Some advice on buying a low-cost bop kit

shnootre

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Hi all,
I am considering purchasing a bop-sized shell pack (either 18", 12" and 14", or, my preference but seemingly rare, 18", 10" and 14") for use in my university office (in a school of music - where I teach, but not drums!)
There is no rush, since who knows if we'll even be back in the fall...
But I'm wondering if some could give me guidance. I'd be perfectly happy to buy used, but I don't know exactly what to look for. Right now there's a Gretch Catalina Elite w/ my chosen dimensions on eBay for $370 shipped - seems like a pretty good deal, but I don't know anything about that model (I think it's an early version of the Catalina Club?).
I've looked at the Yamaha Stage Custom birch bebop kits and they look pretty nice, and also have looked at the Sonor AQ2s, though they're a bit pricier. I'd like to stay below $500 for the shell pack if possible. I am happy to look out for used kits and wait till I spot a deal, but I'd love some guidance on what to look for. This kit would not be used for gigging or anything - mainly just practice or possibly two-person jams in a mostly jazzy setting.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Hard to find a kit for under 500 bucks. The catalinas will probably work. Not 100% sure on the difference between the regular and the elite.
 

Tornado

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$370 shipped is a pretty good deal. I don't know if you'll be happy with it, but I think that's a good value.
 

Soulfinger

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Smaller sizes are not an option?
10/14/16 - Sonor Safari
10/13/16 - Pearl Midtown, Ludwig Breakbeats

Of course there´s the Tama Club Jam (10/14/18 ) and the PDP New Yorker (10/13/18 ), both with shallow shells. And a couple more...
 

Gunnellett

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I got a PDP Concept Maple Classic Bop with with hoops new for 500 bucks. I feel it is a great set with a really classy look.
 

shnootre

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Hard to find a kit for under 500 bucks. The catalinas will probably work. Not 100% sure on the difference between the regular and the elite.
I believe the “elite” is a forerunner to the “club.” Has a deeper bass drum and a few other differences.
 

JDA

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18", 12" and 14"
In Sonor.
everyone will think you spent a Fortune..
highly recommend 12 over a 10 single mount tom.



maybe the line underneath those are no more? oh well spend a little more..
those are gems

 
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shnootre

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In Sonor.
everyone will think you spent a Fortune..
highly recommend 12 over a 10 single mount tom.



maybe the line underneath those are no more? oh well spend a little more..
Oh I get it, and those AQ2s look terrific. But seeing as I am still paying off my SQ1 - which is my main kit - I don’t think I can justify the expense. This is really gonna be a practice kit - low cost is probably my top priority (it’s already an indulgence to buy anything at all, but who can resist having a drum kit in his OFFICE, eh?)
 

JDA

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Oh I get it, and those AQ2s look terrific. But seeing as I am still paying off my SQ1 - which is my main kit - I don’t think I can justify the expense. This is really gonna be a practice kit - low cost is probably my top priority (it’s already an indulgence to buy anything at all, but who can resist having a drum kit in his OFFICE, eh?)
Why not, just buy an American say vintage Slingerland 16 X 16 (or Rogers, or Ludwig what you find anywhere on CL ....) And convert it to bass then add some extras snare, tom etc around it...
At least you'd have "good" wood.
 

Tornado

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Why not, just buy an American say vintage Slingerland 16 X 16 (or Rogers, or Ludwig what you find anywhere on CL ....) And convert it to bass then add some extras snare, tom etc around it...
At least you'd have "good" wood.
Because this is a practice kit and you can't piece together something like that for less than $370 shipped.
 

shnootre

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JDA I love the idea of doing that - but I am just super not handy and worry I’d screw it up. And also we’re trying to move and THAT has to be my “project” for the moment. I do love those kits people make from converted floor toms tho...
 
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greegor

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I think shnootre is right, the 'elite' is a precursor to the 'club', which is what I picked up used for $300 from Guitar Center 18/10/14. My only beef is the bass is kinda weak, but it still has the original batter which I plan to replace soon. Otherwise a great kit that holds it's own in practice sessions with a full 10 pc band.
 

LarryJ

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The Catalina Club has separate lugs for batter and reso, where the Elite has one lug in the center. The Club bass is 14x18, where the Elite bass is 16x18 according to the Ebay listing.

I have been using a Club kit for bebop and big band gigs for about 8 years now, 3 or 4 gigs a month plus weekly rehearsal. Still looks and functions like new and it sounds great, although I do not use the Catalina snare. I had a 10" tom for a short while, but did not like it. It sounded too "thin" for my taste.

I would recommend the Clubs highly, especially for what you want it for.

Be aware the one you are looking at on eBay has no snare. I have seen them used with snare on eBay and Reverb for $500 or less.

Gretsch Catalina Jazz.jpg
 

Ron_M

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I'm surprised no one has seconded your suggestion for the Yamaha. Our local theater has one as a house kit, been around for years. Still looks and sounds great, and a lot of great players have used those drums. I have no experience playing these, however I do have a 12" Catalina on my son's mismatched kit; it tunes up easy and sounds good, high or low. Either way, I think you'll be happy (enough).
 

Jazzhead

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I’d recommend 18/14/12 instead of the 10” tom.
If I were you for under $500 I’d probably get either Yamaha stage custom or gretsch Catalina club.
 
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multijd

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Whats amazing to me is how many choices there actually are! In all price ranges and types of sound.
 

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