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Upgrading a Cheap Kit vs New Kit

bdlp_r

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This might sound like a ridiculous question but wanted to get you take on this from all of you gear heads and drum experts.
I've got a Ludwig Breakbeats kit that's made of 7-ply "hardwood" with a wrap. I've had it for like 7 years. It's served me very well for practice and jamming with friends. The sound is OK, punchy not very resonant. Certainly much better than any other "entry-level" kit I've ever played. (Before that I owned a Pearl Export kit for like 10 years but had to get rid of it due to space constraints).

I called local drum builder and there are two roads I can take:
1) Get an all-new micro-kit built with Keller maple shells. Same exact sizes as the Ludwig Breakbeats but with possibility of picking and choosing shell thickness, bearing edges, hardware, etc.
2) Freshen up the old Ludwig Breakbeats: Get all-new bearing edges cut to something civilized, wrap removed and a new finish put on there. Probably improve some of the hardware and hoops. This is like 30% cheaper.

Sizes are: BD:14x16 / T:7x10 / T:13x13 in both cases.

What do you think of the second option? Has anyone done something like this? Is it worth it at all? Of course I wanna save some money but I don't know if freshening up a cheap kit (with a resale value of basically $0) is a good idea or just a total waste of money, where I end up just getting a the maple kit built within the year and spending MORE money instead of less.

Some context: I am not a pro. I do not even gig nor record anything. I like to jam and practice for myself and friends but I really enjoy the sound of good drums. I do own good snare drums, just not nice toms nor bass drum.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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I would just coat the inside of the shells with wipe-on poly and leave them alone. Barring head changes and maybe just having the bearing edges crisped up, I would do little else than poly on the inside and sharpening the edges, along with a head change.
 

VintageUSA

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For me, I would not spend time or money on what you call a "cheap" kit.
There are so many great used kits out there for low prices.
Do some research and play some other options (makers and sizes) to find what you like; you don't need to hurry.
You could easily pull off a BIG upgrade.
 

bdlp_r

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For me, I would not spend time or money on what you call a "cheap" kit.
There are so many great used kits out there for low prices.
Do some research and play some other options (makers and sizes) to find what you like; you don't need to hurry.
You could easily pull off a BIG upgrade.
I've been on the lookout for good options for about a year, there are excellent used kits that I want to pull the trigger on badly but I really need the micro kit sizes and those are very hard to come by as a set.
I could get them as individual drums but there's not a big used market where I live so.... options are way more restricted.
 

Blue Zurich

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I was in a similar situation. I have always been a one kit player since 1980 and with my last PDP Concept Maple kit after 6 years I realized it was time to buy perhaps my last drum kit. I have always craved a Gretsch 1 up 1 down and after spending years fiddling with the PDP's attempting good results yet never great I bought new heads for the PDP, gave it a great cleaning, created really good copy for ads and saturated all online selling platforms. Eventually I sold it for more than I paid. It just took patience until the right buyer came along. It 3/4 funded my Gretsch Renowns and now I have a fantastic drum kit which has a wide range of tuning possibilities as opposed to a medium level set with only a sweet spot for tuning and very dependent on head choices at that. You only live once, where are your priorities? I skimp on the mundane and plan and sometimes splurge on the passion.
 

bdlp_r

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You only live once, where are your priorities? I skimp on the mundane and plan and sometimes splurge on the passion.
You had me at "you only live once". Your ad copy was probably good! I'm an engineer so I'm always overthinking, trying to re-use stuff, trying to cut costs.. need to turn that off for my drumming hobby. That's good advice.
 

Blue Zurich

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You had me at "you only live once". Your ad copy was probably good! I'm an engineer so I'm always overthinking, trying to re-use stuff, trying to cut costs.. need to turn that off for my drumming hobby. That's good advice.
Thanks What do the local shops have? Perhaps if you gave them a wishlist they could put out the feelers. So many of these places know players with multiple kits and when you own so many, you are more inclined to part with one now and then. Make offers, you never know.
 

bdlp_r

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My Local shop has a Used Gretsch Brooklyn in WMP in the sizes you want . Im going there today to get a hi hat stand and a bass head . I’ll get you a quote and a pic if interested…
that's awesome! could you please do that? I'd appreciate that enormously They'd have to ship internationally (Mexico City), usually that's the biggest pain in the butt. Hence, the local drum builder.
 

bdlp_r

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Thanks What do the local shops have? Perhaps if you gave them a wishlist they could put out the feelers. So many of these places know players with multiple kits and when you own so many, you are more inclined to part with one now and then. Make offers, you never know.
I'll do another round of checking but it's mostly all rock sizes with 22" bass drums and stuff like that. Like you say, you never know...
 

Houndog

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that's awesome! could you please do that? I'd appreciate that enormously They'd have to ship internationally (Mexico City), usually that's the biggest pain in the butt. Hence, the local drum builder.
Yeah , that could nix a good deal …
 

bdlp_r

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The cheap drums are fine , but for my $$$
You can’t beat a cheap used nice kit …

Those Breakbeats are the Yugo of drums in my opinion ….
haha not hating on the Breakbeats, they're actually a good compact drum set and for the money I don't think you can do much better! But there's only so much sound you can get out of them.
 

Houndog

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I’m not really hating on them , just stating that they only serve a limited purpose .
 


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