination of batters/resos that I found work on them.
Yeah sometimes I think kits like Rockstars and Exports can sound almost as good as a high end kit with the right heads/tuning. Sometimes I wish I had my old Export back to try that theory.
 

Discipula

Active Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2015
Messages
34
Reaction score
13
Location
New Zealand
A five piece birch shell pack goes for $1,500 here. Reckon it's better than the older advantage model?
 

5 Style

DFO Star
Joined
Aug 6, 2005
Messages
7,071
Reaction score
670
Location
SE Portland, Oregon
I would shop for used stuff, getting more for your money. I bought a used, recent model Premier XPK 5pc kit (in great shape) a little less than a year ago and paid just $350 for it (though it lacked tom mounting hardware, which I already had but would have been cheap to buy if I didn't) and I feel that even though it isn't anything fancy, it's better quality than Pearl Export drums, closer to Yamaha Stage Customs, which I also feel are great drums for the money.

One thing to mention though, and that is the fact that the snare drum on any cheaper kit that includes one typically isn't very good (at least not to me) so the thing to do might be to look for a deal used and then with the money that you save invest in a better snare drum (unless you already have one). I'd look for a deal on a Ludwig Acrolite, which often can be found for a reasonable price... or look at the thread here "sleeper snares" for other suggestions...
 
Last edited:

JimmyM

Very well Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2021
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
1,245
Location
Sanford FL
Try new/better heads first.
If you decide to upgrade, I would try and upgrade to second hand professional level drums rather than new 'intermediate'.
There are pro drums from 20 years ago that sound amazing - Pearl, Yamaha, Tama, Canopus, Fibes etc, or older Ludwig, Premier, DW etc
Ya, lateral move to the Exports. Might as well keep your Sonors.
 


Top