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700$ 5pc kit

Hynek

Buying a 5-piece drum kit in the 700$ price range(less cymbals). What would you get out of these two?
- Sonor 2001
- Pearl EX
I'm not a drummer and have only some basic clue of what I should look at buying a kit. I just know I don't wanna drop more than roughly those 700 bucks. I also wouldn't like to see the kit breaking down to pieces after a few months if you know what I mean.
Thanks a lot for your thoughts!
January 16, 2003 @10:30am
Hynek

BTW: I heard some gossip there's no big difference between these cheaper kits whether it's Sonor, Pearl, Tama or YouNameIt, since they're all made in Korea and chances are that even in the same factory.
True?
January 16, 2003 @01:09pm
Ted

It's true for some (as it is for microphones, guitars and a bunch of other stuff) but not all. I don't know which ones offhand, and I haven't played the 2001's or the current Exports, so I don't know what to recommend in this particular scenario...anyone else?
-Ted
January 16, 2003 @02:13pm
Hynek

Finally, it looks like I'm falling for Mapex M series. Local store offers M for the price close to V.
These Mapex M are playable kits, correct?
A couple of days ago, I was offered used 5piece Premier XPK set for about $700.
Thoughts?
January 20, 2003 @10:14am
michaelhoddy

In my experience, most of the cheaper kits from the reputable manufacturers are similiar in quality, so it almost doesn't matter which ones you go for. The snare drums are generally pretty bad on all of them.
If I were in your position, I'd be trying to find a used maple or birch kit, as you'll get a lot more sound that way for the money.
January 20, 2003 @05:27pm
Ted

I'll second that...you'll get more for your money with a used higher-quality kit. If you can try to pick one up from a reputable dealer, or if that's not a possibility at least make sure you can inspect the kit to make sure it's not warped, that the bearing edges are true, and all that good stuff.
-Ted
January 20, 2003 @05:37pm
Hynek

Wait a minute, if you mean all-maple (birch) sets, those are sold for about a million dollars. I'm trying to get a decent set for my home studio. I don't even play drums. I just wanna get the most for my couple of bucks and you keep claiming I can't get anywhere. Can't you be a little gentle to a poor non-drumming guy, people? :)
If I shared your stands, I'd probably wind up geting an AT4050 while trying to buy a drum kit.
January 20, 2003 @07:25pm
Ted

I'm talking about a used set, maybe an older one...you may be able to track one down in that price range. Certainly not telling you to go out and buy a new one...but maybe if you find an older one, maybe that looks a little worn, you'll get great bang for your buck.
-Ted
January 20, 2003 @07:56pm
michaelhoddy

I had two birch kits, and I just sold one kit (3 toms and a bass drum) for $700. It was a 1996 Pearl Masters birch set in good shape. That was all that the market would bear for that kit, price-wise. So they're definitely out there.
I for one care a lot less about what a studio kit looks like, because the only really important thing is what it sounds like. So "used" is not a big concern of mine.
I've gotten okay sounds off some of these newer entry-level luan mahogany kits (which is pretty much what the shells on all the entry-level kits are made of), but it's WORK. Lots of fiddling with placement and tuning, lots of EQ and processing. What this means is that you can get them to sound good, but you'll spend a lot of hours trying, and in this business, time is money. Money which could be spent buying more Audio-Technica mics. :) Or a better drum kit.
Another possibility are the mid-level Pearl birch-mahogany shells or the Yamaha Beech Custom shells. I've heard some of those sound okay.
January 20, 2003 @10:07pm
xstatic

Gretsch is now marketing some lower end kits that sound surprisingly good and will come in that price range. But I second the notion of buying a used maple kit. They are definately out there, and you will find some in that price range:)
January 26, 2003 @09:51pm
Hynek

Now, this looks like regular campaign against my original plan...
You know, people, I have a serious problem. I don't live in the US and I'm affraid it's gonna be one hell of a hassle to find a used maple kit around here. Maybe I can try Germany. I'll see what I can do.
But I'll give it a try. I mean I'll try not to spend the money on microphones right away and have it ready in case an advert appears:)
Thanks very much for now. It wouldn't cross my mind that there can be some really audible difference between the kits throughout the price ranges.
January 27, 2003 @02:50pm
Ted

Good luck in your search!
-Ted
January 27, 2003 @03:28pm
Hynek

I think the Premier Artist Maple(Birch) series are on the lower price end among all-maple(birch) kits. Any experience?
And I can't restrain from asking:
What's the difference between maple and birch? Are there any general facts and oppinions that most drummers will agree on? Is birch louder and does it display sharper attack? Not a clue, just heard things.
Or is there, honestly, not any big deal of a difference?
I mean in a simple blind test having a drummer hitting three WELL TUNED 10' toms, one maple, one birch, one mahogany/eucalyptus(or whatever), are you really that positive you'd pass the test?
Thanks, H
January 30, 2003 @09:51am
michaelhoddy

If the drumheads and tuning are the same, I absolutely can tell the difference.
Maple is loudest, has the longest sustain, and the warmest and fullest midrange. Birch is a tiny bit quieter, has a sharper attack, shorter sustain, enhanced low end, and reduced midrange presence. Higher-end mahogany is very mellow, with pronounced midrange, reduced attack, and reduced high end.
Drumheads have more impact on the sound than does the choice of wood for the shells, but the shells themselves establish your starting point for developing the sound of the drum.
Birch generally records well, but is a little "cold" sounding (I have two kits, one birch and one maple). It's great for pop and heavy rock, less so for acoustic music, and "organic" rock. I have never been too satisfied with birch bass drums in general. It's really a matter of taste. When I first bought my birch kit some 7 years ago, I actually liked it better than maple. Things have changed now though, and I only like it on certain things.
January 30, 2003 @03:05pm
Ted

I agree...if you're talking about well-tuned kits with good heads, the difference is not subtle. I'm sure you'd hear the difference easily in an A/B situation.
I'm a big maple fan myself. It just sounds big and warm to me. Nothing else is quite like it. Really nice and versatile...I've had great results close-miking as well as getting more of a roomy sound with maple drums. Most of the music that's recorded these days uses maple drums...the DW drums that have been so popular in studios over the past decade or more are maple drums, as are most of the more popular high-end offerings from Tama, Pearl, Mapex, Noble and Cooley, and Yamaha. Birch is nice as well, but has a very distinct sound to it...think of the Dave Weckl sound from his earlier work with Chick Corea. Those drums are obviously heavily processed, but birch drums in general do have more of that shorter brighter sound to them. I believe Carter Beauford is still using them with the Dave Matthews band...listen to "Crash", that's the sound of birch. The Yamaha Recording Custom drums that were so big in the late 1980's (and still made to this day, although I think their Maple Custom drums are more popular now) are birch (they're what Weckl and Beauford used), and I know that Tama, Pearl and Premier also make well-respected birch drums (I know other companies make both kinds of drums, just mentioning a few).
I haven't had a chance to try any of the higher-end mahogany drums that are out there. Most of the mahogany drums I've used have been the entry-level kits that have a few plies of mahogany and a few plies of other stuff, and they're not too impressive. I'd also like to try Yamaha's new oak drums (I get so used to being able to try out all the cool new stuff that comes out, it's too bad we don't carry acoustic drums). I haven't heard their beech drums, but I've used beech drums from Sonor that sound great.
One thing, though...the differences between drums aren't nearly as noticeable when you're close-miking as they are when you use a more minimalist setup, or rely more on the overhead sound than the individual tom sound. I've heard some great recordings done with cheap drums (I believe Boston's first album actually used cheap no-name drums). If you use new heads and tune them well you can actually get very decent results. I'd say if you have to skimp, it's better to skimp on the drums than the cymbals...you can do a lot with even the cheapest of today's drums using good recording techniques, but there's really nothing you can do about a nasty clangy cymbal.
Of course, if you're wanting to get more of a room sound or go with a more minimalistic setup, you really can't fake it.
-Ted
January 30, 2003 @03:38pm