Who's making LOUD drums for ROCK these days?

stevil

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So I stumbled upon a really fun 80's Yamaha Tour Custom a few months back, and I love it. 12" and 14" rack toms (not square, but 10" and 12" deep respectively), and a thumping 24"x16" bass drum. I love them, and I'm not in a hurry to replace them. But they look a little ragged and I'm sure the urge for something new will eventually strike, which leads me to ask: what are the contemporary kits geared toward someone who wants loud, projecting, powerful drums? The vogue today seems to be shallower and thinner, which definitely have their merits, but it's not what I'm after. The closest items I'm aware of are the Ludwig Keystone X and Yamaha Live Custom. Both are nice kits, and the Live is probably the closest thing to the old Tour Custom/Rock Tour Custom/Turbo Tour Custom set up, but even Lives have smaller, shallower toms.

Also, please don't weigh in with suggestions that I mic the kit or tell the guitarist to turn down. 1) Some venues I play don't have reliable PAs, and I'm not interested in bringing my own, and 2) Being loud is kind of the point, so being quieter is counterproductive.
 

Tornado

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Personally, I never found power toms to be any louder than standard toms. They only looked louder, imo. But yeah, thicker shells are louder. Have you looked at Pearl's many different offerings? They remain a big contender in the heavier genres.
 

polycrescendo

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I too am on the market for louder toms at some point. The old Sonar heavy bubinga kit is what I really want but I need more info on the topic as well.
These would be nice....
 
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RickP

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I was pretty I pressed with the sheer volume and sound coming out of a Jenkins Martin kit Treviso was playing at the Chicago Vintage Drum Show.
 

"poppies"

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I second Jenkins-Martin. They’re very powerful, it’s hard for me to imagine any reasonable acoustic scenario they couldn’t handle.
 

swarfrat

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Go bigger and tune up?? I sold a stainless ludwig 32x16 that was single headed (missing hoop/claws) and a 12x15 snare that just wasnt happy unless it was cranked. The 32 was tuned to 30hz and was well above JAW, and it would make you queasy across the room. I imagine if you tuned it up even higher it would really carry. For toms you prettty much have to offset, so a 12x15 rack tom and an 18 floor, tuned to normal pitches for 12/16 and I think your guitar player would be crying uncle. Add some cutting cymbals (APX anyone? Dang that recipe sounds familiar)
 

stevil

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I too am on the market for louder toms at some point. The old Sonar heavy bubinga kit is what I really want but I need more info on the topic as well.
These would be nice....
This VK cast kit is otherworldly. I don't complain about lugging a cast bronze snare to shows, but even I might cry uncle with this bad boy.
 

Zalloy

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This VK cast kit is otherworldly. I don't complain about lugging a cast bronze snare to shows, but even I might cry uncle with this bad boy.
according to VK, that kit weighs around 550lbs... gonna need several roadies... my back hurts just looking at it! beautiful kit though.
 

supershifter2

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True that. But wouldn't it be sweet to get something less than 30 years old?
not for me. my 1980's tams are awesome. I bought 2 sets new and thats all i play. I'll put my tamas up against ANY new drum anytime ! just because its new doesnt mean its better. just because its old doesnt mean its wore out.
 

stevil

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not for me. my 1980's tams are awesome. I bought 2 sets new and thats all i play. I'll put my tamas up against ANY new drum anytime ! just because its new doesnt mean its better. just because its old doesnt mean its wore out.
That misses my point though: I don't have access to pair of cherry Tamas. My Tour Customs are sweet sounding, but they look their age. The lacquer is unevenly faded from being stored in the sun, and badly chipped on the bass drum. Tama and the other companies aren't making them like they used to, which is why I'm asking for advice about the best contemporary substitute for these older drums from before eggshell-thin shells became de rigeur.
 

stevil

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Or put another way, it would be sweet to have the option of buying something new, rather than being limited to prowling websites for 30+ year old kits
 

Elvis

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Heavy sticks, large sizes, dotted heads.
These will make any drum louder.
If you have to muffle the bass drum, don't stick anything inside. Things like blankets and pillows will soak up sound and rob you of sheer volume.
Same with heads. A lot of loud rock guys will use twin ply heads, but the double thickness only muffles everything because there's more medium to deal with.
Dotted heads will give more presence to the attack of the stick as it hits the head. They used to say a head like that will give you lots of "cut" (as it "cuts" through the din of amplifiers you're playing with).
Large drums push more air and give a bigger, deeper sound.
Heavy sticks (like Pro-Mark's) will ensure that the force needed for loud drums is being applied.
The Yamaha Live Customs are touted as being designed for loud music, so that would be something to look into, anyway....and the biggest sizes for that kit would be a 24" bass drum, 16" rack tom and an 18" floor tom....the snare drum is only 14x5.5, though (that's ok, because the N&C SS 14x3 7/8 is the loudest snare drum on the planet).
If you can deal with your tom sitting that high, you should have a really big sound and a really cool look.
You can get away with more head tension with bigger drums, too.
Bonham's drums were really big and he pulled his heads up like a jazz guy would.
I found if you tune the drum so its really lively, this can aid in creating more volume, too.
Thin weight bottom heads will give the drum a bigger sound, too.

...try it, see if you like it. It'll be a little different sound and feel than what you're probably used to, but once you play with it a little, who knows, you might like it!
Good luck.


Elvis
 

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