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Question: Which of these manufacturers makes the best kits and why?
DDrum - 0 (0%)
DW - 2 (10.5%)
Gretsch - 1 (5.3%)
Ludwig - 3 (15.8%)
Mapex - 1 (5.3%)
Pearl - 3 (15.8%)
Premier - 1 (5.3%)
Rogers - 2 (10.5%)
Sonor - 1 (5.3%)
Tama - 1 (5.3%)
Yamaha - 4 (21.1%)
Total Voters: 3

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Johnathan
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« on: December 01, 2008, 08:03:18 PM »

There are a great number of kits out there but here are the most common ones.  What manufacture is the best to you and why?  Is it quality, sound, look, history, you own it etc... Let us know what you think.
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Johnathan
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2008, 08:05:25 PM »

I choose Mapex, I own it, love the look, the feel and the quality.  It is a kit I can afford for what I have.  Deep overtones, easy to set up and the wood is solid Birch.  I know there are other more expensive kits out there but for the money, I got one heck of a deal. 

Next up and let's vote!!!1 Smiley Grin
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KenSanders
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2008, 09:54:18 PM »

There are many variables in choosing a kit for yourself, including, as Johnathan mentions...your budget.

Some things, in addition to your budget, that you might consider before you make a purchase include:

Drums with a shell material and design that suits the tuning ranges you desire
Drums and well-designed harware that allow you to easily change your drum/cymbal placements
Drum sizes that produce the volume ranges and tones that fit your musical requirements
Drums and hardware that pack for easy transport (if you don't use a cartage company!) in your vehicle
Drums that have good re-sale value if you tend to change sets every so often
Drum finishes that are likely to withstand the rigors of the climate you live in or that you will travel in


If you believe that you will want to add other drums with the same finish at a later time, I would urge you to determine finishes that tend to keep their original color, rather that those that tend to age or change over time.

I would also select a company with a good AFTER SALES reputation for prompt delivery of repair parts and an ethical policy regarding honoring their warranty.

There are many great drum choices available today.  Selecting the kit that rocks your world is a pursuit that it worth during a little front end research.

Cheers!
Ken
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2008, 05:24:15 AM »

ani one sellin a kit for bout 160 possibly pp
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Johnathan
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2008, 06:13:17 AM »

No kit for sale on my end but have you checked out the sites store, they may have what you are looking for. Go to the Drum Store Tab located at the top of the screen.

Welcome to the site, there are some great resources here.
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2008, 08:55:04 AM »

Any others care to vote?  Do I have the right mix of kits?
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2008, 03:30:46 PM »

I voted 3 times, as I thing that Tama, Yamaha and Mapex is the top 3 in your list...

Cheers
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KenSanders
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2008, 08:58:09 PM »

In all seriousness, I believe that DW should be on your list of choices for the vote count.
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2008, 09:41:37 PM »

  That is a great list Jonathon, and I agree with Ken that DW may be the cadillac of the choices. Lots of those companies have truly amazing high end kits however. My own favorite? Rogers drums, a company that had it's factory about 5 miles from my hometown growing up in Southern Ohio,  at a town called Covington. My Aunt Joyce and Uncle John both worked for the company. My Aunt Joyce even moved to Fullerton when they moved the factory to California. She worked as a shipping clerk for their hardware division until the company literally went out of country. These were truly top quality drums during their time, and their shells seemed to have gotten even better with age.
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2008, 03:22:59 AM »

In all seriousness, I believe that DW should be on your list of choices for the vote count.

Ditto too that!

DW has an outstanding drum lines and one of the greatest hardware lines there is... Why miss them?
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Johnathan
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2008, 06:34:51 AM »

Ok DW has been added as well as Rogers, I reset the vote count back to Zero.  If you do not mind, please go back a vote.  I think the list is now complete thanks guys Smiley

Any new votes out there please tell us why you voted the way you did.  The information will assist drummers just looking for kits as well as others who may want to add to their kits etc. 
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2008, 09:12:03 PM »

 I voted for Rogers, just because you reset and included that now basically non-existent company. I know Yamahha is putting out some new Rogers product but they simply aren't the quality of the old stuff. Thanks for adding my old favorite Jonathon! By the way, I still think that the top line stuff of most of the companies are absolutely wonderful drums, I'm just sentimental about Rogers.
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2008, 09:16:32 PM »

I went to the Rogers web site, they still have one and I was impressed with someof the details they put out.  DW I do not know how or why I missed that one.
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2008, 11:51:26 AM »

I noitced back in 2005 a simular poll was attempted.  However, this poll adds a few more kits and simply stimulates the exchange of ideas again, as to why folks have perspectives as to which kit maker is best etc. 

So please become a member and vote Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2008, 07:36:04 AM »

Hi,

      I make up my sets from different sets, so I can't say any one set is better than another.   Also, the playing field is always changing.  For example, some company that had what I would prefer in drum seats may be knocked out of position by a new seat from another company.

       Actually, (I've mentioned this before) I play a lot of different sets, since I'm living in Tokyo, and every club has a set of drums.  I use them with the exception of my twin pedals and occasionlly my snare.
From my experience, it usually comes down to adjusting the "tension" (as Ken mentioned Buddy referred to it). 

       To tell the truth, once I start playing I couldn't tell you if I was playing a Tama, Yamaha, Ludwig, or any other set.  I can only tell if the drums sound the way I want them to, and that usually is up to my ability to tensionize them - IT'S NOT THE DRUMS.

        But, as I said, for my set each piece is hand picked from different companys as to my preference. 

Don
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KenSanders
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2008, 02:43:19 PM »

I'll take some of the thoughts that Don shared above and expand on them a bit using one of our mutual drum heroes as an example.  That hero is Buddy Rich. Cool

To get straight to the point.....Buddy Rich could have gotten all of the drums he wanted from any drum company that he decided to use......and he did.  Ludwig, Slingerland, Rogers, Vox, etc.   But when you listen to the recordings, I seriously doubt that you can identify what brand he is playing.  Roll Eyes

Buddy set his drums up for his preferred sounds, feel, and even the "reach distance"  to the various components.  You see, the point is that is isn't the BRAND of the drums.....it's the touch.....the techniques.......and the imagination of the drummer.  In the most simple word.......TALENT.  Wink

In the competitive market for top quality, well made drums ; many have some very unique features.  Those features on certain drums just may "do it" for  you...better than the drums of another company.  However, just as professional golfers mix various brands of golf clubs......some drummers choose a certain brand and model drums, but may also choose to use another brand(s) of hardware or snare drum(s). 

Which brand is best?   Ask a hundred drummers and get a hundred answers....all of which would be as valid as the other.    Cheesy


I've played Slingerland, Rogers, Ludwig, Pearl, Premier, Fibes, Yamaha, Tama, Gretsch, DW, and some custom made drums. Regardless of what brand I was playing at the time......it always sounded like me.

The best brand for YOU, is whatever brand or mix of brands inspires you to play your very best.  If you, like Buddy, can also get $100,000 to play a certain brand......that brand may suddenly become the best there is!  Grin









 

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Ken Sanders
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Johnathan
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2008, 07:22:02 AM »

Well said Ken, This poll is more for the benefit for new drummers with a budget so the question now becomes:

If a new drummer comes to you and asks you which of these kits is best, they are going to look into your eyes with anticipation for an answer?

For me, Mapex M series, for the money you get a good solid kit, you will want to replace the stock heads which are Remos.  The Birch wood offers the drummer a wide range of play styles to start with but as one progresses the drummer may move a to a specific brand or mix of brands to capture the sound the drummer is truly seeking for the genre he/she plays the most, as mentioned above by Ken (but for most drummers that is a few years down the line).

DW makes a great kit as well but is a bit more expensive to start, this said, the quality is there and the drummer will not be disappointed.  Cannot say much on the other kits being I have not played them. 

It is more than just sound and what genre one plays, it is the resources you have; so if you only have $1,500 to $2,000 to spend which includes hardware then the poll above is for your consideration. Keep in mind you will want to get a set of cymbals that compliment your kit.  I bought Zildjian ZBT4s of which is the lowest end Z cymbal and I am now looking to upgrade so make sure you take into consideration hardware as you shop for your kit.  I simply did not know cymbals when I bought.  My bad on this one Sad

Do not be ashamed if you have to get a pearl export to start (do not think they are made under the export line anymore), if that is all you can afford then so be it.  Look at replacing the heads with good quality heads that can enrich just about any shell (this is where you will want to hear them or seek advice on becasue certain heads give different tones and compliment various play styles), upgrade the cymbal pack and then go from there (same for cymbals as for heads). 

Most of the advice you are getting here is from top drummers in the world.  So read it and take it to heart. I am not one of those drummers.  I have only been drumming a year and offer a perspective that most new drummers are looking for information on, i.e. if I only have a couple grand, what is the best option for me...

Great info all around, let us know your thoughts.  This site is for all levels of play so do not be shy about asking a question.  Good discussion and the affirmative or negative is ok so long as all is respectful.



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KenSanders
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« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2008, 07:51:39 AM »

Yes, Johnathan.....I understood the purpose of the thread, I diverted a bit because I wanted to follow up on Don's comments about brands......as far as sound was concerned.  The point being that the drummer is responsible for making his kit sound good.

As far as recommendations for starter kits, you've already mentioned Mapex.  I would add the Tama, Yamaha, and Pacific also. They are really well-made alternatives to consider.  Also, a top quality used set in good condition might be another option.   Buying a used top name set, may not appeal to some beginning drummers .  However, when you are ready to get a better kit, the used top name kit should have a trade-in value near what you paid for it.  Lower line kits usually depreciate a lot.

Just some more options to consider.   Wink
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Ken Sanders
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2008, 11:52:22 AM »

Outstanding idea, I never thought myself about a high end used kit but imagine the savings Smiley  Great info ken and thanks for the perspective you and others offer.  It is great to see things from your levels because it gives people like me something to shoot for.  I am going to have look at the high end opportunities soon, I love my kit but it would be neat to get something better, once I learn how to walk as they say Smiley

I was in Nashville, this weekend, what a blast.  Can not imagine how fun it is to play on the stages you have Smiley.
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2008, 12:59:36 AM »

Hi,

      I thought I add a little more.  There have been times in the past when I didn't have much money.  When you don't have much money, and you are wanting a set of drums, you have to take what ever you can find that has enough drums and cymbals to do what you want to do.  You can't be to choosy.

      Usually you skim through the newspapers or some equvalent and try to get whatever you can in your price range that looks cool and makes a lot of noise.  Especially if your a new drummer.

      But, if I had to pick a set, I would go with Gretsch.   That's just my personal preference.  I wouldn't get Gretsch hardware though.  Only the drums.  I don't like their hardware.  Of course pedals would be DW or Iron Cobras (I have both).

      I suppose the reason I like Gretsch is because I've been influenced by so many great drummers that used them.  For example: Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Max Roch, Tony Williams, Shelly Manne, Philly Joe Jones and so on.  The drums on the  recordings those drummers made really sound great.  In my opinion those Gretsch drums on those old recordings sound better than the drums you hear today.  The tone and quality was great. 

      Of course other drummers had some good sounding sets.  For example, if you listen to Joe Morello especially in songs like "Take Five" and "Far More Drums" --  Wow!  And Gene Krupa on the cd "The Drum Battle" (with Buddy Rich).  Those drums really sound nice.  I think Joe was using Ludwig and Gene Slingerland.   

      Both of those sets were "old" sets.  It seems, or it could just be my imagination, that those old sets sounded better than these new sets with all the space-age technology and whatnot.

      I used to have Gretsch set.  It sounded better than any of the drums I've been using recently.  I would like to get another someday.

Don

     
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« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2008, 09:34:35 PM »

 I agree Don, and Gretch drums do sound really nice, plus have a certain recognition of excellence if you will. I also agree with Ken, its not the drums its what the drummer does with them. (If I got an endorsement deal with ANY drum company I would be disagreeing with myself and singing high praises).
 That said....The purpose of the thread is to really define the levels of quality in the various makes. Since many companies have differing levels of kits, you can't compare Pearl to Yamaha or Tama because are you comparing their pro level, intermediate level or beginner level of drums? I assume that we are talking about each companies absolute top of the line. Then are we talking affordability? I think in reality what we are getting here is the best "bang" for the buck if you will.
  Next, we have to segregate new from old. There is always very high quality at a more reasonable price in buying used drums, Rogers is a prime example. When you can get a used set of high quality drums for hundreds of dollars less than a new set, the "bang" for the buck is definitely there.
  So now we have limited ourselves to top of the line, new drums, that are reasonably priced for their quality. Using these presets as qualifiers, I would have to go with either Pearl or Yamaha. These companies mass produce high level kits that can play on the finest stages of the world. They have good customer support, can extend into racks and other periphery equipment easily, yet do not have the DW sticker shock.
  Now remember, I'm just an old guy who hasn't played a new set in decades. I could be completely wrong in this.
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« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2009, 01:18:27 PM »

I don't mean to be a nit picker, but I am surprised you don't have the classic name of Slingerland on the vote list.  I did vote...Pearl.  I even like their T-shirts.
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Johnathan
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2009, 07:48:37 AM »

Good point
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2009, 02:18:16 PM »

 Kiss Best Kits is a loaded statement Generally more $$= better sounding Kit. from any manufacturer.

I have a pre 1972 Rogers KIt that still has a great sound. but the swivomatic hardware has seen better days(the best there was when it was designed,my opinoin)

I have a Tama Rock star kit, not as clear and crisp as the rogers but can be tuned for a decent sound
they are very light drumsand good for quick setup.

Now as I stated $$=sound
I use pearl studio customs  maples when playing with professional musicians they cost 3 times more than either other set but have deeper tones with mutch longer sustain also more volume with less effort.

cymbals are a different subject.
Randy
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« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2009, 03:50:26 PM »

I have been playing the same set of Pearl drums for around 25 years.  Yes, I have played better during that time, but I like the story behind Pearl drums success and when I acquired my set they were the best product for the money.  Durability is also an impressive selling point and I know Pearls have improved in all categories of quality, so that's where my loyalty lies. 

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