Is restoring a drum set worth it?

JohnnyVibesAZ

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A year ago, I bought a Premier set, that has a bass, one floor, and two rack toms. I added a matching snare, and an additional floor tom. I changed shells: one rack tom, one floor tom, and snare. I replaced the floor tom legs, and bought all new heads. I also covered the drums with a high-quality wrap. I'm kind of burned out on the whole experience. I figure I spent about twice as much as I wanted to, and it was a lot of work. I did manage to sell most of the left-over parts for "chicken-feed". I don't think I'll ever recover close to what it cost to restore the set. The price of a new set or mint used set probably would have been the same. Have any of you ever done this and feel the same way?
 

Dumpy

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It depends on what you want out of it. I liken it to building a hot rod. Most of it will be to your taste. Of course some guys like the labor of it so much that they sell their beloved “baby” to attempt to finance the next one.

If it’s to your satisfaction and you love it, it’s well worth it. But rehabbing drums is something that unless you get wholesale prices on parts and finish supplies, you aren’t going to make much money.

I have my current “hot rod” kit I am working on. I will NEVER get out of it what I put into it financially, but spec’ing parts, deciding details and all of that plus putting it all together IS the fun of it all. That’s my take.
 

Wally Hershey

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A year ago, I bought a Premier set, that has a bass, one floor, and two rack toms. I added a matching snare, and an additional floor tom. I changed shells: one rack tom, one floor tom, and snare. I replaced the floor tom legs, and bought all new heads. I also covered the drums with a high-quality wrap. I'm kind of burned out on the whole experience. I figure I spent about twice as much as I wanted to, and it was a lot of work. I did manage to sell most of the left-over parts for "chicken-feed". I don't think I'll ever recover close to what it cost to restore the set. The price of a new set or mint used set probably would have been the same. Have any of you ever done this and feel the same way?
I think a lot of people have. I know I have went way to far at times. Am I sorry? No not really. It's all part of the experience. If your trying to make money on resto's it is gonna be hard (IMOP) . Right now there is tons of stuff available that can use restoration. I just try to figure in the enjoyment factor. I enjoy the restoring process, I am a way better wood worker than drummer, but when a restoration is done I get to enjoy playing them to. Be proud of what you did to them. You added life to them. Maybe someday a kid will be enjoying them after we are all gone. Did you loose money? probably. Did you have fun doing them? probably yes also. Enjoy the kit, be proud of what you did. If the price is bothering you, well, don't do it again. Your kit probably look's awesome. Enjoy it ,play it.
 

equipmentdork

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I am guilty of having bought things to restore before I really figured out how hard/expensive it would be to source parts, or if I needed pros to refinish/replate, etc. Got a few pieces in a state of arrested development, others I finished and am glad I did, every time. We're not flipping houses and expecting to come out in the black, anyway.

The joy is in the results, no matter how small. Post a picture here, or to the Premier fan group on Facebook.


Dan
 

DanRH

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I agree. It can get expensive also. I’ve recovered a couple Premier kits, a DIY kit, my Remo kit, an old Ludwig 70’s b/o kit and a Tama Granstar kit. All fun and satisfying but like I said pricey because of the wrap.

Glad I did them for the experience but they’re all gone except for the Remo kit.
 

Glassman

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Agreed. It really depends on what you are trying to achieve. I have restored (to the best of my ability) 3 sets now. No new wrap in any case but a complete teardown, cleaned/polished, removed any corrosion, and in a few cases had to buy vintage parts to replace stripped or missing parts. One set I planned to use to play out I purchased a bunch of items from Inde so I could save old hardware and not have to drill any new holes but still have something playable, i.e. easy set up and teardown without putting wear and tear on 50-60 year old hardware. There was joy in seeing what I started with and what I had in the end. I didn't pay much for any of the kits so money invested on 2 of the kits was minimal. The set with Inde hardware probably cost $600-700 in upgrades when all was said and done. In the event I wanted to sell it I might break even but maybe not. Again, my intent was to enjoy and play the drums and not sell. If you are happy with your finished product and it sounds and feels good, I think it was worth while.
 

BennyK

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The voices in my head instructed me to " fix " a lot of perfectly good drums to make them " better " . Many landed up on death row in my furnace room .

If a drum sounds good these days , I leave it alone . Never was too concerned about cosmetic appeal . I sprayed them all black , and I don't even do that anymore .
 

jccabinets

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I have restored many drums, I do it for fun and the idea of saving something that could easily be thrown out in the trash is comforting. I'm sure I have lost money on the ones I sold but thats fine with me, many people spend a lot of money playing golf because they enjoy it, they don't care about money. And some of the restored drums that I have done were given away to kids that can't afford them, that is better than any dollar amount!
 

lossforgain

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The answer is truly, it depends.

I once (not too long ago) put together a 3-ply Ludwig set out of orphans. I had intended to make a sort of shell bank and bought shells and lots of parts for 12/13/14f/15/16f/22. At the end of the day the 12/14 were too far gone, and I didn’t love the 15. So I ended up having the 13/16/22 covered in red glass glitter, which was quite expensive. They came out great, and I enjoyed them. I did sell things I didn’t use in the project, and in the end I sold the 3-piece set as well. It was a losing proposition, but I gave the drums a life they would not have had otherwise.

I currently have a set sitting that needs a rewrap and rehab and I am willing to do it out of love for these drums. But at the end of the day, it may be another losing proposition.

So, does the love of the instrument make the process worthwhile to you? For me it’s a sometimes-yes and sometimes-no thing.
 

Dumpy

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I have restored many drums, I do it for fun and the idea of saving something that could easily be thrown out in the trash is comforting. I'm sure I have lost money on the ones I sold but thats fine with me, many people spend a lot of money playing golf because they enjoy it, they don't care about money. And some of the restored drums that I have done were given away to kids that can't afford them, that is better than any dollar amount!
You do some gorgeous work!
 

JDA

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I would say this for Players..

caution

why? ba' cause
Gretsch? Well if you get too involved you may get close to the price of a new one which six or a half dozen are the same...as always, Ol Gretsch


Ludwig, as of recently same thing...with the introduction of Legacy maple and Legacy mahogany--might it be---there also if you get too involved---for a player---may have been more advantageous to just get a new one.

O miles
Some food (light lunch) for thought
 

Dumpy

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I would say this for Players..

caution

why? ba' cause
Gretsch? Well if you get too involved you may get close to the price of a new one which six or a half dozen are the same...as always, Ol Gretsch


Ludwig, as of recently same thing...with the introduction of Legacy maple and Legacy mahogany--might it be---there also if you get too involved---for a player---may have been more advantageous to just get a new one.

O miles
Some food (light lunch) for thought
You ain’t kidding there!

Restos are almost ALWAYS a labor of love. Just the way it goes. If you’re looking to make cash out of it, you had better get the stuff at wholesale and still expect to lose a couple of hundred per set until you get your process dialed in and have a good reputation.
 

Ludwigboy

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I have restored a couple of drums but do it for relaxation and the challenge of "bringing them back", so to speak, and not show up in the landfill or dump.

I know my limitations so do not take on major work (stripping paint off shells , repairing re-rings etc) ; rewrapping, interior painting, replacing hardware/adding hardware, changing heads etc etc is fine with me....there are a LOT more talented members on this site that can do this but I am not one ....

Sometimes I spend more $ than I should but I use them so figure you would pay to join any other hobby or sport so this is part of it. My experience is the wrap I love has continued to appreciate in value so I am very fortunate, IMHO....
 
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Quai34

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I agree. It can get expensive also. I’ve recovered a couple Premier kits, a DIY kit, my Remo kit, an old Ludwig 70’s b/o kit and a Tama Granstar kit. All fun and satisfying but like I said pricey because of the wrap.

Glad I did them for the experience but they’re all gone except for the Remo kit.
Price of the wrap, I agree, the guy who sold to me my kit, re-wrap it and told me it was quite expensive...But he lives to do that, he found a way to do them quite fast and to stop just before it's going to be too much, I think in 15 years, he did 300 kits...Bought cheap, did a bit of money on each...not much but he went through awesome kits!!! The pleasure to rehab some vintage Game's and Pearl's and Yamaha's....He had up to 12 kits at a time...
 

JohnnyVibesAZ

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Thank you for all your comments! It really isn't about making money after I restored the drums. I enjoyed restoring a couple snares, several years ago. THIS project started out ok, then got tiring. It was like, "Oh no. Now I have to start on the bass drum?" Another thing was that I wasn't pleased with the first wrap I covered the drums with, and had to start over with a new wrap. This kind of reminds me of another restoration project I tackled, a few years ago. It was a vintage mini bike; a long process of locating parts, painting and repainting, getting it to run, etc. By the time I was finished, I didn't even want to ride the thing! I sold it, and took a rather sizable loss. I'm not going to sell my drums, though. I think once I get them on stage and see what I've accomplished, I will feel better about the whole ordeal.
 
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Dumpy

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Thank you for all your comments! It really isn't about making money after I restored the drums. I enjoyed restoring a couple snares, several years ago. THIS project started out ok, then got tiring. It was like, "Oh no. Now I have to start on the bass drum?" Another thing was that I wasn't pleased with the first wrap I covered the drums with, and had to start over with a new wrap. This kind of reminds me of another restoration project I tackled, a few years ago. It was a vintage mini bike; a long process of locating parts, painting and repainting, getting it to run, etc. By the time I was finished, I didn't even want to ride the thing! I sold it, and took a rather sizable loss. I'm not going to sell my drums, though. I think once I get them on stage and see what I've accomplished, I will feel better about the whole ordeal.
Premier drums just sound so fantastic!

It sounds like you’ve gone through what many of us had during a resto. There are times where all you see is a pile of parts. Step back for a second, take stock and realize this is well worth the BST you’re putting in it!
 


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