Thoughts on DW drums!

hsosdrum

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Drums are membranophones. Therefore the essence is the membrane. The heads. Rototoms exist without drum shells at all. Everything else is secondary.
Yes, indeed! Heads influence a drum's sound much more than the drum does. In fact, I'm all over this forum saying that. But lately in this thread we've been specifically discussing shells.
 

Evdoggydog15

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I feel like DW has a very specific sound...to me, it's tubby with like a "plastic" attack. The midrange seems sucked out. Probably makes for a good mic'd tone as if its pre-Eq'd. I also think they are quite loud and bombastic. I do like some of their snares though...also loud but with a huge crack.
 

noreastbob

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All you need to do to see how much a drum's shell is considered its essence is to read the myriad of threads here on DFO that discuss how shell construction affects (or doesn't affect) a drum's sound. Suggesting that it's not the shell, but rather it's the lugs and other hardware that are primarily responsible for the essence of a drum's sound is (to be charitable about it) an outlying opinion on the matter. However I do 100% agree with your notion (sans sarcasm) that Keller's long history of constructing drum shells would indeed qualify them as one of America's oldest and most respected drum companies were they to decide to add hardware and heads and sell them as finished goods.

Your assumption about my supposed "resentment" of DW is completely erroneous. If you care to speak with authority on the matter in the future please read my initial post (#125) in this thread, where I explain in detail my reasons for disliking DW.
Oh I read post 125 and that's where I got the authority to address your sarcasm regarding fairy dust shell (yes...SHELL) fundamental, lugs, mounts, and even having many finish choices. You trashed everything you could think of and deemed them a "pedal company." Yeah... you deemed a company that actually makes their own shells AND puts a premium on the effect of their design on the drum's sound a mere pedal company.
That doesn't quite jive.
Being such a fan of the central importance of shells I'd expect you'd be all over their technology. But no. And to read into my post that I believe the hardware makes the sound shows your deep comprehensive abilities.
I own and play DWs. I would and have been happy owning and playing many brands. (no matter who made the parts) Sometimes I feel the desire to defend dw against those who seem to feel they are interlopers and/or con men.
It's obvious that this thread would attract the haters. I don't hate any drums though there are a few companies whose offerings I have always found sub par. I try not to trash them though because someone likes them and who cares to hear my negativity?
 
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musiqman

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I feel like DW has a very specific sound...to me, it's tubby with like a "plastic" attack. The midrange seems sucked out. Probably makes for a good mic'd tone as if its pre-Eq'd. I also think they are quite loud and bombastic. I do like some of their snares though...also loud but with a huge crack.
Which one of the hundreds of oprions in models/builds are you refering to?
 

musiqman

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I found one thing I don’t like. They can run out of source material so it seems

Glad though, that I got hold of at last option to order an additional tom with said species :glasses8:
 

High on Stress

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My DWs are “older” (late ‘90s) and I bought them used. The drums themselves sound great but not better than my others. The funny thing is that the fabled bulletproof DW hardware on them has failed over time. Granted, they were used before me and have been heavily used by me but over time the bass drum spurs stripped out, as did the tom arm, and the tom bracket itself. The bass drum hoops also got warped somewhere along the way and I will probably replace those when (if) regular gigging resumes (this 12/16/20 config paired with UL hardware is my small/lightweight rig). I’ve not had this many repair/replacement issues with any of my other kits, including the 50 year old one or the cheap Pearl Export that lives uncased and unloved in my garage.
 

Gcort49

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I think DW (and this is all my opinion) was a great boutique company in its day. No doubt, John Good and Don Lombardi are true artisans at their craft. But I think they drifted away from the true intent of being truly drum makers. Are not some of the line made in Mexico now? And, again, IMO, the merging of Gretsch and Slingerland has to be a drain on the talents of what was once a good drum crafting company.
Just too many craftsman out there still building in their garages and basements to shop from a company who, IMO, drifted away from its initial roots
 

Daniel

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I've traded my Gretsch USA Custom Kit for a DW Jazz Series Kit and I couldn't be happier. I think there're not so much other drum companies producing drums looking like this (pic doesn't show my kit but my Floortom)
 

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lossforgain

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I've traded my Gretsch USA Custom Kit for a DW Jazz Series Kit and I couldn't be happier. I think there're not so much other drum companies producing drums looking like this (pic doesn't show my kit but my Floortom)
I am not by any means a DW hater, but do you realize that their Jazz series was a take on the Gretsch shell formula that has been around for longer than DW has been a company?
 

Daniel

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I am not by any means a DW hater, but do you realize that their Jazz series was a take on the Gretsch shell formula that has been around for longer than DW has been a company?
Of course I know that it's almost the same shell formula. Otherwise I wouldn't have traded it, also because my version of the jazz series Kit has diecast hoops instead of the newer brass hoops. The Gretsch Kit has gone to a good friend. It was 20x16, 10x8, 12x8 and 15x14 FT from the 80's/90's. A players kit with some dings and scratches
The dw kit has exactly the sizes I was searching for (except the 24 BD) and is in mint condition, so I couldn't resist.
 

lossforgain

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Of course I know that it's almost the same shell formula. Otherwise I wouldn't have traded it, also because my version of the jazz series Kit has diecast hoops instead of the newer brass hoops.
Then what would you say are the differences between the USA Custom and the Jazz series that makes you so much happier with the DWs?
 

Daniel

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i don't want to confirm, that I would not return back to Gretsch, though.....
 

aratts

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The SoCal, hipper than thou ‘tude, has always bothered me, but...
1. As someone old enough to have seen the Japanese brands reduce the US manufacturers to rubble in the early 80s, it is great to see a US company rise retake the no. 1 brand position—
2. That brand position is Evidenced by the nearly ubiquitous use of DW by almost every professional I see on media is playing their drums
3. the pitch matching may be mostly (all?) hype— but they must be doing something right because of the fact of no. 2,
4. I am just an enthusiast/amateur, but having played the collectors, I was really impressed by the quality and sound, as good as anything from other mfrs, including crazy higher priced Sonor,
5. Yes, they still are expensive, but when they did what every other company did to provide a lower cost line, go offshore (but Mexico rather than off to the Far East), people give them grief for not ALL of their drums not being “made in the USA”.
6. I sold my collectors awhile back because I could not stand the large clock face lugs (silly I guess, but so I get it), but I picked up a used performance kit (made in the USA) which has the toned down lugs, for a very reasonable price (GC used), and they are terrific.

you may prefer a Ford F150 pickup to a Tesla, but there is no question that Tesla makes Ford better and is an example of US excellence and innovation. For me it is the same for DW.
 

bassanddrum84

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Well here’s the thing dw isn’t going anywhere. Period hate them or love them they are not going anywhere. If anything they will just keep buying all the vintage companies up. Gretsch slingerland etc. so hate on them all ya want they sound great. I personally like the smaller lugs and hate the price. There hardware speaks for itself. I went from tama hardware 15 years ago constantly breaking and stripping out to dw and not one broken part in 15 years.

after watching countless John good videos I’ve changed my mind on him he is truly innovative and passionate about drums. Can’t same the same about owners of other companies. So like I said dw isn’t going anywhere.

As stated in the snare drum lug post. Give me drums and a tuning key I’ll be happy with whatever is in front of me. But to knock a company whose innovative even if it’s a gimmick is just crazy.

just remember those beloved gretsch and slingerlands you all love dw owns now.
 
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NobleCooleyNut

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Well here’s the thing dw isn’t going anywhere. Period hate them or love them they are not going anywhere. If anything they will just keep buying all the vintage companies up. Gretsch slingerland etc. so hate on them all ya want they sound great. I personally like the smaller lugs and hate the price. There hardware speaks for itself. I went from tama hardware 15 years ago constantly breaking and stripping out to dw and not one broken part in 15 years.

after watching countless John good videos I’ve changed my mind on him he is truly innovative and passionate about drums. Can’t same the same about owners of other companies. So like I said dw isn’t going anywhere.

As stated in the snare drum lug post. Give me drums and a tuning key I’ll be happy with whatever is in front of me. But to knock a company whose innovative even if it’s a gimmick is just crazy.

just remember those beloved gretsch and slingerlands you all love dw owns now.
DW doesn’t own Gretsch !!
 

dboomer

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Then what would you say are the differences between the USA Custom and the Jazz series that makes you so much happier with the DWs?
In my case, I bought them both, put the same heads on them and set them up side by side. DWs were an exotic wood finish and the Gretsch were wrapped. I couldn’t really hear anything different between them. But the fit and finish of the DW was considerably better. So I sold the Gretsch kit and kept the DWs.
 

boomstick

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I've dabbled.

Like many others, my introduction to their products was the 5000 pedal, which I used for quite a long time.

Eventually, I paired it with a 5000 hi-hat stand which was great, but too heavy for my purposes, so I sold it.

I use their "jazz series bass drum lifter" which I think is fantastic.

The only drums of theirs I've owned are from the lowest of the low end. I have a Pearl Rhythm Traveler kit for practice and small gigs, but I wasn't feeling the half-shell, single headed toms. So I picked up a couple used PDP Z5 toms on the cheap and paired them with the RT kick and snare. They are way better than the RT toms, and pretty good quality for ultra low-end. I actually really love wailing on this little kit.

So my experiences with their products have all been positive.
 


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