Thoughts on DW drums!

equipmentdork

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I have 21 kits and not one of them is a DW. I don't even have a snare. That doesn't mean I'm a DW hater, though--I grabbed their 5000 pedals in 1988 and I still think they are amazing. I dig a lot of their hardware, too.

And, as was said before, they did something nobody else even came close to doing, which was win a big one for American drums.

However, while they make great drums, and I am never unhappy to see a DW or PDP kit as backline or at a practice studio, I have yet to have that moment where I hear a kit and go "I MUST have that." It just hasn't happened for me.

I also couldn't care less about the round lugs. Truth be told, the marketing can be annoying, and the seeming omnipresence of them works against the brand in my eyes. Oh, look who switched now. Yawn.

However, had it not happened, Slingerland ending up with DW would have been the way I wanted it--they are going to kill it with what they do and I'm sitting on my hands and taking notes. DW is no half-ass company and will do the best job possible. Even their PDP stuff is killer.



Dan
 

wflkurt

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I'm sure many have had great experiences with DW. I ordered a collectors series in WMP in 1999. 16x20.8x12,12x14 and 13x15. I also ordered a 4x14 snare and picked up a used 5x14 later on. I loved the look of them and thought the sizes were cool. In all honesty, I had the hardest time tuning that set more than any set I have ever owned. I did switch out the stock DW heads which helped a little as I went with a white coated ambassador. It was still really tough to dial in a sound and the 8x12 was especially tough for me. Could have just been the set I had and I have not tried any other DW lines.

I actually sold that set in 2003 and bought my first Ludwig classic maple. Those drums tuned up instantly and I have loved classic maple Ludwig drums ever since. I was a Ludwig vintage guy ( and still am) before the DW and wanted to try something new in the late 90's.
 

Jazzhead

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never owned one never in the same room with one Mark (used to be here) (Father Shiner) had a yellow swirl DW Jazz series and raved a bunch about. This imo is one of the best demonstration --of the Jazz series-->


note that one has triple flange hoops;
Saw this, sweet looking and sounding kit.
 

scottcyp

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Ive owned the performance series. Great build, great drums but not quite the sound I was after. Still a very well made drum.
 

mandrum

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They are not my thing. Never felt comfortable behind the kit and think they have an odd sound but do find them easy to tune.
 

Houndog

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I'm sure many have had great experiences with DW. I ordered a collectors series in WMP in 1999. 16x20.8x12,12x14 and 13x15. I also ordered a 4x14 snare and picked up a used 5x14 later on. I loved the look of them and thought the sizes were cool. In all honesty, I had the hardest time tuning that set more than any set I have ever owned. I did switch out the stock DW heads which helped a little as I went with a white coated ambassador. It was still really tough to dial in a sound and the 8x12 was especially tough for me. Could have just been the set I had and I have not tried any other DW lines.

I actually sold that set in 2003 and bought my first Ludwig classic maple. Those drums tuned up instantly and I have loved classic maple Ludwig drums ever since. I was a Ludwig vintage guy ( and still am) before the DW and wanted to try something new in the late 90's.
I had the same experience as did a couple of my buddies . Just could not get an acceptable sound out of my 12 or 15 . Heck I dunno .
I like the stands . Don’t like the pedals either .
 

sixplymaple

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They are my favorite drums. I’ve had a custom Collector’s kit for 15years and my next big kit will also be a DW Collector’s. I love that they still use exotic and rare veneers. Expensive yes, but I think their exotic veneer’s are the best in the business and they sound perfect for my needs. I’m not a jazz drummer though... IMO a Tunebot is key for tuning the Collector’s series. It’s like unlocking a cheatcode because DW labels each drum’s musical note inside the shell.

Their new stuff lacking quality? IDK what people are talking about. Maybe the chrome isn’t as nice? I’ve never had pitting issues.





 
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HowardW

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I've previously owned a set of DW Performance drums and I was very pleased with the quality of construction and the tone. But over time, I realized the DW was very close to the tone of my Precision Drum custom-built set, and I didn't need both. I traded the DW for the Ludwig Vistalite set in my sig line below. Kept the hardware though ;).
 

BennyK

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I've owned a 9000 pedal and a heavy DW HH stand . Both were flawless with innovative features . I think the fine thread on their tuning rods is a very clever design to specify a wider tuning range . I also owned an 18" DW bass drum with that vertical grain interior - a nice drum .
 

Trey Gray

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Good morning!

I had a really cool DW kit that I got in 96(?)....it was a wrap, one of the glass glitters, maybe grey glass...anyway, played that kit on Letterman and the front of house guy for the show said it was one of the best kick drums he ever heard.....it was a 16x22.....

Cheers and blessings, Trey
 

towndog

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I had a Collectors kit. I think they make beautiful drums (finishes) but honestly they did not sound any better than my other cheaper kits and did not sound as good as my Eames Mastertone kit.

I ended up selling the DW kit for close to what I paid for it.
 

esooy

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I never understand the vitriol and disdain many Drummers have for DW. DW pretty much restarted the US made drum industry . They made US drums cool again . I would think especially if I was American that ai would hold the company in better stead .

DW are fantastic marketers and it goes without saying . Is this not an admirable trait for a Company ?
DW has been innovative , has not been devious about their manufacturing practices .

Why the dislike folks ? Is it trendy or cool to like on DW ? Maybe I missed the memo ?
I don't understand it either. DW has set standards for quality-made drums across all price points and made other companies step up their game. One thing I have never seen is people complaining about their wraps coming undone while other legacy brands still seem to have issues with that - that's just one example of their quality I think. Now, the sound may or may not be your thing, but by and large I think they've been trend setters with a wide range of sounds that are coupled with meticulous quality control.
 
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musiqman

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I don't understand it either. DW has set standards for quality made drums across all price points and made other companies step up their game. One thing I have never seen is people complaining about their wraps coming undone while other legacy brands still seem to have issues with that - that's just one example of their quality I think. Now, the sound may or may not be your thing, but by and large I think they've been trend setters with a wide range of sounds that is coupled with meticulous quality control.
But it has to be said, that they have issues with quality. Especially in rgeards to chroming and the protectiveness of the laquer.
 

Seb77

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I ordered a collectors series in WMP in 1999. 16x20.8x12,12x14 and 13x15. I also ordered a 4x14 snare and picked up a used 5x14 later on. I loved the look of them and thought the sizes were cool. In all honesty, I had the hardest time tuning that set more than any set I have ever owned.
My experience is the Collector's series is they are some of the most resonant drum out there. 8" drums with body of a 12" etc. I remember checking out a beautiful kit like this at a friend's practice space, who used double ply resos to tame it. Tuned the way I used to with single ply heads, it was resonant like crazy.

I prefer drums I can tune up with single play heads on both sides and get a controlled sound. Who wants a 2-second decay on toms anyway? Anther aspect is the attack: DW's tone always seemed a bit slow. I prefer a faster sound, Gretsch comes to mind.

That said, in the 90s, they were the coolest drums around, no question. I think both the Cranberries and Soundgarden used dw? Can't get more iconic than Zombie or Black Hole Sun.
 

musiqman

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My experience is the Collector's series is they are some of the most resonant drum out there. 8" drums with body of a 12" etc. I remember checking out a beautiful kit like this at a friend's practice space, who used double ply resos to tame it. Tuned the way I used to with single ply heads, it was resonant like crazy.

I prefer drums I can tune up with single play heads on both sides and get a controlled sound. Who wants a 2-second decay on toms anyway? Anther aspect is the attack: DW's tone always seemed a bit slow. I prefer a faster sound, Gretsch comes to mind.

That said, in the 90s, they were the coolest drums around, no question. I think both the Cranberries and Soundgarden used dw? Can't get more iconic than Zombie or Black Hole Sun.
I have experienced this myself (eventhough my kit doesn’t have re-rings), but I love large tom sounds with long decay.

The last gig at a smaller venue, my kit was too much, with 2 ply on top and 1 ply at the bottom.
 

The Whale

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Lets be honest. Once you get to the Jazz/Collectors price point a comparable kit from any company is going to be built top notch and sound amazing. Personally I've owned 43 kits in my days and top of the line from Pearl, Ludwig, Tama, Mapex and Yamaha. I prefer DW's. They look fantastic, tune up incredibly easy and are American made. They make me happy and at the end of the day that is what's important. My top five kits ever.

Collectors
Collectors
Pearl Masters Mahogany
Mapex Orion
Collectors

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sixplymaple

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Lets be honest. Once you get to the Jazz/Collectors price point a comparable kit from any company is going to be built top notch and sound amazing. Personally I've owned 43 kits in my days and top of the line from Pearl, Ludwig, Tama, Mapex and Yamaha. I prefer DW's. They look fantastic, tune up incredibly easy and are American made. They make me happy and at the end of the day that is what's important. My top five kits ever.

Collectors
Collectors
Pearl Masters Mahogany
Mapex Orion
Collectors
The Pearl Masters mahogany intrigues me to no end. I’ve never played on an all mahogany kit with medium to thick shells. I’ve owned 2x of their Reference kits, but had to sell them. I trust their quality. I’ve been seriously interested in ordering an all Mahogany Masterworks kit with mahogany burl veneer for quite some time. Probably their medium-thickness shells. But I hesitate due to lack of experience with mahogany other than vintage 3ply shells with poplar sandwiched in between. That’s a good sign that your mahogany Masters is in your top 5!
 

The Whale

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The Pearl Masters mahogany intrigues me to no end. I’ve never played on an all mahogany kit with medium to thick shells. I’ve owned 2x of their Reference kits, but had to sell them. I trust their quality. I’ve been seriously interested in ordering an all Mahogany Masterworks kit with mahogany burl veneer for quite some time. Probably their medium-thickness shells. But I hesitate due to lack of experience with mahogany other than vintage 3ply shells with poplar sandwiched in between. That’s a good sign that your mahogany Masters is in your top 5!
My first love is Pearl but in the last 3 or 4 years I've been more of a DW guy. They only thing that would ever make me part with my Collectors is a Pearl Reference. I've never had one and I really want to.
 

bassanddrum84

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My biggest complaint about dw is the price of the drums. The hardware is fair. Built amazingly well last forever. Pedals are expensive and the drums are expensive. Other then that and the ugly giant lugs. They’re truly great drums. I do prefer the mini style lugs they have on whatever models.
 

JazzyJeff

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95% of my hardware is DW. I currently own 2 Collector’s Series and 1 Jazz Series kit (the Broken Glass Collector’s series kit is basically a shell bank). I’ve owned a few other Collector’s Series and Jazz Series kits as well. Nothing but great experiences with them. That said, my Gretsch USA Custom kit is my favorite and if I wanted a new custom kit, it would be built in South Carolina.
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