Vistalite vs. All the rest..... debate.

wallydellenbach

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The last time I talked to Romano @ RCI he said, "RCI has a lifetime warranty on every shell they make." (Translated: as long as it's a stamped "RCI" shell it doesn't matter how it got cracked. It will be replaced.) But Romano no longer owns RCI. That may have changed. I'd first ask your drum manufacturer of choice about shell warranty and replacement. I ordered my ZEP amber kit directly from Romano / RCI-drilled for LUDWIG classic hardware. They (RCI) even drilled a 1970's era Ludwig rail mount and BD cymbal mount. I paid half of the price buying from RCI verses buying through a Ludwig dealer. RCI makes Ludwig's shells.....But I don't know how Ludwig handles their shell warranties.
 

RIDDIM

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Romano's a good guy; I'm sorry he's no longer the owner.
 

wallydellenbach

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RIDDIM said:
Romano's a good guy; I'm sorry he's no longer the owner.
Yes. He is a good guy! He's no longer the owner but he's still a "MOVER AND SHAKER" at RCI. I begged him for a job, more than once, a few years back.
 

RIDDIM

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I'm glad he's still in the picture. He makes the best welded acrylic shells I know of. He offers the most cosmetic options, for those to whom those are important, and his shells sound great.
 

cobaltspike

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The last time I talked to Romano @ RCI he said, "RCI has a lifetime warranty on every shell they make." (Translated: as long as it's a stamped "RCI" shell it doesn't matter how it got cracked. It will be replaced.) But Romano no longer owns RCI. That may have changed. I'd first ask your drum manufacturer of choice about shell warranty and replacement. I ordered my ZEP amber kit directly from Romano / RCI-drilled for LUDWIG classic hardware. They (RCI) even drilled a 1970's era Ludwig rail mount and BD cymbal mount. I paid half of the price buying from RCI verses buying through a Ludwig dealer. RCI makes Ludwig's shells.....But I don't know how Ludwig handles their shell warranties.
When you ordered your shells from Romano you said it was half the price of a ludwig dealer, did you have RCI put their lugs and hoops on or did you use used stuff? Just curious because I've been thinking about getting some acrylics myself.
 

Balance

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I've always wanted the Tama Mirage, they are so far ahead of the comp it would be an easy decision... though not sure on the bass drum size options!
 

Nacci

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I know very little about them but Sonor has been in the Acrylic game going back to the 70’s. Their Designer series X-Rays are very nice and I believe I have seen some Acrylic offerings from them with the opposing mallets badge so that would bring their offerings up to the modern era.
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BennyK

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ASBA made some impressive acrylic shells too back in the early 70's .

For sound, I'd go with seamless . If you're handy,seamless undrilled shells can be purchased in the primary colours from various manufacturers .
 

singleordoubleheads

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Nice bump of an old cool thread--

I still have and use my Vistalites, and have since also bought the full set of Pearl Crystal Beat concert toms 6-16 and a matching 22 x16 bass. I would also assume that the seamless shell is probably the best way to go, but I have had zero issues with my Vistas, and they have seen a lot of gigs/load-in/load-outs (always in padded cases of course).
 

Treviso1

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I love the sound of modern acrylic drums. I have a Bonham sized Amber Austin Era Fibes kit that is just fat and juicy to play on.. they sound and feel great. While these drums have seams, I would imagine the seamless to be even better.
 

kallen49

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I’d be curious to hear (and measure) the difference between a drum with a Vistalite shell and drums with the exact same hardware and heads attached to wood shells, say, Vista vs an Inde maple vs a Yamaha Birch vs a DW whatever wood.

When I saw Carl Palmer about 12 years ago he was playing Vistalites, (the blue flavour), at a concert hall. We were 8th row centre and, realizing that the kit was mic’d, my best description of the toms is that they seemed to sound plastic kinda “boing” sounding.
I do appreciate the look. Owned both Staccatto and Milestone kits in the past, I’m happy with birch shells now.
 

Bri6366

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I first started drumming in the late 70s when Vistalites were still popular. I didn't know anything about shell construction at the time, only that the Vistalites looked cool. My buddy had the Bonzo reissue kit and that was a blast to play. I'd love to pick up a Vistalite kit.
 

the_dude

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Tama Mirage toms and Pearl Crystalbeat bass drum. My Mirage BD is 22 x 16 and bigger than I want to schlep around. The Pearl is 20 x 15 and I love red.
I leave my other Mirage mounted tom at home.
Originally I bought the Mirage over the Pearl because the Mirage came with a snare drum for the same price.
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johnlamond

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I have been playing Fibes acrylic drums since 1979. I am currently on my third set of Fibes. I have also owned one set of Ludwig Vistalites. Fibes are the superior brand if you want acrylic drums.
 

noreastbob

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I have a vintage set that I love for its uniqueness, and the fact it came into being at the same time started going to concerts and loving rock. I see vintage sets all the time for reasonable prices.
I wouldn't buy from a copycat manufacturer, and I freely acknowledge that I'm a Ludwig snob.
Ludwig jumped on the acrylic bandwagon well after Zickos and Fibes started making them in 1959 and 1965 respectively. Ludwig started selling Vistalites in 1972.
 

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