Take Your Pick: Gretsch Brooklyn-Sakae Trilogy- Sonor Vintage Series

dustjacket

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Just for the sake of some fun drum discussion, these 3 kits have been on my radar. Experiences? Pros/Cons?
 

Drum Gear Review

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I chose Sakae while considering Gretsch Broadkasters, Sonor Vintage, and INDe. I've had the kit for more than two years, and I'm still floored by them every time I play.

Couple of notes though:
  • They have very, very different response patterns than the Brooklyn or Sonor Vintage drums. Those other drums have much more prominent attack responses with more high-end sweetness. You won't get as much of that from the Trilogies, although different hoops might change that a bit.
  • They seem happiest tuned to a medium tension or lower. They can go high, but they don't sing as well as other drums.
  • The 1.6mm hoops let them really open up in the mid-range. That can include some weird overtones even if the drums are tuned well. It took me a while to cave, but I finally put a small piece of gel muffling on each drum and it made a world of difference. In my experience, they produce a ton of sound in that medium/medium-low range and things can get a little muddy if you don't try to clean it up a bit.
  • They have a really soft feel
  • I love how they sound under microphones
Here's a video I filmed of me tracking for a local band's record. There's a bit of compression on the master channel, snare drum, and bass drum; and there's a 2 or 3 db scoop around 750hz, but otherwise, this is pretty close to what I get in the room.


I really loved what I heard from the Broadkasters and Sonor Vintage kits I played around that time, and I've since really come to love the Brooklyns. I think you'll be extremely happy with any.
 

clowndog

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Sakae Trilogy drums over the Brooklyns for me as well. wide tuning range. As stated, they love mid tension, but can crank to jazz tuning just fine for me.

The mandatory mods for me that take these amazing drums to another level is the the aluminum RIMS for the rack (because these drums are so dang light), and the Gauger floor tom spring feet. I have old threads about it.
 

dustjacket

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Sakae Trilogy drums over the Brooklyns for me as well. wide tuning range. As stated, they love mid tension, but can crank to jazz tuning just fine for me.

The mandatory mods for me that take these amazing drums to another level is the the aluminum RIMS for the rack (because these drums are so dang light), and the Gauger floor tom spring feet. I have old threads about it.
How much would those upgrades cost?
 

f.stahlenius

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Owned several Sakae Trilogy kits/sizes: 10x7, 12x8, 13x9, 14x14 and 16x16 toms with 18x14, 20x14, 22x14 and 24x14 bass drums. They all had their charm and tuning range. My favourite configurations were the 18/12/14 and 13/16/24.

These are beautifully made drums. Thin shells, light hardware, re-rings, wonderful bearing edges. As said above, they have a "soft" feel. The thin shells really makes them special. Had Fiberskyn FA or Evans Calftone as batter on all bass drums, coated Ambassador on toms (coated Emperor on 16). I sold all of them in favour of a Gretsch USA Custom. Wanted (and got) more projection (interestingly, also got some heavier cymbals).

What sizes are you looking for? I never liked my 20x14. The 18x14 was magic, as was the 24x14.

Do you plan to buy new or used? There still are some loose Sakae Trilogy drums available in Europe. I actually bought all my drums as singles.

If you want a kit that records well and has a "vintage" or "round" vibe to it, go for the Sakae. The lack of projection can also be a good thing if you play small spaces.
 

clowndog

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How much would those upgrades cost?
About $80 for the RIMS mount and $40 for a set of floor tom legs.

Don’t get me wrong, the drums are incredible without, but the difference with the upgrades is very noticeable. Two guys on the forum here gave it a try on my post recommendation. Both wrote back being beyond happy trying it.
 

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About $80 for the RIMS mount and $40 for a set of floor tom legs.

Don’t get me wrong, the drums are incredible without, but the difference with the upgrades is very noticeable. Two guys on the forum here gave it a try on my post recommendation. Both wrote back being beyond happy trying it.
Agreed. I didn't stick with the traditional RIMS mount, but I did swap in Pearl Air Cushion feet on the floor tom legs. Made a lot of difference. They have some real rumble.
 

Iristone

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Are Sakae still in production? Haven't seen them around anymore, seems they went out of business and then came back this year.
Personally I'd go with Ludwig Legacies. Out of your choices, I'd lean towards Gretsch, but that's the only one I've ever played (my vintage 4157 really sings) so might not be very convincing. :blackeye:
 

f.stahlenius

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Are Sakae still in production? Haven't seen them around anymore, seems they went out of business and then came back this year.
Personally I'd go with Ludwig Legacies. Out of your choices, I'd lean towards Gretsch, but that's the only one I've ever played (my vintage 4157 really sings) so might not be very convincing. :blackeye:
Yep, the Sakae brand is still active. Korg took over. Not sure where they are taking the brand/production. Will probably not be the same as old Sakae though. Maybe Yamaha, for this year’s Namm, will take a step back to their history with Sakae?

Just read in the latest Modern Drummer that Eric Harland (who plays/endorse(d) Sakae), list that he plays a Sakae Celestial kit. I have seen him before with a Trilogy kit. And of course Yamaha.

Anyway, I guess at one point I will want the Trilogy's back, haha.
 
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SteveB

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I chose Sakae while considering Gretsch Broadkasters, Sonor Vintage, and INDe. I've had the kit for more than two years, and I'm still floored by them every time I play.

Couple of notes though:
  • They have very, very different response patterns than the Brooklyn or Sonor Vintage drums. Those other drums have much more prominent attack responses with more high-end sweetness. You won't get as much of that from the Trilogies, although different hoops might change that a bit.
  • They seem happiest tuned to a medium tension or lower. They can go high, but they don't sing as well as other drums.
  • The 1.6mm hoops let them really open up in the mid-range. That can include some weird overtones even if the drums are tuned well. It took me a while to cave, but I finally put a small piece of gel muffling on each drum and it made a world of difference. In my experience, they produce a ton of sound in that medium/medium-low range and things can get a little muddy if you don't try to clean it up a bit.
  • They have a really soft feel
  • I love how they sound under microphones
Here's a video I filmed of me tracking for a local band's record. There's a bit of compression on the master channel, snare drum, and bass drum; and there's a 2 or 3 db scoop around 750hz, but otherwise, this is pretty close to what I get in the room.


I really loved what I heard from the Broadkasters and Sonor Vintage kits I played around that time, and I've since really come to love the Brooklyns. I think you'll be extremely happy with any.
It's good to read that somebody else scoops 750. I've been doing that for years. When you do that you're left with less ring from the toms...a nice attack and warm low end.
 


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